I’ve recently completed a VLOG, which just went LIVE on Photoflex.com! Give it a gander here if you want to see how much weight i’ve put on.
When I was hired to photograph 125 different wine and liquor bottles (at a wine shop) in a 4-hour period, I knew I had to keep my lighting setup simple and unobtrusive. I’m going to explain my lighting setup as well as camera settings on how I was able to achieve this look quickly and easily
Lighting a wine bottle, or any glass object for that matter, can be a bit tricky due to the fact that the bottle will reflect everything that is in front and adjacent to it, at about 180 degrees. The most noticeable reflection will be your light source, so how do you make your lights visually appealing? Use a large light source! Unfortunately I was confined to a small, high traffic area and using large light modifiers was out of the question. I needed a device that is capable of not only making a small light source BIG, but also softens the light too. That’s when I reached for my 1- stop diffusion panel. Using a diffusion panel as a gobo (go between), would achieve the effect I required.
As you can see in the photo above, a speed light was mounted on a light stand, and placed to the left of the bottle. I then positioned the diffusion panel between the flash and wine bottle, making sure to keep the diffusion panel as close to the bottle as possible in order to create a larger and softer light source. Rounding out my setup, I placed a strobe/softbox combo behind the bottle, to create a completely white background. In addition to providing a white background, the light also illuminated the bottles beautifully. White seamless paper was used beneath the bottle to complete the set.
Before shooting, a spike mark was drawn on the paper, so I would know where to place every bottle. Using spike marks sped up my workflow dramatically. Without the marks I would have had to position and reposition every bottle in order to match shots.
Camera settings are as follows:
Shutter Speed – 1/60th
Aperture – F/7.1
The ”Film Look” is all the rage right now in digital photography, and one of my favorite looks comes as a built in preset inside Capture One. “Color Effects – Creative 2.” Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Despite its rather tame name, it’s quite powerful and simple to apply to any photo.
On my recent trip to LA, I found myself on the beaches of Santa Monica, and couldn’t resist taking a photo of this lifeguard station. I loved how the light blue color of the tower contrasted with the yellow sand.
Upon opening the photo in Capture One I knew I wanted to give this photo a film look. In order to do this select the “Local Adjustment” brush, create a new layer by hitting the “+ button.” Next, scroll down to “Styles and Presets” select “Color Effects” and “Creative 2.” Instantly your photo changes to the selected preset.
That’s all! Done! An amazing looking photo with literally 4 clicks of the mouse.
I’ve been rocking the Apple Watch for about a week now and i’ve never felt more trendy. This is the must have item in wearable technology, however, i’m giving it up. The Apple Watch can send and receive calls, respond to text messages and even works as an iPod (with bluetooth headphones). The battery life is excellent for my use, but for those who want to wear the watch while they sleep, you’ll need to find an hour or 2 to charge everyday. The Apple Watch is very easy to use and after a few minutes you’ll be customising your watch in no time.
Now to the big question you’re all asking, “Why are you getting rid of it?”
I’m getting rid of it because it does TOO much! If Apple made a watch that in addition to displaying the time and date, simply made and received calls i’d be happy, but Apple added features like text messaging, fitness tracking and siri. And I want MORE!!! I’ve become conditioned to want and need MORE!!! I want the watch to be independent of the iPhone, I want Apple to include a bluetooth headset. I want Safari and Youtube and Facebook, oh my! Wifi and Google and Laser Beams… As you can see I want more.
Apple Watch is awesome! But I want more… It’s the way of the world now a days. Instead of focusing on what it does, i’m constantly thinking of what it doesn’t do. I wish the iWatch simply displayed time and could send and receive calls. But knowing that it can do SO MUCH MORE… I want that… I want it to do more.
This weekend I got the chance to shoot with the new Profoto USA B2 lights at a workshop held by photographer Zach Sutton. I was skeptical at first, not fully understanding why Profoto would make these lights? The B1’s ROCK! And have 1 more full stop then the B2’s; I just didn’t see the market. Then I picked them up. The B2 weigh’s next to nothing! Besides being super light weight, the quality of light is AMAZING! No they aren’t battery powered, but once you hold the unit in your hand and see how truly portable they are.
We can all agree that styling a model can be a pretty daunting task, especially if you’re fashionably disabled like me. Hiring a wardrobe stylist is always an option, but sometimes that’s not feasible. One trick that has helped me to “keep up with the times,” has been watching soap opera’s.
When I first started watching soap opera’s I was immediately drawn to the lighting and styling, not to mention the awesome dialogue. Actors on the show are always dressed to the nine’s, from perfectly quaffed hair down to triangular shape tipped shoes (which I just learned are “in”). I also noticed that soap opera’s seem to be ahead of the current fashion trend and in many cases set the trend.
When watching the show be sure to write down what you see, like the main actress is wearing a tribal sweater or that the male lead has on a bowtie. Also take note of hairstyles and make up that you like, then apply to your next photo shoot.
Obtaining the wardrobe needed for your shoot can be costly, but here are a few tips that I use to significantly cut costs. First, check out consignment and thrift stores, often these establishments have what you are looking for at a 50% discount.
Second, ask to borrow clothes from large department stores. Certain department stores will lend a photographer clothing for a shoot for a small fee. You will also have to leave a credit card number incase the garment gets damaged. You will need to do a little research and call ahead, but that’s a way I’ve obtained clothing for a shoot in the past.
My third tip is to rent clothing from websites like www.renttherunway.com/ or www.etsy.com. At times sellers on Etsy will allow photographers to use clothing and jewelry as long as you provide them with final images that they can then use.
Once your photo shoot is complete and your ready to share your photo’s, be sure to tag the designer of the clothes you used. Social media is HUGE and that designer might just see your photo and want to hire you for a future shoot.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
With the new year brings new gear… specifically new gear for my 4 year old son, Johnny. I… I mean Santa, went out and found this awesome blue Kidizoom camera by VTech, which can be purchased here. If you read the specs you see that this beast is a WHOPPING 1.3 megapixels that can be reduced to .3 should you desire. It has built in memory, but I opted to insert a 16 gig microSD card, purely for comedic effect!
I took to the streets of NYC with my friend and model Cheyenne Lutek because lets face it, if you walk around with a toy camera anywhere else in the world you will get lots of strange looks, but not in NYC.
Below are a few shots from Johnny’s camera taken on the streets of NYC in broad daylight! All retouching was done in Alienskin Exposure 7 using the Wet Plate Destroyed filter.
The first 2 photos I had Cheyenne stand behind a plastic sheet which we found on the street. The buildings you see are a reflection on the plastic NOT a double exposure.