Friday, November 27, 2009

30 NOV Monday Night Light Link

Follow the link below to register for Monday Night Light, our weekly, live web seminar.  The best and least expensive (free) training on the web broadcasting live each Monday.

Fiat Lux!

Friday, November 20, 2009

MNL Dark for Thanksgiving Week

We'll be dark for next Monday's webinar.  Taking a little time for the Thanksgiving holiday.  Video recaps will be up shortly.

Here at Light we are just starting a three day Lightroom Intensive.  No better place to learn Lightroom!

Fiat Lux!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Night Shooting

©2009 Luis Arismendi

Luis Arismendi took this shot of Hal during the Leonid meteor shower peak early morning 17 November.

Overall the shower was a little disappointing but a three hour night shoot was a great time.   Caught an interesting fire in Montana de Oro and a cool series of some type of ionized cloud left over from a Leonid meteor.  I'll have some shots up soon.

We're finishing up here with Day 4 of the Studio Photography class and start a three day Lightroom Intensive tomorrow morning.

Fiat Lux!

Friday, November 13, 2009

16 Nov Monday Night Light Link

Follow the link below to register for Monday Night Light, our free, live web seminar every Monday from 6:30 to 7:30 PM PDT.

See you online.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Central Coast

Every now and again I have to stop and look at the incredible beauty of the central coast.  A three shot stitched pano from this evening.  15" exposures at f/16.

Happy Veterans Day!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Companion Shot

The companion shot to yesterday's post.  24 shot total HDR panorama with the Canon 5D Mk II, EF 70-200mm f/4L, Induro C213, and RRS BH-55/pano kit.  I wanted a different aspect ratio so I shot the horizontal pano with vertical segments/components.

This is a version of the master file.  Have not yet decided on a crop.

Off to Los Angeles for the LA Digital Imagery Group discussion this evening.

Fiat Lux!

Monday, November 9, 2009

HDR Panorama of the Rock

A little high dynamic range (HDR) panorama from a shoot last week.  Scenery around here is not too shabby.

I shot the component images with a Canon 5D Mk II and EF 70-200mm f/4L mounted to an Induro C213 tripod, Really Right Stuff BH-55, and a RRS pano kit.  I had six panorama segments and each segment had three HDR components so 18 shots total. 

My workflow is to bring everything into Lightroom where I prep for export to Photomatix Pro.  I normally merge and tone map the HDR components first and then stitch the panorama in Photoshop. 

The image is huge.  Without any interpolation the image would print 24 x 110 at Light recommended print resolution. 

Fiat Lux!

Patch Tool - MNL Video Recap

See you online tonight.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sunset Walk on The Beach

(Click photo to view)

Two nights ago, I was trying to see what the make or break point was for slower shutter speeds and a fast 2 year old. The 5D Mk2 performed great as always and even when jumping up to higher ISO's like 1600 I was able to get some really sharp low-noise images. I took a few test shots at ISO 4000 (below and hand-held), fun, but noise is noise and no matter how cool it is to reach high ISO''s still noise.

This was one of those unexpected sunsets that you think there isn't much color because the sun sort of just fizzled out under the ocean fog. But you turn around and those beautiful pinks just seemed to explode from the clouds! Hal did several long exposures that we will see on the blog soon. They look incredible.
The extreme low tide gave this beautiful glass reflection. Some areas deeper than others which was just more than fun for her little pink rubber boots.

Most of these were taken with ISO 100-400 with a f2.8 and SS 1/20-1/50. A little bit of tweaking in Adobe Lightroom but not much. No vignetting added due to my 24-70 Lens and the full size sensor. But I like the effect that it created with these images. Hal was telling me that a small pop of a flash would have made the images sharper and "better" but to me it wouldn't have looked as "artistic".
(And he also failed to mention that he had a flash in his back pack...)
I enjoy the contrast and dark feeling of the scene. It puts me back into the scene as I saw it with minimal enhancing. And for those of you who know me...I love to enhance...I love Photoshop. That's why I made the panel-panorama, I just couldn't leave it alone!
I think I might have the first night of our Photo Festival here. It just seems fitting to have photographers meet in a large enough and beautiful place like this to kick things off.

