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Messages - agierke

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Canon General / Re: What else should I have in my armour?
« on: May 31, 2013, 10:07:23 AM »
how much money do you have to spend? i could drop $30,000 of your money based on the info you provided.

studio work is a very expansive proposition in terms of gear acquisition. off the top of my head....

4-5 studio strobes
radio transmitters/receivers
various light modifiers (boxes, strips, umbrellas, grids) + flags, scrims, and bounces
various light stands + grips
various backgrounds
shooting table
laptop or desktop for shooting tethered
a 2nd camera
replacement for the 18-55mm
2 or 3 speedlights

specific lighting setups require certain gear. being as open ended as you were in your first post doesnt narrow it down enough to suggest anything specific.

that video demonstrates working the ratios between multiple strobes in a studio set up. your cameras meter is near useless if you want to approach working your exposure like that. if you have the experience with meters and other such things like zone system then you can get by without a meter but if you want to maintain exact control over exposure while using multiple lights in a studio then meters are still necessary.

the video (as most online instructional videos do) assumes the viewer already understands how meters work. to use a meter to its full effect you really need to understand a couple of different things.

first, all meters measure light and give readings for middle grey (or what is sometimes called 18% grey). middle grey is the 5th zone in a 10 step grey scale which represents 10 equal steps from pure white to pure black. zone 5 (middle grey) is the average between pure white and pure black.

second, there are two types of meters...reflective meters and incident meters. reflective meters measure light bouncing off a subject while incident meters measure light falling on a subject. understanding the differences between how these two types of meters work is critical. reflective metering can be problematic at times because light reacts differently depending upon what subject it is bouncing off of. if you meter a white wall with a reflective meter and shoot it at the suggested settings you will get a grey wall. if you meter a black wall and shoot it at the suggested settings you will again get a grey wall. different subject tones will absorb different amounts of the light falling on it (thus giving us the perception of the wall being white or black) but a meter will always try to measure for middle grey, regardless of what the tone the subject is. incident meters forgo the problem of different tones absorbing light differently by measure the amount of light falling on the subject. measure a white wall with an incident meter and shoot at the suggested settings and you get a white wall. do the same with a black wall and you get a black wall.

additionally, reflective meters have several different ways that they will measure light coming through the lens. you will have to refer to your camera system to see the different modes available to you but they generally fall into the following categories:

evaluative: typically measures the entire scene and averages it out
center weighted: typically measures only a portion of the frame in the center and averages that portion
spot: only measures a small single spot in the center of the scene

each of these methods have their advantages and drawbacks depending on the tones present in the scene and the nature of the light you are trying to shoot in. to use these modes effectively you really need to have a very good understanding of different qualities of light and when a certain type of light combined with certain subjects will fool the meter and give less than ideal results. watching videos online or visiting forums wont provide this knowledge...only lots of shooting in various circumstances will provide the understanding you need.

finally, meters are just a tool to gather information to help you decide what your exposure settings should be. they do not tell you correct exposure. exposure is essentially a creative expression and no camera or meter (or electronic device) is capable of making creative decisions...that can only be done by a person.

learn how your camera's meter works by shooting the heck out of it in different available light scenarios. this will strengthen your understanding of light and will inform you of how to approach different studio lighting setups. once you are in studio, an incident meter will be needed if you wish to maintain complete control over all your lights.

if you dont know what your in camera light meter is then you shouldnt be buying a hand held meter. know how to use your current gear before buying new gear to fix problems you arent even aware of yet.

that being said....

incident meters are typically far more accurate than reflective meters. reflective meters can be fooled, incident meters will read exactly what the light is doing (assuming you use it correctly).

digital has made it easier to make available light exposures doing adjustments based on preview or histogram displays. i still find incident meters very useful in studio lighting scenarios if you are trying to fine tune the ratios of strobes. in camera meters cannot help with this technique and even tethered shooting will only offer the opportunity to "guess" at what your ratios are doing. a hand held incident meter is still very useful (and a time saver) for situations like this.

but again...if you don't know what your in camera meter is or how it works you are likely putting the proverbial cart in front of the horse by buying a hand held meter. 

Animal Kingdom / Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« on: May 21, 2013, 11:05:00 AM »
yawn... this thread is boring... I swear... worrying about altering an image?  For the love of god, anyone who thinks national geographic doesn't alter their images, anyone who doesn't think photographs in some way shape or form was altered at print competitions and fairs, anyone who things a simple head shot hasn't been smoothed, blemishes cloned out, filters applied, double chin and loose skin warped and removed... You are just fooling yourself...  I can almost guarantee you that the only images that haven't been manipulated in some way are those who have no access to photoshop, but then it can be argued even posing someone can be "altering" a natural photograph... get over it, it's not worth 12 pages on canon rumors discussing the "ETHICS"... my lord.... (then again i'd rather talk about this than some pixel peeping nerd debating the file quality of a 7d or 5d or such...)

i agree completely with this notion, as i tried to state before. i understand people who have not considered this topic before trying to hash out their position on this but it has been a longstanding discussion in photography going back to the late 1800's.

the fact is that photography is incapable of depicting "truth". it can only depict a singular viewpoint and "manipulation" begins the moment a photographer looks through the viewfinder and "chooses" what will be shown in the frame and what will not be shown in the frame. nevermind any post that occurs after the fact.

it brings to mind the images that came out of the aftermath of Katrina, in particular there was an instance where news outlets ran a photo of a white family "scavenging" for supplies while an almost identical photo of a black family doing the same thing had headlines attached stating they were "looting". truth in photography is a myth. it is simply a means of communicating an idea, story, or feeling and in the end it falls upon the viewer to determine what truths a photograph holds for them.

so if you want to subscribe to contrived notions of what makes a photograph real or true or are welcome to it. i personally don't want to limit my own ability to tell a story how i want to tell it by applying a set of rules that don't make a whole lot of sense considering that manipulation has been inherent throughout the history of photography since its inception.

oh, an National Geographic is far from being the standard bearer for for what "real" photography is. on the contrary, it is a very narrow slice of what photography is and can be.

