photography

Tuesday's Tips: "Live from New York !"

We had a great time presenting my my Location Lighting demonstrations during PhotoPlus Expo 2017 in New York!  Here are images from my ExpoImaging Rogue Flashbender live demonstration using Nissin speedlights at Unique Photo Booth.  

Both are 2 speedlights photographs with Rogue Flashbenders against the same black velvet background on a 4 foot square stage, achieving very different visual effects.


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Main Light: Nissin Flash Di700A with Rogue Flashbender XL
Hairline light: Nissin Flash Di700A with Rogue Flashbender XL and ExpoImage purple gel
The Speedlights were trigged using a Nissin Air 1 Transmitter.
Shot with NIKON D810
ISO: 250
Aperture: 4.5
Shutter: 1/160

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Main Light: Nissin Flash Di700A with Flashbender XL
Hairline light:  Nissin Flash Di700A with Rogue Grid
The Speedlights were trigged using a Nissin Air 1 Transmitter.
Shot with NIKON D810
ISO: 64
Aperture: 5
Shutter: 1/200

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Lighting Demos using Flashbenders at Unique Photo booth during the PhotoPlus Expo 2017.


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This is the view from my hotel room in NYC.

Now it's on my next workshop!   Location Lighting Workshop will part of the Xposure International Photography Festival in Sharjah, UAE!  Nov 22-25th.   I have an exhibit of my presidential photographs at Xposure. This is going to be great festival, come join us!

I'm kicking off 2018 Location Lighting Workshops with a Bahamas cruise and model workshop with my good friend Vanelli.  Jan. 5-8th.  This will be a lot of "Lighting and Laughing"  Join us!  More info about upcoming workshops can be find my workshop page.

 

Tuesday's Tips: Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!  Every Halloween the area around my Boston studio is filled with hundreds of trick or treaters.  I am not really sure where they all come from, but it's great fun to stand outside my studio with a bowl of candy, a camera and a strobe. 

Here are tips to shoot Halloween!

Drag the shutter!
I love shooting  photographs that are a mixture of ambient light and strobe. Start your exposure with the element you can not control, that being the available (ambient) light.  Set your camera meter on manual exposure and your strobe on TTL.  Meter off the available light and use the strobe to fill in.  Due to darkness and very little available light you will be able to hand hold your camera at a much slower shutter speed than you normally would.  That slow shutter speed enables you to record what little there is.  The speedlight will fill in where you want it. 

This is a strobe on camera camera image. I used a slow shutterspeed and moved my camera from right to left.  The Green light is from glow sticks which the kid was holding while trick or treating.  My settings for this image was 1.6 seconds,  f4 ISO 200.


Speedlight off camera!
I held my speedlight lower left.  Light coming from lower angle gives you eerily feeling, perfect for Halloween!  My camera was set on manual to read the ambient light (candle in this case) using the in-camera meter.  My exposure for this shot was  2.5 seconds, f4. ISO 200.  I used a Pocket Wizard Plus III to fire my strobe. 


Get Low!
Get low and use your foreground!  I used in the camera meter to read the  exposure from the sky.  I  held my speed light off to the left and triggered it with a Pocket Wizard Plus III.


Get High! 
Get high and use your foreground!  


Wait for dusk
Wait till dusk to start shooting!  This was strobe on camera, with the head of the strobe at a 45 degree and bounced through a cube.  


Play with focal length of your lens

Shot with a 16mm fisheye.


Shot at 50mm

 

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Shot at 70mm


Don't be afraid to get close.... I'm sure they won't bite...

 

Happy Halloween! May everyone have a safe and fun Halloween!  

This image is from my hands-on Location Lighting Workshop! 

Come join me for lighting and laughing,  upcoming workshops info here

Tuesday's Tips: Lights, Cameras, Colors!

Guitarist and singer Ken Susi of the band “Unearth” dropped by the studio this past weekend.  Ken is an avid photographer and wanted to work Keiko and I on lighting.  We quickly volunteered him to be the model. 

We did a couple of multi light gelled set ups.

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In the first image, we used 2 Dynalite Baja B6 strobes, one on either side, slightly behind Ken giving us the light on his face.  Both strobes had a Dynalite 20 degree, 7” grid.  The end of both grids were wrapped in Rosco Cinefoil to further control the spread of light.  On the left side we used a Rosco Medium Straw gel from my Rosco Location Lighting Kit and on the right side we used a Rosco Calcolor 30 Cyan.  Directly behind Ken’s head is a Nissin Di700A speedlight with a Rogue grid and a red gel.  Directly in front of Ken is a second Nissin Di700A speedlight with a Rogue grid.  The power to this Nissan was turned down, giving a minimal amount of white light.  To fire the strobes I used a Dynalite transmitter.  The Nissin flash was triggered by using the built in optical slave.

