Entries in white background (18)
For a very simple piece of photography gear, a monopod is very useful in many different ways. Traditionally, a monopod is used by sports and wildlife photographers who shoot with large, heavy telephoto lenses. Using a monopod with such a setup it suddenly becomes weightless, something you can balance in place with one finger. If you are shooting with a lens that has a lens collar (see above photo, which allows one to attach the monopod to the lens not the camera body) then using a monopod is highly recommended for prolonged shooting. If your lens does not have a lens collar available, but the weight of holding even a non-f/2.8 telephoto lens or sub-500mm lens is taxing, then a monopod will help with that also.
Other ways you can make use of a monopod even without a telephoto lens? You can shoot from a very high perspective by elevating the camera way up in the air holding the monopod at its bottom most point. You can see photographers trying to get shots of someone surrounded by a group of people using this technique.
Also, if you are shooting in a low light situation, but there is not space for the large footprint of a tripod, then a monopod will add a lot of stability helping reduce camera shake, especially in the vertical axis.
How do you use your monopod?
I met Eric this afternoon in St. Petersburg Florida to make a few different style of headshots for him to help him promote the publication of his first book! I used my usual strobist setup of two speedlights and brolly & shoot through umbrella light modifiers. I did not intend with the above headshot to have the background be all black, meaning I did not use the fastest shutter speed and try to control light spill as much as possible to create it while shooting. Instead I added it using a black & white conversion filter in Color Efex Pro. Personally, I really like headshots and portraits where the light only reveals some of the subject, making it look like the subject is emerging from the background.
Eric wanted an approximate three-quarters view headshot on a white background. I had my neutral gray collapsible background setup with a white sheet over it. The white sheet does not produce a pure white background, Photoshop editing is still required, but it does make cutting the subject out much easier. For this shot I used more of a backlit setup with the secondary light well behind Eric.
There was a little bit of a twist to this business headshot shoot in downtown St. Petersburg Florida yesterday. The client wanted new images for marketing materials, including an updated group shot of the staff. The only problem is the staff is spread out over the country and cannot easily get together for another group shot. So I made the above standing headshot on a white background so that their graphic designer could more easily insert Colby into the existing shot. The edit you see above is just my own version of it on a digital white background.
Likewise for the more standard square headshot above, they already had a specific background color for all the other staff, so I again photographed Colby on a white background so that he could easily be digitally removed onto the existing background the client had for the rest of the staff. Colby was a great model and basically I got every shot on the first take.
Going through my unedited car photography archives, I found this straight on view of a yellow Ferrari 458 Spider. It was originally photographed at the Grand Prix Gala inside a office building's lobby (see below). The background was of course busy and full of people. To put the focus on the car itself I decided to cut it out of its original background and place it on a digital white background. Below is the digital photo editing process for making the final image.
I cropped the Ferrari above its bumper to give it a kind of peaking up at the viewer look.
This morning I drove over to Belleair Bluffs (surprisingly little traffic) to photograph two chefs. Networking friend Allen who works in marketing referred this job to me, thank you! (if you need marketing, see his site) The chefs needed updated headshot style photos for new marketing materials, including a billboard! So if you are driving around Belleair Bluffs keep a lookout for these images!
I photographed them inside the restaurant itself, but all that was desired by the client was a final image on a clear background. To make it easy to cut them out of the shot I setup a white background. The white background in these images here was added in Photoshop. The client though can add any color or type of background as needed.
I have photographed with clients with glasses before, and have had some challenge getting know glare or reflection showing up. This time the challenge was a bit more than usual. I think I learned a tip for eliminating glare/reflection in glasses, have the subject look down slightly. That was how I was able to make the above photo of Chef Erwin with signature glasses on.
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