Photo Notes

December 30, 2009

I Finished the Book!

Filed under: Lighting Technique,My Books!,Photography Communication — John Siskin @ 4:05 pm

So I wanted to check on with this blog, just in case anyone is paying any attention. I got a book deal on Dec. 10, and the publisher, Amherst Media, wanted a completed manuscript by Dec.31. I finished on Dec. 28, So you may be able to guess what I have been doing for the last couple of weeks. What I’m going to do this week is attach a bunch of images from the book. They are connected to larger versions at my site, and these images also have the captions from the book. Frankly, it’s going to take a couple of days to get backup to normal speed. Please consider my classes, the links are just below. I hope you’ll take one! The book will be published in the fall. There isn’t a title yet, but there are 31,000 words and a couple of hundred photographs!

Thanks!
John Siskin

My Classes
An Introduction to Photographic Lighting

Portrait Lighting on Location and in the Studio

Business to Business: Commercial Photography

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December 4, 2009

Projector Blues

Filed under: Film Technique,Lighting Technique — John Siskin @ 10:38 pm

Blue LightYears ago I went to a lecture about lighting, I think it was put on by Kodak. The photographer had these awesome little lights, hot lights, with built in baffles that allowed his to precisely control where the light went. Similar to working with barn doors, but with a harder edge, and more control. The lights had lenses so your edges could be harder or softer. I thought these lights had to be the best thing ever for tabletop work. The only problem was that I didn’t own them.

I had already seen work by Moses Sparks that used a slide projector to project images on top of the human body. You’ll understand that this was in the dark ages before Photoshop. So it suddenly occurred to me that I could get the precise lighting that I wanted with the slide projector. You can see an article about doing this kind of work, with film, at this link.

When I first started working with digital cameras one of the hardest things to give up was the creativity the slide projectors gave me. Because I could control the placement of the light, project color and images, and control the brightness of the light, the projectors were awesome tools. Digital cameras, the several I have owned anyway, can’t keep the shutter open for ten minutes, while you turn on and off timers.Red Light

Recently, I got an upgrade firmware package for my camera that improved the way it works with long exposures. While it is not a ten-minute exposure I can now do a shot at one second, before I had noise problems with anything longer than 1/20th of a second. So I can now use the projector to add special lighting effects to portraits and other shots. Really a great thing!White Light

Please check out my classes

An Introduction to Photographic Lighting

Portrait Lighting on Location and in the Studio

Business to Business: Commercial Photography

Thanks, John

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