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SUNBOUNCE Surfing

SUNBOUNCE Surfing

One thing all inventors have in common, when they invent a product, they must “put it to the test” to ensure their finished product meets their vision, their dream, and their goals. Wolfgang Peter Geller, the founder and inventor of the SUNBOUNCE photography lighting...

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Photo Shoot—Esther in Zingst

Photo Shoot—Esther in Zingst

Photography Project Shoot By Professional Photographer Steve Thornton (Click Photos For Lightbox View) I have shot with Esther several times and try to shoot with her if I'm in Germany. I was in Zingst, Germany, on the Baltic Sea, and had a photography...

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Professional Photography Tips

Bring Out the Detail

Bring Out the Detail

Often photographers are challenged to bring out the detail in the clothing or hair of their subjects, especially of light or dark fabrics, or blonde or black hair. The solution is simple, but first you must understand the physics 90-percent rule of light and...

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Your First-Time Photoshoot With A Model

Your First-Time Photoshoot With A Model

All models and photographers will have a “first-time shoot” before they can start their professional working relationship with each other, it’s unavoidable, whether either party is experienced or not. While some photographers and models instantly synergize on set,...

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The Photo That Bounced Me

The Photo That Bounced Me

Over the decades I’ve had photo industry manufacturers and vendors offer me sponsorships and product support in exchange for my endorsement at my workshops, articles, seminars, books, and any world stage to include social media and the Internet. When I’m approached...

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15 Sports Photography Tips

15 Sports Photography Tips

One of the world’s greatest hockey players, Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don't take” and that famous quote applies to sports photography too. Here’s are 15 sports photography tips you can use from my years of experience photographing everything...

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Kick-Start Your Photography with Themes

Kick-Start Your Photography with Themes

Every photographer hits a creative rut where no matter how much our heart and passion drives us to shoot, we draw a blank. Well you can kick-start your photography with themes to get out of that rut. Themes are concepts photographers should carry in their brain to...

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Monte Zucker’s Great Lighting Advice

Monte Zucker’s Great Lighting Advice

Sometimes I reflect back in time and today I thought about something that happened years ago at a major photography event in Florida. Clay Blackmore, a Canon Explorer of Light, and I were to conduct back-to-back lighting seminars in the same studio that day, so we...

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Fear in Photography

Fear in Photography

Photography is a creative art, and like all arts, there’s one emotion that can bring our artistic abilities to a screeching halt — fear. A basic human emotion, fear normally arises from the perception of danger, but fear in photography isn’t as much about danger as it...

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10 Steps to Become a Professional Photographer

10 Steps to Become a Professional Photographer

There are many ways to improve your photography, but if you want to turn pro, as a minimum you should start with the 10 steps to become a professional photographer listed below. Why not become a pro if you're not already? If you have a smartphone, you’re already a...

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Define a Professional Photographer

Define a Professional Photographer

When I conduct a workshop or seminar, I’ll often ask the attendees to define a professional photographer. The most common answer is, “Someone who’s primary income comes from photography.” After I hear that, I’ll disagree and remind the group that the key word in my...

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10 Things Models Should Know About Photographers

10 Things Models Should Know About Photographers

Once at a hairstylist’s salon I saw a sign that read: “I’m a beautician, not a magician.” Ever since that, I’ve wanted to create a similar saying for photographers, but so far, I haven’t been able to devise one that is filled with the same rhyme and eloquence....

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Fill-Flash Photography Techniques

Fill-Flash Photography Techniques

Sometimes a photo might need a little more oomph due to strong back-light or perhaps you simply want to brighten deep shadow areas on your subject and you can do this with fill-flash. While there are many fill-flash photography techniques, the two most common...

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Photographic Culture Today

Photographic Culture Today

Back in the days of film, professional photographers would prioritize their time to include darkroom days, shooting sessions, and administrative time. Call it a part of the photographic culture and to survive in any creative profession, you have to allocate time to...

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Quick Reaction Timing Technique

Quick Reaction Timing Technique

Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky said, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” Gretzky created his own style of play with passion and hard work and he knew how to find the shot and take it without hesitation, similar to great...

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The Photography Dopamine Addiction

The Photography Dopamine Addiction

The only photography tip here is that we all need to recognize that photography dopamine addiction exists. It’s not about blame, it’s about reality. Interpret this how you wish, but it’s meant to help you understand why more selfies are captured per second than...

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10 Photography Tips to Get Your Brain Started

10 Photography Tips to Get Your Brain Started

So, you want to do some photography, but your mind draws a blank and you can’t think straight. It’s a mental lapse just like writer’s block. As a photographer you’re in a creative rut and have to overcome it to pre-visualize the photos you want to capture, so what do...

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Your Digital Camera Sucks

Your Digital Camera Sucks

There’s always chatter on the Internet about mirror-less vs. DSLR cameras, especially with the new Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus and Panasonic mirrorless cameras and lenses. People often express their opinions daily on social media and some focus on “whose camera beats...

