- What's wrong with the Industry
- 3 new ebooks out!
- Seminar Schedule
- Product lighting
Today I'm taking pictures of a 1-year-old. And just to add to the unpredictability, I'm going to light him 5 different ways.
1) Outdoors, in the sun.
2) Open Shade
Shade is better than direct sunlight, as it doesn't cause harsh shadows which look OK to your eye but can really stand out on the camera. But open shade can look kind of bluish (your automatic white balance doesn't always work very well in these conditions). You could set your white balance to "Shade" (adding yellow to the subject to compensate), but that's not as good as the next suggestion.
That's right - add some light! Notice that none of these images look like I used a flash. To achieve that look I usually set my flash compensation to either -1 or -1.7 (your mileage may vary; as every camera will produce different results here. Experiment with the equipment you have.)
To get the blurry background I used a 70-200 f/2.8 lens and set the f/stop wide open.
4) Shade with off-camera wireless flash
Can moving the flash off-camera make things look better? For most cameras the answer is certainly "yes"; however for Sony (what I'm shooting with today) I have to make an additional adjustment.
You see, when left to its own devices, the modern Sonys will tend to overexpose the background when your subject is in shade and you're using fill. (They've been behaving that way for a long time.) So to make the enhanced drama of the wireless flash stand out, you have to underexpose the background.
5) Shade with off-camera wireless flash with underexposed background
But how can you control just the background intensity and not affect the flash intensity? Here's the answer, an excerpt from the A99 II ebook which was just released:
New E-books are out!!
A99 II (at last!)
RX-100 V has been translated into French
Fujifilm X-T20 by Tony Phillips
Please help spread the word!
A Spanish translation of the A6300 ebook is also in the pipeline, as is the Olympus E-M1 II and Fujifilm X100F (the last two being the labors of Tony Phillips). Send me an email (Gary at Friedman Archives dot com) and let me know if you'd like to be notified when these are ready!
Two of the Friedman Archives High-Impact Photography Seminars are slated for the UK in June - one in Manchester and one in Edinburgh. Sign up early so there's time to get a larger room if needed!
|London (Manchester, actually)||June 10-11, 2017||Learn More and Sign Up|
|Edinburgh (actually Peebles), Scotland||June 17-18, 2017||Learn More and Sign Up|
|Tacoma, Washington||August 26-27, 2017||(Send me an email to register interest)|
Are you a member of a photo club? I can bring the seminars to you, and keep your group abuzz for months to come. Contact me for details.
So here I am adding to my Old Technology section of the Friedman Archives Website. I came across two ancient camcorders (one more ancient than the other) so I photographed and posted them. Old technology seems to appreciate in value over time.
I used to photograph them on a nice blue background, but learned that even though it may look nicer, people like to remove the background and past them into their own contexts. And so I now shoot on white to make them more marketable.
So how is the lighting done? I use two strobes; one with a softbox and one pointed at the white ceiling for a diffused fill. (You can do this with wireless flashes, too.) And a pull-down window shade from Ikea as a seamless backdrop.
What's Wrong With The Industry
Every time I see ads like this I cringe. "5,900+ Professional Lightroom Presets for $29.95"
Investing in presets to improve your photography is like investing in fonts to improve your writing. By the time you familiarize yourself with these presets, you could actually learn to use photoshop (and then have a year left over). The truth is, if you're looking to add "wow" to your images, there's a better way.
Next time: Fellow photographer Brian Ramage and I compare three E-mount 85mm lenses, and discover something disturbing that no optical bench test will ever reveal.
Yours Truly, Gary Friedman