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Nikonians Articles

Resources to save time and money, reduce the pain and speed up the learning curve.

Showing all articles with keyword(s): lighting
Studio Photography: Shooting the $2million image: Post-processing
How-to's

Studio Photography: Shooting the $2million image: Post-processing

Martin Turner (Martin Turner)

What we’re going to look at in this part goes against the grain of what most photographers think. Most Photoshop warriors believe that they can improve the shot in post-processing. Actually, this is impossible. Read more...

Studio Photography: Shooting the $2million image - Shooting
How-to's

Studio Photography: Shooting the $2million image - Shooting

Martin Turner (Martin Turner)

Remember our scale at the beginning? 0-64 points for concept, 0-32 for working with people, 0-16 for planning, 0-8 for composition, 0-4 for lighting, 0-2 for shooting, 0-1 for post-processing? Multiply them all together, and the result ranges from 0 to 2 million. The way you shoot the shot can make an otherwise perfect image $2 million, $1million or $0. Read more...

Studio Photography: Shooting the $2million image - Lighting
How-to's

Studio Photography: Shooting the $2million image - Lighting

Martin Turner (Martin Turner)

Let’s recap where we started. To achieve the maximum effect, give yourself from 0-1 points for post-processing, 0-2 for shooting, 0-4 for lighting, 0-8 for composition, 0-16 for planning, 0-32 for working with people, and 0-64 for concept. Multiply these together. You will get a result between 0 and about 2 million. Read more...

Studio Photography: Shooting the $2million image - Composition
How-to's

Studio Photography: Shooting the $2million image - Composition

Martin Turner (Martin Turner)

The human eye interprets images in the following order: movement, colour, shape, content. If you wish to create images that sell products, change social behaviour, win election campaigns or merely persuade people to invest their evenings in watching a particular TV show, then you need to construct the image with these in mind. Read more...

Studio Photography: Shooting the $2million image - Planning
How-to's

Studio Photography: Shooting the $2million image - Planning

Martin Turner (Martin Turner)

Most photographers are not natural planners. If you come from a landscape background, you expect to be inspired by what you find. Photojournalists look for the decisive moment. Press photographers were always told ‘f8 and be there’. But even the most spontaneous photographer needs at least the basic planning of having their equipment ready when the moment happens. Read more...

Studio Photography: Shooting the $2million image - Human factor
How-to's

Studio Photography: Shooting the $2million image - Human factor

Martin Turner (Martin Turner)

The factor which can disrupt whole shoots or, equally, turn dross into gold, is what we call in the trade ‘the human factor’. Read more...

Studio Photography: Shooting the $2million image - Concept
How-to's

Studio Photography: Shooting the $2million image - Concept

Martin Turner (Martin Turner)

Concept beats everything else in studio photography. I want to share with you an image shot outdoors, in the dark, with no lights, no photographic equipment apart from a camera and a tripod, but which epitomises the studio method. Read more...

Studio Photography: Shooting the $2million image
How-to's

Studio Photography: Shooting the $2million image

Martin Turner (Martin Turner)

This is the first in an eight part series that looks at studio photography. I’m going to look at Concept, Working With People, Planning, Composition, Lighting, Shooting and Post-processing. Read more...

Profoto B2 AirTTL Off-Camera Flash Location Kit Review
Accessories Reviews

Profoto B2 AirTTL Off-Camera Flash Location Kit Review

Mike Hagen (Mike_Hagen)

Great flash photography results are produced when the light sources are off-camera. Nikonians Academy Director Mike Hagen reviews for us another very nice solution by Profoto, portable and efficient, allowing for full TTL or manual control at the power pack or at the camera. Read more...

The Window Light: Use natural light to shoot appealing portraits
How-to's

The Window Light: Use natural light to shoot appealing portraits

Jan Stimel (photocyan)

Many photographers use costly lighting equipment to create a pleasing look of their images. In this article our Nikonians author, Jan Stimel, explores the power of the window light and how it can be creatively used. Read more...

