Ever since I became enthralled with photography, I've enjoyed sifting through inspirational images and breaking them down so that I could understand how just the photographer created that specific look.
Earlier this week I ran across a profile image where the subject was wearing sunglasses. The portrait had a strong rim light but there was very little fill light on the face, yet there was a strong reflection that encompassed nearly the entire area of the sunglasses' lens.
Typically speaking, the eye is the most important element in a portrait. However, the prominence of the sunglasses (along with an eye which was deeply shadowed) replaced the importance of the eye in the image. I thought it would be a fun exercise to try and recreate the lighting used for the profile portrait. Note: If I could remember where I saw the image, I would link to it here. Unfortunately, I cannot remember where I found it. Hopefully the image's description and my attempts to recreate it will be sufficiently illustrative.
My approach to dissecting an image usually mirrors the scientific method:
Ask a question.
Do background research.
Construct a hypothesis.
Test with an experiment.
Does the procedure work?
In other words, "Wonder, think, test, repeat as necessary."
I thought I had a good guess as to how the image was lit, but upon testing my hypothesis, I realized I was very likely incorrect. After quickly going back to the drawing board, I came up with a result that achieved exactly the look I was going for:
Notice how there is a huge reflection in the sunglasses yet there is very little fill on the face. That's precisely what I was attempting to duplicate.
However, after it was all said and done I wasn't entirely happy with the image. For my next attempt I used a looser framing, a different pair of sunglasses and a sweater to remove the emphasis from my Adam's apple. Although all the lighting tools were the same, the positions of the light modifiers were not identical (although they were very close), different camera settings were used and (as is likely obvious) the images were also post-processed in slightly different ways. The second image also has more fill light than what I was originally going for, but I liked the result anyway.
So here's the challenge:
Analyze the image atop this post and try to figure out exactly how it was lit.
Try to recreate the lighting in the image as closely as possible.
Share your image, gear and camera settings and describe how it was lit.
It wasn't a complicated setup, but if I had not tried it myself, I would not have arrived at the same conclusion. If you prefer not to try to recreate the image yourself, you're more than welcomed to simply guess the lighting setup in the comments below. Otherwise, let's hear your guess and see your tested example image. I'll update the post Monday to reveal the answer.
Update: It looks like I forgot to update this on Monday, but... better late than never! The setup was as follows:
(1) Canon 580EX diffused by a 16x16" foldable softbox behind me
(1) 20x30" white foam core board handheld in front of my face and angled to catch the light from the softbox
With the softbox positioned behind me (camera left), it produced a clearly defined rim light without wrapping around my face with its relatively high output. The white reflective board positioned just out of the frame produced a large reflection in the sunglasses while also creating a small amount of fill light on the front of my face.
I liked seeing the guesses and attempts. I hope the exercise proved beneficial.
In it, you'll get a behind-the-scenes look at Bryan's product photography setup, details on the gear he utilizes to create the classic, white background product imagery found throughout the site and a few tips for creating your own product images.
TOKYO, January 12, 2017—Canon Inc. again ranked first among Japanese companies and third overall for the number of U.S. patents awarded in 2016, according to the latest ranking of preliminary patent results issued by IFI CLAIMS Patent Services.
Canon actively promotes the globalization of its business and places great value on obtaining patents overseas, carefully adhering to a patent-filing strategy that pursues patents in essential countries and regions while taking into consideration the business strategies and technology and product trends unique to each location. Among these, the United States, with its many high-tech companies and large market scale, represents a particularly important region in terms of business expansion and technology alliances.
Canon U.S. patent rankings among Japanese companies 2005–2016
No. of patents
* Number in parenthesis represents Canon's ranking among all companies
Note: Number of patents for 2016 based on preliminary figures released by IFI CLAIMS Patent Services. Figures for 2005 to 2015 are based on information issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Canon prizes its corporate DNA of placing a high priority on technology. And with regard to research and development results, the Company actively promotes the acquisition of patent rights in accordance with the management direction of the Canon Group and technology trends while conducting thorough pre-application searches to raise the quality of applications. Through close cooperation between Canon's technology and intellectual property divisions, the Company aims to improve its technological capabilities while further enhancing its intellectual property rights.
During the dark winter months in Finland, one man fills the night with light. Hannu Huhtamo is a light painter. The artist takes long exposure photographs and uses flashlights and other simple tools to transform dark and sometimes forgotten places into magical new worlds—no Photoshop required.
Canon has released a new update to its popular Digital Photo Professional 4 (DPP4) software. Version 4.5.20 adds support for older cameras including EOS-1Ds Mark II, EOS-1D Mark II N, EOS-1D Mark II, EOS 5D, EOS 40D, EOS 30D, EOS 20Da, EOS 20D, EOS 400D DIGITAL (EOS Kiss Digital X / EOS DIGITAL REBEL XTi), EOS 350D DIGITAL (EOS Kiss Digital N / EOS DIGITAL REBEL XT), PowerShot G15, PowerShot S110, PowerShot S100, and PowerShot S100V along with support for the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM lens
Since its launch in 2014, Digital Photo Professional 4 has grown to support over 50 DSLR and PowerShot cameras. As well as supporting all the current professional full-frame DSLRs in the Canon range, this latest update now supports a wider range of older models and addresses a few other issues such as:
Improved accuracy of the lens data of Digital Lens Optimizer for EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro, EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM lenses.
Fixed the problem where it takes time to display a preview image on the high resolution display.
Fixed the phenomenon on the Mac OS in which RAW images imported via remote shooting are not displayed for preview in some cases.
Commenting on this latest DPP4 update, Mike Burnhill, Canon Europe’s Professional Imaging Technical Support Programme manager, told CPN: “DPP continues to prove itself as a popular workflow tool for those photographers dedicated to maintaining an all-Canon workflow from capture to print. Canon developed DPP to work seamlessly with Canon cameras and we are delighted more and more users are discovering its workflow benefits. We have been listening to customers and expanding support for new and existing models within DPP.”
The word was that the M5 would have identical image quality to the Canon EOS 80D. Looking at the EOS M5 vs. 80D comparison, I see some slight differences. When I first loaded and compared the M5 results, I thought that I miss-focused the lens. Five tests later, I concluded that the M5 was turning in very slightly softer results than the 80D. However, it is likely the RAW processing is what is different. In DPP's Quick Check window, the M5 results are slightly sharper than the 80D results. In DPP's Edit window and in the processed TIFF files, it is the 80D that appears sharper.