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Tip : Strong backlighting

In the 70’s they knew….
Using strong backlighting can be cool, it creates cool lens flares and it really spices up a shot, I won’t say that after the 70’s the photography went south and flat but in all honesty I sometimes am stunned by the questions I get during workshops about lens flare and backlighting, so I thought it would be cool to write a small blogpost about them.

Whenever I post an image with a strong backlight people ask me for the filter I used?
Now don’t get me wrong I do use filters… I love DxO filmpack and Alien Skin Exposure for tinting my images and I use a LOT of MacPhun intensify to spice up the pop of my images, but the lens flares are in 99% of the cases 100% real.

The shot on top we shot during last weeks workshop with iris and is just a strobe right behind our model without any modifier.
If you meter in front of the model (in this case pointing towards the camera) the exposure on her face will be correct, in fact it’s the scatter light from the studio lighting her face. This is also the cool thing about using an incident light meter (A sekonic in my case), if you hold it in front of the area you want correctly exposed you will get a proper exposure. Now it’s up to you to determine the look you want. In this case I only used one light so it COULD be that the backlight is way too strong, you can than do a few things. You can feather the light (turn it away from the model), or move it to the side of the model so not all light is hitting her (when using a reflector), or (when using a bare strobe) move it further back, or use a reflector in the front, all these techniques will do one thing, lower the contrast between the backlighting and front light.

In essence it looks like a very easy setup, but if you just throw in your lighting you will probably fail, or need a lot of Ps work, so make sure to meter correctly.
If you want to learn techniques about metering, check out our video on the light meter via Video downloads

When you want to do these kind of shots make sure to practice a lot with a mannequin or doll before doing it live with a model.

Some more samples where I used strong(er) backlighting from the sun and strobes.

 

Want more in-depth tips and techniques?
Check out my book “Mastering the model shoot” or get one of my instructional videos via Direct video downloads

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Ultimate weekend Emmeloord Feb 26/27th

It’s almost time for the new Ultimate weekend workshop again….
This is without a doubt the most intense workshop I teach, 2 jam packed day filled with information on model photography.. I literally teach you everything I know about working with models, lighting, retouching, workflow, social media, business etc. plus we have an amazing diner at night with the whole group in a local restaurant.

 

At the moment we have 3 seats left so if you want to learn everything you always wanted to know about model photography…. read this.

 

Ultimate weekend day 2 2401

“Put the magic in your lighting” 

This is without any doubt one of my most popular and most intense workshops…
The ultimate workshop weekend in our studio in Emmeloord
(the Netherlands)
Language for this workshop will be ENGLISH

 

Join us in our studio in Emmeloord for a very intense workshop weekend in which you will get all the answers you always wanted about model photography, business, retouching, workflow etc. In 2 full days (and evening) we go through every part of a successful photoshoot.
Styling will be in cooperation with Nadine Stephan and Sinister.

 

This whole weekend is 100% flexible in topics, styling, storytelling etc.
Each day we start with a Q&A which will be the base on which I build the rest of the day. This means that every attendee will learn exactly what he/she wants and there will be no questions left unanswered. This is a unique style of teaching that has proven to be incredibly successful for the attendees and a challenge for me as an instructor 😀

 

Day 1:
Full studio day from 10:00-21:00

Topics will cover at least :
Metering, workflow, color management, coaching the model, building a complete set and styling it, vintage portraiture, glamour photography, high-end fashion, styling ideas, working with clients, adding movement, using smoke, adding gels, going from ok to WOW and much much more.

 

Evening 1:
A nice diner and chats about everything (and photography)
Hang with our team during a nice diner and after this we continue in the studio with a retouching workshop.

 

Day 2:
The location day from 10:00-17:00
Working on location has a whole different range of challenges and we will discuss them during this day.
We start again with a Q&A after which we use different locations near our studio ranging from edgy to nature. We will be using flash, natural light, reflectors etc. In the studio we will mimic locations with constant lighting and alternative light sources will be used and discussed. 

 

Day 2 afternoon:
Retouching part
Learn how to control your workflow, retouch techniques for Photoshop, Lightroom, Capture One, DxO and the use of plugins.
Business tips

 

 

 

Register now for just 699.00 (euro)

This includes the diner, lunches etc.
No hotel and flights are covered, but we will offer a good location close to our studio and transport to and from the hotel to our studio.
Group size is very limited and the language of the workshop will be English.

This is the most complete workshop you will find anywhere.

 




Some samples from previous workshops, this is the kind of material you will be shooting too…..

Manon 46 - November 22 2014_DxO editSharon Jan 24 2015 27584Anna Matthea February 14 2015 0452Chantal November 21 2014 0168Manon 101 - November 22 2014_DxO-retouchManon 119 - November 22 2014-EditManon 134 - November 22 2014_DxO retouchSharon Mei 31 2014 (83 of 101)-EditLenaa Januari 25 2014 B (4 of 4)

The ultimate workshop November 21-22nd Emmeloord

I’ve been teaching workshops for a few years now, most workshops run for a full day and although very intense there is always so much more to learn, so most students visit the workshops several times. The reason for this is very simple, I never try to duplicate workshops, there are so many things you can do with lighting, location, styling, the models etc. that it would be a shame to teach the same workshop material over and over…..

 

For the one day workshops I have several themes, for example “working on location”, “working with artificial and available light”, “Duo shoots”, “Masks”, “Smoke”, “Retouching” etc. etc. all these topics are so broad that they are already difficult to jam into one day…. so last year the idea actually grew to do a multiple day workshop, however when I do something I always want to make sure that what I deliver is solid, there is no sense in doing a workshop in 2 days or 3 days that can be taught in one day by just talking faster…..

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So slowly the idea for the “multiple day workshop” grew and got more shape.
After the first trials the students actually came up with the name and called it “The Ultimate workshop” and I have to say I agree and use that name for these workshops.

 

In 2-3 days you will get so much information it will make your head spin, we are working as a small team (group size is always limited to max 10-12 people depending on the location) to create literally a multitude of different scenarios. The ultimate workshops are the best workshops I can teach, and I dare to say, probably the best on the market if you’re into model photography.

 

What can you expect?
Of course we work with our very best models during these workshops, so next to learning a lot you will also get a real portfolio boost. All workshops start with an Q&A session. In this session you can actually tell me what you want to learn and I will incorporate all these questions into the workshop ahead.

 

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Tip for light meters and ambient light

Often I get messages from people that their light meter is not reliable outside, inside no problem but outside…..
Do always remember that outside there is also ambient light.

Let’s say you have a small flash system (the system flashes like Canon/Nikon/Sony) and your shooting full manual and get a reading of F5.6 inside, now when you go outside a day later and you get F11 don’t expect that the strobe is actually on F11, it could very well be that the strobe is outputting only F8 or lower.

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The meter works very simple
When you press the button to meter in strobe mode (the lighting bolt) it will actually wait for a pulse and start metering, now the pulse from the strobe is registered of course and the meter does it’s work BUT if the ambient light (on the giving shutter speed) is higher than the strobe the meter will of course give you the F stop for the ambient light (since it overpowers the strobe).
So the next time you’re outside and want to check if your strobe is registering, or if you suspect a problem…. first set the strobe on the lowest setting and meter, now start raising the strobe and if the meter value doesn’t change you know you’re metering ambient (or in other words, ambient is overpowering the strobe).

 

So don’t bash the meter, understand how it works 😀

now let’s look at some solutions….

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