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Messages - ereka

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Lenses / Re: Lens recommendations for fashion photography (catwalk)
« on: February 21, 2012, 03:05:14 AM »
Well, I went along in the end and here are the results if anyone is interested:




* 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens on a 1D Mk II

* No flash (but almost everyone else used flash, ruining a good proportion of my shots it has to be said)

* Lighting was mixed and white balance ended up at around 2650 Kelvin (going by grey card)

* I had to shoot on ISO 800 and f/2.8 to achieve shutter speeds between around 1/250th and 1/500th sec

* Back button focus on A1 servo worked really well and the vast majority of the images ended up pretty sharp (I haven't applied any additional sharpening to the images in the galleries on my website, other than the standard capture sharpening when converting from RAW using CS5)

Apart from one photographer who called me a "bl%&^ amateur" and threatened to smash my equipment and throw me out, it was a good experience and I'm glad I went.

Thank you to everyone who offered me advice and the benefit of their experience, all of which helped enormously on the day. Constructive criticism on the results will be very welcome if anyone has the time and inclination. Apologies if this is in the wrong forum.

Lenses / Re: Lens recommendations for fashion photography (catwalk)
« on: February 15, 2012, 04:24:52 AM »
nice low ceiling to bounce flash, the models look good. should be able to get some decent shots for a portfolio
just make a trip of it with your wife
with all the competition you are going to need the 1D mk2 fast burst rate
get yourself a yongnuo external battery pack to help boost your flash cycle time so it can keep up
do you have 2 flashes you may overheat one and need to swap it over to let it cool down.
go for it

I'm not sure whether flash will be allowed or advisable - with well over 50 photographers in attendance, would flash not dazzle the other photographers and p*** them off??? I am erring on the side of going though, just for the experience and I'm sure my wife will enjoy the show anyway, so I'll notch up a few brownie points there hopefully  :)

I've already had a go at the back button focussing technique, photographing birds of prey in flight - I should think it's probably a little easier keeping focus on a catwalk model but we'll see!

One thing I haven't tried is zooming whilst in A1 servo mode - how easy or difficult is it to zoom whilst maintaining focus? It seems like yet another skill to practise i.e. holding down the * button to track focus, zooming out at the same time whilst the models walk towards the camera and also controlling the shutter release button for short critically timed bursts - quite a juggling act I suspect!

Lenses / Re: Lens recommendations for fashion photography (catwalk)
« on: February 14, 2012, 12:34:00 PM »
I think it all sounds very dubious. It might be fun, and you might even get some decent photos for your portfolio (the idea of payment seems completely nonexistent to me), which might be handy if this is the industry you're trying to break into.

All in all, you don't sound sure and I think the travel & accommodation money could be better spent.

Maybe I'm just getting cold feet, although if I were convinced that it would be worth my while I'd have no hesitation in biting the bullet and giving it a go! I guess another way to look at it is ... what have I really got to lose? Not long after St Valentine's Day and my wife gets to stay in a 5* hotel in Central London and see a couple of fashion shows (she loves fashion)! I'm trying hard to convince myself here!  :-[

Lenses / Re: Lens recommendations for fashion photography (catwalk)
« on: February 14, 2012, 09:17:16 AM »
I've just been sent a link to a video of last year's show:


Looks like a pretty low key affair to me and it's not even a proper catwalk? What do you think - what should I do?

Apparently there a way MORE THAN 50 photographers going to be crammed in now and there's going to be a VIP party in a club afterwards with "networking opportunities".

I'm in a real dilemme as to whether it's going to be worth the effort.

Lenses / Re: Lens recommendations for fashion photography (catwalk)
« on: February 14, 2012, 07:25:14 AM »
... interested to see some of the shots if you go through with it

Me too!  :o

Your probably right that it would be good experience and an opportunity to portfolio build, but I can't help thinking that with 50 or more "official" photographers attending I might not get a shooting spot any better than Joe Bloggs in the general audience. Also, I've been pressing for information about the lighting but keep on getting fobbed off, which leads me to believe there's a distinct possibility that this will be an amateurish effort on a shoestring budget and unlikely to produce portfolio worthy images. There will be other fashion shows more local to me I'm sure, for me to cut my teeth on. There again, it wouldn't be London so probably wouldn't look quite so good on my CV! I'm not sure whether I'm trying to talk myself into it or out of it.

