Jun
28
For Photographers

Flash Series pt 4: Using Existing Light Sources


Today I'm going to continue my series on using flash. If you're just tuning in, it's really important that you read the series in order, since the knowledge from each post builds on the previous. Here are the links to past posts if you want to get caught up!

Part 1: The Basics
Part 2: Flash Compensation
Part 3: Dragging your Shutter

Today I'm going to be sharing a quick tip on using existing light sources to enhance your reception photography. Even if you're not using off-camera flash, you can sometimes get a similar effect by incorporating other light sources into the composition of your images.

One often readily available light source is the light from a videographer's camera. Both the above photo and the next photo include the videographer in the background of the shot. I don't have all of my camera settings for the images in this post, but the top photo was taken with these settings: ISO 500 f2.8 1/100 sec. It's important to remember that when other lights are hitting your subject, you can't use the technique I talked about earlier in this series of dragging your shutter. If you do, your subject will also be blurry. So set your shutter speed at 1/100 or faster. You WILL want to make sure your flash compensation is up at least 2/3 or one full stop to make sure your on-camera flash is putting out enough light since your camera will be taking the other light source into consideration for it's exposure.

Other than these considerations, the only other thing to focus on is positioning yourself in a way that incorporates the existing light as a backlight to the subject you are photographing.


In these next two examples, the dance floor was lit by spot from above and I had to squat down and shoot up into the light to get this effect.



I LOVE how incorporating existing lights into my reception photos can really add a dreamy effect to them. Be on the look-out for how you can experiment with this fun technique!

Click here to read part 5 of the series: Eliminating Grain

To find more info & reviews on my gear and other resources I offer photographers, click here!

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Equipment used for above photos:
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 70-200 2.8 lens
Canon 50mm 1.2 lens
Canon 16-35mm 2.8 lens
Canon Speedlite 580 EX
Gary Fong Lightsphere
Lumedyne HV Tinycycler Battery Pack


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Jun
28
News!

+ One


I'm SO excited about this! Starting with my upcoming workshop in Boulder, Colorado next month, I will be opening up one additional spot at each of my MJ 2 Day workshops. The full registration fee for that one spot will be donated to benefit Thirst Relief International -- a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing clean water to those in need around the globe. I partnered with them two years ago when I went to Tanzania and actually worked in the workshop where they make bio-sand filters. It was amazing and I'm so excited to be able to continue giving back to this cause I believe in. Click here to see the new page on my workshop website with all the details.

1.1 billion people worldwide still lack clean drinking water. For $5 - less than the cost of a cup of coffee - Thirst Relief can bring clean drinking water to one individual FOR LIFE. Crazy. If you'd like to join me in making a difference, please click here to go to my fundraising page on Thirst Relief's website and make a donation today.

The plus one spot for the Boulder workshop is already filled and the $1,100 registration fee has already been donated. That's 220 more people who now have clean drinking water for life. YAY for making a dent!!!


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MJ2Day


Jun
27
Personal

the little things

Here's a quick snapshot of something fun I threw together this weekend:


They're meant for the shade so my hanging baskets get to stay hanging :). Yay! It's a little victory that I'm celebrating. I just love looking out my office window and seeing these. Flowers just warm my heart.

Last week California photographer and friend Tira J came into town and we had lunch. She was super sweet and brought me this Kalanchoe plant as a house warming gift:


It's a succulent that blooms twice a year. So lovely.

Hope you all had a great weekend!


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Jun
24
For Photographers

Workshop Dates + Giveaway!


I'm excited to announce the dates of my next MJ 2 Day workshop in Phoenix! They are....

January 30-31, 2012!!

The workshop will take place in my home and is open to the first 12 photographers who sign up! In addition to two days of learning-goodness each attendee will also be receiving some pretty sweet services and products complimentary from our sponsors:


To kick-off things on a fun note, we are going to give away a prize to the first photographer who signs up!! They will receive their choice of the following:

-a free pass to their choice of any of Jared Platt's upcoming Lightroom workflow workshops
OR
-a two hour online personal consultation/Lightroom tutorial with Jared

Jared Platt is THE Lightroom Master and will help you get your workflow whipped into shape in no time. This incredible prize is valued at $300!!
Wow. Whoever signs up first is basically getting TWO workshops for the price of one!

Click here to go to the MJ 2 Day website for all the details and to register!

(Could there BE any more exclamation points in this post?!!)

------------------------
Edited to add:

Congratulations to Elizabeth Langford for being the first sign-up and the winner of this great prize!!!


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Jun
23
For Photographers

Flash Series pt 3: Dragging your shutter


Today I'm going to continue my series on using flash. If you're just tuning in, it's really important that you read the series in order since the knowledge from each post builds on the previous. Here are the links to past posts if you want to get caught up!

Part 1: The Basics
Part 2: Flash Compensation

Alrighty! Today I'm going to build on what I talked about in part one and share an easy tip for creating a fun effect at receptions using flash and slow shutter speed.

Like I said in part one, if my flash is the only light hitting the subject, I like to slow my shutter speed down to increase the exposure of ambient light in my shots. But you can also use this technique of dragging your shutter to create a sense of motion in your images.

In the above photo the bright light you see is my off-camera flash - which we'll be talking about further along in the series - but you can also create motion in the background of your shots when using only an on-camera flash. To do so, simply move your camera slightly while using a slow shutter speed and flash. The subject will be frozen but the background will blur slightly. My settings for the above photo were: ISO 1000, f4.0 1/15 sec.

Here's a couple other examples with my camera settings for each:


ISO 100 f2.8 1/15 sec.


ISO 100 f2.8 1/15 sec.

This technique is really ideally suited for receptions because it captures the energy and celebratory environment inherent in them. So get out there and try it! Crank your shutter speed down to both increase ambient light in your reception shots as well as to play with the effects of motion in your images. Just remember that if the room lights go up or another light hits your subject, your flash will no longer freeze the motion and you'll be forced to bring your shutter speed back up.

Click here to read part 4 of the series: Using Existing Light Sources

To find more info & reviews on my gear and other resources I offer photographers, click here!

--------------------------

Equipment used for above photos:
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 50mm 1.2 lens
Canon 16-35mm 2.8 lens
2 Canon Speedlite 580 EXs
Gary Fong Lightsphere
Lumedyne HV Tinycycler Battery Pack
2 Pocketwizards
Light Stand with umbrella bracket and cold shoe


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