Lighting

How to Light a ‘Big Budget’ Photo with $5 Lights – Photography Article

I have a client who builds amazing luxury apartment complexes all over California, and I’m their pool guy. I know it sounds funny, but they call me whenever they need exterior images and pool images (they call another photog to do the interiors of the model apartments).This is one of the delivered photos of the pool at 11:43AM. The client likes their pools to look big so the lower angle really emphasizes the water (and on the low photos we…

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Shades of Difference and Direction « Joe McNally’s Blog – Photography Article

Hard sun, big silk, beautiful light. Pretty simple. Take a nuclear blast of sunlight and tame it by interfering with its blazing, destructive path with a simple swatch of white material, and it arrives at your subject’s doorstep (face) as cuddly and friendly as a golden retriever puppy. Get fancy and add a simple white fill card to bounce a small amount back and up into the face and you got dead bang gorgeous, wraparound light. Friendly and glow-y. Below,…

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Learn From a Cinematographer: How to Shoot a Low Light Scene – Photography Article

Gonzalo Amat, who’s up for an Emmy for his work on Amazon’s Man in the High Castle, tells us the steps he takes to make a scene stand out in darkness. In the wake of complaints that Game of Thrones was too dark for viewers to see, I was keen to get another opinion from an esteemed cinematographer. Who better than Amat, who needs to light incredibly dark scenes while also working with muted colors. This article is not suggesting that…

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Go Behind the Scenes With a Wedding Photographer and Off Camera Flash – Photography Article

Weddings are a nonstop whirlwind of technical and creative challenges, and the more knowledge and tricks you can have for both categories, the better. This awesome video follows a photographer behind the scenes at a wedding and focuses on his use of off camera flash to help you learn how to quickly and effectively turn dull and drab lighting into professional images no matter where you’re shooting. Coming to you from Taylor Jackson, this great video follows him behind the…

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How to Shoot a Day-vs-Night Photo in a Single Exposure – Photography Article

Here’s a creative technique to add to your bag of tricks. In this 9.5-minute video, we’ll show you from start to finish how we took an ordinary scene and turned it into to go from day to night in one single exposure, in-camera.Full disclosure: We want to thank Profoto for sponsoring this video and making it possible to create these incredible pieces of free education for photographers worldwide. Before we jump into this tutorial, I want to mention the source…

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Are the Quasar Science Q-LED Lights the Best Video Lights for Your Money? – Photography Article

Whether you are a photographer or videographer, more and more content creators are adding constant lights as their go-to lighting setups. Quasar Science recently released their 30-watt T8 bulbs with raving reviews, and today, I explore six useful lighting setups you can build with four lights under $80 each.  If you watch the Fstoppers Youtube Channel, you know that Lee and I have gotten to play with a lot of different lighting gear over the years. A few weeks ago, my buddy,…

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10 Steps to Better More Cinematic Interviews – Photography Article

Adding some video production offerings to your photography workload has become pretty common for a lot of photographers. Even though a lot of the technology is transferable, not all the skills are, and shooting interviews, both in the setup and getting better dialogue, can be difficult to learn.  The days of simple white backdrop talking heads are over, and clients are demanding higher production value all the time. Shooting better-looking interviews can often be difficult, as you don’t always know…

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Showtime! « Joe McNally’s Blog – Photography Article

When it comes to splash, color and the unabashed exuberance of the stage, it’s hard to beat Vegas, and its coterie of wildly diverse, talented, athletic, sensual, magnetic performers. Luckily for me, I know a few, none more vibrant than Joli Irvine, who has dazzled many a Vegas goer from numerous stages on the legendary strip.We have happily been involved here at our studio in a two month, all-consuming series of shoots which occurred in January and February of this…

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How to Shoot Beautiful Natural Light Images in Your Shed – Photography Article

If you have a good understanding of how light works, you may find that an expensive studio stuffed full of high-end strobes and funky diffusers is far from important when it comes to creating striking images. In this short video, photographer Irene Rudnyk shows you how to produce something remarkable using little more than a shed. Natural light on a bright day can be brutal, producing harsh shadows across a model’s features. Using a doorway leading into a dark room…

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‘The Most Versatile Continuous LED Light’ – Photography Article

Elinchrom has partnered up with Light & Motion to announce the new Elinchrom ELM8: a battery-powered continuous LED light for photo and video shooters that they’re calling “the most versatile continuous LED light on the market.” While we don’t know how exactly you quantify that claim (and they have a lot of competition in the continuous LED market) the Elinchrom ELM8 certainly seems to be a powerful and versatile option thanks to its build quality, portability, and compatibility with Elinchrom’s…

