Fire & Foliage

We now have the third in my autumn portrait series. This time around, I teamed up with the the awesome Dominique to create a shoot that  combined fire dancing with the color of the fall leaves. This was tricky, since the fire dancing itself is only impressive after dark, and the fire bright itself isn’t enough to light the trees on its own. I came up with a lighting configuration that uses two, off-camera  flashes, one to create a shutter dragging effect and the other to light the trees behind her. I’m mostly happy with the effect as a proof of concept, but I would like to experiment with the setup more. I’m planning on putting out a more in depth lighting tutorial soon, as well as video, so be sure to subscribe if you want to see more.

Wine Glass

Broken Wine Glass 2Karen broke one of our wine glasses the other night, which can only mean that I have anew photo prop to play with!

     I played around with some photo manipulation too. I filled an identical (intact) glass, shot that under the same conditions, and played around with a couple variations on combining the two images. I think I’ll need to a) lean how to better shop the imperfections off the glass, b) light a bit differently to reduce glare, and c) try again, but fill the second glass more to give more definition to the glass’ shape.

Broken Wine Glass combine 1

Broken Wine Glass combine 2

 

Birthday Gifts

     My friend Anna has a birthday coming up, and since she was the one who taught me the basics of the live trace art I put on the site, I thought that I would a new design just for the occasion. Problem is though, I have a tendency to go overboard, and made five. Now, I need some help from you guys to pick the best one. Just place your vote in the handy poll box. The winning print gets the honor of being an extra special birthday gift this Saturday. So be sure to vote, and if you’re feeling extra participatory, leave a comment down below telling me what you liked/hated about the designs above.

 

Reflecting Light for Fashion Photos

As a thank you for being my awesome assistant for my shoot last week, I helped out my friend, Lee,  by shooting some photos of her so she has something professional looking for her work in fashion school.We shot the photos in the fashion building itself, and I thought that the lighting setup could be a tutorial for the site. We start with the final photo here:

Lee_01

I started with the natural light coming in through the window. Of course, that left only half the face lit, while half of her was left in shadow. When this happens, the most effective thing to do is even out the light is with an external flash. I have mine rigged up with sync cord to get the flash to the right angle. However; a direct flash will be too harsh, and make the image look like this:

DSC_0018

The solution here is to bounce the light. By pointing the light away from your subject, and at a properly angled reflector. To illustrate, I you may refer to the laughable sketch I threw together below:

Photo Feb 23, 8 08 22 PM

As you may or may not be able to see from my 3rd grade level scribbles, the flash is angled away from Lee, and being reflected from two different directions. First, I have a reflector angled toward her face to even out the light coming through the window. Second, since the flash itself is pointed upward, the light bounces off the ceiling, eliminating any nasty drop shadows from messing up the picture. Bouncing light is a basic trick, but it can make a world of difference when shooting with a flash. While the easiest go-to for bouncing your flash is a ceiling, I’ve used garage doors, tile floors. walls, snow, and bodies of water. Pretty much any pale, reflective surface will work. Give it a try next time you’re shooting with an off camera flash, and feel free to post your experiments in the comments below.