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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Work At Home Mom and Kid (How I lit the shot)


This image is steadily gaining grounds among my stock photos. It has been sold quite a number of times already. You can see the image here.

Thought I'd share with you how I lit it.

This is a three light set up, one for the mom, the other for the kid lying on the couch and another to fill in the shadows.

The first speedlight is domed, bounced off a white paper taped onto the screen of the laptop. The next speedlight is as camera left, zoomed to 200mm and aimed at the kid. The third speedlight is behind the camera and bounced off the ceiling. This third speedlight fill in the deep shadows produced by the hard lights.

Camera settings were ISO 200, f5.6, 1/200th.

Hope this helps. Happy shooting!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Signing A Contract


So what does a struggling microstock photographer who's always on a shoestring (to almost nothing) budget do when he needs a model for a shoot?  Use himself as the model!

Well, just the hands and torso actually.

Lighting was easy but the framing took some time to perfect.  Simply because I didn't want to include my face in the shot.

The camera was obviously on a tripod.  I prefocused and triggered it via the cam's timer.

Three speedlights on this one.  One with grid, one with umbrella and the other with a dome.

Key light was on a boom stand directly above and aimed at my hands and the contract that I was signing.  It was gridded so I can contain the beam and have that spotlight effect directing your  attention at the hands and contract.  A domed speedlight was clipped under the table's edge just to bring bask some details onto my torso and act as separation light between the hands and torso.  The final speedlight with umbrella was aimed at a frosted glass behind me creating that halo shaped light at my back.

I'm proud to say that this image is available online at Shutterstock, Fotolia, Dreamstime, Depostiphotos, 123rf, Bigstock and Istock.

Hope this helps.  Happy shooting.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Lighting a Glass Chess Set


This is one of my favorite images.  I like how the lights interacted with the subject matter and with each other.

This is a glass chess set which I found lying around the house. I've always wanted to shoot a chess set to illustrate the concepts of planning, game and strategy. I think the image concept can be applied to a lot of image requirements such as business and sports.

Lighting was fairly simple, here's how I did it.

There were three speedlights for this shot. Two of them gelled red and blue accordingly. All of the speedlights had grids on them so I was able to contain the beams on selected areas .  The red gelled speedlight was at camera right and aimed at the pawn and knight. The blue gelled speedlight was at camera left and aimed at the rook and bishop. The final non-gelled speedlight was at camera left and aimed at the King which I tilted with my finger just to animate the shot a bit. This was shot with the camera on a tripod and I used a 70-300mm lens to produce bokeh. Camera settings were iso200, 1/200 and f6.3. The speedlights were at a low power output since they were pretty close to the subject. Can't remember the exact numbers because I just chimped it.

You can find the image live online at Shutterstock, Fotolia, Dreamstime, Bigstock, 123rf, Depositphotos and Istock.

Hope this helps. Happy shooting.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Kid with Laptop, smartphone and tablet (How I lit this one)


I just had a notification from Shutterstock that as of June 17, 2015, this image have downloaded 50 times!  It has been online with them since November 2014. I'm not really sure what a good number of downloads in a given period of time is, but I'm pretty psyched about the performance of this image. It's actually part of a series but this one stood out among the rest.

Thought I'd share with you how I lit this one.

I used four speedlights for this one. 3 of them gelled with red, blue and green accordingly. Key light was placed on the laptop, domed and bounced against a typewriting paper taped onto the screen. Another speedlight at camera right, which was placed at the far end of the room, was gelled blue and bounced on the ceiling. This gave the overall blue cast in the room. A third speedlight gelled green, still at camera right, was aimed at our our tech savvy kid. Then the final speedlight gelled red was placed on the floor, behind the bed and aimed at the wall.

I can't recall the actual power settings of the speedlight as they seasoned to taste. As for the camera settings, ISO 200, 1/200 and f 5.6

Aside from Shutterstock, this image is also live online(and proud to  report that is also doing well) at Dreamstime, Depositphotos,  Bigstock and 123rf. Please check it out.

Hope this helps. Happy shooting.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Glass of Water (How I lit it this time)

I've shot glasses of water a lot of times already and I've always looked for ways to find a new twist to it.  And I must admit that I've failed more times than I've succeeded. But despite this I still like shooting this subject matter, so here's my latest shoot with a glass of water.

There's really nothing new about it, a plain clear glass with water in it and another variation with water being poured in it.


What's new this time was how I lit the subject and the background.

It's just one source of light and a white reflector board. A speedlight was placed camera right, behind a cabinet door. The door have this slanted wooden planks with spaces in between each plank.

I placed the subject near the background wall so the sole speedlight can illuminate both the subject and the background.  I think those streaks of light produced by the planks are cool and that's the new "twist" I have for this yet another glass of water shoot.

Speedlight was set at 1/4 power output, camera settings was ISO 200, 1/200, f 5.6 and tungsten white balance.

Fortunately, this image is now live online at ShutterstockDreamstimeFotolia, 123rf, 
Bigstock, Depositphotos and Istock.  Please check it out.

Hope this helps. Happy shooting.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Alcholic Drinks



This is one of my favorite images.  It has been sold quite a number of times already.
Thought I'd share with you how I did this shot.

I filled these goblets with water and added some food coloring.  Red for red wine and 
soy sauce for brandy and scotch.

I put them atop a white marble table which in turn gave that cool shiny reflective 
surface effect.

As for the light, two speedlights inside a diy softbox (I'll blog about this in the future) 
placed directly behind the goblets.

I was basically shooting against the light for this one.

Both speedlights were set 1/4.  Camera settings was at Iso 200, 1/200, f5.6.

I'm very fortunate that this image is online at several microstock sites.  

and Istock.

Hope this helps.  Happy shooting!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Shadows and Wrinkles

I've always suggested that when shooting with available light, the best time to shoot would be during the "golden hours". This is the time when the sun is casting light from the side.

All of the photographs you would see here were shot late in the afternoon. I felt lucky to have captured these shots and was thankful that my subjects didn't give me a hard time.


Hope this helps...happy shooting!