Photography

Great Lighting For Microbudget Video

No matter what camera you’re using, any shot is only as good as its lighting. When I was in film school, I was introduced to the Lowel Tota-Light, and I hated it. It was extremely bright, extremely hot, and extremely…

Men’s Magazine Cover Tutorial

Aside from the occasional rant about economics or society, I blog primarily about video production. However, I also do – and love doing – professional photography. One of my pet peeves about photography is the industry-wide obsession with gear. If…

Using “CTO” CineGel

The use of cine-gel to solve lighting issues can be somewhat confusing. Here’s an example in which I used “CTO” – Color Temperature Orange cine-gel. I had to shoot an interview in a very unattractive office (my own). The best…

Free Shot Log Form

One of the easiest ways to save time in editing is to keep track of what you’ve shot, while you’re shooting it. I made this shot log form a while ago. I print out a stack of them, and use…

Free Script Breakdown Form

Doing a script breakdown is a very useful – and often overlooked – step in the preproduction process. It’s used primarily for film production, but is equally applicable to photography (even though photo shoots don’t normally have an actual script).…

How To Take Natural Light Portraits

Rembrandt didn’t have a softbox. Neither did Vermeer or Caravaggio. Yet the portraits created by these artists have been held up as examples of beautiful lighting for centuries. Borrow a page from the Old Masters: leave the lamps at home,…

Vivitar 285HV Off-Camera Speedlight Tutorial

I’ve heard great things about the Vivitar 285HV for “strobist”-style photography. I bought a couple of them, and found that they work well, but are not at all intuitive to use. I recorded this brief video tutorial on how to…

Product Photography – An Easier Method

It can be tricky to get a clean photograph of a small object on a white background. Many photographers get find themselves using a vast number of lights, mirrors and little cards, and still wind up spending hours retouching. That…