August 21, 2014, 02:18:24 AM

Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - agierke

Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 24
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Dissuade me to get a Rolleiflex
« on: April 14, 2014, 09:00:04 AM »
i sorta get it. this past winter i refurbed a polaroid 180 so that i can shoot with it for fun. for me, polaroid pack film captures the "magical" experience of film photography without the hassles of roll film.

i also picked up a mint condition Kodak Stereo camera and a vintage 1904 stereo viewer this past winter. ran a test roll through it and printed up some test prints for viewing. had tons of fun doing it but still need to tweak the process a bit to refine the results.

i lived through the film days and understand the tedium, cost, and anxiety over potentially screwing up an irreplaceable photo moment....but there is something that goes a bit beyond nostalgia when using vintage gear. i simply love photography, in all its forms, and using different processes is a way to further enjoy photographing as it changes the experience slightly.

changing the way i think, the way i work, and the way i see are all ways of refreshing photography for me. i find quite a bit of tedium in digital photography through my jobs so revisiting historical tools and techniques is somewhat of a release. i find it is a similar experience to using a particular lens alot and getting sick of it, then buying a new lens and falling in love with how it changes the way you see things.

would i spend 2300.00 on a rollie? no. but i cant really judge the OP since every time i consider selling my Hassi i come up with enough reason not to do it.     

Lenses / Re: New 50mm Sigma ? There are other options !
« on: April 12, 2014, 10:06:22 AM »
Shake is quite random, but with the resolution of modern digital FF you really need to be in the region of 2x focal length.

my experience falls in line with this statement. slight motion blur/camera shake can be much more evident at 1:1 (focal length:shutterspeed) than it was with film. can you get a crisp shot at 1:1 situations? yes...but its quite frustrating when you don't and happens more often than i prefer.

im not in the camp that is insistent on canon including IS on every lens they produce, regardless of focal length, but i do know if i want to maximize my results for crisp images i need to follow the 2x shutterspeed:focal length rule. 

Photography Technique / Re: Shooting and model release form use
« on: April 02, 2014, 08:57:55 PM »
for example national geographic.  I was going to enter the travelers competition with some street pics from South America.  Problem, I didn't obtain any signed releases.  -______- 

The reason for needing a release in that situation is that National Geographic is a commercial enterprise and can't publish photos acquired from a contest they run where they don't know/control the circumstances that those photos were taken under. In short...they are covering their butts. In contrast, their own stories fall under the editorial context and thus they probably don't need releases for all the individuals that appear in those photos.

Lawyers spend a lot of time trying to understand the ambigiously and sometimes contradictory legislation on this issue.  Many of the laws are vague and, post 911, can be interpreted far stricter than in other times. Unfortunately, the courts have been inconsistant in their rulings on many cases.

I disagree with this notion as it concerns the need of model releases, defining of a public or private space, and what defines uses of images for commercial or advertising purposes. Local courts may try to interpret existing laws but the Supreme Court is pretty clear about these issues and as far as I have heard has ruled consistently.  Can you state cases that show ambiguity?

In my experience it's pretty b&w as to when I need a model release and how I can use an image that I take. I've never had a problem. If you need further clarification I would recommend checking out ASMP as they will have resources that will provide the definitive answers concerning these issues.

Photography Technique / Re: Shooting and model release form use
« on: March 31, 2014, 09:55:41 PM »
As I understand it, you do not need a model release so long as you don't use the images for commercial advertising. You would need the consent of the individual or individuals in the photo as long as their "likeness" is recognizable. Meaning that even if they are slightly out of focus, partially blocked or turned profile you would need releases for commercial/advertising purposes.

Any reputable commercial entity won't dare publish a photo without all releases covered. I have been on jobs where a statue was in the background and the image got turned down because we didn't have the art release for it. On jobs where we are shooting in public areas, we usually have at least 1 or 2 assistants running around with an iPad to get releases on anyone who ends up in a shot.

If you are an amateur just shooting for fun then anything is free game in a public space. A public space is anywhere that isn't privately owned. So streets and parks are malls and casinos etc are not ok. You are free to use you amateur shots for artistic endeavors or for personal means without the need of a model release. That includes posting on the internet or showing in a gallery.

Granted...there is what the law allows and then there is being honorable. I think people who shoot random girls in bikinis on a public beach and then post them online pretty creepy and kind perverted. But by law it's legal.

The law protects the individual from someone profiting from their likeness without consent but that's it. If you go out in public it's reasonable to expect you may end up in someone's photo at some point.

Oh...and general rule of thumb, don't mess with taking pictures of random children. Legal or not, it's just not worth the fury of a protective parent.

