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Good Morning Monday Blog Roll…

April 28, 2008 | • Resources News


Let’s take a look at stuff around the net that you may not have seen yet….

Strobist – USA Today had a great write up about David.

Chase Jarvis – Eloquently sums up his thoughts on light meters that runs right in line with what I preach all the time.

Jessica Claire – JC has been named one of the top 10 wedding photographers in the whole wide world by American Photo magazine. I’m just feeling privileged that I know 6 out of 10 of the photographers listed. Can I get an award for that? Something? Prolly not because some fool out there knows everyone on the list!

Photojojo – Thanks to Photojojo for finding this web site that ages photos.

Shoot! The Blog (photoshelter) – Food and photography? Are you kidding me? I’m there. Check out Slideluck Potshows. Informal gatherings of food and photos. October 25th for Atlanta’s date!

Photoshop Disasters – 20th Century Fox goes crazy with the clone tool.

You Call This Photography? – Linked to this great project.

Zarias – Linked to a bunch of other blogs today. What a moron. :)

Cheers, Zack

TTV Technique – "Through The Viewfinder"

Here is how I shot the images from the previous two posts.  It is a technique called “Through The Viewfinder” or TTV for short.


My friend and fellow shooter, Kevin Abeyta (pictured above), came over the other day and picked up an old camera I had laying around as decoration and asked if I had seen the TTV work people were doing with these old cameras.  I had no idea what he was talking about.  He told me to search for it on Flickr.  That search turned up a ton of hits.

So you take an old twin lens camera that can be found for a few bucks at flea markets, thrift stores, ebay, etc. and shoot the viewfinder of the camera.

TTV by Zack Arias

This would work a lot better if I had a macro lens.  This was shot with my 35mm f2.  Then you can just crop out the rest of the frame….

TTV by Atlanta Headshot Photographer Zack Arias  

This is the set up with the ghetto Lego box put around the camera and lens to cut out light falling in the viewfinder…

TTV photography by Zack Arias - Atlanta editorial photographer 

Like I said, I am late to the game. Check out this Flickr group. There are currently more than 3,000 members who have contributed over 21,000 TTV images into this particular pool.

Check out this variation of TTV.

There you have it. Look for these old camera that have a good amount of mold and fungus and crap in the viewfinder to add texture to the images.

Cheers, Zack

Shoot Through Umbrella vs. Softbox

A great question was raised today on OSP about choosing a modifier. Lauren (Top 100 WPJA photographer! Congrats!) was asking about the difference between brolly box modifiers and softboxes. I thought I would take a minute to show the difference between the two and why one might be chosen over another in certain shooting situations.

I will talk about them with the idea that you would be shooting with one of these modifiers indoors because that is where you really see the difference between modifiers. You can’t feather light off the sky! Also note that my “science” is Myth Busters science. It’s pretty close and has been based on “pretty good” observations from real world shooting. If someone wants to chime in with math equations knock yourself out!

Let’s look at the brolly box first. This type of modifier is basically a shoot through umbrella with a cover on the back to keep light from reflecting out of it.

Brolly box vs. softbox A brolly box or shoot through umbrella produces very soft light and spreads it throughout the environment you are shooting in. They are great for producing soft light on your subjects. They are also a better option for shooting groups of 4 or more people since they deliver light over a lager area. If your shoot through umbrella or brolly box is in between you and your subject you have to watch out for flare coming into your lens. It’s a large bright light source that can shoot right back into your lens.

The next image is a medium sized softbox. About 2×3 feet. It is the discontinued Westcott Apollo RL3.

softbox vs. brolly box

This medium sized softbox is a great modifier for shooting 1 to 2 people. It will cover about 3/4’s of the body and you’ll see a bit of light falling off around the thigh to shin area if you are shooting a full length portrait. Shooting more than 2 people next to each other with this modifier isn’t a good idea. You would have to back it off so far that you lose the quality of light you are looking to achieve by using a softbox in the first place.

A softbox produces a beautiful diffused light but is more directional in nature. It is the modifier I choose if I am wanting to keep light on the subject but control the amount of light falling into the environment I’m shooting in. A softbox is much easier to feather light onto or off of a subject or area of environment.

Remember that the differences between these two modifers does not make one better than the other. They are just different and you use one over the other based on which one is going to modify light for the specific purpose of the photography you are trying to create. If I wanted to add a large soft light on a subject as well as use that light source to fill the room I’m shooting in, I would choose the shoot through / brollly box option. If I need to keep light falling on the subject more than the environment I would choose the softbox. If I am shooting a large group of people and need that light to cover a large area so everyone is evenly lit, I go to the brolly. The softbox above is not the size you need to shoot 4 or more people.

It is very difficult to pick one over the other. If I had to pick just one, I would start with a softbox because they require more of an investment to purchase one. A 60″ shoot through umbrella like the one pictured above can be had for $40 or so bucks so it is easy to add that to your bag of tricks later.

If you have any other questions about these two modifiers, just drop ’em in the comment box!

Cheers, Zack

PS – Should go without saying… Brollys give you round catch lights in the eyes. Softboxes give you square catch lights. Always watch the catch lights in photos and it will give you a hint as to what type of modifier was used.

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