Light is Everything!

Archive for September, 2011

Foggy Fog

The last few mornings the fog has been thick off the river. Maybe a reminder that fall is coming?? Shudder! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I hope not. Let’s hold onto summer as long as we possibly can. For now, enjoy the foggy fog! 8)


Bridesmaid Zillas!!!

So the other night, the whackiest thing happened. 4 beautiful ladies showed up at my house, dressed in amazing dresses from weddings gone by and wanted me to take their picture, with my, (what else) Beauty Dish. Sure, says I! Who could resist 4 lovely ladies in beautiful dresses. Turns out they were headed to Carnduff to watch a movie about bridezillas or some such schlock girl movie and if they showed up in bridesmaid dresses they got to see the motion picture for free! Way to earn your thrift badge ladies! ๐Ÿ˜‰ bwahahahahahha……… Here’s the glorious outcome:

Photo Geek info: ISO 400 f/5 1/250 35mm. Strobist info: 3 SB speed lights. 1 thru a beauty dish centre, 2 silver reflectors below subjects for fill, 2 for rim lights on the outside edges.ย 


Rio

We struck another summer bucket list item off the roster tonight: watch a movie outside! So, we hooked up a projector, shined the image onto a bed sheet tethered to the swing set and away we went! It worked out really well and everyone loved it. Nice weather too, which is nice, not having water flowing into all of my electronics… 8) Rio is a pretty fun little movie too! Makes me want to travel to Brazil! ๐Ÿ™‚


Good Timing

Nearly nobody will deny that good timing is super important in life. Baby falls from a burning building, the fireman reaches out at just the exact moment to catch that little bundle of joy and save the day! Photography is much the same, especially if you are taking a picture of said falling baby. A second too soon or too late equals a blown shot and missed opportunity. I’ve got a whole stack of images that are like that. “Ah! If I’d only waited a millisecond more I would have had the shot! Doh!” ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But when everything lines up, and the timing is right, it’s magically great! 8) Thinking about Light in the same way is critical to getting good shots too. Light at different times of the day is radically different. Ok, Ok, the photons aren’t any different, but the mood, colour and direction of the light ARE different. I took these two shots with exactly the same camera settings. (ISO 200 f/8 200mm). The first one was at 8:36AM and the second at 1:11PM. Just look at how radically different the shots look and feel.

The light is much more golden in the early morning. The direction is low and from the side which gives detail to the pump jack head and the drilling rig in the background.

In contrast, the light at mid-day is flat and boring. It just doesn’t have the same pizzaz that the early morning shot does. Or, that a sunset has. This is the key to how good landscape photographers get awesome photos. The locations are great and the timing of the light is everything. Time it well and your photography will be at least 17% better. ๐Ÿ˜‰


3 Light Portraits

Studio?! We don’t need no stinkin’ studios!!!! 8) So tonight I finally had the chance to do some portraits using a 3 light configuration. I’ve been dying to try out the beauty dish in a studio setup and so I finally got to do so tonight. I even persuaded some models to work with me. ๐Ÿ™‚

Setup 1

So in the first setup, we did a single speed light that had been gelled as the background light. This light is directly behind the subject and lights the back plane. Then, I put the beauty dish up on a stand and used a silver reflector for the classic “clamshell” beauty light combo. It’s used lots in fashion stuff, but does very well on wrinkly people if you want to minimize wrinkles. The beauty dish chucks light down and the reflector fills in any shadows. It’s cool light. So this was the first setup of the night. Only 2 lights.

Blue Gelled Speedlight

Subject in Ambient 1/250th

Subject lit to f/5.6 at 1/250

Setup 2

OK, next, in setup 2, I added an additional light to the background. This helps bathe that back plane in color/light. For the colour background shots I blasted them each with a gel. For the super white blown out high-key background, the lights were fired straight up with no gels. The beauty dish and reflector fill remain unchanged.

Setup 3

So, finally, we switched things up again for another cool look, still using only 3 lights. This time, I lit the background with a single gelled speed light. I still used the beauty dish/silver reflector combo as the main & fill lights. But, I added a 1/8th spot gridded hair light to add more dimension to the light. It makes a sweet little highlight/rim light that adds another layer of loveliness to the light.

 

 

I also got to do a comparison shot between umbrella light and the beauty dish. This is really neat to be able to see the difference in the quality of light. The umbrella light is unquestionably softer. It wraps more and it is more fitting for these little people. The beauty dish has far more contrast and hard edges in the light. But it just depends on what you want to accomplish in your lighting. Jostens and other portrait people almost always use huge soft boxes because they are the softest light on the planet. But for brassier shots, the beauty dish has more punch. Also, the catch lights in the eyes are more pleasing from the beauty dish (they’re round…like the eye) ๐Ÿ˜‰

Umbrella

Beauty Dish

So there you go. Three lights put to good use. We have lighting, colour, gesture, direction, depth, and mood. Just by moving a few lights, you can have a tremendous amount of versatility! Gotta love that!