Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Chihuly Glass

Chihuly: The Nature of Glass is the traveling art installation of Dale Chihuly that is currently nearing the end of its term here in Phoenix at the Desert Botanical Garden.

This long exposure night photograph is HDR processed using the highlight and shadow detail from separate multiple bracketed images. This process allows images to display a wider range of highlight and shadow detail than can be captured by a camera's chip in single exposure.

To see more of my work visit my commercial photography website.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Enough Speedlights and Kids; Not Enough Time

I had an idea for this picture and this isn't it. You see, I ran out of time. Gee, does that ever happen to photographers?!? Naaaahhhh! ;-)

In my minds-eye I pictured the red light on the background, hard side lighting coming from slightly behind the children, and an underexposed fill light to open up the shadows. I barely got the background and side lighting set up when I heard grandparents starting to say their 'good-byes' - I knew I was out of time.

The biggest problem I still had to solve was adding the fill light for the children which had to be completely blocked from contaminating the red light on the background (the red would have turned pink if contaminated by white light). I knew the exercise of blocking the fill light was going to take some creative thinking and unfortunately I now no longer had the luxury of time.

The result? No fill light. But I couldn't use the edge lights where they were because since they were behind the children there was only an edge light on them and no frontal detail. So my lightning fast solution was simply to pull the edge lights from behind to in front of the kids and cross-light them. This gave me enough light to reveal their faces but at the expense of very hard shadows.

Oh well - time was not on my side and even though my solution was less than perfect, I was still able to get a shot I could use (albeit not exactly what I had in mind). You gotta be able to think on your feet and change directions pretty quickly as a photographer - the world won't hold still for you, that's for sure.

To see more of my work visit my commercial photography website.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

3 Speedlights; 1 Softbox

I have been very interested in all types of light modifiers for a long time now. Despite having a small army of snoots, grids, gobos, umbrellas, gels, etc. the one big hole in my lighting inventory was a softbox . . . well, at least until now.

But the problem with softboxes is they are designed to be mounted to big powerful monolights using special speedrings, not my small portable Speedlights. So after some thought I devised a way to mount and use 3 Speedlights with 1 softbox.

Paul Morton (mortonphotographic) and I made this short video tutorial showing how to accomplish this.

To see more of my work visit my commercial photography website.