Flash duration is one of those terms you hear in the world of flash photography but may not know exactly what it is, or why it matters. It’s really quite simple, and pretty much exactly what it sounds like. The measurement of time from when the flash begins to fire until it’s completely off is what’s known as flash duration. Like a light bulb filament slowly burning off when it’s turned off, a flash tube does the same thing, but much quicker.
While our brains are conveniently set to auto white balance and our eyes view a properly adjusted color temperature, our cameras, try as they may, are not quite as advanced and sometimes rely on us to provide assistance to them. For our image color and tone to be as accurate as possible, we have to command control of this setting ourselves.
At the onset of a portrait shoot it is important to come packing the usual garden variety of a few safe jokes to lighten the mood, some fail-proof poses to keep things moving, and direction for the model to play off of. It is easy to forget, with all the headspace that pours into reflecting the images from inside of our heads, towards reality, that when the time comes to start working with our subject, we are not just setting a tone visually, but also emotionally. One simple way personally for me to connect and as well bring additional personality out of a model is via the universal power of music, which has long played a predominant role in my life.
Depending on your project or assignment, commercial photography can allow for some creativity to be added to the photo. Creating splashing in the background or even having the splashes hit the product or subject can be one way to add some interesting factors to the shot. How would you set up the shot?
Light is a key factor in photography. It helps shape and create your photo. As the sun changes throughout the day, depending on where you are you may see some thin beams of light fall across the environment. Creating these thin light beams and adding them to your portraits can add some interesting looks. Controlling the light into small beams is one way to create drama and mood in your work. How would you create a thin beam of light on set?
Photographer Platon has photographed a significant number of major players in both the world of politics and music. In this four-minute video from PBS NewsHour, he talks through the experience of working with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, as well as Presidents Trump, Clinton, and Putin, and how he made each of them relax for the photo.
Every photoshoot is different, but depending on your concept and style, you don’t always need a massive studio space with tons of lighting. If you happen to have a decently sized living room with some amazing windows to take advantage of some natural light, it could be your perfect in-home studio for some of your projects.
Different projects may require different things in the background to help sell the story we are trying to tell with our photos. Sometimes they can be as simple as using a window in the frame. What happens when you are shooting and there aren’t any windows that fit your vision, or any windows at all?
We love gear. But this is next level stuff. If you’ve seen the smoothness of the shots used to introduce the Microsoft Studio Surface, you’ll know what I’m talking about. The guys at Motorized Precision who introduced KIRA robotic arm at NAB 2017 are taking pre-orders for the MIA, their latest robotic arm. It’s smaller, about as portable as a fridge is on wheels, and can plug into any traditional single phase wall socket. It holds up to a 22lb camera package, the arm itself weighs 120lbs and it comes with a standard six-meter track. If you want to see what it's capable of go watch Thor: Ragnarok, which used the KIRA for many of their shots. The video shows what the KIRA 1.0 could do.
Sometimes our creations behind the camera simply cannot be taken with just one frame, or perhaps you cannot travel to the destinations that would work perfectly with your concept. This is why some photographers choose to composite their images. Antti Karppinen shows off his most used composite image technique from his latest project "Kuopio Inspiration is a Force of Nature."