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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): studio
Seven Things I Learned by Photographing 500 People
How-to's

Seven Things I Learned by Photographing 500 People

Mike Hagen (Mike_Hagen)

Whether you will be photographing a single person or group or many, you will benefit from this article where Nikonians Academy Director Mike Hagen tells us the seven most important things he has learned, after doing it more than a few times. 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...

The home studio: Inspirational objects in your own home
How-to's

The home studio: Inspirational objects in your own home

Jan Stimel (photocyan)

There are some things in our world, unseen, small, unnoticed and unique, all waiting to be explored, captured and shared. We would like to invite you to a journey to discover such things, surprisingly - in your own home. Read more...

Personal Projects
How-to's

Personal Projects

User

Doesn't matter if you've just began with photography, or if you are more serious, defining a project in your mind before even picking up the camera will help you focus on what to shoot. In this article, Josh Larkin talks about how to choose and plan your own personal project and even lists five of the most common project themes. Read more...

Self Portraits
How-to's

Self Portraits

User

For years I've had a standard response to the question "Can I take your photo." It's essentially, "Nope, I'm a photographer so I like to stay on the side of the lens that I like better!" And while I do still try my best to stay out of other people's photographs, I've recently come to appreciate the self portrait. The thing of it is, making self portraits is a great exercise in creativity that offers us, as photographers, lots of learning opportunities. 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...

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...

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...

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...

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