Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Week The Interwebs Were Kind to Ron Warren Photography

Ron Warren Photography is all over the internet this week.
Photo in Photography Bay’s Reader Photos Roundup  (the handsome singer, Todd, in leather vest about mid-page)
Photo in The Detroit News  (the image of Phillip Wm. Fisher from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s annual meeting, mid-page)
And the Mosaic Magazine (online version, image of Dr. Ramelli)  (same image from PDF of print edition — actual mag page 33, number as page 35 for JOOMAG)
Thanks for all the love, Interwebs!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Ron Warren Photography photo used by The Detroit News

The Detroit News used my photo of Phillip Wm. Fisher from last night's DSO mtg.

(this one)

so.... I've got that going for me!

Monday, December 01, 2014

headshot deal! book today. Shoot at your convenience. in se Michigan

Extended: 12/1 Bk a headshot for a Dec appt, 10% off. Rates rise 1/1/15. Book for the new year, 20% off. in se Mich

Friday, November 28, 2014

Small Biz Saturday headshot deal from Ron Warren Photography in Detroit

Remember, tomorrow is Small Business Saturday.  Book a headshot session tomorrow for a December appointment and get 10% off the sit fee of $99.00.  Rates go up Jan. 1, 2015 (backdrop sessions $150.00 / environmental sessions $250.00).  Book tomorrow for a date after Jan. 1, 2015 and enjoy a 20% discount. in Detroit.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Arch bishop by in Detroit

Terrific job on Monday photographing the arch bishop.  It is an honor to be trusted with jobs like this.  In Detroit, for  all  your photo needs,

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Tod Machover, Pulitzer Prize Nominated Composer / Ron Warren Photography in SE Michigan

One of the best things about being a photographer is being (hired to be) in the right place at the right time to meet some very interesting people.  Recently, everything from a notable major general, the conductor of the DSO, doctors, attorneys, radio personalities, to a renowned scholar of theology.  On Wednesday, it was Tod Machover, a Pulitzer Prize nominated composer and an innovator in the application of technology in music. From Wikipedia: "He has composed significant works for Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, Matt Haimovitz, the Ying Quartet, the Boston Pops, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Penn & Teller, and many others, as well as designed and implemented various interactive systems for performance by Peter Gabriel and Prince."

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Ron Warren Photography covers all kinds of events!

Planning a company Christmas party, employee appreciation event, or a dinner for the shareholders?  Let cover the event. We are SE Michigan's event photography experts!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Dr. Ilaria Ramelli

Interesting last minute job yesterday to photograph Dr. Ilaria Ramelli at the Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. Dr. Ramelli is internationally recognised as one of the foremost scholars of classic and early Christian literature and thought. (I'd have to take a loan to buy her books... and then probably take a lot of classes to understand them). Lovely lady who was very patient with my "process".

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Monday, September 29, 2014

Photographing People Outdoors at Sunset with Flash

Shooting a subject outdoors right about sunset?

The light is changing minute by minute.  How do you maintain an appealing balance between the background (ambient) light and the flash on your subject without spending a lot of time playing with settings?

Here's an easy way that will work in most situations.

First, it helps to understand an important part of the process when working with flash photography. And that is: shutter speed will not affect the flash exposure on your subject, only the exposure of the ambient.

How can that possibly be? Everybody knows that a slower shutter speed lets in more light and a faster shutter speed lets in less light.  Right?  Well, yes and no.  Without flash, that statement is true.  A slow shutter speed means the shutter is open longer and lets in more light.  And vice versa. However, when you're subject is lit by flash something curious happens.  The flash duration (the actual time the flash brightens, peaks, and dims to black) is always faster -- significantly faster -- than the shutter speed. The result?  Change the shutter speed (within the parameters of your sync limits [or use HSS]) and, while the ambient exposure will change, the light on your subject appears the same from shot to shot.

So, back to our scenario. It's fifteen minutes to sundown.

One: You compose your shot.  Now, meter (in camera, or with a lightmeter if you chose, but we're talking about speed here) the ambient light. Try to set your initial shutter speed at or near the fastest shutter speed that allows it to sync with the flash (typically 1/250 or 1/200 sec.). Then utilized that meter reading and your own preferences to set aperture and ISO. Take a test shot of the scene, check your histogram or preview, and adjust if necessary.

Two: Set your flash and take a test shot of your subject.  Adjust flash brighter or dimmer (or closer or farther) until you have the correct exposure on your subject.

So, say you now have a lovely balanced exposure at 1/250 sec., f8, ISO 100 and flash at 1/4 power.

You take a few amazing shots.  You're a photo rock star! You take a few more, and whoa.... my background is dimming.  Ok...

