Evening Photo Session

August 08, 2013  •  3 Comments

Hello all. Last night I embarked on a late evening photo session to test out some new lights and some new techniques.

My model for this evening was Natalie. She was kind (and patient) enough to allow me to spend most of the night fiddling with the lights and  camera settings to get what I was looking for. She was GREAT to work with!

So, here we go.

 

 

For my first shot I just wanted something basic to get a feel for the ambient light and how it would look with the lights. Basic stuff here.

 

 

Now I'm getting a little more adventurous. LOOK OUT! Threw a light behind her to have fun with the not-so-pretty background.

 

 

Moved to a new location and changed our wardrobe. Brick wall --- green window thingys ---- smelly Mississippi river. You get the point.

 

 

Threw in another light and got in some more of the building. I dig the long shadow. She didn't like not smiling. I like not smiling. I win... Usually.

 

 

 

Same building. Just moved over to where it went to some sweet green boards. Goes great with her complexion and hair color. Again, using two lights.

 

 

 

Probably my favorite shot of the night. The ambient light is completely underexposed which allowed me to paint with the two lights. Yay me for hitting the right buttons! (this is all trial and error)

 

 

 

 

Just a random shot from my truck. I was getting more gear. She was keeping the wind from crushing my light.

 

 

 

Since I did not have an assistant Natalie was pulling double duty. That is the usual with me because clients seem to like helping out and seeing what goes into the photographs. (and assistants add to the bill) ;)

 

 

Below represent our "Train" images. I messed around with light positions, colored gels and all sorts of passing car lights and stuff. 

 

 

 

 

The truck could not have come at a better time. 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The wind was picking up and my light stand was starting to fall over. Instead of grabbing it I decided to take this photo of Natalie saving her own life. Hey, she signed the release. 

 

 

 

So here ends our evening. It was plenty dark. But that doesn't matter with off-camera flash. I learned a lot of fun stuff last night. I want to thank Natalie for being a great model and helping me pack all this gear around. We only lost two umbrellas! Yay!

Please leave a comment if you like what you see.


What are catchlights?

August 06, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

You may have heard of something known as "catchlights."

This refers to the reflection of a light source in the eyes of a subject you are taking a photo of. Some photographers swear a photograph is not complete without them while others pay no attention to them at all.

Below is an example of catchlights in the eyes of my dog Henry.

 

 

This was taken with one strobe in a silver umbrella 2 feet away from Henry. It was aimed directly over the top of him about 4 feet off of the ground. I was positioned directly under the light stand lying on my stomach, again, about 2 feet away.

His delicious brown fur pics up all those little highlights one craves in photographing such a fine beast...

 

Below is the very same photograph but with the catchlights removed via photoshop. 

 

 

In my opinion Henry looks a little strange without the catchlights. Almost creepy.

Having no catchlights in his eyes gives a lifeless feeling to the image. For me it changes the entire feel of the image and leaves me without a focus point to draw my attention to. Having said that, I have taken many photographs where catchlights don't appear and the image is just fine.

 

In short, catchlights are something you should get used to noticing in photographs. They can make or break an image but certainly are not the whole "kitten kaboodle" or is it "kit in a bottle?"

Whatever the saying is. 


Morning Faces

August 05, 2013  •  Leave a Comment


While vacationing in Chicago with my family I found some time to play with some new strobe lights.

These babies are powerful. And a lot of fun. 

I wanted to see what we could do in the limited space we had to deal with. There are bay windows to subject left (not fun). Hardwood floors. Tired and grumpy sleep-deprived adults. No means of controlling light available other than positioning subjects and probably the world's most hateful cat, Harry S. Mittens.

 

Above is my brother Jeremy. He usually wears glasses but I had him take them off. I wanted to keep the theme of "rolling out of bed" going. This also allows us to see the eyes react to the light, bringing out the colors. 

 

 

Above is another handsome devil. Same light, same everything but subject and shooter. That shooter would be my sister Brianna, pictured below.

 

 

This, of course, is the wonderful photographer's assistant, Brianna. Much different look from her after claiming to have just rolled out of bed. But we must take her at her word. 

The only thing that changed in the above photos was the subject in front of the lens. As you can see the same light looks different on different people. This is my first experience shooting with strobes and I must admit that I loved it. I cannot wait to learn more and more tricks.

I do wish I had the right tools with me to black out the background but, as I mentioned before, we were on vacation. 


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