I'm an advertising photographer based in Los Angeles, California. My mission is to create striking advertising photography, corporate photography and editorial photography of people for major advertising agencies, fortune 500 corporations and major magazines. I shoot photography and video assignments throughout California including Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego as well as the rest of the world. As a photo educator I am happy to share my unique vision and methods.

Advertising Photography and Video Together

Posted: October 14th, 2009 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Canon 7d, Lighting, photo lighting, video | Tags: , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Now that the Canon 7d is out, can new video from Nikon and Panasonic be far behind?   Some more interesting new products are out to help photographers move into doing short form video.  One of the problems that photographers got away from long ago was the need to use constant lights with the advent of strobes.  The constant lights were hot both to handle and on the subject, it took a lot of wattage to get a decent exposure, and were 3200 K so had to be gelled to balance with daylight which brought down the power even more.  Well, as wonderful as strobes are and I’m a big advocate of using them whenever possible except for a very few highly specialized stop motion systems, they are useless for video.

If you want to shoot video, now there are a number of choices beyond the old tungsten lights.  One type that is finding favor with cinematographers is the new LED light.  As a light source, they are powerful (for their size), small, sturdy, draw little power and a are daylight-balanced source that run very cool.  As of now, to light large areas you still might need a number of 1 x1 panels that can cost quite a bit but that will surely change in the near future.  For now you can start by trying one of the smaller battery powered on camera LED lights like the Litepanels Mirco or MicroPro.   Powerful enough to light small scenes or use as a fill in some cases, it can be dimmed with little color change.  I have found them useful off camera for interviews or as a kicker and on camera for an eye-light and run and gun situations.  I wish I had had some when filming in the catacombs of Paris a few years ago.  The quarters were cramped with no place for stands and these LED lights could have been hand held right where I needed them. Image by © Lee White

Litepanels Micro LED

Litepanels Micro LED

Zeiss continues to grow their line of Canon mount manual focus lenses that are especially suited for the DSLRs with video capabilities.  The latest is the ZEISS Distagon T* 2/28 ZE which is a moderate wide-angle lens designed for full-frame (D)SLR cameras, delivering a 74-degree field of view. Like the other Zeiss ZE lenses, it incorporates a CPU and data contacts for communication with the camera body and long focus pull.  This lens is meant to be used on the Canon cameras such as the 5d Mark II and the new 7d.  As I have mentioned before, Zeiss already has a line of Nikon lenses for video capable DSLRs.

Zeiss Distagon F2 28mm lens for Canon

Zeiss Distagon F2 28mm lens for Canon

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Professional Photography and Video Merge into Hybrid

Posted: August 31st, 2009 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Canon, Education, video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

As a professional advertising photographer in Los Angeles, video production was a craft that has been around me daily. I photographed the print side of commercials and shot specials on set working closely with the crew. Then almost a decade ago, I saw the desirability of shooting video to extend my creative range and supply clients with more creative services along with my photography. I first shot in standard definition and now shoot in high definition with incredible tools such as the very cinematic Canon 5d Mark II. As the internet was starting to become fast enough to play clips and cable had a growing need for material, my clients have increasingly asked for video shot with my “photographer’s eye”.

I have taken my skills in lighting, composition and mise-en-scene and applied them to the continuous narrative that is video. I first sought out video editors to learn what was needed to join clips together to tell a flowing story. If you know where you want to end up, it is much easier to get there. As I learned editing, it allowed me to understand what needs to be shot and how it needs to edit together. From there it has been practice, shooting for clients and watching the trends in films, commercials and on the web. It has come to a point where I teach a college course for professional photographers who want to learn video.

I’m using a Canon 5d Mark II on a rig by Redrock Mirco. Photo by the well known retoucher Dennis Dunbar.

Lee White using Canon 5d in video mode with Redrock Micro gear.

Lee White using Canon 5d in video mode with Redrock Micro gear.

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Photography of healthy lifestyles

Posted: May 20th, 2009 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Canon, Green, photo lighting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

As a California photographer, I have great weather for healthy lifestyle images all year round.  I especially love the summer months for surf and turf images when I get either rich blue skies or dramatic cloud filled backgrounds.

California surfer showing healthy lifestyle

California surfer showing healthy lifestyle

Combining great locations with my lighting style allows for some stunning advertising or editorial photography.  Casting of models and/or locations is easy for California photographers and clients in the place where the healthy lifestyle trend was started.  Being on the west coast means wide sandy beaches, vast deserts and majestic mountains for striking images.

