December 17, 2014, 10:03:19 PM

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Messages - agierke

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Software & Accessories / Re: laptop for tethered shooting?
« on: July 20, 2014, 10:42:43 AM »
something makes me think that you guys are missing the point with DSLR controller. usually the point of shooting tethered is to 1. have a large screen to preview images and 2. have a hard drive that the images can be stored on immediately outside of the CF card. DSLR Controller doesn't solve those issues.

to the OP, unfortunately i am only familiar with apple products so i cant really help you with windows options. sry about the loss...i freaking hate thieves!

Lenses / Re: I'm looking at rentig/buying a new lens for weddings
« on: July 07, 2014, 12:47:29 PM »
For really dark venues the 50mm 1.2L and the 100mm 2.8L can be slow to focus. Both lenses come into play for me during weddings but generally only for smaller portions of the day.

The 35mm 1.4L is handy to me throughout the entire day however. From getting ready, ceremony, portrait session, and reception this lens is usually attached to one of my bodies. The 70-200mm also is a goto wedding lens.

I am curious about the 135mm 2.0L, I have heard it is a stellar performer with focussing speed among other things.

I will add that the 100mm L has proven to be a much more versatile lens than I had anticipated outside the purpose I got it for (macro wedding details). I use it almost exclusively for product shots and it has been my "scanning" lens. It hasn't replaced my 70-200 as my goto portrait lens though so I can't speak to that.

Software & Accessories / Re: Apple to Cease work on Aperture
« on: June 29, 2014, 12:46:42 PM »
This doesn't surprise me at all though I understand current users trepidation over the immediate future of their workflow.

When aperture was first released, I thought it was a viable alternative to LR and other programs out there. LR soon left aperture in the dust however and I remember cautioning my students against using aperture. My most pressing concern at the time was a non photo company developing a photo orientated software. I didn't trust that Apple would develop it appropriately to suit the needs of professionals (and though they did an admirable job for a period of time, ultimately they came up short of the competition).

With Adobe's shift towards the subscription model, I have lost faith in them being my primary software solution and am looking into other options to sustain my workflow in the future. CaptureOne has impressed me so far though I have primarily only used it for tethered capture of commercial product shoots. I'm not sure how it would handle an import and edit of 4000 wedding shots. It seems all the tools are there to handle it well though.

From what I have noticed so far, there are some ups and downs with Capture One. Pluses are an extensive and powerful set of editing tools, a smart method of quickly batching edits of multiple images, and pretty good file management. Minuses are it's not a very intuitive program (I find LR to be pretty much plug in and play while CO takes a learning curve), it can be quite buggy with freezing and crashing when you do something it doesn't like (ie tethered camera powers down or manually changing folder structure outside of CO).

For now I would probably still recommend LR to current aperture users as the transition would probably be more comfortable. I am growing more comfortable with endorsing CO but I think it is definitely geared towards the serious pro and thus may turn off some users with its less than intuitive UI.

Portrait / Re: Bikini on the beach
« on: June 06, 2014, 12:38:19 AM »
i think this is one of the creepiest "genres" of photography. taking pictures of random women in bikinis without their knowledge? really? creepy...

sorry but i had to say it.

EOS Bodies / Re: New Full Frame Camera in Testing? [CR1]
« on: May 27, 2014, 11:03:08 PM »
hmm, i guess that kind of makes sense.

EOS Bodies / Re: New Full Frame Camera in Testing? [CR1]
« on: May 27, 2014, 10:39:38 PM »

however I'm not sure about this rumor.

This rumor makes it sound like "Canon came and visited us with a new camera that we got to look at and try."

If that is the case, Canon will know exactly who it is (or have a very short list.) If they signed an NDA ... and even if they didn't, I suspect that Canon would look unfavourably on this kind of disclosure - UNLESS it was specifically asked about and agreed to.

Additionally, any professional (working in a studio where Canon visits you is going to mean you're seriously good) is going to know that the colour accuracy of a file when viewed on a laptop screen is highly dependent on the ability of the screen to represent colour itself and without being able to use the images on a calibrated screen, the colours seen on some random laptop mean nothing.

I'd be almost prepared to call this rumor a hoax.

my thoughts exactly. why would canon do this?

its one thing for canon to get high speed cameras in the hands of professionals in the field for testing (ie world cup, olympics etc) but why do so for a studio setting? is it beyond canons capability to set up a studio at their R&D facility for testing....i highly doubt it.

Go grab market share.  Coupons, promotions, word of mouth, etc.  Get your name out there and have a high quality product and people will come back to you.

Also... market to groups that frequent these types of services... maternity wards, preschools, etc... make lasting relationships with customers so they don't feel like they are just a meat bag with money. 

Offer them free Facebook sized prints for upload and sharing.  Feed their ego.... having omg, that is the cutest child ever, LIKE, will do more for your business than a print hanging in their living room.

