Reflector Lighting for Portraits

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One way to photograph potraits with a soft natural light while still maintaining lighting control is to use a reflector. I have used reflectors in my photography for some time but learned how to really put them to use when I attended the Wedding School with Kenneth Linge earlier this month.

On today’s image of Tazzy the Papillon I used this method of lighting. To set up the shot, I placed Tazzy with the early evening sunlight over her right shoulder. The sun at this angle provided a nice hair ear light. The main light for the shot was then provided by a reflector being held to the right of and slightly below the camera. This placement gave a natural light focused on the dog’s face and brightened up the eyes with large catchlights.

One difficulty in using reflectors is positioning them. My daughter (and sometimes assistant) Elisabeth helped me by holding the reflector. The constant movement of Tazzy provided a bit of a challenge in keeping the light on her face, but Elisabeth kept up nicely.

At a relatively inexpensive price, adding a reflector to your kit is a great way to increase your photographic lighting options.

Canon 5D, Canon 70-200 f/4L lens – 1/320 second, f/4, ISO 100

July 30, 2007 at 11:29 pm by | Categories: tutorial

Morning Spruce

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Captured on a foggy morning in Fairbanks Alaska.

Canon 5D, Canon 24-105 f/4L lens – 1/80 second, f/9, ISO 160

July 29, 2007 at 11:46 pm by | Categories: Post

Fireweed Serendipity

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While I was shooting this top-down photo of fireweed in Chatanika Alaska, a bee flew into the frame. I love the addition of the bee and really appreciate what it brings to the image.

Canon 5D, Canon 24-105 f/4L lens – 1/160 second, f/4.5, ISO 160

July 28, 2007 at 9:43 am by | Categories: Post

Homeward Bound

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As I write this it is 1:00 AM and I am sitting in Fairbanks International Airport waiting for my (delayed) flight home. It’s been a very busy 10 days and we’ve covered a lot of ground. I look forward to going through the 15+ gigabytes of photos on my MacBook’s hard drive when I get home.

Today’s featured image is a Piper PA-18 “Super Cub” floatplane taking off on Fairbanks’ Chena River. I grew up flying around Alaska with my father in his floatplane and it was really nice to re-live those memories.

Canon 5D, Canon 24-105 f/4L lens – 1/800 second, f/5.6, ISO 160

July 27, 2007 at 1:29 am by | Categories: Post

Young Bull

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This young bull moose was photographed at the Alaska Conservation Wildlife Center in Girdwood Alaska. It would have been great to make a capture like this in the wild, but this setting made a great alternative.

Canon 5D, Canon 70-200 f/4L lens with 1.4x extender – 1/320 second, f/5.6, ISO 100

July 26, 2007 at 10:56 am by | Categories: Post

The Alaska Railroad

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Taken at the Anchorage Depot of the Alaska Railroad.

Canon 5D, Canon 24-105 f/4L lens – 1/50 second, f/4, ISO 320

July 24, 2007 at 11:45 pm by | Categories: Post

The Kiss

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Canon 5D, Canon 24-105 f/4L lens – 1/50 second, f/4, ISO 200

at 11:18 am by | Categories: Post

Nose to Nose

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Alaska, Day 5

Today’s photo of a Grizzly Bear and a Brown Bear sparring in the water was shot on Friday during my visit to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. The center is located about an hour south of Anchorage in the extremely small town of Girdwood. Most of the animals there are rescues being prepared for re-introduction into the wild. The opportunity to photograph these bears at such a close range was clearly the highpoint of my visit.

Today, I am off to Denali National Park and Fairbanks on the Alaska Railroad.

Canon 5D, Canon 70-200 f/4L with 1.4x extender – 1/400 second, f/5.6, ISO 125

July 22, 2007 at 12:01 am by | Categories: Post

Alaskan Grizzly Bears

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Canon 5D, Canon 70-200 f/4L with 1.4x extender – 1/500 second, f/5.6, ISO 125

July 21, 2007 at 1:20 am by | Categories: Post

A Benefit of High End Camera Gear

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A conversation I had yesterday at the World Eskimo Indian Olympics in Anchorage Alaska (as I sat with my family):

Lady (sternly): “Did you register at the press table?”

Me: “No”

Lady: “All press has to register”

Me: “I’m not press” (I didn’t think LeggNet’s Digital Capture would warrant credentials)

Lady: “You’re not press??”

Me: “Nope, I’m just a guy here with my family”

Lady: “You’re not going to sell these pictures are you?”

Me: “No. I’m just on vacation with my family”

Lady: “Uh… okay”

Me (a bit miffed): “Thanks. I just missed the event I wanted to see”

Lady (sarcastically): “There’ll be more (walks while muttering something about my big camera)

Stranger next to me (with her point & shoot camera): “I can’t believe she stood in front of me and blocked my view. I really wanted a picture of that event”

Me: “I’m sorry ma’am”

I guess this is one of the hidden benefits of shooting with nice gear, especially a long white lens on a large camera body. I don’t think I’d have had the same conversation if I had been using my G7.

Canon 5D, Canon 70-200 f/4L lens – 1/160 second, f/4, ISO 1000

July 20, 2007 at 1:19 am by | Categories: Post