1D X Sample Images / Re: Weddings
« on: May 18, 2013, 10:14:22 AM »
a little note on reverse macro (flipping the lens)...

you can in fact have control of the aperture if you press the DOF Preview button while you unmount the lens. whatever aperture the lens was set to will lock in as you remove it. so you could stop down to say F5.6, press the DOF Preview button while releasing the lens, and gain some extra DOF for your reverse macro shots.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Wrong Photography Ethics?
« on: May 12, 2013, 01:15:51 AM »
if i retouch the dust spots out of my image is it no longer a photo?

i am simply stunned at the absurdity of this thread with so many people trying to tell everyone what is and isn't photography. its a pretty pointless exercise. ask yourselves this....who appointed you (in the general sense) the definer of the medium of photography and why should anyone listen?

art and photography are not mutually exclusive.

Software & Accessories / Re: Adobe to Stop Making Packaged Software
« on: May 08, 2013, 08:26:39 AM »
I'm contemplating Capture One for the bulk of my post-processing with Lightroom (with Nik tools) as a backup until Adobe stops supporting its user base too.  I have been a Photoshop user for 18 years.

i was thinking the exact same thing. i have been wanting to get more familiar with Capture One anyway as i hear it has a stellar processor.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Do you trust your camera?
« on: May 06, 2013, 11:56:58 PM »
i cant say that i ever really trusted anything in photography. so many things can go wrong or malfunction or under perform. its why we tend to have backups to almost everything.

i trust myself after i have done all the pre prep that i can. my trust doesn't extend to a machine.

Lenses / Re: Poll: Most Wanted New Lenses of 2013.
« on: May 06, 2013, 09:15:11 PM »
i know that the 45mm TSE and 90mm TSE replacements are probably imminent but i ould have voted for them had they been on the lists.

as this list stands, my vote was for the 50mm 1.2L II.

Software & Accessories / Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« on: April 08, 2013, 06:09:41 PM »
i have also found that creating my own custom ICC profiles for the papers i use much more reliable than using each manufacturer's canned ICC profiles. the canned profiles will get you close, but if you have exacting expectations then you really need to create your own custom profiles.

i use the Color Monkey by X-rite to do both screen and print ICC profiles. it does a fairly decent job but i have never....NEVER....been fully satisfied with any print that has ever come out of an inkjet printer. there is always something that is just slightly off...but i end up just chalking it up to differences between the two different formats or the random and frequent printer errors that occur.

i absolutely loath desktop printing...its a horrendous task to undertake if you have the highest expectations. trouble is, making a print is ingrained upon my consciousness as "part" of the photographic process. my wife knows when i am doing prints by the stream of expletives coming from my office and she knows to steer clear of me for a few hours.

anyway....good luck. seriously.....

buy the speedring that PCB sells on their website. the connection to modifiers is typically universal (some rare instances where a modifier wont fit that well) so you have to buy the speedring that will mount to whatever light you are using.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Digital Film (for use in old camera's)
« on: April 01, 2013, 02:28:00 PM »
this got me thinking (and it is a good April Fools post!)

the idea of a digital film cartridge is a bit goofy but it could be kind of cool if you applied the way we used to buy film (and why we bought the kind of film we wanted) to digital sensors.

imagine you buy a camera system, but the digital chip component was somehow interchangeable or customizable and could be purchased separately. you could then buy a HDR module or a B&W module or any number of other preferred spec modules. i'm basing this off of the experience you used to have with film where you had to make a creative choice before picking up the camera. maybe you could even deliver the experience via a CF card that you could upload to the firmware or whatever (i certainly don't have the technical understanding of how this would work...just spitballin).

which brings up another idea...what if you could upgrade camera bodies with newer chip technology as it was released through an interchangeable module. how many people would be interested in extending the life of their 1Ds3 if it were capable of just popping out the sensor module and buying an upgrade? interesting idea.

anyway, fun little thread. appreciate the nudge to my imagination! 

Canon General / Re: Think I need a 12 step program
« on: March 30, 2013, 11:10:25 AM »
lol, most of you better hope it ends with camera and lens. if you have a wide open space with high ceilings, lots of outlets and have a strange urge to build a wall with a little curve on the help. the studio acquisitions are about to start...

some of you know what im talking about.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5Dc a good option?
« on: March 30, 2013, 02:22:43 AM »
If I was to buy a 5Dc I may have enough money next year to buy a 5D3 and keep the 5Dc as a backup, also the 5Dc is the cheapest way to get into/practice with full frame.

once you get a 5D3 you wont want to touch the 5DC...even as a backup. The 5D2 can still hang as a backup to the Mrk3. the 5DC, while a wonderful camera for quite some time, is just not anywhere close to being in the 5D3 neighborhood. at least not for weddings.

if you want to go cheap/low risk...the 5DC will work.

Pricewatch Deals / Re: Nik Collection Bundle for $126.65
« on: March 30, 2013, 02:09:18 AM »
For those who are inquiring about the differences between Nik and PS/LR...

LR and PS are stand alone photo editors while Nik offers plugins. the plugins from Nik work in conjunction with your PS/LR workflow. i typically do my standard edits in LR and then drag certain select photos into PS where i access my Nik filters to do additional retouching. you can access the Nik filters in LR as well.

Nik is not a stand alone works withing PS/LR/Aperture. Nik does offer (throughout their full suite) an infinite number of creative possibilities within a fairly easy to use and intuitive UI.

i can't recommend it enough especially at its current price point.

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