Lighting for athlete portraits

lighting for athlete potraitsIn the article below, we get a peak inside the brain of Cuarezma, photographer of the World Cup’s US Soccer team. The athlete portraits were taken outdoors, but used a ton of controlled lighting (think 10 soft boxes!) to supplement the natural light.

My favorite part of the article was the sketched notes where he is thinking through how to get the most versatile collection of athlete portraits in a short amount of time. He has it set up to capture 30 athletes in 30 minutes, getting 4 unique shots of each player. By having a white backdrop behind the subject and a black board at a right angle, he was able to get a front shot with a white background and a profile shot with a black background with no change in setup and almost no down time between shots. Continue…

Studio lighting: painting with light

Once discovered, studio lighting can become a photographer’s best friend. With studio lighting, you are no longer having to wait for golden hour or the perfect cloudy day to capture your subject, you can recreate perfect lighting any time of the day or night with a little bit of knowledge and practice. As a photographer who loved shooting outdoor portraits, once I begin to understand the extent of control and possibilities of controlled lighting setups, I was hooked!

With studio lighting, a photographer can literally “paint” his or her subject with light and shadows. By deciding where on the subject you want a shadow to fall and choosing the right type of light source, the manipulation of light and shadows on your subject is endless. And even more importantly for a beginning studio photographer, it is predictable and repeatable. Light travels in a straight line until it hit something where it is either absorbed or reflected.


Stacking up an DSLR against the iPhone

DSLR camera equipment

When to choose your weighty (and expensive DSLR camera over the convenience of your iPhone for a shot.

When you need to take a photograph, you’re most likely going to grab your smartphone, right? I mean, it is right there in your pocket, easily accessible, can be operated with one hand, and you don’t need to know the first thing about exposure settings to still get a good shot. I’ll admit, I take a ton of photos with my iPhone and Android devices (ask me some time if you are curious which has the best camera…) Continue…

Ways to fix flyaway hairs in Photoshop #GC3400

One of the more difficult studio portrait edits in Photoshop to do well is smoothing out flyaway hairs on your model. These are any out-of-place hair that detracts from the clean polished look of your model. This video from the Photoshop Training Channel is a great resource for fixing flyaway hairs on your studio portraits. Should be a good resource for GC3400 as you wrap up your studio portrait assignments this week!

How to shoot waves like Clark Little

So, we are now in dreary South Carolina winter weather and I know that I, for one, am dreaming of the beach. Since following him on Google+ a few years back, now when thinking of beach perfection, I picture Clark Little’s images. Couldn’t help but share this quick video he posted showing how he manages to get those perfect pipeline waves. Should there be a photo field trip south soon?

How to shoot waves like +Clark Little 🙂

Reshared post from +Clark Little

Google+: View post on Google+

HDR: in-camera or using layers?

HDR comparison

See the visual difference in dynamic range between the single exposure on the left and the HDR on the right. Image source-

As we move into shooting HDR images in #GC3400, I think this point by Jay Patel is important to consider. Googling HDR came up with this definition “High-dynamic-range imaging (HDRI or HDR) is a set of techniques used in imaging and photography to reproduce a greater dynamic range of luminosity than possible using standard digital imaging or photographic techniques.”

Our eyes have a larger dynamic range than a single exposure from our camera can reproduce. Therefore, in order to mimic the range our eyes can see, HDR becomes necessary. As photographers who favor HDR processing became more popular over the past few years, we have come to expect this sort of dynamic visual pop from our photographs. But what is the best way to create it- in camera or in post production? Continue…

Discover photographic history on this interactive site

Photographic history is shown on this interactive website.

Photographic history is beautifully displayed on this interactive website.

So admittedly, I am a bit geeky when it comes to image capture (photography and video) and also about web design. This site brings together both those loves into an interactive photographic history lesson that you definitely need to check out. From the first camera to the iPhone, the details on this site would really be useful (hint, hint) when preparing for a certain GC3400 exam.

Photographic history is rich with change from the first camera and processing techniques to the first colored film to the original digital cameras, this is an industry with a rapid trajectory towards innovation.  Continue…

Best photographs of 2014

best photographs of 2014

From the Distractify list of best photographs of 2014, here is: “Physalia Physalis”- Matthew Smith

For me, photography is about travel and exploration, even when taking shots in my own home town. Using a camera and lens to capture something familiar in order to look at it a different way. Every year, I love to look through the National Geographic best photographs lists and although this particular one was published on, I love some of the images they chose to include, so I thought it was more than worthy of sharing. Continue…