Posts made in June 2012

Take advantage of house lights to enhance your photos

June 29, 2012 10:00 am HKT No comments

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You’re always advised to pack light. I think it’s right to take as few gear as possible if you’re just planning to take some quick shots. But if you want “serious” photos, artificial lighting is indispensable.

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But maybe you’re short on time or you don’t have anyone to help you on location. Well, there is always a way around these problems. And one of the ways is to figure out something at the location that makes your subjects more interesting, like I did with Photo 1 here. The place shown is not a studio. It’s an apartment filled with musical instruments. As such, there were many cords around, which made it quite troublesome to walk around to prepare my lighting setup. Therefore I decided to take my photos right away. But the problem was that the houselights were not enough to provide the light I needed for a decent photo (and I had not taken my tripod!). So it goes without saying that I used the highest ISO for the photos shown here. As you can see, I composed my photos so that the house light lit the keyboard as backlight, but at the same time, the light behind the piano was hidden to avoid an unnatural blown up effect. So even though there was no setup, I managed to make my subject stand out more.

There is a lot of interesting stuff in this house. But frankly speaking, these subjects can look dull in your photos if they aren’t lit properly. I took many shots there, yet they did not look interesting in the photos. If you are stuck in a situation like this, you have to find a way to make your subject stand out, as I did in Photo 2.

The candles and the volume buttons are the things that attract your eyes, because they are the so-called lit subjects in the framing. Since they are framed in such a way that they are diagonal to each other, the photos look more interesting than they otherwise would. For Photo 3, the guitars look interesting with that little bit of light reflection on the guitar at the right. For your reference, if you are working on a lighting crew in a film set, the first thing you have to do is remove any light reflection on the props. But for still photography, light reflection can be a credit to your photos.

Equipment Setup

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

Having all the fun

June 27, 2012 10:00 am HKT No comments

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I invited Macy to a photo shoot featuring the TREERING camera neck strap. I chose this location because I was expecting the afternoon sunlight to light her hair from behind. But the sun did not show up. So I grabbed my yellow filtered flash and attached a little soft box to it to create that back light (you can find it in Photo 2 if you look really carefully). And it made a great shot.

If you saw my last video, you could also see Macy posing for me in a piano room (Click Here). One thing that astonishes me is how different she looks in each environment, one indoors and the other outdoors. No offense; I think she looks great in that black outfit in the piano room, but she was so cool and solemn. Once she got out in the sun, she became another person, smiling, jumping, and everything. Sometimes it is not about the light or the gear. What matters is the environment—something in it that makes your model feel. Look at Macy again. She was smiling fully, and that made the photos shine.

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Equipment Setup

Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3 Photo 4 Photo 5
Camera Canon EOS 5D 1 1 1 1 1
Lens EF 85mm f1.2L II USM 1 1 1 1 1
Flash Cactus KF 36 1 1 1 1 1
Flash Trigger Cactus V5 Wireless Flash Transceiver Duo 1 1 1 1 1
Portable Flash filter Multi-color flash filter kit for Cactus KF36 1 1 1 1 1

New product demo: Manfrotto Midi Plus 36 LED Light Panel

June 25, 2012 9:50 am HKT No comments

This advanced LED Light Panel will help you create great videos and photos with novel features.

Product link:
Manfrotto Midi Plus 36 LED Light Panel ML360HP ML-360HP

Technician collection

June 22, 2012 10:00 am HKT No comments

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I found this scene at a truck parking lot. I think this stuff belongs to a technician who is working nearby. The collection here really astonished me and I grabbed my camera immediately when I saw it. Since there is a lot of stuff here, it is a bit hard to determine the right aperture for the whole scene. But luckily, it was a rainy day, so no object was lit by the sun. Otherwise, the photo would not be good because some subjects would have normal exposure, while others would be overexposed by three or four stops and all their details would be lost.

Photos 2 and 3 show you another photographer working nearby. Obviously, he missed the delivery worker at the scene and focused on photographing the wooden cart (shown in Photo 4).

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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

Manipulating the color of your photos

June 20, 2012 10:00 am HKT No comments

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This is a very special and spectacular location. As you can see in Reference Photo 2, this is a restaurant that is covered with a steel sheet. And you can find the “entrance” in Reference Photo 1 as well. In Photo 1, my model sat in a small corner of this restaurant in front of a “colorful” background. There were fluorescent lights and a window that provided a cool tone to the photo. In order to create color contrast in this photo, I decided to add a warm tone to the key light (a studio umbrella in white coupled with the Cactus KF36 portable flash) by mounting a yellow filter to it. Afterwards, the face tone became warmer. The blend of warm and cool tones makes this photo quite pleasant.

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Equipment Setup

Photo 1 Photo 2 Reference Photo 1 Reference Photo 2
Camera Canon EOS 5D 1 1 1 1
Lens EF 85mm f1.2L II USM 1 1 1 1
Umbrella Studio umbrella in white 1 1 1 1
Flash Trigger Cactus V5 Wireless Flash Transceiver Duo 1 1 1 1
Portable Flash Cactus KF 36 1 1 1 1
Filter Multi-color flash filter kit for Cactus KF36 1 1 1 1