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Rim Lighting

Photography TipsHave you ever tried to use rim lighting? It's a great thing to know if you haven't learned yet, and here's a short refresher if you already know. When there's a light on the far side of someone, the light leaks through right around their head illuminating their hair or hat. Sometimes the line can be so crisp that it looks as though they're being cut out. Rim light is beautiful, and it adds a ton of visual interest to a photo. The real win here is taking an extra second to try and look around your environment for some kind of rim lighting. Don't settle for the light you're given, find better light. And also plan to show up during golden hour, instead of trying to do photoshop later and add in something fake. More about rim lighting from New York Institute Of Photography: https://www.nyip.edu/photo-articles/cameras-and-gear/what-is-rim-lighting

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3 Qualities Of Light – QPT 034

If you’re new to understanding/noticing light, definitely check this one out. What really matters is that your vision REALLY clues in on light If you already feel confident that these are obvious to you, this is NOT the podcast for you: ANGLE of light, COLOR of light, and SIZE of light SIZE: Look at the LINE between the shadow and light as it hits your subject. Is the shadow line from bright to dark, is THAT smooth or crisp We’re talking about the size of the light, so if it’s a BIGGER light source the shadow line will be smooth, and if it’s a SMALLER light source, the shadow line will be crisp. BUT! It’s not just actual measurable size. The sun is HUGE but it’s so far away so it only counts as a SMALL light source. Shadows are just absence of light, so the light is coming from the OTHER side because the light can’t get to that area. As you study this, try to pick images where there are really specific shadows, and that’ll give you an easier time to figure out and reverse engineer what the photographer did. Look in the eyes of the subject — sometimes the catch-light in their eyes will be the biggest giveaway as to where the light was and how big it was for that shot. COLOR: I’m not talking about the DJ lights at a club — it’s more subtle than that. Look for more orange lights or more blue lights. (link is to “flash gels” on Amazon — this is once you understand this concept, to change the color of your flash to MATCH the other light in the room!) Older lightbulbs are warmer/more orange. Fluorescent bulbs are usually colder/more blue. If you try to do a shoot with […]

How To Take A Picture Of A Picture: Product Photography Tips

HHave you ever tried to take a photo of glass + dealt with horrible reflections? Check out this blog: How To Take A Picture Of A Picture. It’s all about answering the question of how to minimize and even totally get rid of those reflections. This will also work for taking photos of someone wearing glasses, it’s the same concept. When you finish this post, you’ll know the top ways to get around nasty reflections in picture frame glass, or any other reflective surface for that matter. In a rush or want to take this post with you? SNAG the eBook! [thrive_leads id=’2488′] The Main Thing You Need To Understand Think about glass as a mirror. It’s not a perfect mirror, but it still reflects light really well. Remember when you were playing as a kid and used a MIRROR to look around a corner? You didn’t see yourself in the mirror, you saw whatever the direct angle was from YOUR eyes to whatever the mirror was pointing at. It’s the same type of game with photography of glass. The MIRROR to “look around a corner” is the picture frame glass, and what you’re searching for is your LIGHT SOURCE. Keep in mind, a light source isn’t just a flash or a lamp. It could be a window or a white wall, reflecting light into your shot. If you DO see your light source directly in the mirror of the picture frame glass, you’re going to get a bunch of white reflection in the glass. That’s bad. That’s what we’re trying to NOT do. If you DON’T see your light source directly in the picture frame glass, you probably won’t see much reflection in the glass. THAT’S what we’re aiming for. It’s all too easy to start shooting and realize that the reflections in the glass won’t […]

Nightmare: Tall Ceilings & Three Colors Of Light

Yikes. Tall ceilings and three different colors of light: Sometimes when you add light it actually makes it worse. Fluorescent is greenish, Tungsten is orangish, Flash is blueish. You never want to mix colors of light unless you know what you’re doing. If you match colors of light, your editing will be SO much simpler. SO! First, turn off the offending light. If you can’t do that, try to orient yourself so that the bad light hits the far side of your client (so you won’t see it’s effects as much) High ceilings suck. In that situation, I want to try to NOT bounce the light off the ceiling. So I’ll grab my umbrella setup and that way the light can head directly towards the subject instead of trying to bounce off something else. Please don’t use on-camera flash and point your flash directly at someone. That never looks good. Ever. EVER. Small modifiers (gary fong, other small flash diffusers) do nothing. Because what really affects shadows is the SIZE of the light. If you’re not dramatically changing the size of the light, you’re not doing much at all. Main rule of thumb: don’t mix different colors of light! If you really can’t get rid of the other color lights, you could try blasting your flash and have that color “win” over the other colors Hit me up on twitter if you want to get your question featured on the Quick Photo Tips Podcast!

The iPhone Method: Learn Speedlight Photography Techniques

Today we’re talking ANGLE of light, and why it matters in your photography. So for this demonstration, I’m going to be using my iPhone light, because I want to be able to move my light around as much as I can. This is a really tiny light source (you can see that my shadows are really crisp). If I had a really large light source, then my shadows would be really smooth from dark to light. But you can see pretty much the outline of my face on the wall. I’ll be looking at a different screen for a little while when I move the light around. I’m sorry about that but I want to see exactly what I’m doing! So that’s why I won’t be looking directly at the camera. First things first: The first thing that I see across somebody’s face is the nose shadow. It can get really really honkin large and weird looking and that’s kind of the first thing that I look at. I mean look at that! It just messes up my face. It looks like there’s something going on with my eye. (Also look at this, holding the light low) We’ve all done this as kids, the whole campfire thing. It’s really funny, just going from the bottom to the top of somebody’s face, you can give such a different look. And I just really want you to start paying attention to the angle of light on a subject’s face. If you notice, as I move this light around, there’s all sorts of different angles that show up on my face. You can see, most notably, the nose changing. So here it’s just one side of my face completely dark, then as we bring it around it gets lighter and lighter, and you can […]

How To Create Crisp + Smooth Shadows With Your Flash

The type of your shadow is so important with flash photography, and there’s an easy way to learn how to change that shadow type: just check out the Slideshare below. If you’re impatient though, here’s a quick rule of thumb: The larger your light source is, the softer the shadow will be. Now, this doesn’t mean ONLY just the ruler measurement size of the light, because the SUN is obviously bigger than the earth, but since it’s so far away it’s just a small point in the sky, we would call it a small light source. So let me try that again: The larger your light source is in relation to your subject, the softer the shadow will be. If you put a tiny light RIGHT UP NEAR your subject, it takes up more space in the subject’s vicinity, so it would “become” a larger light source in relation to your subject. Want to understand more about it? Here’s the Slideshare: Speedlight Photography – How To Create Crisp + Smooth Shadows from Grainhappy