Category Archives: For photographers

For a long time I´ve been thinking about buying a Seconic light-meter but hesitated due to it´s cost and size. Recently I came across a portable little light meter  from Lumu.  The Lumu is plugged into your Iphone and measures incident light which is perfect for making accurate exposures when doing portraits.

Lumu Lightmeter

After cake cutting and the first dance the wedding party starts. Then it´s time to turn on the party mode of our cameras to create some mood! During our last wedding shoot I got in the way of Thomas Ljungbers (Aurora-Foto) camera and he caught me in action. Settings: f3.5 S 1/5 ISO 800 combined with rear curtain flash zoomed to 70mm.

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Photo: Thomas Ljungberg

After reading Jose Villas book titled Fine art Wedding photography, I dusted of my fathers old Pentax Asahi Spotmatic, loaded it with Fujifilm Pro 400H. As described in Joses book, shooting  this film overexposed gives pastel like colours and beautiful skin tones.  I really like the result, maybe I should start to shoot film! Daydreaming about a medium format Contax 645 bundled with a Zeiss 80mm F2.Pentax Fuji 400H Pro

In this shoot I looked for a frame in the leaves and even light for her face. Suddenly she put the flower in her mouth and smiled. Click.

Color management is an often neglected or misunderstood topic but a very important one. Whenever you are editing images on your computer for printing, sending the images to a print house or for web use, you need to make sure that your color management between different devices are taken good care of. Specific colour profiles are needed for each device such as your screen or printer. By using a calibrated and profiled screen of good standard you are more likely to achieve results of highest quality. To start with, it is important to choose a screen that, after calibration, is able to display your images as accurate as possible. Most high end screens are capable of showing almost 100% of the colorspace adobe RGB. Examples of such screens are Eizo Coloredge series or Nec spectra view. An important characteristic of these high end screens are that they present an even illumination across the screen surface. Furthermore, on a good screen you should be able to see increments of the darkest values and also differences in the lightest values (se pictures below of blackpoint and whithepoint).

Blackpoint

Use the below image with white background and squares with decreasing values of white,  to determine your screens white point. In other words, how good your screen is in differentiating between grey values close to white.

Whitepoint

Next step is to profile your screen with a colorimeter that measures specific colours displayed by a program. A profile is created that corrects the presented colours. One state of the art colorimeter is made by a German company  called BasiCColor Discus. A common problem with cheap colorimeters is that the membrane gests old after a few years and then it starts to create strange color profiles. When you profile your screen you need to set the colortemperture and strength of illumination. What I usually do is that I match the illumination on my screen to an printed image under a specific viewing condition. The viewing condition that I aim for is a 5000 k daylight source. The screen illumination value that I usually end up with is around candela value of 90cd/m2.

One of my most used tool when I shoot portraits are the Lastolite TriGrip Reflectors.

Reflector

The Lastolite TriGrip Reflectors are great for gently lifting the shadows in the subject faces when shooting their portrait. Usually my assistant is holding the reflector in such a way that the light beam is passing just infront of the person. I try to avoid direct light into the eyes since then it´s difficult to keep the eyes naturally open. Another great tool from Lastolite is their different kind of diffusors. A great example of their use is Thomas Ljungbergs portrait of the two sisters laying in the grass. He used a large diffusor Skylite Rapid 2×1 meter above the girls to create the smooth gentle light.