How To: Avoid Strobe Mistakes, Shoot Portraits with One Flash, Photograph Concerts, and More...

By David Schonauer   Tuesday June 18, 2019

Today we shed some light on strobes.

Among our monthly roundup of photo tutorials from around the internet is a video from photographer Michael Corsentino of Behind the Shutter, who details 10 things he wishes he knew before he started using strobes. Insight number one: The first thing you need to know before using strobes is the nature of light — its quantity, quality, direction and distance.

Another insight from Corsentino is that you don’t need two, three or four strobes to get started. And as luck would have it, we also have a tutorial from photographer Sean Tucker on how to shoot portraits with just one speedlight.

More into action photography? We have a video from photographer Barry Mountford on how to shoot high-speed action pictures with flash and a slow shutter speed.

Beyond lighting, there are lessons on wide-angle lens basics, how to shoot music concerts, landscape composition, and even some more exotic techniques — for instance, how to shoot double exposures with a tilt-shift lens.

1. Ten Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Started Using Strobes

Flat light or directional light? Soft light or hard light? One strobe or two? Or three? Photographer Michael Corsentino of Behind the Shutter runs through the basics of light and shares what he’s learned about using strobes over the years.

2. Shooting Portraits With One Speedlight

As Corsentino notes, you can shoot professional-quality images with a single strobe. This video from photographer Sean Tucker shows how to shoot portraits with a single speedlight.

3. Cinematic Lighting 101 — Understanding Different Light Modifiers

This video from Aputure shows how a number of different light modifiers render your subject. Before you can make creative choices, you have to know what your options are.

4. High-Speed Action Photos with Flash and Slow Shutter

Speaking of creative options: Would you like to capture motion while freezing action at the same time? In this video from Barry Mountford, you’ll find out how to do it.

5. Wide-Angle Lens Basics

Wide-angles lenses can be tricky to use—they can render backgrounds and foregrounds in distorted ways, for instance. This video from Photography Life explains the basics and sets you on a path toward wide-angle enlightenment.

6. Improve Your Landscape Compositions

Once you’ve mastered wide-angle lenses, you can think about how to use them to shoot landscapes. This video from Attilio Ruffo delves into landscape composition. Learn where to direct the viewer’s attention.

7. Bird Photography with a Telephoto Lens

Want to photograph birds? A telephoto lens lets you get spectacular close-ups of our feathered friends. But with a limited field of view provided by the lens, you may have trouble locating your subject. Here photographer Ryan Mense explains a few techniques to finding wildlife with a telephoto.

8. Photographing a Concert

Want to become a concert photographer? This four-minute video from Mango Street runs through the whole process, starting with how secure a pass to the event. You'll also learn how to shoot it and then edit your images.

9. Shooting Double-Exposure Photos with a Tilt-Shift Lens

Maybe it’s time to expand your photographic repertoire. Here, photographer Eric Floberg explains how he creates in-camera double-exposure photos using a tilt-shift lens, a technique he calls his “creative bread and butter.”

10. Expand Your Creativity With These Six Decision

Every photograph starts with some essential choices — from a basic concept to a choice of location to lighting. Here Jay P Morgan of The Slanted Lens explains how to create a good photograph by making six decisions.

At top: From “Ten Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Started Using Strobes,” Michael Corsentino of Behind the Shutter


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