Tag Archives: Fun

Reflecting on ways to work with the best light

Reflectors

• Reflectors •
A session with reflectors is a way to control the sun
and get the lighting you want on your subject.
[Image taken from the video]

The control of light is not always obvious.

Reflectors and other shapers of light make a big difference to the scene. Often photographers go to great lengths to work with reflectors. Here are a few simple tips to bear in mind when you want to shape light – particularly outside.

When you need a reflector

You can use reflectors in any type of environment. They are best used where you need to even out the light on your subject. Remember that if you are using a reflector the source light is the main or key light. The reflection from your reflective surface is in proportion to the power of the key light. This proportionality is important. Often, more than one light is difficult to balance. Using only one light source you can create a natural balance with the reflectors. It is difficult to get reflected light out of proportion. There is always some loss in the reflection. This ensures that the light on your subject will be less intense than the key light but related to it by its proportion. The result looks more natural.

Shade is as important as light

When you are working in the fullness of light it is common to be confronted with strong reflections from the subject itself. Specular highlights, reflections off of curved surfaces and shiny areas are the most difficult to control. However, bright reflections on larger areas like flat areas of glass or even areas of flesh like bare arms can also be really difficult to control.

If you have these sorts of reflections you can reduce the worst of them using a polarising filter. Of course the only sure way is to reduce the intensity of light overall. This means creating shade. Again, the most important issue here is to reduce the light in proportion to the ambient light around you. This helps the light to remain looking natural because it is derived from the main light once again.

Don’t spend a fortune

For most of us expensive reflectors and shade creators are out of reach. As with most things however, the amateur can create the same effects as the professional without the expenditure.

Reflectors can be created from white sheets, curtains, even large pieces of card. These things can be purchased inexpensively and propped up easily to create the effect you want. What is more important than the material that creates the reflection is the way you use the reflections themselves. It is important in very bright light that the reflections are used to infill darker areas of shadow to even out the contrasts. Then your camera can cope and you will see a more controlled light on your subject.

Shade too can be created easily. Use solid card sheets or even blankets on poles. I do quite a lot of car photography. Often specular highlights can be eliminated by hanging a thin white sheet on two poles in the line of the light. The main light – normally the sun – will penetrate a thin sheet so that a proportion of the light will continue to illuminate the subject. Again, the proportionality is important. Things always look more natural if the light is proportional to the surrounding ambient light.

Using Reflectors – Photography & Video Tutorial

In the video J.P. Morgan, a successful photographer, uses lots of resources and equipment to manipulate light in all sorts of ways. First, he looks at how the light is best exposed to the subject. He uses the light to create a rim light. This helps to reduce large, strong areas of reflection and helps to define the body shape.

When he has the light direction right and well controlled he uses a gold reflector to give the light a pleasant colour – an evening sunlight yellow. This lifts the colour of the faces in the shot.

The other thing that J.P. Morgan does is use the shade and reflectors to create fill. The sun provides the main light but the levels of light off the reflectors allows a lower level light intensity creating a natural light. This does not look like it has been deliberately projected at the subjects. It is a soft light that beautifully wraps around the children. It evens out the contrast between the brighter light and the darker areas.

Look at the way the equipment is used in the video. But spend your time afterwards thinking about how you can substitute affordable reflector materials and ways to create shade. Making your own kit can be fun and just as effective brand equipment.

The video is just over six minutes.

The Slanted Lens DSLR Lighting Tutorials  External link - opens new tab/page

If you want to buy an affordable reflector set, here is the one I use. These reflectors work very well and are flexible in the way they can be used. The whole set also folds away into a great compact bag. The pack contains five effects (silver, gold, white reflector/diffuser, grey and black)…

42″ Photographic light reflector set (5 in 1)
Ex-Pro 5 -in- 1 Photographic Light Reflector – 42″ (110cm) Silver, Gold, Black, White & Translucent, Collapsible.
This is an excellent reflector set, robust and effective as well as easy to store. I highly recommend this as a standard piece of equipment.

 

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By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photogs.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
By Damon Guy see his profile on Google+.

Just what is it about feet?

Feet are quite expressive, but attractive?

Well, they do say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I reserve judgement personally. Feet are not my ‘thing’. Lots of people get excited about feet. There is certainly lots of art about feet and photography is no exception. Lets take a look at the field…

Expressiveness

My interest in feet is with the way they can express themselves. One of my own pictures makes the point…

The Kiss

• The Kiss • By Damon Guy

If you look around you will see lots of examples of people using their feet to say things. Legs and feet are a large part of the body. So it is not unreasonable to expect them to express some of the things that the body is saying through body language. Perhaps you cannot expect feet to say it all, but you can certainly read some of what people say. Taking feet into account is an important part of the photograph. What I am saying is, if you want your photograph to tell the full story, look at the whole person, including the feet.

Emotive force

Feet play a part in our emotions too – I frequently hear oohs and ahhhs from people when they see baby feet.

