Don’t Know How to Use a Flash? Point It at a Window

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If you’re new to photography, we’re pretty sure you might be intimidated by using a flash. And we totally understand why. The idea behind using a flash is that you need to know what light looks like. But the truth is that we never really notice it. It’s always just there. If anything, folks think using an LED is easier. But it doesn’t always give you better photos. Alternatively, with a flash, it’s hard to not get better photos with the little secret we’re about to tell you.

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Tip: An Ice Container Is a Great Way to Shape Light

Sometimes all you need to boost your creativity is to play around with light.

If you’ve been into lighting for many years, then you know what a Gobo is. For the rest of us, a Gobo is basically anything that goes between a light and the subject. A softbox can be a Gobo, but the vernacular refers to it being more homemade and put together. It’s designed to shape light. Sometimes all you need is a bit of light shaping.

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Tips For Shooting Better Natural Light Images Indoors (NSFW)

Working with natural light is one of those things most photographers start with before moving on into other lighting techniques like speedlights or strobes. But funny enough, natural light is one of those lighting techniques that can be really difficult for some to get a handle on. In this post we are going to go over some of our top tips for getting better natural light photos indoors by seeing your light, understanding it, and then harnessing it and bending it to your will.

Let’s make natural light your bitch! Continue reading…

How to Create Window Light in a Windowless Location

Window light is one of the most popular lighting setups for all kinds of photography and video projects today for many reasons. Mainly, it creates a positive and relaxed atmosphere, while it also illuminates the subjects with a clean and cozy high-key lighting. However, what if you want to create this effect in a location without spacious windows, like a studio? This quick video tutorial from The Slanted Lens has the answer.

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Useful Photography Tip #163: Creating the Window Light Look Anywhere You Go

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One of the ideas that we teach here often on the site is about how you can augment the look of natural light by putting a flash up against a window. But now it’s time to take that step just a bit further–and all you need is an off-camera flash and a large white/translucent reflector. How large? Figure around 42 inches.

Now it can be used in one of two ways:

  • Bouncing the light from the flash off the large surface to deliver more potent light

or

  • Configuring the reflector to be translucent (shoot-through) and putting the flash on one side of the reflector and your subject on the other side.

Either way, make sure that you set your hot shoe flash head to the widest setting using the wide angle diffuser. When you do this, it’s going to cover the most surface area and when bounced off (or shot through) the reflector, it’s going to give off coverage that’s going to look similar to what a window can do.

Shooting a portrait? Have the reflector to the side of your subject and a little bit above. Shooting food? Well have the reflector to the side and way above.

Go give it a shot and as always, have fun shooting!

 

 

Using Light Reflectors in Food Photography

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss 25mm f2 Batis review sample photos (27 of 29)ISO 4001-200 sec at f - 2.5

The image above was created for the Zeiss 25mm f2 Batis lens review by using a reflector and flash light output bounced off of said light reflector to mimic the look of window lighting. It’s a very nifty trick that is useful for food photographers when the most ideal light for food photography just isn’t available during the time of day.

And to be very honest, it’s very simple to do.

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Five Basic Ways to Get Better Food Photos

coffee crinkle cookies 3

Image by Miriam Pascal at Overtime Cook

All images in this article were used with permission from their respective owners.

Nom nom nom nom nom…

Anyway, getting the perfect food photo isn’t extremely tough to do when it comes to technique–but instead it’s all about creative vision. There is a ton of presentation work that goes into food photography to make it appealing to someone. Plus, there is a lot of playing with colors and careful thought that is involved.

Here are some basic ways to improve your food photography.

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Useful Photography Tip #55: Place a Flash Against a Large Wall to Imitate Window Light

Speedlite-to-immitate-window-light-The-Phoblographer

Often when I shoot products for the website, I try to think of different and creative ways to light the scenes but also have a natural and lifestyle like appeal to them. Due to a busy shooting schedule, legitimate window light isn’t always available–so it needs to be faked. Firstly, we should keep in mind that the larger and closer a light source is to a subject, the softer the light is. And in general, the light coming in from a window is usually quite soft. Soft light refers to the quality of the shadows.

So when I shoot some images, I often simply take a speedlite, place it right up against a white wall, and shoot with an according shutter speed, aperture and ISO. Once again, shutter speeds control the amount of ambient light leaking into the photo white the aperture controls flash exposure but not flash output. Additionally, ISO controls overall light sensitivity in the scene. Often when I’m doing this, I use TTL. For this particular set of images above, I used a Phottix Mitros flash with their Odin triggers in conjunction with Tamron’s 90mm f2.8 Marco VC mounted to my Canon 5D Mk II. And if you didn’t know beforehand, you might just think that this was all shot with natural light.

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