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Clothing in Photography

Clothing in Photography

In all forms of photography there are elements that make or break an image, some elements are required, some are optional, and some while required, vary in strength and play lesser or greater roles in the context of the image, depending on their use. Clothing in...

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Posing Is the Body Language of a Photograph

Posing Is the Body Language of a Photograph

Over the decades at my photography workshops, seminars and lectures in all the America’s and throughout the United states, I’m often asked, "How do you pose a model?" I usually answer with a demonstration because posing is the body language of a photograph. You start...

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Eyes and Hands Create Subtext in Photos

Eyes and Hands Create Subtext in Photos

We see through the viewfinder with our eyes as we hold our camera with our hands, yet we often take for granted that the eyes and hands are the top reasons a photo editor will trash an image when it comes to publication consideration. As photographers of models we can...

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Photographers Avoid Canoes

Photographers Avoid Canoes

Any photographer can kayak or canoe down the river, but great photographers avoid canoes whether they paddle on water or not. When you canoe on a body of water it takes strength, but in photography you avoid canoes in your subject’s eyes through the angle of your...

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Turn the Camera

Turn the Camera

Every morning someone snaps a great sunrise photo on the east coast and later in that day, someone will snap a sunset photo on the west coast and both photographers will have captured a horizontal photograph because they didn’t turn the camera. But it’s a horizon...

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Your Guide to Marketing and Branding

Your Guide to Marketing and Branding

Marketing and branding are two words often confused with one another but they’re important words all photographers or anyone in business should understand. It's more than just building your brand in photography. So, to start your guide to marketing and branding and...

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Cropping—An Element of Composition

Cropping—An Element of Composition

Recently I viewed a magazine and was shocked how photographers ignore the rules of cropping when it comes to people photography. While it’s often heard, “learn to break the rules” when it comes to photography, it’s better said, “Learn the rules first, then learn to...

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Available Light Photography Explained

Available Light Photography Explained

When you say “available light photography” to two photographers, you might get two different responses as that term can mean different things to many photographers. One former major magazine staff photographer told me once that available light photography meant to use...

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The Big Picture

The Big Picture

A common mistake for photographers happens when they arrive to a location and look at the big picture when instead, they should focus on the “picture in the picture,” or the small things around them. When publication photo editors see this in an image, your image gets...

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Conceptual Photography

Conceptual Photography

If you Google “conceptual photography” you’ll find many views on the genre itself. It’s like no one agrees on specifics, though you’ll find some common points, like, “It all starts with imagination” or, “It’s a type of fine art photography.”Ultimately, I define it as...

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It Might Look Easy

It Might Look Easy

Sometimes we look at a photograph and wonder, “How was that done?” and other times, “Oh, I could do that.” But in reality, it might look easy, but often it takes work, rarely are great shots stumbled upon and if they are, it happens more to photojournalists than...

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Make A Short Model Taller

Make A Short Model Taller

Most agency-signed fashion models are at least five-foot-eight in height though the majority are even taller, and many glamour models are usually much shorter. It’s not that a glamour model couldn’t pull off fashion, it’s just that the major fashion model agencies...

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Size Does Matter

Size Does Matter

The Smaller the Harder, the Larger the Softer When it comes to size in photography, one often thinks of lenses, and while proper lens selection makes sense, it’s often dictated by a photographer’s shooting style, not necessarily hard rules. When it comes...

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Light Is the Lifeblood of An Image

Light Is the Lifeblood of An Image

Like blood to our bodies, light is the lifeblood of an image and like blood, without light, as photographers we have nothing. Photographers rely on light to give us the ability to reproduce life in our subjects and images through the addition or subtraction of...

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Umbrellas, Great When It Rains

Umbrellas, Great When It Rains

Light modifiers for photography come in all shapes, sizes and forms to serve a unique purpose, and while I have my favorites, there are others, like an umbrella, that just don’t cut it for me as a professional photographer. My philosophy is simple, umbrellas work...

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Sun-Mover Black-Hole

Sun-Mover Black-Hole

In the photography reflector tips section of this website, we discuss subtractive lighting, specifically when it comes to the SUNBOUNCE PRO, MINI, MICRO and the Sun-Cage. But recently, I had a new experience, the Sun-Mover Black Hole. I knew of the Zebra-White,...

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Family Portraits in the Sun-Cage

Family Portraits in the Sun-Cage

Recently at my Maui Photography Adventure I took the time to meet up with one of my models, Laura, that I’ve worked with for almost two decades and lives on the island. And as I did two years ago for my Photography Reflectors Keep It Simple photography tip, I promised...

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Chiaroscuro in Photography

Chiaroscuro in Photography

One basic creative concept taught in the first level of art classes in most colleges is chiaroscuro. Chiaroscuro in photography and art simply means the intermixing of lights and darks that forms contrasts between the two to help create the illusion of depth and...

