Archive For The “Lighting examples” Category
A vision of the future…
My kids… party animals… <shudder>
Today is New Year’s Eve, and unlike most sane adults that are probably prepping to go out and party, or perhaps host one, my wife and I are staying warm… at home… with the kids.
I was getting bored, and I just so happened to have some props I bought at the dollar store. 🙂
This was a VERY quick shoot. I think it took maybe 5 minutes… and that included setting it up, taking the pictures. Wham. Bam. Thank you ma’am.
Setup was simple enough. I was a bit lazy in getting my equipment setup… so instead of a light stand, I used my tripod with the flash I had pointed towards the background. Eh.
The other flash was in the softbox. Flash settings are on the setup shot below.
Camera settings were as follows:
Fuji X-Pro 2
1/125th shutter speed
Fuji XF 50-140mm f/2.8 lens @ f/8
I had them sitting on a bench.
If you noticed on the setup shot, there was a “Vanity Fair” label…
Annie Leibovitz takes amazing portraits. I was Pinteresting the other day and came across this image of Robert De Niro from 2000.
I liked it. It was simple. It was a great portrait. I decided to replicate it with my son. 🙂
All of our chairs are too big for him to get into that exact pose. While I was scratching my head, my son suggested using his bean bag chair. It worked out great. Smart kid.
All of my camera settings were the same from the New Year pics above. The only difference was I removed the gridded flash on the background, and pumped up the flash in the softbox from 1/16th, to 1/2 power.
Twice the kids = 4 times the work? What kind of maths is that?!?
So if you’ve read my previous post, you are up to speed on the happenings around here. After nearly an entire year, we added to our family, and we couldn’t be happier.
Having twice the kids doesn’t equal twice the amount of work or time. It’s more like quadruple. It’s not a complaint in any way, but more an observation. I get how 1 + 1 = 2, but 1 + 1 = 4? I’m not that great at the maths. Must be because I’m only half asian. 😉
So Christmas is around the corner. my kids have already stated the long list of things they want.My wife and I don’t do Christmas for each other… at least not in the normal sense. We get presents from “the kids” that we actually pay for, but let the kids present them to each of us as if coming from them.
So as with every year, we do a Christmas card. Ours is running a little late this year (remember, not twice as much time… 4 times as much). Plus it snowed this past weekend, which wasn’t a bad thing. It actually gave it more a wintery holiday look outside. Unfortunately it wasn’t a lot of the white stuff, just a small dusting that immediately turned to slick ice and slush.
In any case, I thought maybe I could use the snow to my advantage. The crap part of it was it was freezing outside. I think it hovered in the mid 20’s, which is fine for me because I can stupidly stand outside in the cold and take pictures all day. My kids, on the other hand, shouldn’t be out in that kind of weather… for long at least.
So we bundled them up as best as we could and worked fast. It was probably around 3-4PM (I forget), and was overcast. I had a streaklight 360 at full power in a 32″ softbox. In hindsight I should have put it much closer to them, but again, it was cold, and I was trying to work fast.
Fuji XF 50-140mm f/2.8 @ f/5.6
1/125 shutter speed
I was trying to tell them to look sad and not cheese for the camera. They didn’t do too bad. Skylar looks cold and sad-ish… Liem looks like the ever- comforting big brother taking care of his little sister.
Sending you warm wishes and holiday cheer to you and your families. 🙂
“Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.”
Once again it has been a while since my last post. I don’t do this for a living, although I have had many requests over the years. I shoot them all down. I don’t know if it’s anxiety over the fear that I would suck or what, but that’s what happens.
So I’ve had a lot going on over the last several months. Our family is expanding, although don’t expect to see maternity and newborn pictures here. We are adopting. I can’t say much until the adoption is finalized, but we have a sweet 2 year old girl who’s been with us the last 6 months. You can be sure once she is fully ours, this site will explode with photos of both the kids, but until then, we are not allowed to share photos publicly.
In any case, my son’s 6th birthday is coming up. Last year’s theme was Star Wars,and this year it’s the Avengers. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. I always do a custom birthday invitation for him ever year. Now it appears this job is going to be doubled. Expect to see some cutesy, princess-y shoots on this site as well.
My son has a full closet of costumes. We buy them on clearance after Halloween. It’s great getting costumes for $3-4. He can play and pretend in them, and we can use them in photoshoots like this.
