Crosswalks: every city, town, and suburb has them. Everyone crosses the street and everyone stops there. What many don’t realize is that they’re perhaps one of the most under-utilized areas for you to capture candid photos. Here are a couple of tips on using them to your advantage.
You’ve got your DSLR, a fast lens, and maybe a flash or two. You’ve shot an event or two, but you want to shoot better photos. Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind to ensure that your client and the guests will be wowed.
The other night, my good buddy Mike Florio and I shot a concert (photos and video) for the band Mancie. It was a favor for my other friend, Andrea Fischman, who leads that band and is a fellow photographer. Andrea wanted me to do a couple of portraits of her, her friend and the band. This was at around 8pm at night, and it was super dark—perhaps one of the darkest venues I’ve shot in. However, I was able to beat the darkness with a single speedlite and by making the most of it by placing it in the right spots. Here’s how I did it and how you can figure out how to do this as well.
There is something I take very seriously, coffee photography. It was, actually, a major catalyst of my current photographic path. I recently did a studio shoot for KohanaCoffee at RedCedar Studios. The shoot was with my photography mentor Euan Henry, after one of his photography workshops. We went into a conversation about coffee photography while shooting and here is what we talked about.
I’ve talked about changing the qualities of light before in my post Understanding light: Intensity vs. Quality, but mostly in regards to the studio. When shooting outdoors you are subject to the elements. Sometimes you get a cloudy day when you want soft lighting or a bright sunny day when you want strong shadows. Other times you have the opposite of what you want that day – but there are still things you can do.
The lighting is from the top – it was shot during the middle of the day. Normally this would cause a lack of detail in the subject’s face, but the white walls all around has bounced beautiful soft light into all the right places (seen in the subject’s glasses). The dark, shadowed wall in the background is the perfect contrast to the subject’s face.
The woman talking to Toseland is reflected in his sunglasses: beware, you need to use an aperture small enough to capture the depth of field to both subjects. Using f/8 has given me enough depth for both people but kept the background soft.
Do it yourself projects are usually very fun. I used to work on things like this back in college when I was more into cinematography. DIYPhotography’s Udi Tirosh, the creator of the well reviewed Bokeh Master’s Kit, has written a very informative and carefully explained book: Home Studio Photography. The eBook is a complete listing of a bunch of fun projects to work on at home when you’re bored. Beyond boredom, many of the creations have practical applications in the photo world as well.
Winter can be brutal. It can also open up great landscape photography opportunities. A lot of snow gives a lot of contrast. Getting to a good location in the winter provides challenges and affects composition. With hard work and some hot coffee, great images can be created. Here are some tips to help you out.
Covering a Supercross event is tough: sports arena lighting seems bright to the spectators, but isn’t actually very bright. Also the lighting is very flat – if you get shadows at all you usually get at least six – and the action is fast a furious, so fast shutter speeds are often required.
Reader Sara Emanuel sent in some images to Thephoblographer, asking how to capture some images of colorful lights strung in tress: her images either had burnt-out white lights or a lack of detail in the background, and she wasn’t happy with either.
Photography at pop culture can be fun, interesting, and precarious times. These events not only present the opportunity to make contacts and meet many possible new clientele, but also lead to great opportunities to add some fresh images to your portfolio. Pop culture events are great places to boost experience levels while having a whole lot of fun. I recently shot the New York Comic Con for the first time with a DSLR and I left the convention with some new knowledge from this cultural experience.
At Comic Con, I was given the opportunity to photograph a lot of talented and wonderful people dressed in their cosplay garb. Jessica Caitlin Foley was one of the attendees that stood out the most. She hails from Virginia and dressed as the Marvel superhero Firestar. As per recent reader requests, this is the beginning for a new type of posting here at ThePhoblographer, detailing Field Tutorials and how the equipment is used in the field. My apologies beforehand for the lack of Strobist photos and diagrams but we will be more careful in the future to do those.
So far, I posted a test photo with the Gary Fong Lightsphere that I found awesome. It represents one of the first times I’ve used flash consistently well as I’m a trained natural light photographer. Yesterday I met up with Mark, a jazz/classical musician to do a photoshoot for his new album that will be coming out. Details of the shoot after the jump.