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How to Beat Poor Outdoor Lighting

How to Beat Poor Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor natural lighting comes in many forms, but the two most common problems that face photographers are harsh sunlight found on bright sunny days, or boring, low-contrast light found on cloudy or overcast days. Rarely do photographers find “perfect” lighting when...

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The Photography Studio

The Photography Studio

A photography studio, by simple definition, is basically a workspace where you can create beautiful photos. There is nothing that dictates it must have walls, must be indoors, or even must have electricity for that matter. In fact, the first photography studios “date...

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Outdoor Model Photography

Outdoor Model Photography

Other than photographers that live on Caribbean, Atlantic or Pacific islands, spring and summer are the times photographers enjoy the most to capture some great outdoor photos. Like seagulls we flock to the nearest and largest body of water. Whether it's a swimming...

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Colors in Outdoor Model Photography

Colors in Outdoor Model Photography

Colors in outdoor model photography can make or break your images. You can use colors to your advantage to create dramatic impact just like camera lens flare, or to minimize or hide imperfections in any photo. The key to it all, be observant and understand simple...

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Camera Lens Flare

Camera Lens Flare

Wikipedia states, “Lens flare refers to a phenomenon wherein light is scattered or flared in a lens system, often in response to a bright light, producing a sometimes, undesirable artifact within the image.” Notice the subtext, “sometimes, undesirable,” which...

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Midday Sunlight Photography

Midday Sunlight Photography

Any professional photographer will tell you to learn the fundamentals, principals and basics of photography — the rules — then learn how to break them. One of those photography rules you may have heard, don’t shoot in the midday, or direct overhead sunlight. So, in...

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Fashion, Beauty, and Glamour Photography

Fashion, Beauty, and Glamour Photography

When it comes to photography genres, especially in the photography of women, there are many to include my favorite three, fashion, beauty, and glamour photography and thanks to the Internet and social media, the genres seem to converge at times. In my photography, my...

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Pixel Resolution Explained

Pixel Resolution Explained

Understanding the Correct Image Resolution When digital photography and the Internet took hold, many photographers didn’t fully understand image resolution, or the proper pixel resolution when it comes to web browsers, social media, and printing. The many myths,...

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Five Reasons Models Think You Stink

Five Reasons Models Think You Stink

Do You Smell Bad? It happens to many photographers, they can’t find models to work with them, especially the particular models they want in front of their camera the most. These photographers ask themselves, “What am I doing wrong? Is my photography that bad? Does it...

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Military Techniques Improve Your Photos

Military Techniques Improve Your Photos

Camera Shutter Release Technique is Like Shooting A Weapon Back in my active-duty U.S. Army days, I was an expert with my M16 rifle and Beretta M9 pistol, plus I earned a German Schutzenschnur, shooting expert medal in bronze from the German Army in Koblenz, Germany....

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Travel Photography Tips

Travel Photography Tips

As a photographer and a photojournalist, I’ve had the pleasure to work on assignment in 45 different countries over the years. As I worked in these countries, I learned a few things, especially when it comes to travel photography, and I’m here to share some tips for...

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Your Nose for Great Photos

Your Nose for Great Photos

A Simple Photography Technique At my photography workshopsI advocate that depressing the camera shutter-release represents five-percent of the equation when it comes to the creation of photographs—pictures are easy, just pick up your smartphone. Photographs though...

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Low-Key Lighting

Low-Key Lighting

The Lack of Lighting Technique for Photography Masterpieces Low-key lighting is often misunderstood as a type of lighting that requires a solid black background — not true. It’s not the background that separates low-key lighting from other lighting techniques, it’s...

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Storytelling with Your Photos

Storytelling with Your Photos

In our four-part series about how to critique photos we covered various elements that make photos great like composition, lighting, exposure, sharpness, etc., so now let’s look at storytelling with your photos especially if you’re considering publication. If you have...

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The Photography Sweet Spot

The Photography Sweet Spot

If you play tennis, golf, or even baseball, then you’ve heard the term “sweet spot.” Whether it’s a racquet, club or bat, professional athletes know their equipment has a sweet spot that helps them move to the top of their game. Photography is no different, your...

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Clarity and Focus in Photography

Clarity and Focus in Photography

Clarity and focus in photography are two words that play heavily when you create plus evaluate a photograph. As a photographer you should take these terms into great consideration when you preplan or pre-visualize the process involved to create a conceptual photo or...

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10 Things That Make Photographers Happy

10 Things That Make Photographers Happy

Photographers are funny creatures, but like all creatures on this planet, photographers like happiness too. Unfortunately, even in photography, things can go wrong. Sometimes it’s something simple, sometimes it’s not, but great photographers know when the plan doesn't...

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Form in Photography

Form in Photography

Capture the Third Dimension in A One-Dimensional Medium As a model and I discussed some fine art photography concepts, she began to tell me stories from her middle-school swim days and how she competed in high diving. Through that discussion she mentioned the...

