Not having enough lights can make product photography challenging, to say the least, but the good news is that there are a few ways you can overcome this problem. I recently shot an antique-style image of a saddle where I showed two other ways you can light creatively even if you only have a couple of lights.
Setting up your own photography studio is an exciting step, but there’s often a lot of questions and considerations. How big does the space have to be? What colours should the walls be? What equipment do you need and where do you keep said equipment? You’ll find the answers to all of the most common questions here, along with some of the best advice and tips from our members to help you successfully set up your first home studio.
Like all pro photographers, I’m obsessed with light. But I also love to harness the power of darkness and shadow – especially when I want to create dramatic portraits.
If you’re interested in becoming an architectural or interiors photographer, or you want to take your architectural photography business to the next level, read on.
They’re not perfect, but speedlights (AKA off-camera flash units) can be extremely useful when you’re shooting products.
I photographed these vivid paint splash images for the launch campaign of the Hasselblad H6D, using bright orange paint to match the distinctive orange shutter button on the camera. People always want to know how I did it.
WIRED recently asked Karl for his thoughts on the importance of lighting in photography and filmmaking.
Let’s take a closer look at boudoir photography – exactly what it is (and is not), and how to get it right.
The Light Cone enables anyone to snap professional looking product photos. No skills or expensive kit needed. Perfect for eCommerce or catalog businesses.
I’ve taken plenty of photos in my time, but very few have inspired as much excitement and curiosity as this one. So how did I do it?
Here they are: the best of the best, the cream of the crop – our most popular photography classes. Have you watched them all yet?
Juxtaposition. It sounds clever – and complicated. But what is it? And how can you use juxtaposition to make memorable photographs?
If you’ve ever struggled to position a light correctly, or found your shots ruined by glaring reflections, you need to get to grip with angles – especially if you want to specialize in portrait or product photography.
There’s an almost endless list of camera lenses to choose from when it comes to DSLR and mirrorless cameras, so trying to determine what lens is the best for your photography can get a little overwhelming. To help you make an informed decision, I’ve put together a list of recommended lenses for different types of photography to help you decide what’s best for you.
Want to shoot bottles like a pro?
Many people are familiar with standard modifiers such as softboxes or grids, but I often get a lot of questions about the specialist studio lighting equipment I use in my studio and what lights I use to create certain emotions and effects.
How can you tell if your pictures are any good? The difficulty in finding the answer to this is that you’re often reliant on other people’s feedback, so I found the best way is to work it out for yourself using three very specific criteria and benchmark comparisons.
Meet Ethan Davis, guest instructor for our 3D CGI classes.
When you’re deciding which digital camera to buy, you have a choice to make: full-frame or crop sensor? But what’s the difference? Let’s look at the pros and cons of each.
Whether you’re a keen enthusiast or aspiring pro, you’ve probably shot a few landscape images in your time. Chances are you’ve also made one or two simple mistakes that you’ve regretted later. These 8 tips will help you avoid these common difficulties and improve your landscape photography.
I decided to throw everything I had – including all of my splash photography skills, plus dozens of china teapots and cups – at my own artistic interpretation of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.
Which modifier best suits your photography needs? How can you compare them quickly and easily without spending a fortune? Simple: use our Lighting Comparison Visualiser tool.
From cars to motorcycles, lighting considerations, angles, polarisation, space requirements, assistants and more, I’m going to share my top 10 tips for automotive photography to help you get the best results.
Get to know Blender, the free software of choice for photographers ready to try CGI.
How do the new iFootage Anglerfish LED lights stack up against their broncolor and Aputure rivals?
As it’s becoming easier and easier to be a ‘photographer’, it’s getting harder and harder to make your work stand out. To help you overcome this challenge, I’ve answered some of the most common questions relating to photography portfolios and shared some useful tips to help you decide what to include and what not to include so that you can create an online portfolio that you can be proud of.
Is product photography doomed? Will 3D CGI wipe it off the face of the earth? Never one to shy away from a heated debate, Karl tackles the question all photographers should be asking.
How does the BenQ SW321C monitor stack up against the legendary EIZO CG318? Here’s my honest, no-holds-barred review.
When it comes to using studio flash, one of the things that often causes confusion is flash duration. Flash duration refers to the length of time of the burst of light that comes out of a studio flash. Quite simply, it is the duration for which a studio flash or speedlite emits light for a single burst. This can vary across brands and also types of studio lights, but is always shown as one of two measurements: t0.5 or t0.1.
Check out these four Karl Taylor Education subscribers. They’re trying CGI for the first time – and achieving some pretty incredible results!
Recently I did a live show where I photographed a pair of earphones. The main purpose of the show was to demonstrate how to photograph earphones based on our fourth photography brief assignment, but there was another lesson I wanted members to take from the shoot: that it’s not about the brand or type of lights you use, but more about your knowledge and understanding of light.
If you’re looking to create eye-catching images of mascara or elegant photos of perfumes, keep reading for my top tips for photographing cosmetics and makeup product photography.
