11th annual Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival

All photos © 2013 Jenn Lin Photography; please contact me for permission to use or display any photos. If I photographed your art display, feel free to contact me so I can credit your work. Thanks!

And thanks to my two wonderful assistants for their help: Emily Man and Doris Young. Read More

What You Can Do with a 115cm-wide Reflector

A photo of Melody Tymm taken during the 11th annual Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival at Slocan Park, Vancouver, BC.

Shown here in costume is Melody. One of the entertainers I met at the Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival last month, she agreed to let me do a little experiment! Below is a comparison I made to illustrate the difference between natural light portraiture (without any modifiers) and natural light portraiture using a modifier (a 115cm-wide silver-sided reflector to be exact).

Melody Tymm at the 11th annual Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival © 2013 Jenn Lin Photography

Natural light alone vs. natural light with a silver-sided reflector

With the sun shining to the west at around 5:30pm, I had my assistant for the day stand south-east of Melody and hold the reflector in the direction of the sun, tilting it until the light was bounced onto Melody. Had we had spent more time playing with the angle, we probably could have eliminated the shadow which is appearing between Melody’s right cheek and nose. Yet it’s the shadow which gives her so much dimension. IMO, the silver side of the reflector gave Melody a nice glow and made her really pop out from the background. (I would advise using the golden side unless you want to give your subject an orange tan.)

Reflectors are relatively cheap, they’re effective, they keep working until the sun sets, and they can make your photos/subjects look more interesting. (See “Working with Thomas” and “Darren’s Headshots” for more examples of photos I’ve created with a reflector.) The only thing is that they take a bit of work to get them back into the little circular pouch they come in—but other than that, they’re an awesome tool to use (if you’re not in a hurry).

Hope you enjoyed reading! Until next time,


Rings of Fire

Rings of Fire at the Moon Festival © 2013 Jenn Lin Photography

Here’s another photo that I shot at the Moon Festival. It almost reminds me of the planet Saturn, the way the streaks of fire seem to make rings around a circle. I love how a projection of Still Moon Arts’ logo is framed in the middle behind the performer.

How to achieve this effect: shoot in bulb mode. The long-exposure enables the performer to paint rings as the fire is being moved in a circular motion. For more on shooting in bulb mode, see my earlier photo of the day “Lantern Installation.”

Adrian Dix and Don Davies

Adrian Dix and Don Davies at the Moon Festival © 2013 Jenn Lin Photography

I think this photo is pretty self-explanatory (see sign to the right), but here’s Vancouver-Kingsway leader, Adrian Dix, and Vancouver-Kingsway MP, Don Davies, pictured at Slocan Park during the Moon Festival on September 21, 2013. For the Harvest Fair portion of the Moon Festival, members of the community are invited to enter their biggest plants and vegetables into the Harvest Fair Competition in order to win a prize.

While I wasn’t able to photograph the two of them head on, I’m glad I didn’t, because I like this angle so much more. The candidness of their expressions, the way their knees seem to be buckling under a weight that probably isn’t really that heavy, the sign in the background which provides the photo with context, the colourful flags drawing your attention to the centre of the photo, and the plants and people in the backdrop (especially the woman to the left who is laughing)—these things all give an inviting and festive feel to the photograph.

Lantern Installation

"Moon Festival Lanterns Hanging from a Tree" © 2013 Jenn Lin Photography

I shot this image inside the Renfrew Ravine in Vancouver, BC during the 11th annual Moon Festival. This is one of many installations that were set up in the ravine that night. The lanterns were hung from tree branches above our heads, reminding me of Christmas decorations. I really like how the dried leaves were incorporated into the lanterns themselves, giving them that autumn look.

I could not have gotten an image like this if I hadn’t shot in RAW mode. Having the extra 8 bits in bit depth that RAW provided meant that I could decrease the shadows with little damage to the overall quality of the image. In general, images shot in RAW look more detailed, feel alive rather than flat, and in general more capable of taking adjustments, especially when it comes to reducing highlights and shadows. Take away lesson: never shoot JPGs when you can shoot RAW, even in the day time. 

Shooting in Bulb mode means you kind of have to experiment with how long you need to keep the shutter open for; luckily because the lanterns were static, I could take my time (unlike with fireworks). I could have probably shot this at ISO 320 and left the shutter open for half the time, but in some cases ISO 320 would have overexposed the lanterns; and although I could have reduced the highlights in post-production, it’s not an adjustment I want to make if I can help it.

Also, a really useful trick that my boyfriend taught me when it comes to manual focus: zoom in digitally on the camera’s LCD screen at a place in the image you want to be sharp and in focus, and turn the focus ring until you’ve achieved the focus that you want. Then zoom out, get out of live shooting mode, and be careful not to touch the ring. This way, you know exactly how your image will turn out. The image will be a little dark in the shadow areas, but that’s to be expected, and you can always increase those slightly in post-production.

New Look, New Lights, New Opportunities

Kelsea by Jenn Lin Aug. 31, 2013

I’ve been keeping quiet this week on the blog, partly because there’s just been a lot of crazy things going on, and partly because I just needed a break to rest my eyes. Well, time for a huge update:

Last weekend I had a shoot with my former co-worker, Kelsea, who came to my studio to get a headshot done for her LinkedIn profile. In preparation for the shoot, I picked up a studio-lighting kit by Interfit, which included two light stands, two strobes, a shoot-through umbrella, and softbox. The lights were not nearly as strong as I’d thought they would be, but I managed to get a few shots out of it that I liked. Read More