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Scrims in Photography

Scrims in Photography

Any professional photographer will tell you the best light for outdoor photography with people in the scene is the first hour in the morning and the last hour of the day, the Golden Hour. This is one reason SUNBOUNCE provides a Golden Hour Calculator to...

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Histograms Don’t Lie in Photography

Histograms Don’t Lie in Photography

The Digital Fingerprint of The Photo In all the years I’ve practiced digital photography I’ve heard many photographers discuss histograms. Some will tell you, “a perfect histogram displays a nice bell curve” and still other photographers will say, “it needs to look...

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10 Mistakes Photographers Make

10 Mistakes Photographers Make

It Will Happen If It Hasn’t Already There is one beautiful thing life gives everyone, the ability to make mistakes, for if we were perfect, life becomes boring. Life is best with excitement. The goal of a photographer is to share something with visual interest....

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Critique Your Photos — Part One

Critique Your Photos — Part One

Note, this is part one of four on how to Critique Your Photos. This four-part photography tips articles series will focus on 10 steps that should help you improve your photography. 10 Steps to Critique Your Photos—Part One  As a photojournalist most of my life, I’ve...

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Critique Your Photos — Part Two

Critique Your Photos — Part Two

Note, this is part two of four on how to Critique Your Photos. This four-part photography tips articles series will focus on 10 steps that should help you improve your photography. 10 Steps to Critique Your Photos — Part Two ...continued from part one 4. Editorial...

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Critique Your Photos — Part Three

Critique Your Photos — Part Three

Note, this is part three of four on how to Critique Your Photos. This four-part photography tips articles series will focus on 10 steps that should help you improve your photography. 10 Steps to Critique Your Photos—Part Three …continued from part two Background,...

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Critique Your Photos — Part Four

Critique Your Photos — Part Four

Note, this is part four of four on how to Critique Your Photos. This four-part photography tip articles series will focus on 10 steps that should help you improve your photography. 10 Steps to Critique Your Photos—Part Four …continued from part three 9. “Light is to...

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Photography as An Art

Photography as An Art

Many will say photography as an art, still others will argue it’s a skill trade and not art — personally, professional photography is a genre in the art forms and if anyone disagrees, then I’ll ask one simple question, “Can you create a masterpiece with a pipe...

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Capture the Perfect Facial Expression

Capture the Perfect Facial Expression

Tell Their Story Through Photography  Everyone has a story, and everyone can tell their story, but it takes a photographer to convey a person’s story visually — and we’re not talkingselfies here. Selfies are more about self-image, a picture, not a photograph....

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Editing Photos vs. Photo Editing

Editing Photos vs. Photo Editing

Post-Production Is Not the Same as Selecting Images Before digital photography became a reality, most people never knew about photo editing or editing photos, unless they were familiar with capturing photos for publication. Unfortunately, with the advancement of...

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10 Reasons Mirrorless Over DSLR

10 Reasons Mirrorless Over DSLR

I’ve heard the arguments against mirrorless digital cameras like that of an arsenal of lenses DSLR owners don’t want to give up — but you don’t. There are many lens adapters to fit your DSLR lenses on your mirrorless digital cameras but do your research. For example,...

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Five Photography Myths

Five Photography Myths

There are many photography myths, so I decided to expose five that I’ve witnessed over my decades as a professional photographer. As you read these explanations, hopefully you can gain some insight that you can apply to your photography and please feel free to share....

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Five Photography Misconceptions

Five Photography Misconceptions

In all the decades I’ve practiced as a professional photographer, I’ve run into many misconceptions and myths about the art in capturing images. I’ll tackle the myths in a future photography tip, but for now, here are my top five photography misconceptions I’ve...

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The Best Camera for You

The Best Camera for You

It’s Not the Camera, It’s You I’m often asked about different camera makes and models, and my first response is, “I only know the camera I use, or have used.” Then I follow with even though I’ve authored photography books, written articles for photography magazines,...

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A Shadow Needs Light to Survive

A Shadow Needs Light to Survive

The Secret Sauces of Life and Photos When you walk into the sun, your shadow follows you from behind, it never leaves you alone. If you stop and turn your head, your shadow is still there, and if you move forward, it moves with you — it’s your best friend and only...

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How Models Find Photographers

How Models Find Photographers

Build Your Brand The best models for a photo shoot are models that find you for your photography and this will happen if you build your photography brand with great photos. Your photography talent should speak for itself, and if it doesn’t, then you must work on it,...

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Great Photographers Know What it Takes

Great Photographers Know What it Takes

I’m often asked, “What makes a great photographer?” It’s an ambiguous question because it isn’t specific to any photography genre, and it doesn’t help if the individual who asked doesn’t refer to the business or the artistic side of photography. But even then, there...

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See and Feel the Light in Photography

See and Feel the Light in Photography

Light is all around us and it not only illuminates our world, but, allows us to accomplish everyday tasks when it eliminates darkness. Just like the air we breathe, we often take light for granted as it’s part of our big picture of life, but as photographers, we need...

