Friday, September 17, 2010

Raw Talk: Big Light vs Small 'Strobist' Light

Lighting plays an important part in photography and everyone starts somewhere. There are various types of lights  from camera strobes, studio flashes of various watts/sec, H.M.I's etc. All these light sources have their strength and weakness. Everyone has to begin somewhere and i chose to use camera strobes off camera firing it with an infrared trigger or connecting it with a long pc cord. This was in 1998. Enter 2006, and this off camera technique was brought to photo enthusiasts in the form a phenomenal photo blog 'strobist', with new ways of radio triggering the flash....making it a very portable lighting system. There seems to be quite an argument that studio lights are better than the strobist approach and vice versa. Is one system better than the other? Find out how well small Speedlights compare to powerful studio flashes.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Case Study: The Polaroid and Film Effect

Every once in a while the fashion magazines are flooded with a certain faded Polaroid/Film washed out look with  cyan/teal shadows and warm pink/cream highlights. During film days, this look has been a favorite of photographic artists for a very long time. Paolo Roversi is known to create images like this but with actual Large Format Polaroids till date(see title image above). Recently, we are seeing this old look has split into different styles and resurfaced in the Digital era in with the old legends like Patrick Demarchelier, Steven Meisel, Annie Leibovitz and the new heavy hitter Norman Jean Roy. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Raw Talk: Camera Decisions?

Today, as of 2010, digital cameras along with computer technology have led to a major revival in photography. Before, everybody wanted to be a photographer, and today….everyone is! Well, at some level. The cameras are so good and have so many auto features that taking good photos and even HD videos is easier than ever before. But being able to take great pictures still takes a good eye, skill and knowledge of lights, camera and of course, layers! Inside are 3 tips to buying the best camera for your needs.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Case Study: The Shiny and the Grunge Look

Photography with photoshop has given birth to a illustration look popularised by photgraphers like Jill Greenberg, Jim Fiscus, Andrzej Dragan, Dave Hill and adopted later by other photographers like Tim Tadder and Joey Lawrence to name a few. For some reason, this look has become an online 'gotta have' effect . There is also a photoshop plugin called Lucisart to achieve this. One reason could be that this effect can be done on ordinary people(from babies to old wrinkled ones and even animals), instead of super models, to make them look more interesting like an illustration. Read more to find out the 'demystification' of these looks, the difference between them, lighting and editing wise.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Conceptual Still Life

In this article we take a look at creating Conceptual Still Life/Product Photography. Some of the examples include table-top lighting and photoshop tricks to create snow, fire, water drops, splashes and how to defy gravity. Take a look inside for tips and techniques to acieve these various effects.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Case Study: Markus Klinko & Indrani

Two of photography's biggest talents...Markus Klinko and Indrani - the most famous creative duo in fashion and celebrity photography today. Their imagery has been described as "a powerful dream vision – seamless, erotic, unforgettable" and it truly is. They even have a TV series coming called 'Double Exposure' based on the behind the scenes of their celebrity shoots. This case study is a tribute to the innovative style of hi end digital photography that this dynamic duo have produced over the last decade.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Case Study: Melissa Rodwell

In the last post we discussed the use of a single light. Here is a second opinion from someone who knows the fashion industry so well than most of us know a camera. She is pretty, experienced and extremely talented Melissa Rodwell, also the author of the This is a case study of her post 'One Big Beautiful Light'.

Monday, February 1, 2010

One Light Wonders

Ever wonder, what is possible with just one light, along with a few light modifiers? Well, you will be surprised at the possibilities. Some of the most dramatic shots we've taken are with just a single studio light, maybe adding in a reflector for fill, both indoors and on location. Also at the end of this post are videos form legends using just one light.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Case Study: Light of the Legends

Victor Skrebneski shot this image of Diana Ross for the cover of her 1977 album, Baby It's Me. "I left the light in the frame because people always ask 'what kind of light do you use'," says Skrebneski. "So I figured I'd leave it in so that everyone could see how the lighting was done." Some of the most classic shots ever done are with just a single light source and the white seamless or a muslin cloth. Lets take a walk in the Supermodel era and before, to study some of the greatest legends use their favourite light.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Art of Shading

Previously, in the Beauty Retouching tutorial, we saw how to use two adjustment layers for this, one for the highlights and one for the shadows. In this tutorial, we show how it was done old school. Many Pros are still using this method to shade their final image. Take a look how to Dodge and Burn the alternate way.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Mixing Flash & Ambient Light

One of the most creative ways of using a flash is to mix it with ambient light (either H.M.I, tungsten, fluorescent  or daylight). This technique is used a lot for fashion shots in attractive interior and exterior settings. The secret here is to balance the output of the flash units so that shadows are filled in such a way that the light from the flash is not dominating the shot.

The 'Sin City' Look

One of the most graphic digital movie of our times, Frank Millers Sin City, directed by Robert Rodriguez, has had a great impact in Movie Making. This is a theatrical adaptation of the comic series. The whole movie is shot on a green screen, with three point lighting(more on this later), and is in black & white for most parts, and some scenes have color elements in them. In this post we attempt to create a similar graphic look.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Catch the Light

Here is a simple tip to make your life easy while trying to reverse engineer (or in simple words, trying to figure out) lighting of an image. We are going to do this by reading the eyes. Why? Because the eyes never lie(atleast if they are not photoshopped). Take a look inside for examples of catchlight, how to idenify them and use them creatively. LEARN TO SEE THE LIGHT.

