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Messages - adebrophy

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16
Lighting / Re: Lighting large groups, help needed!
« on: September 15, 2013, 03:58:57 AM »

Adebrophy - hmmm finding a room with a window in a Japanese office might be difficult!  :P

Ah - good point! Two umbrellas two flashes is the only way. Or three if you want to light the background or create a nice rim light. But the point of using window/ambient is that doing lots of headshots when you need to move around an office a lot and don't get the luxury of setting up with lots of time means that - as you suggested - simpler can be best. It also helps subjects relax more.

One good tip from Strobist.com was using coloured gels to warm up your flash much more than the ambient. Colour correcting afterwards in post makes the non lit sections cooler than the subject. Its a good way of making a dull office look good without having to light the room as well. Another example of more with less that's faster.

By the way, I should add that I'm still quite new to doing paid jobs so unlike some of the others here - who are offering excellent and very valid advice on much more sophisticated lighting set ups - I am sticking to simpler set ups to make things faster and to let me focus on the subject and the shot and not the lighting.

Having said that, as I've grown beyond those simple techniques, I still find that for the most part doing photos of people in at work means speed is more often more important. Execs too busy to stick to time slots, impromptu set ups in meeting rooms, subjects not willing to all come to one location on site... Often keeping mobile and simple is better for the client too, which is another reason a bag of flashguns isn't neccessarily a bad option. If you can stay on top of the batteries!

17
Lighting / Re: Lighting large groups, help needed!
« on: September 13, 2013, 08:47:27 AM »
Great subject - I learned a lot from the advice on bigger groups here.

On individual headshots, I'd recommend a very fast option - find a large window and use that as one light and set up a strobe and umbrella on the opposite side. The results can be gorgeous - nice diffuse light all round - and you're working with one light, one stand, one modifier and a trigger on camera. Makes it very fast to dash between rooms if you have to!!

18
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 6D body ergonomics versus 5D
« on: September 12, 2013, 03:02:26 PM »
A little added bonus on the ergonomics; if you add a grip the AF point controller is well positioned and useable in portrait vertical shooting, unlike the joystick on the 5D mki & ii which cannot then be reached.

If you're shooting conferences in doors you may find your 6D back up becomes the main body  ;)

yep - I hear you! I do think the next body will become the primary one. Particularly as the trusty mkii is getting thrashed on AF and ISO by the new machines. Having said that, anyone looking at a used mkii shouldn't get put off. Still a brilliant camera and does events fine.

19
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 6D body ergonomics versus 5D
« on: September 12, 2013, 02:22:43 PM »
Thanks - good to hear. Must have just been holding it awkwardly while reaching for the buttons. Seems like a stunning camera and the price right now with cashback offers is pretty amazing.

20
EOS Bodies - For Stills / 6D body ergonomics versus 5D
« on: September 12, 2013, 11:59:43 AM »
Hi,

I have a 5Dii and use it for shooting conferences and events. I do need to get a second body as an insurance - and to let me use a couple of primes in fast moving situations - and was considering the 6D.

I had a look at one in store and was very impressed by its solidity and quality feel. However, I tried it with my 135L straight off the 5Dii and after taking test shots for a few minutes noticed the smaller body, which I thought would be appealing, meant my little finger felt a bit cramped at the base.

This was after a few minutes which I found a bit unexpected. Thinking back I don't know if it was because I was holding the thing awkwardly while trying to use the pad (alas no joystick). Anyone else try a 5 series body and 6 and care to comment based on longer term usage?

Naturally a grip would circumvent the issue, I guess.

Overall though the 6D does seem exceptional value so awfully tempting (although a WiFi 5D mk IV would be ideal if that lottery win comes through...)

Thanks all!

 

21
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Finally did a few paying jobs now what?
« on: September 06, 2013, 09:39:57 AM »
Hey - kudos KKC for taking on board some of that advice and changing up your site. The cut down selection of photos now does your ability justice.

Even if you are doing this on the side (as I am) then I still recommend looking at insurance so you can still keep yourself and clients safe. That's insurance as in a spare camera body and as in third party liability.

Also, I can echo the comments on learning lighting. I got huge amounts of great and free tuition from Adorama TV and David Hobby's strobist site.

