Why You Need a Mood Wall
Jun27

Why You Need a Mood Wall

A mood wall or board is a collage consisting of images, text, and objects built around upon set topic. A mood board can be used to give a general idea of a specific topic and may be physical or digital. I was having breakfast with a couple of photographers when one of them, an accomplished glamour photographer, said something about the ideas he gets from his mood wall. “What’s a mood wall?” I ask and he gives me an answer similar to...

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Trending: Portrait and Glamour Photography
Apr27

Trending: Portrait and Glamour Photography

“None of us is born with the right face. It’s a tough job being a portrait photographer.” – Imogen Cunningham At the suggestion of one of this blog’s readers we added a section to the blog’s right-hand column called “Top Posts,” the idea being that new readers would see the most popular five or six posts that they could catch up with what’s going on in the blog. This tabulation is done automatically by...

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Studio Basics: Working with Umbrellas
Apr11

Studio Basics: Working with Umbrellas

“The Camera Looks Both Ways.”—Rick Sammon While I ponder the existential nature of my friend’s quote, I also wonder what the below portrait says about me other than just making a nice portrait of a pretty woman, which is what I always think about during these kinds of photo session. Maybe I’m wrong. I photographed the wonderful and wonderfully beautiful Pamela Simpson using a single Elinchrom D-Lite RX One...

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What Inspires Your Photography?
Mar28

What Inspires Your Photography?

Photographers get inspiration from many places. One friend finds it in old master’s paintings; I get the inspiration for many of my images from the movies. Recently I watched (for the umpteenth time) Frank Capra’s 1937 classic Lost Horizon and was struck not just by the cinematography but by all of the still images used to illustrate a “making-of” video on the DVD that were shot using 4×5 film. This was truly the golden age of...

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Monochrome & Color Portraiture
Mar24

Monochrome & Color Portraiture

Most DSLRs and mirrorless cameras have a built-in monochrome capture mode with some  offering scene modes, Canon calls’em Picture Styles, that let you enhance gray tones while making the rest of the colors less vibrant producing an old-fashioned hand-colored look. The reality is that you can always shoot in color and  make these kinds of adjustments after the fact using Adobe Photoshop or your favorite digital imaging software but...

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Shooting Sigma’s 30mm F1.4 DC HSM lens in the Studio
Mar14

Shooting Sigma’s 30mm F1.4 DC HSM lens in the Studio

The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 lens is part of their Art series and has an angle-of-view equivalent to 45mm. It’s designed for APS-C format digital SLRs like the Canon EOS 60D I tested it with. The lens has a Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) and produces quiet (for shooting video) and fast autofocus. It has Sigma’s Super Multi-Layer Coating to reduce flare and ghosting and the company includes a nicely made lens hood and case at no extra cost. The...

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These Day LEDs Are Popular; Here’s Why
Mar09

These Day LEDs Are Popular; Here’s Why

Continuous light sources are popular with new and aspiring pros because they let you see in real time the lighting effect produced. LED-based studio lights do that without creating lots of heat, especially when compared to other continuous light sources. At the WPPI show one industry insider told me, “When LED delivers a form factor that looks like a monolight, studio flash is dead.” While I’m not so sure that I believe that statement...

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