Pro Tip: Simple Trick Turns a Marble Into an Extremely Useful On-Location Resource

When it comes to simple photography hacks, few are as useful and clever in the field as this one, presented by 34-year wedding photography veteran Frank Donnino.

When shooting on-location, Donnino always carries around a small, 25mm marble. By holding it up between his thumb and pointer finger, he can quickly determine how to best to face his subjects for maximum (or minimum) catch-light in their eyes.


Give the three-minute video a watch and be prepared to be impressed by just how much a small, otherwise unexceptional piece of gear can do for you.

(via ISO 1200)

  • Matthew Fleisher

    He’s lost his marbles!

  • Adam Cross

    it seems PP already featured this tip 3 years ago

  • Buster Vyas

    No, he said he had a whole bag of extra ones. He is good to go!

  • Felipe

    Except, this one’s a video, it focuses on the catchlight instead of just available light, and most people who are current Petapixel readers were not around in 2011, so it’s quite relevant.

  • Mauricio Schneider

    I didn’t see it 3 years ago and I found it really useful, so I’m glad it’s kind of a repost :)

  • Andrew Richardson

    Perfect, I can finally retire this stuffed head I’ve been carrying around on shoots with me!

  • BDWT

    LOL. Nice.

  • gf

    finally I can see where light is coming from!

  • Ron

    Did he just call us newbies?

  • Omar Salgado

    We are always newbies ir we are willing to learn always.

  • chudez

    I’m one of today’s lucky 10,000.

  • Renato Murakami

    PROTIP: don’t use the expression “pro tip”.

  • Maree Cardinale

    Great, thanks, handy tip :)

  • JulesSelmes

    I used to respect this web site. Sack your editor. How can this rubbish get through?!

  • Kim R Leonard

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    seven months but last month her pay was $16953 just working on the laptop for
    a few hours. read the full info here Works77­.­C­O­­M

  • Ren Faustino III

    comment of the day!haha

  • Sarpent

    I just went to Frank’s website. He does really nice work.

  • theodoorthomas

    interestingly enough, if he just brings a mirror he could use his head….

  • Courtney Navey

    Seriously, he’s been shooting weddings for 34 years and he only recently learned how to tell the direction of his ambient light source? I’m all about keeping it simple but this goes beyond simple it’s just straight up embarrassing.

  • Carrie Kleckner Fitzgerald

    Usefull tip. Thanks