Here's my gallery - www.xtrashot.com

22
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Finally did a few paying jobs now what?
« on: September 03, 2013, 10:00:49 AM »
As commented above, your next investment is in your business plan - particularly as you have some awesome kit! Work out your target customers. Will you sell to families, or to businesses? Are there routes to clients like PR or marketing firms that need regular access to photography? Understand how much you need to earn to make this a worthwhile plan, and work out how many days you'll need to earn that at the rates the market can bear (do some competitor research to get a sense of rates). Be realistic about how many days you'll be able to sell. Factor in equipment costs per year and other things like insurances and marketing costs. In other words, start making lists and spreadsheets. Boring advice, sorry!  ???

23
Lenses / Re: Which L Lens to start with?
« on: August 27, 2013, 09:30:06 AM »
It's not a telephoto, so forgive me if this is off-topic, but I'm often really excited about images from my 40mm pancake lens. It's a huge step up in clarity and sharpness from the lens you have, and it doesn't cost much at all. Also consider picking up a nifty fifty (50mm f/1.8) to see if wide apertures do anything for you. It feels good to know for sure why you want a particular lens before buying it.

I echo that 100%! I think this rivals some of my Ls in quality - sharp wide open and lovely contrast and colour. The limitations of a prime are really good at forcing you to step up creatively. I think that lens and the 135L make an astounding pairing.

Also, I'd recommend trying the super cheap 70-200 f4 L. The non-IS model was my first L lens and it blew away my consumer 70-300 - nice and sharp and very fast at focusing. It's also light which makes it a lens you'll be happy to take hiking. Best of all you can get them secondhand for £400, which is insane.   

24
Canon General / Re: Should I get into this industry?
« on: August 20, 2013, 03:36:44 PM »
I also considered doing photography commercially when I turned freelance in my PR business and have managed to do some photography work for paying clients that has paid pretty well on a day rate basis. However, primarily as I've been more busy doing the PR, which grew to 95% of my time, I've simply not had the time to scale up the photography and wonder honestly if I'd have been able to do so to fill the same degree of time given the amount of work you'd need to stay booked up and busy. The work involves lots of hours here and half days there and all the time in between when marketing yourself isn't earning.

So, it is tough. But by being a freelance at the business I know, I have been able to work to get better at the photography and that's been the best of both worlds. So don't abandon your experience and current trade, but find a freelance model that lets you strike out in the void with a safety net beneath you.

One key decision I took was to assess the day rates of people working in my area and market (I do PR photos and events) and aim to match that pricing rather than undercut other pros. Why dilute the value of the very business you want to pay your bills in future? Aim to the lower end of the scale to acknowledge your relative inexperience for sure, but don't kill off the profession!

Another suggestion - while doing something else that pays the bills - is to volunteer. Find charities and causes that need a professional to do a job pro bono and give them your time. I did two years of working with some brilliant local groups in this way and got lots of real world experience. When the photos need to be as good as any other pros and when the time and people challenges are the same, you learn awfully fast. The crucial thing is that you're not (potentially) making mistakes on someone's budget so you have the leeway to learn by mistakes, which is really the only way to do it. Volunteering in this way is also a better alternative to working for rock bottom rates that kill the market.

I also strongly echo the advice about finding a niche. Working in PR and having contacts from my past agencies I have a client perspective on what's needed that's really helped me deliver work that's kept clients happy. Are there fields of image capture that could complement your brilliant digital art that could give you an edge? Possibly...

A couple of years on, the photography is still a sideline due to the rest of the business but its one that pays for itself, funds new photographic toys and helps towards paying the bills. I used to want to leave behind PR to a greater extent, but doing a bit of two careers has made me love both more. Creating a portfolio of saleable skills and developing your own flexible, hybrid career is very much a possibility these days. Why choose?

25
Lenses / Re: Canon 40mm or High-End Compact?
« on: August 16, 2013, 11:09:08 AM »
I have to say the 40mm on the 5Dii is astonishing. Just went off on a family weekend with that and my new 135L and was in prime heaven. Makes the 5D very comfortable to hike around with or keep on a table during family events in a way that wouldn't have been fun with a chunky L zoom (I have the brilliant 24-105). I love the sharpness at f2.8 but have also been very surprised by how contrasty the shots are with the 40 - makes for gorgeous monochrome environmental portraits and reportage stuff. Think I'll be taking it with me to shoot a wedding soon with enthusiasm.
 

