Tag Archive for: studio lighting

What happens when you change it to Black and White?

What happens if you change your photo to Black and White?

The choice between black and white, or color can be tricky.
For me personally I sometimes shoot something with the intent to make it black and white. But then when I see the results I often keep it in color, because I just love the way it looks. And what happens if you change your photo to Black and White?

Sometimes you might shoot something that is very colorful and you don’t even think about black and white. That’s why I post this today.  Luckily with digital, we can of course do both 😀

The horror clown is back!

Well she was here just 2 days ago, so she was not really gone 😀
But as you could have seen in the previous blog post about the horror clown, the color was pretty colorful. So this is the kind of set where you might not immediately think about a black-and-white conversion, but…. think about this.

Black and white doesn’t just mean we take out the color.

In fact, you can still manipulate the colors via the H(S)L adjustments in Lightroom. A bit like in the old days photographers did with filters. We can now manipulate images to our hearts’ content in our RAW convertor.

The idea of black and white in this setting is not to take out color but to inject a lot of mood and make the images more creepy. And that’s the cool thing about black and white. I sometimes make the joke

“if you mess up a shot, add a lot of contrast and noise, make it black and white, and voila instant art”

It sounds weird, but it’s really true.
If we look at a color image that is just slightly out of focus or has a shadow that’s not 100% correct in color we immediately see this as “bad”. But make it black and white and we see it as mood, or we don’t even notice it. Now that doesn’t mean that all my images that are black and white are “bad” images of course. But some street photography images have been “saved” that way in the past 😀

But let’s first take a look at the original blog post about the horror clown.
Now that you have seen the color versions, let’s go to black and white.

change your picture into black and white change your photo to black and white change your image into black and white

As you can see the images get a totally different vibe and look.
For me even more creepy than the color versions.

Learning all about lighting in our workshops

For me teaching the workshops is not all about lighting.
Personally, I think there is a lot more than just lighting or a cool/fitting backdrop.
A good photo is a cooperation between the model and the photographer. So coaching and making a model feel at ease is vital. But after that, the real creativity comes into play, and during the workshops, I try to focus at least 80% on creativity.

This can be with lighting, but also with the storytelling part.

As mentioned in the previous blog post, working in “super creativity” model can enhance your skills way above the level you would achieve if you only shoot what you are hired for. Plus if you can shoot images that your client is not used from you it could very well be that he/she asks for something a bit more creative.

Visit www.frankdoorhof.com and www.photography-workshops.eu for the workshops in Dutch and English.

A horror clown in our studio (in color)

Storytelling with a horror clown (in color)

For me, storytelling is always a vital part of my photography.
Even when I photograph a CEO or artist I always try to dive into the person/product/company to get something that really fits their company/person perfectly.

And sometimes you just go all out.

The fun with workshops

Teaching workshops is one of the things I love the most. Working with a group towards a result and in between explaining all the techniques, and ideas, work with styling, poses, and of course props. The images you are going to see today might not be something you shoot every day, but… and that’s the thing a lot of people miss.

If you can walk 10 km with ease, it’s no problem to walk 2-3 km.
This might sound a bit weird, but this works for many things.
If you can shoot super creative situations, and know how to handle your lighting, poses, and how to coach your model to do the most bizarre, weird, or awesome stuff it becomes MUCH easier to coach a CEO or to shoot a super creative image for a product.

Storytelling

In today’s blog post the results from one set with our model Felisa.
And although you don’t recognize her, the choice of model is vital for these kinds of shots.
One might say, she is just wearing a clown suit and props, so what’s difficult?

When you take away the expression in the face, it’s all about body language, and believe it or not this can be incredibly difficult for a model, and photographer to pull off.

I think she did great.

So let’s take a look at some images first, and then I explain a bit more.

storytelling

let you model try to grab the camera and it looks really scary

storytelling

The idea of this shoot with the horror clown (in color)

I don’t really like to repeat myself, but sometimes ideas are just so much fun and open for changes that you can repeat them with a fresh outcome.
Many years ago I was invited to introduce a new Phase One 101MP camera in a studio in New York.

Let me first say I love New York so the prospect of shooting in a studio there is always exciting.
The problem was that I “had” to use a gray seamless background for some images and that day I didn’t feel like using that so I decided to just place the model behind it, cut a hole, and let the model just stick her head through and later hold the camera. Great shots and loads of fun.

A few years later I did a similar thing during a trade show in the UK. Both were more fashion and fun-related.
For this workshop, we wanted to do something completely different, and as a horror fan, the idea quickly popped into my head that it would be awesome to shoot it with a killer clown.

Getting props to tell the story

I already did something with a big knife in the past so this time we wanted to do something a bit more “big”.
A hammer is fun, but what about a chainsaw, with a little bit of a hint to my all-time favorite actor and character Bruce Campbell/Ash.

Of course, we needed some backlighting and smoke.
So I used a Geekoto GT400 in the back with a large reflector and red gel.
The reason I’m using a large reflector is because I needed a lot of light due to the seamless paper. If you would use a gelled softbox it would not emit enough light to pull this off.

