April 17, 2014, 10:04:11 AM

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Messages - Pag

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Software & Accessories / Re: Looking for a focusing rail
« on: April 02, 2014, 07:00:16 PM »
If you want affordable, there's always this $45 macro rail: http://www.dx.com/p/super-mag-slider-camera-precision-rail-9430

I have one. I can certainly see how a more expensive setup could be better, but it does the work for simple jobs.

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Landscape / Re: Please share your snow/ Ice Photos with us in CR.
« on: February 15, 2014, 04:08:14 PM »
A handful of shots from Qu├ębec City.






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Thanks for the good comments! Interesting stuff, but it makes me realize that selling myself would be a full-time job, especially to start, which is hard to combine with my current full-time job. That's especially challenging when I might have to work for free or very cheap initially to get my name out there.

Oh well, I guess nobody said it would be easy.

Quote
:o wow you are the background king! do you have a thread of ingenious backgrounds or a book or something?

Haha! I've spent a lot of time figuring out ways to create interesting backgrounds and artificial bokeh. Even though white backgrounds are appropriate for some uses (like catalogs), I think they're overused and boring. So I try to make my pictures more interesting by putting objects in a more interesting context.

But no, I don't have a thread, or blog, or book about my background methods. If I start writing a blog, it might be a good subject to talk about actually.

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Photography Technique / Re: Product photography with shiny objects
« on: February 13, 2014, 10:09:45 AM »
Shooting complex shiny objects is very difficult technically. The short answer is that you need to control what is reflected on every surface. Shooting inside a light box works, but if everything is lit evenly you lose the feeling of shininess and the object just ends up looking white, so you need gradients in your lighting.

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I you want technical, this shot's bokeh was created by sending a flash's light through some fiber optics and placing the strands of fiber where I wanted them. Great control, but a lot of work -- the tinfoil is much easier.


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Thanks for the good feedback, it's much appreciated!

The purple background behind the watch was made by crumbling tin foil then uncrumbling it and sticking it to some board, then shooting a gelled flash at it. It creates lots of small out of focus highlights.

The background behind the figure was made by using a pruple laser pointer on an out of focus white background. The laser's light is so close to ultra-violet that the camera's sensor can't sense it properly and it comes off as blue. The pattern comes from a special lens that came with the laser pointer.

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Alright, so this is obviously the wrong forum to ask about this considering the complete lack of replies ;)

Anybody know a better forum where I could get help about this?

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I've been doing photography as a hobby for many years, developing my skills and artistic sense along the way. I've won a few contests, had photos published on a few websites and a magazine. My pictures regularly reach the "Popular" category on 500px, for what that's worth.

I'm particularly interested in product photography. I love taking pictures of unique and interesting objects, showing their shape and texture, and putting them in an interesting context that makes them stand out from how we may see them as everyday objects -- each object is a fascinating challenge.

I would now like to start making money off that skill. It seems to me like the ability to make ordinary objects stand out would be useful for advertising. For example, many of my friends thought this watch was worth $2000 when in fact it's a $20 Russian watch I bought online:



I don't think I'm unrealistic. I expect to start doing this part-time, getting contracts once in a while and building a reputation from there. I don't think I'll start by taking pictures for Mont Blanc and Tiffany's (although I'd like to get to that level one day) -- taking pictures of ordinary objects for local companies is fine by me.

But even doing that is remarkably hard. It seems that to get the time of day from anybody willing to pay for advertising photos, you must have a referral from somebody else who you've done commercial work for. It's a catch-22: you must have experience and a reputation to get a contract to gain experience and a reputation. I figure I may just suck at selling myself -- which is probably true -- but the solution would be to get an agent, who appear to only be interested in representing well-established photographers.

I've read and watched a lot of resources online, but most of it is about how to go from being a moderately successful photographer to becoming a very successful one. Stuff talking about "getting started" always focuses on portrait and wedding photography for the general public and not commercial work. I've actually had more success finding wedding jobs even though I'm not really looking for them, but I'm skeptical a portfolio of smiling brides will help me find still life work.

So what should I do? I'm motivated to succeed at this, but I don't know what to do. I've tried contacting a number of local marketing and advertising firms and artisans (who I figure would gain a lot from better marketing material) but heard very little back. Does anybody have advice?

