Kevin Kubota’s Lighting Notebook

Here's a useful book. Kevin Kubota's Lighting Notebook offers a glimpse behind the camera and details on 101 different lighting setups. Kevin is an acclaimed wedding photographer, so he's used to using a variety of equipment in a variety of ways to create a variety of dramatic—and dramatically different—looks with his lighting. Though the book isn't especially technical in terms of lighting, it is filled with diagrams and pictures to help you create the exact same same lighting techniques that Kevin used in creating the example photographs in his book. It answers, fairly precisely, the questions about the types of cameras, lenses and lighting equipment used to make his favorite photographs. And that can be a very useful learning tool. Be prepared, though, as this Light Stalking review points out, Kevin relies on a wide variety of equipment—and that means you're going to want to buy a whole lot of new gear. That's either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it. Even if you don't care to invest in new gear, this guide is bound to give you a bunch of good, new ideas when it comes to lighting your shots.

http://www.lightstalking.com/kevin-kubotas-lighting-notebook
http://kubotaimagetools.com/lighting-notebook/book.html
DPMag
Here's a useful book. Kevin Kubota's Lighting Notebook offers a glimpse behind the camera and details on 101 different lighting setups. Kevin is an acclaimed wedding photographer, so he's used to using a variety of equipment in a variety of ways to create a variety of dramatic—and dramatically different—looks with…

Use A Light Meter

Talk about good timing. Thomas Werner of the ASMP's Strictly Business blog just wrote a blog post about using a light meter to improve your photographs. His premise is simple: it's not enough just to create a useable image and verify it with the LCD on the back of the camera. A great photographer makes deliberate, informed choices about lighting that can be made much more precisely by using a handheld light meter. And the reason all of this is perfect timing is that I, after years of using my trusty Sekonic light meter, found that I had essentially given it up for the last year or more. And I'd done it for exactly the reason many photographers have: because I can see my results on the camera's LCD. The good timing bit is that just recently, last week in fact, I came to the realization that my work was suffering because I wasn't using a light meter. My exposures were subtly off (though fixable in Photoshop) because my eyes sometimes deceive me. And more importantly, what I was thinking of as a nice, pleasant, dramatic lighting ratio was starting to become really excessively dark and dramatic—and not at all what I was going for. And I would have known that had I continued using my light meter all along. My lighting ratios wouldn't have gotten out of whack, and some of the photographs that I've been making just good enough... well, maybe they would have been great. So do what Thomas suggests, and get out your light meter to help you make great photographs.

http://www.asmp.org/strictlybusiness/2012/02/use-a-light-meter
DPMag
Talk about good timing. Thomas Werner of the ASMP's Strictly Business blog just wrote a blog post about using a light meter to improve your photographs. His premise is simple: it's not enough just to create a useable image and verify it with the LCD on the back of the…

Good Reasons To Love Photography

Though I don't often link to it here, I absolutely love Wired magazine's "Raw File" photo blog. This recent essay and post by PhotoShelter CEO Allen Murayabashi is a prime example of why. It's called "I love photography," and it's a little bit rant, a little bit manifesto about why Allen simply loves the state of photography today. He provides examples of all the things that are going right in the photo world, which serves as a nice counterbalance to a lot of the negativity that we all encounter when we talk to some photographers these days. Best of all, though, Allen cites tremendous examples of amazing photographs from the last couple of years. It's worth a read for the photographs alone, but the thoughtful commentary makes it a must-read too.

http://www.wired.com/rawfile/2012/02/rant-i-love-photography
DPMag
Though I don't often link to it here, I absolutely love Wired magazine's "Raw File" photo blog. This recent essay and post by PhotoShelter CEO Allen Murayabashi is a prime example of why. It's called "I love photography," and it's a little bit rant, a little bit manifesto about why…

Oscar Portraits

I saw this last week and thought that I'd save it until much closer to the Oscars, which are sure to be at least a few weeks away. Turns out time really is flying by, and the Academy Awards were last night. Well if you haven't had your fill of big-name actors yet, here's a link to a collection of portraits of all the best actor/actress/supporting nominees as photographed by master portraitist Douglas Kirkland. The exhibit "Out of Character," which was commissioned by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and printed on Moab Entrada Rag Natural 300 paper, is currently on display at The AMPAS Grand Lobby Gallery in Beverly Hills. It's up for the next few weeks, and it's free of charge and open to the public. If you can't make it to L.A. for the festivities, check out the online gallery at the Oscars web site, which includes some behind the scenes photographs of the making of the portraits.

http://oscar.go.com/photos/out-of-character
DPMag
I saw this last week and thought that I'd save it until much closer to the Oscars, which are sure to be at least a few weeks away. Turns out time really is flying by, and the Academy Awards were last night. Well if you haven't had your fill of…

Richard Avedon’s American Masters Documentary

I love documentaries about photographers. Clips of their behind the scenes workflow, interviews, simple slideshows… Any insight I can gain into how the masters work, well that's a priceless learning tool. Today I've got another photo doc to point out, courtesy of David Hobby's Strobist blog, and this one weighs in at a whopping 90 minutes in length. It's a 1995 American Masters documentary about Richard Avedon—one of the few photographers who deserve even more than 90 minutes of documentary footage about his life's work. Avedon was a true photographic genius, and there's something here for everyone. I'm going to start on it right away with hopes that I can make it through twice, just like Hobby did. It's bound to help me unlock some key to tapping my photographic creativity and becoming just a little bit more like this iconic photographer.

http://strobist.blogspot.com/2012/02/richard-avedon-darkness-and-light.html
DPMag
I love documentaries about photographers. Clips of their behind the scenes workflow, interviews, simple slideshows… Any insight I can gain into how the masters work, well that's a priceless learning tool. Today I've got another photo doc to point out, courtesy of David Hobby's Strobist blog, and this one weighs…

How Many Megapixels Is Too Many?

To the layman, judging new cameras is easy. It only involves one simple question: how many megapixels does it have? But to photographers in the know, megapixels are just the tip of the iceberg. Ctein, the mononymous master printer and photoblogger of The Online Photographer fame, is always good for a nice editorial opinion. This time his essay is also very helpful for those of us who want a more nuanced way of evaluating camera quality. Prompted by the announcement of Nikon's new D800 dSLR and its whopping 36 megapixels, Ctein explains some of the most common misunderstandings about megapixels and their effect on picture quality. There are many myths associated with pixel counts—like the fact that more megapixels doesn't necessarily mean sharper pictures, or the fact that more megapixels can do more than just allow for bigger prints. Maybe Ctein's take will change your opinion about how many megapixels is enough for you, or even how many megapixels are too many. 

http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2012/02/d800-megapixels.html
DPMag
To the layman, judging new cameras is easy. It only involves one simple question: how many megapixels does it have? But to photographers in the know, megapixels are just the tip of the iceberg. Ctein, the mononymous master printer and photoblogger of The Online Photographer fame, is always good for…
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