Location Lighting Workshop

Unique Photo Location Lighting Workshop Feb 25, 2017

We had a great workshops at Unique Photo, Fairfield NJ last weekend.  My workshops are a mixture of lighting, shooting, creating and sharing ideas.  Everyone gets to shoot every situation, working  with speedlights, studio strobes, light modifiers and color gels.   Unusual spring weather in NJ let us shoot outdoor and indoor!  

Here is a recap of the workshop!

Equipment used during the workshop:
Elinchrom ELB Qudra strobe
Nissin Di700A speedlight & Nissin transmitter
Dynalite Baja strobes
Rogue Flash Benders
Rogue Grid set
Chimera Lighting Light modifier
Sekonic Lightmeter
Pocket Wizard
Rick Friedman Location Lighting Kit by Rosco

I'm teaching a 1 day workshop in Boston on March 8 at Boston Center for Adult Education and Herwin Camera in NYC on March 25!  For the full workshops schedule, please visit www.rickfriedman.com. Hope you can join us!

Thank you everyone for joining us at Unique Photo! Happy Lighting!

Tuesday's Tips: Lighting London

This series of photographs is from my one day workshop "Lighting Goes on Location in London", part of The Societies of Photographer's Convention last month.

The group spent the day shooting in Piccadilly, Chinatown and Soho.  We used several different portable lighting kits, and rarely used light stands!  

Equipment & settings under each photograph. 1  Nissin  Di700A Speedlight  Westcott  Rapid Box  PocketWizard  Plus IV ISO: 100 Aperture: 4 Shutter: 1/250

Equipment & settings under each photograph.
1 Nissin Di700A Speedlight
Westcott Rapid Box
PocketWizard Plus IV
ISO: 100
Aperture: 4
Shutter: 1/250

1 Nissin Di700A Speedlight Westcott Rapid Box PocketWizard Plus IV ISO: 125 Aperture: 4 Shutter: 1/125

1 Nissin Di700A Speedlight
Westcott Rapid Box
PocketWizard Plus IV
ISO: 125
Aperture: 4
Shutter: 1/125

1 Nissin Di700A Speedlight Westcott Rapid Box PocketWizard Plus IV Crossfiltering with  Rosco  CTO gel. ISO 64 Aperture: 4 Shutterspeed: 1/250

1 Nissin Di700A Speedlight
Westcott Rapid Box
PocketWizard Plus IV
Crossfiltering with Rosco CTO gel.
ISO 64
Aperture: 4
Shutterspeed: 1/250

2 Nissin Di700A Speedlight  2   Flashbender XL PocketWizard Plus IV ISO: 100 Aperture: 4 Shutter: 1/100

2 Nissin Di700A Speedlight
2  Flashbender XL
PocketWizard Plus IV
ISO: 100
Aperture: 4
Shutter: 1/100

1  Elinchrom  ELB strobe with a Pro head Rotalux Softbox Deep Octa 70cm Skyport transmitter ISO: 160 Aperture: 5.6 Shutter: 1/100

1 Elinchrom ELB strobe with a Pro head
Rotalux Softbox Deep Octa 70cm
Skyport transmitter
ISO: 160
Aperture: 5.6
Shutter: 1/100

1 Westcott Ice light 2 ISO: 64 Aperture: 5 Shutter: 1/250

1 Westcott Ice light 2
ISO: 64
Aperture: 5
Shutter: 1/250

3 Nissen Speedlights,   2 Rogue FlashBender XL 4 PocketWizard Plus IV Rogue grid shot thru Rosco Cinifoil pattern from Rosco Rick Friedman Location Lighting Kit ISO: 64 Aperture: 5 Shutter: 1/250

3 Nissen Speedlights,  
2 Rogue FlashBender XL
4 PocketWizard Plus IV
Rogue grid shot thru Rosco Cinifoil pattern from Rosco Rick Friedman Location Lighting Kit
ISO: 64
Aperture: 5
Shutter: 1/250

