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Screenshot taken from the video

Screenshot taken from the video

One of the biggest problems with dealing with reflective surfaces while shooting an image is getting your light source in the reflection. It’s really tough to deal with, but Gavin Hoey over at AdoramaTV states that it’s all in how you think about the reflection.

He sets up a model with the snazziest sunglasses around then positions the light right in front of the model. You begin to see the reflections. Then Gavin states that if you move the position of the light, you’ll move the position of the reflection. So he keeps moving the light around until he can find the right angle.

Because the reflective object is directly facing the camera, Gavin ends up moving the light above and in front of the subject in order to get the effect that he’s going for. Of course, this all depends on what kind of lighting effect you’re going for and the position of the reflective surface in the image. But Gavin’s trial and error is a nice starting point.

The video showing How to Control Light Source Reflections on Glass is after the jump.

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Model: Bec Fordyce

Model: Bec Fordyce

When you move the light in a scene, the look and feel of it can totally change. But since most people are visual thinkers these days, it’s tough for them to envision how shadows may change a scene or more importantly how it makes a person look.

A user on Sub-Reddit R/Filmmakers recently shared a gif showing how light can change the way that a person looks. It’s a rather simple test and shows the light above the person, to the side, and below them. The problem is that while it does this, it still doesn’t offer full solutions for lighting problems.

Quite obviously, the light on the person is most flattering when it’s above the subject but it creates shadows that are otherwise seen as not flattering. The way to eliminate these is to use a reflector to bring fill light back in or add another light that isn’t as strong. This is what’s known as a fill in lighting.

The video is after the jump.

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Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 10.06.38 AM

Photographer Joe Edelman posted an awesome video tutorial a couple of years ago where he likened shooting a portrait photo to lighting an egg. After drawing a very happy face on said egg, he moved a light around but didn’t move the egg at all. By doing this, he was able to figure out how the light will look on the subject when they are photographed. This is much easier to do with a constant light than it is with a flash, but the concept can still apply.

The tutorial is much better illustrated in the video presented after the jump.

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The-Phoblographer-Editor's-Choice-Award-Logo

We’ve been very, very busy this year. Lots of new cameras and lenses were announced and we’ve seen tons of innovation this year across the industry overall. There have been many great products released this year in the photo world and we’re here with a massive roundup of the very best.

Without further ado, we present the Phoblographer’s Editor’s Choice Awards list for 2014. Here you’ll find the best cameras, the best lenses, the best lights, the best camera bags and a whole lot more.


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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon MR14 II ring flash review product photos (1 of 14)ISO 2001-50 sec at f - 4.0

Earlier this year, Canon introduced their MR-14 EX II ring flash. As the successor to their aging offering, the new flash brought minor upgrades with it including new ergonomics, a new LED lamp to help with focusing, and new controls on the back. But otherwise, it’s a mostly unchanged flash. To begin with, it was very specialized and the world of macro photography has changed quite dramatically as the years have progressed. Many photographers tend to go for diffusion off of large panels instead of direct light from a harsh flash.

And while you should be excited about the ETTL capability improvement that this flash brings, you should also scratch your head a bit about how it fits into Canon’s ecosystem.

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Chris Gampat Film scans from pinhole and personal 2014 (2 of 17)

Want more useful photography tips? Click here.

When it comes to shooting portraits, your aim for the final image should be to distinguish the person more so from the rest of the scene. This can be done in a number of ways and one of the primary ways is to use the bokeh effect. By blurring out the rest of the scene organically, the viewer is forced to focus on the subject that you photographed. While this is true, there are elements of the image that can make the subject blend in more with the rest of the scene. For example, their clothing type is extremely important. If you’re photographing a person dressed in camouflage against a background of similar colors, it may be tough to spot them and make them stand out. So for starters, try coordinating the wardrobe with the portrait subject.

But beyond that, adding lighting to the scene is a great way to make your subject stand out even more. The image above is from some of my personal work featuring my friend Dane in a suit. To make him stand out from the rest of the background, I added artificial lighting in just the right spot. The light made him and his clothing stand out from the otherwise dark background. The light also hit the wall that he was leaning on and separated that from his body.

Add into the scene the fact that the light also illuminated his skin and you’ve got yourself a portrait subject that stands out from the scene and forces you to focus on them. But you don’t necessarily need artificial light to do this–you just need to provide lots of contrast. If you’re outdoors, you can backlight a subject and expose for the shadows to make them stand out from what will otherwise be a very bright and washed out background. Sure, you’ll lose the highlight details, but all that matters is that you make your portrait subject stand out.