Do you consider photography and filmmaking to be unrelated? Are you a photographer who regards the rise of video as a threat to your livelihood? If so, it may be time for a change in perspective.
I’ve tested, rented and owned a lot of different modifiers over the course of my career, but what would be my choice of modifier for beauty, fashion and portrait work if I only had £50 or £100 to spend? Recently I tested a large number of modifiers for a new tool we’re creating, including an independent brand modifier that cost less than £50 ($70). Surprisingly, this modifier gave great results that were comparable to the Octabox 150 and it’s even easier to transport!
What is an NFT? What does the sudden popularity of this new technology mean for photography and photographers? Let’s find out.
Photoshop recently added their Super Resolution feature to Adobe Camera Raw, which allows you to enlarge images by a factor of four. Having tried to enlarge images myself previously, I decided to test this new feature to see the results first-hand.
If you have an understanding of photographic fundamentals such as shutter speed, aperture and how to expose an image, you’ve already got most of what you need to start shooting long exposures. This technique can also be used for much more than just landscape or night photography though, so if you’d like to learn how to master long exposure and take more creative images, keep reading.
Parabolic reflectors are one of my favourite modifiers, but due to the price of them many photographers often try to find more economic solutions compared to some of the top brands. But how do the more budget options actually perform compared to the top brands? I did a direct comparison between two different brands of parabolic modifiers and also tried a hack to try and make a cheap parabolic softbox modifier work more effectively.
There’s a lot you can do with just two studio lights — trust me, I’ve shot everything from bottle product photography to fashion photography using just two lights. I’ve put together two different examples of two-light setups for portrait photography, product photography, and fashion photography and I’m also going to explain how you could use similar setups to these for your own photography.
If you’re looking to practice your product photography, bottles are something you can easily get your hands on if you want to try something new or refine your skills. These reflective subjects can be a challenge to photograph, with their glass surface and reflections, but there are a few key do’s and don’ts that will help you understand how to get professional results
Along with a variety of lenses, spare batteries and lens cleaning cloths, most photographers will also have a selection of filters in their camera bag. But what do lens filters do? What lens filters are essential? And what is the difference between circular and linear polarisers? I answer all of these questions and also address when and why you might need filters and how they can help you get more creative with your photography.
Capturing movement photography can be a time consuming and frustrating process, and freezing that perfect moment often requires split second timing. So how do we capture those decisive moments accurately and precisely? I’m going to share my top tips for photographing motion and explore what wireless flash triggers we can use to get the perfect timing for our shots.
You’ve probably heard about the rule of thirds or golden spiral, but they aren’t necessarily the most effective photography composition rules. I’m going to talk about what I consider to be the MOST important compositional rule in photography and share my top compositional tips.
LED lighting has come a long way in recent years and grown in popularity, so why do most professional photographers, including myself, still prefer studio flash (strobe) lighting? To help you understand the two kinds of lighting systems and, more importantly, which is better I’m going to explain the differences between them, the pros and cons of each, and where each is best applied.
If you truly want to enter the magnified world of macro photography, you’ve probably been told you need a dedicated macro lens. But these specialist lenses can cost a fair bit, and if macro photography is something you do just for the enjoyment, you probably don’t want to be paying hundreds of dollars for a lens you’ll only use occasionally. The good news is that there is a cheaper alternative: extension tubes.
If you’re looking to improve your food photography, you’ve probably seen the same old advice repeated in every article out there. So rather than re-explaining what you should be doing, I’m going to explain what not to do if you want to get more professional results. To help you take better food photographs, I’ve summarised the key points to keep in mind when photographing food so that you can avoid these common problems.
It can be easy, when creating an image, to think “I’ll just fix it in Photoshop afterwards”, but that type of mindset may actually be having a negative impact on your photography. I’m not saying I don’t use or don’t approve of Photoshop. I simply prefer to solve problems throughout the shoot, and there are multiple advantages to this approach.
Black backgrounds can look very effective in photography, and they’re a popular choice for everything from portrait photography to products. Although a plain black background may look easy to achieve, there are actually quite a few things to consider if you want to get the best results, so I’ve put together a guide to help you, including tips for what background to use, what lighting is best, and where to position your subject.
Photography can be an expensive hobby, and the last thing you want is to waste your money on something that’s little more than a marketing gimmick. One of the greatest marketing gimmicks with see at the moment is parabolic softboxes, and in a recent Youtube video I did a side-by-side comparison with a popular portrait lighting modifier — a large octabox — to test the results for myself. Read on to discover…
I’ve been doing professional product photography for around 20 years now, and as an educator I’m familiar with many of the most common mistakes photographers make when photographing products. I’m going to share my top product photography tips to help you avoid these common mistakes and achieve high-end professional results.
