Ava Berkofsky of HBO’s ‘Insecure’ On How To Light Dark Skin

Posted by on Sep 21, 2017 in Featured, Photography Tips

Ava Berkofsky of HBO’s ‘Insecure’ On How To Light Dark Skin

Every shooting situation has unique challenges that require new angles of consideration. When you’re in total control of the client and environment it’s up to you to recognize that the same approach won’t suffice for new scenarios. When shooting people of color, you’ll encounter a wide variety of skin tones; all of which demand attention to make them look their best. And if you’ve ever shot a portrait, a wedding, or video where the primary subject is dark-skinned, you’ve undoubtedly realized that your workflow in post flows a bit differently. So, perhaps it’s worthwhile to take in some insight of the front end. Recently, Xavier Harding interviewed Ava Berkofsky, Director of Photography for the Emmy Winning HBO Series “Insecure”, who shared her approach to lighting a predominantly black cast. Amongst the many topics in Xavier’s interview, found here, Ava cited rethinking cinema’s conventional approach to lighting and makeup in scenes which were developed for predominately white casts. Where convention seemed to suggest shooting dark skin with a IRE of about 70, Ava believes this makes the rest of the scene look a bit odd, overly bright, and used shows like The Cosby Show and The Fresh Prince OF Bel-Air as examples of that. One of her remedies include using more reflected light instead of direct light and when she does use direct light, it often comes in the form of low intensity LED light from an S2 LiteMat 4. Also, she cited the use of a polarized filter to further sculpt the light on the actors’ faces. That’s an interesting concept that perhaps we here at SLR Lounge, and photographers on a whole, should look into. It’s also interesting to hear Ava speak about using reflections to carve a face. [REWIND: The Face Of The Future? Racial Homogeny and Photography] Berkofsky’s take on black skin addresses familiar issues I’ve encountered in client feedback; from black women in particular. They’ve voiced concerns about how they were made up, citing that the makeup artist wasn’t as experienced making up dark skin; which ultimately, was my fault. The full article is an interesting read which should prove useful as you shoot the full spectrum of color the world has to offer. If you’ve got any advice on photographing dark skinned people we’d love to hear. We think the photographic world could do with a bit more education on the topic. The original article can be found on Mic.com        Share...

Read More »

These 5 hidden Photoshop tips and tricks will help speed up your worklfow

Posted by on Sep 21, 2017 in Featured, Photography Tips

These 5 hidden Photoshop tips and tricks will help speed up your worklfow

I’m a big believer in post workflow efficiency. Whether working with stills or video, one can never seem to get their workflow fast enough. And these days, we all spend far more time at the computer than we’d like. I know I do. I spent countless hours in Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere and other applications […] The post These 5 hidden Photoshop tips and tricks will help speed up your worklfow appeared first on DIY Photography.        Share...

Read More »

