studio lighting

Don't Be a Dummy When It Comes to Studio Lighting

One easy and affordable method for honing your home studio lighting skills is to practice lighting techniques with a mannequin, which you can easily order from Amazon.com.

When working with a dummy, you can place lights in different positions for different effects – without a live “model” complaining and for charging you overtime - and without wasting a client's time.

Here you see in my mannequin photos, clockwise from the top left, the effects of using:
- one main light;
- main light, background light set to 1/2 power and a hair light;
- main light, a background light set to full power and a hair light;
- and main light and a light behind the subject pointed at the subject.

For my mannequin photos, I used Canon Speedlites and Westcott diffusers for this series of images. I fired the Speedlites with my Canon wireless transmitter.

My "Girl with a Pearl Earring" photograph was taken with a Canon Speedlite in a Westcott Apollo Softbox. Click here to read about the shoot.

Remember, when a subject shows up in your studio, you can’t waste time. Otherwise, you may look like a dummy.

My next lighting workshop will take place in NYC on November 4th.

Explore the light,
Rick

Deal of the Week!

Get a 41% discount on Photoshop Artistry: Fine-Art Grunge Composition.

Swing By My Lighting & Travel Sessions at PPE in NY: Oct 24 - 26

_G3A1132.jpg

I hope you can swing by one of my sessions at Photo Plus Expo in NYC in Oct. Here's what I will be teaching:

© Rick Sammon.jpg

Canon Booth: Oct 24 at 1 PM and Oct 26 at 11:30 AM. I'll be demonstrating how to make portraits like the ones above - taken in the Canon booth last year with a Canon 600EX RT Speedlite and a Westcott Apollo softebox.

rick sammon milky way copy.jpg

Adorama Booth: Oct 24 at 3 PM and Oct 25 at 11 AM. I will be talking about the gear I used for my travel photography. All my gear is listed here.

rick.jpg

Westcott Booth: Oct 25 at 2 PM. I will be teaching basic at-home and in-studio lighting. 

rs 1.59.18 PM.jpg

If you see me at the show, ask for my 50% discount code for my on-line Great Sand Dunes Photography class. All my on-line classes are listed here.

Explore the light, 
Rick

Into speedlite photography? Check out the tons of speedlite accessories offered by LumiQuest.

Introducing My New and Improved Lighting Apps!

new PR 1.jpg

They're here: My new and improved iPhone and iPad apps that are designed to help you make better natural light and speedlite photographs with your digital SLR.

The apps (basically on-line video classes with a photo gallery) are geared toward novice photographers. The apps were introduced a while back, but now all the how-to videos stream. Very fast.

Light It! is iPad version and sells for $1.99.

Light It Light! is the iPhone version and sells for $2.99.

new PR 2.jpg

These are starter apps about creative lighting. However, as you will see, pros use many of these techniques and accessories to get great shots.

Two of the videos – Top 21 People Photography Tips and Top Ten Digital Photography Tips – feature some of my favorite pictures from around the world, accompanied with tips, of course!

The movies, shot by Emmy-award winner David Leveen, are divided into five sections totaling more than 1.5 hours of viewing time:

Basics: 33 Minutes
Outdoors: 15 Minutes
In Your Home: 16 Minutes
On-Location: 12 Minutes
Studio Shooting: 23 Minutes

x copy.png

All updates: 
- Bug fixes and performance improvements.
- App size reduced to 22MB.
- All videos now stream.
- Optimized for IOS 5.1 and the iPhone 5
- New updated streaming RSS feature from Rick’s blog for almost daily new photo tips – like this cool video.
- Links to all of my social media sites including Google+ from within the app.

I hope you enjoy learning on your iPhone and iPad. I sure do enjoy this method of teaching. 

All my apps are listed on My Apps page. 

Explore the light,
Rick

Coming Next Month: My new on-line lighting class

rick 1.jpg

Hey Gang - I'm very excited about my new, basic on-line lighting class, which is all about making great portraits in your home. I could have called the class, "Look Ma, No Studio," because I illustrate how to create studio-type shots in your home. Here is just one example.

rick 2.jpg

The class will be up in June!

Shoot me an email to get on the info list for this new class, as well as my new on-line landscape class.

In the meantime, you can learn about lighting and photographing people in my two favorite books: Exploring the Light and Face to Face.

Screen Shot 2013-05-09 at 8.18.15 AM.png

Catch you then my friends!

Explore the light,
Rick