January 28, 2015, 03:22:12 PM

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Messages - Besisika

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1
...  I want to get multiple usage for my gear and minimize the amount of gear I have as much as possible.

It is hard to minimize the amount of gear, especially if you are still in the learning process.
I have more than 20 light modifiers at home and it seems that I pick almost something else every time I go on shoot. I shoot rarely in studio, I shoot mainly on location; both indoor and outdoor. Home studio is just for practice and learning to be fast with my gear and calculation.

Umbrellas are easy to pack, and spread the light all over the place. It is not the good option for studio, but very effective when shooting group portrait outdoor. The silver is my preference especially shooting at noon outdoor for group shots. I use the translucent when shooting outdoor, single person, when shielding the person against the sun and use it as reflective umbrella at the same time.
They are useless when the wind begin to blow, then I am switching to beauty dish. Light is harsher but does the job on group shots. I just bought an octagon but I haven't used it outdoor yet (still cold in Canada).

Double diffused softbox is my main gear when shooting darker skin. That as well is the right tool when I don't want the light to spread out too much, especially when adding honeycomb. It is perfect when the wall is colored and I don't want the spill (and so is color cast), or under brunches of trees (same reason), or against a wall that I don't want to light, or a very close background. This is the best tool for feathering my light as well.

The bottom line is, until you are sure what do you want to do in your photography, you will have to buy them at least for the sake of your training.
I would follow what Zack Arias said; start with an umbrella and shoot with it for 30 days until you know what are its advantages and disadvantages then move to something else.

In studio, I would buy 1 bigger double diffused softbox for main, 2 smaller with grid  for rim and hair, and a beauty dish for head shot.
You will need a reflector, a boom arm, and if you have a space a V-flat.
I would start with one and then add as I go.

As for training, get the DVDs from Zack Arias and Lindsay Adler and then go for practice, and practice and practice.

Back to your original question; in studio go entirely manual on both camera and flash. Learn how to measure your light exposure for each modifier and distance to subject (quantity of light). Learn how lights add to one another depending of their position. And make sure that you can repeat your result over and over again without thinking about it, regardless of your background, or color of your subject's clothing.
I just regret that your light don't have modeling.
Put your background at least 5 feet from your subject (the inverse square law) and if you grid your hair and rim lights they should not affect the background exposure. Then you can add light independently for your background.

2
Photography Technique / Re: Which eye do you use?
« on: January 27, 2015, 04:23:17 PM »
Right hand, right eye. I shoot with both eyes opened at all focal lengths. Sometimes feel weird on longer focal length. I never even tried to shoot with left eye, don't recall.

3
Photography Technique / Re: Beginner Tips for Home Studio and Portraits?
« on: January 25, 2015, 06:30:02 AM »
My understanding is that you are going to do portrait in a home studio.
The gear you stated are not for studio, they are for on location shoot. And I am wondering what is the purpose of your studio approach; to do in studio work, or to learn to use your gear so that you will perform well on location.

If you want to do studio work then all have to go manual. There is no need for TTL in studio. All is manual for one and only one single reason; "repetitiveness". In manual modes you have full control and that is the road to repetitiveness. The advantage is that you study over and over again it and once you master what you want, next time you have another model you don't need to think anymore, you just set things up like you practiced and shoot. You would save both yours and the subject's time.

If you want to practice so that you could excel on location then you need to replicate your intention on location. If you want to shoot TTL then practice TTL, just take into consideration few things like the color of your walls, its size and hight; those things that vary from one location to others.

Either way, lucky you for having the ability to use a home studio as a beginner, so as people already stated get some training online, a mannequin and practice, practice, practice. Mannequin doesn't get tired.

4
Sports / Re: Motion Blur (on purpose) in Sports Photos
« on: January 24, 2015, 01:13:55 PM »
Me too.
See some.

OASIS_00001 by Besisika, on Flickr

Cyclocross-007 by Besisika, on Flickr

GRDP00004 by Besisika, on Flickr

5
Business of Photography/Videography / Re: The Pros or The Enthusiasts?
« on: January 23, 2015, 04:34:24 PM »
My concern is that with the dwindling of photojournalists, demand for rugged bodies and fast lenses will go down, and Canon will push more mediocre choices.

