Tag Archive for: protips

How to get your images of your iPhone fast and easy without extra apps

One of the things I always struggled with when using iOS is how to get large amount of photos and videos of my phone without jumping through hoops, using wifi or backup solutions.

I wondered why it was not possible to just connect the phone and drag the photos/videos to the desktop, just like my Android phone.
And well….. the answer was there all the time.

In todays video I show you how to use an MacOs native app to do it all super fast and easy, and it can also automatically start up when connecting your phone, for me a game changer, and I never knew it was there. Hope it helps you too.

Adding a touch of color

In the past few days you have seen some images from the workshop “on location in Emmeloord” with our model Claudia where we look for interesting locations around our own studio.
Today the final part.

One of the things I absolutely love to do on location (or in the studio) is add a touch of color.
Always remember that color evokes emotion.
Think about watching a movie without any tinting or music, you will probably pretty quickly leave the cinema disappointed, unless of course the story is strong enough. But in most cases the reason we love certain scenes/movies is because of the tinting/music used.

So today let’s take a look at some images where I added color on location.

This image is without any added color.
I’m using a Hensel Porty here with the 14″ reflector.
This reflector gives a lot more light than a standard reflector and makes it possible to shoot amazing images even in bright sunlight.
I’m using a variable ND filter to be able to shoot on a wider aperture. When using the Geekoto system I can chose for the HSS options where you can shoot on faster shutter speeds but with standard battery packs like the Hensel Porty you are stuck with the X-sync which is often between 1/125 and 1/200. In situations like this that means that you are almost always shooting at F16 or F22. By using a variable ND filter you can take away some/a lot of light and shoot wide open or on any aperture you like.

For the next shot I’m using a second Hensel Porty but this one is covered with a thick red gel.
I’m using the black diffusion filter here (from the same kit as the variable ND filter) to create a nice lens flare.

I love both shots, but the second one does give me a nice extra mood/feel.
You might say that you can add this in Photoshop in postprocessing, but I disagree, you can mostly easily see when it’s done in real life or added in post processing.

Now you might remember the blogpost where I showed you the Geekoto system for the first time with the red gels.
Let’s to refresh your memory show some of those images.

These were shot with the Geekoto GT200 and GT250.
Small strobes that can shoot on HSS. As you can see I’m creating a nice Day2Night look here and the red really jumps off ow youthe background.

Now for the next images I’m using the exact same setup in the same location but here I switched the Geekoto for the 1200W Hensel porty system.

The Hensel system does have a lot more power but doesn’t support HSS and as you can see they give you results that are incredibly close to each other.
I think this is one of the most interesting parts of the smaller flash systems like the Geekoto they don’t like like much compared to a system like the Porty but due to the use of HSS they do pack an incredible punch.

Of course they can’t compete with the Hensel on durability, recycling speed, flash duration and raw power. But if you don’t need that raw power I think you can do awesome things with the smaller systems, something that wasn’t possible in the past when we still were depending on speedlights only.

 

Choose your angles with care

Walking around your model or chosing different angles can have a huge impact on your final results.

When using a striplight with a grid like I do in the examples, you can make your model jump out from the background, even when using a more busy background. And you don’t need to add a vignette later in post processing.

By moving around the model you have a great control over the contrast and look of the image. You can go from relative flat to very high contrast. It’s a technique I always use to get the most out of a setup or give my client more choice

When you also add lower and higher angles you can see that with only one lightsetup you can get a lot of different looks.


In the following examples I’m using the #clickpropsbackdrops antique navy wall. The wall is blue and by using red in the clothing and accent light you can get a really cool effect.

How to meter light on location, outside

. PIn today’s blog post, we look at a topic that is super easy when you “get” it. But can be super confusing when you start out. Do you know how to meter light on location outside? Continue reading if this is a problem for you.

Metering outside to kill the sun

Ok, it sounds a bit harsh we don’t really kill the sun. But when using strobes outside the right way you can make it day-to-night without any problem.

See my previous article about Combining/mixing light sources

Now with the day-to-night technique, there is no real problem. So let’s start there.

When you don’t have a modern camera with an EVF you can use a light meter and spot meter for the area you want to be totally in shadow but just show a slight amount of detail. And now set the aperture for the strobe app 4-4.5 stops higher. Or meter the clouds and open up the aperture max 2.5-3 stops to keep detail in the whites.

With a modern camera, we can use the EVF (Electronic Viewfinder). Just make sure it’s set up to show you the results of the settings in the camera. I always call this the WYSIWYG method. From here on it becomes super simple. I mostly lock my shutter speed at 1/125 (Xsync) and ISO at 50/100 I will then use the aperture dial to dial in the look I like when I get the look I want that’s the aperture I will meter the strobes on.

Xsync is the max shutter speed that can be used without HSS, when you use HSS you do need an HSS-capable light meter like the Sekonic 858, everything else I discuss stays the same.

