Jake Hicks, DIYPhotography

Jake Hicks


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  • DP School (dPS)

Recent articles by Jake:

How to use Photoshop's Channel Mixer to colour grade your images

There are a lot of ways to colour tone and grade your photos in Photoshop and although I primarily use Curves to colour tone my shots, a powerful tool that I’m starting to use more and more is the somewhat under-utilised Channel Mixer. Every couple of weeks I Live Stream via my Facebook Page and […] → Read More

How to use Photoshop's Channel Mixer to colour grade your images

There are a lot of ways to colour tone and grade your photos in Photoshop and although I primarily use Curves to colour tone my shots, a powerful tool that I’m starting to use more and more is the somewhat under-utilised Channel Mixer. Every couple of weeks I Live Stream via my Facebook Page and […] → Read More

Lighting setup: How to use colour gels outdoors

You don’t often see photographers using gels outdoors in natural light, but why? I think one of the core reasons you don’t see too many natural light gel shots, is that you need a lot of power and control from your lights to make gels visible in daylight. Whenever we’re outside during the daytime, sunlight […] → Read More

How to use scrims and strnobes outdoors in bright sunlight for amazing portraits

So before my regulars start to suspect that I’ve been kidnapped and forced to write this against my will, yes this is indeed a lighting setup article that involves natural light! But don’t worry, we’ll quickly skip over the easy, beginner daylight setup and move on to the adult version that combines gels and strobes […] → Read More

Five things we can learn from cinematic lighting

One of the bigger personal projects I’ve been working on recently is my Cinematic Studio Lighting course. During the process of writing the accompanying notes and shooting promotional images for the event, I’ve done a ton of research on how cinematographers and directors of photography work, think and plan their shots. I originally thought the […] → Read More

Lighting setup: Classic editorial portrait lighting

There will always be ‘classics’ in any industry. Sure these classics may not turn heads or make the headlines and they may even take a dip in popularity for a while, but these ‘classics’ will always be a timeless safe bet. Fashion has its ‘little black dress’ and ‘tan trench coat’, cooking has its lasagne, […] → Read More

Here's why you should upgrade your speedlight to a studio strobe

I’d argue that nearly all of us owned a speedlight at some point before we owned a studio strobe. When we’re looking to dip our toes into supplemental lighting, strobes seem like a big investment. It just makes sense to pick up a cheap speedlight to play with right? Like many others, I did the […] → Read More

Cinematic lens-flare filter comparison

Clearer, sharper, brighter! In recent years, we’ve spent a lot of money investing in expensive camera tech and lenses that produce flawless and crystal-clear imagery (ironically, that’s a dated expression given that we actually want images to be a lot clearer than crystal). But, is it really necessary? Do we really need to remove all […] → Read More

Super-soft lighting in small home studios

In this article I’ll explain a beautifully soft lighting setup that can be achieved in almost any sized space – In fact, this setup actually takes advantage of very small rooms and the tight spaces of home studios! In recent months, many of us have struggled to get back into the studio to shoot. Lock-downs […] → Read More

How to negotiate with clients and interpret mood boards

This article will cover a client case study on how I organised not only myself, but the client prior to the actual shoot day. Topics I’ll cover in this article include: Initial client contact Client phone call Pricing Brainstorming Mood boards Interpreting client mood board into an actual shoot plan Final images Just before […] → Read More

How to create lighting gradients in your shots with coloured gels

Using coloured gels can be a little unforgiving, especially if you’re new to using strobes. But one of the biggest reasons using gels can be tricky, is due to how hard it can be to use multiple coloured gels in the same setup. Coloured lights do not play well together and unlike paint, where you […] → Read More

A super simple 2-light setup for shooting still life photography

Big-shock I know. A coloured gel lighting technique from me is hardly surprising, but this time I’m scaling things down and today I’ll be sharing a super simple 2 light setup for still-life. To be clear, I’m a million years away from being an even remotely good still-life photographer, but I thought I’d share this […] → Read More

Five clamps and brackets every studio shooter and strobist needs

What even is a ‘studio shooter’ today? Years ago it was a little easier to define, but due to us having tons of heavy, cumbersome lighting and cameras, we were all pretty grounded in the actual home-base of a studio. Today though, the vast majority of my own jobs are not shot in my own space. I […] → Read More

This is my favourite $1 lighting modifier

I’ve always been drawn to interesting looking light. The simple, soft and flat light of softboxes and other standard modifiers rarely hold my attention and I’ve often felt like that softbox lighting doesn’t exist outside of the studio. It’s always looked a little too clinical for me. We’re shown interesting light all of the time […] → Read More

Are you still chasing “perfect” colour?

It’s my belief that colour is actually one of the most subjective elements that we as humans all understand, yet we actually have no real way of enforcing or translating it to one another. Think of colour like a language. I may say the word ‘Red’ to you and you will have an idea of […] → Read More

How to create natural looking window light at home with flash and a diffused scrim

Unbelievably soft lighting is actually trickier to do than many think. Sure we can place a large softbox in front of our subject to light them, but does that really look good? No, I’m not trying to trigger anyone here and I’m genuinely curious because, to me, the classic softbox look is a unique look […] → Read More

Make your own DIY scrim/silk frame for huge diffused lighting modifier

So before the film school nerds explode, let me just explain what a ‘scrim’ actually is and what the term colloquially means to us photographers. Technically scrims are large sheets of black woven fabric that reduce the brightness of a light when placed in front of them (these are usually constant HMI lights that don’t have […] → Read More

Colour in Cinema: Ad Astra – The Most Colourful Movie You Never Saw

Have you seen Ad Astra? Do you remember it being one of the most colourful movies you’ve ever seen? No? Why not? Many modern space films have been guilty of looking a little drab and desaturated, but can we blame them? Space, as far as many of us see it, is pretty colourless. It’s just […] → Read More

Colour in cinema: Abstract colour in Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira

Many new people who find my work today, think my lighting is simply inspired by me watching a couple of modern films. Either that or I get asked which photographer inspires me the most. The truth behind my lighting and colour inspiration is routed far further back than that though, and not even by cinematographers […] → Read More

Should you re-retouch your old photos?

Getting better at something does take time, but getting better is something that is ultimately inevitable, even if it doesn’t always feel like it. Every time you pick up your camera, you body and mind will learn something new no matter how small it may be. But this principle isn’t just applicable to the picture […] → Read More