Behind the Scenes of a Saloon Shoot with Photographer Peter Phun

Behind the Scenes of a Saloon Shoot with Photographer Peter Phun

Peter Phun is a freelance photographer in Riverside California. An alumni of Kent State University in photojournalism, he was among the first at his local paper to make the transition from film to digital with zero training. Phun is currently an adjunct instructor of photography at Riverside Community College. Go behind the scenes with Phun and a couple of 1940s-inspired models to discover how you can make the most of  lighting a shoot in a dark and relatively cramped environment. A Few Photo Tips from a 1940s Theme Shoot at Lake Alice Saloon and Eatery reprinted with permission by Peter Phun In a bar, there are surprisingly many, many shiny and reflective surfaces. To help combat this, a softbox is a better choice than an umbrella. The light falls off very dramatically and won’t scatter the way it does in an umbrella. I especially like the Photoflex OctoDome NXT  for this.  To go inside the OctoDome, I rented a Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite from BorrowLenses to help save space. Lighting conditions inside most bars are poor so you may need to use your fastest lens, especially if you are only using flash for accent lighting. I used a 50mm f/1.2 on my  Canon 5D Mark II set to ISO 400. I usually prefer to fire my Speedlites on manual power because I like to have a consistent output. From the ST-E3-RT radio transmitter attached to my camera’s hotshot, I was able to dial in my flash setting without having to walk over to either Speedlite to make changes in power. For this shoot, I chose a 2:1 lighting ratio using just 2 Speedlites. I wanted my back light to put out 1 stop...
Shoot Often to Build Confidence: An Interview with Portrait Photographer Neil Creek

Shoot Often to Build Confidence: An Interview with Portrait Photographer Neil Creek

Neil Creek is a photographer with ten years of experience and a passion for teaching. He has helped tens of thousands of people improve their photography with his eBooks, successful video training courses, photography workshops, and years of photography blogging. As a professional photographer specializing in portrait photography, Neil has picked up lots of ideas, techniques and problems to watch out for that are usually learned the hard way. Neil has a talent for taking difficult-to-understand concepts and making them accessible

Sample Images: Benefits of Shooting Olympus and Four Thirds/Micro Four Thirds

Sample Images: Benefits of Shooting Olympus and Four Thirds/Micro Four Thirds

Mirrorless cameras and the Micro Four Thirds (MFT) system are gaining in popularity. From Panasonic’s GH3 to the Blackmagic, more and more cameras are coming out in MFT mount. Olympus originally pioneered the Four Thirds system and, along with Panasonic, announced a new Micro Four Thirds standard in 2008. This new system increased in quality while decreasing in bulk. Olympus Micro Four Thirds Cameras and Lens Variety Olympus carries three main breeds of camera: Digital SLR, OM-D, and the Pen. Their DSLRs are Four Thirds Mount and the OM-D and Pens are Micro Four Thirds. While Four Thirds and MFT lenses cannot be used interchangeably, what is nice about  MFT is that it aims to be a universal mounting system for mirrorless cameras. There are several brands outside of Olympus that make MFT lenses that mount well on the OM-D and Pen cameras. This opens up your lens experimentation options. For instance, while manual-focus only, the Voigtlander Nokton 25mm and 17.5mm lenses for MFT open up to a very wide 0.95 f/stop, a rare feature. You can also use extremely low-profile pancake lenses, such as the Panasonic Lumix 20mm f/1.7 for MFT. For reach, there is the Panasonic 45-200mm Mega Optical Image Stabilization lens or Olympus’ own fast 75mm  f/1.8, whose 9-blade diaphragm produces excellent bokeh. If you are into experimenting with many lenses at once without being married to 1 particular brand and without killing yourself trying to carry them all, then give the MFT system a shot. Keep in mind when choosing your MFT lens that MFT sensors have a crop factor of 2.0 (as opposed to...
Establish Your Brand: An Interview with Creative Marketing Strategist Lawrence Chan

Establish Your Brand: An Interview with Creative Marketing Strategist Lawrence Chan

Lawrence Chan is a marketing strategist for smart creatives. He is also a photographer and traveler and is the author of several books on marketing and social media. His work has been published in Grace Ormonde Wedding Style Magazine. He wants creatives to keep honing their craft but also become better marketers. Many of his eBooks are available for free.

