Monday, January 31, 2011

Creative Commons Cat

1: Mona

Creative-Commons licensed for all your cute-kitty needs :)

She really is an angel, and your likely to see more of her in the future.
If you use it, I'd love to hear about it!
Please provide attribution by name (Boaz Arad), and a link back here wherever possible.

Lighting info:
Key: SB-26 at 1/4 power, fired through a white umbrella - camera right.
Fill: Bare SB-25 at 1/4 power, aimed at the background and partially bounced off a wall - camera left.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Water Wonderland

Water Wonderland

One of the great features of the iPhone's camera, is that you can easily lay it flush with any glass surface. While doing so, most standard bumpers will protect your lens from scratches while still giving you a good light-seal.

To get this same shot with my SLR, I'd have to rig up a complicated array of black cloth to avoid reflections, and even the, I'd still have to deal with dirty glass. With my iPhone - all I needed to do was find a tiny piece of clean glass. I hope you like the result.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Israel's Speedskating team

Speedskating is a small but growing sport in Israel. This April, the country will be holding it's first ever speedskating half marathon, as part of the Tel-Aviv marathon events. Since the event is an Israeli first, the organizers had trouble finding appropriate images to advertise it. As a member of the Israeli speedskating team, I was glad to help.

First off, I set up a simple cross-lighting setup for a few "safe" shots, and the obligatory group shot. Two naked speedlights (SB-25, SB-26) on both sides of the skating path aimed straight at the group. The flashes were set to full power (in order to overpower the sun) and triggered by a pair of poverty wizards. For this shot, I asked the our video guy to click the shutter release, so we could get the whole team in the shot (myself included).

Next up, without changing the lighting, I asked the team members to skate down the path, and shot them as they passed through the speedlights.

Once I had a few "safe" shots on my hands, it was time for something a little more exciting. Speedskaters always look their best while taking turns. I set up two speedlights at knee hight, directly in front of the corner, facing the sun. Setting them on full power, and a narrow beam, I got just enough light to match the strong back-light of the noon sun.

After having some fun on one corner of the track, I moved the lighting setup to a shadier corner, in hopes of increasing the contrast between the skaters and the background

Lastly, in order to get that "Nike commercial"-esque look, some post-processing was necessary. After some color and contrast adjustments, I duplicated the each image as a new layer, applied a very strong unsharp mask plugin, and set the new layers mode as "overlay". Lastly, I set the opacity of the overlay to about 30%, you can see the diferent stages of the process here:

(click to enlarge)

I'll admit it's a bit of an over-photoshopped look for my own taste, but I decided to go for it anyhow, since it really works for these shots, and fits the style of advertisement the marathon organizers are likely to use.