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The second image is lit from below with one Dyanlite Baja 6 with the 20 degree, 7” grid and wrapped in Cinefoil.  The strobe is centered just below the bottom of the frame.  The red backlight is the Nissin Di700A with the Rogue Grid and the red gel.  The prevent the light from bouncing off the white ceiling in the studio, we placed a black foam core on a Photoflex boom arm over Ken.  

Thank you for stopping by the photographic Lighting Test Kitchen, Ken! Cant wait with you more!
 

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All photographs where shot using a Nikon D810 and either a Nikon 105 Macro or aNikon 70-200 F2.8 with a 1.4 extender.  The gels are from the Rosco Location Lighting Kit by Rick Friedman.

 

Come join us at one of upcoming “Location Lighting Workshops” !

Nov. 4-5, 2017
Unique Photo, Fairfield, NJ.  2 day workshop

Nov 22-25, 2017
Exposure International Photography Festival, Sharjah, UAE

January 5-8, 2018
Lighting Workshop &Model shoot in the Bahamas with Vanelli & Friends
 

Gels and cinefoil are available from my Location Lighting Kit.

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Capturing fireworks!

Happy Summer!  It’s time to capture some of the beauty in the sky above you, as we celebrate Independence Day.  
The key to capturing fireworks is timing your exposure so you can capture multiple blasts without over exposing your image.  Using a low ISO will give you longer exposures and better quality.  Your shutter speed will determine how long the trailfrom the fireworks is.  My preference is shutter speeds ranging from 4 to 15 seconds at f8 or f11.  Make sure you are shooting on manual exposure. 

Another trick is to set your camera on bulb, lock your shutter open with your cable release and hold piece of dark cardboard in front of the lens.  When a blast occurs remove the cardboard, when the blast ends, hold it in front of the lens again.  This will enable you to record multiple blasts on a single frame.

 

Colored fireworks will give you more vibrant trails, while white fireworks tend to over expose your image.  To eliminate camera shake, as a result of slow shutter speeds use a tripod. I also recommend using a cable release, which allows you not to touch the camera when releasing the shutter.  You can also weigh down your tripod for greater stability if it’s a windy day.  Hang your camera bag from the hook on the bottom of your trip.   For longer exposures, you want to block off the eyepiece to keep stray light form entering the back of the camera and affecting your image.  If your camera has a mirror lock up feature, you also want to use this on longer exposures. 

ISO100, F8 & 6 seconds

ISO100, F8 & 6 seconds

 

 

ISO 100,  F10 & 4 seconds.

ISO 100,  F10 & 4 seconds.

 

The photo below is from the end of the summer frieworks in Oak Bluffs, on Martha’s Vineyard.  I was part of the White House Press Pool covering President Obama’s summer vacation.  While we were on hold as the President was at a private event, I noticed the fireworks over the harbor.  I did not have a tripod with me, nor a cable release (not items you usually need in the White House Press Pool). I propped my camera on a fence post and gently touched the shutter.  Rules are only guidelines, you can photograph fireworks without a tripod! ( although not ideal.) You just need to be flexible and creative with your methods.

 

Happy Summer Shooting!! Hope to see you at my upcoming Niagara area workshop with Doug Hansgate, August 18-20Rick Friedman & Doug Hansgate Lighting Workshop

 

Tuesday's Tips: A Slice of Orange!

I always carry a slice of orange in my camera bag.  Don't you?  

You do realize I am talking about an orange gel, better known as a CTO, (Color Temperature Orange). Similar to the other orange, this orange has several uses.

It’s amazing what a little orange can do!  You can bring out high lights in your subject’s hair and change gray skies to blue.

This photograph was shot during a lighting demo at Photo Plus 2016 in New York.  The main light was Dynalite Baja B6 with a Dynalite Grand Softbox. The hairline light was a Dynalite Baja B4 with a 20 degree grid with a Rosco CTO color gel. The shooting space was about 10 ft x 7 ft., proving you can work in a really small space!   Main light was about 2.5 feet from the mode while the backlight was about 2 feet behind.  The orange light give her a halo!  I used the Dynalite Baja dedicated transmitter to fire the strobes and a Sekonic L478DR light meter to read my light.