I'm a bit puzzled why you started an otherwise informative and enlightening post with such a condescending beginning.

the title of this thread and the presumptions made by the OP annoyed me. statements like "anyone could get excellent shots there - especially a Phase One." warrant a sharp response imo. it cheapens the often unseen efforts, experience and ability that many pro photographers bring to the table.

i have generally steered clear of threads like these. the threads about Andreas Gursky's work are another example of presumptuous statements being bandied about that just exhibit ignorance. its one thing to have opinion...its another thing to marginalize a person or his work out of ignorance.

i carefully worded that opening statement so as not to completely disregard the presence and contributions of a number of members on this site and possibly jog a few more responses from professionals. i stand by the statement as i wrote it. there are many whom i enjoy and respect on these forums, both professional and amateur. Sporgon and Florian to name a few, as well as others.

and to be clear, i personally dont place myself anywhere near the experience and abilities of a great photographer. by my own estimation, i'm very far from where i want to be. but when all is said and done, i want to be able to say that i am a true expert in this field. someday. its because of this that i work very hard and keep an open mind towards others in my profession. i want to always be learning and improving and take pride in being able to contribute to the growth and success of those that i do work with. 

it shocks me sometimes the narrow point of view that is expressed about certain subjects and how little knowledge there is on this forum about professional photography. i thought there were more professionals on this forum but it seems more and more there is not...or at least they remain quiet readers for the most part.

i still work as an assistant and 2nd shooter while growing my own business. been doing this now for 15+ years. most professional gigs benefit greatly from having a good assistant.

as an assistant, i have been responsible for almost every aspect of the job, including gear management, setting lighting, loading film backs, processing and printing film, shooting casting calls, styling sets, digital tech, post production, and even taking the actual shots. heck, my shots are even on other professional photographers websites and have been published with their names on them. its all part of the job.

in my network of photographers i am highly valued for the ability and knowledge i bring to the table. it doesn't trump the fact that its their job and their creative vision. the benefit to me is i constantly get to learn new methods and techniques as well as getting other perks such as contacts and support. when a photographer can't take a job they usually pass along the contact to me. i also have available to me the ability to borrow equipment at no cost when i have the need.

over the last 5 years or so, the shrinking budgets for photography have made it more difficult for photographers to staff a job the way they once did. my response has been to widen my network so that i am covering any future losses by gaining more access to more photographers and their work. in turn my own business has grown year after year from additional contacts.

the world of photography is not black and white for me (excuse the pun) rather i keep the lines blurred, stay diversified, so that my income comes from a variety of sources. its kept me "alive" in this business as i have watched many others business shrivel up and die. my goal, as a professional photographer, is to get the work and fulfill whatever requirement is asked of me, whether that be shooter, assistant, tech or post production. in the end...its all photography to me.   

Lol...freaking auto correct! My apologies if I offended anyone.

This thread seems like a good place to ask this.

I've always been an admirer of Irving Penn's portraits (Worlds in a Small Room, Small Trades, etc.). I've never figured out how to recreate the look of his backgrounds. I've only seen seamless paper in solid colors and while the muslin backgrounds come close, they just aren't quite the same. As others have said, unless you have some means of permanently leaving them hanging they are prone to wrinkles, which one would think wouldn't be a huge problem if you can blur the background, but unfortunately, even with full frame, it seems like there is never enough background blur to hide the wrinkles.

From pictures I've seen, it looks like Penn used Canvas.

Anyone here have any sources or ideas.

Most likely he used a custom hand painted Muslim. Traditionally Muslims were all hand painted and unique. it's a recent (last twenty years of so) development that you can get mass produced printed Muslims. Most modern Muslims are kinda cheesy IMO. They lack the classic qualities of a hand painted Muslim.

If you are going for that look you can buy blank Muslim and either hire a painter to paint it or give it a go yourself.

+1 for gelling a seamless background. I use a set I got from Lovegrove that works great. There are literally hundreds of options available out of 1 set of gels.

I haven't used a patterned muslin in years. It's a very "dated" look. A gelled seamless is more modern and allows for much more variety and creativity.

Black & White / Re: The TRI-X 'look'...
« on: March 07, 2014, 10:41:44 PM »

Additionally, I have discovered that using my 100mm macro to photograph my negatives gives really phenomenal results over straight scanning. You actually retain the grain structure in the negative rather than the weird pixel/grain hybrid look you get from scanning

That's very interesting, I'd love to know more about your setup for that please.
I considered getting an old FD slide duplicator (I already have an FD/eos adapter) but a quick Google put me off the idea at the time.


It was actually a forehead slapping moment for me.

