Register now for Kevin Kubota's Lighting and Workflow Workshop in Long Beach!

with Kevin Kubota
November 3 & 4, 2014 in Long Beach, California
WHAT: Two full days covering studio and outdoor lighting techniques, as well as post-processing workflow training, with Kevin Kubota. Both days will also include live photo demonstrations of all the techniques.
DAY 1: November 3 from 10AM to 4PM
  • Lighting tricks and techniques every photographer needs to know
  • The three essential lighting styles and how to easily create them
  • Setting up your own studio and/or your location studio
FREE CLASS OPEN TO EVERYONE: 5PM to 7PM
Kevin will demo kumu STUDIO, the photography business management software he developed, along with the latest version of the Kubota DASHBOARD Photoshop plug-in.
DAY 2: November 4 from 10AM to 6PM
  • Outdoor lighting techniques: balancing flash and natural light
  • Creating dramatic images in boring locations
  • Pimp your speedlight...get the most from these versatile tools
  • Post-processing workflow with Lightroom and Photoshop
WHERE: Long Beach Marriott - Long Beach, CA
COST: Both Days - $299 | Day 1 - $169 | Day 2 - $189 | Bonus Class - FREE!
Space is limited, so we recommend registering early.

4Sale: Ikelite Nikon D300s underwater housing and strobe

Kit includes: Nikon D300s housing, DS 161 strobe and video light, dome lens port, and strobe extension cable

Kit includes: Nikon D300s housing, DS 161 strobe and video light, dome lens port, and strobe extension cable

Hey underwater photographers or future underwater photographers, I'm parting with my underwater kit for my D300s camera...cause I no longer have the D300s. I've recently upgraded my camera and need to buy a new housing. You could purchase a good used D300s to use with this kit and get pro-quality water world images for cheap! I've used this scuba diving 3 times and for underwater portraiture 2x. It is in great condition, never leaked, good seals, and comes with original manuals and accessories. 

Here's what's included and the current new prices on B&H for reference (not what I'm selling it for)

  • Housing $1500 http://d.pr/18KIy
  • DS161 with battery and charger $1400 http://d.pr/1bs2l
  • Dome lens port for 3"-4" lens (I used with a 12-24mm lens which was perfect) $250  http://d.pr/10Do1
  • 15' extension sync cord for off-camera flash use $100 http://d.pr/12jfK

Total value new is $3250, I'm asking only $1800 or best offer. It's a great deal friends! I'll even throw in a soft-sided Lowepro case for the whole shebang.

Contact me directly via this blog. I can also take paypal.

One of the underwater images taken with this camera setup. Can you imagine how much fun you'll have?!

One of the underwater images taken with this camera setup. Can you imagine how much fun you'll have?!

New product test: the Omega Reflector

I was just on creativeLIVE, this time doing a fun class on DIY photographic lighting gear. We made all kinds of groovy things on the cheap, proving that great lighting doesn't necessarily require expensive gear. One of the techniques I've used in the studio for years, as have many other photographers, is to cut a hole in a large reflector panel, or V-flat, and photograph the subject through it. When you bounce some studio light or sunlight in to the face of the panel, it reflects back on the subject with a soft, wrapping, beauty light. You also get, as a bonus, catchlights in the eyes that look similar to a ring light.

Taking this entire contraption on location, however, is another story. Enter the Omega Reflector, designed by Jerry Ghionis and produced by Wescott. The Omega Reflector is billed as the "world’s first 10-in-1 'shoot through' reflector", and it truly is one of those products where you smack your forehead and go, "Duh! Why didn't anyone do this sooner??" Thank you Jerry.

The Omega is a large rectangular diffuser, with multiple cover surfaces giving you a plethora of reflective options: gold, silver, black, and white are all at your fingertips. The unique feature, however, is the velcro attached window in the middle that you can rip off faster than an Elvis belly dancing costume and photograph right through it. When you use it in this manner, you only need one light source to create beautiful hair light, soft wrapping main light, and twinkling catchlights in the eyes.

I used the Omega during my class on creativeLIVE to demonstrate how it compares to the traditional hole-in-a-foam-core method and the results were beautiful. Even more beautiful, however, is the Omega folds up in a compact package, slides in your camera bag, and goes with you everywhere. 

This past weekend, I was photographing children for a local charity called Sparrow Clubs. I've been working with them for years and they truly are an amazing organization designed to encourage and support kids in helping other kids with medical needs. I photograph with natural light, keeping things as simple as possible to avoid making the children uncomfortable. Usually I use a large reflector, and maybe my large scrim. I brought along the Omega to see how it would work and discovered it not only created the perfect light for children, but gave me a fun "window" to play peek-a-boo through! The kids were fascinated by it and I got some wonderful images. My son came along to assist me and he was able to hold the Omega and simply move with me as I adjusted to my subjects movement.

The Omega seems to be constructed with high quality materials and the flexible wire framing holds well without twisting. Re-folding the reflector to fit back in the bag is a little more complicated than your typical round disc, but after a few tries you get the hang of it. It does take a bit more time to set up when you have to remove the layers of windows from each surface, but I've started to just leave it stored with them off, since I use it that way most often anyway. I can then apply the appropriate window material if and when I need it for a full, traditional reflector. 

If you don't want, or need, to use the Omega in the shoot-through configuration, you can velcro back the windows and you have an extra large diffuser, or multiple reflector surfaces. This truly makes the Omega the most versatile lighting tool I've ever come across. Seriously.

In my brief time with the Omega Reflector, I've realized that it will be my new "desert island lighting tool" – the one thing I would take with me if I could only take one thing. 

The Omega is only available at TheOmegaReflector.com and is currently at introductory pricing of only $99. A great deal. Ωooohhhhmmmmmm

The Omega Reflector works great for close-up images of children. Notice the signature catchlights in the eyes. I used a Nikon D800 with 85mm f1.4 lens at f1.4 and aperture priority. Natural light only. Final image was enhanced with my Lightroom Presets package.

The Omega Reflector works great for close-up images of children. Notice the signature catchlights in the eyes. I used a Nikon D800 with 85mm f1.4 lens at f1.4 and aperture priority. Natural light only. Final image was enhanced with my Lightroom Presets package.