Glowing fox: Interesting photographs in foggy weather
How-to's

Glowing fox: Interesting photographs in foggy weather

Jan Stimel (photocyan)

In this short article, our new author, Ján Štimel, will explore some methods on how you can achieve interesting, and hopefully appealing, photographs in seemingly dull weather conditions like the thick fog he experienced. Read more...

Which Nikon Speedlight Flash Unit Should You Select?
Accessories Reviews

Which Nikon Speedlight Flash Unit Should You Select?

Darrell Young (DigitalDarrell)

Getting ready to buy a Nikon Speedlight, the extensive lineup of options could be a little overwhelming. This concise article may help in your selection. Read more...

Camera & Flash Cookbook for Any Lighting Situation
How-to's

Camera & Flash Cookbook for Any Lighting Situation

Russ MacDonald (Arkayem)

Don't you ever wish you could read all there is about your Camera and Flash lighting situations, all in one neat place? Reading this article will act as a "Cookbook" approach that should lead to excellent results. Read more...

Why use Camera Manual with Flash Indoors?
How-to's

Why use Camera Manual with Flash Indoors?

Russ MacDonald (Arkayem)

Should you use your camera in Manual Mode when shooting flash in low ambient conditions? What about what's better than shooting Aperture priority? Here you'll find all the reasons as well as detailed images explaining various scenarios and showing the effects of Rear Sync vs. Front Sync when movement is involved in photographs. Read more...

Does moving the focus points affect flash power?
How-to's

Does moving the focus points affect flash power?

Russ MacDonald (Arkayem)

"Lately there have been several comments made by experienced photographers stating that selecting different focus areas in the camera will change the place in the image that the flash meters from. I knew that this wasn't true based on my knowledge gained by designing flash and camera integrated circuits. I knew that the flash meters the entire frame based on center weighted brightness. However, I needed some proof, so I took the following series of images." Read your proof, here! Read more...

When is Full Power Flash not Full Power?
How-to's

When is Full Power Flash not Full Power?

Russ MacDonald (Arkayem)

When you set your flash in Manual mode and full power, you expect to get a full power flash, right? Mwahaha, think again! Many of us will be surprised to learn that even with your flash in Manual Mode, it will not produce a full power of flash - there are restrictions. Find out why though. Read more...

Basics of Flash Brackets and Diffusers
How-to's Accessories Reviews

Basics of Flash Brackets and Diffusers

Russ MacDonald (Arkayem)

Diffusers and brackets? What do they do, and which ones are best to use? Well, both the bracket and the diffuser were introduced into photography to solve problems of the small flash. What's small flash, what problems do you face with it and how do you overcome it? Read more...

Nikon Speedlight A and AA Modes
Accessories Reviews

Nikon Speedlight A and AA Modes

Russ MacDonald (Arkayem)

Find out all there is to know about working with Nikon Speedlight A and AA Modes. It may be difficult to differentiate between the two, but once you read Russ' article, you'll see how simple the concepts are. Learn when to use each of the modes best, and which modes suffer from the same problems as TTL. Read more...

Speedlight Trick #1
How-to's

Speedlight Trick #1

Russ MacDonald (Arkayem)

Ever run into a situation where you're fairly far from a subject who is in a dim ambient setting, and there is something closer to you that will affect the flash metering? It could be a bird, a plane!, a wall!?, a plant! Well, whatever it may be, guaranteed it will reflect the pre-flash pulses back to your camera, and your shot may not look as you'd have wanted it to. What do you do, you ask? Find out with this article that gives you the answer, step by step! Read more...

Auto FP High Speed Sync Explained
How-to's Accessories Reviews

Auto FP High Speed Sync Explained

Russ MacDonald (Arkayem)

One of the most confusing aspects of the Nikon flash system is this thing called 'Auto FP High Speed Sync'. And before you can understand FP High Speed Sync, you first need to understand what FP means and how the Normal Flash Sync works. This article will hopefully clear up the mystery about this mode! Read more...