Corporate imaging here is great too!  New facilities in open green areas are ideal for portraying the new face of greener corporations.

Photo hint:  Even when shooting at golden hour be ready to use supplemental lighting techniques like strobes or reflectors.  You might find the perfect shot is towards the sun which can add real life to an image as well as extra depth.  Photography is a craft.  Photographed with Canon camera and strobe.

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Dom DeLuise dies, we lose a great talent and gracious man.

Posted: May 6th, 2009 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Lighting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Dom DeLuise died today and the world lost a very funny comic and a wonderfully kind man.  As a Los Angeles advertising photographer, I had the privilege of working with Dom recently, possibly his last commercial photography session.  I have included one of my favorite photographs from that shoot.

Dom DeLuise last photography session with Los Angeles professional photogrpaher Lee White

Dom DeLuise last photography session with Los Angeles professional photographer Lee White

I was doing advertising photographs for his house ware – cookware line.  Many of the shots involved food as props and you guessed it, Dom being the connoisseur that he was insisted on bringing the props.  He showed up at my Los Angeles studio with a limo full of fine cheeses, marvelous smoked meats and fish, luscious fruits and vegetables.  The shoot was incredibly fun.  There was Dom in each shot surrounded by one of the things he loved, great food, happy as could be.  As we finished each shot, Dom always the gracious host, even in my studio, would make everyone sit down and eat all the food from that shot.  It was like being in an Old Italian movie where the cast and crew would shoot then take a meal break together then back to shooting.  All the while, Dom would be telling stories of working with Hollywood’s elite.  I think I had at least a ten-course meal that day and loved every minute of it.

I will never forget that last enchanting day I spent with this kind and loving man, a very funny man and a man who lived life to the fullest.  I will always appreciate the gentleness he showed my daughter and niece when they stopped by and he insisted on have them take a picture with him and his beloved bird.

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NAB inspires with new ideas, techniques and equipment.

Posted: May 2nd, 2009 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Canon, Education, Workflow, photo lighting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Los Angeles photographers have the NAB convention to help keep them up-to-date. Commercial photographers like me often do advertising photography with the flavor of photojournalism to make location photography seem more real including my video work. The new video equipment I saw at NAB will help with that. When I do editorial photography, I often get to do video interviews and some of the new equipment will help with that was well.

Los Angeles photographer dramatic night portraiture

Los Angeles photographer dramatic night portraiture with Canon 5D

I had some very productive chats with the following representatives and want to thank them for all their information. In chronological order Peter of Lectronics, Fred at Audio Technica, Red of Photoflex, Joey of Mathhews Studio Equipment, Greg at JVC, Douglas at Shure, Ulrich Goetze of California Sunbounce, Mike of Marshall Electronics, Bernie of Panasonic, and Jennifer of dedoweightfilm.de.

California photographers are lucky to have so many resources locally. I have been shooting video for over seven years and there is more demand for it than ever.

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Advertising photography- dramatic lighting of a Ryan PT22 classic airplane

Posted: April 2nd, 2009 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Canon, Green, photo lighting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Classic Ryan PT22

Classic Ryan PT22


This is a location photo out of a quick edit of a recent advertising photo shoot I did, near Los Angeles, with a classic Ryan PT22 1935 airplane. The model is John Campanella, son of the well-known actor, Joseph Campanella and quite a good talent himself. I‘ll post a few from the final edit soon along with a video of the shoot.

Until then for you photo enthusiasts, I used a Canon 5d, along with a chimera soft box and Canon 580 EX strobes, with rechargeable batteries to stay green, connected by pocket wizards, again rechargeable. The sun was in and out all afternoon so this combination allowed me to move quickly and light the face beautifully just as the sun came out of the clouds. Location photography is an art in itself, so remember it is about the craft not the equipment.

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Portrait Photo-Drama at sunset

Posted: March 4th, 2009 | Author: Lee White | Filed under: Canon, Lighting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Editorial portrait

Editorial portrait

This photograph could easily be used as an editorial photo, possibly an advertising photo, and the technique could be applied to corporate photos as well.

Again, this is location photography with direct light used for impact. I photographed this portrait on the beach at sunset with dramatic clouds in the background, so I wanted to keep the crisp outdoor feel to the picture using direct light. Photographing with direct light can be challenging, but in this case it makes the woman stand out nicely from the powerful background. The portable lighting system I use allows me to adjust to the quickly changing light at sunset and move about without dealing with generators or power cords. This time I used a Canon 5D and Canon EX580. I plan ahead and always think about keeping it simple, so I can concentrate on the picture.

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