Posts Categorized: Lighting Tutorials

How To Use Rim Lighting to Separate Subject from Background

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Rim lighting is an effective way to visually separate the subject from the background especially when it might be hard to distinguish one from the other because of an intersection of similar tones.  The rim (or kicker) light creates a thin highlight around the edges of the subject, partially outlining her with bright light. A… Read more »

Off-Camera Flash: Radio Triggers and i-TTL, E-TTL

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I want to address a type of question that comes up every now and then regarding off-camera flash radio triggers.  Variations on this question seem to stem from a misunderstanding (or lack of understanding) about how flash exposure works at a basic level vs. how automatic flash works with systems like Canon’s E-TTL II and… Read more »

One-Light and V-Flat Reflector

An artist friend of mine, Allyson Lipkin, dropped by the studio the other day and we did a very quick shoot that resulted in several shots I’m very happy with. The entire shoot was done with a single Alien Bees B800 and a shoot-through umbrella. So, the one-light magic strikes again. But is it really… Read more »

Using Hot Lights

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Check out the new video posted  in the Members Area about using hot lights instead of flash.  There, I go into detail about the advantages of using hot lights, as well as the problems you might encounter, and how to deal with them.  In the video I demonstrate how I used the Arri 650w Tungsten… Read more »

How I Shot It: 1979 Theme Shoot

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In this video, I explore the photography of the late 1970s by attempting to recreate some of the looks from back then.  Influences and references were Studio 54, Guy Bourdin, various music videos, and advertising. One of the things that struck me when looking at the fashion and promo photos from back in the day,… Read more »

Five Portrait Lighting Patterns You Should Know

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  Traditional portrait lighting is the foundation of all good portraiture.  This is something I stress in several of my eBooks, and in this post, I’ll describe the five basic lighting patterns and include a video for reference.  I hope you find it useful. The five lighting patterns are listed here: Short Lighting:  good for… Read more »

Natural Light and Hotspots

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I like to work without unnecessary complications. If there’s beautiful natural light available, and it meets my needs for a certain look, then I’m not going to introduce flash, or extra reflectors and flags for that matter. I say, if the light’s there, and it works, then use it as-is. The trick is to know… Read more »

Video: On-Camera Fill Flash

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In this video, I provide a quick overview of on-camera fill flash for outdoor portraiture.  I know that using your flash on the hot shoe isn’t the sexiest technique in the world, but sometimes it’s the best way to go, especially for things like outdoor event shots, where things are moving quickly and conditions aren’t… Read more »