Speedlight TTL and TTL-BL - Distance and Subject Positioning
How-to's Accessories Reviews

Speedlight TTL and TTL-BL - Distance and Subject Positioning

Russ MacDonald (Arkayem)

So! You've read nearly as much theory as possible and seen some on hand workflows as to how one operates Flashes with their DSLRs. However, let's have a more practical study to see for certain how TTL and TTL-BL work with respect to the off-center subjects and distances that you use. All you Wedding Photographers out there, this is your article to read. Read more...

How The Built-In Flash Metering Works
How-to's Accessories Reviews

How The Built-In Flash Metering Works

Russ MacDonald (Arkayem)

How do built-in flashes work on your Nikon? It might be a simple thought, overlooked, but at the same time, understanding its true functions and capabilities is what really enhances not only your photography skills, but your overall outcome of you taking photographs. See for yourself and be at ease knowing you've got yet another how-to under your belt! Read more...

How to Shoot Large Groups with Nikon CLS
How-to's Accessories Reviews

How to Shoot Large Groups with Nikon CLS

Russ MacDonald (Arkayem)

Trying to achieve accurate focus on a specific point in your photos? What settings are you using, and are they the best option? With so many modes to choose from, learn a few tips and tricks about AF-S mode in Release Priority, AF-ON, AF-S mode, and more! Read more...

Sequence of Events for TTL Flash
How-to's Accessories Reviews

Sequence of Events for TTL Flash

Russ MacDonald (Arkayem)

There are several conditions we are faced when using TTL Flash, and some are not so familiar, while others make for easier use. What takes place in: Flash in a Hotshoe, or Remote Wireless Flash? Which sequence is better to use when. Read more...

A Study on Camera Compensation when using Flash in TTL Mode
How-to's Accessories Reviews

A Study on Camera Compensation when using Flash in TTL Mode

Russ MacDonald (Arkayem)

The SB-800 Flash Instruction Manual (as all the manuals for iTTL capable Nikon speedlights) says that when using the flash in TTL mode, adjusting Camera Compensation will lighten or darken the entire image, which means it must increase or decrease flash power, so let's find out for certain, what takes place and examine through various conditions that we'd all use in our photography! Read more...

So, What is Flash Value Lock?
How-to's

So, What is Flash Value Lock?

Russ MacDonald (Arkayem)

Flash Value Lock is used to make sure the subject is exposed properly by the flash. Knowing key features and the many useful shooting scenarios make all the difference when using this in photography. What about those fast blinkers in your shots? All your questions answered here, just Read more...

Nikon TTL-BL Flash
How-to's Accessories Reviews

Nikon TTL-BL Flash

Russ MacDonald (Arkayem)

Ever wonder which Camera Mode is best to shoot fill flash? Is it P, or S? What about the coupling between the camera's metering system and the flash metering systems? Or what about the steps the camera and flash go through as you press the shutter? Find out all your answers in this weeks article here! Read more...

Nikon TTL Flash Metering System
How-to's Accessories Reviews

Nikon TTL Flash Metering System

Russ MacDonald (Arkayem)

Did you know that the Nikon TTL Flash Metering System is not actively coupled to the Camera metering system? They use the same metering sensor in the camera, but act independently. Find out what else is important that isn't always documented, and learn the tricks of the trade! Read more...

Nikon Flash - Two Separate Metering Systems
How-to's Accessories Reviews

Nikon Flash - Two Separate Metering Systems

Russ MacDonald (Arkayem)

In a series of articles - Nikon CLS Practical Guide, you'll have an in depth view of Separating Metering Systems, TTL Flash Metering System, TTL-BL Flash, and more. Learning to adjust different backgrounds at will, especially with Flash Photography can be complex. However, a few concepts, tips & tricks, and with plenty of practice, you'll be a pro in no time! Let's read the first, in multi-part installment. Read more...