Is Instagram Changing the Grid From 3 to 4? Instagram Anarchy May Not Matter

Posted by on Sep 21, 2017 in Featured, Photography Tips

Is Instagram Changing the Grid From 3 to 4? Instagram Anarchy May Not Matter

What is the Instagram Grid? The grid is simply the layout, the general presentation of a users profile as presented as an overall collection of the individual tiles of images. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about just google or search #instagrids within IG. What you’ll immediately notice is, people take their grids very seriously, and you’ll notice that the addition of a single extra square across will throw off the harmonious and elegantly planned grids, into something chaotic. For these people, the changing of the grid means turmoil, and since Instagram is integral for some businesses, that’s hell. Since inception Instagram has used 3 images across, and the unwavering certainty with which that was adhered to has given users the confidence to use their grids to make something larger than the sum of its parts/tiles – themes, mosaics, and more. They are digital tapestries and murals. IG users who really understand the platform and use it as a digital portfolio will always ask themselves if the next image they post is going to look good beside the last, and generally encourage staying thematic and consistent. Changing the grid view will mean many will have to curate again from scratch. And on top of that there will also be the wonder in their minds if it even makes sense in case IG changes it again. Why would IG do this? Well, maybe it has something to do with the increasing size of devices, where the single images are too large, but truly, we have no idea. We actually don’t even know if it’s happening, but one thing is clear, and that is that Instagram is testing this and putting its feelers out. Is everyone else’s Instagram doing this?! My whole grid looks off now! Yo @instagram can we discuss this? pic.twitter.com/SPIxGNtVI8 — Kenny Morifi-Winslow (@KennyJMW) September 12, 2017 The question is though, does it matter? Given the ‘beta’ nature of what IG is doing, they’ll be hoovering up the feedback, and thus far it’s almost unanimous that every one of them has responded negatively. That’s happened before with Instagram though, and they still went ahead anyway. The algorithmic change was certainly the biggest yet and the professional community still complains about it, even if it’s actually helping them. But what happened? We adapted. Which is likely what’ll happen here. [REWIND: PROFOTO A1 | THE WORLD’S ‘SMALLEST STUDIO FLASH’ IS POWER ON THE MOVE] If 4 becomes the new grid format then it’s safe to say that those who pay attention to the grid will continually do so and adapt to the shift. But in case you’re worried if it’ll affect your follower count, it’s pretty unlikely it will. Analysts seem to agree that IG users almost always end up liking and following not based on the cache of past photos that require a scroll to see, but the...

Read More »

How to do High-Speed Photography – the Fundamentals

Posted by on Sep 21, 2017 in Featured, Photography Tips

How to do High-Speed Photography – the Fundamentals

What is high-speed photography? High-speed photography is capturing the moments that happen in a fraction of time which you can’t see with the naked eye, like a bursting balloon or a splash of water. This photography is different from other kinds because it requires almost 1/20,000th of a second exposure time to freeze these moments. Most DSLR cameras don’t have such a high shutter speed, so how can you take these kinds of shots? In this article I will explain how to do high-speed photography. What camera and lens do you need? Let’s talk about the gear you need for high-speed photography first. Of course, you need a DSLR camera and the good news is that any DSLR will work. If you have any other camera that has manual controls, it will also work fine. Next is the lens and just like the camera, any will work. I use a 100mm macro lens for close-up shots like liquid sculptures and a 24-70mm zoom for balloon shots. The only lens requirement is that the focal length should be long enough so that you have sufficient distance between your camera and the subject, to keep your gear safe from colors and water splashes. I found that 100mm macro is the best lens as it has 1:1 magnification so you can fill the frame with your subject. Because of the 100mm focal length, your camera will also be far enough from the subject. Other equipment needed Next, you need flashes and you need a lot of them. In some shots, I’ve even used four flashes together. The next requirement is a tripod because you need to do lots of work simultaneously, so it’s better that camera is fixed on the tripod. You also need a shutter release cable or remote to release the shutter. Have patience The most important requirement for this kind of photography is practice and lots of patience. Sometimes you’ll take hundreds of shots and none of them will be good, and you may think that it’s not your cup of tea. But don’t give up, as with practice and patience you can get desired results easily. When I was trying to take following water drop shot, it took me almost 3 months and over 3,000 shots to get my first accurate shot. Eventually, I discovered a trick that made everything easy for me. I’ll share that trick later in this article so keep reading. Get a helper as well You may also need an assistant as you have to do lots of tasks all at the same time, and you can’t do everything on your own. Also, there will be a lot of mess after your shoot and it’s very boring to clean it up all alone. Last but not least, you need to find some creative hacks. For example, for “Dancing Colors” shots I made this setup...

