Useful Photography Tip #135: Put Groups of People on the Same Focusing Plane

Mary and Tommy Sutor's Wedding Batch 2 (42 of 149)ISO 2001-60 sec at f - 10

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If there is one very big sin in shooting group photos: besides not posing everyone in the most flattering way that you can, it’s about not getting everyone in focus. It’s very easy for someone to photograph a couple and only end up with one person in focus with the other one blurred into oblivion…or the bokeh.

Don’t let this happen.

For starters, physically walk up to the couple and tell them all that you want them all on the same plane–use your forearm as a reference point. Tell them you want everyone up to your arm. Then when you go to shoot, consider how many people there are. How many rows deep are these folks?

With your current focal length, what aperture can you stop down to and still get everyone in focus?

When you’ve figured this all out, shoot the image and ensure that everyone is in focus and in sight. This means that you’ll need to also position folks so that they’re clearly visible in the image.

Just make sure that they’re all on the same focusing plane.

Useful Photography Tip #134: How to Shoot With Your Lens Wide Open in Bright Sunlight

Pro Tip: The larger the light modifier is, the softer the light will be on your subject in relation to distance from them.

Pro Tip: The larger the light modifier is, the softer the light will be on your subject in relation to distance from them.

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Your camera is at the lowest ISO setting it could possibly organically be at, your shutter speed has hit the maximum setting, and you still want to shoot an image with the lens wide open. The challenge: the sun is way too bright and giving off too much light to let you get anything near a correct exposure.

So how do you shoot the photo? There are three different ways.

The first one is the simplest and least expensive. Try to backlight the subject. Of course, this is tougher if your subject is a flower or your children running around because it means you need to get very low to the ground. But otherwise it’s a solid option.

The second option: use a shoot through umbrella or a translucent reflector to diffuse the sunlight. This will usually kill enough of it to let you get a more balanced exposure. In the case of the umbrella, it can also be used as a fun prop.

The final option: try a variable ND filter–which is what film photographers used to use. These filters let you cut out a specific amount of like that you set them to just by turning them. The quality of these filters has improved so much that it’s bound to not ruin the quality of your image.

Useful Photography Tip #133: Meter off of Your Hand When Doing Street Photography

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer GM5 Panasonic hand (1 of 1)ISO 4001-320 sec at f - 2.8

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While many street photographers tend to shoot with their cameras in shutter or aperture priority, lots of street photographers shoot in manual mode. If you’re looking to give this a shot, then we recommend a very handy trick (literally) to make metering a scene and people in the scene even easier.

When you point your camera at someone, it’s bound to try to meter for skin or for the person. In that case, a good place to start is to point the camera and lens at your hand, take a meter reading and adjust the shutter speed, ISO and aperture based on this. Then depending on if your scene is more dominated by shadows or highlights, you fine tune the exposure from there before even putting the camera up to your eye to shoot.

By metering off your hand, you’re exposing for a similar subject in most likely similar lighting and you’re that much more likely to get the exposure correct the first time around. Plus, folks don’t think that you’re posing a threat to them.

Go ahead, try it out the next time you go to shoot street photography.

Useful Photography Tip #132: How to Get a Genuine Smile in a Portrait

Chris Gampat Lauren Englebert portraits Early winter 2015 first batch (3 of 8)ISO 1001-160 sec at f - 2.8

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“Smile.”

“Come on, smile.”

The problem with this is that your portrait subject can end up giving you some sort of really awkward expression that isn’t genuine and that clearly translates into that when you take their photo.

Meet Lauren: a fantastic woman I know here in NYC that wanted her portrait taken and that gave me the very same situation. So with this, I, as a photographer, faced the problem of not only making her deliver a genuine smile but also delivering an image that looked great in the end. So here’s how I did it and how you can, too:

– Pre-focus on an area of their face (in this case I chose her right eye that is camera left, closest to the light source and also closest to the camera.

– Politely ask for a slight sliver of a smile

– When the subject states that they hate their smile, try to figure out a way to make them genuinely elicit a feeling that will render a facial expression in the direction of what you’re going for.

