How To Shoot Food In The Dark
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Strobist David Hobby just pointed out an awesome video about photographer Robert Caplin, a New York-based foodie who is charged with shooting in some tricky circumstances—namely, cramped kitchens and dimly lit restaurants (which are also usually crowded full of diners). To do this, Caplin suggests using a tiny little LED light panel that he can hand hold and position just so to create interesting, directional light—and to ensure he can shoot in a dark restaurant without having to crank the ISO to hell and back. It's a simple idea that's sure to have a lot of photographers—Hobby included—carrying around light panels for a variety of sticky situations. One commenter on the post mentions a few apps that turn Androids and iPhones into little light sources for just such an occasion, which is another great idea—especially in a pinch.
Get A Grip On Flash Sync
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Flash sync speed isn't an overly understood concept, due in large part to manufacturers sending out D-SLRs that have different sync speeds than advertised. These sync speeds also vary not only from model to model but actually from unit to unit. Practically speaking, a D-SLR can sync with a flash successfully at 1/125th or slower shutter speeds without fail, but sometimes they'll sync at 1/160th and 1/200th, and even on occasion at the advertised 1/250th. But how do you know what yours does? You test it. And with a look at this flash sync primer from Digital Photography School's Marlene Hielema, you'll have a little better idea how to do that. Flash sync isn't an overly complicated concept, but in practice it can be a little tricky, and since it can make or break a photo shoot it's something you definitely want to have a handle on.
Photo by Marlene Hielema
The Working Process Of A War Photographer
Monday, June 13, 2011
Tyler Hicks is a staff photographer for the New York Times. He's a phenomenal photojournalist, and in recent years he's made his name documenting American wars in the middle east. He made headlines earlier this year when he was held captive by the Libyan government and was eventually released. Prior to that time, his friend and colleague, videographer Bill Gentile, made a fascinating 14-minute video of Mr. Hicks and his workflow, processing and filing images from a day's work in Afghanistan's Helmand Valley. What's amazing is watching Mr. Hicks go through all of the rigors of sending his photos to New York, and then to hear him say, "Filing is much easier now." The video provides a unique peek into the life of a war photographer, which the video shows closely parallels the lives of the soldiers he's covering.
Use A Welding Glass As A 10-Stop ND Filter
Friday, June 10, 2011
I love the DIY ethos. You know, take whatever materials you may have at hand and repurpose them to improve your photography. This do-it-yourself project doesn't even require much construction know-how on your part. You just need to buy a piece intended for one thing (welding) and use it to replace a piece intended for another thing (a neutral density filter). In the process, you'll save yourself $50, $100 or even $200. It's simple: purchase a piece of welder's glass—a very dark, dense chunk of glass used to shield welders' eyes while they work—and slap it on your lens as an ND filter. There are two problems with this approach, of course, because there are always tradeoffs with a hack like this. First, the welder's glass doesn't have the convenience of an actual filter (as in, there's no threads to attach the filter to your lens so you'll have to improvise with tape or rubber bands) and two, the welder's glass is bound to have a color tint so it's not truly neutral. But with a custom white balance and a bit of ingenuity to affix the filter to your lens, you can achieve massive amounts of density in a simple little hack. It's a great way to shoot really long exposures in bright sunlight, which can allow you to make pictures that would otherwise be impossible. Read all about this great project at the DIY Photography blog, then do it for yourself.
A new Tronix Explorer Battery To Power Your Life
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Rob Galbraith recently delivered news of a new product I'm especially excited about. It's the Tronix Explorer Mini battery pack. Technically it's a pure sine wave inverter, but I'm no electrical engineer and I don't exactly know what that means. What I do know is that it acts like a big old battery to power my strobes or my laptop or just about anything that requires a regular household AC connection. I have a bigger Tronix Explorer pack, the XT, which, after several years of powering my strobes on location shoots is nearing the end of its useful life, so I'm ready to upgrade. Why wouldn't I consider a more compact power source like the new Mini? At about the size of a first generation cell phone, bag and all, this $350 product ships direct from Innovatronix in the Phillippines. Check the Innovatronix web site for pertinent info, and to order the new Mini.
Buy Bob O'Connor Prints
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
I've been a fan of the photography of Bob O'Connor since I first interviewed him a few years ago. He's got a sublime style, and he makes beautiful, elegant, simple photographs of the most banal subjects. That banality is crucial to the success of his work, I think, because he makes beautiful images of these objects most of us would simply look right past. Now you can own a print of one of Bob's beautiful Iceland images courtesy of the great site 20x200. The premise of the web site is simple: great art that regular people can afford. An edition of 200 8x10 prints of Bob's image are available for $20 each. That's what I call affordable art. (For those with deeper pockets, limited editions of larger sizes—such as two 30x40-inch prints for $2000—are also available.) Bob's a great photographer, this is a great image, and it's brought to you courtesy of a great web site. Hurry, while supplies last!
William Eggleston Visits The Today show
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
William Eggleston is a master photographer, an icon of modern photographic art in the 20th century. And he's still going strong here in the 21st. The Today show recently aired an interview with the 71-year-old photographer, which offers an interesting glimpse into this genius' life and working method. Soft spoken and shy, Eggleston's work revolutionized photography—he took color photography from the realm of snapshots into the fine art world. This nearly five-minute long interview showcases some of his most famous photographs, as well as a glimpse into the approach of this iconic photographer.
Joplin Photographer Raises Funds For Models
Monday, June 6, 2011
Beauty photographer Brian DeMint is the subject of an upcoming profile in the pages of Digital Photo Pro magazine. He's also based in Joplin, Missouri, which was devastated by a tornado on May 22nd. Brian and his family were unharmed, but two of his models were not so lucky. Rose Dominguez and Jeniffer Roberts were lucky to survive the tornado. Jeniffer's family home was destroyed, along with all of its contents. Brian has been able to provide some immediate relief with donated clothes and toiletries, but the family is still desperately in need of much more. Rose was injured during the tornado when her car was thrown end over end. Along with minor injuries, she fractured vertebrae in her lower back. Now she is unable to work for at least six weeks, and with no medical insurance the bills are piling up. To help raise funds on behalf of these models, Brian has created a ChipIn page to collect donations. "No amount is too small," Brian writes, "and every penny is sincerely appreciated. We love our girls and want to help them through these most difficult of times." To contribute, please visit Brian's ChipIn page at http://eyeworksmodels.chipin.com/mypages/view/id/08e134fa9a3a6e85