Author: Fil Hunter

Fil Hunter

Fil Hunter was a highly respected commercial photographer specializing in still life and special effects photographs for advertising and editorial illustration. During a career spanning over three decades, he worked for such clients as America Online, US News, Time-Life Books, Life Magazine (27 covers), the National Science Foundation, and National Geographic. He taught photography at the university level and served as technical consultant on a number of photographic publications. Mr. Hunter won the Virginia Professional Photographer's Grand Photographic Award three times.

Posts by Fil Hunter:


Setting Up Your First Studio – Getting Your Lights Right


There are, of course, many ways of getting started with such a venture. Depending on one’s interests and the girth of one’s wallet, photography studios can range from small and bare-boned to huge and state-of-the-art. For both instructional clarity and financial reality we have written this chapter to reflect the lower end of that scale….


Where to Put the Main Light When Making Portraits – The Key Triangle


Placing the main light is, of course, our first decision. Look at the abstract ball below. It is the simplest thing we could draw to convincingly represent a ball; without the highlight and shadow, it could just as well be a ring, a hole, or a flat disk. Notice also that the placement of the…

portrait lighting

Portrait Lighting: Mood & Key Lighting


Mood and Key Mood is one of those subjective ideas hard to discuss and still harder to quantify. It is one of those terms that often has different meanings to different people. At the simplest level, we will all agree that pictures that have a dark and somber lighting evoke a different response from those…

homemade flash grid

D-I-Y Light Blockers: Gobos, Barn Doors, Snoots and Grids


Learn what’s available. Try a homemade version first. Use it a lot? Then consider professional versions. Light blockers One way to control light during a photo shoot is to block it. Some things and some areas need to be kept dark. The most practical way to do this is with black paper and cardboard. Adjustable…


Light and Photographing Texture


Subjects don’t just cast shadows on backgrounds. There are also shadows within the subject itself that reveal shape and texture. Putting the right light in the right place makes this happen. The “right place” for that light is almost never on top of the camera. This photo below shows the problem. The light on the…


Pet Portraiture – Tips, Tricks and Hard Learned Lessons


Pet portraiture can be challenging. While dogs may understand commands like “Sit!” or “Down!” they don’t understand, “Could you tilt your head a little to the left?” (And, in truth, even well-trained dogs tend to forget their commands when the flash goes off.) However, most dogs still look cute even when they aren’t sure of…

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