Archive for the Photography Tips Category

Laurie Hood of Alaqua Animal Refuge cuddles with two puppies.

Alaqua Animal Refuge Featured in TV Series on Nat Geo Wild

By Scott Holstein


Alaqua Animal Refuge and its founder, Laurie Hood, will be featured in a new television series on National Geographic’s network, Nat Geo Wild, along with Walton County Sheriff’s Office’s Criminal Investigator Breezy Adkinson. The series, “Animal PD,” premieres on April 14th at 9:00PM. About the photo:Placing the subjects in the shade gave me easier control over the lighting than if they were in direct sunlight. A large octa softbox at camera-right provided a soft boost of light. If no shade is available, sometimes a large softbox can both shade and light the subject. A daub of peanut butter on Laurie’s…
A detective in a fedora lights a cigarette at night in front of glowing street lights in a dramatic portrait.

Hiding the Light Source: Night Detective

By Scott Holstein


I’ve previously written about how to have flashes visible within the frame. In this post, I’ll discuss hiding the light source within the frame. This image was shot in downtown Tallahassee, Florida, using traffic lights and other street lights to form the background. These lights are turned into glowing globes by using a large aperture (f/4.0) and a longer focal length (200mm) while keeping the subject (and focus) close to the camera. The ambient lights dictate my exposure. I used four speedlights to light James, our detective model. The trick to this shot is that his cigarette “lighter,” which is…
Photo of two cave divers floating in a sinkhole, created using a cheap underwater camera housing.

Photography Tips: The Poor Man’s Underwater Camera Housing

By Scott Holstein


The Tallahassee, Florida region lays claim to a unique topographical feature – the Woodville Karst Plain. The karst plain is made of irregular limestone and underground water channels which are tied into the Floridan Aquifer. The Woodville Karst Plain is home to first magnitude springs, sinkholes, and the longest underwater cave system in the United States. As such, the region has great appeal to a courageous and adventurous type of person – the cave diver. An article in Tallahassee magazine was featuring a local couple who cave dives – Aletheia and Andre Lange – whom I was to photograph. While…
Portrait of a man at Harry T’s lighthouse in HarborWalk Village.Portrait of a man at Harry T’s lighthouse in HarborWalk Village overlooking Destin Pass.

Photography Tips & Tricks: What if the Gear Fails Mid-Shoot?

By Scott Holstein


I recently traveled to HarborWalk Village in Destin, Florida to complete a marathon of 10 portraits on location in a day for Emerald Coast magazine’s “Top Singles” feature. Efficiency is the name of the game – with a schedule like that I’m running-and-gunning – setting up and shooting quickly and moving on with very little time to spare. A few shots into the day I had one of those lovely moments that makes me want to pull out my hair: my Canon 1D Mark III stopped responding. The LCD that displays my settings went nuts for a moment and then…
A beautiful woman holding a lantern peers out into a swamp at dusk.

Photography Tips & Tricks: How to Hide Flashes in the Photo

By Scott Holstein


I had this narrative image in my head for some time – a beautiful young woman in a boat, deep in a Florida swamp at dusk. She’s holding a lantern, peering out into the darkness, searching for something. But what? I enlisted McKenzie Burleigh, a model with whom I’ve worked several times in the past, to pose for me as the beauty in a cypress swamp outside of Tallahassee. Accompanying her was Ed Tiley, a local actor, posing as a drunkard with her in the boat. I positioned them in the boat among the trees in the evening and shot…

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