Beauty and the Dish

Beauty Photography is a whole new genre in itself, and deals mainly with lighting the model’s face and hair. It is important to understand how to light to emphazize cheek bones, jaw line etc. Since beauty shots are mainly tight close ups, one most important factor is the catch light in the eyes. Some photogs don't care about it, some go creative with it by using strip lights and ring flash, and some prefer a nice circular catch light. For those who prefer the perfect circle, say hello to the Beauty Dish!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Negative Space

There are many elements that work together to create a perfect composition. One such element is called 'negative space'. Negative space is nothing but the empty space inside the picture that is not the subject. However, it is one of the most important thing to be considered while framing.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Shooting White on White

One of the most challenging shots in fashion and advertising photography is to photograph a model wearing white clothing on a white background. For most part, we have seen how to do this in 'Shooting on White Seamless' tutorial. But what if you have to shoot a transparent or netted white cloth on a white background?

Selective Desaturation

This is a continuation of the previous Art of Toning tutorial.One of the highly used effect in Hi Fashion Photography is the desaturated look. Every one has a different style for this and so do we. You will be surprised to see how quickly you can create a custom desaturated image. What we do is something called selective desaturation, using one of the most powerful tool in photoshop/elements.....Layers!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Gelled Background Lighting

In here we show how to create amazing radial glowing color backgrounds RIGHT OUT OF THE CAMERA! Along with that, you will also see some new lighting techniques and using color gels on lights.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Art of Toning

This tutorial covers almost all the popular color and monotone effects used in photographic images. Though there are many ways to achieve this, we based the whole tutorial on layers and adjustment layers in photoshop elements which should be available to any user. If you are used to your favourite photo filter, try this method to achieve more control and confidence.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Case Study: "In the Wind" by Benjamin Kanarek

Check out this wonderful behind the scenes video by Pro Fashion Photographer Benjamin Kanarek on his blog here, whose images have graced the covers of Elle and Vogue from time to time. In this video, you see the creative ways Benjamin used hard flash light and mixed them with gelled H.M.I lights with a little shutter delay and some cool photo editing by Freddy Baby, Paris. Some reverse engineering on lighting inside.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Food Photography Basics

If you are a foodie and you love photography, then for sure you'll love this, right? Well, think again. Read what goes on behind the scenes in a world where ice creams are made of mashed potato scoop with artificial color. One of the most popular form of photography made easy in this tutorial and 10 most important tips for food photography inside.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Smokin' Shots

This mini tutorial shows you how to light up the model inorder to shoot smoke in context of a beauty shot. Shooting headshots are simple. Shooting smoke is fun. Combine the two together....its twice the fun. Take a look at the lighting setup used for this image, and the basics of what goes in capturing smoke.

Cleaning, Toning the White Background

This tutorial is in conjuction with the shooting on a white background. Ideally, photographers should get the evenly lit, clean white look right out of the camera. But sometimes, either the backdrop is a little old, or there is not enough space for even lighting. So, take a look how to get the backdrop to pure white in 10 easy steps.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Shooting on a White Seamless

We had two break it up in three parts. In this first installment we show you ten different light setups for lighting a model on a white seamless background. Also, in this tutorial we demonstrate how to make a white background pure white and/or gray by moving the lights.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

H.D.R and Panoramas

We have tried to make this post different from the regular tutorials on High Dynamic Range and Panoramas. In here we show you how to combine both the techniques first, and then take it one step further.
For the beginners, heres a quick overview of these techniques seperately.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Multiplying Models

This is one of the most fun and easy tutorial combined. This trick is evolved from the double-exposure technique used in the film days. Once you know the simple trick to multiply your subject(including you) and do it can be taken to a level of a big creative assignment....or, you can just have fun with your family.
Every good image has to begin with a good shoot and end with equally good editing. This technique is a perfect balance of shooting technique and photo editing skill. Yet, it is very simple.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Creating Sunlight in Studio

In the previous post we discussed about shooting against sun on location. However, photography on location has its advantages and disadvantages. The sunlight is changing constantly, making it difficult to shoot over an extended period of time, and poor weather can often mean that photography has to be abandoned completely until conditions improve. Sometimes, the client doesn't have enough time or budget for a location shoot. For all these reasons, sometimes we need to create sunlight in the studio.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sharpening Secrets

Take control over the sharpening tools in photoshop to get the best results for your image. This simple little technique is quite old and known only to the pros in the industry, can be done in photoshop elements also. So lets see how to get the most out of the 'unsharp mask' filter.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Shooting against Sun

A very simple technique in outdoor fashion photography which uses on location flash lighting. This look was made popular in the early 90's and required generators with powerpacks, which in turn got down to batterypacks today. All leading studio light manufacturers have portable batterypacks. Some enthusiasts use off camera flashes which is good for crosslighting or balancing sunlight....but for against sun the power isn't quite upto it.

Lighting 3D Backgrounds

Nothing much to do with the latest blockbuster Avatar, but this post has a lot in common with the use of 3D elements trend in hollywood. Take a look at how to incorporate the 3D scenes/objects into photography and mage making in terms of lighting.

Friday, January 1, 2010

DOF and Bokeh

This tutorial is specially designed for first timers struggling to understand the concept of aperture, depth of field and bokeh. We came up with a non scientific but photographic and very easy to understand explanation of the relation between the aperture of the lens, the light and the image.