Category Archives: lighting

House of glass

A few weeks ago a reader emailed me asking how to photograph jewelry and glassware. She wanted to record them for insurance purposes. Glass is one of the hardest things to photograph. Its shiny surface can pick up every little reflection. To make a proper photo of a glass item you have to take great […]

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Wax on, wax off.

There is a scene in the 1984 movie “The Karate Kid” where Daniel (Ralph Macchio), a bullied young man wanting to learn how to defend himself, is given a seemingly meaningless task given to him by mentor Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) of washing and waxing several cars. Miyagi instructs Daniel on waxing the cars with […]

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In a (fill) flash

From portraits to landscapes the best light to shoot under is usually found early in the morning or late in the afternoon/ early evening hours. The pictures take at those times are much more pleasing due to the low angle of the sun and the warm quality of the light. The midday sun provides lots […]

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Light up the (holiday) night

When I was growing up, my family would have a Christmas tree every year (albeit a fake one), but we never had a tradition of putting up any holiday lights. But secretly I wished we did and always marveled at the homes that had them. To this day, I love looking at the holiday lighting […]

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Stage light

The lighting for plays and concerts isn’t just for illuminating the people on the stage. Good dramatic lighting also helps to create a mood through intensity, color and location. In theater and photography as well, there are gobos (short for something that “goes between” the lights and what they are shined on) that can create […]

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Open (flash) sesame

In The technique of “open flash,” the camera is set up on a tripod, and a lengthy shutter speed is picked. Then a flash, unconnected to the camera, is fired off manually. It’s usually used for night shots or nearly lightless rooms. The advantage is that you can use one flash as if it were several. […]

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Long live the new Grape Bowl

Recently the newly renovated Grape Bowl had an open house of to show off the new football field to the community in Lodi. The improvements include new access ramps to the field, all-weather artificial turf and new energy-efficient lights. It’s the last part that interests me. For years the old depression-era Grape Bowl in Lodi […]

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Despair not?

We used to call Edison High School’s Charles Magnasco Stadium in Stockton “the pit of despair” because its lights were the poorest in the county. It was so dark, that even going back to the days of black and white film, we couldn’t bump up the ISO high enough to get a decent exposure. Using […]

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Don’t be messin’ with my light

Photographers can get a little possessive about light. Sometimes they’ll even use a possessive pronoun (“you’re blocking my light”) to describe it. Be it good light or bad light, whether it’s of their own creation or just light that they discovered on location, many photographers consider it theirs. The light at the Plea For Peace […]

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Light food

If in real estate the three most important things are location, location location, then in food photography the top three things are, lighting, lighting lighting. Recently my family and I had the opportunity to go to two different restaurants for the first time. Both, like many other eateries, had menus with photographs of the dishes […]

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