Tuesday's Tips: Mid Day Long Exposure

Happy  Summer!
 

During the recent Memorial Day weekend I went to photograph the 3700 flags on Boston Common  honoring Massachusetts residents, from the Civil War to the present, who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

This was shot mid afternoon and the sun was quite high in the sky.  I used a variety of shutter speeds and f  stops to achieve different effects.  In order to gain a long exposure and have movement in the flags I used  a variable ND (neutral density) filter.  Longer exposures  (slower shutter speeds) allow for more motion in the photograph.  As a photojournalist, I am trained to do everything in camera.  

 ISO: 100. Aperture: 4.5,  Shutter: 1/160

 

ISO: 160  Aperture: 18, Shutter: 1/10

 

ISO: 50 Aperture: 16,  Shutter: 2 seconds

 

ISO: 50 Aperture: 20, Shutter: 4 seconds.

The photographs above were taken with Nikon D800 70-200mm Nikkor and a 105mm Nikkor  Micro lenses on an Induro tripod with a Nikon cable release.  I carry my gear in a ThinkTank Photo Retrospective LC2, which is my standard walking around camera bag.   

There is no "right" or "wrong" with photography,  It is only what you prefer.  An ND filter is one of the tools I used to achieve different looks for my photography.

 

Tuesday's Tips: The Photo Brigade Video Podcast

Happy Tuessday!  I am excited to tell you I was recently interviewed by Robert Caplin for the Photo Brigade Video Podcast at Adorama in New York City.  The video podcast is now available!  I talked about a bit of my career as a photojournalist, my approach to lighting and my  Location Lighting Workshops.  

Check out the Photo Brigade! Great resource for the photographers! 

 

Here are the behind scene from this interview at and around Adorama in New York City!

Thank you for having me!

Tuesday's Tips: Fun with Lights!

Last week I introduced the new version of the Rick Friedman Location Lighting Kit by Rosco during a 2 hour Location Lighting Workshop presentation at B&H Photo in New York.  The idea for my Location Lighting Kit came from my "must have" in my camera bag: correction filters, color gels, PhotoFoil and Toughspun.  Using a Dynalite Baja B4 Strobe, my Rosco Location Lighting Kit, a couple of Nissin strobes and a Sunbounce reflector, the goal was to demonstrate different types of lighting, starting with a single strobe and end with elaborate lighting with a projected background all in two hours at the B&H classroom.   Stay tuned for the upcoming video!

Our wonderful model, Hillary Button, is standing in front of a plain white backdrop.  The photograph below is our set up. The main light is a Dynalite Baja B4 400WS strobe with a 20 degree grid.  The front of the strobe is wrapped in Rosco PhotoFoil, to control the beam of light, so the model is lit without any light from the Dynalite strobe hitting the backdrop. The black foam core further prevents white light from hitting anywhere on the backdrop.   Behind the model's head is a Nissin Di866 flash with a Rosco Night Blue gel #74, giving her the highlights around her hair.  To create the background, I took a sheet of PhotoFoil and cut out the pattern, and hung it from a small boom in front of flash.  I used a Sunbounce Flash Bracket to connect a Nissin MG8000 flash to the same light stand as the boom holding the PhotoFoil pattern.  In front of the Nissin flash is a Rosco CalcolorBlue #90 gel.  The PhotoFoil and the gels are included in my Rosco "Rick Friedman Location Lighting Kit."  The photograph was shot with a Nikon D800 and a Nikon 105mm macro lens on an Induro Tripod connected  to my computer with a TetherTool cable.

 

The photograph below is from the beginning of the presentation.  The lighting in this image
is from the Dynalite Baja B4 strobe, which is powered by an internal battery, shot through a Dynalite medium soft box.  On the right side of the model's face is a Sunbounce Micro-Mini reflector.  

To determine my exposure, I use a Sekonic 478DR light meter (photo on right).

 

In this photograph of Hillary, I have added a Rosco Calcolor Lavender 60 gel to the Nissin MG8000 flash behind her head.


And here I am having another rough day at the office!

Thank you to our wonderful makeup artist Kate Easterbrook for a great job and from coming all the way from Toronto.  
I hope you can join me at one of my upcoming Location Lighting Workshops for a couple of days of Lighting and Laughing! This weekend I will be at Hunts Photo & Video just outside Boston.

Tuesday's Tips: Let the Campaign Begin!

Happy Tuesday!  

One of my great passions throughout my career as a photojournalist has been photographing presidential campaigns, especially in the very early phases, which is where we are now.  Campaign 2016 is well underway!
Every 4 years, I photograph a lot of people who think they are qualified to be president.  This is my 10th Presidential campaign.  I started doing this when Carter first ran.  My first great success was shooting the Newsweek cover when Ronald Reagan won the New Hampshire primary defeating George Bush.  I was on assignment for Newsweek covering George H.W. Bush in Manchester, NH.  After Bush gave his concession speech, I quickly left his campaign headquarters and drove from Machester to Concord to see if I could make it before Reagan gave his acceptance speech.  I made it in time and nicely pushed my way through the crowd to the third row behind two rows of fellow photojournalists and positioned my 50mm lens between the other photographers. Today, due to security this would never happen.   I sent off my film and would have been happy to have a photo in the magazine.  When my agent, Howard Chapnick of Black Star called on Thursday early evening and asked "how does it feel to have your first Newsweek cover?'  I respond with "how would I know".  That excitement of covering politics has never left me.  I still believe I have the best job in world. The person I am with could go on to become the president and today they are shaking hands with a few people in a drug store.

 

So far this campaign, I have photographed, Jeb Bush, Chris Christy, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Ben Carson and Rand Paul.  With in the next few weeks I will photograph at least a dozen people who think they are the one to lead our country.  It is an unique experience.  Whether or not you agree with them politically, it is fascinating to spend time with this amazing group of people and hear their political views.  

Over my 10 presidential campaigns I have learned a few things that have worked well for me covering the campaign trail.  

 

Dos & Dont's:

Do: play nice with others!