Featured Photographer Guy Tal

Featured Photographer Guy Tal

Technique, knowledge, inspiration – gain it all from seasoned photographers with years of experience and many tips to share with both burgeoning photographers and pros looking to gain a new perspective. Visit our entire collection of interviews, which are full of amazing images and valuable advice. Guy Tal is a professional artist, author, photographer, educator and public speaker. He believes that the practice of creative pursuits manifests not only in the making of art, but also has the ability to transform and enrich life, facilitate meaningful and rewarding experiences, and foster contentment and satisfaction through life-long discovery and learning. His work has been featured in Outdoor Photographer, Popular Photography, and Digital Photographer magazines, among many others. BL: What is your photographic specialty and how did you become interested in it? Tal: My goal is to create images that are personally significant and that communicate something of the state of mind and relationship with the subject that inspired them. In a sense, what I’m after is a more nuanced version of what Alfred Stieglitz called “equivalence,” as in implying something equivalent to the photographer’s experience in all its dimensions, both visual and emotional. In my mind, the best images are not images OF things; they are images ABOUT things. My favorite subject matter is the landscape of my home, the Colorado Plateau. I first became interested in these places as a young soldier, thousands of miles and a lifetime away, on the Golan Heights. By coincidence, or perhaps not, I found a copy of Edward Abbey’s “Desert Solitaire” and became fascinated with his descriptions. At the time I couldn’t even hope to see...
Three Key Methods For Backing Up Your Photographs

Three Key Methods For Backing Up Your Photographs

Zach Egolf is an IT professional and freelance photographer in the Baltimore area. In this guest post, he explains three methods for backing up your files in preparation for the worst possible scenario. The Importance of Back…Back…Backing Up reprinted with permission by Zach Egolf Wandering into the world of photography without a backup plan is a lot like wandering into…well, just about anything blindfolded!  You might think you know the terrain, how to navigate it, and where you’re going, but the next thing you know you’ve wandered into a forest, caught yourself on some thorn bushes, and lost your pants.  And much like losing your pants in an evil forest, losing your photos can be a frightening ordeal. Think of this scenario: You spend 10 hours shooting the perfect wedding.  The colors are all perfect, the lighting is spot-on, the bride and groom photograph like the two greatest love birds in the world.  You get home to your computer, pull all of the photos off of your memory cards, and then go to bed.  A wedding is a long day, after all, and you want to get your rest so that you can wake up the next morning and start working your magic! The next day comes along and you start to edit the photos.  Two days pass, you’re halfway through the photos and, all of a sudden, a freak storm rolls through town and zaps your house, frying your external hard drives, and wiping out 10 hours worth of photos.  You have nothing to deliver to your clients except the crisp shell of metal and magnets.  You have...
SnapKnot’s Favorite Beach Wedding & Engagement Photos

SnapKnot’s Favorite Beach Wedding & Engagement Photos

Photographers are always seeking ways to land that one awesome wedding shot. The unique setting, timing, and location of each photo opportunity is what makes the final product so special. In order to share some brilliant inspiration, we had our friends at SnapKnot send five of their favorite beach wedding and engagement photos from their expert photographers. Better yet, they shared the secrets behind their incredible shots. SnapKnot’s Favorite Beach Wedding & Engagement Photos This portrait was taken at sunrise just after a short ceremony with a Canon 5D Mark II and a 24-70 f/2.8L. Only natural lighting was used for this at ISO 320, f/2.8, and 1/1000th of a second. This well-timed candid was taken in the late afternoon after a heavy rain with a Canon 5D and a 24-105mm f/4L using only available light. Taken at ISO 400, f/5.6, and 1/250th of a second. This trash-the-dress shot was taken early in the morning with a Canon 5D Mark III and 135mm f/2L. No flash was used; instead, King captured the moment by taking super quick, multiple shots. Taken at ISO 800, f/6.3, and 1/1000th of a second. This scenic portrait was taken at sunset with a Canon 1D Mark IV and a 16-35mm f/2.8. To light the scene, Joy used 2 Canon 580EX II flashes triggered in ETTL mode with remotes. Final settings: ISO 200, f/2.8, and 1/1600th of a second. White balance was manually set. To learn more about triggering flashes at high shutter speeds, see Syl Arena’s tutorial on using high speed sync with Canon flash. This romantic silhouette was taken at sunrise with a...