 Two Lill' feet

• Two Lill’ feet •
Click image to view large
• Two Lill’ feet • By Qatar & Me on Flickr External link - opens new tab/page

It is certainly true that tiny feet are cute. Baby feet and vulnerability have close links. In the case of a photo like the baby feet above it moves us because of their cute vulnerability. Vulnerability makes for a great photograph – little feet are only one part of that. There is a great lesson in this. Vulnerability and babies make for great photographic subjects.

Of course vulnerability does not just extend to human babies. Lots of young animals have perfectly formed and cute enough feet to stir emotions. But then some animals seem to just have cute feet – young ones or not. There are a lot of photographs of cats feet out there.

• Our cats foot •

• Our cats foot •
Click image to view large
Our Cat’s Foot by pmeidinger, on FlickrExternal link - opens new tab/page

If you want to get some ideas of what cat feet photos are out there check out these links…
Cat feet search on Flickr  External link - opens new tab/page
Cat feet search on Google Images  External link - opens new tab/page

Humour

I think feet are pretty funny. They certainly can be comical parts of the body. But they can also be included in a photograph in a fun way… I had to laugh at this one on Flickr  External link - opens new tab/page.

The way to make people laugh when it comes to feet is to do something absurd…

Funny feet

• Funny feet •
Click image to view large
Funny Feet by Sarah Alston, on Flickr External link - opens new tab/page
You can probably find lots of ways to make people laugh with feet!

Of course it is not just bear feet that can be fun. I smiled with this too…
Feet

• Feet •
Click image to view large
Feet 🙂 by Neuro74, on FlickrExternal link - opens new tab/page
Feet can be funny and expressive… these gave made me smile and give a sigh of relaxation!

. I am sure you can think of some pretty funny ways to show off some feet!

What else

I had a fun couple of hours looking over the possibilities for feet. Some of the other opportunities that came to mind include…

  • Gross – some feet have had a hard life!
  • Love is… I am sure there are thousands of ways to express love.
  • Family feet – your feet can be intimate – a whole family can show together.
  • Animal feet – gotta be plenty of ways to see the world of animals through their feet.
  • Sexy feet – There’s a whole world of seediness and feet to explore!
  • Feet with character – must be a project in that one.
  • And just imagine what you can do with shoes too – wow!

I have introduced a new subject and there is plenty of scope. Feet ideas are worth considering. So have a think and check out this link too…
Feet – a general search on Google images  External link - opens new tab/page

Comments, additions, amendments or ideas on this article? Contact Us
or why not leave a comment at the bottom of the page…

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By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photogs.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
By Damon Guy see his profile on Google+.

Events – what do you photograph?

Run for the water

• Run for the water •
Participants in a charity New Year swim race to the sea
Click image to view large
Run for the water By Netkonnexion on Flickr External link - opens new tab/page

Every event has a theme.

Nevertheless there are lots of reasons for photographing an event. Don’t just snap away. A reason for taking photographs gives you a perspective for your shots. You can tell a story with a main idea.

Have a focus for your shots

If you have a specific reason to capture something it gives you a reason to look at it in a particular way. If your idea is to capture the fun, you are looking for smiles and enjoyment. If you are looking for love, say at a wedding, then your eye will pick out the looks, the coyness and the adoring glances. The way you look at an event is the way the capture the action.

If you have a lot of photos to take, with one reason to take them you have a storyline. The only way to create a clear story is to crystallise it around a single idea. If your pictures have a mixed or unclear idea overall then the story will be mixed and unclear too.


The moral is, despite the theme of the event, you are the person creating the story. It is the way you tell the story that is important. So make sure you know what you are trying to say about the event. Then pursue the pictures that depict the story you want to tell.

The picture story here…

The pictures on this page were taken today at a fun-based charity event. Everyone gets dressed up in fancy dress and goes for a sponsored swim on New Years Day. While it is about raising money for charity, the event is about fun. I tried to show the fun and the smiles in the short photo-story.


By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photogs.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
By Damon Guy see his profile on Google+.

Cooking With Your Camera

A humorous interlude – Just for fun!

Here is a fun and cringe-worthy video from ‘The Slanted Lens‘. Short but fun. Enjoy!It just goes to show you can do all sorts of things with a camera!

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When do you know you are a hopelessly addicted female photographer?

