My little niece Kristin's pre-prom portrait session. I was asked by her parents if I can snap some pictures before she head out to the prom. Of course, I said sure, and how can I say no to family anyway.....hahaha!
We had an awesome time at the park and most importantly, I took the opportunity to practice and try a lighting technique that I haven't done in a while. I always took advantage of trying new ideas with my family so when a client calls, I'll be ready. It will be just a matter of duplicating it and executing the same process.
We all know that photography is an Art and Art is subjective. There is not only one right way of getting the result you want. Create images that you like and follow the process that works for you. ---This is what I always remind myself.
OK, let's dive in to the technical stuff about these images. I knew that I wanted to shoot using a shallow depth of field at f1.8 and underexpose the ambient light by a couple of stops, and use a strobe to make my subject stand out. Although it was a bit over cast that day, the sun was still up and it was still pretty bright out. I could try to speed up my shutter speed and hope to under expose that way, but my camera flash sync speed maxes out at 1/200 sec. This is when I used an old technique some photographers have used to overcome this problem. I used a Variable Neutral Density Filter (VND) mostly used by landscape photographers to under expose the available ambient light. I simply set my camera to my desired settings which in this case - 1/200 sec., f1.8, and ISO 100, and I attached the VND filter onto my lens and turned it until I got my desired light value. I then set my strobe to properly expose my subject.
Read more below to see some more images.
New Year's Eve 2012. Out of curiosity, we headed down to witness a Hogmanay for the 1st time. Hogmanay is the traditional Scottish name for the celebration that occurs on New Year's Eve. It was definitely an interesting experience. I also met Graham, he played the bag pipe during the celebration.
Here is a basic tutorial on how I shot and posted processed this final image. Before I start, we all know that photography in general is very subjective and there are many ways to achieve a certain look or final result. There is no wrong or right way, create what looks perfect to you.
The setup: Wescott
9x20 white fabric backdrop.
2 Paul Buff
Einsteins with large softboxes with diffusion and grids on each side of the subject for edge lighting.
1 Paul Buff Einstein with a medium octabox with diffusion on a boom directly above camera for fill lighting.
All lights powered with Paul Buff Vagabond mini battery packs.
Strobes triggered with Paul Buff Cyber Commander.
My brother's mattress for the subject's safe landing...lol
Ok, so we had Charles do an action kick right on top of the mattress. It is very important to position the lights exactly at the right height to achieve even illumination. I knew that it would take forever to include the ball on the same frame. Instead, I decided to shoot the ball separately. I had my buddy Rob hold a stick so Charles had something to aim at. It worked perfectly.
First, I opened the RAW file on camera raw. I slightly increased the exposure slider. Make sure to Ctrl+Click (PC) or Cmd+Click (Mac) to open the RAW file on Photoshop as a smart object. This way, you can still come back and tweak the RAW file later if needed.
While most of the people were out shopping during Black Friday, I saved my money and stayed home instead. Since my daughter and her cousins were just running around the house all day, I figured, let me put them to work and put their energy into good use. We quickly turned my brother in law's living room into a studio. Setup the strobes against a white backdrop. I couldn't think of any fun title, maybe you guys can write a suggestion under the comments section. Check out some behind the scenes images.
Us photographers are always looking for good quality, natural light. And when we find it, we take advantage of it. I had the opportunity to photograph Julie, Rocco and Molly - a gorgeous couple along with their cute little one. The day was mostly overcast and we only had a short period of time to work with, while the sun is setting quickly. I love the results, enjoy!
Just doing some light tests with my daughter Kayla. We were all stuck at home for a few days so why not make the best of it. This is my other style that is geared more towards advertising and commercial work.