Thursday, October 28, 2010

The barn doors

Another very important light modifier I use is called a barn door.
As the name states, it's actually a modifier that attaches to the studio lights and has doors in front of it. You actually adjust the openings of the door to the size you want. It actually keeps the light from spilling into certain parts of your subject, similar to a snoot.

The snoot though is less flexible as it only directs concentrated circular light into your subject. The barn door opening is adjustable to however you want it. You can also attach honeycombs and gels into your barn doors for special purposes.

Here are some of my shots where I used my barn doors:

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Natural lighting for natural looks

I was kinda tired of using flashes for today so I decided to go for a more natural look.
Using only...what else? Natural lighting of course!

I was looking for that shallow depth of field/not so harsh light look so I decided to place my subjects near the window to capture natural light coming in. Of course, natural light coming in is not as harsh as a strobe light and not as powerful so I can set my aperture wider for that out of focus background look.

I had good results in doing this. Also, I didn't have to spend time setting up my lights, which saved me a lot of time.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Using a snoot for your shots

One very important light modifier used by photographers is the snoot.

A snoot is basically a cone placed in front of the flash to direct light into a concentrated area. Some snoots have honeycombs that basically softens the edges of the light so you get a softer light falloff. You can also put colored gels in front of them too.

I use the snoot to create highlights on areas of my background so it doesn't look so plain.

I have one of those really cheap ones that you can buy online made of aluminum. With these you have to be very careful especially when using your modeling lights as these can get really hot, hot enough to melt the plastic parts of your studio lights. You can actually turn the modeling lights on to aim the snoot, then turn them off when you're ready.

I've also seen a lot of do it yourself snoots online made of cardboard or plastic. There really isn't much to them, they are just cones, so if you can make one then go ahead.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Colored gels for background colors

A really cheap way to have colored backgrounds without spending a wad of money for colored backdrops is to gel your background lights.

These gels are actually sheets of colored acetate, or whatever it's called, and they go in front of your flash. Mine are the ones that come with the holders for my flash. Other ones can be just the piece of plastic that are either taped or attached by velcro in the flash.

They can also color correct the flash in certain situations. Some photographers put green gels in their flashes when they shoot in flourescent lighting. As flourescent lights give out a green tint.

I mainly use the gels for effects or background colors.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Band photo shoot on my birthday celebration!

We needed a band shot for our cd so my band decided to come over for drinks, and of course...the band shot!

So we went to my mini studio and took some shots. We are a crossover/thrash band so we decided to go with the dark/dramatic shot that most metal bands long for.

For this shot I put 2 lights on each side at 45 degrees. The main light on the right side and a fill light on the left to make the lighting a bit dramatic. Since this is a group shot, I opted for a wide focal length and a narrower aperture. F11 to be exact.

Post processed in Photoshop to tone down the colors a bit for that dark/dramatic look.