20 Light Graffiti Artists & Photographers | WebUrbanist

20 Fabulous Light Graffiti Artists & Photographers

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Light graffiti is uniquely ephemeral and inextricably intertwined with the art of photography, sometimes even invisible to the naked eye and apparent only when captured on film. It is impermanent and its manifestations range from comical to sublime. The work of these twenty light graffiti artists spans the spectrum from humorously playful to deeply moving with everything in between.

Boston LIGHTSPEED extravaganza!


I’m on my way to Boston in two weeks – register now for these two events:

Make Light Real Workshop with Neil Cowley

Register online for two day intensive lighting workshop Boston May 5-6h

Two day workshop Workshop includes:

LIGHTSPEED Seminar Boston May 8th 

Get a firm handle on your workflow with Neil in Boston May 7th


Facebook | LIGHTSPEED seminar Boston May 7th

Strobist: PocketWizard FlexTT5 and MiniTT1: Full Review

Strobist: PocketWizard FlexTT5 and MiniTT1: Full Review

PocketWizard had been noticeably quiet recently while the flash remote landscape continued to evolve with new technology. But today they re-set the bar in announcing their new flagship models, the Flex and Mini. Slide-n-Shoot Simplicity – PocketWizard Goes Beyond TTL
Professional photographers have depended on PocketWizard radio slaves for reliable triggering of their manual flashes for years.  But, with the onslaught of digital technology, photographers have been seeking a simpler solution for off-camera TTL flash.  The available products and solutions have been good, but not without limitations or complexity.  PocketWizard has made it possible with the Slide-n-Shoot simplicity of the new ControlTL™ system, featuring the MiniTT1™ Transmitter and FlexTT5™ Transceiver for Canon.  These new E-TTL II capable radio slaves make taking off-camera flash photos as effortless as slide-in, turn-on and shoot.  

So that’s the big news for now!


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Carlos Baez “See The Light” DVD

Carlos Baez “See The Light” trailer and purchase page

Just for fun for you to watch – but what I picked up in the trailer, was the speach Carlos uses in the trailer.  Catching it at 1:29 Carlos says enough to show you that it’s NOT ABOUT LIGHTING.  Too bad his DVD title is cliche, seems his approach is genuinely creative.  At 1:35 – that’s powerful relationship Carlos is using to empower his model, and is what really impressed me.  Don’t ever forget that the relationship trumps the lighting and if your subject relationship comes before anything technical you have to do.  I also found a talk-through by Carlos on the livebooks site on lighting topics – so you can get a deeper dose of his work:

liveBooks – See the Light: Fashion, Passion, and Inspiration

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Motivation audio course

Motivation audio course

Understand photographic lighting from a new perspective

A perspective that empowers you to create, understand and succeed

Motivation audio course - Click Image to Close

Listen to the full 1 hour live presentation by Neil of his introductory lecture for the Make Light Real Workshop. The lecture outline will take you on a thought-path that will not teach you the right answers, but the right questions. Listen through a guided meditation by Neil and move yourself into a higher plane of creativity when you put the principles to work.

Thinking outside the Box – Inside the trees

Environment is one of your greatest tools as a photographer….


Without flash, as above – or with flash as below….if you’re mind is on the right frequency, you should be tuned into how to use that environment to your compositional advantage.

 Southern Style Wedding photographer

Flash – or added light – has the opportunity to transform an average shady building – into a night time scene where a fairy is running between the trees….


This is not a complicated setup – the flash is about 10 meters away from the bricks, elevated on stand into the tree leaves. The Nikon sb-something-or-other shoe flash is popping at 1/4 power, I’ve lowered my camera ISO to darken the ambient as much as possible within the shutter range for flash 1/250th of a second.  

Exposure Explained:

  • Ambient exposure is 1/250th a second @ f2.8 - ISO 200
  • Flash altered reality is 11/250th a second @f4 – ISO 100

By dropping my ISO and increasing my aperture, I darkened the overall exposure of the scene by 2 stops.  That is enough to allow the light to make it’s mark – however strong you make the power settings on your flash unit will determine the contrast in the scene.


When you work with your flash off of your camera – the exposure values don’t change as you move closer to the subject or farther away.  Once you’ve freed yourself – take every advantage to work the envionment fully.

Listen to your shadows!

The shadows set the mood of your image.


Aiming your flash unit through the tree leaves gives you interesting and naturalized shadow shapes in your image.  So even though you are using an unnatural light source you have given it natural elements that help with the design and composition of your photo.  Draw your inspiration from these natural elements and build yourself a photo that exceed expectations!

rochester_DWF_08.jpg rochester_DWF_09.jpg 

As you’re listening to your shadows and you want to add that vintage golden distressed look buy and download the Golden Touch Texture Set from the create cart:

Golden Touch Texture Set

How well you listen and blend the natural elements and capture their essence defines your success:

Fall Bride

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Bare Bulb Lighting Technique 101

Soft lighting – it’s not an easy ideal to achieve

Bare Bulb Lighting tutorial 101

Head to toe – full sized window – incandescent lamp – all included in the frame!

Is this a lighting problem that would make your head spin, or cringe away and avoid another approach because you feel you don’t have the gear? Read on, you may be stopping before you start!


How to cross light a mountain: Aoraki Mt. Cook New Zealand

his post is in the Thinking Big series combined with a couple other techniques:

Equals how to cross light a mountain!
Aerial overall view
One of the repetitive questions I get from people are – why such a big flash – and why take it all over with you? I suppose it would be like asking someone who works online the whole time why they use a broadband internet connection (http://www.o2.co.uk/broadband/mobile/), for them the answer is pretty obvious. And it is for me too, it just makes so many more options available.

Quite frankly – this is EXACTLY why!

In my lighting case that I loaded onto the plane in Rochester New York was:

  • 1 Alien Bee 800 Monoblock flash unit
  • 1 Paul C. Buff Vagabond portable power unit and power cord
  • 1 Black Impact Air Cusioned light stand height 230cm (model #SLS-LS8A)
  • 1 Pocketwizard reciever
  • Paul C Buff 11 inch parabolic reflector

Here’s one of the resulting peak moment shots that I try to reach for in my wedding photojournalism. The lighting case was loaded in the helicopter’s coffin gear carrier for the trip up the mountain and across the island. But a large mono-light wasn’t all I had in my arsenal

Of course I want to cover the whole event with variety as well as style so get past the jump and let’s talk details… (more…)

Light Control: turn the sky from white to blue

Before flash:

After Flash:

Free Lightroom Brush Presets by Seim; Brush Preset collection

Free Lightroom Brush Presets by Seim; Brush Preset collection

Did you know that in Lightroom2 You can use a brush to make precise corrections, and even have brush presets ready to go to make those corrections easy.

Well I knew about LR  brushes, but I had not given enough attention to them until Matt Kloskowski posted up some darken brushes, and got my mind in gear on a great workflow asset.

Here’s a collection of brush presets I made for… Burn, Dodge, Color Boost, Color Drain, Skin Soft, and Detail Boost. Remember that these don’t work the same as my Develop presets. These are for “Brush” settings. If you need to learn how to install them take a look at my Installing Lightroom Brush Presets articleThe download is above. Just download unzip and follow the directions.