– When Lauren gave me an awkward smile, I very seriously yet jokingly said, “A little less awkward and terrible please.” Because she knows me, it got a genuine giggle out of her. Because I had been pre-focused, I snapped the photo at that exact same time.

Yes, Lauren knows me, but even with other people that I’ve done this method with I’ve gotten it to work. The way that you get to this to work has to do with sitting down with the person first, getting comfortable with them, understanding where they’re coming from, having an actual conversation, and most importantly getting them comfortable with you.

So what’s the overall secret? Do something on the spot that makes them elicit a facial expression or body language that you want to capture. But first, have a personable conversation and relaxation time. Have a cup of coffee with the person first and chat a bit, it makes them realize that you’re a human and not just someone with a camera.

Useful Photography Tip #131: How to Make Clothing Fit Better on a Portrait Subject

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Samsung 85mm f1.4 review images (1 of 3)ISO 1001-125 sec at f - 4.0

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When photographing a portrait subject, we can’t always expect everyone to have the best fitting clothing for them or always have the best fashion sense. But we as creatives and photographers can help them with just a couple of slight modifications.

Firstly, we recommend that you bring safety pins, hair ties, and gaffers tape with you to your shoot. Generally when you’re shooting portraits, you’re photographing the front of the person. So let’s say that their button down shirt doesn’t fit them in such a way that makes their body look the best.

Now you’ve got a couple of ways to approach this but it all has to do with working with what’s behind the subject.

– You can go behind the subject, pull the shirt in tighter on them, and tie it in the back to hold it in place.

– Pull the shirt in a lot in the back and tuck it in.

– Pull the shirt in and use safety pins to hold it in place.

– Pull the shirt in and tape it into place

All of this doesn’t affect the front, only the back. You can do the same with pants, blouses, dresses, etc. Just work with the back of the subject and you’ll be all fine.

Give it a shot at your next portrait session.

Useful Photography Tip #130: The Secret to Making Flash Output Look More Natural

Model: Lulu Geng

Model: Lulu Geng

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Before we get to the big, meaty part of this post that you’re all here for, let’s quickly go over the elements of flash photography. To control what the image looks like, you have your shutter speed, ISO, aperture, and flash output. For argument’s sake, we’re going to say that you’re dealing with a manual flash instead of a TTL light–and we’re also going to assume that the light is off-camera.

– Shutter speeds: control the ambient lighting in the scene

– ISO: controls the overall sensitivity of the other parameters.

– Aperture: controls the depth of field and how much light from the flash actually affects the scene.

– Flash output: a specific powerful level. If you have a 500 watt second monolight and are shooting with it at around half power, you’ll be shooting at 250 watt seconds. That’s around three or four standard hot shoe flashes.

Using the different combinations of these parameters you can blend the lights accordingly to look more natural. Then there is the other obvious part: using a large light modifier to make the light even softer.

Finally, we now get to what’s really important. The biggest secret to making flash output look more natural has to do with its positioning. Much of the light that we normally see in life is above us. Ever notice that?

Walk through a hallway, and the lights are in the ceiling. Go outside and sun is shining down on you from up above.

So one of the biggest tips that we want to give you is to raise the light up above your subject and aim it downwards at an angle. Additionally, bring the light to the side and forward. By doing this little trick, the light in your scene can look a thousand times more natural than if it were from below.

Just think: how many times do you see the light coming from below someone?

Want more? Check out how to make strobe look natural, using an ND filter with strobes and blending strobe and ambient light.

Useful Photography Tip #129: High Contrast Black and Whites Are All About the Midtones

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 4.38.42 PM

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The art of creating high contrast black and white images has to start with what first comes out of the camera. To do that, you first need to create an image with very bright whites and with darks as dark as you can possibly get them. You’re most likely to skew one way or the other. But the biggest edits come in the post-production stage. This is where you need to work with the entire dynamic range are of the image since the colors are more or less moot due to the color scheme being removed.

So at this point you’ll need to work with four critical areas in Adobe Lightroom:

– The Blacks

– The Whites

– The Tonal Curve

– Clarity

Blacks adjust the most extreme end of the dark area while the whites do the opposite. Then you’re going to need to work with the entire space in between–which are the midtones. You can manipulate these mostly using the clarity slider for quicker adjustments but more fine tuned adjustments should be done through the tonal curves.

