It’s January 2nd. How many of you have already broken your New Year’s resolutions? I didn’t make any since I knew I’d break them, but I did set a few goals. One of my photography-related goals is to be more creative with lighting. I use a pretty simple one-light set-up already, but I tend to get stuck in a rut with it. Whether out of sheer laziness or boredom, I just seem to get the same shots all the time. So, it’s time to change it up; which is why the following video caught my attention.

In this Adorama-sponsored video, Mark Wallace challenges Gavin Hoey to a photographer’s version of a duel. Using the same model, background and lighting gear, the pair went head to head to create some pretty rad images in a small studio setting. This video is Gavin’s portion of the challenge, and he begins with positioning his model and then using a light meter – the Sekonic L-308S Flashmate – to figure out what settings he’s going to use. Gavin is shooting with the Olympus EM5-ii with the Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 and a small softbox. After a little experimenting with the light, he adds some simple props – a book and some powder – and finishes it up with a few adjustments in Photoshop to create a dynamic image with movement and drama.

The final images are quite different – Mark’s image is a simple, well-lit headshot and Gavin’s image is very creative, with his added elements. Gavin admits he had the home advantage, with knowing the set, model, and gear, and that is quite important to making a great image. Here are the two images side-by-side. Which one is your favorite?



Watch Hoey vs. Wallace: Small Studio Challenge: Take and Make Great Photography with Gavin Hoey

If you want to learn all about lighting from the ground up and build a sure foundation to open up your creativity, be sure to check out our Lighting 101 and Lighting 201 instructional DVDs.

In other news, you might have noticed that the site looks a little different! Our developers have been working around the clock for many, many months, and we are so excited to finally have it LIVE. Take a look around and let us know what you think about our new 2016 look in the comments below!

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