The Better Choice? Lightbanks vs. Umbrellas
Oct06

The Better Choice? Lightbanks vs. Umbrellas

“Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself.”—Desiderius Erasmus Whether working speedlights or monolights one of the best ways to improve the quality of the light is by using an umbrella or a lightbank and each device has their advantages and disadvantages. The choice between either of them is governed by one important rule: The closer the light is to the subject the softer it is; the further away a light...

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No Photoshop Please, We’re French
Oct05

No Photoshop Please, We’re French

In 2009, French lawmakers proposed a law that photographs where a model— the key word is “model” not your aunt Sally—has been photoshopped be labeled as such. In 2017, that law is now going into effect. The BBC reports that the Photoshop rule does not apply to the removal of blemishes being or retouching to hair. France 24 reports that as of October 1, 2017, anyone who publishes a photo in which Photoshop is used to “either slim or...

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Choosing the Right Light Modifier
Sep18

Choosing the Right Light Modifier

“The mind is like an umbrella. Its most useful when open.”—Walter Gropius It doesn’t matter whether you’re working with speedlights or monolights, one of the best ways to improve the quality of the light is by using an umbrella or a lightbank and each one has their own unique advantages and disadvantages. Your decision should ultimately be governed by one important rule: The closer the light is to the subject...

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Shooting with Silverlake Photo’s Colorsmacks
Aug18

Shooting with Silverlake Photo’s Colorsmacks

For this photograph of Alice Iver I used Silverlake Photo‘s “Sweet Apple” backdrop that is part of their Colorsmack series. Colorsmack backdrops are made from a durable, wrinkle free, and washable fabric and are equipped with loop-side Velcro at the top. If you supply the hook side, you can mount the backdrop anywhere, including Silverlake’s own 10-foot Colorsmack Velcro Sleeve ($59,) which I didn’t have so I used...

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Following the Trends: ‘More Portraits Please’
Aug07

Following the Trends: ‘More Portraits Please’

“The photographer, even in fashion and portraiture, has to have a standpoint. It’s important to know what you stand for, no? Most people just take pictures, but they stand for nothing.”—Peter Lindbergh Last year, at the suggestion of one of this blog’s readers, we added a new section to the right-hand column called “Top Posts.” The idea being that anyone who was new to the blog, would be able to see the most popular five or six...

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Q&A: What Are Lighting Ratios
Jul28

Q&A: What Are Lighting Ratios

I’m always glad to hear from my readers. If you have any questions about what you read on this blog or in what I write about for Shutterbug magazine, please click on the Contact button above and simply ask. Question: In your review of the Multiblitz backpack kit you indicate that some the photographs have a 3 to 1 lighting ratio and have an exposure of 1/125 sec at f/11.  I’m familiar with lighting ratios but am weak in...

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Manual Exposure: It’s Not Just for Purists
Jul13

Manual Exposure: It’s Not Just for Purists

Accurate exposure start with you correctly setting the lens aperture and shutter speed (and ISO too, I guess.) You can set the exposure yourself manually or let the camera do it for you. The manual method requires either a separate hand-held light meter or you can use the one that’s built into the camera. For 90% of photographs you’ll make, the metering systems inside DSLR and mirrorless cameras do a fantastic job in producing...

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