 

 

 

This photograph was shot during my Location Lighting UK Tour sponsored by SWPP. (I'll be leading 3bworkshops at their convention in London this January).  So... It was a rainy grey day in Caerphilly, Wales, UK, what are the odds?  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 speedlight with a CTO gel in front of it, shot through a soft box on the right side, with a reflector on the left.  The output of the speedlight is tungsten, which matches my camera setting.  Because of this, the model has proper skin tones and the background is now blue.  To determine the exposure, the camera is set on manual and use your camera meter to read the "Element you cannot control":  In this case it is the ambient light on background.  

 

Rosco CTO gels and Cinefoil, along with 22 other gels are included in my "Rosco Location Lighting Kit" (wink wink!) 

 

Here is my upcoming workshop schedule for the next a few months.  Come join us!

December 9-11, 2016
New Jersey Camera Show at Unique Photo

January 11-14, 2017
SWPP Convention in London, UK

January 28, 2017
Location Lighting Workshop at Unique Workshop

February 7-9, 2017
WPPI, Las Vegas

March 4, 2017
Boston Center for Adult Education

March 25, 2017
Harwin Camera, New York City

March 31-April 2
CanAm Photo Expo, Buffalo, NY


 

This week it's about Thursday: Happy Thanksgiving!

This is the season of giving.  A great time to be thankful for what we have.  I feel that we need this grace especially this year...

For over 20 years I have spent my Thanksgiving volunteering with my camera at Pine Street Inn, New England's largest homeless shelter.  Pine St. Inn is a place where Thanksgiving has meaning, for those serving and those being served.  Imagine making Thanksgiving dinner of 1500 guests.  The folks at Pine St. do it every year!  This season is a lot harder for people who don't have family members close by and this makes it so much better.  Each year there are many new faces and many of the same faces on both sides of the tables.

 I wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving!

 

Tuesday's Tips: Lighting the Show!

I had a great time at Photoplus 2016 in New York!  I shot this image during one of my 12 lighting demonstrations. To light this photograph I used 3 Nissin flashes. The main light shot through Rogue Flashbender XL, the hairline light was shot through Rogue grid, placed directly behind her head to backlight her.  The background pattern was created by shooting the flash through a pattern cut out of Rosco Cinefoil and colored using Rosco gels (from my Rosco Location Lighting Kit!). I shot this on a Nkon D800 with a Lensbaby Velvet 56 lens at 1/160 second at f4, ISO 100. I later converted the image into Black and White with Adobe Lightroom.  This image was a hard choice between color and black and white.  Each has a very different feel.

 

Equipment Used:
Nikon D800
Lensbaby Velvet 56 lens
3 Nissin 700 A flashes with portable battery
Nissin transmitter
Expoimaging Rogue Flashbender XL
Expoimaging Rogue grid
Rosco Cinifoil
Rosco color gels
Sekonic D478 Light meter
3 Lightstands
3 Manfrotto Umbrella adapters
1 Manfrotto Spring Clamp
1 Manfrotto Super clamp

I used Tethertools to connect to the display during PhotoPlus.

 

 

 

Below is a photograph that shows you what the room looks like without my light,  This was not shot in a fancy studio but in a small space on a trade show floor.   I underexposed ambient light by having low ISO and fast shutterspeed. Without my lighting, the frame looks like a blank empty canvas.  You add and control your light to set the mood and feeling of your photograph.   That, is the magic of lighting!

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: What can you do with one light?

What can you do with one light?  The answer is: a lot!  I recently had a magazine assignment to photograph a graduate student who is working on Cape Cod.   The client requested portraits with the feeling of the Cape.   

The time of day and quality of light can make a huge difference when taking photographs. The clouds in the evening sky created a beautiful, warm background for the portraits. The ambient light of the sun is placed right behind the subject. This is what created the wonderful, warm hairline light seen in the portrait below. 

To create a photograph like this, set your camera on manual then using the in-camera meter take a reading off the sky.  Underexpose the sky to give you richer colors.  Set your strobe on TTL.  The exposure on the photo above was f5 1/200 second ISO160.

I shot these images with a Nikon D800 with a Nikon 17-35 zoom lens with a Vu circular polarizing filter and one Nikon SB-800 speed light with a  Rogue Flashbender.  The polarizing filter makes the clouds stand out, while the Flashbender gives a small portable soft box on your speedlight.

