Thursday, October 23, 2014

5 tips for using reflectors in portrait photography


One of the most versatile tools to use in your natural light portrait lighting arsenal is the popular 5-in-1 reflector. They are inexpensive, light weight, easy to carry and offers some styling above what you can get with natural light on its own.

Although often used in outdoor natural light portraiture, the 5-in-1 can easily be implemented in your studio lighting set up as well. You can use it with continuous lighting, strobe lighting or to maximize your natural light set ups when working indoors.

Simple as they look, using a reflector isn't as easy or intuitive as it first appears, specially if you do not have an assistant.

Before we get into the tips on using these handy little tools let me first explain what they are so those who may not be familiar with them can get caught up to speed.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Carry you camera manuals the easy way


A couple years ago I posted an article about dusting off your camera's instruction manual in order to pick up a few tips and tricks about your camera's abilities. If it's been a while and you haven't opened up that manual to brush up on some camera functions, I suggest reading up on that post and following the advise.

But I'm not here to discuss what you should or shouldn't do with your camera knowledge. I know you're a smart person and don't need me to tell you to read your manual! I will, however, share a useful tip in how to keep that instruction manual handy for when you really need it. Like at one of my workshops when I ask you to set your camera in a specific way and you can't quite remember how to do it. Don't worry, it happens to many of us. Specially me, who has 'senior moments' more and more often. So what's this tip I mentioned? Read on...

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Understanding Angle of Incidence


One of the hardest concepts for beginners is understanding light and how it behaves. As I've said many times before, we can not see light, just the effect of light. Once you start thinking of light in terms of particles of energy then it starts becoming easier to understand. Specially since light behaves in very predictable ways.

This article discusses angle of incidence. A fundamental concept that appears in many areas of photography. Getting a grasp of this concept will open up a whole new realm of possibilities for you as you move forward in your career or hobby.

An incidence is simply an occurrence, an action that takes place at a specific point. In our case this incidence is the point at which a particle of light strikes a surface. The law of physics states that whenever an object strikes another object there will be an equal but opposite reaction. Because we are talking about a particle of light, when that particle hits a surface it deflects off that surface in a very predictable way. Let's take our first example, a highly reflective surface.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Useful tips for tracking batteries and memory cards


Batteries and memory cards. These are two essentials we as photographers need extras of. There is no worse feeling than being out on location to find that your camera or flash has run out of juice or you are out of memory. Sure, you can always carefully delete unwanted images to make more room on a crowded card, but that is a hassle and you might just miss the important shots while you are fumbling with your camera. If it's power you are lacking, well, there's no recovering from that. So the lesson here is to carry extra batteries and memory cards. Always.

While having extras of these will save your tail in a pinch, it presents a problem on how to keep track of their usage. It does you no good to swap out a dead battery for another dead battery, or a full memory card for another full card. Here is a simple tip that I have learned along the way that can help you keep track of both batteries and memory cards. This is a top secret, professional tip. Are you ready? The answer is direction.

When to use HDR


Recently I was in a conversation about exposure ranges and methods of extending them through the use of processing software, either through expanding on the RAW file or by tone mapping, otherwise known as high dynamic range or HDR photography. One of the question that came up that I'd like to answer here is, "how do you know when to use HDR?"

If you are unfamiliar with high dynamic range photography the image above is one example. In essence, high dynamic range utilizes a series of images captured of the same scene but with different exposures. It allows software to assemble, or tone map, a resulting image that contains an exposure range greater than the camera can handle with a single exposure. Let's take a look at what I mean.