At that point, you’ll be playing with the settings to get a look that you want. These are the basic tools that you’ll need to get iHigh Contrast Black and White images, so go ahead and give it a shot.

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Useful Photography Tip #128: How to Get the Best White Balance of Your Image

Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 12.34.54 PM

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While you can manually white balance in the camera with the aid of something like the ExpoDisk, you might not always have the time to do so during a shooting situation. Providing that you’ve shot in RAW, you can still get a great deal of latitude in the editing process. To get the best white balance though, you should start a very neutral point. The way to do this is to start with something along the lines of what’s known as middle gray.

Start by using the eyedropper tool next to the white balance sliders in Adobe Lightroom and scrolling it over the image. You’ll need to find the pixels that are the closest to 50% in the RGB sections, which you can see as you scroll over the areas. In order to save time, try looking at the areas where the darkest blacks meet the whites in the image if that’s possible. Once you have something close, select those pixels and you’ll get something near to a neutral white balance.

From that point, you can manipulate the image to be either warmer or cooler and set your tint levels accordingly to how you want them to be.

Give it a shot. Then when you’re done with this, check out our tips on how to get better color.

Useful Photography Tip #127: The Importance of Turning Negative Energies into Creativity

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 9.04.57 PM

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Don’t ever pretend like something negative or crazy doesn’t happen in your life. No one has the perfect life no matter how positive of an image we all try to put forward as creatives. But every now and then, something awful happens to all of us that nearly ruins our day. For some of us it happens many times–over and over again. And for the most unlucky of us, it can happen consistently and we have no control.

But we, as creatives, have the gift of being able to express ourselves in ways that others can’t. We, as photographers, have the gift of being able to create a scene that illustrates the way that we feel in a way that someone else will see it and either sympathize with it or be completely captivated by it.

I’m going to repeat this again: we are creatives. We have a gift–and no photographer should ever forget this. Rather, we should embrace it in some of our darkest times. It will see you through to the end and the person you are will never change because of these rough times.

So how do you persevere through rough patches? It quite literally involves channelling the negative energy into creative energy. To do this, you need to find a way to illustrate how you feel and be imaginative about it. Again, it’s about expressing yourself. Sounds easier said than done, right? Well here is a check list to help you. In your mission to channel the negative energy, liken the answer to each of these questions to something else and then go ahead and create a scene:

– Who or what hurt you?

– Why are you hurt right now?

– How do you feel?

– What about your personality makes this hurt so much?

– What time during the day or night did this happen?

– If your life were a television show or a movie, how would the scene look right now?

Start with these questions and while answering them, try your hardest to focus on these and only these. Then create something. And the beautiful product you create that was fueled by the negative emotions will be the positive result.

Useful Photography Tip #126: Bring Seated Subjects to the Edge of the Seat

 

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer 85mm vs 50mm portrait test Sigma 50mm f1.4 other (1 of 1)ISO 2001-640 sec at f - 2.8

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Besides straightening a subject’s back and adjusting the shoulders, another really important part of the body to look at when shooting portraits are the thighs. Human beings are taught from day one to sit back and sit up straight. When shooting a portrait, this is a giant faux pas.

If a subject sits all the way back in a seat until the backs of their knees touch the edge, then all of the weight is distributed on the rear and their thighs. What this ends up creating is outlines and arches that make your subject look much wider than they actually are. So to make them look more flattering, ask your subject to bring themselves to the near edge of the seat. But in order to make them not fall off, have them sit so that their thighs aren’t on the seat.

In effect, what you’re doing is putting all of the weight on the rear, and making the thighs look much thinner. From here, you can do a multitude of different poses: and we have lists for men and women.

Beyond this, other strategies that you can do have to do with the overall body shape of the person and it can number anything from:

– Crossing their legs

– Sitting with the legs apart

– Stretching them out and having one foot crossed over the other

It all depends on what kind of body language you’re trying to get across in the photo.

