Saturday, November 22, 2008

Cool Photographers

In my quest for inspiration, I keep finding amazing photographers who's works inspire me to no end. You may be familiar with some of these, but maybe not.

Check out these jewels...

1. Jill Greenberg ...controversial yet wonderful!

2. Douglas Sonders ...very cool!

3. Joel Grimes ...I want a portfolio like this guy's someday.

4. Drew Gardner ...very interesting and creative compositions

...more to come!

Saturday, November 15, 2008


f/16 at 1/320 sec ISO 100

A few friends have really expressed interest in this shot so I thought I would do my best to explain how I took it.

First of all, I highly recommend getting the book "Light, Science and Magic". It is by far the single best resource I have come across on mastering lighting techniques, other than the Strobist blog. Its a valuable tool to have around.

With this shot, I wanted the glass and water singled out on a white background. Since the glass and the water are almost completely transparent, I realized that direct flash would not do the trick. Reflected light would be the best answer. I have to admit also, that I have been researching how to do this shot for some time, which is how I came up with my setup. So... that being said..

The glass was placed on a table with black formica underneath. Then I placed a piece of black cardboard with a sheet of 8.5" x 11" white, photo glossy paper in the center of the black cardboard, directly behind the glass. The white photo paper was my "reflector" of the light and the black cardboard is what gave the water and the glass the black outline.

Then I placed my Nikon SB-800 under the table, closer to the back side, and pointed the head towards the piece of white photo paper. This was my only light source used. By placing the flash underneath the table, I prevented light from spilling on to my glass and water, in other words, I gobo'd the flash.

Click on my "high tech" illustration for a bigger view. Da Vinci has nothing on me! =)

For the exposure, I set my Nikon D300 to its fastest native flash sync speed (I say native because you can actually trick the camera into using much faster sync speeds than the factory default) and set my aperture to f/11, my ISO to 100. The flash was on 1/16 power at this time. I took a test shot, and it was quite a bit too bright for my liking, so I stopped down my aperture to f/16 and decreased my flash power to 1/32 and took another test shot. I liked this result.

Originally I wasn't planning on pouring water into the glass. I just wanted a nice photo of the glass itself, but since my roommate was home, I decided to use his extra set of hands and conned him into helping me. He held the water in a small measuring cup directly over the glass and on my signal, began pouring the water. As luck would have it, I got it on the first take.

I hope this explains the technique I used, and if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to leave me a comment.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Stumbled across a few more cool links that I wanted to share...

If you are a fan of the Strobist blog, David Hobby has made a downloadable .pdf file available of his entire section on Lighting 101!!! You can get it here.

Two really great photographers I have stumbled across recently are Nicolas Guerin and Mark Seliger. Both of these guys are fantastic portrait photographers that really know how to use nuanced light.

If you're in to vintage photos than hop on over to Square America. They have a huge collection of vintage photos that have been gathered from everywhere! Its a really great collection.

No description on this one, you just have to check it out... Rabbit Hash Kentucky

If you live in the Louisville, Kentucky area then you should do yourself a favor and visit the Paul Paletti Gallery on Market Street. He has one of the most amazing collections of photography and I am flabbergasted every time I go there. Its also the only gallery in the area that is devoted to photography. Paul's a really nice guy too!

Ok, that's it ...for now. =)