Category Archives: flash composite

Worth the wait

Storyboard004

This image was a composite AND a panorama, but that wasn’t what made it so hard. No, it was the Universal Law of Shooting in NYC: When you have scouted a location, and the whole time you scouted there were no people there, and you really need no people to be there, right as you’re ready to shoot a hundred schoolchildren will flood the scene.

Camera: Nikon D4
Lens: 8-image “Brenizer method” panorama with the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G (equivalent of 42mm f/0.68 according to Brett’s calculator)


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Just … trust me.

Storyboard028

Sometimes photography requires a good deal of trust. The coordinator from the New York Botanical Garden stood in front of me and said “We have transportation, and you have access to all the wonders and beauty of the gardens at your disposal. Where would you like to go?”

“Well … I saw a really great patch of unmowed grass. Can we go there?”

Trust can pay off.

Lens: Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6
Camera: Nikon D4


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Teaser: Megan and Michael’s Mad Men-themed engagement shoot

RK2 6170

I don’t do a lot of styled engagement sessions, mostly because I’m not a stylist, as anyone who’s seen the way I dress on “Image processing days” can tell you. But when a theme fits a couple’s personality and vision so well, and when they have Megan’s impeccable taste and precision … well, I think I spent most of this shoot excitedly giggling.

Since the theme was Mad Men, and not generic 1960s, I kind of wanted to turn “vintage wedding photography” on its head a bit. Mad Men is vintage only in its props, wardrobe and styling, but modern and gorgeous in its visuals, with nary an old-timey filter to be seen. Generally they are playing with more time and budget than five minutes in the back of Gramercy Park Hotel, but Megan and Michael still rocked it. I can’t wait to show the full set and all of the hard work Megan did, with everything 1963-appropriate from the newspapers to the dog leash.

Lens: 35mm f/1.4
Camera: Nikon D3s


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A True Sunday

111030 151840 12mm f14

Yelena and Ben really picked the right day of this weekend to get married. After the record-breaking snow on Saturday, this is what we had yesterday — a gorgeous wedding at Guastivino’s in Manhattan.

I had to fight every urge to not just stay up all night and post this whole wedding today. Finally I remembered that I felt the same way about all the other weddings I’ve photographed recently. It’s telling in a lot of ways that I’m headed to Aruba on Wednesday and I’m excited to look through and edit the great weddings that I’ve had happen in front of my lens in recent weeks.

Lens: Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6
Camera: Nikon D3s


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A different sort of reunion

Flickr 110319 001259 35mm f1 4

For the second time, mixed in with the previous clients and models I’d shot with before, I had a high school classmate join us as a workshop subject — this time the fetching Cameron. I really can’t help it that so many people from my tiny burg in the tundra seemed to scatter out and spread fabulousness. It was great to see her after … well … just a few years, and as you can see she did a great job bringing the old Hollywood vibe to our night-time shooting.

Lens: 35mm f/1.4
Camera: Nikon D3s
Lighting: Composite with the Litepanel MicroPro pulling double-duty.


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Adorama talk coming up Oct 11!

Rain Can't Get Us Down

I’ve been talking so much about the full-day workshop on Oct. 12 and 13 that I haven’t really highlighted the separate Adorama talk on Monday. At the last talk, I saw a lot of interest about the process and potential of flash composites, so I want to devote an entire lecture to laying it out in a way that’s clear to understand, both in terms of how to put a composite together and some of the practical applications.

There’s nothing new to the idea of erasing your lighting equipment from a photo — the idea is almost as old as commercial photography itself. But that’s the beauty of it — so many of the looks that are in our visual vocabulary come from this process, and what I’ve tried to do is streamline it to make it really easy. I shoot well over a hundred jobs every year. I can’t do anything that requires a lengthy bout of mucking around in Photoshop. The photo above took three minutes to shoot (it was raining after all), and about three minutes to put together. I processed it over a few bites of dinner at the reception that same day. And it achieves an effect that would be quite tricky to do with independent lights — throwing up grid spots to light under their umbrellas is not something I’d like to do on a rainy day in Central Park.

No to mention all of the potential for supplementary lighting, such as the highlights on the walls here:

Love and Mansions

Again, three minutes to shoot. So for $35 and a couple hours of your time, you should walk away ready to do this yourself. Sign up here!


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