Night Time Shooting: City Portraits

By Wes Beiko

Recently my work brought me into downtown Calgary to shoot portraits of up and coming musician Kiyo.   After doing a series of day shots with Kiyo,  I was asked to do a night time shoot as well to highlight his roots in Calgary. This posed it's own challenge. I had yet to shoot formal night portraits in near darkness. With there being an almost entire new moon, the natural light was limited. With us beginning our shoot at 9:30PM and going until 11PM this posed the issue of "how do I have enough light on the subject, while maintaining the background exposure?"

A Couple Photos From The Day Shoot

The Solution:

Lights. External Lights. Now shooting downtown is tricky as is, permits are required and doing this as a favour for the artist I decided to go under the radar with minimal gear. No flash. One lens, one camera body and minimal tripod use. So what was my lighting gear of choice? An Amaran Halo ANL-C60 and an Energizer foldable lantern. 


Overall these lights PACK A PUNCH. No I really do mean it. Check these shots out from last night.   (Note the last one with Rembrandt lighting was shot using just the lantern emulating the look of head lights.) In the area overlooking the city, there was no natural light where we were. So the ring light alone was lighting up the subject in the pitch black.  


Now Lets Talk Photography Terms

I first off exposed for the background, having access to liveview helps since metering is useless in these situations. However as a general rule: shooting wide open, at a shutter speed of 1/50, and ISO 1600+ will give you a properly exposed background. From there we can use constant lighting on the subject to get the look we want.

One other option which I have yet to experiment with is to use a long exposure. Then using your on camera lighting, then flashing your subject to the correct exposure. This I'm sure would yield favourable results. My best guess would be shooting at a 5 second shutter speed, ISO 150 and wide open. 

How Much Should Video Production Cost?

In todays topic we discuss how much professional video production should cost. 

First off we must define what is professional video production. Pro video production is a creative or specialist in the area of video whom is crafting some kind of visual for your product or service. This isn't just your uncle who knows his way around a camcorder, this is an individual or team of individuals whom do this for a living and have made this their craft.  

What sets professional video production apart from others or just shooting with a phone? 

The simple answer is QUALITY.  Lets take an example of you going to your favourite restaurant, you order your favourite dish and its incredible! Even if you have all the ingredients and try to make the same meal at home it won't ever taste the same or be of the same quality, the reason? 

It is the craftsman, the chef in this case behind it. With his years of experience, they are skilled at doing things in that one area extremely well. This is the same with video production.  Myself, I have been studying and creating art, using video as my medium for the past 8 years.  When I work on a project for a client, I bring with me the years of experience I have accumulated in video production. This gives things that "film" or "professional look" so many strive to replicate with phones, yet always fall short on. 

As for what you should be charged for video production, well it doesn't cost that much! Check out this video below for what you should be paying for your individual or small business video production project. 

Fitness Shoots: How To Shoot Fitness Photos

By Wes Beiko

Shooting fitness/bodybuilding photos is very similar to shooting with regular models. The main difference being in terms of lighting and using shadows to bring out the definition in a model. For instance with this photo: 

Our model is lit from above using the gym lights only (note the reflection on the weights). Being lit from directly above creates shadows on the body which helps highlight the various muscle groups. Keeping this rule in mind, when shooting in areas without fixed lighting, I would bounce my flash off the ceiling creating the same effect.  

Lastly the number one key to getting your model to look their best is flexing. I left this up to my model Rogan. He would flex for a second or two before I would shoot a burst giving his muscle a moment to "set into place" and not risk any movement. We would see movement if we started shooting as soon as he flexed, this would also create an unnatural look and as if someone was struggling or wincing.  

The final key to shooting physique photos is to pose the model off the centre line from your camera. We want to get a much larger view of the model, having them offset backwards creates the effect of making them look much wider compared to other poses. Note in the above photo how his left (our left) shoulder starts closer to the camera, his right however is farther back. This helps us fill the frame more and gives the perception of depth. 

Vibrancy Parkour

By Wes Beiko

Shooting Parkour

Back in 2016, I had the pleasure of shooting a parkour video of the Vibrancy Parkour Team. 

Here is the final video: 

In terms of shooting this was no easy task. For this shoot I was running a Glidegear DNA 5050 with GH3 shooting 60FPS and a stack of ND filters.  During one of the takes Colin (guy in white shirt) ended up sliding into the camera when filming a rail section. Overall filming parkour is a very challenging thing, especially in regards to keeping yourself out of their direct line while getting the best angles.