 

When the stobe was not used, the subject becomes a silhouette (picture below).   I underexposed the sky a bit more to create deeper, more vibrant colors.. The exposure for this image is f4 1/125 second ISO 160. 

 

Another fun trick to try is zooming the lens while the picture is being taken. The flash is fired and hits the subject, freezing her, and giving the blur/zoom effect to the rest of the image. Your shutter speed has to be slow enough to get the effect f the zoom.  The exposure was f4 1/25 second ISO 320. (picture below)

 

I hope you can join me at one of my upcoming Location Lighting Workshops

January 16
Hunts Photo Providence, RI

January 23
Hunts Photo Manchester, NH

February 27
Unique Photo Fairfield, NJ

March 1
Bedford Center for the Arts, Bedford, MA

March 7-9
WPPI, Las Vegas

March 29
South Shore Camera Club, Quincy, MA

April 5-6
New England Institute of Professional Photography, Hyannis, MA

April 9-10
CanAm Photo Expo  Buffalo, NY

April 15-19
Professional Photographers of Canada Convention, Alberta,

Tuesday's Tips: Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!  Every Halloween the area around my Boston studio is filled with hundreds of trick or treaters.  I am not really sure where they all come from, but it's great fun to stand outside my studio with a bowl of candy, a camera and a strobe. 

Here are tips to shoot Halloween!

 Drag the shutter!
I love shooting  photographs that are a mixture of ambient light and strobe. Start your exposure with the element you can not control, that being the available (ambient) light.  Set your camera meter on manual exposure and your strobe on TTL.  Meter off the available light and use the strobe to fill in.  Due to darkness and very little available light you will be able to hand hold your camera at a much slower shutter speed than you normally would.  That slow shutter speed enables you to record what little there is.  The speedlight will fill in where you want it. 

This is a strobe on camera camera image. I used a slow shutterspeed and moved my camera from right to left.  The Green light is from glow sticks which the kid was holding while trick or treating.  My settings for this image was 1.6 seconds,  f4 ISO 200.


Speedlight off camera!
I held my speedlight lower left.  Light coming from lower angle gives you eerily feeling, perfect for Halloween!  My camera was set on manual to read the ambient light (candle in this case) using the in-camera meter.  My exposure for this shot was  2.5 seconds, f4. ISO 200.  I used a Pocket Wizard Plus III to fire my strobe. 


Get Low!
Get low and use your foreground!  I used in the camera meter to read the  exposure from the sky.  I  held my speed light off to the left and triggered it with a Pocket Wizard Plus III.


Get High! 
Get high and use your foreground!  


Wait for dusk
Wait till dusk to start shooting!  This was strobe on camera, with the head of the strobe at a 45 degree and bounced through a cube.  


Play with focal length of your lens

Shot with a 16mm fisheye.


Shot at 50mm

 

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Shot at 70mm

 

Don't be afraid to get close.... I'm sure they won't bite...

 

Happy Halloween! May everyone have a safe and fun Halloween!  

This image is from my hands-on Location Lighting Workshop! 

Come join me for lighting and laughing,  upcoming workshops info here

Tueday's Tips: Lighting Science!

Recently I had the honor of photographing Professor Jeff Lichtman of Harvard University for the third time.  In each shoot, I have photographed Professor Lichtman with a microscope. I wanted to continue the theme on this assignment.  His current microscope is one of a kind microscope that produces the most amazing images of the human brain.  However, it looks like a large refrigerator.  To make image more interesting and include a visual of his work, I projected one of his images on his microscope.  

We had 2 hours including set up time to produce three situations requested by the client.  I knew the one with the microscope would be the most difficult. I always start a shoot with the most difficult shot.  The other 2 portraits requested were one in his office and another on the stairs.  

I had the Professor show me his lab and we discussed ideas for the photographs.  I told him we needed about 20  minutes set up time, and suggested he might want to go back to his office to work.  There is no reason for the subject to watch you light.   People have a limited amount of time set aside to be photographed.  The less of their time I tie up, the happier they are in the photographs.

As I constructed the photograph, I had my assistant stand-in for the subject.   The first few test frames were shot available light using a 17-35mm lens at 17mm ISO: 3200 F8 & 1/40.

 When lighting a photograph like this I, add 1 light at a time.  To light my subject  I used 2  Dynalite Baja 400WS strobes. One on his face and one as the hairline light.  The hairline light also gave me separation from my background.  The Baja has a build in battery and no cables for me to trip on!  Both strobes had a 10 degree grids to control where the light was aimed.   To further control my light, I put Rosco FotoFoil on the side of the strobe closest to the background to prevent light spilling on the microscope.

