Happy Easter and Passover and the Natural Light Portrait

Hi and welcome back.  

Firs let me say happy Easter and Passover to all my followers and friends.  it is a beautiful time of year, let’s make it safe, fun, and enjoyable with our families.  

Now on to the post: The Natural Light Portrait

Despite my deep involvement in Off Camera Flash and regular studio lighting, I do use natural light.  

The best thing about natural light is that it’s free!  But you need to learn to take advantage of it to use it effectively.  

Here’s my setup in my studio for a simple portrait: 

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And here’s the resultant shot: 

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For the purpose of this post, these images are direct raw to jpeg conversions with no photoshop or other enhancements.  I want to show the difference between the two lighting scenarios in their raw form.  

I didn’t like the hard light, so I covered the window shear with a white bed sheet: 

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The white sheet not only warmed the image a bit but it diffused the light enough to soften and enhance it in the room.  Here’s the resultant shot: 

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What a difference just a white sheet to diffuse the light created in the final effect.  

Now, with a decent exposure and soft light, I can process the image.  

So add a white bed sheet to your kit and you’ll be delighted with the results when called upon to shoot in natural light.  

That’s it for now.  Till next time, happy shooting.  

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The Three Speedlight High Key Setup

Hi and welcome back.  

I shot some fitness yesterday for professional fitness model Lucie DeRosa.  

I used three speedlights, a Lastolite 24×24 softbox, and two Large Rogue Flashbenders.  

Let’s take a look at the setup first, then some fun images from the shoot. 

Main light: SB900, 1/2 power, Lastolite Ezybox

Back lights: 2 SB800’s, 1/8 power, omnibounce installed, Large flashbenders as flags

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Here are some fun shots from the shoot.  These are direct raw to jpeg conversions with only one  adjustment: WB from 5200 to 5000.  

These are proofs ready to deliver to the client.   

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One Long Blog Post

Hi and welcome back.  

It has been a crazy, crazy two weeks, so I’m going to compress it all into one post.  

Actor Headshots: 

Jess

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Sydney

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Giovanna

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Workshops and and Presentations

Calumet Photo, NYC, Off Camera Flash

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BH Photo, Off Camera Flash

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BH Photo, Strobe

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Milford Photo, Off Camera Flash

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Headshots, Strobe Versus Off Camera Flash

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Strobe

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Strobe Lighting Workshop

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New Gear: 

Paul Buff Mini Lithium Battery Pack: you can see it hanging from the lightstand above

Lastolite Triflector for headshots.  

I’m super busy and will be traveling for Expoimaging to NYC, Boston and Waltham, Mass, New Jersey, and Philadelphia through the month of June.  

I’ll  be running an Off Camera Flash guerilla shoot with BH Photo on April 25 on the HIgh Line: Check it out.  

Wanna catch-up to me, check my site or shoot me an email.  

Till next time, happy shooting!

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Pocket Wizard Flex Workshop

Hi and welcome back.

Last night I ran a Pocket Wizard Flex TTL workshop with Milford Photo and Ray Nason from Mac Group.

Despite a few technical glitches on my side, the event was a success.  I demonstrated the uses of the Pocket Wizard Flex System, but on top of that was the use of High Speed Sync and Hypersync.

High Speed Sync allows you to go above the camera’s maximum flash synchronization speed and get great results a high shutter speeds.

In this shot I used one Sb900, 1/2000@f/2.8, ISO 800:

In this next shot I used Hypersync, which is a high speed sync for strobe lighting.  ‘

Profoto 300ws compact, beauty dish: 1/1000 @ f/4, ISO 200

Hopefully I showed the usefulness of shooting at high shutter speeds and how effective it can be with small flashes and strobe lighting.

Till next time, happy shooting!

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Sunday’s Meetup Workshop on Off Camera Flash

Hi and welcome back.

This post is on yesterday’s meetup workshop.  I went to Hartford to run this one and we worked outside the Hartford Convention Center.  This is a great place to shoot with a ton of graphics to add to your images.

Unexpectedly, we worked on camera bounce flash first.  I’ll have a post on that tomorrow, but for now take a look at the shots we got of our wonderful model Linley.

We used off camera flash in a multitude of variations, then we did some natural light shots as the overcast day had just perfect flat light.  We used a combination of On Camera Flash, Off Camera flash with a shoot-through umbrella, Direct flash, and natural light.

It was a great experience.  Check out some shots:

Want to learn how to take shots like these, then enroll in the photo school at the link above.  You get great private instruction for a great price.

Till next time, happy shooting.

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High Dynamic Range Photography

Hi and welcome back.

Yesterday I ran a quick workshop on High Dynamic Range photography or HDR.

This is a simple style of photography in which you capture 5-9 bracketed shots, meaning 2-3 underexposed, then a correctly exposed, then 2-3 overexposed images.  Then you bring them into your software and convert them to an artsy, almost whimsical look.  You don’t have to go this far, as HDR is really for capturing all the shadow and highlight detail in a scene.

Here are a few shots from yesterday’s workshop:

We used a combination of Photomatix, Topaz Adjust, and Photoshop to get those results.  But not every image needs to look like this.  This shot of the Trinity College Chapel is an HDR shot but processed for a more realistic look.  I photographed an event here and wanted to capture the Chapel in all its splendor because it was so dark in the upper reaches of the ceiling.  This is a great technique that I use in my wedding photography to capture all that dark detail in the church or event space.

Explore HDR as it is fun and creative and a great technique for digital images.

Till next time, happy shooting.

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Photoplus Expo

Hi and welcome back.

Yesterday I went to the Photoplus Expo at the Javits Center in NYC with members of my Off Camera Flash Meetup group.

Although we arrived together, as it so happens at busy events we got separated and wound up coming home separately.  Anyway, it was a great time.  I saw some new gear and spent time among great friends.

Here are a few highlights for the off camera flash user:

Westcott is redesigning its 28″ Apollo Softbox for 2011 with improved supports, a newly designed zipper system, and maybe grids

Lastolite is offering a 30×30 softbox, a round softbox, the triflash, with the ability to hold 3 flashes and a PW attachment, and now grids for the 24×24 softbox

Missing vendors that I didn’t see there:

Profoto, Hasselblad, Adobe

Vendors I missed seeing because it was so crowded:

California Sunbounce

All in all a great day was spent with friends in the City.  Here are a few shots of the event:

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