Using strobe in the studio and on location is now second nature for me, and it can be for you too. I think you’ll find once you understand strobe it opens up a whole new world of exciting creative possibilities. Here are the 10 things I wish I knew before I started using strobe.
Off-camera flash can be an intimidating thing to try to master. Where do you put the flash? What power should it be on? When do you need more than a simple Speedlite? What about modifiers? Where do you even start? Here are five tips to help you out!
It’s a photographer’s house of horrors—a dark reception hall. Let me simplify everything for you. Below, I’ll lay out the easy system we at The Blumes use to create crisp, color-balanced, commercial-quality reception images every time. You’ll just need your camera, three cheap flashes, and a few rubber bands. Sound good?
For this series of hip-hop-inspired black-and-white portraits, I wanted a dramatic, moody, high contrast look. In the studio, nothing says drama like a black background. My concept was all about black on black—black skin, black wardrobe, on a black background. Lit properly, this monochromatic palette would isolate, elevate and highlight the subject in a punchy, dramatic way.
We train our team in four technical elements: lighting, composition, posing and storytelling. Light is the first thing our photographers must become proficient in before moving on to the next subject. Lighting is essential because without it, we don’t have a picture. The word photography literally means “the study of light,” so to understand lighting, the first thing you need to understand is how to recognize it.
The longer I’ve made portraits, 40-plus years, the more steadfast I am in the belief that it all starts with lighting. Whether soft, hard or anything in between, each quality of light and shadow imparts emotion and drama to help tell a unique story. Lighting’s job is to support the story you’re trying to tell rather than distract from it.
Off camera flash for dramatic portraits is something we are known for. If you are a wedding photographer, you are always searching for the perfect shot for your clients. Each client, each scene presents different challenges. In this shot, we took this during a wedding in Florida. As you are…
What is great light and how do you create it? First, learn how to think about light and develop a lighting vocabulary. This will help you make informed decisions about tools and techniques. When you’re developing an understanding of lighting, the fundamental concept to embrace is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for every situation or subject matter.
Flare is perfect for adding drama and sizzle when creating images of actors, musicians and other entertainers. Think Dreamgirls, Beyoncé and countless other subjects where one or more lights behind the model creates a dramatic entertainment-oriented background effect. With a little know-how and a few lighting modifiers, flare in the studio can be harnessed as a worthy addition to your lighting repertoire. In this article, I look at creating flare using studio strobe.
We need all the tools, techniques and creativity we can muster to tackle whatever situations we encounter when we’re crafting killer images on location. Sometimes available light and a reflector, scrim or both get the job done. Other times, Mother Nature needs a helping hand from a flash. Balancing ambient and flash doesn’t mean each source contributes the same amount of light. In most cases, ambient light is the dominant source providing the majority of the illumination in a scene, while flash adds additional light where needed. You may need very little light from your flash to get the job done, while other more dramatic looks call for more flash and less ambient light. Having these creative options makes incorporating flash into your ambient shoots so compelling.