Read More »

G-Technology’s G-Tech SSD R-Series | A Fast Photographer’s Working Drive

Posted by on Sep 20, 2017 in Featured, Photography Tips

G-Technology’s G-Tech SSD R-Series | A Fast Photographer’s Working Drive

When we think of eye-catching and performance driven drives, it’s probably LaCie that comes to mind, and when we think of rugged and durable drives, that’s historically LaCie as well, given the, err, Rugged line. But G-Tech has their own set of ‘rugged drives’ and the latest of which is a small and fast SSD with USB-C, given you security and speed in a small form factor. It’s called the G-Drive Mobile SSD R-Series (a mouthful), and is certainly aimed at the professional crowd given the decision to go with USB, speed, and price. At 560MB/s it’s faster than the similar small SSDs from Samsung, like the T1 and T3, and even a little bit faster than LaCie’s Rugged SSD, which hopefully we’ll be testing soon. See our review of the 5TB Rugged USB-C here: LACIE RUGGED USB-C REVIEW | BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN THE COMPUTER YOU HAVE NOW & YOUR NEXT Giving the G-Drive Mobile SSD R-Series that kind of transfer speed certainly makes it compelling as a working drive. I’ve long advocated using the T1 and T3 as great working drives for those who work within a studio, or move between locations and or computers. Also, if you’re computer doesn’t have an SSD, using an external SSD for your working files, say in a Capture One Session or Lightroom Library can really speed things up – especially in Lightroom. So it has speed and a small form factor, but what about durability? LaCie’s Rugged has had that corner pretty much, well, cornered for some time, but according to the press release this G-Drive SSD R-Series is a challenger: When the luxury of indoor production isn’t an option, the G-DRIVE mobile SSD R-Series device is built using hand-picked components to withstand tough conditions in the field and provides a rugged solution you can trust. In addition, it will have an International Protection Rating of 67 (IP67) for water and dust resistance and has been tested to withstand up to a 3-meter drop on a carpeted concrete floor and 1000 lbs of pressure (crush resistance). That’s impressive all the way round, and you can get these in 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB versions thus far, with pricing from $199, $379, and $699 respectively. That pricing spread is actually quite nice too, since it works out to only be about a 5 cent difference per gig (40, 38, 25 again respectively). Source: DPReview        Share...

Read More »

Review: Nikon D7500 with 18-140mm Kit Lens

Posted by on Sep 20, 2017 in Featured, Photography Tips

Review: Nikon D7500 with 18-140mm Kit Lens

The 7000 series of cameras from Nikon have been very popular since they were first introduced in 2010. It is a mid-range camera in their lineup but sits at the top end of the amateur level cameras. As with many of these cameras the new one in this series, the Nikon D7500 can also be purchased with a kit lens, this one came with the 18-140mm lens. The Nikon D7500 with the 18-140mm kit lens. Image courtesy Nikon Australia. The new D7500 is in the DX format or crop sensor camera. It has a 20.9 megapixel CMOS sensor and is said to be “equipped with a high-performance EXPEED 5 image-processing engine.” Nikon also claims that it is a good camera for video and that it supports 4K UHD. For more technical information please go to the Nikon website. Nikon D7500 out of the box When you first get the camera out you’ll notice it’s surprisingly light. I use a D800, so most cameras are light compared to that. However, the D7500 is a good size and feels nice in the hands. There is some weight to it, but it’s comfortable. When you have the camera, with the kit lens attached, hanging around your neck the weight doesn’t hurt you. They have made the grip deeper so it is easier to hold onto, and also more comfortable to hold. With some models, it feels like you are digging your nails into the camera, but that hasn’t happened with this one. Holding the Nikon D7500. Image courtesy Nikon Australia. Easy to use When it comes down to it, what you really want from a camera is one that is easy to understand and use. There is no doubt that you will find both of those with the Nikon D7500. In previous models you had to go into the menu to change some settings, a lot of them are now buttons on the camera. ISO is changed with one up near the shutter button. You can change aperture with the scroll wheel at the front and the shutter with the one at the back. It is easy for your fingers to find everything you need. ISO It has a high range and will go up to 51200 and the slowest speed is 100. It has enough of a range that would suit most people who want to take photos in both low light and on sunny days. With images taken at 12800 during a night show at Sovereign Hill you can see noise in the images, which is to be expected, but the amount isn’t that bad that the images are not useable. When compared with what older cameras did at ISO 3200, this camera takes a good image at the higher ISOs with much less noise as on other models. It fits in with many of Nikon’s cameras for using in...

Read More »