Find Your Focus Blog bio picture
  • Welcome!

    Mission: FIND YOUR FOCUS PHOTOGRAPHIC EDUCATION IS DESIGNED TO PROVIDE POSITIVE, PERTINENT AND PRACTICAL INFORMATION FOR PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS.

    Objective: FOUNDED BY CRIS J DUNCAN M.PHOTOG.CR CPP, FIND YOUR FOCUS HOST AN ANNUAL PHOTOGRAPHIC EXPERIENCE FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS TO REFRESH, RECHARGE AND RENEW THEIR PASSION FOR PHOTOGRAPHY. CRIS J DUNCAN ALSO CAN BE FOUND EDUCATING PHOTOGRAPHERS AT SEVERAL PHOTOGRAPHIC EVENTS, CONFERENCES AND SCHOOLS. IN ADDITION TO THE EVENTS, FIND YOUR FOCUS OFFERS MANY PRODUCTS AND SERVICES TO HELP PHOTOGRAPHERS SUCCEED.
    To learn more about Find Your Focus and Cris, click here

    The Butterfly Box – Lighting Tutorial

    Good day,

    As many of you know, I am a lighting guy and I put a lot of thought into why I light something the way I do. I will often try something new, at least new to me, and see how I like it and how it works with my subject. One of the recent ‘experiments’ is what I want to share today. I am calling it the ‘Butterfly Box’ 

    CjDuncan-CDS_4696_MEButterfly lighting is nothing new. Hollywood has used this for decades. A light in the butterfly position is above the subject’s head and in front of them pointed downward at about a 45º angle or so. The idea is to light the mask of the face and have a downward cast shadow under the nose, cheekbone and chin. Often times a reflector card or panel is then used to fill in the shadow, adjusting the contrast ratio. Many times, if not all, you find this demonstrated or taught  by using a beauty dish or other hard parabolic type light modifier. While those work great and I use them as well, I was looking for a way to get a greater spread of light down the body, while avoiding a hot spot that the previous modifiers can causes all while controlling the spill of light on the background and other areas of my subject. You can see the set-up in the following images (I need to clean the camera room;)

    CjDuncan-CDS_6021CjDuncan-CDS_6020

    I found this in a Profoto 1′x6′ strip box. By placing this above my subject in a position parallel it the floor and by placing my subject at the back edge of the light, I was able to get the control, quality and direction I was looking for.  I added a piece of white foam core as a soft fill. The images within this post, all utilize this technique. For even more control of the spread, use a soft grid attachment. I hope you give this try. A 1×4 box will work too but will not be able to get as even of light across a full length subject as it will begin to fall off faster. Give it a try an let me know how it goes for you. If you like this and want to see other diagrams and techniques, take a look at my new “lighting for Sales” mobile app.
    Happy creating, Cris.

    CjDuncan-CDS_6074_ME

    Share|Follow on Twitter|Tweet This|Contact Me|Subscribe|Join

    NEW Lighting For Sales Mobile App

    Good day,

    Today I am excited to announce out new Lighting For Sales Mobile APP and I am offering at a special introductory price of $29!! It’s a no-brainer! Get it today and use code ‘INTRO’  and save!

    The new Lighting For Sales Mobile APP is packed full of useful information at your fingertips. Complete lighting diagrams for studio and location scenarios, over 150 images to use as inspiration and posing guides. The APP also has some tutorial videos and reference sections. Product will be updated periodically and has content exclusive to this product. All APP users will also save $50 on any of the other products we offer at Find Your Focus Photographic Education. Works on any mobile device, tablets computers and most content is available without a network connection so you will never be without this handy tool.

    AppViewAppView2

    In Addition to the APP, we are also introducing new 20 minute coaching sessions. Great for follow up from a live workshop, image critique or you need to brush up on a few techniques.

    Exclusive online Google+ Hangout session with Cris and/or Dee for up to 2 people from the same studio. Sessions may be any topic and will be recorded so you can have access to content at any time. Use for image critique, post-production tips, lighting, marketing or more.  You have 3 months from date of purchase to complete your session.  Purchase multiple sessions and save.

     NEW 20 MINUTE CONSULTS ONLY $45 - These abbreviated sessions are great for follow up questions to previous sessions or live training. Use code “20minute” when checking out.

    Happy creating, Cris

    Share|Follow on Twitter|Tweet This|Contact Me|Subscribe|Join

    Certification. Is it a certificate or confidence? Both?

    Good day,

    certified-logos-copy

    Certification. Why is it important? For me, I believed it was a logical choice for my business. A way to show the public that I am credible and that they can trust CjDuncan Photography with their image needs. I’m positive that meaning reading this will nod their heads in agreement thinking that makes sense, that certification is a smart marketing decision. It is, however, what it really did for me was make me a better photographer.

    I realized what I didn’t know. I received feedback from others on things in my images to look for and things possibly not to do. I built confidence in my work and I came out stronger. I often say that “You will exceed your potential when you do the hard things”. Certification is a hard thing to do. It is earned and never given and the rewards can be limitless. Click here to see a short video of why I decided to be a CPP.

    Earlier this year I taught the 3 day certification class at Imaging USA and will be doing so again at Imaging USA 2017 in San Antonio, TX. If you are interested in becoming certified and gaining insight to your craft, then I suggest this class.

    I also had the opportunity to have a conversation with Julia Boyd, Certification Director for PPA, on the Photo Tellers podcast. You can listen to that below.

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

    Share|Follow on Twitter|Tweet This|Contact Me|Subscribe|Join

    Guitars and Cameras – What Music has taught me about photography (Archive)

    Good day,

    Many of you that know me, know I love to play the guitar. I took formal lessons for almost three years, took a break and recently started taking lessons again. Why? Just like in photography, we need to keep learning, growing and pushing ourselves. In celebration of this, I am sharing an older post again as a refresher. You can read it here, http://wp.me/p2vHdx-8Z 

    Happy Creating, Cris.

    Share|Follow on Twitter|Tweet This|Contact Me|Subscribe|Join

    Location Late Day Lighting

    Good day. If you are like me, you love the look of the light at the end of the day. Unfortunately, we do not always have the opportunity to photograph then. Today I am sharing a technique to help you replicate that late day look.

    Note, you will need a lot of power from your portable lights to make this work. I use my Profoto B1 with a yellow or CTO gel on it, however any studio strobe 500ws or greater will do the trick. Look for some open shade to place your subject. If that area that has lots of foliage or cover, it  will work best. Place your strobe behind your subject as far away as it can go to cover the entire area and still have enough power to light the scene. (as mentioned, an area with more cover helps) I will put his strobe on full power.

    I then will place another strobe with a diffusion panel or medium soft box as a main light for the subject. Make sure to place this light in the same direction as the back light. When all the light appears to come from one direction it will be more believable and look more natural. The lower the setting of this main light will allow you to get as much from your back light as possible. Keep in mind, when setting the power for these lights to be aware of the ambient brightness as well to keep the entire scene properly exposed. The following images show this technique with and without the backlight. One other thing that works well is to have the back light just out of camera frame and introduce some flare. I believe it makes it more believable as well. Larger apertures will maximize the flare.

    160417-CjDuncan_Photography-001CDS_2487
    160417-CjDuncan_Photography-002CDS_2488

    This technique works 98% of the time. It is difficult to do in mid day sun (thus, why we use open shade). This technique also works on cloudy days and times that the late day sun is not where you want it, as in this following image.

    Happy creating.

    Share|Follow on Twitter|Tweet This|Contact Me|Subscribe|Join