Yes, Canon still offers amazing stuff, but...
I, actually, see it in the opposite direction and share more the writer's opinion.
There was a time when I was convinced that cellphones and low end DSLR would slowly kill the pro photography, but not anymore; it would be the enthusiasts.
Not a long time ago, you would need to assist someone in order to gain access to mid-level knowledge. Talking to few pro photographers here in Montreal, they told me that they all used to assist big names before them.
You don't have to spend that many years anymore, especially if you are gifted. Given the availability of that knowledge online, provided by the pros themselves (workshop) as well as sponsors (B&H, sekonic, ...) all you need is practice and today's enthusiasts can easily access to that practice because they don't have to be paid much. In fact, they would even do it for free for the sake of chance to practice.
On the other end, customers, with their budged cuts, are willing to take that chance.
In my eyes, only high-end - high budget pro photography will survive. Here, they won't hire you unless you and your team have been proven well by solid references. You want to jump in, you will need to assist someone big in order to be "seen".
Everything else will be consumed by enthusiasts, be it a learning young photographer or an older passionate geek.
I am one of them, photography relaxes me after long work days or weeks, so why would I refuse an opportunity to shoot? All I need is just to be able to get back some of what I paid to fund my gear - I don't have to sustain any business need. In fact, I don't even need a well-built marketing campaign: the word of mouth is enough. The more enthusiasts exist, the less customers left for the pro to sustain their businesses.

On the other end, the consumers are getting pulled into the group of enthusiasts as time goes.
So yes, I share most of his opinion.


6
Sounds like the staffers have just been reduced to free lance, contractor status.
Wonder how that will play out?
I'm sure it will play out well for the magazine - no benefits, no office space, no gear budget, etc.  For the photographers, it probably means less money per shoot, benefits and gear is all them now.  It's rough out there...
Fell sorry for the guys!

7
EOS Bodies / Re: Global Shutter Coming to Canon DSLRs? [CR1]
« on: January 22, 2015, 01:32:05 PM »
Would this allow to sync flash at any shutter speed if we have a flash trigger that is quick enough?


There is no reason why not. Would be very interesting if they did...the trend lately seems to have been to reduce the sync speed instead of increase it, which has been disappointing.
Agreed! Especially when you try to compete with that natural continuous light from above.

8
EOS Bodies / Re: Global Shutter Coming to Canon DSLRs? [CR1]
« on: January 22, 2015, 12:58:51 PM »
What's the point of having 30fps when you have video shot at 30fps?  Doesn't the 1DC cover this?  Or is this basically what the mirrorless cameras have, just faster? they have very fast frame bursts..  slightly confused?
To me the biggest disadvantage of video is flash. If they bit the current sync speed with this, it would be difficult not to be tempted.

9
Lenses / Re: Why I love the 200mm f2.0 prime
« on: January 20, 2015, 05:53:42 PM »
Don't own it, too much for my pocket, but I rent it on a specific sport event once or twice a year and I agree it is a superb lens. I have shot with the 85 1.2, 35 1.4, 135 2.0 but the greatest satisfaction has always been from the 200 2.0
People complain about the weight but I handheld it shooting basketball, volleyball and video 14hours in two days and it is ok. I use only a monopod during soccer games (and video if for longer period).
For hockey, though, I prefer the 135 f2 wide open, shooting from behind the goalie through the Plexiglas. Smaller for such a fast action game.
I am no professional on hockey games, either.

Enjoy! I envy you.

10
Photography Technique / Re: Indoor Wedding help
« on: January 19, 2015, 06:40:41 PM »
My good friend ask me if I can take pictures for her wedding indoor in a restaurant.    I often see people put a light with stand at the corner in a ballroom.   Is that a remote flash or just Continuous light that they leave it on all night.   
What do people usually use for indoor lighting.   For some reason I like natural lights instead of using the flash.   
If I have to flash, can I set it to ETTL with the flash full power or just half when they are dancing, games..  I have a 5DM3  and speedlight.  24-70 f2.8

Also another question I have is how often a professional photographer use the Shutter Priority mode to capture dancing,   like when the couple playing games, dancing......etc.   Should I use TV mode to get better shots.  I know AV will get you depth of field but I just want some clean and clear shots.     

Just want to delivery the best pictures I can for my best friend.     Any help will be great.

Thanks
To begin with, allow me to assume that you are new to indoor flash. Forgive me if I am wrong.

Since this is a wedding, my most important suggestion to you is to speak to your friend again and let her know that you are not professional and that you cannot guarantee award winnings photo.
Friendship is important and you want to keep that intact. After all you do it for that friendship.

As for bounce flash, yes that is a remote flash. Search on Youtube about off-camera flash and you will find tons of video.
You will need flash transceivers, as a transmitter and receiver.
I like having my camera on manual mode and flash on TTL. Camera on manual mode (if you are familiar with it) allows you to have ambient light consistent, while flash in TTL is better as the distance between the subject and the flash varies in time.

