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lighting

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Phottix Indra500 TTL images Canon 5D MK II (2 of 5)ISO 1001-320 sec at f - 4.0

One of the best ways to step up your photography is to use off-camera flashes. Off-camera flashes quite literally let you create light in a scene and work to your benefit because they let you become more creative with your photos–providing that you use them creatively. When you’re starting out as a strobist (a photographer that uses lots of off-camera lighting) you’ll need a couple items to harness this light and help you actually achieve your vision.

Here are some of our favorites for the Strobist Photographer.

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Creating the Photograph is an original series where we interview photographers about a photo that they shot and how it was achieved. The results are some knowledge passed on to you. Want to be featured? Email chrisgampat[at]thephoblographer[dot]com.

Photographer Jason Lanier has been making a big splash in the photo world as of late–and in this case, quite literally! He made a big switch from Nikon to Sony, and a little while back he used their cameras to create a beautiful scene in a Detroit warehouse. Jason’s work proves more than anything though that no matter what system you use, a creative vision and great lighting can still deliver a solid image.

Here’s Jason’s story of how he created the scene above.

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Screenshot taken from the video

Screenshot taken from the video

Nigel Barker is an extremely well known portrait and commercial photographer and he recently gave a bit of a rant on the issue about why retouching is such a bad issue. In fact, he makes a lot of great points. While many are against actually retouching in Photoshop, Nigel reasons that the simple act of putting on makeup, changing clothes or brushing hair is retouching. In fact, he says that was done in ancient times when Egyptians used to use lead based makeup and go blind.

However, Nigel also states that retouching should be done within reason instead of majorly changing things like bone structure. He also states that the simple act of using light to change the way that an image can look is retouching–specifically citing how using backlight can change the way that a woman’s curves appear in an image. Beyond that, Nigel references to back in the film days there would be printers who would dodge and burn in order to do an earlier form of retouching that was done back in the film days.

The video is quite interesting and presents a different point of view on the subject that is much more balanced. Check it out after the jump.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Samsung 50-150mm f2.8 OIS review product images (5 of 10)ISO 4001-40 sec at f - 4.0

There comes a point in the life of every photographer where they’re bound to say a single statement that either enthralls the uninitiated or makes the more knowledgeable roll their eyes. This statement is said in five short words: “I’m a natural light photographer.”

Now, this shouldn’t offend you at all. Some folks are genuinely natural light photographers because of the type of work that they do–and so they spend their hours quite literally chasing the light in order to make a living or to one day make it their sole source of income.

Again: they spend their hours quite literally chasing the light in order to make a living or to one day make it their sole source of income. These photographers spend lots and lots of time watching the weather forecasts and determining just the right spots and times to go out and take photos. There are hours of prep and lots of conceptualizing done to make the most of the small window of time.

And again in case it isn’t hitting you: we’re talking about pros and aspiring pros.

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Screenshot taken from the video

Screenshot taken from the video

Experimenting with lighting makes you realize that it opens you up to so many more creative options when it comes to shooting photos. The folks are Photo Extremist seem to agree too.

They published a video a while back on how to shoot splash photos using a single light. And they explain that it’s all about the flash duration. In lay man’s terms, flash duration essentially takes over for the shutter speed when it comes to stopping motion.

They talk about a fairly complicated lighting setup with gelled lights and a timed trigger to get the moment absolutely perfectly right. This is essential and there is no workaround. Many strobists would automatically think about second curtain flash, but that won’t get you the fully stopped motion. Instead, you’ll get trails–which is another cool effect.

If you have some time this weekend, give this a shot. We’d love to see what you come up with.

This video on the images of splashing water is after the jump.

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Screenshot taken from the original video

Screenshot taken from the original video

Not long ago, photographer Jason Lanier left Nikon DSLRs for Sony cameras, and he’s been at work creating loads of new photos ever since. Notice how we said the word creating–because he isn’t just snapping away, he’s finding awesome locations and coming up with cool ideas to capture on pixels.

Recently, Jason released a video where he was shooting a model in an abandoned warehouse in Detroit. What’s so cool about this one vs other warehouses is that there is a small waterfall coming in through it most likely due to destruction and weathering.

Jason had the idea to both front light and backlight a model, so he used the Sony A6000 (reviewed very positively) along with monolights then blended in the ambient lighting by using the right shutter speed. Jason captured a beautiful an contrasty image that plays on what the location offers.

Jason’s video is after the jump.

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