26
Portrait / Re: Wedding pics. need critique
« on: June 05, 2013, 08:56:31 AM »
Sorry but I don't critique photos on open public forums. Why teach the countless wannabies who browse through these pages? Especially for free. My skill and tallent was learned the hard way, by trial and error...but a lot of wannabies want to take quick short cuts and think that a learnt skill can be downloaded and is free. For every poster and replier, there are hundreds of readers.

Oh for goodness sake.... I usually don't critique people's comments on forums, why let people see my carefully honed skills of superciliousness and arrogance. For sure they would imitate and the internet really doesn't need any more screaming egos.
  ;D ;)

Screaming ego? Supercilious and Arrogant? No just a professional. I don't hand out my skill set on a plate to people I don't know. If you want to learn, go on a workshop and pay for your knowledge aquistion. You seem to throw an emotional responce to my company policy. There's at least three insults in your post. Maybe it's you who should take an ethics review?

OK. True enough. I was being rude to you. But then, considering the original request wasn't aimed at you in the first place, why go out of your way to say you won't help "one of countless wannabies" (seems insulting no?). you could just not answer. After all there are hundreds of readers for every poster. Going out of your way to say you won't help on a forum that - in part - has defined itself organically as a mutually supportive community for professionals and non pros alike seems, well, rude.

I think that deserves at least three insults. More possibly. Yep. Certainly more. But actually, as to ethics, flame wars like this are tedious to other users so apologies for all other for that. And being more positive: Distant.star did a better job of answering - well said, that poster.

27
Portrait / Re: Wedding pics. need critique
« on: June 05, 2013, 05:34:42 AM »
Sorry but I don't critique photos on open public forums. Why teach the countless wannabies who browse through these pages? Especially for free. My skill and tallent was learned the hard way, by trial and error...but a lot of wannabies want to take quick short cuts and think that a learnt skill can be downloaded and is free. For every poster and replier, there are hundreds of readers.

Oh for goodness sake.... I usually don't critique people's comments on forums, why let people see my carefully honed skills of superciliousness and arrogance. For sure they would imitate and the internet really doesn't need any more screaming egos.

OP - well done on great photos - I'm a bit behind you on the learning curve but may have to help on a wedding soon and actually got some inspiration from your shots. After all, this is a community where people are supposed to share and help each other out, right? I agree with the issues of cropping and watching out for extraneous details that might interfere and make the shots a bit busy that others have mentioned though, but you've got a great eye for the moments and clearly have the technical skills.  Now comes the practice.... the hard way, by trial and error.... [dramatic music swells, the audience gasp, there's not a dry eye in the house]  ;D ;)

28
I was using a cheap velbon white umbrella for a while - http://www.wexphotographic.com/buy-velbon-umbrella-clamp-uc-6/p1023869 - and got great very slick results, but it was wobbly and fiddly to set up.

Just bought the 60cm / 24 inch Lastolite EZYbox and while the quality of light isn't lightyears better than the umbrella it is noticeably so. Set up is very easy and its so rock solid. Buying it as a kit was best value as I needed a new stand and clamp. The stands provided are great too - very solid without being heavy - easy to adjust and air damped.

All in all much more dependable set up and fab with the 600 RT.

I only have the one of those so still triggering with a cheap radio trigger plugged into the 600RT. Just really love the Ezybox and will likely buy one more. 

29
Lenses / Re: 70-200mm f4L vs 200mm f2.8L (vs 70-200 f4L IS?)
« on: June 03, 2013, 06:35:45 AM »
An old topic but thanks all for posting. I could have written the OP's original query - same situation really - also have the 100 f2.8 L, have a non-IS 70-200 f4 but do a fair amount of conferences where its all f4 and 200mm so really considering the 200 f2.8 for that.

I just went out with the 100mm to do street and wished I'd had a 200mm for reach (and also love the non white aspect too).

I'd be interested what the our OP ninja went for in the end and how you found it?

I guess the real question is if you can get a 200mm f2.8 at £550 used, is there any reason not to pull the trigger when the f4is zoom is much more pricey?

30
This is a great, clear-eyed analysis from a source close to the Flickr founders on what the changes are about. Hint: Its the business model, stupid!

Yahoo!'s great gamble is an interesting business decision, but not much good for us (ex?) Pro users being shuffled aside.

http://www.techhive.com/article/2039414/the-new-flickr-goodbye-customers-hello-ads.html

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