Three: take that shutter speed down to 1/200.  Back in business.  Remember, this is now only affecting your background.  The flash exposure on your subject remains the same.  As the ambient light changes you can continue working that shutter speed down -- 1/160, 1/125, 1/100) until you risk subject motion blur.  But then, as you lose nearly all light, you can actually bump that shutter speed down to a crazy 1/15th or even 1/10th (called "dragging the shutter") and you can be back in business for a while.

Note: when dragging the shutter, the ambient light MUST be low enough to not contribute to the subject image. Otherwise you do risk getting some motion blur.

So, in a nutshell, once you have all factors set, all you have to do is periodically lower that shutter speed (a quick flick of the dial in M mode -- you are shooting in M, right?) and your sunset shoot will far less frustrating.

Hope you find the technique useful and happy shooting to you!    ~RW

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Emily & Mark Got Married!

Environmental Headshot

Most of my executive headshot clients request the boring grey or blue backdrop. So I do it. But once in awhile I get to do an "environmental headshot". These often include backgrounds or props related to the client's business. In this case they requested the view out the office/skyrise window. I encourage you to update your headshot and I urge you to consider an environmental shot. serving Oakland County, MI.

Natalie Jenkins/Steampunk Model at Clif Furgison's Studio V

Natalie Jenkins/Steampunk Model at Clif Furgison's Studio V, Sept. 21, 2014

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Another Way to Set White Balance

White balance (WB).

One of those little "get it right in camera" things that separates the novice from the experienced.  And, I know, if you shoot RAW you can adjust it later (use the WB eyedropper to click on something neutral, preferably a grey card in your first frame if available).  But that can be a lot of work later, and, if you happen to have nothing neutral in the frame, can be persnickity, anyway.

I recently stumbled upon a new way to set white balance that I thought I'd share.  Like everything photography, I'm sure some of you already know this one, but I've never heard of anyone talking about it, so.....

If you choose to set your white balance while shooting (highly recommended), there are several ways to go about it.  Some rely on Auto White Balance (AWB).  Fine in a pinch, but often a bit unreliable, especially on a frame to frame basis.  Many cameras will give you presets for Sunlight, Cloudy, Shade, Tungsten light, and one or more fluorescent settings.

There are also usually options for custom white balance as well as setting the temperature by the Kelvin scale.  With custom white balance, you shoot something neutral (white or grey -- preferably a perfect 18% grey -- like a photographic grey card) in the ambient or flash light that will be visible in your upcoming shots.  Then you choose the picture you've just taken as the reference for the camera to set WB.  But what if you left the grey card elsewhere and nothing is neutral?  Or pop an Expodisk over your lens to get your reference.

All good ways that certainly work most of the time.  Kid tested, mother approved.

Lately I've been using the Kelvin scale.  I make an educated guess about the proper temperature to use or set it somewhere around 5000 and take a test shot.  Too warm, I crank it down.  Too cool, crank it up.  Take another test shot.  By this time I'm pretty close.  Rinse, repeat, etc until I've nailed it.

I just found a way to get to the proper number just a little bit quicker if your camera has an option for in-camera RAW processing. First, take a picture in the light you'll be working in, whether that be ambient or with flash, at or near the proper exposure for your scene.  Then, from your menu, find an option for Raw Image Processing -- that's what my Canon 6D calls it. Your last image will pop up -- hit "set". Now Raw editing tools come up.  Use the toggle to work down to the WB option. Scroll through to the Kelvin option and turn that dial until the image looks just right.  Now make a note as to that exact Kelvin number.  Say it's 3600.  

Now back out, go to the regular menu area for setting the WB.  Again select the Kelvin option.  Dial in that number that looked so great a moment ago (in our example 3600).  And voila!  You're ready to shoot until the lighting situation changes.

While this isn't as fast as an Expodisk or grey card, it's a terrific option if those items are unavailable or if they aren't quite getting you to the exact look you prefer (sometimes a TRUE white balancing can be less than appealing if you are in multi-colored lights, say at a concert, or sitting around a campfire, where a certain orange cast is necessary to evoke the correct mood.

I'd be very interested if any else out there is using this technique or if you have another method to set your WB that I didn't mention.

Eager to hear from you!   ~R

Addendum:  Based on discussions with other photographers, some variations came up.  First and foremost, when working in strictly ambient light, you can adjust K live and on the fly by going into livemode.  From there you should be able to access the K adjustment (exactly how/where depends on camera) and dial in a color while watching live how it affects the image.  For straight-up ambient, this is certainly the fastest and truest.

If using flash that overpowers ambient, simply set to the Flash color setting.  However if the flash mixes with ambient, gel the flash to match ambient, usually with 1/4 or 1/2 CTO (color temperature orange gel).  For this method several of the above methods will work, including the onboard RAW processing method.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

doctors, not models

These two lovely humans are a married pair of doctors who came by the ol' studio the other day for headshots for business purposes.  I capture all the beautiful people in my camera.  I'm so lucky!