Camera Neck Strap vs. the Hand Strap

There are certain accessories that we use that make our jobs a lot easier and this post highlights one of those pieces! Ever find yourself on a shoot and for convenience you have your camera strapped around your neck?  The problem we run into is sometimes when we turn the camera the strap falls in the way and it becomes just plain annoying.  It’s long, can get in the way, and not to mention the strain it can cause your neck after hanging there all day. Enter the solution – the Canon Hand Strap! People see these hand straps on our camera and we often get asked what they are and if we like them.  Well, wonder no further. The hand strap helps control and support the camera and you can even use it if you have a battery grip on your camera…. and yes, we love ’em!  The hand grips are adjustable too and you can fit them to whatever size your hand needs :)  My hands are a bit smaller than Zach’s so I keep mine not as taut so my fingers can still reach the buttons on top of the camera when changing around my settings.  The hand strap doesn’t get in the way of your shooting and if you want to set your camera down it’s as easy as slipping your hand out.  It’s also nice as well because it is well padded and doesn’t irritate your hand as you’re shooting through out the day. You can find and buy these hand grips online at Adorama and Nikon also has a hand strap that you... Read More

Reception Lighting Techniques

Have you ever showed up to a reception and started shooting everything in sight, only to look back later and see that all your images have some seriously orange color in the background? What is the deal with that?? One problem that photographers encounter when shooting indoors is that the color of their flash and the color of the ambient light (tungsten) does not seem to match.  Anytime lights in a room have an orange or amber tint to them, that means that they are tungsten colored. The color is measured in Kelvin degrees (which is what your digital camera understands) and different lighting situations will have different kelvin temperatures (or different white balances) usually ranging between 2200 to 10000 “degrees.” The lower the number (like 2200) the warmer the light is interpreted by your camera, and inversely, the higher the number (like 7500) the cooler the light is. So if you have your camera set to a pre-set (or auto) white balance for say, tungsten (2800 degrees kelvin), then took a photo outside when it was cloudy (7500 degrees kelvin), the color would come out really blue (or cold) since your camera is set to a warm light setting and the outside light is very cool. So, the problem with using any type of flash during a reception is that the color temperature of the flash is normally daylight balanced (around 5500 to 5800 kelvin) which is cooler than those darn tungsten lights in the reception (which are usually around 2800 kelvin or so). So when you turn on your flash and take a shot with that cool... Read More

Advanced Studio Lighting

Today we are going to take a look at an image that I (Zach) shot for new Squint recording artist Joel & Luke. These guys are really amazing and shooting them was a blast! Joel (who is in the shot below) and his brother Luke are incredibly talented and have an amazing sound. We will do a full post on their shoot soon so stay tuned for that! The image below was a complicated shot done with 3 lights on-location inside Healthways company in Franklin. This is simply an office space that we turned into a studio for the shot. Here is the set up. HOW WE DID IT: As you can see from the behind the scenes image, there were offices, signs, and tons of junk in the background that we did not want in the shot.  Also, you could also see right through the chains, so just lighting it from the front would not have been sufficient. I knew that lighting the back of the gold chains would create this highlighted effect with light shooting around in the background and would make the shot look like it was right out of the studio. We set up one light in the front that was almost straight on (glamor lighting) and used a huge light source that makes the light super soft  and gives it that painted on look. The soft box above is 5 feet in diameter and that is why the shot has this look. We then added two kicker lights (or separation lights) at 45 degree angles coming in and hitting the background to light it... Read More

Endorsement! (Plus A Perk for Workshop Attendees!)

We have been waiting to announce this and have decided it’s high time to share the good news! We have been selected as one of Westcott’s Top Endorsed Pros!  In other words, Westcott has decided to recognize us as one of the leading photographers and we now are officially endorsed by them! (We’ll let you know once their Endorsed Pro site goes live). For those who may not be entirely familiar with Westcott…. – “Westcott is a world leader in professional photography and video lighting equipment. Since Westcott entered the photography market over 83 years ago, Westcott has been a major innovator in devising professional light control products. With over 600 items for professional and beginning photographers as well as the scrapbooking and film/video markets, we have continued a long-standing commitment to product innovation.” We are super thrilled and honored to be a Top Endorsed Pro with many other great photographers such as Jeffrey & Julie Woods, Parker J Pfister, Ed Pierce, Scott Kelby, to name a few!  A big thanks goes out to Westcott and we are excited to partner with you guys! “So?” you may be asking, “That’s great and all, but does this mean anything for me?”  Well, my friends – as a matter of fact it does!  For everyone signed up to our workshops, we will be giving you a special discount code where you can receive $500 off the Strobelight PLUS Two Light Kit.  This product retails for $959.50 – this is a GREAT deal!  Talking about getting an additional value by attending one of our IN-CAMERA workshops!  Kelly, the VP of Westcott has... Read More

Our Latest Baby… A New Camera

Sorry, we are not pregnant but we did get something that’s about the same cost as having a baby! Welcome home our 5D Mark II! Ok, so we have had this for about a month but we’ve had so much other stuff going on to blog about that it’s better late than never! It’s like Christmas in the spring… So, why a new camera and what can it do? Pretty much everything except make us breakfast, that’s what! This camera is pretty awesome and shoots really hi ISO images (geek talk for the camera’s sensitivity to light) all the way up to 25,000, it automatically cleans dust off of the images by using ultra sonic vibrations, it takes 1080p high definition video and it produces ultra smooth 14bit depth images at a whopping 21.1 megapixel size. The camera also has many other cool new features that the old cameras do not have and all for a relatively low price in comparison to other cameras on the market. But what it really does well is this: Welcome home... Read More