Michael Muller Shows How Lighting Will Change Your Portrait Photography

This quick video, featuring entertainment and fashion photographer Michael Muller, will show you how to work with lighting to make outstanding portraits.

Still in the dark when it comes to working with different kinds of lighting for portrait photography? Then, we’ve got just the right stuff to inspire and enlighten you. In his quick video, Sawyer Hartman brings us to his shoot with leading entertainment and fashion photographer Michael Muller, who gives us an idea on how he works with lighting to get stunning portraits.

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The Phottix Juno TTL Flash Incorporates the New Odin Z Operating System

With the new Phottix Juno TTL flash, photographers are getting a bit of a system update.

Phottix has long been a maker of accessories that don’t always cost a whole lot but still perform just like said accessories. With today’s new announcement of the Phottix Juno TTL flash with the new Odin Z operating system at the heart, we’re all pretty curious what this flash can do now. The idea behind the new Odin Z system is that they wanted to make things even simpler for photographers who know diddly squat about flash. It’s available to all Phottix users via firmware updates and it includes updates like auto switching between camera systems’ TTL languages, and this other really amazing feature called Auto metering.

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See the Quirky, Neon-Lit Promotional Posters for MTV India’s “Dating in the Dark”

All images by Saif R. and Megha Singha. Used with Creative Commons permission.

MTV India’s Dating in the Dark is exactly what it says on the tin. Nothing says “love is blind” more than actually meeting the potential love of your life (or at least, your next romantic pursuit) in the, well, dark, doesn’t it?

Dating in the Dark is a reality dating show that places a small group of three guys and three girls inside one house to have group and one-on-one dates under the cover of darkness, all with the goal of getting to know each other better.

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How to Take Beautiful Portraits with a Single Lighting Set Up

In case you’re still wondering: yes, you can take some of your best portraits using only a single light source.

When you’re shooting portraits in a studio, you’d usually pull all the stops and use a lighting set up that requires at least two light sources to properly illuminate your subjects. But when you’re looking for something a bit more dramatic (or if you’re working with limited equipment, really) you might want to try using just one light source.

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Giving a Voice to the Voiceless: A Critical Look at Street Photography

It is imperative for any street photographer to have sound knowledge of the streets they work within.

Knowing the back roads, the old towns, and the highly populated areas like the back of your hand all contributes to potentially obtaining the maximum artistic quality in your images. Of course it takes time to develop such awareness, something that can only come from an insane amount of walk time. In light of your hard work you may become somewhat of a human encyclopedia, filled with the all the answers to any questions one may have about the street you practice your craft in. But even then, after years of collecting such information, do you really know those beautiful streets as well as you say you do?

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Everyone Should Be Able to Take Great Food Photos

In my ideal world, everyone should be taking great food photos but that’s not always the case.

One of the highlights of my brief but intense career as a food photographer has been to teach food photography; I really enjoy the passing of knowledge and experience down to those who want the knowledge.

For a couple of years now, I’ve been running one to one food photography workshops in Brighton and London and most recently, I was offered a lecture on food photography at the CNM College in London. I’m running two courses there: A full day food photography workshop where I teach the basics of photography, the differences of food photography, light and styling and then we set-up different food scenarios to put the theory into practice. The other one is a food photography lecture as part of their Natural Chef course where I teach the fundamentals of plating and manipulating food, the composition of a dish based on the recipe and ingredients and then the basics of food photography and food styling. It’s awesome to put my culinary skills into practice and more when it is for education.

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Opinion: Every Photographer Should Spend a Year Shooting Film and Not Editing Their Photos

This may really sound crazy, but hear me out.

I completely agree with you that in the age of digital photography and mobile phones, the idea of spending a year on just film is really insane. But on the other side of things, I believe spending a year working with film is one of the best things many photographers can do for themselves and their work. After a year, you return to digital and you’ll realize you’re a completely different type of shooter and that you as a photographer have changed greatly.

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“SunnyMoon” is an Expandable and Portable Photo and Video Lighting That Promises to Replace Your Softboxes

Kickstarter project “SunnyMoon” could just be the portable and flexible lighting solution you need for your photo and video projects.

If you’re still looking for a bright solution to light up your photo and video projects, we’ve found something that could just be interesting to you. Meet “SunnyMoon”, an innovative Kickstarter project designed by EnoLight to improve and simplify lighting setup.