Bonfire night, the Fourth of July, New Year’s Eve — there’s always a few nights a year when we have a chance to photograph these impressive pyrotechnic displays. But photographing fireworks can be somewhat tricky. What shutter speed do you use? Where, and how, do you focus in the dark? And what equipment do you need? I answer all of this below, as well as share my top tips to help you learn how to photograph fireworks like a pro.
Shooting professional product photography using speedlites isn’t necessarily the easiest way to go about it but it can be done, as I showed in a recent Youtube video where I photographed a clear glass bottle using just three speedlites.
What many don’t realise is that the benefit of hiring a photographer’s assistant can far outweigh the costs. If you’re serious about improving your work and growing your photography business, hiring an assistant is one of the smartest investments you can make, and I’m going to explain why.
Creating a plain white background for a product shot or e-commerce shoot sounds simple, and when you know how it is! Whether you’re shooting packshot photography for an e-commerce website or are looking to refine your technique for commercial photography projects, I’m going to explain the important considerations and necessary equipment…
Metering refers to the process where the camera evaluates the amount of reflected light in a scene and calculates what it thinks to be the correct exposure. Different camera makes and models have different metering modes, so I’ve explained the most common ones, how they work and when to use them.
Product photography is one of the most lucrative genres of photography, but it often requires a good selection of equipment and a thorough understanding of light. By the end of this article you’ll know exactly what you need to get started as a successful product photographer, what equipment you’ll need, what critical skills will come in handy, and much more.
When you apply the knowledge of light, you can achieve professional photography results with little to no equipment. In this article I explain how I managed to create a close replica of a previous wine bottle studio shot using nothing more than natural light from a window, some diffusion material, a reflector, and two iPhones.
When it comes to image quality, there is a big misconception that if you want better quality, you need more megapixels. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) it isn’t that straightforward. To better understand image quality, considering the number of megapixels alone isn’t enough. You also need to look at the size and type of sensor, understand how images are formed, how light is focused onto the sensor, the impact of lens choice and quality, and consider the pixel size to get the full picture.
I’ve been a photography educator for more than 12 years now, so I’ve seen pretty much everything when it comes to common mistakes relating to first-time studio lighting users. From relying on a light meter to shying away from understanding the physics of light, here are nine mistakes you should try to avoid when using studio flash or strobe lighting.
In this guide to studio lighting you’ll learn the difference between continuous light and flash; different power systems like monobloc lights or power packs; flash power and how to adjust it; how flashes are triggered; and much more.
Car photography is notoriously difficult and often requires some high-level professional equipment. I’ve photographed plenty of motorbikes before, but car photos require much more space and specialist equipment. Because space isn’t an issue in my studio, I’ve been wanting to fit a proper floating panel for car photography for a couple of years now…
Having been in business for nearly 30 years, I’ve learnt is that business is not complicated — running a successful photography business comes down to a few key points that if understood, make working through tough times a lot simpler. I outline my top eight tips for running a photography business here.
For many professional photographers, working to a brief is nothing new. But for those just starting their professional journey, the concept of working to a brief might seem a little overwhelming and intimidating. What is a brief? What should you expect when receiving a brief? How do you plan and do you need to pre-shoot and test? All of these are important considerations…
Environmental portraits are a great way for photographers to make money as they’re often in high demand by many businesses. While that may sound appealing, environmental portraits are not without their challenges. I’ve also put together this guide to outline some of the most common challenges you may face and explain how you can plan for a successful shoot next time you’re commissioned to shoot these artistic portraits.
Low cost monthly subscriptions offer the perfect opportunity to learn new skills, update or create a website or organise your work, without putting too much strain on your finances. Here’s a list of useful software for photographers you may find useful during this time, including photo editing software, website hosts, marketing tools, general admin and others.
I hear a lot of negativity from photographers claiming not to have enough equipment to get good results. This is particularly relevant to product photography, but it is not necessarily true. With the right knowledge, you can get top-end, professional-quality results using just one light. Yes, you might be able to get even better results with two, three, or even four lights, but what you have to understand, and what I repeatedly find myself having to explain, is that it’s not about what equipment you have, but rather how you use that equipment.
When it comes to photography, knowing what you should be doing is great, but knowing what to avoid can be incredibly useful too. To help you quickly improve your photography, I’ve summarised the key points to keep in mind when shooting portraits and explained how to avoid the most common problems.
Abstract images of fruit; colourful collections of books; styled sets of stationery… If you’re looking to get creative with your photography and make the ordinary seem extraordinary, then still life photography is probably for you. One of the best things about still life photography is that you can get creative and test your photography skills using almost anything you have laying around the studio or your house. You also don’t need very much equipment. And if that’s not enough to persuade you, still life images can also be a great way to make money.
In any photography studio — amateur and professional alike — you’ll probably find at least one or two umbrellas. These lightweight and affordable modifiers can be used to achieve a number of different results, which is part of the reason they’re so widely used.
Since we first launched our live talk shows, we’ve had numerous guests join us in the studio. Each of them have been incredibly generous with their knowledge, so we’ve collated some of the best advice from these pros.
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