Get to know the candidate, they may become president!

Get to know their staff, they control access.  Get to know the national and local politicos.   And very important, get to know security.  Whether it's local police or Secret Service, be polite, understand their job.  You may want to make a photograph, but they have to protect the candidate.  I learned a long time ago, never challenge a person with badge and a gun.  You will not win.  If you are nice and you get to know them, you will get your shots.
 

 

 

Do: Play nice with fellow journalists!  They can make your job some much easier or much more difficult.

 

 

Do: Travel Light
Some times there is not much light and high ISO is the answer.  I would always rather use the native ISO of a camera.  If the stage is not lit, sometimes I will light it with my own strobes, my strobe of choice is a Dynalite Baja, set up in the back of the room.  I'll fire the Dynalite with a Pocket Wizard Plus III.  I can have nice light with direction and make portrait in a situation that is not optimal and have the flexibly to move around the room.  I was able to shoot Chris Christie at ISO 400!  You can read more detailed info on "how to" in my past blog post "Lighting Politics!"








Do: pay attention to color balance. All of my strobes have a Rosco CTO and 3304 fluorescent filter attached with Velcro to the top of the flash.  It's always there when I need it. 

This is me using my Rosco 3304 fluorescent filter, covering Ben Carson in NH.




Do: Keep an eye out for items that add to your photos.  If there is an American flag or a campaign sign, add to your photo.  Place your photograph, look for things that show the location of the event.

 

 

 

Be ready, the great photographs happen in a second.   Pay Attention for candidate's entrance and exit .

 

 

 

Do: Use negative space in your images.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don't:
Don't block other people's view.
Be award of the people you are working around.  Be respectful of the people whose lives and homes we invade.  A journalist who is inconsiderate makes us all look bad and makes our job harder.

Don't: carry too much equimpemet with you.   During a long campaign day, your equipment will feel like it gains weight as the day goes on.  
 

 

What I usually carry on the campaign trail:
2 Nikon cameras
Nikon 17-35 f2.8
Nikon 24-70 f2.8
Nikon 70-200 f2.8
2 Speedlights with Rosco CTO and green filters.
ThinkTank Retrospective bag.

Things I sometimes carry:
Nikon 16mm Fisheye
Nikon 105mm Macro lens (great for portraits)
Nikon 300mm f2.8
Dynalie Baja 400WS Strobe
PocketWizard Plus III
Chimera 22" beauty dish
Induro tripod.

When I need my 300mm and my computer at an event,  I carry a ThinkTank Street Walker backpack.  

 

One last do:  Enjoy this amazing experience!

Here is a list of my upcoming workshops! Hope you can join us!

April 25
Miami Photography Workshops, Miami, FL

May 7
B&H Photo, New York, NY

May 16-17
Hunts Photo, Melrose, MA

Happy Shooting!!

Tuesday's Tips: Seeing the Light!

Sometimes lighting means analyze the light that is present and use it to your advantage.  All my previous "Tuesday's Tips" have been about lighting with strobes, or mixing strobes with available light and adding light modifiers.  This week's blog is about how to get the most out of available light through long exposures and timing your exposure, both in length of exposure and when you make the exposure.  The long exposure photographs in this blog are from my recent trip to London and Paris.  I was in London to teach lighting at the Societies Photographic Convention.  
When doing long exposure you need a tripod (I use an Induro) and a cable release.  A neutral density filter is great when you need to make your exposure longer.    Make sure you close the view finder to prevent stray light from damaging your exposure and using the mirror lock up helps prevent camera shake.

This image of Tower Bridge in London was shot during blue hour.  My exposure was 30 seconds at f20, ISO100.  The long exposure gives you the streaks from car lights.   The key to getting light streaks higher in the frame is to wait until a bus or truck enters your frame.

 

In this photograph of Piccadilly Circus in London, my exposure was much shorter than in the above photograph.     The exposure on this photograph was 5 seconds, f20, ISO 100.  When shooting this photograph, all the traffic would be stopped and then light would change and all the busses would go at once.  That's when to start shooting. 

 

This photograph is also of Piccadilly Circus.  In this photograph my base exposure was determined using my camera meter and reading off the buildings.  It was important not to blow out the buildings and still get effects of the lights moving through the image.  I dropped my ISO to 50, shutter at13 seconds at f22.  This image was shot with a Nikon D-800 and a Nikon 16mm fisheye

 

In order to get the effects of the lots of traffic streaming around the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, I used a very long shutter speed and a 9 stop ND filter.  I start my exposure by using the camera meter, set on spot to read the light off the highlights in Arc de Triomphe.  That gives me my starting point for exposure.  To calculate my long exposure, I take my base exposure & the number of stops on my ND filter and plug the information into the ND Timer app.  If I want a longer exposure, I would use a denser ND filter.  The exposure on this image was 186 seconds at f22 ISO 50.  The photo was shot on a Nikon D-800 with a 17-35mm Nikon lens at 30mm using my Induro tripod and a cable release.  

 

These 2 photographs of the windmill at Moulin Rouge where captured with in a few minutes of each other.  In the top photograph the shutter speed was 3 seconds in the bottom photograph the shutter speed was 8 seconds.  The 5 seconds difference in the shutter gives yo a very different effect in the windmill.  Both imagers were shot at f20 on a Nikon D-800 with a 24- 70 f 2.8 Nikon lens.

 

Come join me at one of my upcoming "Location Lighting Workshops" 
Horizon Photo Summit, Wilmington, DE
Can Am Photo Expo, Amherst, NY
Photo Workshops Miami, Miami, FL

Tuesday's Tips: Lighting a London Asylum!