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The MagMod Magbox Is a Fresh New Take on the Softbox

MagMod is looking to change up the lighting game with the MagMod MagBox

People don’t like change, and often times things that could be done better or more efficiently aren’t done because people are comfortable with an inefficient way. MagMod has built their business on reinventing photography lighting accessories with their easy to use system based on magnets, and now they are back with their take on an off-camera lighting setup – The MagMod MagBox. But they didn’t stop with just reinventing the softbox in their image, they have also added the MagShoe and MagRing to fill out the system, making this even more a compelling product. Continue reading…

Cheap Photo: These Mirrorless Camera Bundle Deals May Be Just What You Need

How about a midweek deal update on some of the best deals saving you money right now.

Who doesn’t love to save some hard earned cash on the new toys and gear that we want to add to our kits? In this quick midweek Cheap Photo update we are featuring nine deals for you that we think you could take advantage of. Want more? Keep scrolling for even more savings. First off, check out these Mirrorless camera bundle deals.

3 Featured Camera Deals

3 Featured Tutorial/Tool Deals

3 Featured Lens Deals

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Cheap Photo: Save Over $7,300 on These 10 Outstanding Deals from Photowhoa

Saving money is a good thing, and as awesome as it is to save money on gear, saving money on education and tools through Photowhoa is the gift that keeps on giving.

Today we are highlighting 10 of our favorite deals currently available right now over on Photowhoa. If you add up all the savings on these deals right now you would be saving yourself over $7,300 on these products vs if you just went out an purchased them elsewhere. There is a deal for everyone, so make sure and check out the links below for the ones that catch your attention.

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It’s the Little Things That Matter Most: An Intro to Shooting Macro Images

This is a syndicated blog post from Digital Photo Magazine. It is being republished here with permission.

My introduction to “real” macro photography came more than a decade ago when I was reviewing the Canon MP-E 65mm F/2.8 1-5x Macro lens and Canon’s macro strobe setup. I had shot macro before, but this was my first time shooting with a lens that captured images greater than life-size, and it was a mesmerizing experience.I remember buying flowers so that I’d have a steady object to practice with, and I set them out on the dining room table in a nice sunny spot. At first, I took some images at the least magnified setting, the 1x power, and the images were lovely. With the Canon strobe system and some tinkering, I could really control focus and background lighting, and I took some nice photos.

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Tutorial: When to Use Constant Lighting vs. Flash

Knowing when to shoot with constant light vs. flash is one of the most important lessons to learn if you’re keen on doing studio photography

When you’re shooting in a studio, you’re typically also working with different lighting equipment which is often either constant light or flash. The key to making great shots in the studio is knowing when it’s best to use one over the other. Learn how the pros do it in an in-depth lesson from Adorama TV‘s On Set with Daniel Norton.

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How to Use a Softbox: A Visual Guide for the Photographer New to Lighting

Give lots of photographers a softbox and they’ll know nothing about using one; but it makes lighting so easy

Over the years, I’ve used many different lighting modifiers, but one of the mainstays has always been a variation of the traditional photography softbox. Along with the umbrella, it’s arguably the most popular option on the market. Photographers of all types use them, but they’re perhaps most commonly employed with studio portraiture and headshots. Softboxes take the fundamental values of light and find a way to shape and mold it. To understand this a bit better, think about how fairy lights, a desk lamp, and ceiling lights all affect a room differently. They’re all different shapes, sizes, and are placed in different ways. This idea will help you get through this article and ultimately guide you on how to use one. But in the end, you’ll need to figure out whether or not you actually need one.

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Five Tips and Tricks to Shooting Portraits Indoors with Available Lighting

Available lighting for indoor portraits doesn’t have to be scary, it really doesn’t.

If you are shooting portraits, then you are probably doing at least a portion of your images indoors, especially during the winter months. You may be wondering how you can take advantage of available light indoors for portraits; maybe for stylistic reasons (you like the look of it better) or for other reasons (like not having to cart around a crap ton of lighting gear). Whatever your reason, it is totally possible to make the most out of available lighting for portraits indoors.

Today we are going to be talking about some tips and tricks you can employ to get a better handle on available light portraiture indoors. It’s not as complicated as you are making it out to be in your head. It really just comes down to being able to see the light and knowing what you want to do with it in relation to your subject.

Ready? Great! Let’s get into it. Continue reading…

Everything You Need For Macro Photography

What you need in order to create great macro photography images

We have talked about it previously, but Macro photography is one of those niches in the photography world that can and does have a lot of overlap with many genres. The niche itself at the base level really only requires a macro lens, which for those unaware is generally considered to be a lens with a 1:1 magnification ratio or better( 2:1, 4:1, etc).