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20 Failures in Photography

20 Failures in Photography

Failure Is the Foundation to Success Failure in photography happens to everyone that owns a camera at some point in their life. I have failed many times and I’m sure you’ve failed at least once in something if not photography. Others have failed too, but the key to...

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The Picasso Principle in Photography

The Picasso Principle in Photography

Picasso Knew the Value of Experience I’m often asked about my prices for my prints, my photography workshops or my fees for my photography. My normal answer is, “You’re not paying for how long it took me to print the photograph, not even how long it took to create the...

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High Key and Hybrid Lighting in Photography

High Key and Hybrid Lighting in Photography

Interesting Photography Lighting Keys Ask a group of professional photographers how to achieve high-key lighting and chances are you’ll receive multiple answers to achieve the same results for a lighting technique used to eliminate shadows from primarily white...

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Mobile Photography Studio Solution

Mobile Photography Studio Solution

No Need for A Lens Break A traditional rule in people photography is to avoid harsh, midday sunlight, but there is one way you can be a midday photography rule-breaker and avoid no-income siestas. The easiest fix, look for open shade under a tree or...

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10 Wind Photography Tips

10 Wind Photography Tips

Let the Wind of Mother Nature Be Your Art Director I’ve conducted hundreds of photography workshopsfor almost two decades now and I can tell you, often I see photographers fighting the elements of Mother Nature, like the wind, instead of capitalizing on the beauty it...

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Doorways Are Pathways to Great Photos

Doorways Are Pathways to Great Photos

Framing and Background Separation Come Natural When you place a model in something as simple as a doorway, you help separate your model from the background. Here, our agency model Jenni, stands in the doorway of a bathroom. Since the bathroom had intense household...

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First Time Use, SUNBOUNCE Sun-Cage

First Time Use, SUNBOUNCE Sun-Cage

Like many photographers, the first time use of a photography product can give you doubts, but my first time use of the SUNBOUNCE Sun-Cage, left no doubts in my mind what it can do for a photographer. The SUNBOUNCE Sun-Cage is basically a portable...

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10 Model Photography Idea Tips

10 Model Photography Idea Tips

Sometimes, as photographers, we run out of ideas, and if we’ve planned a photo shoot for a portfolio promotion, it’s potentially costly, especially if we’re paying the model along with the hair, make-up and assistant. Even the great photographers that created...

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Prime vs. Zoom Lenses

Prime vs. Zoom Lenses

I’m often asked, “What lens do you prefer to use, a prime or zoom?”  My response is usually the lens that best suits my needs, however, primes are my preferred lenses. A prime lens is a fixed-focal length lens, usually with less elements inside as it only serves one...

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Chairs Make Great Photo Props

Chairs Make Great Photo Props

Chairs come in many shapes and forms and are constructed from an almost limitless variety of materials. This makes chairs a great posing aid for models, but don’t get caught up in believing all chairs need four legs. While working in the Virgin Islands, I photographed...

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The Story Behind the Photos, Jessica

The Story Behind the Photos, Jessica

Photography Sessions with Model Jessica I believe a good photography tip can come from just learning from the story behind the photos, in this case, my photo shoot with model Jessica at Lake Como. Both of these two images were shot on Lake Como close to the Italian -...

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Photography White Balance Techniques

Photography White Balance Techniques

When we point our cameras into the deep-blue sky to take a photograph, do we always get the color and hues we see? Most of the time yes, but if the sky is gray-dull, or you’re in a creative mood, you can change the sky into any color you’d like. You can even control...

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Trick Your Digital Camera to Emulate Film

Trick Your Digital Camera to Emulate Film

White balance is a subjective decision, and I would suggest not letting the digital camera make that decision for you—thus, it’s best to avoid AWB, or the automatic white balance setting on your digital camera. In AWB, the scene is analyzed during the exposure and...

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Photographers Abandon Money and Megapixels

Photographers Abandon Money and Megapixels

I first began to use digital cameras in the early 90’s while an active-duty combat photographer in the U.S. Army, and what I saw then, still continues to plague photographers today—a majority of photographers abandon money and megapixels when it comes to digital...

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The Photography Mentor

The Photography Mentor

Self-Mentoring Is a Must and Possible with Technology Today There are two important people that help a photographer develop their career, mentors and muses, though, these are two critical career keys that are hard to find, and once lost, not easy to replace, as not...

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The Photography Muse

The Photography Muse

As mentioned in The Photography Mentor article, muses are one of the two most important people that help a photographer develop their career, and like mentors, muses are not easy to find. However, a photographer stands a better chance at finding a muse before a mentor...

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Build Your Photography Brand

Build Your Photography Brand

Impression, Repetition, and Association Are the Identity Keys If there is one great thing about social networking, is the ability to build your brand through social marketing, directly and indirectly, which will help build name recognition. In the case of photography,...

