Legacy Article: A model in the surf – the full shoot.

NOTE: This is a legacy article. Please click the “home” button at the top of the page to return or use your back button.

HOUSTON is coming up fast. If you haven’t signed up for our last western state workshop this year, I would advise you that time is running out. Cleveland is the last workshop available in 2008 – Philly filled – and then we start booking for next year. We are actively seeking hosts in cities who would like to have us come in and do a two full day workshop for a small group of photographers.

Click here for the article and return when you are done. On the next page you can see the full image and you can grab a free desktop.


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“Why did you light it that way?”

A friend and fellow photographer and I were sitting and having some overpriced coffee when he asked me a question about one of my shots that we were looking at. “Why did you light it that way?”

It took me a bit by surprise because most of the time I am asked “how” not why. I mentioned a post at Flickr I had made earlier about asking why instead of how, but he insists he doesn’t do forum stuff on the internet (and I believe him) so it was unrelated.

And I was off guard.

The shot was one I posted a while back and I had to make some decisions about how to do it and what tools I would use to do it. It is a shot of Briana taken on the Mexico trip and with the look of a candid.

I had nearly anything I would have wanted at my disposal… great house for a set, studio lights, soft boxes.. you name it.

But I wanted the shot to look natural and without the ‘hand of the photographer’ in the image.


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Deconstruction: Briana on the Pier (Spotlight Effect)

Let’s take a single image today and deconstruct it out to see exactly how it was created. The shot is of Briana in Mexico while we were doing the September workshop in Puerto Penasco, Mexico. Also known as Rocky Pointe, the little town had become a favorite shoot spot for us so we always return for an afternoon of image making and fun!

Evan was working with Briana in an area very close to this set so when he finished I asked to jump in real quick to take a shot. I already knew exactly what I wanted to do so it was easy and quick to set up.

Have you seen the newest column by our resident model and author, Briana? She is taking questions about modeling and working with photographers. If she doesn’t know the answer, she vows to get it. If you have a question about that side of the camera, the really scary side, ask away in the comments section. Go to the tags and click on “Ask Briana” or visit her “Model Behavior” section on the site. Also take a look at our newest post on the Magazine.

A plug for the workshops: Detroit is this week, and Atlanta next week. Get enrolled fast. I think they only have a few openings left.


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On Location: Anatomy of a Shoot (with Video)

On location with speedlights, a model and a videographer. A warm, well, mostly warm December day and we are shooting in Tempe, Arizona. I will share the setups with you and also what I was thinking and working with here. Briana is the model, check out her Model Behavior column here. NOTE: this is part three of the speedlight series. Part one, Part two.

I will be using only speedlights and I am using them in many different ways: direct, feathered, bounced into umbrellas and shot through umbrellas. I love all kinds of light, and keeping it fast moving with the speedlights is also important to me. We wanted to get several shots on this day, and the light was moving pretty quickly.

Some of the images we are discussing in this post. Video at bottom of second page.


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One Speedlight: Some Examples

I know, I know… late for the update on speedlights. I apologize a thousand times. Been unimaginably busy, and things have drifted. Bermuda workshop was so intense there was no time left for much other than sleeping (and a little dancing to reggae on the beach… but, I digress.) NOTE: This is part two of the Speedlight series: Part one is here.

This week we are going to look at using one speedlight with no modifications… no umbrellas or softboxes to modify the light, just the bare strobe. This can sometimes seem like pretty harsh light, but there ways to use the single light that can create a very modern, clean and sometimes become almost not noticeable.

We will take a look at a group of images that use only one strobe, in different ways. I want you to try some of these shots when you get a chance. I use a stand or a human boom (assistant) to position the light, and it is very important that it is positioned perfectly.


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“Make the Shot.” A Pool Player in a Rainstorm

Making the Shot when the light is no good.

In keeping with this months major tutorial on using speedlights to their maximum, I thought I would take apart a shot that Briana and I did in Florida during a terrific thunderstorm.

We were hot and it was very humid, but we decided to make the best of the down time by making a shot or two. We did actually make three different shots, but I am going to show you this pool shot as an example of how knowing your flash units can make a setup fast.

(Before we get going, I did want to announce three new workshop dates: Atlanta, Winston/Salem and Kansas City. They are coming up this fall. Check the Workshop Page for more information.)

I put this light together in about 10 minutes including the conception of it. I wanted to get a feel of the room as well as the ambient of the outside to make the shot look more ‘natural.’ This was a little tricky as all my modifiers – umbrellas and such – were packed for the trip home.


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