My destination Location Lighting Workshop held at the Societies Photographic Convention, aka SWPP in London resulted in some wonderful images and was  an event teeming with an abundant source of gear and creative alternatives.   The workshop was held at the Asylum, at Caroline Gardens Chapel in Peckham, London..  The Asylum was built between 1827 and 1833, bombed during WWII and semi restored.  This provided an incredible  place to hold a lighting workshop as it afforded us endless possibilities to create moods and scenes depicting a variety of situations.  We had 2 great models and masses of equipment from The Flash Center, Rosco, PocketWizardChimera Lighting and Rogue Flash Benders

A004A.jpg

The lighting on this image was an Elinchrom Ranger Quadra strobe with a Chimera Strip Light on the right side of the model. On the left side of the model and slightly behind her was another strobe with a Rosco #83 Blue gel.  Placed in  front of the blue gel was a grid made out of Rosco CineFoil to control the light direction and break up the light beam.  The smoke was created using a Rosco Vapour fog machine.
If you back light your smoke, it will  have a greater effect.  This is true when using a fog machine or when photographing smoke from a cigarette or cigar.  This photograph was shot on a Nikon D-800 with a 24-70 Nikon lens at 35mm, 1/100 of a second at f5, ISO 100.

The photograph below is a mixture of strobe and ambient light.  The light on the models face is from a strobe through a Chimera 30" beauty dish.  The light on the left side of the background is ambient light and the colors were from the bright sunlight  shining through the stained glass windows about 20 feet above the floor.  This was shot on a Nikon D800 with the lens at 24mm , 1/125 of a second, at f 4 ISO 1000.  

 

Here are a few more images from the Asylum workshop.

         

 


 

 

 



 

At every "Location Lighting Workshop™" we create our "Silly Group Photo" Here is  the Asylum image.  Thank you to Canna Gray of Rosco and Ian Pack of The Light Side for all their help during the workshop.

Please join me at one of my upcoming "Location Lighting Workshops™"  Click here for the schedule.

 

 

 

 

Tuesday's Tips: Gronk Assignment for Sports Illustrated!

I had a great assignment on New Year's day photographing Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots for Sports Illustrated at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

 

As I arrived at the stadium, there were still some question about where the shoot would take place.  What I did know was that  I was  going to have about 15 minutes to photograph Gronk and it was going to be somewhere at the facility.   We were hoping to photograph him in a weight room and with the help of the Patriots communications department, that's the space we were given. My assistant and I started moving equipment to the weight room.  Once in the room I had to quickly determine what I wanted for my photographs, remembering the 15 minutes allotted for  the shoot.   I determined I could get 4 different photographs in my 15 minutes.  That meant less than 4 minutes per shot, including any adjustments of lights or make up.  The key to getting this done, is preset all the lights, test them, then re-test them.  We did 2 different lighting setups.  One on the weight machine and the mirror and another compete set of lights for the photographs on a backdrop.  When we moved from the weight machine and mirror photographs to the backdrop, no lights had to be moved.  Both Nikon cameras and all 4 Dynalite strobes had PocketWizards connected, all on the same channel.  You want minimize any chance of anything going wrong.  On a shoot like this I always have back up equipment, I don't need it, but it's there, just in case.  All of the lighting tests had been done ahead of time using my assistant, who is about 1/3 Gronk's size as the stand in.  We rehearsed how the shoot was going to flow.  I put small pieces of tape on the floor as a mark for Rob to stand on.  
 

 After the standing and sitting shots at the weight machine, while I explained to Rob what I wanted for the shot with the mirror, my assistant moved the Chimera strip light on the left back 2 feet and turned the strip light on the right about 20 degrees toward the mirror.  The beauty dish never moved from the first setup to the mirror setup and we lost no time during the quick change from one photograph to another and lost no time when we moved from the weight machine to the backdrop.  When working with mirrors, watch for your reflection and the reflection of the strobes.  This was shot on a Nikon D800 with a Nikon 24-70 f2.8 lens at 55mm ISO 100 at 1/200 f5.6.

How this was lit:

The lighting on the standing and sitting shots were a Dynalite Baja 400WS battery operated strobe  with a 30" Chimera Octa Beauty Dish with an Egg Crate at a 45 degree angle for the front light.  For the back lights I used a Dynalite Uni 400WS strobe with a medium Chimera Strip light on camera left.  This is first soft box I owned and have had ifor over 30 years.  I think I've  gotten my money's worth out it.  On the right side I used a second Dynalite Uni with a small Chimera Strip Bank.  I had a PocketWizard Plus III on camera and on each strobe.  The 4th light in this photograph was a Nikon SB 900 Flash with a Rosco #83 Medium Blue gel, behind Gronk on the bench, pointed at him.  This flash was set on manual and fired using the SU-4 setting in the custom functions. 

For the shot of Gronk in the mirror:  the strip light on the left was moved towards the wall so it became the back light.  The small trip light was turned about 20 degrees towards the mirror and the beauty dish and the beauty dish was not moved.  All of my settings remained the same.  This was shot with a Nikon 17-35mm lens set at 17mm.

The lighting on this photograph was a Dynalite Roadmax 800 power pack with 2 heads.  The front light was a Chimera 5' Octaplus light bank on a Dynalite head.  Opposite my main light is a Sunbounce Sunmover silver and gold zebra pattern reflector.   The hairline light was a Dynalite head  with an extension tube, a grid holder with a 20 degree grid and a Rosco 1/2 CTO filter to warm up the light.  This was shot with Nikon D800 with a Nikon 70-200 f2.8 lens at 1/250 of a second, f5, ISO 100. I used a Sekonic L-478DR light meter to determine exposures and a Hoodman Loupe to check my focus.  All the equipment was moved in ThinkTank cases.  I recently got a ThinkTank Production Manager case.  It is perfect for this type of shoot. 

 

Last,  but not the least,  when you have a shoot like this, be nice to everyone.  not just your subject, but the publicist and PR people.  When I am working on creating a portrait, once I have an image I like, I will show it to the subject and ask "what do you think of the photograph we are creating?"  The subject and I are creating the photograph together, I can't do it without them.  The subject now feels more involved in the photograph, often makes suggestions and quite often give me a few more minutes to create the image.   I gained an additional 5 minutes to my 15 minutes shoot,  because it was a pleasant  experience,  Many may not see this, but it is very important!

