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portraits

May 3, 2013

When you and I were young

First of all, happy early birthday, Red. Sorry I can’t be there (*sad face*).

That being said, I’ve got a special present for you! It started a few months ago when I got the itch to play some guitar (which, though a rare occurrence, is still something I can’t ignore). I started off re-learning songs I used to know long ago, but somewhere along the way I thought it’d be a cool idea to record a song with your name in the title. This turned out to be a loftier mission than expected (seems there aren’t many to choose from aside from Rod Stewart’s song and a few others).Read More

April 26, 2013

Clamshell portrait

I recently read in a magazine about a lighting setup called the “clamshell” where the subject is lit from the front by two softboxes (one larger one up high and a smaller one set lower to half power) and a reflector right above the subject.

Seemed simple enough. I didn’t have any softboxes, but eh, I improvised. Lending out some of my lightstands and gear to a friend for a shoot, I was pretty limited, but still had one lightstand with an umbrella, a Lumiquest 80/20, small tri-grip reflector, and two speedlights. Yeah, that should work…Read More

October 1, 2012

DIY Makeshift Continuous Light Beauty Dish

This past Sunday it was DIY time again! Max McDonald from mondayshift dropped by and we made a Lowes Depot run (for those times when hitting one store just isn’t enough) for supplies and ideas. Ever since creating the DIY ring flash a few weeks ago, Max has been toying with tweaking the production. He’s still letting that idea ferment, though we made some definite progress on the idea over the weekend. I had something a bit simpler in mind, though, a continuous light makeshift beauty dish.Read More

September 26, 2012

Wednesdays, Take It Or Leave It?

Wednesday has always held a special place in my heart as the one day out of the week that I can never decide if I like or hate. Monday is easy. Monday blows. Tuesday is just kinda there (same with Thursday where your energy starts to wane in direct correlation with your growing excitement about the impending weekend). Friday goes without saying.

So Wednesday is where it really comes down to the whole glass-half-full vs glass-half-empty debate. And that really depends a lot on how my week is going, what’s in the cards for the weekend, what I had for breakfast, etc., etc.Read More

September 25, 2012

More Ring Flash Goodness

By popular demand (read: one or two requests), here are a few more shots using our DIY ring flash set up from last weekend. A lot more tweaking remains to be done to the rig itself, as well as to how we’re using it, but it’s a pretty cool toy to play around with.Read More

September 24, 2012

DIY Ringflash Project

This weekend I dove into a DIY project with the help of my partner in crime, Max McDonald from mondayshift. After reading David Tejada’s excellent (not to mention affordable) ring flash tutorial, I decided it would be the perfect project for someone like me (i.e., someone completely inept at anything remotely resembling handyman-dedness).

After raiding Home Depot for supplies, Max and I set to work. It was an arduous task requiring literally minutes of physical and mental labor. Following Tejada’s tutorial to the T (give or take skipping the last eight steps), we were able to create a crude flash adapter referred to in certain photographic circles as a “ring flash.” Or just a ring flash without the quotes.Read More

September 21, 2012

Happy Friday From the Cave

Here’s to a happy Friday for everybody! Took this shot yesterday while I was messing around in the garage trying to simulate a concert spotlight look.

Basically I just gelled the keylight with some blue and bounced it off the white wall to my right, then gelled the hair light with some orange and snooted it up in my face.Read More

September 18, 2012

Goofing Off (As Usual)

To continue indulging my habit of posting ridiculous pictures of myself, here’s one from a recent lighting test in my garage. Using the on-camera flash to remotely trigger the key light seems to work pretty well, though it does tend to leave a very small catchlight directly in the center of the eyes. I’ll have to rig up a gobo to prevent that in the future.Read More

July 10, 2011

Porch fun!

So I finally got around to buying Joe McNally’s book The Hot Shoe Diaries: Big Light from Small Flashes and have been reading it religiously (that is to say, not often enough). Joe’s got a lot of experience, a great sense of humor, and tons of practical tips (if you’re lucky enough to be a Nikon user, that is). If you own a Nikon DSLR and a speedlight, buy his book today.Read More