I picked Thor as his character. Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk are all great… but all have masks. Thor has a helmet, but in the movies you don’t see him wear it hardly at all. I want to be able to see my son’s face.
Here’s the setup. Once again, confined to small spaces in our little 1,200 sq ft house. Photographers aren’t just photo takers… we are problem solvers as well.
My back was literally to the front door.
For inspiration, I looked at this photo from the first Thor movie.
This is what I ended up with. I processed this photo with muted tones.
But, the Mighty Thor is nothing without his lightning. I took the photo to photoshop, cooled it down, and added some blue lightning.
He was quite happy with the results, and gave his approval for this to be on his birthday invitation.
It’s my Super Son.
It’s been a few months since my last post. I’ve been busy with my real job, which involved some travelling this Summer.
Anyway, we were visiting our friends in North Carolina. They just moved into their new house, as well as having a new child. So of course the wife needed to go see the baby, ooh and aah over the baby…. let the baby unload in her diaper at full force (more powerful than a locomotive) while she was holding her…. You get the idea.
Every time we go to visit, we always end up at this shopping area. It’s a beautiful area, but the one thing that always caught my eye were these old red telephone booths. Every time I’d see them, I’d say to myself “I’m going to get that into a shot.” And every time we would not have time.
This last visit was going to be different. I was bound and determined to get my shot.
We ran out of time. DAMN… it wasn’t any different…
Hell with it…on our way home, I made a slight detour, and headed back to that shopping area.
Normally in my posts, I have a diagram showing where my lights were, my subject placement, etc. I figure I would spice things up a bit, especially since one of my test shots just happens to incorporate everything I would in a diagram. 🙂
So here we go.
Of course when we got there, it was already noon. The sun was blaring overhead with harsh shadows. Luckily the side I was shooting on was getting blocked by the phone booth, so my son was in the shade. My wife was my voice activated light stand.
Crouching down so I was down to my son’s height didn’t quite work for me. It didn’t give off that super hero vibe.
So I got down on the ground. Literally… I was laying on the ground. I got up close and personal with a cigarette butt, some chewed up gum, and ants… Lots of ants…
I think my son is finally getting the hang of when I say “Strike a pose!”
It was a really fast shoot. I think I took maybe 20-25 shots total. In and out. Faster than a speeding bullet you might say…
It seems like life never slows down for the parent of a 4 year old…
Every weekend we have something planned or something going on. A family get-together, playdates, projects, etc. This upcoming Mother’s Day weekend is no different.
However, this is the first Mother’s Day where my family and I won’t actually be at home. We will be going up to Washington D.C. for a 4 day (well, 3.5 since we’re not technically leaving until this afternoon) weekend. My son loves the National Zoo as well as the Museum of Natural History.
I didn’t want to leave the mothers in my life empty-handed this weekend, so last night, after getting home late from running errands, getting my son a haircut, grabbing a bite to eat, and maybe a little shopping… I did a rather quick little photoshoot. I’ve got to give it to my son. He behaved EXTREMELY well, and very cooperative during this process, even though I know he was tired and ready for bed.
My wife had bought me a roll of 53″ thunder grey seamless paper for Father’s Day (a bit early). I figured this was as good a time as any to break it out and give it a try. I also eyeballed a nice wooden crate last time we were at Walmart. She was kind enough to run out after work and pick one up for me. 🙂
The costume I picked up on Amazon. It was the cutest outfit ever. The newspaper I created from a template I found on the internet. If you are able to zoom into the photo, you can actually read the stories I typed up. I didn’t feel right just putting random text on the page.
I think after setting up and after taking pictures, the whole process maybe took 10 minutes altogether. To me, that was extremely quick, especially considering working with a child lol.
Setup was pretty simple. I sat the crate and my child on the seamless. My wife was my voice activated lightstand for the speedlite behind, and to camera left. I had another speedlite in a 28″ softbox slightly to camera right. You can see the diagram for more technical info.
I took maybe 20 photos, and due to it being late already, I only processed a few of them. I wanted the photos to have a vintage feel, kind of like how the colors looked on old LIFE magazines. Processing them with perfectly balanced color just didn’t give them the same feel in my opinion.
