There is a persistent scam going around that is so pervasive, that you might think everyone has heard about it, and is immune to it. Yet, I often enough see this come up as a question in a Facebook group – where a photographer is unsure if an enquiry is a scam. Most often they are. This is how these advance-fee scams work, and how photographers are scammed:
Squeaky camera straps might seem like an odd problem to have. It’s one of those things you often don’t even notice until somebody points it out. Then you’re painfully aware of it, and it annoys you every time you hear it. But there is a simple solution from photographer Neil Van Neikerk. Lip balm!
The Profoto A1 speedlight we told you about a few days ago is now official. And yes, it’s just as expensive as we expected. At $995 buyers will have a pretty high level of expectation from this little flash. But it looks like it will stand up to the job just fine, and fits nicely into the existing Profoto ecosystem.
It looks to be about what you’d expect from a speedlight made by Profoto. But, what’s particularly interesting about it, is the shape of the head. But not only the shape, it appears to essentially have its own built in MagMod style accessory system. This review from photographer Neil van Niekerk walks us through the unit, its specs, features and capabilities.
When it comes to setting up flash for a portrait, one might usually grab a big octabox or beauty dish. Normally, we wouldn’t consider something like a strip softbox. Strip softboxes are typically relegated to rim light duties. But they can also be extremely effective as a main light source.
In this Profoto Tiny Talk, photographer Neil van Niekerk talks us through how he uses his gridded strip softboxes for lighting portraits. He describes it as the most powerful tool he has both on location and in the studio. And, indeed, it is an extremely versatile modifier.
Here is a great tip if you are using a studio and don’t pack a bunch of backdrops. Of course, not owning many backdrops does not mean that should deprive yourself from the benefits of shooting against backdrops in multiple colors.
Photographer Neil van Niekerk suggest a simple and effective way to tap into an almost infinite about of colored backdrop by coloring them with light using gels.
The Sunny 16 Rule is a great addition to any photographer’s toolbox. Basically it means that when shooting on a sunny day @ISO100 you’d be pretty close if shooting @1/100 and f/16. It is a clever rule because it is very easy to remember. 100 @ 1/100.
Photographer Neil van Niekerk points out that it is pretty easy to complement this rule when trying to overcome the sun with an external strobe. And his method means you can get a great exposure with no metering. The idea is pretty simple: setting your strobe to full power and using the strobe’s GN (Guide Number) to figure out where to place the strobe. This would get a pretty good first exposure.
There has been a lot of discussion going on about what are the impacts of using a crop sensor vs full frame when using a particular lens. How are crop factor sensors impacting depth of field and what are they doing to composition. In fact if you went to any photography forum on the web, you are likely to get as many answers as forum members.
Of course, the answer to that question really depend what you are comparing and how you are doing your tests. Photographer Neil van Niekerk did a thorough test accompanied with clear explanations on what actually makes a difference when using a crop sensor vs a full frame and the answer is not that simple.
Framing very selectively in-camera, you can very often pull out quite a surprising image out of “nowhere”.
With Julia and Luis’ wedding, I roamed around the reception venue – a bed & breakfast on the Jersey shore, for interesting spots. There were interesting nooks and crannies that would work for the romantic portrait session. But I also like adding variety, especially unexpected variety.
I went through a back-gate, and into a parking lot behind the venue. This gate was the delivery entrance for the venue’s kitchen, and the parking lot was, well, just a parking lot.
But, I loved the texture of tye wooden fence and gate, and the late afternoon sun really brought out the texture. I hurried back inside and asked Julia and Luis to join me – I think I may have a great idea! I shot it using the following settings: 1/250 @ f/5.6 @ 200 ISO – available light only Nikon D4: Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8.[Read More…]