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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.

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: 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: 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: 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 few PocketWizards, 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.   Please view the 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.