Rogue Reflector ISO: 800 Aperture: 4 Shutter: 1/100

Rogue Reflector
ISO: 800
Aperture: 4
Shutter: 1/100

1 Nissan Di700A Speedlight Westcott Rapid Box PocketWizard Plus IV ISO: 200 Aperture: 4 Shutter: 1/50

1 Nissan Di700A Speedlight
Westcott Rapid Box
PocketWizard Plus IV
ISO: 200
Aperture: 4
Shutter: 1/50

1 Nissan Di700A Speedlight Westcott Rapid Box PocketWizard Plus IV ISO: 100 Aperture: 4 Shutter: 1/13

1 Nissan Di700A Speedlight
Westcott Rapid Box
PocketWizard Plus IV
ISO: 100
Aperture: 4
Shutter: 1/13

Most of the time the attendees photographed the models.  I took a few minutes at each location to demonstrate my lighting and shooting style. .  We started at 10 o'clock, with a  lunch stop at the pub between, we finished shooting after 5 o'clock!  All my images were shot on a Nikon D810 with a 24-120.  My camera was set Manual for all the photographs, lights were read using Sekonic light meter.

Come join me at one of my upcoming workshops.  Lots of lighting and laughing!

This spring, I am teaching Unique Photo (NJ), Boston Center for Adult Education CenterHarwin Camera (NYC), Cardinal Camera (Philadelphia & Charlotte NC) CanAM Photo Festival and Pixel Connection (Avon, OH).  I will be back in the UK for a series of workshops this summer.   Please visit my workshop page to see a complete schedule.

Tuesday's Tips: Leaping for Light!

I had a recent assignment to photograph ultimate Frisbee Player Tulsa Douglas.  As with most of my magazine assignments the only info I was given was her name, contact info and why they are doing a story on her.  The rest is up to me to figure out.   I knew I wanted photograph her at dusk throwing and catching.  First challenge was the location, I knew I needed at large open space to shoot.  The second challenge was the lighting.  I knew the lighting on this shoot would be a mixture of strobe and ambient light. 

For strobes I used 2 Dynalite Bajas.  These are 400watt seconds self contained strobes. On the main light, I used a Dynaite Beauty Dish.  For a light modifier on the other Baja I used a Chimera strip light and a grid, to create rim light.   To determine my exposure I set my Nikon D810 on manual and using the in camera meter I take a meter reading off the sky and underexpose one stop to get deeper color.  Using my Sekonic light meter, I set my strobes to give me the same f stop as the reading off the sky.  As the ambient light drops, I slow my shutter to keep my exposure the same.  Tulsa would be silhouetted, without strobes. 

Check out the behind the scenes video below! 

Thank you, Colby Todisco for creating the video! 

 

 

  

Tuesday's Tips: A Smokin' Workshop!

Recently I hosted a smokin’ workshop at my studio in Boston’s historic South End.   Actually it wasn’t smoke, it was fog from a Rosco fog machine!

This workshop was a 2 day advanced Location Lighting Workshop and everyone who attended had previously taken one of my workshops.  We decided to create a complex lighting job! 

It was a slightly rainy day in the courtyard behind the studio, so all the strobes and electrical connections had to be covered in plastic.  The courtyard is 22’ x 40’  minus the space for the garden, we had about 15’ x 30’ to work in.  The key to photographing smoke is to back-light it.  I will introduce you 2 smokin' lighting set ups from the workshop in this blog.

Set Up 1

Main light was Dyna lite Baja 600 with Chimera strip light with barn doors to control the direction of the light.  We set up another Dynalite Baja directly behind the model with a 20 degree grid anda Rosco blue gel.  We placed 4 Nissin speedlights with different color Rosco gels in ziplock bags on the ground and in the tree.  The lantern was lit with amini optical slave with Rosco yellow gel and a piece of Rosco Toughspun to cut the exposure . A cross screen filter was used to create the star effect. Rosco fog machine was at stage left, just outside the frame. 

Nikon D810 Lens (mm): 46 ISO: 200 Aperture: 7.1 Shutter: 1/250

Nikon D810 Lens (mm): 46
ISO: 200
Aperture: 7.1
Shutter: 1/250

In this photograph we changed some of the filters and removed the cross screen filter.

Nikon D810 with a Nikon 24-120 f4. lens. ISO: 200 Aperture: 7.1 Shutter: 1/250

Nikon D810 with a Nikon 24-120 f4. lens.
ISO: 200
Aperture: 7.1
Shutter: 1/250

 

 

Here is what the courtyard looked like without lighting.