Thank you SI for the wonderful assignment to kick off my year!  I love my job!

Tuesday's Tip: Lighting Hyunah

This week's Tuesday Tips is a photograph from my studio.  As a photojournalist and corporate photographer, I do the majority shoots on location, although I do use my studio for some assignments.  Quite often, I use my studio like my test kitchen exploring new lighting techniques and testing new equipment.  All of the light in this photograph was produced using 3 Speedlights and a plant!  Ok, I used some other equipment.

My wonderful model for this shoot is Hyunah Jang.  A superb photographer, now working in Hawaii. 

The main light in this photograph is a Nikon speedlight shot through a  Flashbender XL Pro Strip Diffuser.   The hairline light another  speedlight with  a Rogue Grid  and a 1/2 CTO orange gel on a boom overhead.  For the background we placed a third strobe on the floor behind the screen with a blue gel  and fired it through a plant to give us the pattern on the screen.  We  used a piece of foam core to bounce the light from the Flashbender back on to our model’s face.  ISO 125 Fstop 7.1 and Shutterspeed 1/100.  

This set up works in a really small space and with the exception of the screen and plant is really portable.   The end photograph just does not feel like it was shot in a  really small space.

 

    Gear used in this Shoot:

    Nikon D800
    Nikon 70-200 f2.8 zoom lens
    Nikon 3 Speedlights
    4 PocketWizard Plus III
    ExpoImaging Rogue XL Pro Strip Diffuser (main light)
    ExpoImaging Rogue Grid with gel (Hairline light)
    Rosco Blue gel (background)
    Formcore
    Manfrotto Justin Clamp (to hold a form core)

     

     



    Tuesday's Tips: Capturing Santa!

    Merry Christmas!



    The Challenge in this week's "Tuesday Tips,  Capturing Santa"  is balancing the strobe light, the ambient light in the sky and the holidays lights in the wagon.  I shot this near my studio in South End neighborhood of Boston.  The key to making this photo work, was waiting until the ambient light in the sky dropped to the point of being almost dark and matching exposure on the sky to the tungsten light in the wagon. At that point, the side of Santa's face nearest the camera was underexposed.  The solution was a Speedlight on camera, the flash compensation was  -1 stop with a small Rogue Flashbender.  To determine my ambient light, I used the in camera meter.  The exposure was ISO 400, 1/30 second at f2.8.  My camera was set on manual and my strobe was set on TTL.  This was not a set up shot, so I had  to make the photograph in a very short period of time, like 3 frames.

    It's getting cold in Boston. Stay warm for the holidays season, and Merry Christmas!

    Come join me at one of my "Location Lighting Workshops™" in 2015            
    January 14-18, 2015
    The Societies Photographic Convention.  London, UK

    January 16
    SWPP Lighting on Location. London, UK

    January 17
    SWPP A Day at the Asylum. London, UK

    January 18
    SWPP Location Lighting Workshop Demonstration. London, UK

    February 7, 2015
    Hunts Photo, Portland, Maine

    February 19
    Stonybrook Camera Club Evening Lecture 

    February 21, 2015
    Hunts Photo, Melrose, MA

    February 27
    Horizon Photography Summit  Wilmington, DL

    March 2-5
    WPPI 2015

    March 21-23
    Can-Am Photo Festival Amherst, NY

    March 24
    Gateway Camera Club Evening Lecture

    March 31 -April 1
    New England Institute of Professional Photography: 2 day Location Lighting Workshop

    April 25-26
    Unique Photo, Fairfield, NJ

     

    Tuesday's Tips: Happy Chanukah!

    Happy first night of Chanukah!  The Festival of Lights.   For this week's Tuesday's Tips I thought I should light the lights.  Since it 's the first night, I lit the menorah with 1 speedlight. 
     

     

     
    I shot this photograph in my studio in Boston's South End using a single Nikon Speedlight shot through a Rogue Grid with a blue gel.  I put a Rogue Flashbender on one side of the grid to further narrow the beam of light from the Speedlight giving me drop off on the light in the foreground. 

    This photo is a mixture of available light and strobe,  when deciding on exposure for a photograph I always start my exposure with the element I can not control.  In this photograph that element is the light from the candle.  I used the camera's light meter, set on spot meter to read the light from the candle.  Below you can see what the image looked like with no strobe and with strobe, without the blue gel.

     

    The last part of the setup was moving the menorah so I had reflections in the base.

    The photograph was shot with a Nikon D-800 and a Nikon 105 Macro lens, Rogue grid set, Rogue flash bender, Pocket Wizard TT5 & TT1.  The menorah was on a black velvet backdrop.  The velvet did not reflect any light, giving me the total black background.

     

    Shalom, May Peace be with everyone this holiday season! 

    Upcoming Workshop:
    2015
    January 14-18, 2015
    The Societies Photographic Convention.  London, UK

    January 16
    SWPP Lighting on Location. London, UK

    January 17
    SWPP A Day at the Asylum. London, UK

    January 18
    SWPP Location Lighting Workshop Demonstration. London, UK

    February 7, 2015
    Hunts Photo, Portland, Maine

    February 19
    Stonybrook Camera Club Evening Lecture 

    February 27
    Horizon Photography Summit  Wilmington, DL

    March 2-5
    WPPI 2015

    March 21-23
    Can-Am Photo Festival Amherst, NY

    March 24
    Gateway Camera Club Evening Lecture

    March 31 -April 1
    New England Institute of Professional Photography: 2 day Location Lighting Workshop

     

    Tuesday's Tips: A Quick Trip to India

    We had a couple of weeks that “Tuesday’s Tips” was absent, but I had a good excuse.  I flew to India to attend my stepson Michael’s wedding in Goa.  It was a unique intercultural and interfaith 3 day wedding.  There were 2 very different wedding ceremonies.  The first was conducted by my nephew Spike, a rabbi and a close friend of Michael’s. The ceremony the next day was a traditional Hindu wedding.  Each had it’s own unique customs, both had lots of colors.  