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How to Understand Light and Color to Improve your Photography – Photography Article

The morning sun shone through my kitchen window, catching the vase with a rose in it on the window sill.  A low cross-light highlighted the texture on the rose, while the purple glass vase cast a pattern of colored light across the counter.  The photographer in me studied the light, saw the potential for a photo, and went to get the camera. From observing the sun shining through a vase on the window sill to the finished image, this idea started…

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Falcon Eyes BL-30TD Review: The Ultimate $800 Video Light – Photography Article

We’ve been using the Falcon Eyes BL-30TD for three months now, and we are big fans. For $800, it has an amazing list of features. But, how does it compare to another light that sells for the same price?  Instead of a standard review video above, I decided to put the Falcon Eyes BL-30TD up against the much more compact Fiilex P360 Pro Plus, which is currently on sale for the same price. For the written review, I will focus exclusively on…

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Researchers Developed an AI that Can ‘Relight’ Portraits After the Fact – Photography Article

A group of researchers and engineers from UC San Diego and Google have trained a neural network to “relight” portraits after the fact “according to any provided environment map.” In other words: their system can take any photo and adjust the lighting at will—including the direction, temperature, and quality of the light. The technology was detailed in a research paper submitted to SIGGRAPH 2019z, an annual conference on computer graphics, and like most AI-based image manipulation that we’ve seen lately,…

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500px Blog » » 9 tips for creating family images that sell – Photography Article

In 1888, George Eastman released the Kodak #1 camera and gave ordinary people the ability to immortalize life’s most important moments. Family photo albums have been a part of our culture ever since. More than 130 years after that fateful invention, countless family photos are available to us with the click of a button; you can find millions of them on Instagram alone under popular hashtags like #DocumentYourDays, #LetThemBeLittle, and #ChildhoodUnplugged. Still, in a world filled with images, we continue…

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The YN200 Versus the AD200: Yongnuo’s Rival to Godox’s Best Selling Strobe – Photography Article

The portable strobe wars are not over yet. Yongnuo is going after its own China based competition with its new pocket strobe, the YN200. Yongnuo was the original disruptor in the flash industry a few short years ago bringing familiar flashes with proprietary transmitters to market that worked nearly as well as the first party flashes that inspired them. Though Canon and Nikon went after the company with side-by-side teardown of the flash units and compared them, many photographers saw little…

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How I Shot This Set of Studio Images Using Backlighting – Photography Article

If you’ve been following my recent articles, you’ll know that I’ve been on an umbrella modifier trend. I just love how portable and easy to set up they are. It’s pretty wild to think about the impact that such a small piece of gear can have on the look and feel of a shoot. It’s fantastic from the perspective of having access to umbrella modifiers but also from the perspective of being more willing to experiment. You really never know…

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Sunrise in the Forest! Sort of….. « Joe McNally’s Blog – Photography Article

The lovely Billi Shah looks languid, relaxed and calm here. Just a forest spirit, floating through the ferns, admiring the greenery. Truth be told (and this is where you need a hardy, beautiful and patient model) it’s actually pretty cold and gray in the woodlands surrounding Birmingham, UK. The frontal light is provided by an Ezybox Pro Octa held aloft by Cali with a Manfrotto Extension Handle. The camera for this pic is the Nikon Z6 with the new 14-30mm…

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The Conclusion of the Fstoppers Versus SLR Lounge Rematch – Photography Article

Lee Morris recently flew out to LA to compete with Pye Jirsa from SLR Lounge in an epic shoot-off to see who is the better photographer. You won’t be disappointed by this challenge.  If you missed the first round of this competition, Pye flew out to Puerto Rico and competed with Lee in a fashion shoot in the streets of San Juan. The competition and results of that challenge can be found here. In their most recent photography battle, Pye hosted…

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Creating a High-Key Look | Fstoppers – Photography Article

High-key lighting has a great look to it. It can be very clean and can be fun or elegant or edgy, depending of course on a few other factors of the shoot, such as makeup, hair, clothing, model/client, etc. For this shoot, I wanted a clean and elegant type of look, almost bridal. I had a white dress I bought recently just waiting to be used for a photo shoot and some white flowers that I knew would be perfect to give…

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Yongnuo YN200 Pocket Flash Will Be a Godox Clone – Photography Article

Yongnuo is teasing that it has a new pocket flash on the way. Called the YN200, the product will look strikingly similar to the popular Godox AD200 (AKA the Flashpoint eVOLV 200). The Godox AD200 Flash Havoc reports that Yongnuo has been showing off a prototype of the YN200 at tradeshows. While the Godox AD200 comes with both a standard speedlight head and a bare bulb head, the Yongnuo YN200 appears to only offer a fixed bare bulb head baked…