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10 Photography Rules

10 Photography Rules

Rules, rules, rules, we’ve been surrounded by them all our lives and photography is no stranger to rules—though rules don’t run photography, rules exist to guide you to capture better photos, and in photography, rules are breakable, but only after you master them...

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Photographing Mature Women

Photographing Mature Women

Sometimes Digital Cameras Are Just Too Sharp Often photographers are challenged with photographing a mature, female subject that wants a glamorous photo, usually for their significant other or for their own self-esteem. Unfortunately, with maturity and today’s...

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The Pots and Pans of Photography

The Pots and Pans of Photography

While there are many types of photographic equipment, such as reflectors and other light modifiers, stands, plus even gels used to create beautiful photographs of people, the camera lens itself is the physical funnel that leads down to the camera’s image capture...

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The 90-Percent Photography Lighting Rule

The 90-Percent Photography Lighting Rule

You often hear about percentages, sometimes in statistics, like 75-percent of all statistics are made up, which often leaves you wondering about the accuracy of such numbers, but when it comes to photography, one percentage that is accurate is the 90-percent rule of...

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10 Photography Tips for Great Model Photos

10 Photography Tips for Great Model Photos

One of the biggest challenges for a photographer is creating a photo from scratch, especially when you have a passionate craving to capture something with your camera. When the urge hits, you start thinking, what can I create? So, let me help you with 10 photography...

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Tungsten Photography Mimic

Tungsten Photography Mimic

Normally I don’t get a chance to capture images at my photography workshops as I’m too busy providing hands-on instruction along with ensuring everything from the models to the lighting flows smoothly. But a while I back, at one of my Las Vegas workshops, I took the...

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Backgrounds in Photography

Backgrounds in Photography

There are many elements that make a great photo, so I figured I’d discuss one of the most varied, but required elements in a photo—backgrounds. Understanding this element can improve your photography and photos overall as after the subject, the background in a...

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Camera Position Makes Great Photos

Camera Position Makes Great Photos

I’m often asked, what are some of your secrets to great photos. First of all, I don’t believe in secrets, I believe it’s good to spread the gospel of photography for all photographers. So, here’s another photography tip article to improve your photos of people—camera...

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Silhouette Photography

Silhouette Photography

Throughout life we see natural silhouettes in many forms, whether it’s driving down the highway with the sun in our eyes as we pull the sun visor down to help us see the road, or the sun setting over the ocean as a young couple walks by holding hands....

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Photography Lighting Accents

Photography Lighting Accents

Adding Lighting Accents to Your Photos Rim lighting of your subject is easily accomplished in various ways, with either SUNBOUNCE photography reflectors or light modifiers like strip boxes or 7-inch metal reflectors for your studio strobes. With metal reflectors,...

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Rembrandt Lighting in Photography

Rembrandt Lighting in Photography

Aspiring Photographers Learn from the Masters Some of the greatest photographers in the world made their mark by simply studying the styles, ideas and techniques of other artists, whether it was their mentor photographer or one of their favorite painters. Ultimately,...

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Gain an Edge in Photography

Gain an Edge in Photography

Applying Photojournalism Techniques Adds New Angles The evolution of wedding, commercial, advertising, fashion and glamour photography now requires diversification to survive. Some of these genre photographers have added video and other offers for their clients,...

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Moab Golden Hour Photography

Moab Golden Hour Photography

Thanks to a private instruction client of mine, Brian, I visited the Moab area of Utah in 2007 and I’ve been back to Moab every year since. On that first trip, Brian and I didn’t know what to expect, so we brought everything including battery power packs,...

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20 Photo Tips, Working with Women

20 Photo Tips, Working with Women

For most men, a woman is a mystery but for a photographer it’s important to understand women the best you can to create great photos of them. In glamour photography of women, a photographer must gain an insight into their female subject before they even think about...

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Photo Shoot—Esther in Cologne

Photo Shoot—Esther in Cologne

Click Photos For Lightbox View Commercial Photo Shoot By Professional Photographer Steve Thornton (Click Photos For Lightbox View) While in Cologne for Photokina, the world’s largest trade fair for photography and imaging held biennially, I shot a couple of...

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Photographers Strengths and Weaknesses

Photographers Strengths and Weaknesses

It’s About Ability, Not Inability. I’ve taught many photography workshops for almost two decades now and I constantly see many photographers get caught up in their gear. Contrary to all the marketing hype that slaps consumers in the face on a daily basis, it’s not the...

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Communication is Essential to Great Photography

Communication is Essential to Great Photography

The Claude Shannon and Warren Weaver’s 1949 Communication Model Helps Photographers The greatest photographers in the world have three things in common, a creative eye, the comprehension of their equipment and the ability to communicate both to their subject and the...

