Digital Still Life Photography: Art, Business, & Style by Steve Sint
Steve Sint started using Dynalite flash equipment over 40 years ago with our original D-Series power packs. When we received his newest book Digital Still Life Photography: Art, Business, & Style, we were interested in seeing what he had to say. Physically the book is thick and comprehensive; his conversational writing style makes each topic covered easily understandable.
Although we appreciated images of his Dynalite equipment sprinkled throughout the book, we applaud Steve that he didn’t push any one perticular brand of lighting equipment but was more interested in creating unique lighting solutions making this book ideal for those looking to learn. He also explained how to build custom studio accessories that repurpose traditional lighting and studio equipment in different ways. Many of them create lighting effects that cannot be duplicated with ready-made products. Not many books show a lot of behind the scenes images letting the reader know in more than words exactly how the image was captured.
Being a professional studio strobe manufacturer, we found his chapter on business great! His breakdown of how many assignment days a year a photographer can work will open many aspiring photographers eyes and his ideas on marketing a photography business should fill them with ideas. Likewise, his point that photographers have to set a salary for themselves when figuring out the cost of doing business was especially important in todays photographic workplace.
This book created quite a stir around Dynalite’s home office. We feel that everyone who reads it, whether an aspiring photographer or an established professional, will find the information on its pages useful, inspiring, and ultimately refreshing to read. Congratulations on another fine book Steve!
Since 2006 Dynalite Inc. has been honored to work with New York Mets official team photographer Marc Levine in taking the team portraits from outfields of Shea Stadium to in the last few years at Citi Field. Portrait sessions are always simple on the surface, but as any photographer can tell you there are many obstacles that need to be addressed and overcome to have a successful image. If you thought shooting a family of four in a studio over the course of an hour is difficult, shooting a major leauge baseball roster in just a few minutes in center field might not be for novice photographer.
With most studio based portraits photographers are offered the luxury that is control of all the lighting and elements indoors, however in grassy outfield of Citi Field, you are subject to unpredictable winds and the sun, which makes you appreciate professional baseball players fielding each time Dynalite lights the team portrait. With Mets official team photographer Marc Levine in charge of posing and capturing the image, it fell to Dynalite to balance out these elements to provide a even and controlled lighting environment.
To accomplish this, Dynalite utilized three of our SP1600 power packs, SH2000 studio heads, along with two Rime Lite 71″ Grand Series and a single 12×71 strip bank. The equipment itself might seem minimal, however the obstacles presented by shooting a professional baseball roster and team officials can be many. And for the past 6 years, our gear has accomplished this difficult feat.
The time of day is always key in outdoor portraiture, especially when utilizing strobes to balance out ambient light with the sun. Although this is an obstacle, it also is a favor as the stadium background in the portrait is purely ambient light, this allows us to concentrate on our subjects and foreground. With this many subjects of varying size, complexion, attire including wearing baseball caps, shadow and light must be balanced on our subjects.
This balance is achieved by equalling the power of the sun in the foreground but not to the point of creating harsh shadows on our subjects. This is achieved by using the Rime Lite Grand 71″ parabolic reflectors which not only distributes soft even lighting including no harsh shadows on the subjects. With the sun behind and overhead, lighting for the players wearing baseball caps requires additional light modification.
To accomplish evenly lit faces of the players and personnel, we utilized the 12×71 strip bank from Rime Lite positioned low and horizontally between the two 71″ Grands. With a lower position and the shape of the bank, this head is directly lighting the subjects, and the Grands filling balancing out the light and shadows on the foreground as well as the subjects.
Each SP1600 power pack has a built-in PocketWizard™ MultiMax receiver enabling wireless syncing to Marc Levine’s camera. Although packed with 1600 watt seconds of power, the SP1600’s were in fact powered down to increase the speed of the flash duration for this image. In the end we were able to shoot at 1/125 ƒ 9.0 at ISO 200 on a Nikon D800.
Below is the finished image provided by Marc Levine that shall be the official 2012 New York Mets team portrait. It is always an honor and a privilege for Dynalite to be part of what has become an annual tradition. Special thanks to Michael Corrado for providing the candid images included in this post.
Jeremy Saffer began making the rounds within the magazine world at the young age of 17, publishing his work on the covers of such varied publications as Metal Maniacs, Hails and Horns, AMP, Outburn and many more. Saffer has blazed his own trail, working with artists, celebrities and models from all across every spectrum. From My Chemical Romance, Jeffree Star, and A Day to Remember, to Megadeth, Alice Cooper, The Misfits, Rob Schneider, and even Gary Busey…all have spent time in front of Jeremy’s watchful eye and steady hand at one point or another.
Recent years have seen a flurry of activity from the Western Mass native. Whether it’s organizing his own seminars and workshops, releasing his acclaimed Bring the Noise collection of band photography, or adding to the ever-growing collection of record and magazine covers featuring his work. The immediate future holds even more possibility for Jeremy, with an imminent and highly anticipated collection of Corpse Painted Nude photography set to turn the rock photography world on its ear, and even more surprises lurking around the corner.