To successfully use a bounce flash on a stick:
The ceiling needs to be white, the height is not too much (3-4m) and you need to gel your flash to match the ambient (1/2 CTO for tungsteen, 1/2 Green if fluorescent - depending on the lamps)
You can leave your flash on your camera if the distance from the corner to your subject is too far (pointed towards a low ceiling), but if this is not the case you can leave the flash (flashes) on a stick.
You can use two of them on opposite sides of the room.
When the subjects are not moving; shoot with high ISO so you can get the mood of the room with ambient light but when subjects are moving alot I prefer killing the ambient light and move to flash entirely and let it freeze the movement. Use both so that customer has both types. For the same shot, take at least two pictures with two different focal lengths. Vary your vantage points as well.
Don't forget to bring bunch of batteries and don't shoot too often to avoid flash burn.
Good luck!

11
I just read this article by Jay Goodrich and agree with majority of what he has to say:
http://www.outdoorphotographer.com/blog/jay-goodrich/2015/01/5-things-we-need-to-forget-about-as-photographers.html#.VLlWTCwvWQk

For all respect to his success, I disagree with the majority of what he says.
The reason is simple, he puts everybody in his own shoes.
But, we all know that there are so many shoes on this planet. The fact that cheap tools work for him doesn't mean that it works for all of us "photographers".
1 - Laboratory sensors ... He assumed that all photographers are new photographers. Actually, photographers who deserve the title are experienced photographers, not snapshooters. And I find it an insult to all pro photographers that some  guy assumes that with an iPhone you will be able to shoot an NHL game for the photo to be on the front page of a news paper every single night game. You need the right tool to do the right job. No fantasy hear.
2 - Software plugins ... The fact that you work for National Geographic and 95% of your work doesn't need Photoshop didn't give you the right to categorize all Photoshop users idiots. Some people actually do beauty shots, for example. There is no way for you to be competitive not using advanced tools.
3 Diffraction ... If you ever have shot macro you would understand what is the meaning of that word. People wake up early to be able to shot tens or even hundreds of shots in order to stack them
4 HDR ... You said it yourself, it is about vision. The fact that people have different vision than yours don't give you the right to treat them as inferior.
5 - "If all you own is the phone in your pocket and you have a zest for creating, you WILL succeed."
Wake up, your Matrix is not for real. Get back to reality.

If the title was "5 Things We can ignore to become Photographers" then I would agree with him. Some photographers don't need all the bells and whistles.
But there are out there those who need to spend in order to succeed.
Especially, those whose success depends on repetitiveness at all time and conditions and not one/two, by mistake, state of the art.
The key is balance between need and want. And the name of the game is "repetitiveness and competition".

The only thing, really, I agree with him is: "So stop reading and go out and give it a try"

Sometimes, when someone is successful, he thinks he is the only one smart person on earth. Many dictators of this planet have the same mentality.

12
Wedding Photography / Re: Bride + Softbox + OCC + Hotel Lobby
« on: January 16, 2015, 03:49:30 PM »
Thanks for the advice. I will keep them in mind. I am confident with capturing the moment as I am a boxing photographer, still struggles with getting, especially the bride, to relax. And it is very obvious in your work that you are right there, where I want to be.

13
Wedding Photography / Re: Bride + Softbox + OCC + Hotel Lobby
« on: January 16, 2015, 02:49:31 AM »
I didn't realize how big is the catchlight from the octabox. I got mine but haven't used it much.
My eyes are used to beauty dish. Light wraps softly and evenly.

I looked at the whole set from your page and I must admit you manage very well your customer's emotion. They seem to trust you alot.
How do you approach your first look to get them relaxed?
I need to work a bit more in that direction.
Nice pics, thanks for sharing.

14
Lenses / Re: My first results with the Canon 100-400 II
« on: January 15, 2015, 05:10:22 PM »
Nicely done, Mario.
Nice indeed. It looks well with 1.4x.

I ordered mine two weeks ago and still waiting for the next batch.
I can't wait trying it for outdoor hockey. Pond hockey is coming to Montreal on February 7th, but not sure if it will get here on time.
Thanks for sharing.

15
Lenses / Re: New Rebel & EF 11-24 f/4L USM Coming Shortly
« on: January 15, 2015, 12:25:06 PM »
Wait, this is a full frame, non-fisheye lens that runs at 11mm?!  That sounds pretty spectacular all by itself.  Has that  ever been done before?

That was exactly my question. Any law of physics expert to comment? What is the possibility of successful rectilinearity at that focal length?
That would open up a brand new perspective of lifestyle photography.

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