Lighting How To

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Jason Schneider  |  Jul 20, 2015  |  0 comments

The flash bracket has become the “forgotten accessory” in photography but it’s still an essential tool if you’re looking to achieve consistent studio-quality lighting on the fly.

Jack Neubart  |  May 22, 2015  |  0 comments

Light is a precious commodity in close-up and macro photography. The closer you get to your subject, the more light you lose through lens extension. Move to within inches of the subject and your camera or body may block the existing daylight. Also, the closer you get, the more depth of field you lose, so it would help to stop down. All of this translates to a need for additional light—in other words, a supplementary light source. What’s more, when shooting live critters and wind-blown plants, we may also need that light source to freeze subject movement, or at least provide shutter speeds that are fast enough to contain movement. To meet these needs, I’ve often turned to a macro ringflash and, alternatively, a macro twin flash. An economical alternative is an LED ringlight.

Jim Zuckerman  |  Apr 24, 2015  |  0 comments
I have wanted to photograph some of nature’s details with x-rays, but I just never got around to doing it. In writing this issue of the Petersen’s Photographic Digital Photography Guide, I thought it would be interesting for you to see what can be done with this unique way of capturing images. So, I decided to put the extra effort into taking the pictures in this section.
Jim Zuckerman  |  Apr 24, 2015  |  0 comments

Low light photography requires technical discipline to get the kind of pictures you want. Obviously artistry is also part of the equation, but shooting when the light is reduced presents technical problems that can only be dealt with using technical solutions.

Joe Farace  |  Apr 03, 2015  |  0 comments

The studio lighting genie is not going back into the bottle anytime soon and LED light sources are finding their place in more and more camera rooms. Clever and versatile lighting systems such as Rotolight’s new Anova V2 and their compact RL48-B battery-powered portable lights are part of the reason why.

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Apr 02, 2015  |  0 comments

When the folks at Fotodiox asked me if I wanted to look at one of their FlapJack portable LED studio lights, I told them “no.” 

Jim Zuckerman  |  Mar 27, 2015  |  0 comments

A unique way to create complex geometric, multicolored designs is to attach tiny Christmas tree lights to a bicycle wheel and spin it in a dark room or outside at night. I found 7 ft of Christmas lights powered by 3 AA batteries online for about $12, and that was just enough to cover the entire circumference of the front wheel of my son’s medium sized bike. I took the wheel off the bike with a simple crescent wrench and used black electrician’s tape to affix the lights and the wires onto the rim, figure A.

Jim Zuckerman  |  Mar 27, 2015  |  0 comments
Shadows are an integral part of light, and that means they are an integral part of photography. Everything casts a shadow, however subtle it may be, in virtually all types of lighting conditions. Even a small insect casts a shadow in diffused light. For example, look at the shadows under the legs of the cicada (#1). This was taken with diffused window light.
Dan Havlik  |  Feb 27, 2015  |  0 comments

We’ve seen colorful orbs in a light painting before but never as many as the East Coast Light Painting (ECLP) group crammed into a single exposure this past summer. In fact, the Guinness World Records just confirmed that the ECLP set the world record for most complete light orbs in a single exposure with 200 orbs.

Jim Zuckerman  |  Feb 18, 2015  |  0 comments
I’ve photographed seashells in various ways—against black velvet, on a beach with a sandy background and in tide pools. The most dramatic way to photograph them is with strong backlighting. When you place a bright light directly behind the shell, it suddenly seems like it is glowing from within. The colors are intense, the form of the shell is beautifully defined, and all of the detail in the structure is revealed. The results are even more dramatic when you use a black background, as I did in (#1).
Jim Zuckerman  |  Feb 18, 2015  |  0 comments
I think it would be helpful to you if I explained how I handled different kinds of low light photographic situations. Apply my approach to your own images and make note of the technical solutions for each subject and scene. As photographers we are constantly challenged with shooting in circumstances where the light is not sufficient to get what we really want—sharp pictures, effective depth of field, minimal noise and a good exposure. We often have to make compromises but our goal is to get the best images we can under often trying conditions. In this chapter I’ll be sharing my thinking process in dealing with tough subjects in a variety of circumstances.
Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Feb 17, 2015  |  0 comments

Modern digital cameras perform so well under dim light at high ISO settings that some photographers haven’t used a camera flash for months (maybe even longer). Well, here’s a news flash for them: for a small investment and a little practice they can turn most shoe-mount flash units into a controllable package of portable sunshine.

Jim Zuckerman  |  Jan 22, 2015  |  0 comments
Photography has radically changed in the last decade with respect to the equipment we use to capture images. It has also changed radically in our ability to manipulate our photographs in ways that were impossible just a few years ago. What has not changed are the fundamental photographic principles that make a great picture. These include the principles of composition, good exposure technique, non-distracting backgrounds, finding compelling subject matter, using lenses creatively and of course being aware of light.

Jim Zuckerman  |  Dec 24, 2014  |  0 comments

Capturing the details in nature requires getting close to small subjects and sometimes you will want to use flash. Shooting close-ups with flash is very different than using flash as you normally do.

Dan Havlik  |  Dec 15, 2014  |  0 comments

We reviewed the Profoto B1 500 AirTTL battery-powered studio light earlier this year and while we, generally, loved this portable strobe solution the one thing missing was high-speed sync. Profoto corrected that this morning by offering a new High-Speed Sync (HSS) feature to the B1 that’s available now via a free firmware update.

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