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  • Monthly Archives March 2008

    I've been trying to get a few shots up from my and Matt's trip up to Washington DC to Jeff Revell's (of PhotoWalkPro.com fame) PhotoWalk in the trendy Adams/Morgan neighborhood in DC, but last week's Lighting Gear Week threw my schedule for a loop. (That's Jeff shown above, during the walk). I did way too much visiting with other PhotoWalkers, and way too little time shooting, and not surprisingly I really didn't get any shots I was too happy with, but I still had a blast. PhotoWalks are a social photography event, and I enjoyed meeting and talking with the other photographers as much as I did the shooting itself, but I still found it fascinating to see what other people shot, how they saw the same scenes differently than I did, and it was humbling to see all the great shots I missed.…

    I thought I'd post this as part of Lighting week, as I used a Westcott Spiderlite as my main light for this wine and cheese shot for my wife's cookbook (she did the food styling for the shots you see above---click on them for a larger view). The shot on the left was taken with a 70-200m f/2.8 VR Nikon Lens. The shot on the right used the same lens, but with the screw-on Canon Close-up lens attached (it's the only Canon product made for deliberately for Nikon cameras). Above is a look at the simple lighting set-up I used to get these shots. There's a little bit of natural light coming from a bank of windows behind the wine and to the left, but it was late in the day on an overcast day, so it didn't add as much natural light as…

    Well, we've made it to Day 5, and we're wrapping up with studio lighting for on-location shoots. Shooting on location has its own challenges: When you're shooting on location, one of the biggest hurdles you may have to face is electrical power. Even indoors, you might not have access to an electrical outlet anywhere nearby to power your lights (believe me, I learned this the hard way at a bridal shoot in an old church). So that's the first consideration. Secondly, if you're shooting outdoors in daylight, you're going to need a fairly significant amount of "flash" power, and perhaps even a long throw parabolic reflector (attached to the front of your strobe) to shoot the light from your strobe farther and brighter than you normally would. On location, you often wind up with bigger "props" in your shots (like pianos, cars, motorcycles, boats,…

    Here's a couple of quick Thursday Things: Taz Tally, one of the highest rated trainers at the Photoshop World Conference & Expo has just joined the Kelby Training Online Experience, and his first class with us went live today. It's called, "Photoshop For Printing," and this class is designed for people who will be printing their images on a printing press (so, they're preparing images for CMYK separations to appear in brochures, magazines, print ads, etc.), and Taz is one of our industry's leading experts on the topic. Here's the link to a list of the topics he covers, and you can watch a few sample classes while you're there. If you're planning on coming to Photoshop World (April 2-4, in Orlando, Florida), and you're planning on taking a pre-conference workshop on April 1st, you'd better snag your spot now, as some of the…

    Yesterday we talked about my continuous lighting set-up, but today we're moving onto pro-quality studio flash. Here's the thing: I could spend the day talking about really low cost strobes, but when it comes to strobes, this is one area where buying the "good stuff" really pays off (I learned this the hard way). Back in January of this year, I gave up on all my old studio gear (made up of a hodge-podge of Photogenic, White Lighting, and Profoto monobloc strobes, with a host of different sized Chimera softboxes), and I bought a whole new set-up from the ground up and it's the best thing I ever did. So, before we go on I want to mention two important things: I've been reading your questions posted in the comments sections each day, and I'm hoping (focus on the word "hoping") to be able…

    Today we're moving into the studio, and we're starting with a lighting set-up that is ideal for: Product photography Portrait photography Studio photography of anything that doesn't move a whole lot Anyone who wants to get into studio lighting, but is unsure, afraid, or uncomfortable with the whole studio lighting world.I'm going to give you the same advice I've given to so many of my friends who wanted to get into studio lighting, but weren't quite ready to deal with the complexity of using multiple strobes, wireless triggering, light meters, and all that it entails. Get a Westcott TD-5 Spyderlite.These are continuous ("always on") daylight-balanced lights that give you soft, wrapping light, but because they use fluorescent blubs, there's no heat, so you can use them right up close for shooting everything from people to food. The TD5 is shown above, without a softbox,…

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