Archive for category Visions and technique

Using backlights in street photography

One of the things a lot of people ask me is “how to get instant WOW effects in street photography”
My first answer is always “there is no this will always work solution”.


You will always have to look for the story, the setting etc. but one of the things that will indeed come close to a certain WOW effect (at least for me) is using backlights. During our trip in New York I shot these shots just before sunset.

Augustus 27 2014 NY  (98 of 222)_DxO

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Tip : using strobes and natural light

The difference between strobes and natural light.


I always tell my students during workshops that when they are shooting with strobes they should always also shoot some images with natural light, this way you can deliver many different looks from the same location to your client.


During the workshops in New York I shot this example which I like to share with you guys.


The first image is without strobes.
To meter this correctly I metered (incident) in front of the models face to get a proper exposure on the face, this meant that the windows would blow out to pure white, in the final tinting I toned down the highlights slightly for a more vintage look.

Workshops 5thfloor NY 29-30 August 2014  (6 of 277)

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Tip about shooting high-contrast on the street

Often photographers will try to find the light behind the photographer to get some light on the subjects. However one of the most interesting things that I love to do is finding that high contrast situation where you are actually shooting straight into the sun.

You can of course use objects to block the sun, or let it just “creep through”. So the next time you’re shooting on the street, don’t be afraid to shoot straight into the sun, or include it in the frame, I think you will be surprised :D


I always love to include people to get some cool silhouette effects.

Augustus 27 2014 NY  (98 of 222)_DxO

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The change that a strobe can make

During the location workshops one of the things I always show is the difference between natural light and strobe.
Normally people think that the natural light shots will be much less interesting than the strobe ones, however the end result mostly surprises people.
in this blog post two examples of natural light shots followed by the strobe ones.


Enka workshops Augustus 20 2014    274

Enka workshops Augustus 20 2014    280

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Adding the sun

Modelphotography on location is always a nice thing to do, you can play not only with styling and posing but also with the available light, and this can give you some amazing shots. One of the things I love to do is find the sun in the frame, adding a little bit of strobe on the model to boost the contrast and let the model stand out and you have a formula for a shot that a lot of people like.


It does help to use a modifier like the Elinchrom maxi light that will give you some extra light output, because winning from the sun…. well that’s rather difficult.
Let me first share a version without the sun.

Enka workshops Augustus 15 2014    94

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Going from ok tot WOW

One of the most important things for me is story telling.
Without a little bit of story telling a shot is not 100% done for me.
Now story telling can be in a good expression, but also in something more extreme.
In yesterdays blogpost I showed a huge change in changing angles, but as you can see the image gets way more interesting when we add a small prop…. in this case an old gas mask, and the pose helps a lot of course.

Enka workshops Augustus 15 2014    144

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Changing your angle can have a huge impact

I tell this many times during the workshops but choosing the right angle is very important.
A lot of people will be familiar by the effect that moving the light source has, however often one forgets that when you move around yourself the effect is actually the “same”. On location this can be an a very powerful tool as you can see in the examples today.


First we see the image shot from the front.

Enka workshops Augustus 15 2014    121

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