If you have ever shopped for a flash or read a review, you may have noticed a section of the spec called the guide number or GN. While this value is a measurement of power that the flash has and allows you to compare flash models, is this number useful to you at all? In this article we dig into the guide number and see how we can use this number help us dial in our flash and camera settings using some math instead of just guessing and retrying until you get what you want.
Although you may think that no two situations are alike, the fact is that there are quite a few constants that you can rely on to give you a good starting point. The sun is one of these things you can count on to be consistent. Of course there are things that affect the sun’s output like the time of day, haze, fog, and clouds, but on a bright sunny day the light output is very consistent and knowing the camera settings for this condition will give you a guideline to make adjustments. This is where the “sunny 16” rule comes into play.
As we continue our series on portrait lighting we now need to look at the different types of classic portrait lighting and see the effect it has on someone so we can decided when to use each type. By choosing the proper lighting for a particular person, we can help them to look their best by making them appear to be thinner or wider or to accent or minimize certain facial features.
As part of our Photography Basics series we talked about Exposure already and this time we are going to cover the mystery of aperture. Aperture is probably the least understood setting of everything on your camera. While shutter settings are very easy to understand, to long of a shutter speed and you will get blurring, pretty simple stuff. Same with ISO, too high of ISO and you introduce digital noise. But learning how to use aperture properly can kill brain cells faster than a frat house kegger party.
One thing that seems to baffle a lot of new photographers is understanding the term “stop” as it pertains to a measurement of light. We see this word used over and over with regards to shutter speed, aperture, film speed, filters, lighting, and other ways that light is used. You may hear a phrase like “you should expose one side of face 1-2 stops under the lit side of the face and expose the background 1 stop under the main subject”. For many people that’s about like asking them to solve a complex calculus problem.
A big stumbling block for many new camera users is how to figure out how much depth of field a particular image will have it in given the focal length of the lens, the aperture used and the distance to the subject. Trust me on this, trying to do the algebra to figure it out is not something most people want to try to do in their heads. In this article we will cover all of the math involved and then make it real easy with an Excel spreadsheet and some links to some free applications to help you out.
Yes, RAW vs. JPEG, the seemingly endless debate, almost as bad as Mac vs. PC or Film vs. Digital and people have been asking me to write up an article on this based on my opinion and experience and I have really put this article off for a long time as I wanted to be as unbiased in how I write this given that this is a very biased topic.
We are beginning a series we are going to call photography basics to help explore the basics of digital photography. While the focus is on digital photography, all of the concepts will apply whether you are shooting film or digital. In this first installment we are going to look at how to control exposure by manipulating the different settings on the camera such as ISO, Shutter, and Aperture. Upcoming installments will focus on other areas such as depth of field, motion control, and specific shooting scenarios.
While today’s cameras do a pretty good job when in fully automatic mode, in order to make the most of your camera you should learn how to use your camera on the manual setting. To go full manual you will need to have an understanding of shutter speed, aperture settings, and ISO speed. In this article we will get you going and get you shooting like a pro.
Kerry and Jules talk about lighting and the differences between controlled studio lighting and on-the-fly lighting such as engagements and weddings. Kerry and Jules also announce their upcoming workshop on Jan 26th. For more...
With the recent articles we have done on portrait lighting and the use of light meters we have had a bunch of requests to do an actual demonstration of how to use a meter in an actual real-world environment.
In this video Kerry demonstrates using a simple light meter in a product shoot.
Kerry and David start off with discussing some high school grad night party jobs they have been doing recently and how they went after that market.
Later, the guys discuss the use of a light meter and how it can help you get your exposures fast and accurately in-camera and save you time in post-production.
If you are in southern California and would like to learn more about portrait lighting, then you should attend our Mini-Workshop on June 28th. This workshop will help you learn the basics of portrait lighting and then give you hands-on experience with constant lights and several models to help fine-tune your skills.
Canon’s new EOS Rebel T1i is packed with features, both refined and new. In addition to its admirable performance with an all-new 15.1 Megapixel Canon CMOS sensor, DIGIC 4 Image Processor, a 3.0-inch Clear View LCD with anti-reflective and scratch-resistant coating, and compatibility with the EOS System of lenses and Speedlites, the EOS Rebel T1i adds remarkable Full HD video capture at resolutions up to 1920 x 1080.
Kerry talks to Jim Divitale about using speciality lenses like the Lensbaby Composer in commercial shoots. Jim talks about how to tell clients about the effects, how to prepare for a shoot, and the comparision between the effect of of a Lensbaby versus a Tlt-Shift and 4×5 View camera.
Studio strobes are expensive and when you need lots of light but when you want to use them on location somewhere you have to find electrical outlets and possibly use long unwieldy extensions cords. But what happens when there is no power available at all? Using a generator is not recommended unless you can find one with a true sine wave inverter and even then, the peak times of the strobes when recycling can put an excessive strain on the generator. Innovatronix has a solution with their Explorer XT portable power source.