Rising Light: Yael Pachino and the Art of Food Portraiture

Written by Jens-Linus Lundgren-Widén on . Posted in Rising light

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© Yael Pachino

© Yael Pachino

Rising Light is an article series highlighting promising photography students from all over the world. This month we introduce Yael Pachino, at Hallmark Institute of Photography, Massachusetts, and her mouth-watering photography.

Baltimore native Yael Pachino is big on food. Not eating food per se, though she does admit to it, but photographing food. And she’s good at it. Very good.

Yael is currently a student at the Hallmark Institute of Photography in Turners Falls, Massachusetts. She fell in love with Hallmark after spending a day touring the facilities. In particular she was impressed with the number of portrait and still-life studios the school maintained along with an incredibly well supplied set of cameras, lenses, and lighting that was hers to utilize. Add to that an amazing faculty to get encouraged from while learning how to capture pictures of food that make you want to eat the page.

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Think outside the softbox

Written by Jens-Linus Lundgren-Widén on . Posted in Fashion photography, Lighting tips, Off-camera flash, RFi, The light shaper

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The fact that the softbox is such a common tool doesn’t mean you can’t be creative with it. To prove this we asked Andrea Belluso to do four different fashion setups using nothing but softboxes.

We all know the softbox. When it comes to Light Shaping Tools, it might very well be the most popular and most widely used. But the fact that we see it and use it so often can sometimes make us forget what a versatile and creative tool the softbox actually is.

First of all, there are many different sizes and shapes of softboxes to choose from. Secondly, you can position and direct the softbox in many different ways, which will create very different lighting effects. Put it to the side of your model. Put it above. Direct it straight at your model or feather it and use the fall off. Almost anything is possible with a softbox.

To prove this we asked light shaping guru Andrea Belluso to do four different fashion setups using only softboxes in an out of the box kind of way.

Never one to back down from a challenge, Andrea came up with four unique solutions. He tethered up with his Phase One XF and TetherPro USB 3.0 SuperSpeed and set to work. He used the softbox as side light, he used the softbox as top light, he used it to create a hard light, and he used it as back light to create an even softer light.

How did he do it? Keep reading and we’ll go through each setup one at a time.

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What’s the difference between using a green gel and no gel?

Written by Jared Platt on . Posted in Off-camera flash, On location

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© Jared Platt

© Jared Platt

What’s the Difference? is a series of lighting tutorials. Each article responds to a single question. In this post, Jared Platt explains the difference between using a green gel and no gel.

In my last post, I detailed the process of using color correction gels to match the colors of various light sources. It that case, we matched the flash (which is a slightly blue light) to overcast daylight (which is much more blue). Then we went the opposite direction and intensified the blue in the sky, by using a warm gel on the flash. If you haven’t read it, take a look, it is worth the read.  Throughout the shoot, we nailed four variations that were are great, so the selection between them would be based on individual preference.

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What’s the difference between a white and a silver beauty dish?

Written by Jared Platt on . Posted in Off-camera flash, On location, Portrait photography

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© Jared Platt

© Jared Platt

What’s the Difference? is a series of lighting tutorials. Each articleresponds to a single question. In this post, Jared Platt explains the difference between a white and a silver beauty dish.

In my last post, I showed you the difference between a bare head flash and a white beauty dish. A beauty dish creates a directional, but soft light by increasing the relative size of the light and by blocking the original light source and forcing the light to spread evenly around the entire modifier. You probably already know that the relative size of your light determines how soft the light will be, but there are other factors that change the quality of that light. One of those additional factors is the surface of the light modifier itself.

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What’s the difference between using a CTO gel and no gel at sunset?

Written by Jared Platt on . Posted in Off-camera flash, On location, Wedding photography

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© Jared Platt

© Jared Platt

What’s the Difference? is a series of lighting tutorials. Each article responds to a single question. In this post, Jared Platt explains the difference between using a CTO gel and no gel.

In the past few blog posts, I have been detailing various scenarios where I use a gel to color the light coming from my flash to match the ambient light, or to contrast against it with an opposite color gel. In the first post, we dealt with a cloudy, rainy, cold day where the sun’d ambient light was very blue because it was blocked by the clouds. In that case, the ambient light was at approximately 6500 kelvins, which is very blue in color. In our second challenge, we photographed indoors and battled it out with a 1960s army of 5000 kelvin florescent lights in an AmTrack train car. But in today’s example, we will race the sun for a portrait with an ambient light temperature of close to 1800 kelvins.

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