Get the e-book now for only $10!
Now that I’ve started using neutral density filters (ND) in place of high speed sync (HSS), I can get more bang for my buck. For this zulily lifestyle, I used just one LumoPro LP180 speedlites to cut down the midday cloudless sky. You can see in the unlit image just how well the single light lit the model. Good stuff.
For several years now I have used high speed sync (HSS) in order to shoot portraits in full sunlight at a wide aperture, while being lit with strobes. The issue I have had with this technique is that when I enter HSS mode and my shutter speed goes above 1/200th of a second, the strobe output appears less and less, the higher my shutter speed gets. This means that when I am using strobes at 1/8000th of a second, I need to gang up four lights in order to get a decent output.
I recently decided to compare HSS against using a neutral density filter (ND) to cut down the ambient light. That way, I can still shoot with a wide open aperture, but my shutter speed stays at or below 1/200th of a second. I then dial down the ND filter to a point where the ambient daylight balances with the strobe output. This means less strobes (and batteries) are needed to get an even more dramatic final image.
Note for this test that I used two, Canon 430EX speedlites on a light stand. They are triggered by Radiopopper PX transmitters.
I recently had a photo student from Parsons email me. The final project in her class was to pick an image where she liked the lighting and try to figure out how it was lit and then recreate it. She did a pretty damn good job. The only difference was that she used two lights, one gelled blue, where I use one light with a blue reflector. You can see her portfolio at http://www.megantepper.com/
Behind the Scenes video of the Versace Man series.
How I Shot Versace Man Cologne Bottle
Over the past two weeks I have photographed the same bottle of cologne a half a dozen different ways. You can see the whole series of images on my blog. I gave myself this self-assignment in order to sharpen my skills at product lighting and editing. The lighting diagrams, which were not in my blog posts, are included here. Happy shooting!
Neon Nancy Campaign Shoot
For this shoot, the main concern was capturing the LED light that was emitted. It was a very small amount of light, so you will notice that the speedlites were turned all the way down in order to capture the LED. Check out the BTS video of the shoot.
Behind the scenes of my Spring Sprites photo shoot, complete with the post-processing and lighting diagram.
Lighting diagrams from my shoot with Dani Dikeman
My Lightroom workflow.
A couple weeks ago I posted a lighting diagram showing how you can emulate Martin Schoeller’s lighting by using gaffers tape and foam core. One person commented that the catch-light makes the subject’s eyes look like a cat. This got me thinking about what would happen if I were to change the pattern of the tape into various shapes. Here’s what I discovered.
In my previous setup, I used black tape to narrow the amount of bounce light coming from the white board. I decided that since I was now wanted to easily create shapes with the white bounce areas, it would be easier to use white tape on black foam board.
Lessons like this one as well as 25 other lighting diagrams are available in my new e-book, RGLR, The Run & Gun Lighting Resource for $10.