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on May 24, 2017 in Field Reports

The “Stick” Light

I recently received the Genaray SP-C Kit, something I’ve long wanted to experiment with. What I call personally a “stick” light, the SP-C kit contains the LED “stick” light and Ringlight. The HUGE benefit to these stick lights is their extreme lightweight, portability and ease of use. To be honest with you, I had NO CLUE if such a tool would be a viable tool for my shooting. The only way to find out is to take a stick light out into the field and shoot with it. As you can see, I shot with a stick light and here are my first thoughts. First and foremost, just like with any light, just because you can doesn’t mean you should. They do throw out the light, that is for sure but without any kind of light modifier like barndoors or silk, it’s just a bright light. That means you gotta use distance to mellow it and that means throwing light everywhere. There can lie a challenge. I shot with...

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on May 23, 2017 in Aviation

How’d You Get There?

My portrait of Ricky has brought a few questions so wanted to explain the process of getting the final photo. When it comes to flash, I’m not real speedy, I have to think about it before I act. It starts with thinking through the story I want it to help tell. This means I have to look at the subject, the background and how I want to move the eye around the frame. In this case Ricky is the subject in our story, the pilot about to launch in his Stinson L-5 on a mission on what appears to be a stormy day. So the key elements when it comes to light are Ricky, Plane & Sky. Above is the final shot, here’s how I got there. Often I start by taking a shot of the main elements as they lay to see what strengths and weaknesses the “set” has before I start going crazy. Being use to being a one man band when it comes to lighting, I...

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on May 17, 2017 in Field Reports

Brave New World

Well, I started something a year ago that I’ve slowly embraced in some of my bird photos. It has to do with the “glow” that comes with a slight about of overexposure when you have a minimum of highlights to “blowout.” Last year it was strictly by accident but I loved the result so this year I’m trying to do it on purpose. It’s really pretty simple. I set the camera (D5 or D500 only) to overexposure to either +1/3, +2/3 or 1 stop. Now with +1/3, the camera does a great job with the highlights and shadows. You move up to +2/3 and it does a good job and at +1, you gotta be careful as it tends to protect shadpw detail letting more highlights blow out. I’m getting pretty good at reading the light and the camera’s responce when doing this. But it’s not perfect so for my and telling stories with exposure, it’s still a brave new...

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