Here are a couple of the resulting shots.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you ladies that put up not only with all of your children’s crap, but your significant other’s as well. 🙂
“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” —Abraham Lincoln
“I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.” —Abraham Lincoln
“My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her.” —George Washington
“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.” ―Washington Irving
St. Valentine’s Day
So one of the best days of the year for people in love, florists, and probably the local dentist offices. But does anyone think of diabetics and those that are lactose intolerant? that’s gotta be a pretty bitter and crappy day for them. 🙂
In the United States, about 190 million Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, not including the hundreds of millions of cards school children exchange. Additionally, in recent decades Valentine’s Day has become increasingly commercialized and a popular gift-giving event, with Valentine’s Day themed advertisements encouraging spending on loved ones. In fact, in the United States alone, the average valentine’s spending has increased every year, from $108 a person in 2010 to $131 in 2013.
My wife doesn’t wear much jewelry at all, which tends to play in my favor monetarily…. Well, not really. The money just ends up getting spent on the child….spoiled brat…
I’ve gotten her all sorts of jewelry over the years…rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings. She’s just not big on jewelry. Same with flowers. They are fine and dandy, but you can blow a nice chunk of change on a bouquet, and they last maybe a week? My go to holiday gift (that’s not Christmas or birthday) is usually a nice, big box of chocolate covered strawberries, or some other type of edible arrangement. It’s especially devious sending it to her place of work, and hearing about how all of the other women at the office are green with envy lol. What can I say… I’m an awesome husband.
So the other day, I realized Valentine’s Day was a week away. I wanted to do a little themed shoot with Liem since, well, he’s freakin’ adorable, photogenic, and if I can catch him in the right mood, easy to capture his personality in pictures.
So, I took the little man, picked out a nice button up shirt, pair of jeans, and my red tie. My wife prepped him with lipstick kisses all over his face.
I set him up in my home “studio”. If you’ve followed some of my other posts so far, you know I try to utilize small spaces around the house as my studio. This shoot was no different.
This time, instead of a bare wall, I setup right in front of the front door. I have a black piece of fabric I’ve had for, I don’t know… 4 or more years. I think I actually bought it when Liem was born so I could do one of those cheesy, overdone hands holding the baby’s feet shots.
Here is a “behind the scenes” pic of my setup. Please excuse the crappy camera phone pic.
Here is a more technical layout.
I had a bare speedlite up and to camera left behind my son to throw some light on his hair. I used my Streaklight 360 (I love this freakin’ light) in a 28″ umbrella softbox to camera right.
And for all of the 30 minutes I took planning, getting him setup, and shooting a few pictures (I think I only took a total of 12-15 photos), it didn’t turn out too bad.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Happy New Year and warm wishes to all.
My son can’t quite handle his sparkling apple cider…poor little guy. 😉
One of my favorite photos of my son is the “Sweet Dreams” picture I took of him when he was 14 months old. I thought an “updated” photo using the same chair and lamp was in order as he is growing up. 🙂
I took a different approach than the sweet, innocent, sleeping child. With New Year upon us, I thought a light-hearted photo of him passed out from too much apple juice would do nicely.
The dollar store provided pretty much all I needed for props. the pile of confetti, hat, plastic wine glass, etc. were all $1 each or less.
My son has upped his fees for the new year. I used to be able to get away with gummi snacks to get him to cooperate. This time he asked for Hershey Kisses. I guess cost of living affects everyone. 😉
56mm @ f/8
The future has finally arrived.
I grew up watching those movies. the one thing I wanted more than anything was a hoverboard (I mean come on… who doesn’t!?).
So today is officially the day Marty and Doc travelled to the future. Flying cars, Pepsi Perfect, Nike high tops with power laces, and Jaws 19 (in 3D), not to mention the Chicago Cubs win the World Series.
I feel like I’ve been in a rut. I feel like I have no time to relax. No time to get creative. No. Time. Period. I needed to get out and do SOMETHING. Back to the Future Day snuck up on me. I had idea in my head for some time, just never got around to executing it, and the clock was ticking.
I knew that this year marked the 30th anniversary of the Back to the Future movie franchise. For some time now (with the help of my wife), I had been slowly piecing together a Marty McFly outfit for my son. It all started when we were at a Kid Exchange event (yeah no…I wasn’t able to exchange my son…it was only for clothes, toys, etc.). Whilst searching for clothes, I came across a vest.
A little holiday decorating fun
It’s been a while since my last post. Life seems to get in the way of all the fun!
