November NYC Ultimate Model Shoot

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If you want to learn about lighting, and if you want to photograph three awesome models in a totally cool location, this workshop is for you.

• Three Models.
• Three instructors: Me, Joe Brady and Dave Piazza.
• Three Lighting Sets.
• Several Natural Light Sets.
• Only 15 photographers - so you get to shoot a lot!
• You get to play with a ton of Westcott gear. Click here to download the PDF.
• Cool HDR possibilities, too!
• You sign up through Eventbrite. Only 2 spots remaining.

More info:
Be one of 15 (we reduced the size of the group) photographers on this awesome NYC-area model shoot – where you will learn about model photography and lighting – and get to use the images on your web site. You can sell the image ONLY if you work out a deal directly with our models.

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Above: Our three professional models for the shoot. The model in the opening image for this post is the same model on the right in the above set of images.

Above: What could be cooler than photographing cool models in this cool location? 

In addition to photographing the models, you can make HDR images – but you need to keep clear of the model sets. New to HDR? Check out my iHDR app.

For processing HDR images, I suggest Photomatix. Get a 15% discount here.

Above: Those of you who have been on my workshop know this: I like to make learning fun! You'll have a ton of fun on this workshop with the models, props and mirrors. This is a hand-held (as you can see) HDR image.

Above: Picture yourself, and our models, here.

The details (Please read very carefully):
• You sign up through Eventbrite.
• First come, first serve – as we are only accepting 15 participants on this awesome shoot.
• Cost: $279. Refund, minus $50 cancellation fee, 30 days before the event. Sorry, no refund after October 4.
• Max 15 photographers.
• Your instructors: Me, Westcott's awesome lighting expert Dave Piazza and color master Joe Brady.
• Three models, three shooting stations (max 6 at a station at one time). You get to shoot at each all locations. If you have an idea for a shot, we can probably do that... just know that others may take the same photo.
• Learn about: Speedlites, constant lights, reflectors and other lighting techniques.
• Date/Time: November 4th (Tuesday), 1 - 6 PM.
• Location: 3rd Floor, Metropolitan Building, Long Island City, NY. Short ride from NYC. Do a Google search to get location and directions.
• Parking is challenging. Best to take a cab or subway. If you drive, leave some time to find a spot.
• No need to show up early. Session does not start until 1 PM.
• Photo gear on hand: A variety of Westcott lighting gear.
• Awesome props.
• You need to bring your own camera, lenses and tripod.
• You can use the pictures you take on your web site, but you can not sell any of the images you take – unless you work out a deal directly with our models. You will sign a release stating image use.
• My friends from Adorama will be on hand with some special prices on the Westcott lighting gear we use.

Above: One of our perfect settings to learn about lighting.

Above: Our goal will be to make environmental portraits like the one above, which I took in Venice, Italy . . . using just one Canon speedlite in a Westcott Apollo softbox. All my gear is listed here on My Gear page.

Above: We'll work with professionals models, like the one pictured above. I took this shot in the Westcott Warehouse, believe it or not. Here's a video to prove it. :-)

The props at the Metropolitan Building are awesome.

Speaking of working in challenging conditions, I took this shot (using Westcott Spider Lights) at Photoshop World, again in an exhibit area where lighting conditions were challenging.

During our shoot Dave and I will talk about controlling, shaping and balancing the light.

Again, first come, first serve – as we are only accepting 18 participants on this awesome shoot. Register here.


About the opening image for this post: I took the shot with two Canon 600EX speedlights  & a Canon STE-E3 transmitter in the Canon booth at the Photo Plus Expo show in the Javits Center last year. Camera: Canon 5D Mark III. Lens: Canon 24-105mm IS.

Hey, if shots like this are possible at a trade show, imagine what we will do at the Metropolitan Building!

As a prelude to the class, you may want to check out my KelbyOne class: Light – the main element in every photograph.

All my workshops are listed on my 2015 Workshops page.

If you would like me to review your work after the shoot, we can set up a Godfatherly Advice session.

Explore the light,

P.S. Brooklyn Bridge Park (pictured below) is about 20 minutes away. Go there for a nighttime shoot after the workshop. Cool photo ops, and good restaurants, too!

The Most Important Accessory for Outdoor Portraits

When I give a seminar on making outdoor portraits, I suggest using a reflector/diffuser kit – the single most important accessory for the outdoor portrait photographer.

Sure, a speedlite is a valuable accessory, and I have one with me at all times. But if you are on a budget or want to travel very light – and can take ONLY ONE accessory – the reflector/diffuser kit is the way to go.

What? You thought a leaf blower was the most important accessory? Well . . . it can create a beautiful "wind in the hair" effect.  :-)

Reflectors and diffusers enable us to control the light – turning bad/hard light into good light. I used a large reflector, like the one pictured above, to illuminate the model in the opening image for this post. The reflector filled in the shadows on the models face created by the harsh sunlight. It also added some nice catch-light to the model's eyes.

Quick Tip: When using a reflector, the subject often becomes brighter than the background – so you need to meter the scene carefully.

Above is another example of how a reflector enhanced a portrait. Below is a behind-the-scenes shot of me using my Westcott Lighting Kit and Tote.

Quick Tip: When using a reflector, tell the subject NOT to look at it: the reflected light can be blinding.

Diffusers soften harsh light.

Above is an example of how a diffuser turns harsh light into pleasing light.

Above is a behind-the-scenes shot of me using the diffusion panel in my Tote Kit.

All the gear I use for my on-location portraits is listed on My Gear Page. For more of my travel portraits, check out my World Portrait Gallery.

One final Quick Tip: Always respect the subject. Respect the subject and the subject will respect you.

My next model shoot is in NYC on November 4th. All indoors, but we'll use reflectors and diffusers, as well as Westcott Ice Lights, Spider Lights. Speedlites, too.

Learn about light on-line with my KelbyOne classes.

Explore the light,

Deal of the Week!

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

Keep Portrait Lighting Simple - And Save a Few Bucks on My Home Studio Speedlite Starter Kit

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I like to keep portrait lighting simple. Very simple. For example, for this portrait, inspired by Vermeer's paining, Girl With a Pearl Earring, I used only one Canon Speedlite in a Westcott Apollo soft box.

I used that softbox because it has a recessed front panel that lets me (and you) direct the light and shape the light on the subject.

I used the black side of a Westcott light modifier to darken the shadow on the shadow side of the model's face.

Careful lighting made the subject stand out from the black background.

My friends at Adorama have put together a cool speedlite accessory kit at a cool price that you can use to make dramatic portraits in the comfort of your own home - and on location. It includes the softbox, light modifiers and light modifier stand that I used - plus a sturdy background stand and larger background (which is way better than the piece of black material that I pined to my bookshelf. Just add your speedlite.

Here are two quick portrait tips: One - If you want an interesting portrait, don't light the entire face. Two - Keep in mind that the camera looks both ways. When you are shooting, know that the mood, energy and feeling that you project will be reflected in your subject's face - and eyes.

Above: See, you don't need a pro studio to get professional looking portrait. I took my Girl with a Pearl Earring image in my home office.

Here's a quick tip on all lighting: Shadows are the soul of the photograph.

Explore the light,

KelbyOne - the one place for my two most popular on-line classes

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KelbyOne is the home for my two most popular on-line classes: Composition - the strongest way of seeing, and Light - the main element in every photograph.

These, and all my KelbyOne on-line classes, are listed on my On-line classes and Video Page.

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I am shooting a new KelbyOne class, which will feature some of my Africa photo safari images, next week. Stay tuned.

Explore the light,