Category Archives: How To

Back to Basics: How to Look at the Light

We could talk about many technical things like how to get the right exposure using which metering mode or how interacts the shutter speed with the aperture and ISO etc.  Even if you know perfectly all of these things, you cannot do anything good without understanding the light. Sometimes it’s just good to go back to basics: Light. 

It goes without saying that it can be expressed in every photography field: Landscape, Wedding, Portrait, Macro, Architecture etc.

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Photo credit: Aurelien Bernard. His interview here.

Photographing literally means “engraving with light”. This is the element that can completely transform a photograph. This is what every photographer tries to control, to work with as a raw material, its intangibility and subtlety gives magic or tells a story. Without light: shadow, darkness. No light, no contrast, no color.

How to Shoot Swimwear like Victoria’s Secret’s Russell James – (Part 1: The Look)

What do supermodels Candice Swanepoel, Miranda Kerr, Lily Aldridge, Tyra BanksKarlie Kloss, Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio all have in common, besides sculpted bodies and having won the genetic lottery?

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Left to right: Alessandra Ambrosio, Candice Swanepoel, Behati Prinsloo, and Lily Aldridge.

They all are, and/or were, Victoria’s Secret Angels. What was once a failing lingerie retailer created by a man too embarrassed to shop for his wife, is now a multi-billion dollar market leader in the underwear and swimwear industry. But more than that, Victoria’s Secret brought glamour, fashion, and supermodels to the masses with their glossy catalogues and high-profile runway shows.

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The photo of Tyra Banks that launched Russell James’ career.

Behind VS’s stratospheric success is a less well known but arguably the most productive portrait photographer today. Kind mannered and well spoken, Russell James has worked with the super-est of the supermodels from the last 15 years and yet somehow stayed away from the limelight. It’s hard to separate where Victoria’s Secret end and Russell James begin, but his images has single handedly defined the brand in recent memory.

In this three part series, we dive into the look of his images, his setup and equipment, then we wrap up with our own photo shoots and interpretation.

Continue reading How to Shoot Swimwear like Victoria’s Secret’s Russell James – (Part 1: The Look)

How To Shoot Timelapse Photography – (Part 1: An Intro)

There comes a time when our creativity reaches a plateau. We want to reach a specific goal, we achieve that objective and we are then ready to move on and master something new and move forward.

I spent a lot of time admiring photographers from my hometown of Toronto who had similar interests to gain inspiration. It would force me to learn new techniques and solve problems I was struggling with. I would see photographers I shot with such as Oscar Flores aka @416shots on Instagram post time lapses and I was immediately impressed. I knew it was something I had to try so I began researching the process.

My First Splash in the Timelapse Waters

There seemed like a lot to learn and take in and I am rather impatient so the quickest and easiest way to try filming a time lapse is on my iPhone 6 and that is just what I decided to do.

Continue reading How To Shoot Timelapse Photography – (Part 1: An Intro)

How to Shoot like Annie Leibovitz – (Part 3: The Results)

In Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, we explored how Annie Leibovitz created one of the most iconic fashion photography looks of the recent decades and the few pieces of lighting equipment we needed to emulate her style. It has been an enlightening learning process and we would like to share our final results with you.

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Annie Leibovitz shooting Michael Kors for Vanity Fair. Click for behind the scenes video.

Apologies are in order for the belatedness of this Part 3. As multiple readers have questioned and asked, I kept putting off this article because it was hard to sum up what was a difficult project. It was much more involving than my Terry Richardson series. It was also a lot more expensive. My admiration for Ms. Leibovitz has only increased since we took this journey.

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Annie Leibovitz shooting Kate Upton for Vanity Fair’s 100th anniversary cover. Click for video.

To reiterate, the core of Annie’s genius is her vision and her ability to connect with her models. Her style is painterly, timeless, and haute couture. Her style is an inspiration to us at iLHP and though no one can replicate Annie besides Annie herself, we do hope to share our own interpretation.

Continue reading How to Shoot like Annie Leibovitz – (Part 3: The Results)

How to Shoot Zombies

If there is a zombie apocalypse tomorrow, what would you do? Head to the nearest Costco and barricade yourself? Load up at the Guns & Ammo store? Sail to the nearest deserted island?

What if you did none of those things by becoming a badass zombie photographer, live to tell about it, and have the photos to show for it? At iLHP, we don’t think you should let a little thing like zombie stop you from enjoying your camera.

Speed + Portability = Survivability 

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Medyan Dairieh as a badass wartime photojournalist. Photo from https://www.guernicamag.com/interviews/fisher_03_15_2012/

Shooting zombies is all about shooting on the go. Your subjects are moving, sometimes fast moving depending on how they became zombies or whether they have become militarized. You are trying to capture the Henri Cartier Bresson “moment” while trying to stay one step ahead of a nasty ankle biter. Speed and portability means survivability. This is action photography.

This means, ditch your Manfrotto tripod and your 60″ Photek Softlighter. Lose your roller case and your heavy backpack. I would suggest this 26 pocketed vest with a laptop pocket, packed with fully charged batteries and empty memory cards. You never know when you’ll have a moment to charge those batteries or clear out those mem cards, so better bring extras. Plus, you’ll need a laptop to post process those keepers. I would also bring a sturdy monopod with a spiked foot, for stabilizing shots and for stabbing zombies.

Continue reading How to Shoot Zombies