Last year for our holiday cards, I thought it would be neat to have a fun picture on it…not the usual stand, pose, and smile for the camera. Well of course by doing that I set a precedence that my wife has decided should be done every year!
Fast forward to December 2014… Here it is, middle of the month, already halfway to Christmas, and we JUST now get our tree (a real Fraser fur…because fake trees just won’t do anymore). Needless to say I hadn’t even thought about any ideas for a photo.
Well….since we just got the tree, it needs to be decorated.
We decided to put the tree in our dining room near the window. I didn’t want a plain picture of us decorating. It needed to be fun!
I pictured my wife putting decorations on the tree, with my son helping. I, being the
neglectful forgetful dad, seems to find whatever I’m looking at on my tablet much more interesting than realizing my son’s mischievous antics on trying to climb up to put the star on the tree.
The setup for this shot were 2 manual speedlites on a Phottix multi-boom, with a Phottix 36″ double folding umbrella as the light modifier. The lighting diagram should be pretty much self explanatory.
The photo was taken in 2 shots. The first shot involved my son’s balancing acrobatics of standing on Christmas decoration boxes in his attempt to put the star on the tree. In reality he was standing on a step stool, with my wife holding him from behind the tree so he didn’t fall. The second shot was of myself and my wife. The two shots were blended in Photoshop. I processed it with a slight vintage feel and vignette.
Wishing you a Happy Holidays to you and your family from mine!
And one of them is living in my house.
Any of you reading this that have kids have surely already heard of the BoxTrolls movie that’s coming out on 9/26/14. If not, take a peak here: http://boxtrolls.com/
It looks to be a cute movie done in the old school stop-motion style animation, inspired by the book “Here Be Monsters” by Alan Snow. The plot (as copied from Wikipedia):
The film tells the story of an orphaned boy named Eggs who was raised by underground cave-dwelling trash collecting trolls called the Boxtrolls. The Boxtrolls are targeted by an evil exterminator named Archibald Snatcher and Eggs has to save his family from Snatcher.
As a way to promote interest in the upcoming movie, Amazon is holding a costume contest where you have to use either an Amazon box, or an unbranded box to make a Boxtroll costume.
I order so much stuff from Amazon as it is (personal and work). Especially with Prime 2 day shipping? It can be addicting…but I’m not addicted…I can stop whenever I want. 😉
Needless to say I had plenty of boxes to work with…
Contest details can be found here: Boxtroll Contest
Once again, my son Liem was my model. It only took 1 bag of gummi bears to persuade him. 🙂
We drove to Old Towne Petersburg (Virginia). It’s an area rich in history, with no shortage of old abandoned buildings. I wanted a old brick background for the shot. I didn’t want a paved or concrete parking lot, or sidewalk either. Looking at screen shots of the movie (as well as the movie poster), it’s a turn of the century setting, with old cobblestone roads. That’s what I wanted, and luckily, Old Towne Petersburg had just that.
Here is a little diagram of the shot:
My wife was my voice activated light stand. I set her up with a monopod outfitted with a Phottix multi-boom, 2 Yongnuo yn560 flashes set to 1/2 power, shooting through a Phottix double folding 36″ umbrella. Both flashes at 1/2 power equaled 1 flash at full power, but faster recycling.
I really wish I would have taken a picture of the setup, but in my haste, I forgot. I would say my wife was holding the umbrella at about a 45 degree angle 3 feet above my son’s head, at roughly 4 feet away.
The sync speed of the Fuji is only 1/180th of a second. Even though it was evening, the sun was still out, so I used the sync speed to try and kill as much of the ambient as I could.
My Fuji X-T1 was set to ISO 200, and I was using the Fuji XF 56mm f/1.2 lens @ f/5.6.
The resulting shot:
As for his costume, I purchased welding goggles and the aviator hat off Amazon for around $5-6 each. I already had plenty of boxes. Amazon was kind enough to provide a download PDF of the labels, which I printed and glued to the boxes. I used black spray paint to make the boxes look beat up. I taped bits and pieces of “junk” to the goggles. The lamp he’s holding is a battery powered LED lamp.
Looks like my photo was not worthy enough to be one of the finalist in the Amazon contest. Oh well. I still had a good time with the shoot. 🙂
Phottix has once again chosen one of my photos for their photo of the week! That’s 3 times now.