So if I love the F16 ISO50 1/125
The only thing I have to do is set the light meter to ISO50 and meter the strobe till it hits F16.

The nice thing about using the EVF is that you can already see the end result before you take the shot. Although a light meter is a very accurate tool it’s very hard to “imagine” how the end result will be by just metering. I can predict it for about 75% but using the EVF is 100% and much more accurate. The only thing you have to be aware of is that you have to “imagine” the model to be lit in the image while in essence you probably see him/her as a dark outline.

How to meter light on location, outside. in this article I explain.

The problem area

I sometimes call it the Twilight Zone or the Outer Limits. In essence, it’s not far from the truth, and it’s an easy way to remember what the problem actually is. So what do I mean?

When we meter for day-to-night photography it’s standard that you start with the strobe on the highest setting. Let me be honest, you know you’re going to need it right?
So when you meter the strobe it will probably register as F22. And you lower it one stop and it will meter F16 and you’re there. But even when you lower the strobe another stop it will probably read F11. And probably also F8 after another stop…… Do you feel where I’m going?

There is a point where you MIGHT think you are influencing the strobe. But in essence, you are metering the clouds in front of the sun… So what’s going on, and why doesn’t it happen with day-to-night?

Fill in flash

When we shoot day-to-night we start from a high power output. And because we are overpowering the sun/ambient light we have loads of headroom to go down even more before we hit the Twilight Zone.

When we use fill-in flash, we are in essence adding a little bit of flash to the ambient light. Just to open up some shadows, or maybe just give an essence of extra mood, or mimic a lamp in the room, fill-in flash is subtle and most of the time not even visible (until you don’t use it).

So how do we set up the lights in this situation?
Indeed… where from day-to-night we went from the highest setting slowly down. We are now probably starting on the lowest setting and this is where the problems arise which I call the Twilight Zone.

It’s the light meter’s fault

When we look at how the light meter works it’s very easy to say that the light meter is the cause of this problem.
The light meter has a photosensitive cell and meters the light hitting that cell within the values you setup in your meter.

So let’s say I’m in a situation where my ambient light is: F4 ISO400 1/125
Now when I set up my light meter for ISO400 1/125, the meter will literally give me the value for the aperture with those settings. So where is this a problem? well, it also does that in flash mode, not just in the “sun” mode.

Let’s say I’m using a strobe with softbox at 1mtr from my model. I set my strobe up for the lowest setting, walking up to the model and meter the light… and wow what a piece of luck it’s F4…. That was easy. I walk back and take the shot…. And to my surprise, there is no strobe. Of course,  check the connection, and I see the strobe firing, so I re-meter and the same thing happens. I raise the output of the strobe and the meter keeps saying F4…..

Does this mean the light meter is useless on location?

No not at all, in fact, it does exactly what it’s supposed to do 😀
On some meters you will actually see a percentage, this is actually the number of strobes vs continuous light. So in my situation, the strobe is probably not outputting F4 but more likely F2.8 or even lower. The meter does respond to the strobe but meters F4 on 1/125 ISO400 which is actually the ambient light as we had determined before.

So how do we solve this?

When I set up for fill-in light I will always put my strobes a bit higher than what I think I need.
I’ll first meter the ambient light via the EVF or light meter (depending on the subject). And then I’ll meter the strobes.
If my ambient light meters F4 I will make sure I first meter F5.6 on the strobes. And from there I will go down 0.5 stops if the meter also drops 0.5. I know that I’m in sync with the meter and the strobe vs the ambient light. From there I will go down 0.1 stops just as long as the meter also drops 0.1. As soon as the meter doesn’t drop anymore just add 1/10th and you have the perfect balance between ambient light and strobe. Now in all honestly I never use this technique, but it’s important to understand it, in theory, to see that there is a zone where the ambient light simply overpowers the strobe.

In most cases, I want a little bit more on our subject. So in most cases when my ambient is F4 I will set the strobes up for F8 and lower the strobes a full stop. If the meter also drops a full stop I know I’m fine and get the effect I want.

How to meter light on location, outside for a good exposure. You will read it in this blog post.

Why not just adjust and shoot….?

I get it.
Why use light meters, calculations, etc. to get something perfect when you can also just shoot, adjust and shoot.
First of all, when you adjust, shoot, adjust, shoot, adjust, shoot it takes up more time. Plus you waste a lot of battery power. When working for a client it doesn’t really give confidence if you as a photographer can’t nail your lighting with the first shot. And if you work with a model she won’t be your best friend if you have to do that every time something changes.

When using a light meter in all setups (except the 100% balanced fill-in flash) you only need to meter twice. Once for the current output, adjust the strobes and meter again to check, and if you trust your strobes…. Well, you don’t even have to do the second one.

When you understand the concept and get some speed in balancing your lights you can very quickly change the total mood of a setup. Like these images I shot during a workshop in Sweden in the meeting room. We go from fill-in flash to more extreme settings.

If you have questions, feel free to leave them here or on our social media.