Light is Everything!

Posts tagged “Strobe

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! 😉 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. 


D.I.Y. Beauty Dish

A while back I stumbled across a really cool D.I.Y. lighting project. Enter, the Beauty Dish. It’s a light modifier (you fire a flash into) to get a different quality of light. Like a soft box, there is some diffusion that goes on with the light, giving it a softer quality. But the Beauty Dish still has flash punch. Edgier shadows. Not really matched light for babies or soft portraits, but for glamour or just overall coolness, it’s the bomb. They also cost around $350+ bones to buy one! So it’s out of the question for me. So when I stumbled across David Tejada’s blog with the do it yourself tip, I had to try it. 8 bucks for the plastic planter, another 12 bones for plastic spray paint, a DVD spindle I already had, a convex mirror from Wal-Mart for a whopping $1.49 and a few nuts and bolts and you’ve got it made. So for a quick $25 bucks, you’re up $325.00 in the photo world!!

I made the beauty dish to fit my brand spankin’ new SB-900 speed light. It’s Nikon’s flagship flash and it rocks the set. Now, I’ve got a 3 light setup for pure sweetness in off camera flash. But more on that for another post. So I finished the project this morning and put together some test shots with the help of my loving family (who are also patient and giving when it comes to me taking photos of them). These shots are not edited in any way, they are straight out of camera to show the different quality of light the beauty dish . . . dishes out. 8)


ISO 400 f/9 1/250 105mm

ISO 400 f/9 1/60 105mm

ISO 400 f/6.3 1/50 105mm

A) Beauty Dish

B) Straight Flash

C) No Flash

The coolest thing about the beauty dish is that it gives you a nice round catch light, much like an octa-box. It makes more sense to have a round catch light than a square one from a regular soft box because the eye is round. 😉  You can also see how the light quality is still punchy yet diffused a bit too. In A & B above, if you watch the face shadow around the chin, in the beauty dish shot (A) there is still a shadow, but it’s softer. In B, the straight flash (off camera, camera left position) you can see a really firm shadow. In C, well you have a naturally lit shot at high noon in full sun. Gotta have flash. 8) Obviously, you can make the beauty dish more punchy, as in the first photo above where there is a sharper quality of light coming from it. It’s pretty versatile though and I look forward to putting it to good use somewhere down the photo line. PS: If any one wants some complimentary glamour shots, let me know. I’m looking for a model to try this out! 😆

Lighting Session

The topic at last nights Souris Valley Photography Club meeting was lighting. We did a sweet progression of flash exposures going from the pop-up flash on the camera all the way up to off camera lighting setups and professional softbox lighting. It was really cool to watch the light completely transform the image from something that looked like it came from a cop shop mug shot to something truly beautiful and amazing! Thanks again to Michaela for being our super model and letting us blast her poor retinas into oblivion! 😉

Über Cute!

I took some photos yesterday of some really REALLY cute kids! It was a metric tonne of fun to say the least. Kid photography is always an adventure as you never know what’s really gonna happen, but I was super blessed with lots of smiling faces and great expressions. A photographer can’t ask for anything more! 🙂 Here’s a few unedited shots (except for black & white).


Photo Fun ~ Day 12

Challenge of the Day: Sun Flare. . . . Well, yes. Um. Ahem. In places where the sun shines, it is possible to get sun flare photos. But not here. So you have to make your own sun and pretend your the last airbender.

Ich bin ein Strobist

I have been reading the Strobist blog non stop for the past few days. It’s the absolute best place to go on the net for learning how lighting works. So good, I made it a permanent banner link on the right side of my blog page. The information is incredibly useful, accurate and real life. I can’t recommend it enough! Bookmark it and visit often. It rocks the set.

I’ve been playing with strobe for the last couple of days and day dreaming of light ratios. I’ve still got the Lastolite Ezybox and so I started playing with it today to try to get pictures of Ethan’s new haircut. He’s so cute. But it’s tough because kids don’t sit still and they don’t want to stand in one place for you. So here I am, walking around the house with the Ezybox on a stick, trying to do flash photos of the wriggliest little worms on the planet. heheheheheh… it was nothing shy of a gong-show. But it was fun and I did manage to nab a couple of keepers.

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I think that turns people off about flash photography – at first – is the terrible results that come from on camera/pop up flash. People see the harshness and think “Yuck! Turn that crap off! It’s terrible!” And it is. But off camera flash can produce some very cool results. It can go from edgy to soft and airy to a nice balance with just a flick of your exposure dial. Conceptualizing flash photography isn’t really all that hard. We worry about exposure, but it’s a simple matter of asking yourself, what do I want from this photo? Do I want a dark and edgy, noir look? Then you crank your shutter speed to 250 or more and dial your aperture down to f/11 or smaller. Do you want to balance the flash and make it not look like it was strobed much at all? Dial your shutter speed down to let in loads of ambient light. Want it airy fairy? Dial it way down and open your aperture really wide. It’s not all that hard really. It’s more of deciding what you want and then making the technology work for you. When you become a strobist, you become master of the universe! Why? Because you control light and make it rather than observing it and working around it. 🙂