September 20, 2014, 10:16:53 AM

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Messages - pwp

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31
Cameras & Lenses: Always two bodies.... .... Speedlight 600ex-rt on each camera

Two cameras with speedlights attached hanging from straps, in a crowd of kids/parents?

That sounds like a good way to get equipment busted.   One bad bump and one of those speedlights can snap off. I think that is a bit over-kill for this type of shoot. Especially for someone doing this type of shoot for the first time.
That's where affinity kicks in. My reading was that the conversation had evolved somewhat. My long post was pitched more towards general events projects as opposed to the OP's specific job. Anyway, this is a kids event at an aquarium, not a riot. I work around large numbers of children a lot, you judge each situation on its merits. Equipment is in far greater danger in a room full of drunk adults, revellers or wedding guests.

-pw

32
Lenses / Re: Ultrawide Zoom from Canon?
« on: September 05, 2014, 05:00:40 AM »
Rent a 14mm f/2.8II. It's a remarkable lens. I'd class it as an ultra-wide.
If shopping for a pre-owned 14mm f/2.8 avoid the old model, MkII only please.

-pw

33
Good solid advice from Distant Star. He's probably got a nicely evolved events workflow. There is a lot of great advice on this thread, much of which illustrates the diversity of how photographers approach events work.

I'd shoot a couple of events a week. FWIW here's a little on how I go about it.

The Brief: Get very clear communication from the client on what they want, how they're going to use it and when they need delivery of the job. I learned a long time ago not to accept a brief along the lines of..."well you're the expert, just do what you think is best..." only to get feedback after the job is delivered..."well this actually isn't what we were wanting..." Grrrrr. Insist on a written brief.

Cameras & Lenses: Always two bodies with Peak Design sling straps, 24-70 f/2.8II on one and 70-200 f/2.8isII on the other. Sometimes a third body with good high iso capability with a 24 f/1.4II. Typically the 24-70 gets used for posed shots, the 70-200 for candids. Two extra lenses that I'd keep nearby are a 16-35 just in case 24 isn't enough, and a 300 f/2.8is for some awesome candids, or required shots of speakers/presenters from a respectable distance.

Lighting: Speedlight 600ex-rt on each camera, plus additional lights depending on the job eg: a couple more off-camera 600ex-rt or Einsteins. With the on-camera flash, use bounce whenever possible, or if the room has high black ceilings, a diffuser such as a Gary Fong is great. I use Flash Diffuser Pro from Joe Demb http://www.dembflashproducts.com/ As we all know, straight flash looks pretty bad in most cases and should be used only as a last resort or for a particular look. For daylight fill, straight flash can look fine. Also, you can often make good extra money setting up a simple studio and asking the MC to make an appropriate announcement for you. People love it.

Batteries: I've had old 550 EZ speedlights explode when working them hard when powered by a Quantum Turbo. I had one go BANG two days after 9-11. Everyone hit the floor. Client was not impressed. Put in perspective, back in that time I was shooting 100 iso film and needed a ton of light, thus working the speedlights a LOT harder. Now my default iso at most events is 800 and on the 5D3 I have no qualms bumping up to 1600 and occasionally 3200 if that's what's needed to get the shot. Bounce flash at 1600 iso gives a great look, done well it looks like available light. I wouldn't walk out of the studio door without a fully charged Quantum T3 battery (with the twin outlets). Remote 600ex-rt are powered by the incredible value Godox Propac PB960 http://www.amazon.com/Godox-Propac-Battery-Output-Camera/dp/B00D06LUAA (btw they come in black...)

Shooting: I tend to shoot heavily, frequently coming back from an event with 1500-2000 shots. Shooting a lot of candids, there is a high loss rate, but with a ruthless edit you really get those great moments that make the client swoon. In another life as a photo-editor for a metropolitan Sunday newspaper I learned to edit fast. If it's a maybe, then it shouldn't make the cut. Another reason to shoot heavily can be to give an event a bit more sizzle. If you're doing your job well, communicating confidently and genuinely having fun, you're part of the entertainment. People respond to light energies, affinity, respect, humor and a bit of good natured nonsense. Like life, it's supposed to be enjoyable!