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Photographic Elements–Lines, Lines, Lines

Photographic Elements–Lines, Lines, Lines

Optional Elements in Photography There are many elements in photography that help create a successful photo, from the optional elements of lines, foreground choices, clothing, accessories, props, chiaroscuro and various forms of accent lighting on your subject.  Then...

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Market Your Photography Like a Glass of Water

Market Your Photography Like a Glass of Water

As a professional photographer, it’s not uncommon for someone to challenge what you charge for your services, especially when another photographer lowballs for the same photo shoot. I’ve heard it, “Why should I pay more for you when I can find another photographer...

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Law of Reflection

Law of Reflection

A Physics Rule for Photographers. In physics, the Law of Reflection, aka The Angle of Incidence Equals the Angle of Reflection, states that the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection. This tenet is fundamental to understand light and is summarized that...

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Photo Shoot—Esther in Zingst

Photo Shoot—Esther in Zingst

Photography Project Shoot By Professional Photographer Steve Thornton (Click Photos For Lightbox View) I have shot with Esther several times and try to shoot with her if I'm in Germany. I was in Zingst, Germany, on the Baltic Sea, and had a photography...

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Round Lenses, Rectangle Photos

Round Lenses, Rectangle Photos

A Little Squared Humor.  Often, I get interesting questions, some humor me and today was no different when a model asked me on the phone, “If lenses are round, why are photos rectangular?” I chuckled at first and then told her, “That’s a good question,” then I gave...

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Light & Camera Paradigm Shifts

Light & Camera Paradigm Shifts

It’s Happening Now, Don’t Get Left Behind. In my recent blog post, Mirrorless Camera Madness, you found out that in my search for a replacement digital camera system, I noticed a paradigm shift to mirrorless cameras and how Olympus is tops in this field. A paradigm...

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Photography’s Biggest Myth

Photography’s Biggest Myth

Professional Photographers Primary Source of Income is Photography. The biggest myth in photography is based on the old age question, “What’s the difference between a professional and an amateur photographer?” Normally the number one answer is “a professional gets...

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Flash or Reflector

Flash or Reflector

Make Your Photography Natural. I’m often asked, “Why use a reflector and not a flash for fill-light outdoors?” There are several answers to this question, but the most obvious one, often overlooked by many photographers when trying to “pre-visualize” their final...

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Capture Great Headshots

Capture Great Headshots

The Best Approach for a Photographer, Make it a Portfolio Shoot. Often you hear photographers or models make a comment that they need a great head shot for their portfolios and indeed, the ability to showcase your talent as a photographer of models should include a...

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Triangles of Photography

Triangles of Photography

Great Posing Tip. Often when you hear a photographer talk about a triangle in photography, they are referencing the correlation of exposure, or how the ISO, lens aperture and camera shutter-speed affect one another to create the correct exposure in a photograph....

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Color Perception in Postproduction

Color Perception in Postproduction

Adobe Photoshop Tip for True Color. Adobe Photoshop has come a long way since its exclusive introduction for Apple Macintosh computers by Adobe Systems in 1990.  Its origin actually dates back to 1987 when Thomas Knoll, “a PhD student at the University of Michigan,...

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Shooting Beauty Imagery

Shooting Beauty Imagery

Shooting Beauty Imagery By Professional Photographer Steve Thornton  Most fashion photographers will also shoot beauty. Beauty is usually shot with attractive to stunning female models that have good to great skin, with make-up & hair being...

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20 Inspiring Photography Tips

20 Inspiring Photography Tips

Get Out of That Photographic Rut. There are times when photographers draw blanks when it comes to the productive process of creating a photo, either through the lack of inspiration, passion, or imagination. I like to call it the photographic “rut,” or a state of mind...

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Roela in Molano Photo Shoot

Roela in Molano Photo Shoot

Photography Project Shoot By Professional Photographer Steve Thornton (Click Photos For Lightbox View) Aquabella Farm is one of my favorite locations in all of Italy. Emiliano (my lead assistant in Europe) & I were driving to pick up a rental car as I...

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Million Dollar Photography Question

Million Dollar Photography Question

What Should I Charge? I’m constantly asked by photographers “What should I charge?” This seems like a million-dollar question, especially in today’s economic times where some photographers have reduced prices just to secure paid shoots. The sad part of it all,...

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Typical Photography Questions

Typical Photography Questions

It’s About, The End Result, But Do Your Research First. It’s no secret, I’m often asked a lot about photography, so I decided to write about the big picture photography questions. Like most professionals in any profession, I’m constantly bombarded with repetitive...

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Mirrorless Camera Madness

Mirrorless Camera Madness

The New Paradigm Shift In Photography. Back in April during my Maui photography workshop I did something a photographer should never do, I turned my back to the ocean while I adjusted my portable flash system for one of our photographers. Within seconds, the Pacific...

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It Hasn’t Been Shot!

It Hasn’t Been Shot!

Inspiration, The Key to Photography. All too often I run into photographers, including “myself,” where we feel as though we just can’t come up with a shot when we’re actually in the mood to create photographs. It’s one thing to shoot on assignment, say like sports...