In the front we experimented with a softbox and a striplight with a grid, you can probably spot which is which 😀

So let’s take a look at the rest of the images.

If you also want to visit one of my workshops and learn all about light and storytelling? Check www.frankdoorhof.com or www.photography-workshops.eu
We will be in The Netherlands, Belgium, and the UK this year for events and workshops.

storytelling another angle storytelling with a horror clown (in color)

 

Read the blog about the Outside Fashion Shot for Sunglasses with model and stylist Nadine

This blog is about Working creatively with seamless paper 

This is the blog about a recent workshop: storytelling to set the mood 

 

Mixing light sources in the studio flash vs continuous lighting

Mixing lights can be awesome

And something we sometimes have to do! Because the location we are shooting in has some very strong lights, or maybe lights that cannot be taken out, or that just look interesting to include. There can be many reasons why to include lights that are in your set/location. So continue reading about mixing light sources.

Video about mixing light sources

In today’s video, I talk about how I included the studio lights in a photo with Claudia during one of the workshops.
I also explain the main lighting setup and show the results from that set.

If you have any questions feel free to drop us an email and who knows you will see your question answered in one of our next posts/videos.

Want to visit a workshop?
visit www.photography-workshops.eu for our Dutch workshops, but also for all our workshops abroad like the UK and Belgium.

 

Check out this blog about Claudia and the white background with just 3 umbrellas

 

Why the blog or website is more important at the moment

Frank Doorhof blog

Back to square one?

When we started with the internet (ok now I feel old) we used dial-up connections and a small booklet to write down the websites. And of course, as a company, we dreamed about having our own website on this amazing (but incredibly slow) internet. This article is about our Frank Doorhof blog, and why we (and you) need a website.

It wasn’t long before that dream came true and our company was on the World Wide Web.. We have several websites. FrankDoorhof, Studio FD (Dutch) and Photography-workshops.eu 

You can read English blogs on FrankDoorhof.com and Dutch blogs at StudioFD.nl

More reach means more customers

But how do you lead people towards your website? At first via the (believe it or not) newspapers, flyers, and stickers on our products and invoices. But then….. the revolution of social media started to happen.
In the Netherlands for a lot of people, it started with websites and discussion forums. For me, it was a site called Dutchheaven which really made a huge impact on how to reach people and network Plus there was a discussion forum and chat room.

Not a lot later in the Netherlands, we saw a new network called Hyves. In essence, you could compare this to Facebook. It was not yet interesting for a company, but it was a great way to get in contact with people with the same interests as you. And slowly of course also companies started to discover “social media”.

Social Media took over

When Hyves stopped most people (if not all) went to Facebook.
This was the first time for us that we really started to use Facebook for our business including the Photography studio and workshops. And it worked like a charm. Direct contact with your audience, a nice and clean interface, great messaging, and no spam.

Frank Doorhof Blog

Social media? or filtered media?

When I take a few steps back and look at the social media landscape at the moment, I have to be honest it’s not good. Facebook filters a lot of messages and comments, which means I don’t see comments (random), followers don’t see all my posts, and the last year using the message function is a disaster because 90% is spam with messages about my page being deleted (don’t click on those links :D) and deleting them is a one by one deal (please add batch delete).

But it isn’t much better on other platforms.
Instagram is nice, but there is no real community with discussions, for sharing images it’s great just like Threads, but it’s hard to explain techniques or lighting setups in depth when you can’t use links or layouts.

LinkedIn is nice but not for everyone in your target audience.

And X (Twitter), what can I say?
It has changed a lot, some things are better but I have a lot of issues with the hate, no moderation, and an enormous amount of fake news and conspiracy theories. Plus the limit on characters makes it almost impossible to explain lighting setups etc.

 

The solution: Don’t build your brand on rented land

Our website has been online for a long time and has always aimed at sharing photos but most of all also sharing techniques, tips and tricks, videos, and of course, answering your questions. In the last decade or so, the focus might have shifted away a bit from the website due to the immense popularity of social media. But as mentioned before I think it’s time for our website to be the main focus again.

I’ve been adding loads of new articles about lighting, photography in general, results from Digital Classrooms, and a lot more in the last few months, so I’m sure you will find something you like. And I will continue to add articles to the blog, so make sure you add them to your bookmarks,  or……

Frank Doorhof's Blog

on our blog, we share how-to lighting setup, including results

Building a community

As mentioned before one of the strongest points for education is that you can always ask whatever you want and get an answer or opinion from the community or the site owner. And this is exactly what makes social media great for connecting people and education.

So under each article, you can leave a comment on the blog
Feel free to ask questions, share your work, or just share your tips about the subject. Registration is 100% free and you help us to build the community which leads to more articles.

 

Conclusion

I think a lot of people and companies have been focusing a lot on social media in the last decade or so. However, the generation now is leaving school is already a lot less active on social media. I think that’s why it’s now the right time to, besides your social media presence, also to focus on a nice website where your clients can connect instead of just watching static pages.

Feel free to add your opinions, and share the article with your social media followers 😀

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Thanks again for your support

Frank & Annewiek Doorhof