    I used a Nikon Speedlight to capture the selfie moment and match the light on Michael and Juhi with the sky

     

    In this image the ambient light in the sky matched the ambient light on the couple.

     

    This photograph was lit  with a Speedlight mixed with the available LED lights 


    I lit this photograph with a Speedlight and a collapsable Chimera  Beautydish.  The Speedlight was triggered by Pocket Wizard Plus IIIs.

     

    When I wasn’t photographing at the weddings, I was out shooting the beach and the market. What do most photographers do to relax on a few days off?  Make more photographs!

    I convented my Nikon D300 into Infrared camera a few years ago.  Although I don't use it much for assignment.  Creating IR images is a great relaxation for me.

     

    Cow and tourists!

     

     

     

    When I packed for the trip I knew much of photography would be available light, so I brought my polarizing filter and 2 ND filters.   I also knew some of the photographs would need lighting.  In addition to my camera and lens, I brought a small portable studio in camera bag and roll on case.   I don't check in my gear.  I use a ThinkTank Urban Disguise bag and a ThinkTank Airport International Rolling Camera Bag and wheel my equipment on to the plane. 

     

    Here’s my equipment list:

    2 Nikon D800s

    Nikon 17-35 f2.8

    Nikon 24-70 42.8

    Nikon 70-200 f2.8

    Nikon 16mm fisheye

    3 Nikon SB900s

    Rosco Rick Friedman Location Lighting Kit

    3 PocketWizard Plus llls

    2 Rogue Flashbenders

    1 Rogue Grid

    1 Chimera Beauty Dish

    1 Induro tripod

    1 Nikon D300s converted to infrared

    1 Lensbaby Composer 

    1 California Sunbounce Sunmover reflector

    I had a great time in India, the people are wonderful!  I wish I could have stayed more than a few days.  I look forward to returning.

    Mazel Tov! Wish you the life time of happiness!  Congratulations Mike & Juhi!

     

    Tuesday's Tips: Chasing Shadows!

    Happy Tuesday!


    For the past two weeks I've discussed how to add color to your background using Rosco gels and Cinefoil from my Location Lighting Kit.  For this week's Tuesday Tips, I want to show you another way to accent your photographs, by adding shadows!  The key to creating shadows where you want them is to have your strobe off camera.  Remember, the smaller your light source the harder the edge.  The angle of your light and the distance your subject is from the background will effect how the shadow is projected.


    1 speedlight :
    In the photo below, shot at a Manhattan costume party, I placed a single speedlight to the left of the camera, lower than the subjects, and shot it through a small Rogue Flashbender fired with a PocketWizard TT-5.  This sent the shadow up and behind the subjects while lighting the subjects with soft light.   I can control where the shadow goes by moving my strobe.  

     

    2 speedlights:
    In this photograph for Harvard University of Professor Robert Lue, I wanted to show the Professor's research on his computer.  The challenge was making an interesting photograph when the only background available was his computer monitor.  The starting point is to read the ambient off the computer, this gives you your base exposure.  When lighting a photograph like this, it is essential that no light from your strobes hits the computer monitor.  This photograph was lit with two Speedlights both with Rogue Grids to control the light on the professors face, while not allowing any strobe light to hit the monitor.   The Speedlight on the right is the main light to light his face:  one stop brighter, (step2).   The Speedlight on the left cast the shadow on the monitor and open up the shadow of his face.   To make sure no light from the strobe hits the monitor, or the shadow I have just created, the strobe on the right has a snoot created out of Rosco Cinefoil.

     

     

    3 strobes:  Two Dynalites and a Speedlight
    The challenge for this shoot was to recreate a photograph that was previously shot in early March, when the sunlight was low on the horizon and casting the shadow on the wall.  The problem was this photograph was shot in July, when the light was totally different.  

    The solution: recreate the original light by placing a Dynalite outside of the door.  To control the direction of the light from the Dynalite strobe, I put a grid over the strobe and added a Rosco 1/2 CTO to warm it.  The strobes were fired through the walls using a PocketWizard Plus lll.   Inside I had a second Dyanlite to light her face, also with a grid and a Speedlight aimed at the dark side of her face.

    I will be traveling next week, so Tuesday's Tips may take the week off.  I hope everyone will have a great Thanksgiving! 

    I hope to see you at one of my upcoming workshops.  The next two stops for my Location Lighting Workshops Tour are at Hunts Photo on December 6th and at the Societies' Photographic Convention in London in January.  I'll be teaching my Location Lighting Workshop "A Day at Asylum with Rick Friedman" (love the title!).  Hope you can join us!  

    Thank you Rick Sammon and Juan Pons for having me on this edition of Digital Photo Experience! Hope everyone can tune in and listen!

    Our friends at Hunts Photo and Video are giving out 20 % discount on Rogue flash benders SM and LG, to our readers, Thank you Hunts!

    “Tuesday’s Tips” Running out of Light, Let’s Make More!

    This week’s “Tuesday’s Tips” features an architectural shoot we did yesterday. Our client was Mark Connor, the architect who designed the Callahan building on the campus of Endicott College, just north of Boston.  Connor requested photographs that were different from the traditional architectural photographs.

    For photographs of building exteriors, the answer was to shoot long exposures during blue hour.  During sunset I started to see wonderful colors behind the building.  As the sun sets earlier this time of year, the blue hour is really the blue half hour. Although the sky was looking great at blue hour, the front of the building was going dark. The solution was to use a couple of Dynalite portable strobes. The blue hour was fading fast, no time for light stands…

    Quick!! Put a PocketWizard Plus III on each strobe and one on the camera.  My intern, Kalin, held a Dynalite Baja strobe over head, my assistant Keiko, ran across the street, laid on the grass and aimed a Dynalite Uni at the building while I stood on a rock with my Nikon D800 with a 14-24 lens on a tripod.  The two strobes filled in just enough of the building to make the brick stand out. The light on the foreground was enough draw your attention to the building.  I waited for a car to drive by to get the effect of the headlights and taillights to come out as streaks.  The exposure was six seconds, f13 at ISO 400.  Don’t forget to use your cable release on long exposures.