Useful Photography Tip #125: Don’t Forget About Perspective Distortion on Your Subject

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss 135mm f2 review images (9 of 11)ISO 2001-640 sec at f - 2.0

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When photographing a person or a thing, you may be inclined to try to get as much bokeh as you possibly can. The most efficient way to get better bokeh is to shoot as close to the subject as you can due to the way that depth of field works. But if you do this, also keep in mind the perspective distortion effect. This states that the closer that you are to the subject, the more distorted that the image will be.

While you’ll want to get close to a portrait subject, don’t feel bad if you step back a bit. The longer the focal length of the lens is, the less perspective distortion you’ll generally have within reason. This is why we think that it’s so important for portraits to be done with longer focal lengths. We’ve also tested it and so have others. There are ways to make them look similar, but it all has to do with lighting and post-production.

Useful Photography Tip #124: TTL vs Manual Flash: When Should You Use One Over the Other?

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The question of whether one should use TTL vs manual flash output is one that many photographers will experience at one point or another in their careers. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages. The majority of flashes can shoot in manual mode (thought there are some that indeed can’t and there are also flashes that can do both). But not every flash can fire in TTL mode.

TTL communication requires specific pins on the camera hot shoe and flash to communicate and relay information about the exposure to make the two work together.

In general, TTL has been the king when it comes to photojournalism, weddings, events, and sports. But in situations where you are trying to mix ambient lighting with natural lighting, TTL can be a godsend and eliminate the need for specific metering that will need to be done. In my apartment, I sometimes like shooting a subject in front of a window. Evenly illuminating the subject while properly exposing the outside can be tough, but it is a challenge very easily done by using TTL metering.

Manual light output is typically used on editorial, portrait, headshot, commercial, and fine art photo situations where someone can take their time and set a scene up. It gives the photographer specific control over the light to make it look brighter or darker or exactly the way that they want it. In contrast, a TTL system will read your camera meter and adapt itself to deliver a result that you may not necessarily want.

Manual lighting also works best when working with large light modifiers as a TTL light can sometimes not work so effectively based on various parameters like how large a light modifier is and how far it is positioned from a subject.

Keep this in mind when you’re shooting, and be sure to also check out our massive lighting tutorial roundup.

Useful Photography Tip #123: How to Deal with Skin That’s Too Orange

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There are times in portraiture where your camera will render a person’s skin as way too orange. This tends to happen a lot during the golden hour. But getting rid of that problem is very, very simple and it can be fixed in less than 10 seconds. It has nothing to do with the desaturation slider–at least the one all the way at the top in Adobe Lightroom!

To start, the most obvious way to prevent this problem is to manually white balance. But that isn’t always possible and sometimes you just don’t have time to do so. After you’ve got your white balance just right, it’s time to work with the skin tones.

The secret is to work with the color channels specifically. We recommend turning up the luminance a bit to brighten the orange color channel and then slightly desaturating it to give the skin tones a more natural look. But to be sure that the program sees it as orange to begin with, we recommend choosing the dropper tool. Sometimes, Lightroom can see oranges as yellows or reds.

If it isn’t working for you, then take the adjustment brush and touch up the areas by brightening them a bit and desaturating them as well.

The results of this project are after the jump.

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Useful Photography Tip #122: Always Protect Your Camera’s Sensor

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Panasonic GM5 first impressions images (4 of 5)ISO 4001-60 sec at f - 5.0

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While this tip may seem completely obvious to those of us that have been shooting for years, we encourage you to pay it forward and share this with those that are newer to interchangeable lens photography.

This is the story of two different people who took the lens off of their camera and put the camera in their one pocket and the lens in their other pocket.

Again: I’m going to repeat that.

This is the story of two different people who took the lens off of their camera and put the camera in their one pocket and the lens in their other pocket.

If you’re a veteran shooter, you know much better than to do this–or at least you know to use a body cap and a lens back cap. But for the less initiated, doing this makes cloth, debris and dust get right onto your camera sensor and at the back of the lens. In both cases, the camera was taking photos with spots in the image and the lens wasn’t working. Why?