Invoicing: Be very careful about doing freebies or heavily discounted events. Better to be reassuringly expensive.

-pw


34
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: And what does Canon do?
« on: September 04, 2014, 11:04:12 PM »
How could you have anything but total admiration for a company like RED, shouldering into the market just 10 years ago, then following up with a string of awesome products. The trickle down will continue and as viable hybrid cameras increasingly become a commercial necessity for professional shooters, announcements like this one have a reassuring resonance.

Who knows? In the hybrid sector, this is the year of the crazy-good and hot-selling Panasonic GH4 (which I use for video work) and the low-light king, the Sony A7s. There may just be a RED in my future...

-pw

35
Software & Accessories / Re: Portable HD with SD reader
« on: September 04, 2014, 07:41:46 PM »
I would buy one in a heartbeat if it could do CF cards.
Western Digital...did I just hear you whisper "ooops!"
Include CF and sell a whole lot more.

But there are plenty of great hardware choices out there, particularly from Nexto and Sanho:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/Stand-Alone-Data-Storage/ci/3369/N/4000227848

-pw

36
Lenses / Re: Your favorite older EF lens
« on: September 03, 2014, 12:57:06 AM »
L 300 f/4is...what a sleeper from 1998 this one is. I sold mine when I bought my 300 f/2.8is but bought another recently. There is room for both lenses in any kit. The f/4 is so light & small, and focuses so close I can use it as a macro. I shoot food with this lens. It's a very different look.

Other than the 300, I'm not remotely sentimental about old glass. Newer the better in my studio.

-pw

37
Photography Technique / Re: Back-button focus?
« on: August 31, 2014, 06:04:05 AM »
I found my thumb got tired...
And I thought I was the only one to get thumb fatigue!
Back button focus is a brilliant option for photographers with better thumbs than privatebydesign and myself.

-pw

38
Lenses / Re: Permanent price drops
« on: August 31, 2014, 05:56:23 AM »
Kinda wish I held off on the EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM, still it was $6247 with my CPS discount so I still am ahead, just not by quite as much
I've not heard of CPS discounts on lenses.
It may depend on which part of the planet you live. No such thing in Australia as far as I'm aware.
CPS in Sydney is Gold Standard, reason enough on its own to not shoot Nikon. It's an awesome service.

But CPS discounts? Lucky you...where?

-pw

39
Photography Technique / Re: Is RAW worth it?
« on: August 31, 2014, 05:03:26 AM »
RAW only.

I followed the 'typical' path - shoot JPG only, then RAW+JPG and keep only some of the RAW files, finally RAW only.
Yep that would be a pretty typical path to take. Most people would have got there years ago. RAW only. 2003 for me.

It's unfathomable and slightly hilarious that this thread is still running. I'm not against anybody shooting JPEG, that's their choice. And in some cases it's a valid choice.

Yet the arguments that favor a RAW workflow are so profoundly well based, it beggars belief how photographers who assert they're shooting meaningful work can attempt to argue that shooting JPEG is somehow superior.

Who would prefer a pre-prepared supermarket frozen meal zapped in a microwave over a skillfully crafted meal made from fresh ingredients? Quick & convenient but somehow leaving you with that shallow feeling vs...,well you get the point. 

Yes, occasionally the frozen dinner is useful, but why not travel first class?

-pw

40
Photography Technique / Re: Is RAW worth it?
« on: August 30, 2014, 09:40:19 PM »
Get real! To say you only shoot RAW at the times when you know you're going to need it is pretty shortsighted. Ask just about any deeply experienced photographers about their best ever shots and a common answer will be in the context of it coming unexpectedly, a situation or magic moment that could burst out of a seemingly mundane situation. The Boy Scouts motto "Be Prepared" could have a little resonance here. Switch to RAW and never be in a position to moan or make excuses about "the one that got away..."