    With strobes

    With strobes

    Without strobes

    Without strobes

    Keiko is holdlng Dynalite Uni to light the building, and Nikon Speedlight set on SU4 to light herself.

    My next 2 stops for my Location Lighting Workshops are Hunts Photo on December 6th and at the Societies Photographic Convention in London in January.  I'll be teaching my Location Lighting Workshop "A Day at Asylum with Rick Friedman" (love the title!).  Hope you can join us!

    Tuesday's Tips : Fun at PhotoPlus, New York

    I had a great time at PhotoPlus in NYC, presenting 5 lectures and live demos for Sunbounce, Rosco, Expoimaging and Unique Photo during the show.  Here are a few of the photographs recapping PhotoPlus. Enjoy!

    Rosco released the new version of my Location Lighting Kit.  The kit includes 27 Rosco color gels, Cinefoil, and Toughspun, a must-have in my camera bag.  I presented a Live Location Lighting Workshop using my kit to create photographs at the Rosco booth shooting the model against a white backdrop

    Thank you for the great make up, Kate Easterbrook who came all the way from Toronto!

    Thank you for the great make up, Kate Easterbrook who came all the way from Toronto!

    This was a 3 set-up: The main light was a Dynalite Baja Strobe with a small Chimera striplight.  The background was created by blowing a Nikon Speedlight  through a pattern cut in a sheet of Rosco Cinefoil with 4 color gels.  The black cardboard is to prevent my main light from hitting my background.  The hairline light was a Nissin Speedlight with a color gel, Toughspun, and Cinefoil.  All the gels, Cinefoil and Toughspun are in my new Rosco Rick Friedman Location Lighting Kit.  I mixed 3 different brands of strobes and fired them using Pocketwizard Plus III’s. 

     

    I did another fun demonstration at the Expoimaging booth, using a Rogue XL Flashbender, set up as a strip light,  3 Rogue Grid sets and 3 color gels.  The set up for this shot was 4 speedlights.  My main light was was a Rogue XL Strip light on the left side.  The hairline light was a Rogue grid with an orange gel placed directly behind the model and aimed at her head. The side  light was a Rogue grid with a blue gel placed to her right side. The background light was a Rogue grid and a red gel aimed at the backdrop.  

     

    I did a live demo for Sunbounce Hasselblad Bron on the show floor stage working with Sunbounce Bouncewalls, and Sunbounce MicroMini reflectors.

    At the Unique Photo booth I presented my Location Lighting Workshop presentation.  I am delighted to say that we will presenting  another Location Lighting Workshop at Kips Castle in the spring!  Kips Castle is a old castle located at Monclair, NJ.  We had great photo fun last time.  Registration infomation is coming soon!

    My good friend, great photographer, and creator of Digital Photo Experience, Rick Sammon interviewed me about my new "Rosco Rick Friedman Location Lighting Kit".   If you have not subscribed to his podcast,  sign up today! Its a great resource for photographers, and stay tuned for my episode!

     

    In the mist of PhotoPlus, I also managed to see many of my photo friends including Jim Morton and Jason Etzel at the Dynalite booth

    To unwind, the Flug Halloween Party was the place to be.  The party was sponsored by my friends at Resource Magazine and Hasselblad Bron.  I know it's hard to tell, but the person in the middle is Resource Magazine publisher Alexandra Niki, on right is photographer Gabriel Biderman.  Both Gabriel and myself recently led FujiFilm Photo Tours.  


    You can see many more behind the scene photos from PhotoPlus on my Instagram, RickFriedmanPix.  My next 2 stops for my Location Lighting Workshops are Hunts Photo in the Boston area in December and  at the Societies Photographic Convention in London in January.  I'll be teaching my Location Lighting Workshop "A Day at Asylum with Rick Friedman" (love the title!).  Hope you can join us!

    Tuesday's Tips: "Throwing Colors at the Wall" with my new Rosco Location Lighting Kit

    I'm excited to announce that Rosco is releasing the new version of the  "Rick Friedman Location Lighting Kit" at PhotoPlus Expo in NY this week. Lots of color gels, Toughspun & Cinefoil,  I'll be demonstrating the new kit at the Rosco booth on Friday 10/31.  Booth 165.  

    If you look in my camera bag, you will  find a plastic bag of Rosco color gels, Toughspun and Cinefoil, in various sizes that I use for my assignments. I use the gels to color correct and create interesting light  while the Cinefoil helps me control the light and the Tough Spun helps softens the light.  All these fit in a small bag!  

    The beauty of working with Rosco Cinefoil and color gels is you can make a boring background into interesting one!  The model is leaning against the brick wall outside the studio.  By adding the color gels shot through holes in the Cinefoil, I was able to project the colors on the wall.  Before the cover shoot we cut a pattern out of a sheet of Rosco Photofoil and taped pieces of different color gels over the holes in the Cinefoil.  My background light was a Nikon speedlight blown through the colored cut out to project interesting patterns on the bricks.   I used a speed light for my background because I wanted to have the pattern to come out clear: a smaller light source will gives you harder edge.  My main light was Dynalite Uni with a grid and Rosco Toughspun.  I used a sheet of Cinefoil to direct my main light to create the feeling of a spot light on my model.  The Uni strobe  was powered by a portable Jack Rabbit battery and both strobes were fired using PocketWizard Plus IIIs.

    This is a strobe photograph, with no ambient light.  I used Sekonic 478 Lightmeter to read the strobe output.  My exposure for this shot was 1/250 second, f5 at ISO 80.

     

    Equipment used for the cover shot are:
    Lots of Rosco color gels
    2 sheets of Rosco Cinefoil
    Dynalite Uni with a grid and
    Rosco Toughspun
    Nikon Speedlight
    PocketWizard Plus III
    Sekonic Lightmeter 478
    Nikon D800

    Thank you Eve Eliseeva for being a wonderful model!