Her…
  • You go on a first date with lingerie that has little cameras printed on it.
  • Finally the lingerie drawer has to go and your light modifiers now have a proper place.
  • You don’t go to a chick-flick with the girls to stay home and watch Nikon adverts on YouTube.
  • Your supplier keeps phoning to talk to you about fashionable camera straps.
  • Your only suspender belt has ‘Nikon’ embroidered on each suspender.
  • Your new boyfriend is hot because he owns a Leica.
  • A girlfriend says that on the second date you should take your ‘cap’ – you take a lens cap.
  • Love is when you share everything except your camera.
  • Your new boyfriend gave you one of those coffee mugs that look like a camera lens – you like it.
  • You have sewn a cool little pouch onto your camera strap for your lipstick.
  • You have 23 camera shops on speed-dial.
  • You are not ready to sleep with your new boyfriend and tell him to f/stop.
  • You keep spare memory cards in your hidden chocolate box, not chocolate.
  • Your intervalometer fires your Nikon to wake you up in the morning.
  • Family Sunday is portrait day… Yaay!
  • You are unsure what sort of pleasure you should be getting from a softbox.
  • You go to the beach and now have a suspicious white diagonal band across your tan.
  • ‘See-through-sexy’ is a 50mm f1.2.
  • You have a special mirror for straightening your camera straps.
  • You spend 20 minutes in a camera store choosing what colour your next lens cloth should be.
  • Your boyfriend rings and tells you he’s had an accident – you ask if his camera is OK.
  • You ask in a camera shop if you need adoption papers for a ‘Lensbaby’.
  • You finally decide to sleep with your boyfriend – you ask if a UV filter is good enough protection.
  • Your favorite song is “One day my prints will come”…
  • You go to a gynecologist because you have been told you should keep your ‘velvia’ in the fridge.
  • You get a 3-legged cat from the cat home. You call it ‘Tripod’.
  • You know that ‘Green Mode’ does not mean you are a vegetarian.
  • Your hand-luggage is heavier than your suitcases.
  • Lenses owned: 26. Pairs of shoes: 1
  • You rearrange your make-up drawer to improve the composition.
  • Finally you dump your handbag. Your lipstick, license and credit-cards fit fine in your new camera bag.
  • You have unsuccessfully tried to go back to ‘green mode’ seventeen times.
  • The camera you hold is more comfortable than the trainers on your feet.
  • You can’t post your daily picture today – it was accidentally taken in ‘P’ not ‘M’ – the EXIF shows you up.
  • In-out; in-out; in-out… Your 500mm zoom is endlessly fascinating.
  • You stop using Facebook because of ‘copyright’ issues.
  • Dilapidated, rat infested, paint peeling, crumbling old barns are ‘romantic’ and ‘atmospheric’.
  • This joke first appeared on www.Photokonnexion.com. Pass it on! Please give us credit, link to our site and pass on this line too. Thank you.

Yesterday… the hopelessly addicted male photographer?
Why not share your photographic weak spots. Leave a comment…

By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photogs.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
By Damon Guy see his profile on Google+.

When do you know you are a hopelessly addicted male photographer?

Him…
  • Your clothes drawers have more camera equipment in than clothes.
  • You get more phone calls from your camera shop than from your wife.
  • You buy a new mobile phone because it has 24 megapixels.
  • You cannot walk past a camera shop without walking in.
  • After making love you accidentally call your wife by the name of the lady in the camera shop.
  • Your wife moves out because you used all the bedsheets for backdrops.
  • Your ex-wife sends photographs of the kids – you phone her to ask what paper it was printed on.
  • You keep your camera on your desk. You stop the shakes with the sound of the shutter.
  • You make yourself a pair of sunglasses from two ND8s.
  • A foreign power threatens war. You spend two days researching which ND filter can photograph a nuclear explosion.
  • Your heart pounds when your lens glints at hers across a crowded room.
  • When you imagine your hot new girlfriend in lingerie, each suspender has a little word embroidered on it… “Canon”.
  • Your girlfriend rings to say she has had an accident and you ask if she got pictures.
  • You buy a labrador puppy and call it Kodak. You tell your friends you own a Kodak Lab.
  • You actually bought your new girlfriend one of those coffee mugs that look like a camera lens.
  • You owe more on your photographic purchases than on your mortgage.
  • You buy a trailer so you can take ALL your camera kit on a shoot.
  • You only buy condoms so you have dry lenses on a shoot.
  • The ‘light-of-your-life’ is a speedlite.
  • You’ve not seen your girlfriend for two weeks – all you can think about is apertures.
  • You don’t know why women seem so disinterested and wonder if an enlarger would help.
  • You sleep with your girlfriend for the first time and are proud you lasted 1/1000th sec.
  • When shooting RAW one day the police turn up and tell you to put clothes on.
  • You have nightmares about people using the ‘Green Square mode’
  • You come out of an action movie and can only remember how good the composition was.
  • You have 50,000 family photos, neatly categorized in LightRoom. You are not in any of them.
  • You email your doctor. He mails back “It’s not possible to have an image-sensor implant in your retina”.
  • More people say “What are you taking a picture of?” than say, “Hi…”.
  • All your clothes are coloured 18% grey.
  • Broken-down, rusting, junk is ‘beautiful’ and has great ‘texture’.
  • The girlfriend decides to break up with you… You think the situation is ‘Contrasty’
  • A Wizard actually does live in your pocket.
  • You see a sign, “NO flash photography” and laugh because you know what high ISO means.
  • You find yourself thinking in f/stops and thousandths.
  • You go ‘full-manual’ with your cell phone.
  • This joke first appeared on www.Photokonnexion.com. Pass it on! Please give us credit, link to our site and pass on this line too. Thank you.

Tomorrow… Her.

Why not add your own points in a comment.