-pw

41
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 7DMk II or the 1DMk IV
« on: August 30, 2014, 09:08:53 PM »
Based on early rumoured specs, I did see a 7D2 pushing my 1d Mk4 out of my bag. But it's still speculation until the actual, REAL  final specs are verified, REAL reviews are published and REAL world user reports from early adapters start to roll in.

The fact remains that the 1D4 is a truly fantastic high performance action camera with a bigger APS-H sensor that the 7D2 will be hard pressed to outperform. Pure physics dictates this. A 7D2 will quite likely outgun the 1D4 in terms of tracking AF with its awesome AF array and more up to date processor. Anyway we won't have long to wait and all these speculative questions will have real answers.

I definitely wouldn't expect a 7D2 to last anywhere near as long as my 1D4 which must have well over half a million shutter acctuations on it by now...all on the original shutter. I know full time sports shooters who have run 1-series bodies up over a million clicks on the original shutter. They would take the viewpoint that ultimately a 1-series body will be cheaper in the long run, and much better to use than a 7D.

What is a certainty is that Canon is going sell a bazillion of these highly anticipated cameras.

-pw



42
EOS Bodies / Re: Mirrorless vs DSLR Camera
« on: August 29, 2014, 01:39:53 AM »
I like both. Mirrorless has a big future. Once the AF gets up to speed and the EVF evolves sufficiently, what else has to happen? Based on the game-changing specs & performance & gob-smacked reviews of the mirrorless Panasonic GH-4 I bought one for my video work where it tidily beats the pants off my 5D3 in all situations with the exception of high iso shooting (over 1600 iso).

After using the GH-4 for a couple of months I'm discovering the sheer brilliance of it's very decent EVF and surprisingly good AF; much much quicker and accurate than I initially expected. Now that Adobe DNG converter v8.6 and Lightroom v5.6 can see the GH-4 RAW files, I've even been using it for stills on some commercial jobs.

Mirrorless is evolving fast. It's great to use. I'd hate to see favourite mainstream manufacturers (cough, cough..) being caught flat footed as this revolution gains pace.

-pw

43
Lenses / Re: Sigma 14-24mm OS lens at Photokina?
« on: August 28, 2014, 02:53:57 AM »
Literally ordered a 12-24 MkII to update my MkI five minutes before I saw this.  Not terribly bothered because 14 isn't 12.  I will be very interested to see this one.
Is the MkII 12-24 much of an improvement over the MkI? I have a MkI which I pull out just a few times a year when the 16-35 f/2.8II just doesn't cut it. It's OK at f/11 but total mush wide open.

-pw

44
EOS Bodies / Re: Are you planning to purchase a 7D2
« on: August 27, 2014, 07:26:51 PM »
Yes I'll probably get one, but unlikely to commit based on what is still a rumor spec list.

Unless it's a compelling argument, I'll keep punting the 1D4 along for a while yet. For me a 7D2 would be an action camera, and the rumored AF array looks like a winner on paper, probably outperforming my 1D4, but it's the high iso performance that will be the decider for me. If it can at least match the 1D4 on high iso, I'll buy.

-pw


45
Lenses / Re: EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS versus EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II
« on: August 27, 2014, 03:25:25 AM »
I've had both and would probably still be using the 70-200 f/2.8 IS-Series-I if I hadn't dropped it. It was repaired but never quite the same. Comparing my two copies I'd have to say there is very little in it. I suspect my Series-I was a seriously good copy before the drop. The Series II is fantastic too, sharp at f/2.8 right through to about f/11.

Shooting action using AI-Servo, neither lens performed like my 300 f/2.8is, but that's to be expected. OOF tracking shots can be attributed to user error in most cases. Provided you've got a good body behind the lens there should be good results using correct technique. Your 7D should be fine. You'll always get better AI Servo performance from a 1-Series body with it's higher capacity battery driving the AF just that little bit faster.

-pw

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