Gear used:

1 Rosco Mini V Fog Machine
5 Rosco gels from my Rosco Location Lighting Kit
2 Dynalite Baja strobes, 1, 400ws and 1 600 ws
4 Nissin Di700A flashes ( in plastic bags to protect from the rain)
1 Chimera strip light with barn doors
1 mini flash with an optical slave
5 Pocket Wizard Plus III
2 Pocket Wizard Plus IV
2 PhotoFlex light stands
1 cross screen filter

 

Set Up 2

This is 2 Dynalite Baja and 1 Nissin speedlight set up.  1 Dynalite Baja with a Chimera strip light as main light and the other with a grid and Rosco blue gel as back light.  There is a Nissin speeslight with Rosco red gel in background as well.

Nikon D810 Lens (mm): 100 ISO: 100 Aperture: 4 Shutter: 1/100

Nikon D810 Lens (mm): 100
ISO: 100
Aperture: 4
Shutter: 1/100

 

Behind the scene.

Gear used:

3 Rosco gels from my Rosco Location Lighting Kit
2 Dynalite Baja strobes, 1, 400ws and 1 600 ws
1 Nissin Di700A flash
1 Chimera strip light with barn doors
1Pocket Plus III
2 Pocket Wizard Plus IV
 

Here is our silly group photograph from the smokin' workshop!  Thank you for everyone attending.  Last but not the least, thank you for good friends at Rosco for lending us the fog machine!

Nikon D810 Lens (mm): 24 ISO: 500 Aperture: 10 Shutter: 1/250

Nikon D810 Lens (mm): 24
ISO: 500
Aperture: 10
Shutter: 1/250

I will be at Unique Photo Expo 2016 on June 24 through 26! Hope to see you there! 

Happy Lighting! and Please Don't Feed the Models!

 

 

 

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: 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!

     

     

    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: 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 : 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: 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: To Light, or not to Light

    I had an assignment to photograph author Nicolson Baker using a Kindle in Boston.  For a location we chose the front of the Boston Public Library. It was a grey day with even light on his face. I did not have to light it, however, my sky would have been blown out and just muddy.  By exposing for the sky and using my strobe to match the light on his face, I was able to produce this photograph with 1 Speedlight, 1 small soft box and a reflector.

    Nicholson Baker with light

    Nicholson Baker with light

    Nicolson Baker without light 

    Nicolson Baker without light 

     My camera was set on manual and my strobe was on TTL. I took a meter reading off the sky, using the camera meter and underexposed it slightly to get a darker background. The strobe on TTL lit Baker's face from the right side and the reflector on the left bounced some of the strobe back on to his face, to give more even lighting. I needed enough depth of field so both  Baker and the Kindle were in focus. My exposure was at ISO 320, F8, and Shutterspeed 1/80.  I used a small Chimera softbox with a Speedlight ring.  The Speedlight was triggered by a set of PocketWizard TT5s.  In positioning the Kindle, I had to make sure that there was no glare on the screen from my strobe.  This photograph was shot with a Nikon.

    The timing also worked out. This photo shoot was done at the end of the day, because Baker had a book signing at the nearby bookstore after the photoshoot.  If it was at a different time of the day, I would have come up with a different picture, as the Kindle and underexposed sky could not be matched for the exposure under bright sunlight.  As a photojournalist,  you don't always control certain aspects of your photo shoot, but you can always be prepared. It is important to see the photograph in the environment that is assigned to you and come out with a unique image each time.  One of the elements I enjoy about photography is lighting and teaching other photographers about lighting.  A lit photograph tends to have a lot more jump and snap to it and I get to choose where the light is coming from!

    Come join us at one of my upcoming Location Lighting Workshops in Telluride & London
    September 29-Octoberr 1 at the Telluride Photo Festival, Telluride, CO
    January 16-18, 2015 Societies Photographic Convention, London, UK 

    Happy Lighting, everyone!

    Tuesday's Tips: Lighting Glasses!

     

    This week's "Tuesday's Tips" is from an assignment I shot at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, MA.  The MIT Media Lab is a hub for innovative creations and one of my favorite places to photograph.  I was at the Media Lab looking for interesting projects to photograph when I met   Thad Starner who was working on wearable computing. Starner is now a professor at Georgia Tech.  The idea for this shoot came about when Starner showed me a pair of glasses that had a computer monitor in the center of one lens, which he connected to a small computer in his pocket.  With no preplanning, this is what I came up with.

    Little did I know this was the beginning of "Google Glass".