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Photography Tips: How to Use Color Effect Gels – Photography Article

Telling a story doesn’t stop at your subject in photography; everything in an image gives the viewer context clues to build a narrative around. One of my favorite ways to facilitate interest and story in photography is incorporating color effect gels into the scene, but what are the best ways to use them and why? Coming to you from Robert Hall is a quick breakdown on using color effect gels for your flash imagery. Hall gives us a couple great reasons…

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Into the Woods! With Lastolite! « Joe McNally’s Blog – Photography Article

If you’re going to trek into the woods, no better company than Amber Tutton, our magnificent, hardy model. And of course, a crew from Lastolite. So happy I started working with Lastolite all those years ago. We’ve stuck together for many years, trading ideas, designing products, and, well, running into the woods, both real and imagined, on photo shoots. Like the pic below, I’m sure Amber would agree her footwear is quite stylish! ???? This shoot was designed for video, and…

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Cinematographer Dicusses His Work on The Empire Strikes Back – Photography Article

Ever wondered how the filmmakers of probably the best-looking Star Wars movie managed to light Darth Vader’s blacker than black costume without seeing the light fixtures in the helmet? The answer to this and a few more nuggets of film history and cinematography tricks are revealed in this short but fascinating interview. Black is one of the most problematic colors to photograph. Not only does it absorb the most amount of light that is thrown at it — often requiring extra or more expensive light sources —…

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How I Shot These Rooftop Fashion Images – Photography Article

I shot these images for fashion ecommerce store Zilingo when we were doing a recent campaign/catalog shoot. What a fun team to shoot with! They really have a vision for what they want to pull off and are very supportive in terms of getting there.  That being said and outside the control of anyone involved, Zilingo included, we were on an incredibly tight schedule where after the catalog shoot, I had to set up and photograph the campaign within 30…

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Five Photo Hacks to Paint with Light – Photography Article

Besides shooting cars or architecture, light painting can also be useful when you want to achieve creative results without spending lots of money. The principle of light painting is very basic: capturing long exposure shots while lighting the subject with a continuous light source. This technique is mainly used in car, architecture, and product photography, where traditional lighting methods don’t work as anticipated. Lighting a large house ceiling, creating light beams around a car or even lighting an interior of…

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How I Shot These Studio Beauty Images – Photography Article

I’ve always loved the color red and the emotions it invokes. I suppose that’s the fun thing about backgrounds, props, and general settings in that a color theme can evoke so many different thoughts and emotions. Needless to say the power of a model is critical but what you can create around the model can go a long way in conveying the feel you’re aiming for. For this test shoot, I knew I wanted to create a set of images featuring…

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A Guide to Putting Together Your First Lighting Kit – Photography Article

When you are new to artificial lighting, the veritable plethora of terms, modifiers, prices, and more can be a bit overwhelming and paralyzing when you are attempting to put together your first kit. This helpful video will give you all the guidance you need to put together your first lighting kit and be up and shooting in no time. Coming to you from Daniel Norton, this excellent video will get you up and running with your first lighting kit. Creating…

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How to Master This Cinematic Lighting Setup – Photography Article

Understanding how to use light is one of the most important lessons a photographer needs to learn. Master this easy yet effective setup before your next shoot. The team over at Westcott Lighting are back once again with another insightful video on creating cinematic light for headshots. This week, San Diego-based filmmaker and educator Caleb Wojcik breaks down his approach to lighting in a very understandable and accessible way. If you’re new to using lights in your work, it can…

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Watch How Movies Create Mood by Avoiding Flat Lighting – Photography Article

Sometimes you look at a photo or scene in a T.V show and think “that looks rubbish.” For me, 9 out of 10 of those cases are the result of flat lighting. Let Vanity Fair’s Reverse Film School series show you exactly how much of a difference it makes. Every film — be it short or feature length — that I’ve ever loved the visuals of have two things in common: interesting lighting and good color grading. Interesting lighting is…

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How to Balance Strobe Light with Ambient Light – Photography Article

My name is Jay P. Morgan from The Slanted Lens, and in this 6.5-minute video and article, I’ll illustrate the balance of strobes with ambient light. Whether it’s inside or outside, you’re going to have to learn the formula to balance strobes with ambient light. It’s not that hard, so let’s go back to 1930 and learn the formula! For this shoot, we are using a Ford 1929 Model A with our two talents, Devyn Howard and Michael Nelson. We’re…

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