Self-Assigned Challenge: Finding Angles

I was looking at the photos from the editor, and it made me think about finding angles
focal point
Photo by David Schloss Scrolling through a gallery of images taken by my editor from a recent trip abroad, I noticed a couple of interesting photos. I don’t mean “cover of a magazine” interesting or maybe even Instagrammable, but for where the focal point was in a very difficult scene. In this instance, the scene was Kendo practice in a setting... Read more

Great American Eclipse 2017 Photo

One of our contributors is based in the Midwest, where he witnessed 100% totality. Here’s how he captured this image of the eclipse.
Great American Eclipse
Whether you were able to photograph it, watch a live stream of it or catch it in person, the Great American Eclipse was a breathtaking event. The coast-to-coast total solar eclipse began in Oregon at 10:15 a.m. PST, traveling across the country to coastal Charleston, S.C. at 2:49 EST. Contributor Editor William Sawalich, who’s based in St. Louis,... Read more

Paying Tribute To The Masters Of Painting

As photographers and filmmakers, most everything we try to achieve visually with lighting, a camera and storytelling through composition goes back to the Masters
the Masters of painting
“The Supper at Emmaus” by Caravaggio. The lighting is a wonderful example of chiaroscuro, translated from Italian meaning literally “light-dark,” but for those of us who create images, both filmmakers and photographers, this is a common method we use to create contrast, mood and, most significantly, depth and dimension. I recently visited a... Read more

Cooke Optics UK Factory Tour

How to get the Cooke Look
Cooke Optics lenses
A vintage Cooke Optics lens Cooke Optics has been making lenses for 130 years, and their coatings haven’t changed much since the ’60s—that’s what contributes to the Cooke Look cinematographers want on their digital bodies, like RED and ARRI. The coatings are like pixie dust and seen here (decades of them built up) on a flange. The flange holds... Read more

Self-Assigned Challenge: Cine Lenses

Manufacturers are responding to ever more capable cameras with cinema lenses, and Byron tries out two of them
cine lenses
“The Initial Mystery that attends any journey is: how did the traveler reach his starting point in the first place?” — Louise Bogan For this journey I’m on in London, it’s an initial mystery of shooting with cine lenses, but let’s back up to the starting point. If you’ve never heard of a cine lens, that’s shorthand for cinema, and what’s... Read more

Self-Assigned Shoot—Vegas In Black & White

Why the Leica M Monochrom has this photographer reacquainting himself with black-and-white photography
black-and-white photography
To me, shooting in black-and-white is like listening to opera—I have to be in the right mood and frame of mind. Earlier this year, that mood happened at WPPI, a wedding trade show in Las Vegas. I had arranged a demo Leica from their booth and, well, the lighting at trade shows is always terrible, so I asked for the M Monochrom, then assigned myself... Read more

Telling A Story With Environmental Portraiture

On assignment with Jim Cornfield, as he uses a subject’s history to tell the story of an honored vet and the airplane that saved his life
portrait photography
For a recent photo assignment, Jim Cornfield chose to create an environmental portrait of Air Force Capt. Kenneth Curry, telling a story in images by connecting the pilot to his former military experience. The environmental portrait is one of photography’s simpler ideas: An image of a subject that includes his or her external life—some place or... Read more

Byron’s Blog: Self-Assigned Shoot—Urban Geometries

Using shapes, lines, colors, tones and lighting to create visually interesting and painterly photos of the city
self-assignment
Scene from a typical spring night in NYC. When considering geometries, note that the architect’s vision of the building is ignored because I’m instead concerned with the visual activity around it. In this photo taken during the Sony a9 launch of 30 photographers crowded around the long jump at The Armory, notice what David J. Schloss is doing—he’s... Read more

The Power Of Portable Light

Using speedlights to tell a more compelling visual story
portable light
Moai Statue At Sunset. Nikon D3, 24-70mm ƒ/2.8 lens, shot at 1/50 sec. at ƒ/8, Nikon SB-800 used off-camera to light the statue. I have traveled 4,625 miles to get this image. I’m stumbling through the volcanic landscape in the murky predawn darkness trying to find the Moai statues. The salty breeze and crashing surf remind me of early-morning shoots... Read more

Stepping Up To Medium Format

A bigger platform opens up a world of possibilities
Stepping Up To Medium Format
Aaron Miller climbing on the Crystal Clear Arete (5.12c) in Diablo Canyon near Santa Fe, New Mexico. This image was shot with an 1,100 Watt seconds strobe mounted high on an adjacent cliff above my shooting position. Shooting Info: Hasselblad H5D 50c WiFi, HCD 24mm lens, F/7.1 at 1/80th second at ISO 800. © Michael Clark Michael Clark is an internationally... Read more

The Future Of Wireless Flash

Improvements in wireless flash give photographers an astounding amount of creative freedom
Tom Bol Wireless Flash header
The year 2003 rocked my world as a photographer. It wasn’t the year I purchased my first digital camera. This was the year Nikon introduced the SB-800, which was the first flash I could trigger off-camera using my D70’s popup flash. Using Nikon’s i-TTL technology, flash exposure was calculated using TTL (through-the-lens) metering just like a... Read more

Strobe And Sun

How to bring studio-style lighting to the outdoors
Strobe And Sun
A strobe-illuminated subject really pops off of an underexposed ambient background. In this case, a cloudy day and tall tree coverage helped bring the ambient down naturally, making it easier to overpower the daylight with a portable strobe. Just because you’re working outdoors doesn’t mean you can’t take studio-style lighting control with you.... Read more
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