Shooting Morgan


Lately I’ve been creating artificial window light in tight quarters. I really like how whimsical you can make these scenes with just two lights (the window light and the key light). I stuck a Bowens monolight with a 3 foot octabox right up against the window glass on the outside of the house. My key light was another Bowens monolight mounted with a reflector, grid, and barn door, with these light modifiers I was able to control the light in the small room for my moody mood. I decided to shoot this with my new Olympus OMD E-M5 camera. Yes the Olympus sensor gives a different flavor than my Canon stuff, not better not worse just different.

Shooting Lauren in the sewer

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I had the opportunity to shoot Lauren in the bowels of a sewer. Well not a real sewer but rather in a halloween haunted house. The problem of shooting in these haunts are the VERY tight spaces and the lack of ambient light. I wanted to pack light not my usual armada of strobes. I brought just one Bowens moonlight on a C-stand and a couple speed lights. But really my method to the madness was using grids and a barn door to control the scene. From the setup shots above the light on Lauren is a single moonlight with a grid and barn door. The monolight with grid was already tight but adding the barn door gives the flexibility to further dial it in on either or all sides. The background was lit by gelling two speed lights and raking the back wall to my liking. Oh the light on the C-stand is a flashlight for auto focus assist, a must especially in a haunted house.

Thanks Ben Z Mund for your assistance.

Modify the Modifier


My favorite two light modifiers are the 1’x 3’ softbox and the beauty dish. I wanted to combine my favorite attributes of each of those modifiers into a single modifier. The result is a softbox with a built-in reflector and no internal baffle and no front diffusion on the face of the softbox. I liked the coverage of the new modifier and the punchy-ness/contrast caused by the silver reflective material inside the bare softbox. The softbox has a recessed front so I can install a softgrid to limit the spread of light if I choose. Overall I’m happy with the quality of the light output and the control it gives me, I shall be experimenting with this puppy in my portraits in the near future.

Shooting in the Scamp

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Photographers know what happens when you get a subject close to a lot of light shining from behind the subject. Things can get unpredictable though when you add other elements, in this case cellophane and glass AND get into close quarters. Friends and I got together again this weekend for a BBQ and phoot shoot, two of my favorite summer events all in one. Ben M. has a Scamp trailer thingy and people were shooting from inside the Scamp but I wanted to do something different. I decided to shoot the model from outside-looking-in perspective and decided to try to blow out the interior of the Scamp. The setup shots above tell the story of my build up before putting the model into place. I really didn’t expect the cool textures on the model’s skin from the Scamp’s glass window. Who knows if the cellophane made any effect with that much light bouncing around in a tight place. In the end I liked the look I saw in-camera and shot a few poses I directed through the glass window.

Thanks Jesse B. and Ben M. for the styling, Thanks Randy K. for the use of your speedlight.


Heather's basement shoot


I got to shoot in a friend’s home basement studio recently and man I wish I had a room to convert into a shooting space. The walls were painted a dark grey and I really didn’t have any issues with controlling light for what I was doing. I was surprised how easy it was to gel the wall with color, more so than paper. My favorite part was having furniture to lay and sit in for both the model and myself, it made for a laid back shoot. I tested my new light modifier, a 22 inch silver reflective beauty dish mounted on a Bowens 500ws monolight. My other beauty dish I use is a Bowens dish and is much smaller at 15 inches. I found the extra coverage helped lighting hair a bit better (comparing the two modifiers but I’ll need to test that observation again). Thanks Heather for modeling and Amber for great styling and makeup.

TwitPhoto Guest Quest Finalist!

I search out inspiring creativity on the internet and have discovered that I really enjoy reading photographer’s blogs. One of my favorite photographer’s blog is from Catherine Hall ( Catherine is also a co-host on her tuesday show on ( I’ve found inspiration and direction from Catherine and her many photographer guests who have been interviewed over the past year. Over the last year I have been working on my portfolio, trying to add something great and removing the crap. A great opportunity came up for emerging professional photographers to enter’s Photo Guest Quest portfolio contest. I was excited to submit my work because the judges were artists I respect in the field of photography, they included Zack Arias, Colby Brown, Frank Doorhof, Tamara Lackey, and Art Wolfe. Out of hundreds of entries only one was going to win the whole tamale. I didn’t win the contest but I did place as a finalist. You can read more about it here:

I encourage photographers to have their own work critiqued by artists higher up on the food chain and enter contests to see if you are on track with your vision.