    The lighting on this photograph is 2 strobes and 2 computer monitors.  I had to match the brightness of the two computer screens to detemine my exposure, matching the brightness of the large monitor in the background and the small computer screen embedded in his glasses. To obtain the exposure I used the meter in my camera.  I needed a lot of depth of field for this shot, so that glasses and my subject were in focus.  My focal point was Starner, seen through the glasses.  The glasses were clamped to a light stand with a Manfrotto Superclamp.  The main light was Dynalite 800 power pack and a Dynalite head with an extension tube, a grid holder on the end of the extension tube, a 10 degree grid and a sheet of Rosco Tough Spun over the grid to soften the light.  I really needed to control my light on the subject, so there was no light spilled on the glasses or the screen behind the subject.   Just off set, on the right side, I set up a speedlight with Rosco yellow gel and a snoot made of Cinefoil to outline the frame of glasses with color.  The Cinefoil snoot was brought down so it was about a 1 degree opening.  When making snoots out of Cinefoil, which is black tin foil, you have flexibility to make it any shape you want with any size opening, giving you great control over your light.  To determine the exposure of both the speedlight and the Dynalite, I used a Sekonic lightmeter.  If you are mixing speedlights and studio strobes, your speedlight needs to be on the manual setting (NOT TTL).   

    Cinefoil, gels, and Tough Spun are included in the Rosco Rick Friedman Location Lighting Kit.

    I hope to see you at one of my upcoming Location Lighting Workshops at the Telluride Photo Festival in Telluride, CO. or at the Societies Photographic Convention in London.

    Happy Shooting, everyone!  


     

    Tuesday's Tips: Making Gray Skies Blue

    How do you create a dramatic photograph on rainy cloudy day?  Easy, Have a beautiful model with a red dress, a castle and a Rosco CTO gel on your strobe. This photograph was shot in Caerphilly, Wales,  during one of the 10 stops on my Location Lighting Workshop Tour of the UK sponsored by SWPP.   

    In this week's "Tuesday Tips" I'm going to talk about cross filtering technique with strobes.  When this photo was taken, it was raining and the sky was muddy ( See the workshop group photo below). 

    Have you ever set your camera on tungsten and gone outside to shoot?  What happens?    Your photograph turns out blue!  So use this to your advantage on a cloudy day.  Set your camera white balance to tungsten, and place a Rosco CTO orange filter over the flash.   A CTO filter is a color correction filter, converting your speed light, which is balanced for daylight, to tungsten.  You color correct the skin tones of your subject while your background turns blue.

    The model is lit by a single speedlight with a Rosco CTO gel in front of it, shot through a 24x30 soft box on the right side, with a reflector on the left.   Now the output of my speedlight is tungsten, which matches my camera setting. Because of this, the model has proper skin tones and the background is now blue.   This filter is available as part of the Rick Friedman Location Lighting Kit .  Fun fact, my favorite soft box brand is Chimera Lighting, it makes beautiful light!

    To determine your exposure, use your camera meter to read the "Element you cannot control":  In this case it is the ambient light on background.  My strobe is set on TTL and fired with a PocketWizard and if you want your background darker blue, under expose the sky.

     
     

    Tuesday Tips: Mixing Strobe and Ambient Light

    I had this wonderful assignment to photograph a French Musician, Lulu Gainsboro, in Boston.  The assignment was to photograph "his day in Boston".  At the end of the day of reportage,  I did a portrait of him in front of Boston skyline at dusk.

    The lighting in this image is a mixture of ambient light and a single Nikon SB900 Speedlight with Chimera small soft box, fired with a PocketWizard TT5.  My camera was set on manual. To determine my exposure, I read the light on "the element I cannot control".  In this image I used the camera meter to expose for the sky.  I underexposed the sky to get it to be deeper blue. I used a Speedlight to light my subject.  The placement of the strobe and Chimera softbox gave me different effects with my light.  It was early summer in Boston, around 8 o'clock.   My exposure was ISO 640, f4.5 and Shutterspeed 1/8 second.

    In photograph 1 (above), I placed my light on the far side of his face so the light drops off on the near side of the camera. In photograph 2, my light was placed closer to my camera position so the near side of his face is lit.

    Which lighting style you like, is subjective.  I prefer the lighting style in the first photograph.  Having the light drop off on the near side of the face is more dramatic.  There are many stylistic choices to light your subject. Play around, place your light source at different angles, in relation to your subject to see the different effect.  

    Happy Lighting!