How to Shoot Dramatic Portraits With One Light Source

If you’re just getting into portrait photography, you’ll most likely be surprised to see how you can achieve dramatic portraits even with just one light source. 

Whenever studio lighting or lighting for portrait work is mentioned, it tends to be intimidating. However, it’s actually easy to work with just one simple light source to get beautifully dramatic portraits. You don’t even need pro-level studio lights to start experimenting with this, as JT of Run N Gun shows us in one of his latest videos. Whether you’re just getting into portrait photography or want to level up with your practice, this tutorial will be of great use to you.

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The Essential Film Photography Checklist: What You Need to Get Started

Want to dip your toes into film photography but don’t know where to begin? Here’s a quick checklist for you.

Film is not dead, and you’re living proof of it for wanting to try it out. Maybe you were curious after seeing some film photos in your Instagram feed. Or, you came across film photographers whose work you really liked. Perhaps you found your grandparents’ old film cameras and have been wondering if they’re still working. Whatever your reason, this simple checklist should help you get started.

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9 Photography Lighting Hacks to Level Up Your Portraits

Feeling the need to get creative with your portraits? Try these quick lighting hacks to level up your portrait game!

Last time we shared some tips from JT of Run N Gun, he showed us how to get pro-looking dramatic portraits using one light source. In a recent video, he shares a bunch of quick and easy lighting hacks for shooting portraits, using everyday items you can find in your home or office, or in grocery stores and craft supply shops!

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Here’s a Way to Justifiably Get More Money for Your Printed Photo

When photographers print their images they should make it really special.

Printed photographs are perhaps the most fantastic way to appreciate and understand the art of photography. Most photographers aren’t printing enough. Digital screens have become the default way in which we view photography. They have taken over our lives. But, the moment someone can take in their favorite photo as a print, their jaw drops. Beyond simply printing images, how do you make someone pay attention to it and want to buy one? This is something that requires you to think out of the box. As with most art and media these days, you need to create something folks want to interact with or you need to have interacted with the print in some way. It needs to be made special. It needs to be one of a kind.

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Is Annie Leibovitz Right About This? What Do You Think?

What do you think?

I wrote an article about making your portrait subjects more comfortable and noticed a great comment. “Annie Leibovitz runs an ad on YouTube etc. in which she says she doesn’t believe it’s the photographer’s job to put the person at ease… whats that about?” This is a great topic. This person is talking about the trailer for Annie Leibovitz’ MasterClass, which was a big disappointment. (I recommend her book ‘At Work’ as an alternative.

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How to Not Be a Jerk Photographing Cosplayers at New York Comic Con

Heading to New York Comic-Con this year? Check out these useful tips to elevate your cosplay photography to the next level.

Every October, thousands make their pilgrimage to Manhattan’s west side and the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center to attend New York Comic-Con. For those unfamiliar, NYCC is an annual celebration of their diverse fandoms, ranging from comic books, video games, movies, tv shows, pop culture, and everything in between. Last year’s NYCC had a record-breaking attendance of a quarter of a million people, and that number will likely increase this year. What was once considered geeky or nerdy is now woven into the fabric of pop culture. In recent years, more and more people are openly embracing and expressing their love of the numerous fandoms of which they’re a part. For many convention-goers, cosplaying – the act of dressing up as and embodying their favorite characters – has become a rite of passage. The rise of cosplaying’s popularity has also led to an influx of photographers attending conventions like New York Comic-Con in hopes of capturing the many cosplayers roaming around the convention hall. If you happen to be one of these photographers, this article was written with you in mind. Continue reading…

Lens Filters: What They Are and How They Can Improve Your Photography

landscape photography

If you’re new to lens filters, and unsure about the different types and their applications, this guide is for you.

