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A quick tip about light and the car

You must have at one point heard the expression :
“always carry your camera because it’s so fricking difficult to make a picture when you don’t have it”
And this is 100% true.
Even when we travel I always have my camera close by and I make no joke when I tell you that some of the most interesting shots were actually taken through the windshield of our car, it’s a totally different view than you’re actually used to, and sometimes the cars windshield actually helps in the lighting by adding some “funky” stuff. Now don’t get me wrong, a lot of these images end up in the pile “I love them but nobody is allowed to see them” but sometimes I really like a shot that much that it ends up in my portfolio.

 

While driving back to the Mandalay in Vegas we had to stop for a traffic light and the sun just hit the hotel (which has a very distinct golden hue) and the women wanting to cross the street. Now for some this might just be a picture/snap shot but I just loved the overal look and golden glow plus the added backlighting. If you don’t like the shot, no problem but remember that there can always be something that’s fricking awesome and you better have your camera handy……because otherwise you miss the shot.

 

Now how do you set the camera?
When driving I often have it set on auto ISO with a minimum shutter speed of 1/500 this way I know that if the car is moving you can always get something interesting…now do remember I don’t tell you to shoot while driving (blink blink) but it could happen, of course this is stupid and dumb…. but then again if you’re careful enough you could take some cool shots…. but just to make sure that you understand, this is DANGEROUS not only for yourself but most of all for the people around you so when doing this make 100% sure you do it safe, NO picture is worth hurting yourself or others.

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That easy lightbulb again

Every once in a while I will take it out of the closet… my favorite light source to play with… that simple 100W light bulb in the cheapest enclosure I could find. It’s always fun to see the reaction of the attendees of the workshops when they see the possibilities they can have while shooting with a light source most would label as “unusable for some cool shots”.

 

One of the things you always have to remember when shooting with light is “distance” or in other words “the inverse square law”.
In very simple terms, if you use a light source really close to your model the light will fall off very rapidly, meaning you will get a lot of contrast in your shot, if you move the light further away the light will fall off less rapidly. So if you want to light a group it’s often wiser to move the lights a but further away, and if you want a striking high contrast portrait you can move it closer (although many other factors play a role of course, but let’s keep it simple).

With the lightbulb the power, for me, lies when you use it really close to the model and the background. The outcome is always something that surprises people and often they ask me “How many strobes did you use next to the lightbulb” 😀

 

So if you have a lightbulb in your house, don’t be afraid to use it in your next shoot, it might surprise you.

 

For much more in-depth techniques, tips etc. get my book “Mastering the Model shoot” or download one of my videos from this website.

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The best locations and the best light…. are what you do….

We all know that a good shot consists of good lighting and a great location right?
However that doesn’t mean you have to travel for that great shot, actually the best shots can be right around the corner. The main problem is that we see the locations close to us way to often to actually register as something that could be interesting for a photoshoot. If we would see them just once they might seem much more interesting than they do in every day life.

 

When we changed locations for our studio I clearly told everyone that the area behind the studio (out of sight) could not be changed and I wanted to let “nature” just run it’s course, if we have something old and “rustic” we don’t throw it out, we store it there and just place it somewhere where we can use it as a location to shoot, we even have a sea container there to use.

 

The next shots were all done in a very fast outside session with just the sun as light source.
Editing is very minimal with just some tinting and a little bit of MacPhun Intensify.

 

So the next time you are looking for a location… make sure to also check your local area, and house area. And when you own a studio building…. why not make a “mess” outside (as long as people don’t see it from the road). Also remember that the sun will actually be a great light source with great contrast, if it’s a bit too harsh you can always use some diffusion material between the model and the sun, but in all honestly I often just shoot it as is, I just love those hard shadows and popping colors.

 

Model/Styling : Nadine

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Digital classroom EP1 (the test)

Last week saw the release of a new series in our educational program.
I’ve done a lot of workshop and webinars and both are 100% different, a workshop is a real 1:1 experience (we always work with small groups), a webinar is more a “watch and learn” experience.

 

For a long time I wanted to do something in between and never had the chance to do it, setting this up costs a lot of money as you can imagine (different camera angles, assistants, fast internet etc) but thanks to our friends at BenQ, Rogue and of course Elinchrom we finally were able to pull it off.

 

We dubbed it the “try out episode” but as far as we could see everything went very smoothly and what we ended up doing was a 3 hour intense instructional video with interaction from you guys.

 

We did not promote it a lot because we didn’t want a lot of people online if it would go wrong 😀 but… don’t worry we recorded it and you see it via this blogpost (or on our YouTube channel of course).

 

Please feel free to share the link, watch it and comment on it here or on YouTube, the idea is to do these kind of sessions 10x a year and normally they will have a topic just like the workshops, so except some smoke, movement, masks, location work etc.

 

Is it the same as a workshop?
No of course not 😀
A workshop is much more intense and has way more interaction, but I think we bridged the gap between a webinar and a small group workshop.

 

Is it the same as your instructional videos?
No of course not 😀
The instructional videos and the KelbyOne videos I do are much more in depth and will have totally different topics. The idea of the digital classroom is to show you guys how we work, what we do to complete a photoshoot and you can interact and ask questions, it’s not meant to replace the instructional videos or our other videos like on KelbyOne, if this gives you the hunger for more…. there are actually those options… book a workshop or watch/buy the instructional videos.

Enjoy.

Many thanks to our friends at BenQ, Rogue and Elinchrom to make this possible.