 

To create the background, I attached a projector with a wide angle lens to a computer and projected one of the Professors slides.  The key to projecting images on a background is not having any light from your strobes or any other light source hit the area with the projection.  When I do a photograph like this, I always turn off the overhead lights.  The room was dark when I was shooting.  I had to use the flashlight on my phone to focus.  Make sure your modeling lights are turned off.  

We moved projector and adjusted its hight to project the Professor's research on his large white microscope.  The projector was placed to the right of the Professor, 2 ft off of the floor.

To determine exposure for the background I used the in-camera meter.  With the camera set on manual I set the aperture to the same f stop as the strobe reading and lowered my shutter speed until the exposure from the strobes in the foreground and the ambient light from the projector were the same exposure. The strobe f stop was determined with a Sekonic 478 meter.  The final exposure was 2.5 seconds shot at f11.  Jeff was lit for duration of the flash, while the background burned in.  The image was shot on a Nikon D810, a Nikon 24-120 lens on an Induro tripod and Nikon cable release.  

Equipment Used for the shoot:
Nikon D810
Lens: 24-120mm
Rosco Rick Friedman Location Lighting Kit
2 Daynalite Bajas Portarble Strobes with 10 degree grids
Induro Tripod
Nikon cable release
2 Light stands
Sekonic Lightmeter 478
Projector
Extention code for the projector 

I love photographing academics.  I find it fascinating to work with some of the world's greatest minds!

Upcoming Workshop Schedule: Hope you can join us!
September19 & 20
Hunts Photo, Providence RI

October 10, 
Hunts Photo, Manchester, NH

October 17 & 18
Hunts Photo Portland, ME

October 22-14
PhotoPlus, New York

November 18 
Adorama sponsored by Dynalite

Tuesday's Tips: A One Day Assignment

Happy Summer Shooting!

I  recently worked on a wonderful assignment  shooting photographs to promote a new upscale seniors condo project  located on the water, north of Boston. The main challenge with this project was that  the complex has yet to be built.  My job was to sell a development that didn't exist yet.  How do you do this? You sell a life style.  I had one scouting day and one shooting day to produce the photographs.  The scouting day was spent with the client to determine locations and discuss concepts, create a timeline the shoot and work with a model agency to select models for the projects and shoot.  Most of my work is editorial, this is not!

I shot 14 situations in a  day using a total of 15 models. On a shoot like this, everything has to be scripted.  There is only a limited amount of time for each situation and you try not to keep the models overtime.   It is essential, you move quickly and your lightings has to be extremely mobile as well as produce the look of light you are after.   I worked with a self contained 400WS Dynalite Baja strobe and a Chimera softbox.  The combination is very portable, being hand held most of the time while  giving me beautiful light with a fast recycling time.  On those mid day shots, this combination is perfect for over powering hash summer light. ( you can also read on how to deal with harsh sunlight on my blog; Controlling the Sun!)

When mixing strobe and ambient light, I set my camera on manual and expose for "the element you cannot control" which was often the sky.  I used the in-camera meter to determine my ambient reading and Sekonic 478R Light Meter to determine the strobe output.  I could use the Sekonic to read the ambient light, I just didn't.  I also used a polarizing filter to bring out the sky and an ND filter, to control my choice of Fstop.

 

Be spontaneous! We did not plan for a dog!

 

 

 

During  the final shoot of the day, a cocktail party, we were after the feel of late afternoon light.
The problem here was the back of the house was in shade.  To get the effect of warm light, 
I used a Rosco full CTO (color temperature orange) filter over the two Baja strobes used to light the photograph. I used a 30 degree grid to control the light.  The Rosco CTO filter is one of 26 filters in my "Rosco Location Lighting Kit by Rick Friedman

For 1 day shooting, it is difficult to produce 14 situations and one has to be very efficient and move quickly.  Know your equipment, and travel light. It's a lot of work, but a great way to spend a summer's day.   I got to ride on a boat to celebrate a great shoot and work with wonderful people.  Happy Summer Shooting!

Upcoming Location Lighting Workshop Schedule.  Hope you can join us!

August 8-9
Unique Photo, Fairfield, NJ

September19 & 20
Hunts Photo, Providence RI

September 27-29
Berkshires Workshop, North Adams, MA ( Please email me for registration and more info)

October 17 & 18
Hunts Photo Portland, ME

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: 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

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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: "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: 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!