Shooting at Twilight
How-to's

Shooting at Twilight

User

Your eyes can still see perfectly, but your camera can't keep up with you. Shooting at twilight can be challenging, but if done properly, you will be rewarded with beautiful sky colors in the background. How to work with lighting to get the right exposure for your photographs? Read more...

Balancing Ambient Light with Flash
How-to's

Balancing Ambient Light with Flash

User

I've got an understanding of apparent light size. I know what happens when I change the distance between my light source, my subject and my background. And I've moved through diffuse and direct reflections. Now it's time to get into some of the practical aspects of flash photography, and there's no place better to start than balancing ambient light with flash. Read more...

Specular Highlight Control
How-to's

Specular Highlight Control

User

In my last post I started looking more closely at diffuse and direct reflections and how both reveal the form and surface texture of a subject in a photograph. Through my exercises, I was able to exert better control over the placement and look of direct reflections, or specular highlights, and now I want to apply that knowledge to a subject where this has a dramatic impact on the end result: metal. Read more...

Profoto RFi Review
Accessories Reviews

Profoto RFi Review

Mike Hagen (Mike_Hagen)

Profoto has quickly become one of my favorite manufacturers of lighting equipment. More than other manufacturers, they seem to fully understand that lighting gear needs to be functional and durable while also producing amazing light. Profoto is highly regarded in the photo industry because photographers know they can rely on Profoto gear to deliver the best equipment and the best quality of light day in and day out. Read more...

Neutral Density & Color Graduated Filters
Accessories Reviews

Neutral Density & Color Graduated Filters

J. Ramon Palacios (jrp)

Quite often the correct exposure for a background in a scene is not the best one for the foreground or viceversa. The most common problem is that the bright sky is reproduced perfectly while the landscape is underexposed; in fact pitch black most of the times. These are the occasions where the color and neutral density (ND) graduated (grad) filters can make the difference between a bad image, a good image and a better one. Read more...

Reflections
How-to's

Reflections

User

In my quest to better my own lighting techniques by going back and working through lessons in various books and on websites, I've looked at apparent light size and the inverse square law. Both of these topics and exercises gave me a better handle on the three aspects of light as it relates to a subject: the lit portion, the shadow portion and the transition areas that fall in between. Read more...

Lightsphere Flash Diffusers
How-to's Accessories Reviews

Lightsphere Flash Diffusers

J. Ramon Palacios (jrp)

We are often faced with complex lighting situations when we want to balance the light coming in from several sources into a scene and our subjects. Weddings and social events at noon time in large rooms, or churches, with large windows can become a nightmare with its mix of harsh light and strong shadows. After using for long a white card with a rubber, various solutions came to market and I have successively used most of them. Read more...

Control Over Your Lights With Distance
How-to's

Control Over Your Lights With Distance

User

In my article on Apparent Light Size, we saw the differences in light produced by large and small light sources. I demonstrated this by starting with a flash in a small softbox set up very close to a small object, therefore making a large light source. I then moved the light farther and farther away, thereby simulating a smaller light source. Read more...

Apparently, size does matter...
How-to's

Apparently, size does matter...

User

Despite what you may have heard, size matters. Of course, I'm talking about the size of your light source here, which is what you were thinking, right? Portrait photographers often use large modifiers -- think 50" softboxes, 43" umbrellas, etc. -- to soften the light hitting the subject. And that's what we want most of the time (film noir shooters excluded), nice soft light that transitions slowly from highlights to shadows. Read more...

Get Your Flash off Camera for Better Photos
How-to's

Get Your Flash off Camera for Better Photos

User

If you've had your photo taken for your driver's license recently, or a mug shot, you've probably noticed the result wasn't the most flattering image you've seen of yourself. Why is that? Read more...

Learning to Light (Series 1 of 6)
How-to's

Learning to Light (Series 1 of 6)

User

My first experiences with flash photography involved the on-board flash, me fumbling around with camera settings, and a subject that wound up looking like he, she or it had been nuked. I quickly learned that the pop-up flash is really only good for a few things: mug shots and drivers licenses. Read more...

