Category Archives: Lighting

Midnight at the Oasis

Photo © Bob Krist

We spent some time in Luxor, Egypt, seeing the great sites there, but then headed way out into the Sahara to a crossroads called Siwa Oasis, where we stayed at an amazing place, Adrere Amellal.  It’s like a Saharan village with no electricity but tons of amenities for the traveler.

I made the above shot at twilght, and painted the adobes with my little flashlight to open them up a bit.

We had a spectacular tour of the dunes of the Sahara via land rover, and I’d love to post more pictures, but my internet connection is sooooooo slow here  that I’m lucky to get these two up.  Below is the bar….a necessary place for any water hole or oasis!

Next stop, Jordan!

Photo © Bob Krist

Also posted in Destinations, Photo Techniques, Travel

More Fun at Home….

Photo © Bob Krist

Well, I know this is supposed to be a travel photography blog, and I have been traveling lately (but again, can’t show the results just yet due to legal issues), but I am having a stone-cold blast working on my “New Hope: In Character” community portrait project.

New Hope, or Coryell’s Ferry as it was called at the time, was the place where Washington and his men crossed the Delaware to defeat the Hessians and the Brits in Trenton on Christmas Day all those years ago.

These guys re-enact that crossing every Christmas Day here in Bucks County. They get in those longboats, and unless the river is choked with ice, they row across Delaware come hell or high water. It’s an amazing sight to see and a Christmas morning tradition in these parts.

Now, I don’t want to say that they take their roles seriously, but some of the guys who re-enact the crossing had ancestors who were actually involved in the original crossing three hundred years ago. Can you say, “tradition?”

I was so appreciative that these gentlemen decided to come up and participate in this portrait project. In these parts, these guys are almost as famous as the men they are embodying.

For a look at the lighting setup, hit the jump. Continue reading »

Also posted in Destinations, Events, Ironies, Photo Gear, Photo Techniques, Technology, Travel

Drop, and Give Me….How Many????

I’m heading off to San Francisco, blizzard gods willing (update: they’re not, I’m holed up in an airport hotel watching it snow after a two hour battle up here because my flight showed “ON TIME” until I pulled into the airport!), to teach a seminar for National Geographic Traveler with my buddy Ralph Lee Hopkins. I’m going to hang a few extra days and shoot some stock.

Okay, stop laughing. Travel stock of San Francisco? Good luck selling it. Yeah, yeah, I know.  But I’ve never really shot there, so I’m doing it for the therapy value. Peggy and I lived in the Bay Area when we were first married and I was in acting school (at the American Conservatory Theater), and I hardly ever get back and I always wanted to shoot it. So who cares if it never sells? At least that’s what my therapist says….

So the blog will be a little quiet and I thought I’d share a couple more shots from the New Hope portrait project. Like the one above of Dan and Katie, proprietors of New Hope Fitness. Now that’s what I call strength training. This shot was a lot easier for me to pull off than it was for Dan. All I did was use the regular big softlight I wrote about in the previous post.

A more difficult challenge came lighting Adele, the Ghost Lady of New Hope. Adele gives ghost tours of town, and you really need a scorecard in this town because it’s full of them, from as far back as the Revolutionary War and beyond.

To get the basic “ghoul” lighting, we took the big lightbox off the stand and aimed it up  from the floor. That was a cool effect, but the lantern candle wasn’t quite cutting it, and we had a shadow of her arm across her face.

We bypassed the candles (truth is, I knew they’d never be bright enough) and instead put in a little Morris mini flash slave in the lantern to simulate the lantern light. Then all we had to do was balance the light from the box hitting all the black of her outfit with the light from the slave hitting her face—-piece of cake.

Only took twenty minutes until we had enough ND material in the lantern to provide a good balance. Then we had to work out a position where the highlights in Adele’s glasses weren’t too distracting (couldn’t get rid of them altogether—-the studio space we’re shooting in is said to be haunted too, and the ghost just wouldn’t let me have an easy time of it!).

But, thanks to Adele’s patience and good relationship with the spirit side, we got off a fun shot.

Also posted in Destinations, Events, Photo Techniques, Travel, Workshops & Seminars

In My Little Town…

Photo © Bob Krist

Every time I spend some time around New Hope, PA, where I live, I’m always blown away by the great array of talented and interesting folks we have living in town. It’s a little art community on the banks of the Delaware River, and it’s home to great music clubs, art galleries, restaurants, funky shops, artists, sculptors, actors, musicians, cabaret artists, female impersonators, brewers, screenwriters….well, you get the picture.

I’ve always wanted to document my neighbors, and I have some studio space this month (courtesy of the New Hope Arts Center) to work on a project I’m calling “New Hope: In Character.”  I just started shooting this week and thought I’d share a couple with you. Right up top is Andre who runs a great restaurant called Zoubi.  Andre is from France and is the quintessential restauranteur—friendly, charming, and sophisticated.

Below are Sam and Stasia, the girls from Love Saves The Day, a funky shop (the original was in Greenwich Village) where you can find vintage clothing, toys from the 50’s and 60’s, and, um, all kinds of other stuff. There’s always a wacky mannequin outside the shop, and so we just had to include her.

And finally, Brendan the master brewer (so young, and so accomplished) and his associate, Dan, from the Triumph Brewery, where I often rush the growler to bring home some fresh, delicious suds that really make it hard for me to even pretend I’m leading a low-carb lifestyle!

Photo © Bob Krist

Photo © Bob Krist


As part of this project, I also spent last weekend offering pro bono portraits for area families with a member serving in the military. We photographed 45 families in two days!

It was an incredibly busy and rewarding weekend. We met some amazing folks who have put a lot on the line for us all, and it was a real pleasure to give a little something back.

My friend, Rich Kennedy, photo editor of the Doylestown Intelligencer, volunteered two days of his time and did all the computer work (plus some excellent art direction when I started to melt down on occasion…like when 13 people from one family showed up)!

We also had help from photographer Arun Paul and Rose Gutekunst, not to mention Peggy (aka SWMBO).

For a look at the studio space and a quick discussion of my basic light setup, hit the jump. Continue reading »

Also posted in Events, Photo Gear, Photo Techniques

L.E.D. Candlelight

Photo © Bob Krist

If you’ve ever tried to shoot people by candlelight, you know that you really need a lot of candles to cast light more than a few inches and your subject has to be really close to those candles to pick up that light.

When I was working on the shoot for Nikon Japan with the 24mm f/1.4 lens, we had a nice setup with the lovely Rose, a family friend, in period clothes at the piano of the Parry Mansion lit with several candelabras.

But the candles weren’t casting a clean, usable light.

So, how to keep the feel of candlelight, but boost the volume? Hit the jump to find out how some video technology came into play. Continue reading »

Also posted in Photo Gear, Photo Techniques, Technology