Lenses / Re: Lens recommendations for fashion photography (catwalk)
« on: February 13, 2012, 04:11:20 AM »
Thanks for all the advice guys! However, I'm having serious second thoughts as to whether to go to the show at all now, after having just found out that the designers involved have no less than 50 (yes that's FIFTY ... five zero) photographers lined up to shoot for no pay. Also, all the models and makeup artists are working for free. The carrot that is being dangled is possible recognition as a model/MUA/photographer on Brazil and/or Italy and a remote possibility that the designers might purchase some of the very best images (although no mention of how much they'd be prepared to pay). Basically, I answered a casting call on a talent site, for photographers to shoot two OFF SCHEDULE fashion shows during London Fashion Week and was thrilled to receive a reply saying that the designers would love me to shoot for them. I felt honoured and privileged i.e. until I found out how many photographers they'd apparently sent the same reply to. Is this normal practice amongst designers at fashion shows i.e. to recruit 50 photographers and I don't know how many models and makeup artists to work for no pay or are they just trying to do things on the cheap? If you are in the know about these things, I'd really appreciate your opinion as to whether you think this is a genuine opportunity for a newbie photographer to the fashion scene to gain experience, possibly gain recognition and possibly sell some of the images to the designers ... or is it just the designers trying to do things on the cheap and lining up 50 photographers to make their show look bigger and more important than it really is? In short, are we all (models. makeup artists and photographers alike) being conned and exploited as gullible wannabes? Given that as the shows are late evening time and I'll not only have to foot the bill for my travel to London and overnight accommodation and meals in London I reckon I'll be out of pocket to the tune of a few hundred pounds. I'm not really stupid enough to believe that I'll be "spotted" or that I'll sell any of my pictures to the designers, but would it be worth going just for the experience alone? I'd really appreciate some advice from anyone who has inside knowledge of the fashion industry or has experienced a similar scenario.

EOS Bodies / Re: 1D X high res samples just appeared
« on: February 07, 2012, 06:37:39 AM »
Check the second protrait's background noise, not as good as I expected.
That's shot at 1600 ISO. If that's straight from the camera it's pretty good. If shot in RAW that noise is gone in a heartbeat with minimal noise reduction added. I think it's pretty good.

I didn't notice any noise when viewing the image at 100%. Only when mentioned did I magnify to 200% and then you can see some noise. I think that's what they call 'pixel peeping'? For 1600 ISO (assuming it hasn't undergone any post processing to reduce noise) it seems pretty darn good to me! It would be interesting to see an equivalent image shot with the new D800.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: D800 - Sample Photos
« on: February 07, 2012, 05:50:02 AM »
This is from the viewpoint of someone who photographs mainly portraits. Landscape shooters, for example, might have a very different take on it. Maybe my eyes are going wonky with old age, but I've taken a quick look at the D800/D800E portrait samples and to be honest can't see any useful improvement in detail over and above my 8mp 1DMkII. Even if there is detail that I'm missing, all the emphasis in portrait retouching seems to be on blurring or 'smoothing' the skin so why would we need more detail there? Anyway, in the real (non pixel-peeping) world, do portrait or wedding clients usually examine their pictures through a loupe? There might be other advantages to the D800 (e.g. the face recognition feature that allows automatic exposure of the face in backlit situations with no need for the photographer to think about exposure compensation seems quite convenient for fast moving situations when you don't really have time to think, whenever those might be) but for pure resolution seems like overkill. Also, as someone else has pointed out, how does it perform in low light situations e.g. weddings? Possibly not a wedding photographer's dream camera? The 1Dx is looking more attractive by the minute. Canon had better hurry up if it's going to announce a 5DMkIII/5Dx though, before a lot of rich amateur/semi-pro camera users jump ship? Just a thought.

Canon General / Re: Is it worth *really* studying photography?
« on: February 06, 2012, 04:32:10 AM »
Going off at a slight tangent, what about these various 'professional bodies' where you pay an annual fee and you can get mentors and submit work to qualify for 'professional status' of sorts. I'm thing of the SWWP, BIPP and other 'pro' bodies, any thoughts on these?

That's the first time I have heard of these 'professional bodies'. Are they only based in the US? Or do they also operate online.

SWPP = Society of Wedding & Portrait Photographers
BIPP = British Institute of Professional Photography

Both are UK based.

Software & Accessories / RAW processing parameters
« on: February 06, 2012, 03:57:15 AM »
This is closely linked with my previous post, but I thought it might keep things clearer not to compound the two issues. My first post was about workflow as such. This post is about what parameters to use (or not to use) in ACR when developing the RAW files.

If you've read my previous post, you'll be gaining the impression that I tend to be a creature of habit. True to a point, but I'm also curious and very open to persuasion that there is a different and/or better way to go about things. Also, I'll freely admit that I'm on a steep learning curve that has started to acclerate recently since I retired from the 'day job' and have more time to devote to photography :)

I'm aware that I've probably developed (excuse the pun) a lot of bad habits over the years when it comes to workflow and post processing of images. Due to my increasing work rate recently, I've also become painfully aware that I need to develop more efficient methods of working if I'm to have any remote chance of keeping up with client demands for finished work within tight deadlines.

OK, so I shoot mainly people using a 1DMkII and then use ACR via Photoshop CS5.5 to develop the RAW files. Custom white balance set in camera. Colour rendition chart used to create custom camera profile. Apply camera profile to RAW files, double check white balance, synchronise all files for camera profile and white balance and then adjust individual files further as follows:

1) I note that by default the files are sharpened - I tend to turn this off and sharpen later in CS5.5

2) I note that by default medium contrast is applied - I tend to leave this on and even apply further 'linear contrast' at around 66% opacity in an adjustment layer in CS5.5 to most files; I guess this is just personal taste for contrasty files but I sometimes wonder whether I overdo the contrast as a matter of habit?

