Archive for September, 2013


Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Uggs still life shot in my studio.


Monday, September 2nd, 2013

by Frankie Leal

A motion picture is allowed thousands of frames along with music and audio to tell the story. However, a still photo is not so easy. With only one frame and no music or audio, a still photographer relies on color, contrast and light to give the photo life. It’s important for photographers to sculpt and supplement their lighting to create the portrait they want.

When creating an image, one of the first things I ask myself is: What type of light is best for the project? There are endless lighting tools to help shape and sculpt your light. Understanding what light to use is essential. For example, while photographing somebody with not so perfect skin, I like to use a medium size softbox because people usually look more flattering under this light. The soft light is much more forgiving on the skin. On the other hand, if I’m photographing a professional body builder, I might go with harsh lighting and use grid spots to help control the light. The result will be harder shadows and more definition in the body, a more desirable look in this case. In both situations I use lighting to enhance my subjects and create a specific mood.

The photography industry has changed dramatically, especially with todays economy crisis. It’s important to save your clients money and save yourself time with good exposures. DSLR’s are getting better and better and more affordable than ever. The common photographer will shoot an under/over exposed photo and rescue the image in post production. To separate yourself from the amateurs, understand exactly what the light is doing. Get the lighting, color and contrast as close as possible on camera versus fixing exposures in post production. By taking the time to get the best possible exposure, not only will you give yourself the ability to do more with the image in post production but you will become a master of light.

The pages of Rollingstone, Vogue and Vanity Fair, are good examples of some beautiful imagery. A reader might notice the subject, beautiful location, props, wardrobe, makeup & hair but the lighting will go unrecognized. That’s when you know the lighting was perfect.