Posts made in March 2012

Shot with LED light and ambient light

March 30, 2012 10:00 am HKT No comments

20120330 Shot with LED light and ambient light - 1

I visited a kiln workshop in Taiwan, something I mentioned several weeks ago. I took the Aputure Amaran LED Light Panel with me so it would be easy for me to take artificially lit shots. And as you can imagine, there were quite a number of choice subjects in the kiln shop, like this one shown in Photo 1. Simply place the LED light panel about one feet away and you can achieve shots that have a similar lighting effect as the one in this photo. But to create a shaded area exactly like this, you have to go through some trial and error. And it is quite easy to overexpose the picture too. For photo 2, side lighting was used.

20120330 Shot with LED light and ambient light - 2

Photo 3 was taken outside the workshop, also using the LED light panel, which was used to shed some light on the Chinese writings carved on these big rocks. Only if there are white “surfaces” on your subjects can you achieve effects like this. The rocks would be very dark even if you held the LED light close to the rocks, because they are effective as key light only in close-up shots. Photo 4, which shows the workshop entrance, was taken with ambient light only. It was shot around 6 P.M., and as you can imagine, if you took this shot some minutes later, you could not get a normally exposed picture. Remember to include some light subjects, like this owl, and a lit background, such as the workshop, in your composition so you can achieve a decent photo.

20120330 Shot with LED light and ambient light - 3 20120330 Shot with LED light and ambient light - 4

Equipment Setup

Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3 Photo 4
Camera Canon EOS 5D 1 1 1 1
Lens EF 17-40mm f4L USM 1 1 1 1
LED lighting Aputure Amaran LED Light Panel AL-198 1 1 1 1

Tourist attractions

March 28, 2012 10:00 am HKT No comments

20120328 Tourist attractions - 1

It is said that babies born in the current Chinese Lunar New Year, the year of the dragon, will be gifted with intelligence, energy, and will. So it is common for couples to get married during the last few months of the old year, so they have a better, golden chance of giving birth to their babies during the year of the dragon. I came across many pre-wedding photo sessions, as mentioned, in Beijing. And one of them made quite a scene, as shown here. The couples here sat down under a big tree waiting for their photographer to compose the shots while tourists gathered around taking snapshots. The scene itself is a great picture.

20120328 Tourist attractions - 2

This vast piece of grassland is found within the campus of Tsinghua University, Beijing. Though it was an overcast day, it was still good for shooting. In fact, the bride’s gown itself is perfect as a reflector to create a polished look for the couples. Yet in this case, the surrounding area is so “green” that the overall color tone was rather cool. Plus, the groom’s suit is grey colored, which is not that eye-catching. To get a better result and to provide a warmer color to the photos, a golden reflector is the best tool to use.

20120328 Tourist attractions - 3

20120328 Tourist attractions - 4

Equipment Setup

Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3 Photo 4
Camera Canon EOS 5D 1 1 1 1
Lens EF 17-40mm f4L USM 1 1 1 1

Video Demo: Creating Unique Portraits using Studio Umbrellas

March 26, 2012 9:51 am HKT No comments

Alex brought along a pair of portable flashes and studio umbrellas to a photo trip and came up with fascinating product marketing photos.

Product link

Snapshots of magical moments

March 23, 2012 10:00 am HKT No comments

20120323 Snapshots of magical moments - 1

I took some snapshots recently and what I’d like you to know is that it doesn’t matter what camera you use for these kinds of shots, because for the most part timing is the most important factor for getting an eye-catching snapshot.

Photo 1 was taken at my friend’s wedding. I was not the hired photographer that day, but I had wanted to capture some special moments or unnoticed scenes at weddings, so I brought my DSLR to the event. I had no intention of shooting with any artificial light or even a tripod so what came up were shots taken with a higher ISO speed. What I sought here were some magical moments, like this one showing the wedding cake in the foreground with a blurred background that included the bride and the groom hugging.

20120323 Snapshots of magical moments - 2

Photo 2 shares the same sentiment as Photo 1. I took Photo 2 in Shanghai outside a chapel where you can see a lot of pre-wedding shooting teams. Not many wedding couples “perform” well in front of the camera since they are not natural-born models, but this couple really stands out as very natural and spontaneous, which made it quite easy for the hired photographers and bystanders like me to capture touching shots. I stole the moment and I felt grateful for the couples. Despite the lack of dramatic lighting and everything, I think this was a magical moment for them.

Photo 3 is one of those photos that you could find in a stock photo gallery, one that is used to convey the power of love…I was grateful for the natural side light that highlighted the profile of the lady and provided the shadows all around. I was grateful also for the breeze that moved the leaves, which made the picture more interesting.

20120323 Snapshots of magical moments - 3

Equipment Setup

Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3
Camera Canon EOS 5D 1 1 1
Lens EF 17-40mm f4L USM 1 1 1

Blessed couple

March 21, 2012 10:00 am HKT No comments

20120321 Blessed couple - 1

The pictures shown here were shot in Peranakan Mansion, Penang, Malaysia. This place has housed more than a thousand pieces of antiques and collectibles, and it is a typical home of one of the rich “Baba,” a prominent community of acculturated Chinese living in Penang. You can see part of the museum in the two reference photos below. The mansion was built at the end of the 19th century with an eclectic design and architecture that incorporates Chinese carved-wood panels, English floor tiles, and Scottish ironworks. But what I want to point out is the beautiful, natural light shining down in this courtyard (Reference photo 2). This is why photographers love this place, and you can see a lot of pre-wedding photo-taking sessions going on.

20120321 Blessed couple - 2

I am very fond of this couple that I show here. They are the most beautiful couple I have ever seen. I waited so long for the chance to take a photo of them. Why wait so long? Because I wanted a photo that wasn’t typical. I wanted to get a snapshot-like photo that shows how loving and graceful they are. The one posted here (Photo 1) is one of my favorite shots. It looks natural, but graceful. In fact, they were not posing for a shot at that moment. The groom was actually looking up to find the photographer, who was standing on the second floor preparing for the shoot. The bride was patiently waiting while the stylist, on his knees beside her, fixed her dress. But I found this moment very touching so I captured it right away.

Likewise, the other photo (Photo 2) was taken in between formal shots. This one shows you how intimate and sweet the couples were. My point is, these photos were blessed with the top-down natural light and the warm reflective light that came up from the ground. To be exact, the rock tiles on the floor and light brown tiles all around served as the most perfect reflector that provided a pleasant fill light for the couple here.

20120321 Blessed couple (Reference Photo) - 1

20120321 Blessed couple (Reference Photo) - 2

Equipment Setup

Photo 1 Photo 2 Reference Photo 1 Reference Photo 2
Camera Canon EOS 5D 1 1 1 1
Lens EF 17-40mm f4L USM 1 1 1 1