Whether on tour, on location, or around the studio; Dynalite has been my choice of lighting since I first began my career behind a camera. The Jackrabbit kit is the perfect portrait kit; being lightweight, versatile, battery powered and most importantly, rugged.I could be in the dead of winter shooting on a frozen lake, or in the middle of a dessert shooting under a cloudless sky, and the Dynalite kit will never fail to fire, recycle quickly, and provide consistent and perfect lighting, no matter the shooting conditions. Dynalite has proven, time and time again to be the best, never fail lighting, that I can always trust to provide the most consistent and balanced lighting for anything that finds its way in front of my lens. – Jeremy Saffer
About Image Explorations
IE 2012 is growing. We now have 11 instructors and classes. The interest and pre registrations from last years attendees is huge. That’s a pretty darn good testimony of what IE is all about. In addition, we all know that the social activities are equally important. Our party this summer was FIRST class . Pirates of Shawnigan Lake… ok, it was a little over the top as our team (Tomo and Eric) were thinking outside the box.
The REAL reason we gather is our instructor team. IE instructors have one thing in common … a keen desire to share their knowledge and experience. Taking on a 5 day leadership role is not easy… it is a commitment to put aside ego’s and not only give 110% to everyone but create an atmosphere where each and every person attending also gives. This creates a priceless experience. Your registration is not just for your instructor… we all know that the “after hours” time is equally important especially if it is an atmosphere with no egos or baggage.
Selecting a class is a challenge… can I take them all? The strength of IE lies in spending the class time totally focused with one instructor and then relax to a social atmosphere where you share your experiences with others as they do with you. Chat with friends and other instructors… pull up a chair in our pub… “O’Shawnigans” or our “Mac lab” (Tomo, Eric and Darren from Langara College, will set up a lab in the dining hall where you can play and print images until security gives you the boot). In reality… you get 11 instructors for the week if you take advantage of the evening activities.
Registrations are coming in even though we have not published any new material. Don’t hesitate to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have questions. I know the classes VERY well.
Don’t miss the best week of the year… photographers working together in a wonderful atmosphere.
– Don MacGregor M.Photog.Cr.MPA
What Is Image Explorations
Image Explorations is a refreshing approach to personal growth and professional development in the photographic industry. Modeled after the highly successful “Texas School”, Image Explorations gives you the opportunity to glean real life knowledge, tips and ideas from top International photographic instructors. Our venue, Shawnigan Lake school is exceptional. There is no where else to go… EVERYONE hangs together, EVERYONE shop talks around the lake, the firpelace, O’Shanigans etc.
What Does The Week Look Like?
The week is mixed with lectures, demonstrations and sessions with models. Classes start on Sunday afternoon (July 12) and finish on Thursday afternoon (July 16). Students register for one instructor in whose class they will remain for the duration of the school. Classes begin at 8:30 am and continue through the day with some optional evening exercises. Each evening will feature a sponsored all-school social activity and “Marion Hall ” will be the evening gathering place for sharing the day’s experiences and ideas.
Why Are Industry Suppliers / Sponsors Going To Be There?
Although the sponsors will be represented throughout the week, Tuesday’s “Country Store” is their opportunity to get a return on their investment. They will be ready and willing to convince you that their services and products are first class. Suppliers will plan and offer some exclusive “specials” and unique opportunities for IE students only. In addition, the equipment demonstrated by the instructors will be available to you at very special savings.
How Are The Instructors Chosen?
Instructors are chosen very carefully. All instructors have met the 7 following criteria:
1. the instructor has a proven track record as a successful business person
2. the instructor has received first class evaluations from former registrants
3. the instructor has a proven track record of image excellence
4. the instructor is active and on the leading edge of current trends and business practices
5. the instructor has earned degrees and accolades from the professional associations
6. the instructor is dedicated to sharing their experience and knowledge
7. the instructor has agreed to leave any personal agendas or egos at home
Ezequiel De La Rosa was born in Cuba and has lived in New York City for over 20 years. Having lived in Paris and Milan, he has traveled extensively in Europe as well as South America. Collecting a broad range of experience in his travels, the roots of his career in style began as a professional hair and makeup artist working with the illustrious Scavullo, James Moore, Guy Bordain, and Terrance Donovan.
In 1999 having been trained by the finest, De La Rosa started his own venture, picked up a camera and never looked back. Having his finger on the pulse of style has been integral to his success. As a professional photographer his work has been featured in top fashion magazines around the world. Beyond that, his down to earth attitude makes people feel at ease and his ability to interact with a variety of personalities has gained him trust of many celebrities and publicists. Clients appreciate his artistic composition, responsiveness to their special requests and his ability to adapt. His enthusiasm and expertise as well as his traditional photographic technique mixed with state of the art technology keeps his work on the cutting edge.
De La Rosa continues to work as a photographer for major advertising agencies as well as celebrities and editorial magazines. There is no telling how far De La Rosa will go with his venture in photography.
Every year Dynalite has the privilege to assist New York Mets photographers in lighting up the official team portrait. Below are some candid images from the center of Citi Field where the portrait was taken. To light up the New York Mets 2011 roster, Dynalite used Rime Lite Grand Softboxes as well as other light modifiers mounted on our AH400 and SH2000 flash heads which were powered by the SP1600 power packs with built-in PocketWizard™ wireless technology.
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Union, NJ 07083
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