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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Samsung 85mm f1.4 portraits extra (1 of 1)ISO 1001-125 sec at f - 2.8

Want more Useful Photography Tips? Check them out here.

In the photo world, there are loads and loads of tricks that you can use to make viewers of your images believe that you’ve shot something with either all natural light or with one primary light. And if you have only a single light to begin with, there are ways that you can make your image appear as if two lights were added to the scene. All it requires is a bit a strategic placement of your lights or some extra knowledge of exposures.

For starters, keep in mind that when working with an artificial light (strobe or flash) that your aperture will control your flash exposure while your shutter speed manipulates the ambient lighting in the scene. Somehow or another, you’re going to have to figure out a way to balance the two out.

So how do you do this?:

- A very large light modifier in relation to your subject: Usually a six or seven foot umbrella being placed in front of and slightly above your subject can make your scene look like it was lit with two lights when the according shutter speed is dialed in.

- One Light and a Reflector: When your light is on one side of the subject, either set the light to its widest zoom setting or put it into a large softbox.. Next, place a reflector on the other side of your subject–we recommend using either white or silver. Then use the shutter speed to mix in enough ambient lighting to fill in the shadows while balancing out the flash output.

One light and the shadows for evenness control: To make this one work, you’ll need to work outside and in a shadowed area of some sort. Bounce the light off of a surface or once again make the flash zoom out to its widest setting. After this, you’ll just need to mix the ambient lighting from the shutter speed accordingly. We recommend underexposing your shutter just a bit then raising the shadows in post.

Now get out there and go experiment.

 

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Olympus EM5 Link Cosplay shoot (11 of 23)ISO 200

When it comes to light, your images don’t need to look like there was flash added to them. In fact, some of the best photographers try to not fight natural light, but augment what it can do with flash by adding just the right amounts in specific spots. Doing this takes a lot of shooting and experimenting followed by careful analysis of what you actually are doing to make the changes in camera look like what you want them to.

And to do this, you don’t need anything extraordinary or amazingly fancy.


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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss 135mm f2 review images (5 of 11)ISO 1001-125 sec at f - 3.2

Whether you’re shooting during the summer or winter, the sun’s rays can always be bent to your will when shooting portraits of people outside using natural light. In order to get the most of the sun’s abilities and also take the most advantage of what your camera and lens are capable of, here are some items that we think you really need.

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Chris Gampat New York Comic Con Day 2 Edits (31 of 65)

Want more Useful Photography Tips? Check them out here.

Three years ago in my photography career, I became obsessed with catchlights. These little lights are highlights in a subject’s eyes that make them pop just a bit more. They’re quite often really beautiful and add a bit of character and beauty to a portrait. And after shooting subject after subject and using light modifier after light modifier, it took some time but I learned the secret of getting better catchlights. Believe it or not, I took the concepts applied to using a ring flash and used them for other lights.

So what’s the secret?

The simple little trick is to tell your subject to look into the light source. Is your big umbrella camera left and above? Have their eyes right up there, get in nice and tight with an 85mm lens, and let the light do the rest of the work. Many portraitists don’t ever think about this, but it works wonders.

To take the most advantage of this, you’ll need to move your light source closer to your subject or have a really massive light source. This is one of the reasons why I’m smitten with really large umbrellas–because the light from them gets spread out and the arms of the umbrella create an interesting shape in a subject’s eyes.

Try it out this weekend–you’ll see a big difference in your images as they come to life.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer NYCC New York Comic Con 2013 exports (26 of 84)ISO 1001-160 sec at f - 5.0

There are some lighting modifiers that we really like, and then there are others that often blow us away and that we never want to send back. These modifiers often combine versatility, a specific look that’s done perfectly, and ease of use. But of course, they also just need to work very well.

Here’s a round up of some of our favorites.

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The company that brought us the first monolight with built in TTL is today announcing new umbrellas. First off, there are 12 new umbrellas and they’re all offered in two shapes: deep or shallow. All the umbrellas come in four sizes: small, medium, large, and extra large. Then there are your configurations of silver, white, or white transparent. It’s nice to know that users have the choices as deep umbrellas tend to throw light in a more targeted area while shallow umbrellas throw it out everywhere.

We’ve got no official work on pricing yet, but Profoto’s anything isn’t usually in the reach of mere mortals. Though when you usually think about how good their products are, the prices are very justifiable. You can check out the umbrellas over at Profoto’s page.