Go soak your gear!

It pays to review your web traffic periodically because I just learned a way that your bathtub can be used for photography!  Not only is it a good place to mellow out after a stressful shoot, but it also makes a heckuva softbox!  I was on a forum that had referenced the blog and a guy had some product that he placed in his tub.  I thought it was an interesting idea, and decided to give it a try.  As it turns out, the tub is a great place to put your gear!  Granted, not to soak it (sorry, but I had to tease the title that way), but to act as a great background and softbox combined in one.

Here’s a few sample shots.  For all the tech-types, these are pretty much straight out of camera (or sooc) – all I did was adjust the WB for Flash and adjust the ACR sharpening from 25 to 75.  All are resized to 650px wide for the blog.  Here’s the setup:  I took the Canon kit lens (18-55) on my 40D, threw on the 550EX, and set everything to default values.  Shutter at standard sync speed of 250, aperture at f8 and ISO at 100.  I powered the 550EX at it’s standard setting, on camera (relax strobists – I can hear you shuddering from here),  and started firing a few shots.  I pointed the flash to camera right and got this:

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Yup, that’s a God-awful shot, with a nasty shadow.  Perhaps I could ditch the shadow.  Since we’re not exactly using conventional wisdom here, let’s try it with the flash pointed straight at the subject:

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Hey!  That’s actually not too bad.  It’s not that great, and still definitely a “Meh” kind of shot as it’s still got something of a shadow.  So, I spun the flash to fire above me and bounce off the ceiling:

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Voila!  You know what?  For being a spur of the moment thing, and without a lot of pre-planning or preparation, that’s not bad at all.  And, it was shot in a bathtub!  Anyone else out there have a bathtub?  Try some shots in it for different items.  I used a tape measure, but what about a pen, or a microphone, or a printer, or even a lens?  I bet you could get some pretty cool results with very little setup!  Anyone else have some odd or unusual ways to get clean backgrounds and even lighting on the cheap?  Feel free to share your thoughts, ideas, and feedback in the comments.  Feel free to link your own efforts there too!  Happy shooting all and we’ll see you back here again tomorrow!

Learning the Basics of Photography

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I’ve been working on a new curriculum and have the first of several eBooks available for download!  I’d like to hear feedback from you before putting all of these together into a course, so am offering them for only $5!

Once you download it, give the 15 page PDF a read through, and let me know what you think!  You are the best judge of quality, and I want to know what you think before taking on the next bunch in the series!  Thanks in advance for your interest, and I can’t wait to hear what everyone has to say!

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Not interested?  Already got the basics down?  That’s okay too, but my guess is you know someone who could benefit, so in the event you decide this eBook isn’t for you, spread the word and share on Twitter or Facebook!  Thanks as always, and keep on shooting!

Creating a Black Background Through Flash

Final Mariachi Man

That’s right – you will be learning today how to create a black background by using your flash.  It kind of sounds counter-intuitive, but it really works!  Trust me!  So, here’s what happens…you take a picture of some knick-knack or other object, or even a person and that background it just…bleh!  Take a look: Read more