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Capture A Subject’s Style

Capture A Subject’s Style

Your Camera Adapts to Your Subject, Your Subject Doesn’t Adapt to Your Camera. Great photographers are easily recognized by their photographic style, some are even hired based on that style. In my world of photographing women, I’ve been told my style comes from my...

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Artistic Personality of a Photographer

Artistic Personality of a Photographer

The Adulthood of Photography. Style, some photographers have it, others don’t, many people don’t even know what style is and in photography if you ask five professionals, chances are you’ll get five different definitions about the word style itself.  Established...

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Numbers Free Photography

Numbers Free Photography

Ten Finger Normalcy. Whether you believe in numerology or not, the numerical values of life are based on numbers so we can count, label, and measure the reality around us. When you’re born, a doctor inspects your body for five toes on each foot plus checks to see if...

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Blinded by the Light

Blinded by the Light

Sand Between Your Toes, Sunglasses on Your Nose The weather is warm and the sound of the ocean surf relaxes your mind and body, especially with a drink of the margarita you hold in your hands. A swimsuit clad beauty walks by on the beach, so you raise your sunglasses...

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Photography Reflectors, Photography Tips

Sparkling Sun Beats Gold

Sparkling Sun Beats Gold

It’s About Using the Right Tool. While many will describe my photographic style as warm, and some will even state that I often rely on warming gels and white-balance, I for one will tell you I only use these more warming techniques when I practice photographing women...

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Photography Reflectors, Kicker Lighting

Photography Reflectors, Kicker Lighting

An Extra Punch of Light, Without the Harshness. Sometimes photographers like to mix light sources, such as when they have to overpower the sun with flash and take the Sunny 16 Rule into account. This is one instance when a photography reflector can add some...

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Photography Reflectors, Keep It Simple

Photography Reflectors, Keep It Simple

Keeping It Simple. As photographers, there are times where we want to scout a new photography location, but still want to grab some shots, so we travel light, another benefit of the SUNBOUNCE photography reflectors. They’re lightweight, durable, and pack...

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Photography Reflectors, Recreating North Light

Photography Reflectors, Recreating North Light

As Early As The Renaissance Era. I’ve covered many topics when it comes to photography reflectors, but now I’ll focus on the use of a photography reflector to create “north light.” No, you don’t have to point your reflector from a northern angle to your subject to...

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Photography Reflectors, Subtractive Lighting

Photography Reflectors, Subtractive Lighting

The Black Reflector. When most photographers talk or write about photography reflectors, normally all you hear about is white, silver, gold, and sometimes zebra, but rarely do you hear about “black” reflectors. Most photographers usually think about first types of...

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Size and Shape Matter

Size and Shape Matter

A Professional’s Perspective. Whether I’m on a live video broadcast with social media, or at one of my photography workshops, someone usually asks, “How do you know which size reflector you’re going to use?” I usually chuckle at first, as this question can have many...

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Reflector Fabrics

Reflector Fabrics

It’s Not Like Buying Underwear. You’ve heard the old saying, no two things are created equal, well the same holds true for photography reflector fabric screens. Some are cheaply made and then you have the higher-quality controlled SUNBOUNCE fabric screens, which come...

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Reflector Myths

Reflector Myths

Without light we have nothing, with light we can make something out of nothing. There is one piece of equipment every photographer should have in his or her toolbox, a reflector—specifically, fabric type reflectors held by humans or light stands. Don’t confuse these...

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Lighting School Photography Knowledge

Effects of Different Reflectors and Diffusors

Effects of Different Reflectors and Diffusors

The following examples illustrate how the lighting of the subject and the resulting shadow effect can be adjusted using SUNBOUNCE reflectors. Compare the effect of different screens and how lighting and shadow change depending on the reflector’s angle and position....

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Moire Effect in Photography and Videography

Moire Effect in Photography and Videography

Moiré is one of the most common flaws in videography and photography. Wavy lines appear in the image. Moiré is caused e.g. by the interaction of regular patterns or structures in the subject with other regular structures of the camera sensors. The camera sensors (CCD...

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Photography Reflectors and Diffusers

Photography Reflectors and Diffusers

Hoover over photos and click to see large photo in light box. SUNBOUNCE BIG Photography Reflectors SUNBOUNCE PRO Photography Reflectors SUNBOUNCE MINI Photography Reflectors SUNBOUNCE MICRO-MINI Photography Reflectors SUNBOUNCE SUN-STRIP Photography Reflectors...

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Sunset Sunrise Calculator

Sunset Sunrise Calculator

For mobile, Sunset Sunrise Calculator works best in landscape view.  Use the Sunset Sunrise Calculator to plan ahead and capture that blue or golden hour for your outdoor photography. Basically select the appropriate information to calculate the sunrise and sunset....

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“Light is the life-blood of an image.” — Rolando Gómez

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