Imagine a person putting little bits of dust in your eyes. Would you be able to see? Probably not–and neither can your camera since the sensor is very much like the eye. Then also imagine putting on dirty glasses. Obviously, seeing wouldn’t be the easiest thing to do. That’s what happens when you put a dirty lens on your camera.

But even further, the second person got so much dust on the contacts that the lens couldn’t autofocus. If you want to fix a problem like this, use Isopropyl alcohol or use a special brush to clean the sensor.

And make sure that you maintain your camera. But whatever you do, always protect your camera’s sensor.

Useful Photography Tip #121: Use Contrast to Make Your Portrait Subject Stand Out

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

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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.


Useful Photography Tip #120: Underexpose Musicians With Bright Lights on Them

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm X Pro 1 review images mxpx (14 of 22)ISO 6400

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When you’re shooting concerts in large venues or even bars, chances are that the lighting on the musicians will be bright–way too bright for aperture priority. If you pay attention to your camera’s metering system, it will often look at the contrast in the scene and blow out much of the highlights.

Due to changes in modern sensor technology, we all know that it is much easier to lift details from the shadows than it is to pull them from the highlights. So in order to get a better exposed image, we strongly recommend underexposing the scene by at least a stop. This way, you’ll get the details on the musician and anything in the shadows can be pushed in post-production.

To get started, choose an ISO setting that you’re comfortable with and make sure that your shutter speed is at least the equivalent of your field of view to keep in line with the reciprocal rule of shutter speeds. Then select an aperture that you’re comfortable working with and keep in mind that your musician may be moving around. Then try to underexpose the scene by a stop. By doing this, you may either be able to capture faster motion, get more of a scene in focus, and also have better files to edit in the post-production phase. And all you need to do is just underexpose musicians.

Just remember that not everything needs to be an HDR–so as long as your primary subject is exposed correctly you shouldn’t have too much of an issue.

Keep this in mind the next time you do concert photography.

Useful Photography Tip #119: Diffuse a Flash With a Large Translucent Reflector

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Olympus EM5 Link Cosplay shoot (7 of 23)ISO 200

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A couple of years ago, I faced a pretty big logistical problem on a shoot. I had a reflector, my monolight, the umbrella reflector for the light, my camera, and that was about it. While in a very dark spot of Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, I had to find a way to make the output of my monolight look much larger and in turn better diffused while also making all of my images from that day not look the same due to the lighting effect.

With very little ambient light in the area, the best way to actually light Katie in the above image was to reflect some sort of light onto her. The idea of using a large five in one reflector and bouncing the light from my monolight off of it came to me. But instead of bouncing the light off of the reflective side, I configured it to be translucent. And by placing the reflector in the right spot, we were able to create this image–which was almost totally illuminated by the monolight output being diffused by the reflector. That’s when it hit me that a viable option is to always diffuse a flash with a reflector.

So despite the fact that reflectors are usually designed to reflect existing light, you should also try to use them as a normal bounce surface for a flash. The most common way for many people to use a hot shoe flash is to bounce it off of a ceiling or surface. But when that surface isn’t available, create one with a reflector.

Useful Photography Tip #118: Working With Long Female Hair in Portraits

Chris Gampat Samantha Grossman's first shoot with me (13 of 15)ISO 32001-100 sec at f - 1.4

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When photographing women, working with the hair is always a big priority. That’s why many shoots often have a high price for hair and makeup artists. If the hair is in a specific style, then embrace what the makeup artist has done because they worked quite hard to get it to look that way. But when that hair is let down, it’s best to make it easier to work with. One method that we’ve found to work well and is fairly simple to do is parting the hair to one side based on how you’re composing the image, the lighting direction and the person’s facial features.

At the time of publishing this tip, this particular style is a trend. But parting the hair to one side makes it easier to control and work with so that you can focus on other things like the subject’s posture, how their nose will be seen in the image, and many other important details that you’ll need to pay attention to in order to deliver a better image.

