emilio74: Thanks for posting, and looking forward yours next one.Very useful for me as newbie!Thanks once more!PS is any macro tutorial on queue??
Thank you! I'm certainly not an expert or authority on macro photography; I also mostly shoot people, which is going to be a different set of skills and challenges than object or insect macro photography.
I did write up a blog post with a few thoughts on shooting macros here: http://thomasparkphoto.com/2010/11/14/life-in-macro/
alfredo_tomato: Sit on the floor and look up at the people around you. That is why a kid draws a face with the eyes above the center.
Quite. Great "observation about the natural world"!
Kwik-E-Mart: Quick question: what about other lights in the room? Is this shot in total darkness except for the primary light? Do the lights in the room even matter? The models shadow dissappears in all of the shots showing the setup (to make everything clear). Is this a change or how the whole scene actually looks during the shoot? Or did someone turn on other lights to capture the setup.
Working with flash is a different animal - the flash is so many orders of magnitude brighter than the ambient light that the light in the room almost doesn't make any difference at all. If you set your exposure for flash and took a picture with the flash turned off, your photo would be almost totally black.
The main reason to control the lighting in the room (for example, by using blackout curtains in my studio) is so that you can visualize what's going on with your lighting via the modeling lights.
Sailor Blue: Thank you for taking the time to put together this article. It is a good introduction to using a single light source to produce different lighting styles. I'll certainly be recommending that new photographers wanting to start doing portraiture read it.
Once you understand the light and shadow effects you can achieve with a single light source then you are well on your way to understanding all lighting. Only by understanding the light illuminates and shadows define can you master lighting. .
All lighting setups start with a single main or key light. Additional light sources are only used to modify that main or key light, i.e. to modify the light and shadows. Learning single lighting is the key to learning lighting in general.
Thanks again for a very nice article.
Thanks for reading!
I definitely agree - I always start with the key light.
Regarding fill light, I sometimes find it useful to set the key light to establish the overall look then *turn it off* and build up the lighting set starting from the weakest light and progressing back up to the key light.
Obviously, this isn't usually necessary if you're using two or three lights, but it can be a very handy approach for complex lighting scenarios with multiple environmental lights, hair and accent lights, fill, etc. It can sometimes be a little easier to visualize the contribution of the small / minor lights without the key lights when you are working with a truck full of gear on a complex lighting stage.
gollywop: It's true that these are one-light shots. But some of them are one light plus reflector and it clearly helps to have a bevy of lights on hand from which to choose the one light to be used. It's not like you've only really got one light.
Actually, I'm afraid you're mistaken. Take a look at the photo showing the lighting setup. Every photo in the article was shot with one single light - no fill and no reflectors.
All of the looks except for the very last one were shot with the same modifier as well, a simple beauty dish.
With careful metering and light placement, you can do quite a lot.
Thank you all for your comments! It's been said that any art that provokes a reaction is a successful piece of art. Even those reactions that are unfavourable, unconstructive, inarticulate (or even flat-out incomprehensible) mean that you felt strongly enough to take the time to read some of the article and comment.
For those readers who seem to be wanting a glossy magazine cover shoot or whatever, I'm afraid those weren't the point of this article. As stated, it's an informal, unfussy editorial look. The cover shoot? That would be a different article.
Relax, lighten up. It's just photography. You don't have to like it all.
DuckShots: Well written, informative and inspiring. Building the scene. Have to learn this. Need to know so much to produce creative works. Not my look, but that's the point. I need a look. Sadly, every time I see what others do, I want to throw my lens into a fire and take up reading. Maybe not this time. Thank you very much.
Grimy, no "e". Grocer. Get it straight. ;)
Thank you so much for reading! I'm glad this was worthwhile for you, looking forward to seeing your future work.
MrClick: I work for an art studio myself. The samples here don't cut it on the artistic front for me. The effect can be enhanced to make it more appealing. Current images on display look kinda incomplete.
That said, the article in itself is not too bad. Better than most of the other totally newbie 'photography 123' type articles being made available in here lately.
I just feel that the samples should have been a lot better to give appropriate 'weight' to the textual content of this article.
Fair criticism. Like any professional, I was a little hesitant to put test shots or "work in progress" images up in a public forum such as this. However, I thought that these would be important to illustrate the actual progression of the look, as it was built up.
Thanks for reading and commenting!
jhoff80: I'm not even close to an expert, and the author is obviously way more talented than I am, but am I the only one who prefers the darker two images before processing and adding in all of the lights?
Again, I don't mean to sound rude at all. It's just my knowledge of photography is more technical and I need to learn more about the artistic side of it, so I really want to know why the brighter pictures, which to me seem too washed out, are better.
Do you know that feeling when you're walking down the road in the late afternoon and there is this gorgeous golden sunlight streaming through the trees so brightly that you have to squint a bit? That was the feeling I was wanting to capture here. I definitely can't argue with you - it absolutely is a bit washed out. But it conveys that *feeling* - or so I hope!
cstephens: Great article, thanks. Which Nik filter, specifically, was used for the post processing? From the description it could have been any of a few of the color efex filters.
Thanks, I'm very glad you enjoyed it. I toned this using the "bi-color filter", with a user-defined pink hue at the bottom-right of the image and a golden hue to the upper-left. You can definitely see the pink in the car's interior. The gold just intensified the color of the sunlight. I removed 60 - 70% of the effect from the model's skin, which helped smooth the transition.
Irakly Shanidze: Thomas, I mean no disrespect, but your examples are not very convincing fashion photos. Portraits maybe, but not fashion. None of these pictures shows the dress well enough. This is important, because taking a photo fulfilling this requirement actually would force you out of the car. I'd like to see how you would handle this glamorous location in that case.
Thank you for your comment! No disrespect taken; I actually thought of this as an editorial / lifestyle look, myself. I'm afraid I didn't title this one.
makofoto: Only problem ... I wouldn't call that a fashion shot?! If I as the clothing designer I would have felt a bit cheated. I thought we were going to see the environment used as an element.
For the record, I don't disagree with you. I personally never called this a fashion shoot; I titled the article "Portable Editorial" when written =)