     

    I will be doing a series of lectures and live demos throughout PhotoPlus 2014 Expo at Javtis Center in New York City. 

    Thursday October 30
    Noon-12:30 California SunBounce PhotoPlus Show Floor Theatre
    1:30- 2:15 Unique Photo Booth #937

    Friday Oct 31
    ROSCO Booth #165

    Saturday Nov 1
    12:30 – 1:15 ExpoImaging Booth #134
    2:30 – 3:15 Unique Photo Booth #937

    I will discuss "how-to" on my lighting from my photo assignment, a lot of gear talk as well as fun behind the scenes stories. If you are planning to be there, come say hi!

    Tuesday's Tips: Shooting Colorado!

    A few weeks ago I traveled through Colorado from Denver to the Telluride Photo Festival.  I had the honor to teach two Location Lighting Workshops and presented two lectures; one on location lighting and one on my career as a photojournalist.  While in Denver, I went to the Denver Botanic Garden to view the Chihuly exhibit. It was amazing!  In Boulder, I stopped off at Chimera Lighting to see where my softboxes are created.  The next day, I headed to Colorado Springs to visit a great photographer and friend, Allison Ernest.  After Colorado Springs, I had an amazing drive across the beautiful state.  

    Here are a few photographs from the trip:

    Location Lighting Workshop attendee, Mark Burrows, modeling in front of a gray backdrop. This gray backdrop was colored using blue Rosco gels, with a pattern created by shooting the strobe through Rosco CineFoil with holes cut into the CineFoil.

    The setup for the above photograph:  The main light is a Dynlite Uni 400 with Rosco ToughSpun over the strobe to soften the light.  The background light is a Nikon Speedlight SB900 with gels and Cinefoil.
    I used a Sunbounce MicroMini reflector to bounce back some of the light.

    Here, we have moved outside the studio and are using a Dynalite Baja strobe with a Chimera beauty dish as our light modifier.  In this photograph we are using the strobe and beauty dish to control the light on the model's face while initially exposing for the background.  Each of the students had a PocketWizard PlusIII on their camera to fire the strobe.  The Baja recycled fast enough for every student to work off one strobe.

    Here is our set up at the beginning of Colorado Avenue in Telluride.  My friend, and an amazing photographer, Marla Meredith is modeling for us.  We are using the Dynlite Baja and the Chimera Beauty dish to light the model's face and balance the background light.

     

    Back in the studio, this was lit using a a Speedlight and with a large Flashbender as the main light and Rogue Grid set as the hairline light.  Thank you Carin Somers for being a wonderful model!

    The Chihuly exhibit at the Denver Botanic Garden in Denver.  This is amazing art and light.

    Sunrise over Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.  Yes, I really did get up early enough to photograph a sunrise!

    Hanging out with Eileen Healy at Chimera in Boulder, where all my soft boxes are born!

    Reflections over the Box Canyon in Telluride. This town is a photographer's playground!

    Sunset over the hills above Telluride.

    Star trails over Telluride.  The exposure on this image 1221 seconds at f16, ISO 100.  The light on the mountains and the forest is from an almost full moon.

    Telluride, CO

    Telluride, CO

    Time to leave Colorado and head for New York to PhotoPlus!

    Leaving Telluride...  Next stop... New York for PhotoPlus. I'll be presenting my Location Lighting for Rosco, where we will be introducing my new Location Lighting Kit.  I will also be at Shoot NYC for SunBounce, at the ExpoImaging booth and at Unique Photo.  Hope to see you there!

    PhotoPlus Schedule

    Thursday  October 30
    Noon-  California SunBounce #245
    1:30- 2:15  Unique Photo Booth #937

    Friday  Oct 31
    ROSCO Booth #165

    Saturday Nov 1
    12:30 – 1:15  ExpoImaging Booth #134
    2:30 – 3:15  Uniqu Photo Booth #937

    Tuesday's Tips: Making great light with your strobe sitting on the camera!

    What can we do with flash on camera?  The answer is A LOT!  

    I like using my Speedlights off camera whenever I can, but there are a lot of times as a photojournalist when I don't have time, or space to set up off camera strobes.  Like when covering news events, catching spontaneous moments with politicians and celebrities, and making quick portraits.

    I often bounce the strobe off a white wall or ceiling to direct my light.  I change my shutterspeed to achieve good lighting balance and to add or freeze motion.  The Speedlight is a small harsh light source, by bouncing the light off a wall, the ceiling, or using a light modifier you can take a small harsh light source and make it a much larger and softer light source.  By using one of a few small light modifiers like a Rogue Flashbender or a SunBounce Bounce-Wall with your strobe light, you can greatly improve your speedlight on camera.  I use the Flashbender at events and the Bounce-Wall for quick beautiful portraits.  

    My rule for Speedlight photography (on and off camera) is: set the camera on manual, and the strobe on TTL.   I use a Hoodman Loupe, to study my LCD screen.  It's worth the money investment, especially under bright sunlight!


    I photographed Keith Richards, Chuck Berry and Leonard Cohen at the PEN Literary Awards at the John F Kennedy Library.  In a situation like this always start your exposure with the element you can not control.  In this case it is the blue sky outside the window.   My camera was set on manual and my strobe was on TTL.   I used my camera's light meter to read the sky outside the window, then I used my strobe to fill in my subjects.  My shutterspeed was 1/250 at f7.1.
    I used a small Rogue Flashbender on my Speedlight to soften the light. The Flashbender is a small soft box you put on top of your strobe, that fits in your camera bag for on camera strobe!

    When photographing in a room with windows you have be mindful of your strobe hitting the window (reflective surface). Either make sure the reflection of the strobe is behind your subject or move to the left or right, so you do not see the reflection.  At this event the only gear I had with me due to the size of the room was a Nikon D-800 with a 17-35 zoom, a Speedlight SB-900 and the Flashbender.  The rest of the gear was outside in the hall.