Here's my simple (maybe too simple?) website: http://www.pagarneau.com/en/

And here are a few of my pictures, to show the kind of work I do:










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Canon General / Re: Canon's Fiscal Year 2013 Financial Results released
« on: January 29, 2014, 03:10:19 PM »
While I believe Canon's cameras are quite good and obsessing about dynamic range or pixel count is mostly pointless, it's also wrong to say that the company who sells the most is automatically making the best product. There are many factors that impact the sales of a brand, and quality is just one of them.

The amount of lock-in cameras enjoy (because if you have lots of Canon lenses, you're less likely to switch to Nikon even if you believed they had the better camera) ensure Canon will stay in the lead for a while yet. However, if they fail to innovate and drive the photography business forward and just rely on their brand power, I fear they may lose ground in the long term. Leaders do change over time -- IBM and Nokia were leaders in computers and cellphones, and look where they are now.

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Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Rumor: Sigma 16-20 f/2 DG Art [CR1]
« on: December 19, 2013, 12:31:46 PM »
This could be a great replacement for my Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 now that I'm on full frame.

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Third Party Manufacturers / Re: A 40mm f/0.85 for Your EOS-M?
« on: December 14, 2013, 09:59:30 AM »
The concept is very interesting for MFT where it becomes a very fast 80 mm equivalent with shallow DOF. The price, however, is another matter...

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Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Best tablet for on-location preview
« on: November 30, 2013, 11:11:24 AM »
Just bought a Surface Pro 2, and l can confirm the awesomeness. The screen is great, the system is fast and it runs any windows apps including Lightroom. The pressure-sensitive pen is great to edit photos with, and the system comes with impressive handwriting recognition (which I'm using now...)

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Canon General / Re: What's Next for Canon?
« on: October 18, 2013, 12:35:55 PM »
I'm a photo guy, not a video guy.  But in a few years, my kids will be saying, "These silly pictures don't even move, s'up with that?!?"

I really have a hard time picturing a future where photographs are also completely replaced with video. Both have their place. Would I really want looping videos on my walls at home rather than static pictures? That would be maddening. I don't want everything everywhere to be in constant movement. Imagine replacing 100 wedding photos with 100 videos -- it would take forever to go through them.

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Canon General / Re: What's Next for Canon?
« on: October 18, 2013, 09:12:37 AM »
Antigravity:  Because that's the only way you'll be able to handhold all day with a mirrorless, lenses which are quite hand-holdable with a gripped or pro body.  Even something relatively dainty like a 100-400 would be unbalanced and awkward on a mirrorless.  Unless you think it would be humorous to see people with a 70-200/2.8IS II on a gimbal head shooting a wedding... actually, that probably would be humorous for most of us :P

I checked and my mft Olympus E-P3 with a 14-150mm (equivalent to a 28-300mm on full frame) is actually smaller than my 6D with a Sigma 50mm f/1.4. It's quite easy to hold by hand. That's why I think mirrorless cameras work best with smaller sensors: the lenses can become much smaller too.

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Canon General / Re: What's Next for Canon?
« on: October 17, 2013, 10:51:57 PM »
I think mirrorless is a transitional technology between the current high end cameraphone (i.e. Lumia 1020) and the cameraphone of the future.

Unless there's a revolutionary new technology for lenses (which is unlikely but not impossible), I don't think cameraphones will take over the hobbyist market. No matter how awesome your sensor is, if you have a tiny wide-angle lens you will be severely limited in what you can photograph. Zoom lenses that have any kind of reach are too big to fit on a phone where everything must be as tiny as possible.

I can see cameraphones taking over the entry-level market. But if you're spending thousands of dollars on an oversea trip, you'll want a better camera to take nice pictures. Same if you have a newborn baby, or if you're a hobbyist who wants to do more than take snapshots.

At the same time, there are real benefits to mft cameras. They're much smaller, lighter and cheaper (especially counting the lenses) and they're already good enough for all of the use cases I mentioned. Unless you really care about maximizing image quality and are willing to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars for that (in which case you're either a pro or an advanced amateur), mirrorless cameras are good enough for you.

I see three groups of people here: those who take snapshots with little care for quality (cameraphones), those who care about quality but don't want to pay too much for it or have too big a camera (mirrorless), and those who put image quality above everything else (SLR).

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