My favorite piece of studio equipment

Back in the fall I bought an Alien Bees Ringflash. I love it. I am writing this entry just to tell you how great it is. 

If you don’t know a lot about ring flashes there are a couple of reasons why I really like them. They are perfect for product photography because they produce a well lit image without a shadow. They produce a really striking effect when doing portraiture. Your subject really pops, and their eyes reflect the cool circular shape of the ring flash. These units are really nice for fashion.
You can shoot through it, or with it on its own light stand. It is pretty versatile in this way, and you haven’t spent a lot of money on a flash that only produces the unique ‘ring flash’ shadow.

Here are the facts:

Affordable at about $400 USD.

Versatile for many lighting situations.

Powerful. I lit the entire back of a dark retail store with this for a publicity photo.

Easy to use. Very simple to set up and tear down. Also very light.

When I get myself more organized, I’ll try to post some of my own photographs on here. Until then you’ll have to enjoy this photo above provided courtesy of Alien Bees.

ArtPrize is approaching–A reflection on my projectph

My new project for ArtPrize 2011

Back in college, I remember doing a semester-long project on architecture of Chicago religious buildings. The end result was a delicate, handmade book full of tiny color photographs. I remember my professor describing them as “small jewels”. I had titled it, ‘Shapes of Faith’. The spirit of these buildings has always captured my attention, and I have found myself photographing them on and off throughout the years.

The photograph I am showing for ArtPrize is an extension of this project. I changed things up a bit. I went back to my preferred medium of black and white photography, and I changed the scale dramatically to a much larger image.

Printing this on acrylic and adding background lighting gives this image a special dimension. It mirrors the theme of stained glass windows that are featured in so many churches.

The foreground and the church itself are under construction. A symbol that religion is an ever evolving experience throughout peoples’ lives.

ArtPrize is a pretty magical time here in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I encourage all of you to come visit. If you are in town between September 21 and October 9, stop by 19 LaGrave to see my work.