How I Made It: The Story Behind Ira Block’s Photo of Myanmar

Location scouting and a clear goal helped produce a memorable image of Myanmar in a more peaceful time
Photo of Myanmar by Ira Block
Photographer and educator Ira Block recently shared the above photo he shot a few years ago in Myanmar on his social media pages the day after the country’s military staged a coup and arrested a large number of pro-democracy leaders including Myanmar’s president Aung San Suu Kyi. We wanted to learn more about the image and how Block captured... Read more

Try These 5 Quick Lighting Techniques to Give Your Photos Some Spark

Project light through gobos to create head-turning looks for portraits
Screenshot for lighting tips
Lighting tips and techniques come in many forms. Some are elaborate lighting set-ups that require hours of preparation to produce a single look. Other lighting tips are fast, simple to produce, and can help you create several different styles in minutes. Manny Ortiz‘ new lighting tutorial below is of the quick and easy variety. In the video below,... Read more

Lightroom Pro Tip: How to Use Range Masks to Make Targeted Edits on Photos

Speed up your Lightroom workflow with this great tool for making refined localized adjustments
Screenshot for range masks in LIghtroom
Adobe Lightroom is an incredibly deep image processing and organizing program full of more editing tools than most of us have the working hours to test out. But what if there was one Lightroom feature that could transform your photos in minutes without compromising their professional quality? If you’re not aware of it already, that tool is called... Read more
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LED Continuous Lights vs Strobe Flashes: Which Is Better for Studio Photography?

LED and strobes have their pro and cons but there's one clear winner when it comes to serious studio shoots
Screen shot of lighting video
Strobes have long been the primary lighting choice for studio photographers but that’s changing with the advent of better and more powerful LED continuous lighting systems. Thanks to their improved color accuracy, the ability to easily adjust color temperature and brightness on the fly, and their overall ease of use, LED lighting has gotten more... Read more

Modern Lighting Solutions

New technology has opened up portrait lighting possibilities
Modern Lighting Solutions
For this portrait, I used an ELB 500 in TTL mode with a 53-inch Rotalux Octabox. The flash was set for high-speed sync for 1/800 shutter speed. Nikon Z 7, 35mm F1.8 lens. Exposure 1/800 sec., ƒ/1.8, ISO 100. The photography industry has been rapidly transforming in recent years, and the major focus has been on camera systems. Every year, there are... Read more

Travel Portrait Techniques

Follow these valuable tips when traveling abroad
Travel Portrait Techniques
Because I was prepared for some resistance to taking photos while visiting Morocco, I altered my approach and utilized a variety of compositional hacks to get some unique photos. I’ll just come out and say it: I love to travel with photography as my primary agenda. Everything from the decision-making process of where to visit to deciding which... Read more

Adobe Lightroom CC Mobile For Portraits And Candids

Make the most of the mobile version of Lightroom, connect with your subjects and make your potential clients see results in real time
Adobe Lightroom CC Mobile For Portraits And Candids
I’ve never been the most prolific practitioner of portrait photography. But I’ve admired those photographers who are as skilled at interacting with their subjects as they are interacting with their camera. So, if I’m working on shooting portraits or candids, as I often am when my wife and I visit family in Nebraska, especially my four adorable... Read more

Add Motion To Strobe-Lit Portraits By Dragging The Shutter

This slow-shutter-speed-with-flash technique adds a hint of motion and a lot of interest to portraits and fashion photographs
Add Motion To Strobe-Lit Portraits By Dragging The Shutter
Dragging the shutter works particularly well in settings with a bright background. In this case, the window light creates a silhouetted subject ready to be illuminated by a strobe—here softened by a large silk diffusion panel. That soft key light can sometimes look flat and plain, but the blur from dragging the shutter while handholding (visible particularly... Read more

Portrait Lighting With LEDs

Tips for using constant LED lighting in studio as well as mixing it with natural light (indoors and out)
With an Astra Bi-Color LED light as the key, I shifted the light’s output to tungsten while maintaining a daylight white balance in the camera. The result is a warm, glowing sunset look—and it was as easy as turning a dial. One of the biggest changes to occur in lighting technology in recent years has been the introduction—and rapid technological... Read more

Lighting Separation Anxiety

Keep the reproduction of your images in mind when shooting stock—or any images—for successful sales
Lighting Separation Anxiety
I collaborated with photographer Daihezi Ji on a lighting test to show movement yet freeze her in the same frame. I set my camera to rear sync to fire my Profoto B1s at the end of the ½-second exposure with the backdrop/hair light positioned camera right in a silver collapsible beauty dish to provide separation. The keylight, also in a collapsible... Read more