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 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...
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...
Manufacturers are responding to ever more capable cameras with cinema lenses, and Byron tries out two of them
“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...
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
Text & Photography By Jim Cornfield
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...
Using speedlights to tell a more compelling visual story
Text & Photography By Tom Bol
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...
Improvements in wireless flash give photographers an astounding amount of creative freedom
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...
How to bring studio-style lighting to the outdoors
Text & Photography By William Sawalich
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....
Oregonian staffer Thomas Boyd knows that gaining access is key—and the veteran photographer knows how to get it and what gear to use once he has it
Text & Photography By Thomas Boyd
All of the great people photographers have the unique ability of gaining extraordinary access to events and people’s lives. This is doubly true of the best photojournalists, but it goes for everyone, from a portrait photographer to a wedding shooter. It’s this access that sets their images apart.
There are two different kinds of access, of course....
The future of drones for professionals is becoming clearer
By The Editors
In February, the FAA issued the much anticipated proposed rules for drones titled "The Overview of Small UAS Notice of Proposed Rulemaking." Prior to the notice, there was a lot of speculation and more than a little apprehension about how the U.S. would handle drone usage. Short of plain outlawing unmanned aircraft in U.S. airspace, the biggest...
For Corey Rich, video-ready DSLRs offered more than just a new business opportunity. They made a lifelong dream come true.
By William Sawalich, Photography By Corey Rich
Corey Rich became a professional photographer at an early age. At 16, he got his first job shooting real estate pictures for the local paper. He hadn’t yet mastered all the technical aspects of photography, but he says he’s always known a great picture when he sees one.
"I never intended to be a business owner," Rich says. "I...
A look at the various tools you can use to create bokeh
By The Editors
Until about 10 years ago, the term bokeh was almost unknown. Coined from the Japanese word for blur, photographers began using the term in the late 1990s, but it wasn’t until the mid-aughts that it really took hold. The effect itself has been around as long as photography—shallow depth of field—but as any marketing expert will tell you, it...