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Hans Peter Schaub has been a photographer for many years, as well as a working editor for Nature Foto Magazin. Today, Schaub is back to share more insider tips and techniques with FotoTV viewers on his favorite subject, nature photography.
One main focal point of today's interview and demonstration is digital photography and how to correctly use the camera’s histogram to decisively control the exposure. This is done by viewing the histogram which represents the tonal value of the photo being taken and it also gives very clear information about the exposure of the image overall.
Schaub details the necessary steps to ensure proper use of the histogram function. Generally, as Schaub points out "One could assume, with enough experience and sensible presumptions, a digital camera is well capable of representing 6 aperture increments between the brightest and the darkest spots on the histogram."
As a rule Schaub keeps the histogram in view so that he may adjust the ridges or mountainous regions of the histogram, therefore ensuring correct exposure, essential when scaling an image either up or down. Most noticeable however, is scaling a smaller image up to result in a larger image. The loss of quality is greatly visible.
Schaub further goes on to demonstrate different situations how to correct or modify the histogram so the results are exactly what were intended. The histogram or the judging of the histogram has achieved special significance in the photography world for what has now been coined, 'Expose to the right.'
Photographer Jean-Francois O’Kane talks about painting with light while comprehensively demonstrating the techniques to follow for a sensual erotic shooting, as well as the tools and equipment needed.
As O'Kane demonstrates on his model Alexa, light painting is a creative photographic technique in which exposures are made in a darkened room by moving a hand-held constant light source to illuminate the scene. He moves the light to selectively illuminate and accentuate parts of the model's curves and highlights, by facing it directly into the camera. As viewers quickly learn, light painting requires a significantly slow shutter speed of a second or more-- besides that, to create a stunning photo, total control over exposure is essential, as is dressing in black and using a tripod and white balance.
Although O'Kane admits, "It's difficult to achieve perfect settings such as exposure on the first time around, "A prerequisite is to be prepared to experiment, use a light meter or grey card, and have fun while you are doing so."
Painting with light is indeed an exciting technique for amateur and professional photographers alike, and fairly simple to recreate. It offers photographers a chance to express their creative side, and artistic ability, perhaps to impress clients or simply to explore new photographic disciplines, and O'Kane demonstrates so with flowing ease, using the tools and equipment readily available from a house or garage, and with the camera equipment most photographers already have.
Photographer Urs Recher has been involved in photography for a good 17 years. He is responsible for all the advertisement photography for Broncolor, Visatec, and for Kobold which are daylight, halogen and tungsten lamps.
A specialized shoot for women's portraits is what Recher shares with the FotoTV viewers today: beauty shots, and the affects of using different sizes of light sources as well as define the difference between “hard” and “soft” lights so afterward the light can be implemented precisely. Most importantly, the difference pertains to the size of the light source.
Recher begins by shooting with a soft box that is relatively far away from the subject that will produce a very “hard” light, actually a two-dimensional light consisting of just light and shadows, without gradation. Then, he changes the size, as well as the distance of my light source. This results in a softer light. It significantly affects the skin and it’s appearance. The skin appears more matte, less reflective, and less shiny. Therefore, a more three-dimensional photo is achieved and the skin will have more gradation in its tones, a three-dimensional illumination, not just light and shadows.
Recher rarely uses a light meter when working anymore. He relies on viewing the Polaroid or looking at the preview image, in this case the display monitor. In the beginning of the film we saw the enormous influence the distance of the light source had on the model and on the harshness of the light. That meant the further the light was away from the model, the harder and more two-dimensional it was. The gradation between light and shadows were more abrupt. The farther away the light was placed the brighter it would have to be to light up our entire set-up. The light being so bright will have a harsh or domineering effect on such features and aspects such as the direct reflection on the eyes, lips and the tip of the nose, on shiny skin, or with people who wear glasses. When the light source is brought extremely close to the model or subject, reducing the distance, the light can be dimmed and the light source output power is much lower. Still resulting in wonderfully exposed skin tones, but no longer with the disturbing reflections on the lips, in the eyes, and areas on the face without adequate make-up.
Recher gives FotoTV further important information on fill lights and selecting the right values with the RGB mode in Photoshop to collectively achieve a striking, beautiful woman's portrait.
In this film, photographer Steven van Veen gives us critical silhouette tips and methods while photographing intriguing and imaginative nudes of the beautiful model Margarita.
Firstly, one basic rule of photography is to never place your subject directly in front of the sun. However, a compelling silhouette breaks that rule. Rather than lighting the front of your subject, in silhouettes you need to ensure that there is more light shining from the background than the foreground of your shot. The greatest challenge with silhouettes is proper exposure, so van Veen explains to us in clear detail, that with the proper technique, making your subject featureless apart from their outline against a bright background can be extremely effective, producing breathtaking and gratifying photographs.
Van Veen's skillful choice of contrast between light and dark areas and how he uses silhouettes, obscurring details, and see-thru cloth to accentuate the silhouettes of his model is very pleasing.
Based out of his studio in Schwanau, Germany, van Veen has worked for a multitude of clients in television, advertising, periodicals, fashion and media. He also leads his own workshops for fellow photographers, most recently „The Outdoor Workshop“ with model Ira G., a comprehensive workshop with a keen focus on location photography using available light.