-Get out and shoot!

Friday, November 6, 2009

09 November Monday Night Light

Please click the following link to register for Monday Night Light, our free, live, web seminar held every Monday from 6:30-7:30 PM PDT. 

Join us for the best training on the web and become one of the illuminated.

Fiat Lux!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Speedlite Cheat Sheet Part 2

The following is part two of our Speedlite Cheat Sheet.  For additional training, check out one of our Speedlite mastery courses, three days of flash immersion.  Just remember, flash should not be difficult!

Fiat Lux

Basic Fill Flash Ops

LIGHT recommends shooting Manual whenever possible. Remember, “Friends don’t let friends shoot Aperture Priority.”

With the camera in Manual and a Speedlite attached and powered, basic fill flash is accomplished by setting your exposure and initially ignoring the flash. With the flash in ETTL mode, the preflash burst will “find” your subject and provide the fill. Depending upon ambient light levels set your FEC to overpower or just “kiss” with light. If you prefer Manual flash, set exposure per above and then dial in your desired level of flash. The Manual option may take longer to dial in but once it is set the flash will be completely consistent.
If you shoot in any of the full Auto modes, Av, or Tv mode with the flash attached and powered, the camera’s meter and the ETTL logic will attempt to balance flash fill with ambient light and reach the correct exposure for subject and background. Modify with FEC as desired.
If your desired exposure requires a shutter speed faster than max sync speed, enable High Speed Sync. Remember your effective range will decrease.
Backlight Fill Flash

When your subject is backlit strongly you will need to separate the exposure for the background from the flash fill of your subject using the following technique.

-Flash to illuminate your subject (flash is the primary light source for the subject typical of a backlight situation) ETTL or Manual.
-Set Manual exposure for the background highlights
-Best effect is achieved keeping the shutter speed below max synch
-Recompose and focus on the subject (ignore the underexposed meter reading)
-If you need a shutter speed >max sync speed enable high speed sync
-Shoot (the flash will illuminate your subject)
-Modify your FEC (ETTL) or power (Manual) and flash zoom as required
Low Light
-A low light condition may be overcome by use of the Speedlite. If you shoot any of the full Auto modes, Av, or Tv mode with the flash attached and powered, the camera’s meter and the ETTL Logic will attempt to illuminate the scene for correct exposure.
-Shooting Manual in low light gives you the control to determine how much (if any) you want the ambient light to contribute to the exposure.
-Set Manual exposure for one of two conditions
-Ambient light contribution or negation
-Required shutter speed to stop action or camera shake (good habit even though flash duration is very short)
-Shoot as normal with the flash enabled
-If you need a shutter speed >max sync enable high speed sync
-Adjust FEC and Zoom

Manual Flash

Manual flash is often disregarded in favor of ETTL. This is unfortunate as the manual mode offers the Speedlite user incredible flexibility and power.

Press the mode button to enter Manual flash mode. The flash will not use ETTL metering in this mode. The Speedlite acts in a very similar manner to a studio strobe. Normally you will take an incident meter reading to set the flash output with FEC. Notice in Manual mode the FEC is in the following values 1/1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 164. There are also 1/3 stop increment settings in between each of the above ratios. 1/1 is the maximum output power. Every subsequent setting is a reduction of one stop of light.

LIGHT recommends Manual as the mode of choice when operating the Speedlite in the role of “studio strobe/strobes.”

LIGHT also recommends Manual as the mode of choice for most wedding/event photographers especially when paired with a Hanson Fong Skin Glow card found at  This card is about all you need to modify the Speedlite whether shooting people, pets, or products.  Email Hal for more details about this incredible piece of kit!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Adjustment Brush Recap Part 2

Fiat Lux!

Adjustment Brush Recap Part 1

Adjustment Brush in Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw (ACR.)

See you online tonight!