Where (camera left or right) you put the hair is entirely a case by case basis but what we prefer to do is place it in the opposite direction of the key light in the image. For example, in the image above the light was camera right. Putting the hair to the left worked well because Samantha is leaning into the wall and it would have otherwise made the hair look puffy and maybe even cast shadows on her face. If that was my creative intention then it would have worked–but it clearly wasn’t.

Another big factor to consider is the person’s shoulder height. Everyone has a higher and lower shoulder because of the way that we wear our bags and sleep. Traditionally, the hair is placed on the lower shoulder–but again it also depends on the lighting direction.

Useful Photography Tip #117: Use Vignetting to Emphasize a Subject in a Photo

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Leica XE product images (1 of 10)ISO 4001-160 sec at f - 2.5

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Yes, many of you photographers love to complain about vignetting. But you can actually embrace it and use it creatively. We’ve talked about proper techniques to making your images look sharper and making colors pop out more, but another way to emphasize a subject more in an image is to add a vignette to it. Chances are that based on your composition of a scene, the subject will be somewhere around the center or on one of the intersecting points of the rule of thirds. A vignette will make someone stare at your image and complete ignore the blacked out areas.

Of course, this doesn’t need to be a heavy vignette but we can’t tell you how many times we’ve used vignettes on product photos on this site and not a single person has sat there and complained.

If your creative vision calls for it, light vignetting can be a great thing and because of the way the human eye works, it will put higher emphasis on your subject in addition to making them pop out more on a screen or on print.

Beyond this, we recommend bumping up the contrast and tweaking the black levels. But those are all part of the process involving making your images look sharper that we linked to above.

Give it a try: and don’t be afraid to do something that the mainstream may say otherwise.



Useful Photography Tip #116: Use Spot Metering When Working with Multiple Light Sources

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Impact Quikbox and LiteTrek photos (8 of 17)ISO 200

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One of the greatest things that you can accomplish technically as a photographer is shooting with a flash during bright daylight and nailing exposure perfectly. If you’re doing this, then chances are that you’ll use a TTL lighting functionality or high speed sync or even making sure that your flash duration is just at a fast setting. But even this can become tedious and frustrating for the best of photographers–especially when using light modifiers like softboxes.

The best approach to a situation like this is to use spot metering on your camera. When you switch to spot metering you can figure out what the exposure is for the ambient/natural light and the flash/strobe output. Spot metering literally meters off of the area that you’re choosing. It ignores things like tying to make the entire scene completely balanced in terms of exposures and works well because it helps you make a more informed decision about what to do with your artificial light.

So where do you begin?

– Set your camera to spot metering mode and meter your subject’s face (providing that you’re shooting a portrait)

– Meter your camera accordingly.

– Use a handheld light meter to judge what aperture you should be shooting at if you’re using a light without TTL. Otherwise, set your aperture to whatever you want and the flash will meter itself hopefully. If it doesn’t then switch to manual mode and do the same method as when using a handheld light meter.

As an extra tip, set your handheld light meter to the fastest shutter speed so that it doesn’t see the ambient light and doesn’t try to work along with it.

Useful Photography Tip #115: Have Your Subject Look into the Light for Better Catchlights in the Eyes

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When shooting portraits of someone and using a flash or studio strobe, there is a big secret to getting more details and extra beauty out of the shot. It first starts with specular highlights–which are extra details that are brought out by adding in extra light to a scene. But sometimes specular highlights render something even better: catchlights. Catchlights are usually associated with what you see in the eyes–and they have to do with a reflection of the light usually on the irises. What the catchlights look like vary depending on the light modifier. However, it is generally accepted that umbrellas, octabanks, and ring flashes often deliver the best catchlights in the eyes.

Getting them is fairly simple: simply place the light and light modifier in front of your subject and shoot. But in general, the rule also states that the bigger the light modifier and the closer it is to your subject, the better the catchlights will be. So to get better catchlights, we encourage you to first use a really large light modifier then place it close to your subject. Make sure that the light is in front of them and a little bit above them while facing downward. As an extra tip, we recommend also not moving the light modifier anywhere beyond a 45 degree angle of the subject while they’re facing the camera.

Then just shoot. For the absolute best results, set your flash’s power output to a setting that lets you shoot just slightly stopped down with the eyes in focus.