Often a scene can be visually confusing, especially if there are multiple colours and objects in focus that are fighting for our viewer’s attention. This simple technique that I’m sharing here uses a single dominant coloured gel to simplify the scene visually, then we can draw the attention of our viewer with our Lensbaby Sweet 50 lens.
This is another one of those questions I get asked a lot: ‘Should I be using a white or grey background with coloured gels?’ As with so many things in photography, the answer isn’t always as simple as you might think.
In this article I show you a recent lighting test where I fired a collection of coloured gels onto a white background and then repeated the same test on a grey background to see the difference. The images below speak for themselves but I’ll also explain some of my personal reasons for using one over another and I’ll also discuss the pros and cons for each.
There is an almost endless supply of lighting modifiers available on the market right now, some are cheap and some of the better ones are certainly a lot more expensive. But does cost directly relate to quality? Well, a lot of the time yes it does if you’re referring to build quality.
In general, the more you spend, the more well-made and durable the modifier will be. But does that extra money you spend mean you’re getting a better lighting modifier overall? I would have to say no, in fact for less than £15/$20 you can get some stunningly beautiful light from a homemade lighting modifier. Read on to see examples of the stupidly cheap DIY lighting modifiers I’m referring too.
In this article, I aim to explain what TTL is, what is does and how it can be implemented into a photographic workflow. I also go on to share my test images from a recent shoot where I tested the TTL abilities of the Godox AD600 / PixaPro Citi600 TTL / Flashpoint Xplor 600 TTL flash head. The test shots provided below show you exactly the strengths and the weaknesses of the function for a variety of situations.
Ever wondered why I’m so fussy about ‘clean’ lighting with my coloured gelled photography? Well it’s because failing to produce cleanly lit shots with gels, simultaneously produces horrendous looking shots with gels.
When I refer to clean lighting I’m referring to the fact that I like to keep all of my lights in my scene exactly where they’re supposed to be. If I have a background light then I have it lighting the background and nothing else, when I have a hair light, I have it lighting the hair and nothing else and so on. This might seem fairly obvious but when you’re using white-light and large modifiers like softboxes, the lighting is going everywhere whether you like it or not. We simply can’t get away with being that sloppy with coloured gels.
As some of you already know, I recently developed and released a brand new lighting workshop called Creatively Simple Lighting. In that workshop, one of the core foundations of what I teach is how to get creative with simple lighting and simple lighting doesn’t get any simpler than when you use Speedlights. At their most basic, Speedlights can simply sit on top of your camera and illuminate whatever is in front of you. If you want to get a little more creative however, the first thing to do is to get that flash off your camera and step into the vast world of off-camera flash.
Off-camera flash is where it gets interesting and it’s very easy to throw a cheap softbox on your speedlight and take some pleasant yet fairly basic shots. So how do we make it a little more engaging without spending a fortune? Well, as part of my workshop I wanted to prove that all the setups I was teaching could be achieved with a couple of Speedlights and some very basic modifiers. The following article is the result of me dusting off my Speedlights and playing with some homemade modifiers to see if I could create some engaging and creative effects without it costing me a penny.
I’m a big believer in post workflow efficiency. Whether working with stills or video, one can never seem to get their workflow fast enough. And these days, we all spend far more time at the computer than we’d like. I know I do. I spent countless hours in Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere and other applications getting things just right.
This video, from photographer Jake Hicks shows us 5 great tips to help speed up our own workflow in Photoshop. These are some of Photoshop’s lesser known tips and techniques, that can make a big difference to your workflow.
In this tutorial we will be going over how to create gorgeous in-camera flared effects that can add a lot of depth and interest to a simple portrait image. To do this we will be using a glass prism which can be found on any number of online retail sites. The glass prisms are generally used for school science experiments so they’re readily available and very inexpensive.
25mm x 100mm glass prism on Amazon link here
The prisms are very easy to use out on location as you simply hold them in front of the lens and shoot away. If you’re looking to use them in a studio environment though there are a few key things to bear in mind to maximise the flared effect that creates that signature look.
If you’ve ever wondered what effect a specific Lensbaby lens has or if you’ve ever wondered how that compares to other lensbaby lenses or even standard lenses then this article is for you.
I took the same image of a model using a wide variety of Lensbaby lenses as well as standard prime lenses and compared the results. All images were taken with flash with an ISO 100 at 1/125 second and all at f4. You should notice that the model stays a similar size in the frame when using a variety of focal length lenses, that was to create ‘real-life’ look to the test. I have taken the images as I would do normally regardless of focal length and they all appear here completely un-cropped.
Nearly every professional studio I’ve ever used has these ‘polyboards’ and you‘ve probably even seen them yourself but may not have known what they’re used for. Polyboards are polystyrene boards that usually measure 4 feet wide by 8 feet high and are normally 2 inches thick.
One of the other defining characteristics is that they are often white on one side and black on the other. This dual colour is very important as this gives them two key uses.