The Secret Sauce
Lately there has been some controversy about the 10 steps to become a professional photographerâ€¦ Life is getting more complicated because in the â€œgood old daysâ€ it used to be â€œonlyâ€ 7 steps. Why 10 vs 7? I don't know. But let's go back to the secret sauce.
Q: How do can you become a successful professional photographer?
A: Spend 20 minutes in your bathroom!
No, it's not what you think! Go to the bathroom and make photos to try to resolve your photo problems, from portraits to landscapesâ€¦ But do it in your bathroom!
Why in the bathroom? Because everything is more difficult in the bathroom. The bathrooms are usually very small, so any problem with focus will show up immediately. The smaller the bathroom the more difficult it is. The bathrooms usually have at least one mirror and often more, this means lighting, reflectionsâ€¦ Close range, depth of field, lights…
- You are not in the bathroom to make masterpieces
- You are in the bathroom to learn how to solve your problems in difficult conditions
- You can use the bathroom any time of the day
- You can use the bathroom in any weather, snow, rain, sunâ€¦
Ambient, backlit, no flash
Canon 580EX-II flash on OC-E3 flash cord, extended camera left by 2Â½ feet with a Gary Fong â€œthingyâ€/Lightsphere
Canon 580EX-II flash on OC-E3 flash cord, extended camera left by 2Â½ feet with a Gary Fong lightsphere with an aluminium paper inside the Lightsphere
- All these photos are straight from the camera, zero processing. I could have added a third of a stop in the post process.
- The first photo is ambient light, backlit.
- The second photo is with a Canon 580EX-II flash on OC-E3 flash cord, extended camera left by 2Â½ feet with a Gary Fong â€œthingyâ€/Lightsphere.
- The third photo is with a Canon 580EX-II flash on OC-E3 flash cord, extended camera left by 2Â½ feet with a Gary Fong â€œthingyâ€/Lightsphere with an aluminium paper inside the â€œthingy.â€
- Camera in manual mode: M - 1/80 f/5.6 ISO 400, single shot, matrix metering
- Flash eTTL
Nice, simple settings. This is always my starting point. I don't even have to think, it's my C2 setting…
Many people will choose the second photo as the more pleasing one because it's more evenly lit. I, personally, prefer the third photo, it has more character, the shadows are stronger without being too strong. There is still enough detail inside the shadows and I get an extra one stop and half of light by using the aluminium paper.
For the â€œnext whileâ€ I will keep the aluminium paper inside the Gary Fong Lightspere.
BTW, all of you people criticising me for paying $$$ for a Gary Fong Lightsphere when â€œyou can get the sameâ€ from a TupperWare container are missing the point, yes it's somewhat overpriced but I've made more than made my money back because of the â€œproperâ€ fit. The flash can be handled by an HALS, Human Activated Light Stand, aka somebody holding the flash for me, without everything falling apart or breaking.
Back to the secret sauce to becoming a professional photographer. It's not just the bathroom but it's your attitude. It's spending the extra 20 minutes talking with the people, spending the extra 20 minutes marketing, spending the extra 20 minutes networkingâ€¦ Don't quit, just spend another 20 minutes to improve yourâ€¦
It's easy to say, but so much harder to do…