Speedlight Studio Challenge vs. Leopard Sweater

I tried something today – I did a typical and simple studio shoot using only my Nikon Speedlights (SB800’s). Oh, and I used my D300s and 17-55mm DX lens. The SnapChick VIP’s get to review 18 shots in total. See if you can spot any differences between these images and the ones that I typically get with my Alien Bees. There are no side-by-side comparisons, so you will need to study the images closely! I can spot a few differences already, can you?

Here’s a sample image from the shoot. No retouching at all (just a resize). This is straight from the D300s, not even a crop.

VIP’s get to review all 18 images from the shoot. No crops or photoshop on any of these. All shots were with one or two Nikon SB800’s, diffusers on. Bring on the comments!!!!


The rest of this article is available to SnapChick VIP Members only.

Creating the look of natural light

In this simple video and accompanying photo shoot, I describe how I used a single strobe and umbrella to create the “look and feel” of natural light. Everyone gets the sample image and SnapChick VIP’s get the results of the shoot, including the optikVerve filters used, indicated in the filenames.

Here’s one of the images from the shoot…

VIP’s – put the kids to bed for Thanksgiving Eve and enjoy these photos…

The rest of this article is available to SnapChick VIP Members only.

An Evening with Sandra…

On Monday, Sandra and I worked together. It was fantastic! She has an amazing personality, as you will see in the before/after shoot video. Once the camera is snapping, she is a very flexible model with many looks and moods. In short, I was BLOWN AWAY!

We shot a few different scenes, with many shots on an around the orange couch and then in the studio. For the couch shots, I went for a different look than usual – I stopped down the camera a bit (around f11) and really had the strobes put out the power. This made the lighting more selective, adding to Sandra’s natural mystery and intrigue.

For the 36 photos, I REALLY made use of a variety of the optikVerve Labs filters. The filters that I used are in the filenames down in the VIP section below. Remember, these filters are available completely FREE.

Here are three GIANT promo images for EVERYONE.

As always, the VIP’s get EVERYTHING? Not sure if you want to join? THIS SHOOT is a reason to join. Sandra is an awesome model!


The rest of this article is available to SnapChick VIP Members only.

Shots from Monday

On Monday, I was working out lighting configurations for my super-secret-even-though-I’ve-spilled-the-beans portrait/lighting book/magazine helpful-field-guide thing.

I’ve used the optikVerve Labs filters on many of the images, including these two promo images.

For this one, I used the B&W “Diffuse” filter…

And for this one, the color “Glamour” filter…

VIP’s get about 20 images. The filename includes the filter which I used when processing the image. Questions about the lighting setup for any of these images? Just drop me a line.


The rest of this article is available to SnapChick VIP Members only.

Winter is coming! Who needs pants?

Nothings says Winter like, a thermal shirt, knee socks, and boots. This winter-themed shoot is rather simple, with the right clothes and a fireplace (no fire yet, still too warm here in the desert).

The environmental shots (with fireplace and cool old records) were done with ambient light with the 17-55 f2.8mm DX on the D300s, aperture priority mode, around f3.3.

Then, there are some studio shots – 17-55 f2.8mm DX on the D300s, a single strobe with shoot-through umbrella, approximately 25% power on an Alien Bees B800 strobe, positioned to the left side of the frame and black backdrop.

I used the diyphotobits.com software for interval shooting and to preview my shots. Next time I will try the http://www.sofortbildapp.com/ software on my MacBook, which many folks have recommended to me.

Here is one shot for everyone… and the rest are Exclusively for my VIP Members! If you are not a VIP yet, sign up and check it out! 🙂

Oh, I almost forgot, I used several of the optikVerve filters for this photo set. In the promo image above, I used the “Romance” filter. On some of the others, I used “60’s Magazine,” “Teen Dream,” “Radiant,” “Classic 06,” and left several others unfiltered. 60’s Magazine is my favorite!!!


The rest of this article is available to SnapChick VIP Members only.

Composition and Rules?

Today’s video is about composition. I talk about the rule of thirds… but, remember, rules are made to be broken! I love to break the rules – in photography and in LIFE! 😉

Here are the images that I used in the YouTube video as “Rule of Thirds” examples…

That first image is from a recent shoot. Here are some more promo shots from that shoot!

As always, SnapChick VIP’s get EVERYTHING… VIP’s will see more shots below. If you don’t, login with your VIP username and password! 🙂


The rest of this article is available to SnapChick VIP Members only.

D300s at ISO 6400

One of my readers sent a terrific image! It was captured with a D300s at ISO 6400. I was very interested in the techniques that he used, so he graciously sent me his process.

Here is the image (click for the full size JPG, about 3mb). The original was a RAW file.

Here are the adjustments that were made to the RAW file…

The lighting was tungsten. He used a white piece of paper for custom white balance and stopped down to F4 (aperture priority). Nothing else.

For post processing, he used Lightroom 3. Here are the settings for this image:
Luminance Noise Reduction: +40
Clarity: +30
Tone Curve (Darks): -20

Photo Session with Sassy

One week ago, Sassy walked into my studio…

We had a terrific session. She is gifted with her expressions and her AWESOME red hair 🙂

Here are some promo shots from our project…

And the VIP’s get all of the images! Check these out!!!!!!! 🙂


The rest of this article is available to SnapChick VIP Members only.

Great Focal Length Reference Image

One of my readers sent me this link… http://www.flickr.com/photos/30588268@N03/3638564719/sizes/l/in/photostream/

A simple, but effective illustration of various focal lengths in the same scenario. This image, for new DSLR photographers especially, can help to make sense of “150mm” vs “50mm.” This image illustrates the real world difference. There are many other great images in the same photographer’s gallery, as well.