3) I tend to set the blacks to zero to maintain shadow detail but use the recovery slider to recover blown highlights (although these are mostly in the red channel only and I sometimes wonder whether I overdo the recovery - how important really is it to ensure that the red channel highlights are reading less than 255?)

4) I tend to leave brightness and contrast sliders on their default 50 and 25 respectively, leave clarity alone for portrait shots or even reduce it slightly and increase vibrance until colour saturation e.g. of clothing is pleasing to my eye without affecting skin tones too much.

I could go on, but I think these are the main adjustments I'm looking for opinions on. The main questions in my mind are:

Are there any advantages to sharpening in ACR or am I right to turn sharpening off at this stage?

Am I applying too much contrast routinely (medium contrast curve and default 25 setting in ACR, with further linear contrast added in CS5.5)?

Is there any advantage to adjusting blacks in ACR or am I right always to set this to zero?

Am I overdoing the recovery of blown highlights, which are almost always exclusively in the red channel?

I'll be really interested to hear other people's take on all this (if you've had the patience to read this far!)

Software & Accessories / RAW processing workflow query
« on: February 06, 2012, 03:25:35 AM »
Q. Currently, I shoot with a 1DMkII and mainly people. I've fallen into the following workflow habit:

1) Shoot just RAW (I used to shoot RAW+jpeg but upon reflection hardly ever used the jpegs) with custom white balance set in camera; also shoot a few frames of a color rendition chart using bracketed exposures

2) Develop in Adobe Camera RAW via Photoshop CS5.5 applying a custom camera profile created from the color rendition chart frame showing the most accurate exposure and double checking white balance by clicking on a light grey square from the chart; synchronise camera profile and white balance to all files, then tweak each file individually before step 3

3) Save all developed files as 16-bit psd files to a separate folder named 'psd from RAW'

4) Make further adjustments to the psd files in CS5.5 and save the resulting files to another folder named 'psd edited'

5) Convert to 8-bit mode and save as jpegs to a further folder named 'jpeg for print'

6) For selected files only, 'save for web' into yet another folder named 'jpeg for web'

In this way, I end up with no less than five versions of at least some of the files in five different folders and find myself questioning whether this is the most efficient or appropriate way of working. For example, could I just work with the RAW files and skip the 'psd from RAW' stage?

For background, I usually upload all of the hi res jpeg files from a shoot to my website in a password protected client gallery with the option to purchase prints and personalised gift items for automatic fulfilment by a partner pro lab. The selected web sized jpegs are usually just used for my own portfolio on various other sites.

All opinions and suggestions will be valued. Do you think I'm working along the right lines or is there a better way?

Lenses / Re: Wresting photography
« on: January 21, 2012, 02:19:14 AM »
Thanks for all the advice.

Lenses / Wresting photography
« on: January 19, 2012, 05:44:39 PM »
Is anyone experienced in photographing wrestling matches? What lenses and camera settings do you use? I've been trawling the net this evening for tips and have so far come up with the following plan for action shots in a dimly lit gym:

Fast lens e.g. 70-200mm f/2.8
High shutter speed - at least 1/250th sec
Widest possible aperture e.g. f/2.8
Manual exposure - set shutter speed and aperture, then vary ISO to obtain correct exposure
NO FLASH - shoot RAW to allow exposure adjustment in post e.g. if images too dark and/or noisy
Centre focus point
A1 Servo
High speed continuous shooting

Any thoughts or suggestions?

EOS Bodies / Re: 1D Mk II dioptric adjustment method
« on: January 08, 2012, 07:53:48 PM »
The AF point marks and spot circle are etched on the superimpose screen that's right up against the focusing screen and as such make the best reference to set the diopter.

The problem I'm finding is that on the ID Mk II (at least on the one I have) there are no AF point marks actually etched on the screen, only the spot metering circle and that is such a fine line I find it hard to focus on. The viewfinder information is much bolder and therefore easier to focus on. The AF points do illuminate when activated, but I'm not sure that provides a good focus target? In any event they are only illuminated for a very short time after achieving focus, which doesn't give much time to adjust the dioptric adjustment knob whilst observing the illuminated points. I hope this makes sense? I guess I'll just have to squint a little harder to focus on the spot metering circle, unless anyone can suggest a viable alternative?

EOS Bodies / 1D Mk II dioptric adjustment method
« on: January 08, 2012, 07:15:49 PM »
Apologies in advance if I've posted this in the wrong forum, but I couldn't find another that seemed more appropriate.

Could anyone please clarify the method for dioptric adjustment on a 1D Mk II (or presumably any other model)? i.e. the camera manual states "turn the dioptric adjustment knob to the left or right until the AF point or the center spot metering circle looks sharp in the viewfinder" but in another forum I seem to remember someone saying that they adjust until the viewfinder information looks sharp. I've tried both methods and find the latter easier although there does seem to be a slight (almost imperceptible) focussing discrepancy between the two methods. Is this just my imagination or is one method correct and the other incorrect?

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