Whether you’re new to photography, or you’ve been around cameras for a long time, one thing you have probably heard about is lens filters. These small accessories can help photographers get better images in tricky lighting conditions. They even help protect the front element of your expensive lenses too. In this introduction, we will take a quick look at why you might want to use filters, the different types of lens filters, and what they will be able to do for you. Continue reading…

Helpful Insights on Shooting Night Photography Using Film

Planning to do some night photography around your city with film? You may learn a thing or two from this video to increase your chances of getting great results. 

Film is not dead, but it’s not for the faint of heart either. Compared to digital, it’s not an easy medium to work with and it can be especially unforgiving in low light. That’s why you have to plan ahead if you want to do night photography on film. Before you hit the streets, we suggest watching this quick video by Analog Insights for some tips on how to get the best results. In one of their old videos, Max and Jules of the Analog Insights channel set out to find out how to make long exposures at night using film. Turns out it’s not as simple as using high ISO films or wide apertures and slower shutter speeds. They also had to take the Schwarzschild Effect (Reciprocity Failure) into consideration. We’ll get into the details of that later, but first, let’s watch how their shoot went.

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Use Fixative Varnish Spray to Protect Your Photos from the Elements

You can always frame your photos to keep them protected, or you can simply spray them with a fixative varnish spray to make them extra durable.

If you’re a fan of printed matter, we’re sure that making those prints last is among your concerns. It’s so easy for them to become ruined or faded, and it can be frustrating when it happens to a prized print from your favorite photographer. Sure, you can rely on archival papers and special frames to make sure they last as long as possible. Or, you can use a fixative varnish to give those photos the best chance at lasting a lifetime.

Psst, you can get some of this magical varnish over at Adorama.

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Use These Photography Tricks to Create Some Cool Results

We’re sure this post will get you wondering where these photography tricks were all your life.

In our quest to look for the coolest and most useful photography tips and tricks to share, we came across some really unexpected ones. Take, for example, a video showing some fun, out of the box ideas for creating cool effects and tapping unique angles. As with many things shared on the Reddit community where we spotted the video, it’s oddly satisfying to see these tricks produce some pretty cool images!

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How Do Polaroids Work? A Look at Modern Instant Film

Polaroids and Instax are films designed to be an easy, all-in-one solution.

Polaroids and Instax are some of the most fun ways to take images these days. Millenials are in love with them, and taking an Instax image to share with someone else is one of the easiest ways to connect with folks. But believe it or not, not many people believe them to actually be film. In the case of the stuff that Polaroid puts out under the ZINK moniker, they’re not. They’re simply just a print of an image. But real Polaroids are closer to what both Polaroid Originals and Instax make. While the former is a flawed medium embraced by artists, the latter is a medium with its own appeal. Generally speaking, it’s impossible to make someone look bad on Instax. But how that happens is an amazing process.

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5 Quick Tips on Shooting Better Night Portraits with Ambient Lighting

For the photographers who come alive when the sun goes down, shooting better portraits at night is a great skill to have.

We get it: you want to photograph a moment just the way you see it! Many photographers who shoot portraits at night eventually begin to understand how lighting works once they get enough experience. During the nighttime, most of the light we know and see is absent, except for the little bit that is provided artificially. So, until you know how to work with strobes, we recommend that you learn how to make the most of available light at night.

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Three Things You Need to Know About Shooting in Manual Mode

Still at a loss about shooting in full manual mode? This quick video offers a simple explanation about three things to keep in mind to get you started.

Shooting in manual mode can seem intimidating to anyone used to auto mode. But, once you understand how these three exposure elements work, you’ll be on your way to mastering manual mode in no time, whether shooting film or digital.

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Three Natural Light Setups to Try for Gorgeous Boudoir Photography

Whether you prefer to work with natural light, or don’t have studio lights yet, this boudoir photography tutorial will give you some great ideas.

Working with light to create mood is a significant component of beautiful boudoir photography. Some photographers prefer to do this by shooting in locations with gorgeous natural light. Others prefer working this way to make the most of available light and minimize their shooting setup. If this sounds like something you want to try, let this video tutorial by Los Angeles-based Michael Sasser be your guide on three ways to shoot with natural light for beautiful boudoir portraits.

