“Testing” that’s one phrase you hear a lot in the photo world and you’ll hear it from me often. Especially when I get something new or have a new idea I want to try.
Last month I went to a SmugMug workshop and listened to hear photographer Matthew Jordan Smith speak. MJS said, “know your equipment, and know it well, and you learn your gear by doing test.”
Testing/photo projects are one thing I’m always doing test shoots with cameras and lights. test shoots with a softbox, compared to an octobox. A beauty dish, what’s the difference between a white dish and a silver dish? a beauty dish with the sock on or beauty dish with the sock off.
Well, you know what they say, “practice makes perfect” and when I saw this photo of me taken at the Rhoten wedding I thought this would make a great post. Yes! I am rocking the lucky red Chucks at a wedding.
So what is the point of this? and why is it important? When I’m doing test shoots I’m mainly trying different things with my equipment, and I pay my models with lunch and they get free pictures of themselves. But, say for instance when I first got the Elinchrom Ranger Quadra system, not only did it take me almost 30 mins to figure out how to set everything up. Open the octabox setting up pocket wizards and THEN finally figuring out the flash to subject to ambient light ratio. That alone was just 20 mins and if you’re on a job you look like an idiot that doesn’t know what they’re doing. That’s bad!
I have done more test shoot than I can count. When I didn’t have a model, I used my sister.
When I didn’t have my sister, sometimes, I’d use a box
With all this testing I can tell you, the Ranger Quadra system has just enough power to overpower the sun. They don’t have that kinda info in the brochure. so how would you know that?
The AlienBee’s 640ws lights have no problem and when outside shooting the look of the white beauty dish is better than the softbox AND it doesn’t blow away in the wind as easily as the softbox.
While in Costa Rica for the Halunen wedding I was working with out an assistant. thankfully the groom’s dad was there holding the light and battery pack for me. The sun was fast setting and I know I only had a few minutes to get a good couple of shots. I literally had to use the light from my cell phone just to get everything set up. This is were all that testing and reading came into play. One test shot was all I needed to get the light I wanted.
So get out there, do test shoots, grab friends or models and learn your camera and lights and find out what they do in different settings. That will make you a better photographer because from there you can learn all the creative and technical things.
Donte Tidwell Photography is a Los Angeles Photographer.
Donte Tidwell Photography specializes in boudoir, portrait, fashion, and fine-art pictures. To see more work from Photographer Donte Tidwell, check out his website at http://www.dontetidwell.com or visit the facebook http://www.facebook.com/dontetidwellphoto or instagram http://www.instagram.com/dontetidwell. Contact Photographer Donte Tidwell by email at email@example.com