I’ve been experimenting with photographing reflections in mylar for four shoots now, and I’m finally starting to get the hang of it. In order to get a good range of movement in the mylar (which translates to warped reflections), I set up an oscillating fan nearby, and turned it on to the lowest setting. The effect ranges from minimal to so abstract that you can’t even tell what you’re looking at, so there’s a bit of luck involved. Every time the fan would pass over the mylar, it would ripple like pond water after a rock was tossed in, so I basically shot like hell and hoped for something good.Read More
I, for one, am someone with a limited imagination. What I mean by that is that I need to get my images looking how I want them in camera so all I have left to do is color grade them. So if I want a lens flare or glitch or haziness in my image, I need to introduce that element into my shoot. All that’s to say that recently I’ve spent quite a bit of time scavenging ebay for broken or flawed camera lenses.Read More
I shot the above portrait of model/photographer Helena Martin in 2014. At the time, I was so proud of the mood that I had created with my lighting and post processing that I included the scenario in my book, Studio Anywhere. When I look at that shoot today however, all I see are information-less shadow areas and matte blacks, and I cringe.Read More
I have been teaching at Photo Week in Dubai all week. Yesterday I got a day off and attended a workshop led by Italian portrait photographer Paolo Verzone. It was not only great to see how someone else leads a workshop, I really enjoyed being a student again. Paolo knows his light. My largest takeaway was how he uses mirrors to reflect sunlight. He taught me that you can bounce sunlight a thousand feet and it’s still as bright as a strobe. He was bouncing sunlight through windows and lighting a subject inside a building, often diffusing the light with a crumpled trash bag (talk about Studio Anywhere). If he’s traveling to a shoot in another city, his first stop after leaving the airport is a grocery store to pick up a cheap mirror.
On my next day off from teaching, I went out to shoot with Abby (a model from one of my workshops), with a newly purchase mirror in-tow. I left my lights back at the hotel, opting to hunt for light. Whenever I found a spot that lacked the light I needed, my assistant Seth was there, mirror in hand, to fill it in with sunlight.