Bookshelf 9: Lighting and Photographic Studio Books
Books

Bookshelf 9: Lighting and Photographic Studio Books

Bo Stahlbrandt (bgs)

=- \0

Here you find various recommended Lighting and Photographic Studio books. Read more...

Bookshelf 3: Portrait Photography
Books

Bookshelf 3: Portrait Photography

Bo Stahlbrandt (bgs)

=- \0

Here you find various recommended portrait photography books. Read more...

Profoto D1 Studio Kit Review
Accessories Reviews

Profoto D1 Studio Kit Review

Mike Hagen (Mike_Hagen)

For more than four decades, Profoto has been manufacturing some of the highest quality lighting equipment known to the professional photography market. I had always heard that their gear was top-notch but it wasn’t until I actually tested Profoto’s newest product, the Profoto D1 Studio 3 Head Kit, that I really came to appreciate what fine lighting equipment can do for a photographer. Read more...

The Nikon SB-24 Speedlight Review
Accessories Reviews

The Nikon SB-24 Speedlight Review

Bo Stahlbrandt (bgs)

=- \1

The SB-24 Speedlight flash unit is the ancestor of the SB-25, SB-26, SB-28 and SB-80DX units and quite a number of photographers still use it. This article is devoted to all of you looking for more information regarding this specific flashlight. Read more...

The Nikon SU-4 Review
Accessories Reviews

The Nikon SU-4 Review

J. Ramon Palacios (jrp)

The SU-4 is a small gadget with a powerful punch. More than just a simple slave unit, this SU-4 is a wireless remote TTL flash control. A relatively inexpensive unit that takes on the duties of a fully armed studio lightning system. Not only it is capable of receiving the signal to fire, but also the signal on when to stop. Read more...

How to Adjust Hoods for Rotating Filters
How-to's

How to Adjust Hoods for Rotating Filters

User

I often use a polarizer and neutral graduated filters. These filters rotate to different positions, depending on the effect desired. The recent trend to deep, scalloped lens hoods (tulip shaped) present a problem with these filters. Because the lens hood is so deep, it's almost impossible to reach the filter ring. As a practical matter, these filters must be used with the hood removed. Read more...

What Filter System?
How-to's Accessories Reviews

What Filter System?

J. Ramon Palacios (jrp)

There are two basic filter types or systems to choose from, the screw-in and the slide-in types. The first are circular integrated filters with a mounting ring that screws into the front thread of a lens, and with a thread on the other end to screw other filter(s) or attach a hood. The second consists of a threaded adapter to screw into the front of a lens and a filter holder with one or several slots, where square or quadrangular optical resin filters slide-in. Read more...

Starting with Diffusion & Softening filters
How-to's

Starting with Diffusion & Softening filters

J. Ramon Palacios (jrp)

You may have wondered what are these filters for and what is the difference between the two. Both "diffusion" and "softening" filters are used towards the same objective: to reduce blemishes and wrinkles in portraiture. Make people look better. The soft filter is just a more elaborated diffusion lens. Read more...

Flash Guide - The Teddy Bears Test
How-to's

Flash Guide - The Teddy Bears Test

J. Ramon Palacios (jrp)

The Nikon flash system is a wonderful tool. Notwithstanding, new users seem disconcerted with the names, descriptions and instructions to use it, not to mention how to use it well. Most feel a visual demonstration is imperative, so here it is - the shot of two teddy bears, one light, one dark. Read more...

The Gary Fong WhaleTail Flash Diffuser Review
How-to's Accessories Reviews

The Gary Fong WhaleTail Flash Diffuser Review

J. Ramon Palacios (jrp)

Complex lighting situations requiring light balancing were already largely solved with the Gary Fong Lightsphere System II. So it was quite a surprise when Gary told us he was launching a newer product. What for? was our first question. Read more...

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