    I shot this during Presidential campaign in NH.  I was behind the bar with President Obama and the Secret Service was standing right behind me.  There was no time for planning, it happened quickly and as a photojournalist you need to capture the moment.   You never know when you are going to be told by the Secret Service to leave the room, so work fast!  My shutter speed needed to be fast enough so that I could capture the President sharp, but slow enough that I would have ambient light in background.  My shutter speed was 1/40 at ISO200 & F 4.5.  I used a dome for this.

     

    I shot this during Chinese New Year at a neighborhood community center.  Strobe was on camera with a small Flashbender.  My shutter speed was slow enough so there is a feeling of motion in the scarf, but fast enough to freeze the dancers, who were standing still as they moved the scarf.  My shutterspeed was 1/5 at ISO 200 & F 6.3 hand held.

     

    Adventurer and author Guy Grieve, was photographed at Walden Pond, in Concord, MA for The Gurdian. This photograph is completely back lit, giving me the highlights on the water on  his hat and jacket as well as preventing a harsh light on his face.  I used a Speedlight on camera to fill in the light in his face.   My camera was set on manual and my strobe on TTL.   I used the light meter in my camera to read the water to give me my ambient exposure.  My shutterspeed was 1/250 at ISO 100 & F10.

     

     

    The light on the model in this photograph is from a Speedlight on camera bounced off one of my favorites light modifiers, The Sunbounce Bounce-Wall.  The background light is available light.   I started my exposure with the element I could not control which was the background and I used the Speedlight to fill in the light on the model.   My shutterspeed was 1/320 at ISO 200 & F4.  I wanted shallow depth of field, so my background was out of focus.

    I shot this photograph in the lobby of a convention center before my presentation for Professional Photographers Association in Atlanta.  There was no pre-planning for the photograph.  We saw the backlight and created the image within a few minutes.   You can see my shoot with Bounce-Wall at Hasselblad Blog!


     

     I shot this photograph in Watertown, MA after the Boston Bombings suspect was captured.  There were large crowds, many photographers and  many police officers.  I shot this photo with a strobe on camera, bouncing it off of a white satellite TV truck parked behind me.  This gave me a large reflector to bounce my strobe off of.  You want to bounce your light off of a white surface.  You will have a color change if you bounce your light off anything other than a neutral color.  My exposure for this was shutterspeed 1/50, ISO2500 & F2.8.

     

    When you walk into a bar and they are hosting a drag bingo, and you only have a camera and a strobe, what do you do?  
    This is a 2.5 second exposure (@ F8, ISO 640),  hand held, while zooming the lens. The strobe only fired for about a 10,000th of a second, so some of this photograph is strobe and some of it is ambient light. The camera is on rear curtain synch (this is a topic for another blog).

    I have many workshops and lectures coming up.  I'll be at the Hasselblad, Rosco, ExpoImaging and Unique Photo booths at Photoplus Expo in New York,  October 29-November 1
    Come stop by and say hi!

    To see a complete list of my upcoming workshop, please visit my workshop page!


    Happy Lighting!

     

    Tuesday Tips: Lighting up the Night!

    Last night I had a chance to work with the brand new Dynalite Baja strobe, the newest addition to the Dynalite line.  The Baja is a self contained battery operated 400 watt second monolight with an internal battery.  I really like the quality of the light coming from the Baja. The recycling time was almost immediate, and the built in modeling light was great.  It's not heavy and easy to work with.

    With the Baja strobe and Chimera Beautydish combination as my main light, I photographed a model, Eddy Twal in the front and back of my studio in South End's Boston.  I used a Sekonic L-478DR to read my light.  All strobes were triggered by PocketWizard Plus III.  My camera was set on manual and the color balance was set on daylight.  When working on location I use a Hoodman Loupe to view the images on LCD screen.

    Shot 1

    This was photographed at the same location as my last week's blog "Strobe on, Strobe off!"  Different strobes give you different looks. This image is a mixture of strobe and ambient light, with a hand held long exposure.  This is a single light photograph, using the Dynalite Baja strobe, Chimera medium beauty dish with an egg crate diffuser, held by my assistant with a 1420 VAL Spigot on painter's pole for the light stand. The VAL Spigot is produced by my friend Ian Pack in the UK.  This is a great adapter to add to your lighting kit.  My camera was set at an ISO 200, 1/4 second and F4.  The feeling of movement is created by shifting my camera from left top to down.  

     

    Shot 2

    In this photograph I used the Dynalite Baja strobe with Chimera medium beauty dish with an egg crate diffuser and Sunbounce 4'x6' zebra reflector.  This is also a single light photograph.  My camera was at ISO 250, 1/6 second and F4.5.  My shutter speed was determined by the ambient light, I wanted to have the yellow door lamp bright, but not overexposed.  I choose F4.5 for depth of field.

    _DSC9292.jpg

     

    Shot 3

    This photograph is taken behind my studio.  My main light was a Dynalite Baja Strobe with a Chimera medium beauty dish with an egg crate diffuser.  The backlight was a Dynalite Uni portable strobe with a Rosco CTO gel, to warm the color,  Rosco Toughspun to soften the light and Rosco Cinefoil to craft the light.  In the set up photograph, my assistant was holding black foam core against Chimera beautydish to shape the light, and produce the drop off of light in the lower right corner.  My camera was set at ISO 200, 1/2.5 second and F 4.5.  

    Due to my training as a long time photojournalist,  I try to do it all in camera.   Less time spent in front of computer is better for my soul....!

    I hope you can join me at one of my up coming "Location Lighting Workshops™" in Telluride, CO and at the Societies Photographic Convention in London, UK.  Please look at www.rickfriedman.com/workshops for a complete list of upcoming events.

    September 29-October 1 at the Telluride Photo Festival, Telluride, CO

    January 16-18, 2015 Societies Photographic Convention, London, UK

    For another post on portraits in the dark, please look at my blog post on "Shooting at Twightlight in Costra Rica" 

    All the Rosco products are included in Rick Friedman Rosco Location Lighting Kit!

    Happy Lighting!