The idea with macro photography is to show us the details of small objects, so if you can’t even reproduce things at their full size on the image how are you going to show people more than they would see otherwise? You couldn’t. But as with all things photography related, what you can accomplish with a minimal kit is impressive, however, there are certain things that you should invest in if you are serious about Macro Photography. We are here today to talk about those things. Continue reading…

How Andreas Levers Does His Beautiful “At Night” Series of Photos

All images by Andreas Levers. Used with permission.

We’ve featured the work of Andreas Levers here on the website before a number of times, but recently many of you fell head over heels for his At Night series. We saw a lot of comments asking about how he did the series, and so we decided that we’d talk to Andreas and see just exactly how At Night was done.

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A Modern Photographer’s Introduction to Portrait Lighting Essentials

This is a syndicated blog post from Digital Photo Pro, part of the Madavor network

The art of portrait lighting is the art of bringing out the essence of an individual—identifying the person’s personality and facial features, and coming up with a lighting scheme that will synchronize with them. Many photographers fall into the habit of using a stock setup for all of their work without consideration of the person they’re photographing. Some can pull this off quite well, creating a body of work that takes some variability out of a series of images.

For most, however, this becomes a “Hey! Look at me and what I can do!” kind of thing. The photographer trying to impress by imposing inappropriate lighting on the subject is flirting with disaster. That’s because many photographers fail to embrace and practice the basics of lighting technique.

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Creating the Decisive Moment: Leading Lines in Street Photography

The decisive moment is one in street photography that is often spoken about being captured, but it can also be created. In many cases though, it can be a combination of the two options. Bresson often spoke of looking at a scene and seeing geometry; but not everyone can do that and capture what’s going on in a split second. Even as you get very advanced, the chances of you being able to do this in the same way can vary. So instead of capturing it, creating the moment can work out even better. That doesn’t always mean using photoshop, but instead using the methods that photographers have been using for years: cropping, dodging and burning.

The Photo Wait

While some photographers pride the idea of the photo walk, other photographers really enjoy the idea of a photo wait. This is the idea of standing in a specific area and waiting for something picture-worthy to happen. Street photographers have been doing it for years if they find something interesting in the scene. So what could be interesting?

  • The light: lighting can cast interesting shadows or can sometimes provide a sliver of lighting in a scene that otherwise is fairly dull. Think of it as a spotlight like when you’re watching a play at the theatre.
  • Lines: In cities where street photography is usually done, the lines in a scene can lead a person’s eyes around the frame
  • Interesting things in general: think of the world as your canvas. Your scene is a backdrop and the people moving in and out are your subjects. If you’re a portrait photographer then this is really crucial.

Photo waiting can be done at any time of the day, but when it comes to black and white photography the best time could be during the middle of the day when the lighting can be harshest. That harshness creates a contrast that allows photos to get some of that extra pop to them. Essentially, it means that you need to be vulnerable to your environment and look at everything moving in and out as elements; then just snap the photo at the right moment–which you’re bound to be able to see.

Photographers such as Jonathan Higbee tend to use this tactic often and it works. Like it or not, it’s a perfectly valid way of shooting photos. The photo wait is a way to create/capture a scene using leading lines that send the viewer’s eyes all around the frame because you often start out looking for the lines to begin with. People and subjects moving through can also act as lines themselves. If that sounds crazy, think about the many silhouetted street photography images there are out there. Those people are nothing more than darkness amongst a ton of light. Are they specifically important? Probably not, but their shape is.

Cropping

Unfortunately, not enough photographers crop. Instead they simply just shoot with some sort of overlay for the rule of thirds and then they worry about the rest later. But cropping is perhaps the most important tool that you can use when doing street photography and making the leading lines in the scene more effective. A part of this comes from the fact that different crops such as a square or a 16:9 crop can make people focus on exactly what’s important and nothing else.

The Isolite Lets You Add Flash On and Off After the Picture Has Been Taken

The new Isolite is promising to change the game in how flash photography has been done for years

“Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa…” That’s essentially what I said when I first heard about the Isolite as I didn’t totally understand how it worked. But the new Kickstarter known as the Isolite is essentially an on-camera flash modifier designed to let you fire off strobes in a photo and then choose to add them later or not. How you ask? How can you add a flash or its output after an image is shot? And how does that really change the game for photo creation?

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How Photographers Can Use Hard Light for Beautiful Portraits

Screenshot image from the video by Adorama on hard light

In some of the previous video tutorials we shared, we were told that a soft light setup is the best for portrait work, especially if you’re working with female models. If you’re curious about how hard light can be used to make beautiful portraits, even for female models, this quick Adorama tutorial by Daniel Norton shows us how.
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