Proper Exposure & ‘The Sunny 16’ Rule
Jan27

Proper Exposure & ‘The Sunny 16’ Rule

“So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”—T. S. Eliot If you agree that lighting is one of the key elements that differentiate a good photograph from a snapshot, then it’s necessary to understand proper exposure. Believe it or not, there was a time when cameras did not have built in light meters, let alone automatic exposure. In those days, photographers either used a hand-held exposure meter or...

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Magic of Umbrellas Workshop: Encore
Feb13

Magic of Umbrellas Workshop: Encore

There is a surprising number of lighting choices available for portrait photography including lightbanks aka softboxes and umbrellas. Are softboxes a requirement or necessary for today’s photographer? How much lighting quality can you expect by using umbrellas and what are the available options in umbrella size, color and method of shooting? The Magic of Umbrellas—Minimum Lighting, Maximum Quality is a 90-minute workshop...

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Octabox vs. Umbrella
Jan08

Octabox vs. Umbrella

Umbrellas are the simplest, most inexpensive form of light modifier you can buy and that simplicity also makes them popular. Photographic umbrellas look and act like the same kind of umbrellas that keep “raindrops from falling on your head,” except in a studio lighting situation they’re reflective and with a light source bounced into them, create a big, light source and the bigger a light source is the softer the light falling on the...

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Micro Four-thirds in the Studio
Nov26

Micro Four-thirds in the Studio

I believe that the first series of shots in any portrait session should be a warm-up for both the photographer and subject and for my recent shoot with model Stevie Weisbeck, I started by stetting up two Bowens Gemini 400Rx monolights. The first lighting set-up was a simple one with a 36-inch silver umbrellas used in conventional bounce mode: The main light was placed at camera right, with a second 400Rx located at the back of the...

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Using Manual or Custom White Balance
Mar07

Using Manual or Custom White Balance

There will come a time when none of your camera’s preset white balance settings will work and that’s when you need to use the Manual option. Sure, it’s a little more labor intensive but after you try it once, you’ll be amazed how well it works under difficult and mixed lighting conditions such as indoor exhibits, conventions centers, and museums. Start by photographing a sheet of white paper under the lighting conditions you...

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Shopping for Power Pack & Head Lighting Systems
Feb28

Shopping for Power Pack & Head Lighting Systems

In a recent blog post “Shopping for a Monolight” I provided a check list for what to look for when purchasing of a monolight but what about alternatives such as a power pack and head systems? Something you won’t find in that previous post is any discussion of lighting ratio and that’s important when using multiple flash heads, where asymmetric controls can be set for different outputs. Lighting ratio is the difference in ...

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Making Electronic Flash Connections

It’s What’s in Your Camera Bag Wednesday! Small accessories can sometime make the difference between being able to make a shot or not. Nowhere in photography is this truer than when trying to synch studio flash units with your SLR. The traditional PC (Prontor-Compur) synch flash connection formerly standard on every SLR has but has all but disappeared from today’s entry and mid-level digital SLRs is . There is, on many...

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