Working with the Classics: Speedotron
Feb23

Working with the Classics: Speedotron

“Remember that the person you are photographing is 50% of the portrait and you are the other 50%. You need the model as much as he or she needs you. If they don’t want to help you, it will be a very dull picture.”—Lord Patrick Lichfield Speedotron’s power pack and head systems are the studio lighting world’s equivalent of the American muscle car. They’re made in the USA, ruggedly built to take hard use, and powerful. The...

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Shooting Portraits with Lowel’s Blender
Feb09

Shooting Portraits with Lowel’s Blender

The Lowel Blender’s twin-LED design makes it possible to fine-tune its color output to match (or contrast with) whatever kind of existing light that you’re grappling with. This tiny (4.5 x 3.75-inches) unit produces 56W of light, is dimmable from 100% to 10% and is powered by a 120V AC adapter or the optional ($27.88) camcorder battery sled (uses Panasonic, Sony or Canon batteries.) The Lowel Blender 3 Light Kit includes three...

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How Did You Make That Shot? It’s Back
Jan23

How Did You Make That Shot? It’s Back

A studio session … provides the greatest chance for control. [But] even though there is total freedom.—Eve Arnold I started ‘How Did You Make That Shot?’ in 2012 but last year I only wrote one post, so in response to reader requests, I’ve brought it back. I promise to make an effort in 2017 to update this series, especially as I put my newly refurbished home studio back to work this year. Flashpoint’s 13-inch...

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Working in Your Home Studio
Oct07

Working in Your Home Studio

If you follow me on Instagram (@joefarace) you know that a few months ago, my basement was flooded causing damage to my in-home studio. We’re in the final phase of repairs to the studio. When it’s completely finished I’ll do a video tour of the 11×15-foot studio, showing updates and some of the lighting tools I use. There are lots of things you’ll have to consider when working in your home studio beginning with tailoring the...

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Using Scrim Jim Cine in the Studio
Sep30

Using Scrim Jim Cine in the Studio

  A “scrim” is typically a screen-like mesh placed in front of a light to reduce intensity but in common usage any device that produces a diffusion effect are called scrims. When it comes to portraiture, lighting isn’t only about the quantity of the light produced but is more often about the quality of that light. Westcott’s Scrim Jim Cine builds on that concept with a modular design that allows both reflective and diffusion...

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Need a Flash Meter for Studio Photography?
Aug29

Need a Flash Meter for Studio Photography?

Back in the day, when I  was shooting film in the studio, a flash meter like my redoubtable and now-antique Gossen Luna-Star F2  and Polaroid tests were indispensable in getting correct exposures. I in a digital world filled with histograms and three-inch OLED screens the short answer is not always. While I often—but not always—use my flash meter or a hand-held light meter when working in my home studio, I know several photographers...

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Old School Hollywood Portraiture
Aug16

Old School Hollywood Portraiture

“It’s all so simple – no one believes me … you strike a pose, then you light it. Then you clown around and get some action in the expressions. Then, you shoot.” – George Hurrell Photographers get inspiration for their work from many places. One friend of mine finds it in old world master’s paintings; I get the inspiration from the movies. When watching Frank Capra’s 1937 classic Lost Horizon I was struck not...

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