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Nail Your Exposure Each Time by Understanding the Exposure Triangle

How does the Exposure Triangle work? How do you use it to get your exposure right? This video tutorial is a fun take on everything you need to know.

Understanding how the Exposure Triangle works is one of the most important things to tick off your to-do list if you’re just starting out with photography. We can’t stress that enough, so we’re sharing yet another video tutorial on the topic. This one is a fun and visually engaging take on the topic: we’re sure you’ll pay attention!

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How to Turn Busted LCD TVs and Monitors Into Realistic DIY Light Panel

Don’t throw away those broken LCD TVs and monitors just yet! This tutorial will show you how you can turn them into a DIY light panel for realistic artificial daylight.

If you have one of those busted LCD TVs or monitors lying around, you can give it a second chance at life. You can actually repurpose it into a DIY light panel to give your photo and video projects some realistic daylight illumination. There’s some tricky dismantling involved, of course, but we’re sure you’ll want to give it a try anyway. Studio lighting can be expensive for beginners, so this can be a cheap but effective option for you.

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Photography Cheat Sheet: Milky Way Photography and Moon Phases

With this nifty photography cheat sheet, you won’t need to wait for a moonless night to shoot Milky Way photos.

Anyone into astrophotography knows that the best time to shoot the Milky Way is during moonless nights with clear skies. But it’s also possible to shoot during whatever time of the month — you just need to know how to work with the Moon’s phases! With this brilliant photography cheat sheet and tutorial, you’ll learn a simple trick to know the best time of the night to shoot by just looking at the phases.

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Can the Canon Rebel T3i Still Take Great Portraits?

Have one of your old DSLRs lying around? This cheap camera challenge with an entry-level Canon DSLR camera will inspire you to keep shooting with it.

We’re at a time when constant upgrades render cameras out-of-date every few years, especially for professional photography. This often leads photographers to fuss about their gear and feel the need to constantly upgrade to the latest and greatest. However, it’s often possible to get beautiful results, even with old cameras. The cheap camera challenge that Mango Street recently did is a testament to this. So, if you’ve ever wondered whether you can pull off something good with that nearly decade-old DSLR gathering dust somewhere, the quick answer is yes!

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Two Ways to Shoot Single Light Portraits with the Chimera Lantern

It’s possible to get amazing results even if you’re using a single light source, and Adorama shows us how to do it using the Chimera Lantern.

Whether you’re looking into experimenting with a new lighting technique, or simply want to keep your shoot minimal, a single light setup will do the trick. There are many different ways to do this, but Adorama adds one more to the list. In a recent episode of OnSet, Daniel Norton demonstrates how to achieve simple but beautiful headshots in the studio using the Chimera Lantern, a less commonly used light shaper.

Interested in grabbing photography gear and accessories like this? Check out Adorama’s listings for some deals while you’re at it. You really can’t beat Adorama’s prices on these specials!

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5 Reasons for a Photographer to Love Their Prime Lens Over a Zoom

The staff at the Phoblographer love their prime much more than zooms.

It’s long been a well known fact that prime lenses are better than zooms, even though zoom lenses can be much more useful for professional reasons. If you’re looking for the penultimate of image quality, prime lenses are hard to beat. Not only are they often sharper and have better bokeh, but they’re smaller in comparison to many zoom lenses. For years, photographers used prime lenses exclusively. That is happening less and less in the professional world, but many pros still keep at least one prime in their kit. Here’s why you should love your primes.

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Portrait Photography Hack: Your Smartphone as a Colorful Light Source

Turns out your smartphone can also double as cheap, portable, and colorful lighting for portrait photography!

Looking for a cheap colored light for your next portrait shoot? Look no further, because your smartphone will work in a pinch! Not everyone can afford professional studio lights with color gels. This lighting hack, recently shared by JT of Run N Gun, could be an option worth trying on your next shoot.

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