It started with me acquiring a 1904 stereo viewer and the idea that I would like to produce my own stereocards. Picked up the kodak stereo camera soon after and shot the test roll. Then came the frustrations of trying to get decent scans out of my epson 3200 with the odd format of the stereo negatives. Back when I got the thing I felt that I got some decent results scanning 120 frames but with the slight curl of 35mm format coupled with the paired images being separated by three frames it was a complete nightmare getting anything remotely acceptable.

After a couple hours scouring the internet for different solutions, I ran across some guys blog expressing the same frustrations about direct scanning that I had and that his solution was to photograph his negatives with his macro lens. This was the forehead slap moment. Brilliance is often so simple...

Anyway, I use a simple light box (same one I used in art school for tracing stuff and viewing print files of negatives). I place the negative emulsion up and place a cleaned piece of glass over it. The guy from the blog suggested taking 4 sections of the negative and merging them in PS to maximize detail and resolution but as I was already shooting a smaller format and just doing a quick handheld shot I just did a single frame at the largest RAW setting.

Works brilliantly! I did have to do a perspective crop in PS as it was hand held my edges weren't perfectly straight and you do have to invert the image to get a positive but the results were CLEAN. Totally beats even the results I used to get scanning 4x5s on a Flex scanner.

Additionally, I used to have to do dupes when I worked at the lab and I always was surprised how much was lost in that process. I would say this process beats those results by a long shot as well.

If you have the 100mm L you should give it a try. I doubt you'd be disappointed. I'm sure the non L would yield superior results as well.

Technical Support / Re: Lightboxes, umbrellas, stands, etc.........
« on: March 07, 2014, 08:12:04 PM »
I endorse the manfrotto boom stands as well but be advised they come in a couple different versions. I have the steel base version which I love ( very very sturdy ) but it is quite heavy and not easy to lug around if your intentions are to go outside with it.

As far as umbrellas go, photek makes a great product in their Softlighter series. It's a convertible umbrella with optical white material and comes with a front diffusion panel ( to create a round softbox effect) and silver/gold inserts for a wide variety of uses. Great versatility and value!

Black & White / Re: The TRI-X 'look'...
« on: March 07, 2014, 05:43:18 PM »
Ah you guys are bringing me back!

Tri-X 320 with D76 1:1 was my go to combo back in film days. I have actually gotten bit by the nostalgia bug recently and am dusting off a few film cameras. I ran a roll of film through a kodak stereo camera a couple of weeks ago (another recent fancy of mine) and processed for the first time in close to 8 years. It felt really good to get back to my roots!

Additionally, I have discovered that using my 100mm macro to photograph my negatives gives really phenomenal results over straight scanning. You actually retain the grain structure in the negative rather than the weird pixel/grain hybrid look you get from scanning.

Thx for this thread....I feel the stars aligning for me!

Lighting / Re: Whitebalance with grey card seems red?
« on: March 07, 2014, 01:07:57 AM »

 It seems to me that the bike in your picture is fairly neutral. The black tires, silver wheels, and the bike frame don't seem to be carrying much of a cast at all...which is what I would expect being that they are lit by your strobes.

 A potential problem enters the equation in that you have a good amount of light fall off on your background. There are a number of things that can cause a color shift in areas of a photo that aren't being fully illuminated by your strobes. These causes can include:

1. An ambient light source bleeding into the exposure, particularly the shadows
2. A portion of your strobe light bouncing off a colored object (walls, ceiling, furniture) picking up a color cast and projecting that cast on the background. In this scenario, any direct strobe exposure wouldn't exhibit the color cast.
3. Your strobes themselves operate at a certain color temperature that could be off from a neutral temperature...thus shifting the color of the areas not being fully lit by them when you balance for that light.
4. Modifiers can also shift color balance of the strobe leading to problems described in # 3
5. It appears your using a grey seemless, these can exhibit different color characteristics when lit or not lit and it varies among different brands.

You should certainly follow the advice of others concerning white balancing techniques but it is important to understand that there are other factors that contribute to the characteristics of color in a photo even in a studio environment. Knowing how the color temperature of light works is important in controlling your white balance. Light sources, modifiers, environment, and lighting technique can all contribute to color shifting in a photo...even when a white balance technique is used.

I would advise looking into these different aspects as well as refining your white balance technique.

Why not just get a gopro. They are so small the chances of it getting hit are extremely low.

Canon General / The future of data storage
« on: March 02, 2014, 09:48:29 AM »
Just ran across this article online..

Really fascinating. The potential for limitless data storage and it's various applications is pretty exciting. Hopefully we see this available to the mass market in the next decade or two.

Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 24