No, no and no. these are all ways to cement yourself into low prices in a low paying market that competes with low charging, rebel wielding amateurs.

in most markets, its increasingly more difficult to find clients that pay well. you won't find them any faster by offering coupons, discounts and freebies. you will set up the expectation of continued discounts and freebies.

any further advice would greatly depend on what type of photography business you are trying to start up. are you looking to get commercial/advertising type of stuff with 1200.00+ day rates or are you trying to do private/family types of jobs? they are two very different markets and require different approaches.

two things that have helped me get higher rates is staying diversified and maintaining a professional network of photographers in my area. the diversity allows me to survive any lulls in business. i shoot corporate and collegiate events, commercial and advertising, weddings, head shots of all sorts, architecture, and product. if any one of those business streams starts to slow i can usually count on the others to pick me up. because i stay busy i dont feel the pressure to take low paying jobs. networking with other professionals also helps. i still assist and do second shooting for my fellow photographers when i am free. the relationships i have developed by doing this has gotten me my best paying work as when one of those photographers cant take a job they flick it to me.

it takes time and patience to build a sustaining business. you have to know what your bottom dollar is though and have the discipline to say no to a rate that is too low. try not to worry about the low rate amateurs, even though they will keep coming out of the woodwork they never last that long. they literally price themselves out of the business.

private photography unfortunately is really difficult to reach decent wages unless you are doing massive amounts of work and have a support staff you can pay minimum wages. professional clients are harder to find but you will get better wages in the long run and won't run into as many rebel toting, discount waving amateurs. pursue professional businesses, doctors, lawyers, commercial real estate companies, universities etc. they will understand better the difference between a professional and an amateur and will pay better.

get a good website going and only show professional caliber work. do not rely solely on social networking sites like facebook...they aren't professional and real professional clients avoid them like the plague.

It is unfortunate that when you volunteered your time to shoot for this organization, they were ungrateful and did not recognize the value of your work. Regardless of whether or not it was exactly what they wanted, they should remember that YOU DID IT FOR FREE. Sadly, a paying client will make sure they let you know exactly what they want (or at least their is a much greater chance they will) so that their money is not wasted on you.

Since you did them a favor of shooting for FREE, that is about how much they value your work. I would not waste any more time with someone who does not value your work and is not willing to set you up to succeed in meeting their needs.

As a documentary/commercial photographer with 25 years of doing this, cut your losses and move on. They will never be happy, and you will never get that feeling of a job well done from this group of self-seeking "volunteers."

This same phenomenon happens with paid clients, too. They talk you into giving them a good deal on pricing, and then they start to change the deal and want more, or decide after the shoot (and they've signed off on the work already) that they suddenly aren't happy with what was shot.  They plead poverty, ignorance, etc. etc. when you hold them to the signed agreement.

The best thing you can do is take your photos, chalk it up to experience and move on. If they are not happy with them, then certainly they don't plan to use the images... right??  So then you can all happily part ways. You with your photos and them without your photos.

 If you want to shoot for non-profits, there are plenty of good ones out there that will appreciate your efforts.

After a string of very positive input from forum members and a VERY positive response from the OP, this post hits a jarring note.
I have not shot any photos for money till date, but if someone whom I shot doesn't like my photos I won't deduce automatically that he/she isn't appreciative of my work. It might be a question of taste, or perspective. It is very important to understand the audience. It is unfortunate that your 25 years experience has made you so cynical.

i actually think, from a professional stand point, CamsSD is spot on. running a professional photography business is expensive and very time consuming. regardless of the terms, if the results are not appreciated then it only makes business sense to cut the losses and move on....especially if the net gain is zero dollars. charity is one thing, but risking a photo business to open ended circumstances where the client continually asks for more and more at no compensation is ridiculous.

that aside, i dont think that was the situation for the OP. this just boils down to listening to what the client wants, even it that means taking boring shots. i don't think the shot posted does a very good job at all of what the client asked for.

no matter what job i do (however boring it may seem to me), i first attend to the clients needs. if i come to a point where i am confident i have covered what the client wants then i start shooting for myself. i submit the best of what i get (again making sure clients original expectations are covered) and whatever shots are selected is fine. client gets what they want and hopefully i can get a portfolio shot or two for myself.

these days, i pretty much expect that a client will choose safe, boring shots. it happens all too often. just the way the world works today. bottom line is to fulfill what the client wants.

Photography Technique / Re: So I really stepped into it....
« on: May 07, 2014, 12:14:15 AM »
local photo clubs are often the worst place to get innovative, thought provoking and open minded discussion about progressing photographic technique.

they are often run by long time amateurs who's skill and experience plateau well below an advanced, well versed professional. i have found that they tend to exist only to slap each others backs and boost the egos of whoever is running the show.

i've run across a number of them in my area and i avoid them like the plague...

not to be overly harsh, i'm sure there may be some good ones out there...but as a rule of thumb i wouldn't put too much stock in them at all.

this community far exceeds the experience one can get from a local camera club imo.

Photography Technique / Re: What Lenses Do You Use for Panoramics?
« on: May 07, 2014, 12:01:10 AM »
the biggest problem with lens choice and panos is distortion and parallax. these issues are more likely to be a problem the wider the focal length used so i'm not surprised by those who have found the 40-50mm focal length ideal.

stitching software can mostly mitigate any problems that arise but sometimes cannot handle extreme instances of barrel distortion and parallax thus resulting in ghosting and dali-esque edges. it's usually not difficult to photoshop these errors by hand but it does add time to the PP.

ideally you would want to use a low distortion lens and correct for parallax using an appropriate tripod head but its certainly not a necessity anymore with the software solutions available. 

the truly inane thing about this is how does one enforce this?

if i create a set up that uses the same configuration of lights but i change the positions by a foot or two and the angle by a foot or two i will effectively get the same lighting result but technically not infringe upon the patent. and even if its argued that i did in the heck would you ever prove that i did?

Photography Technique / Re: Thin dof posing/shooting advice
« on: April 30, 2014, 04:17:57 PM »
yes i am interested as well to see additional shoots. good luck with it!

Photography Technique / Re: Thin dof posing/shooting advice
« on: April 30, 2014, 03:31:00 PM »
Diffused is hard to come by outdoors when shooting on my own at this time of day

yes, it can be difficult to find that really special quality light. if its not there, its not there. sometimes you just have to make do with what you got.

to avoid that though, i do lots of scouting for locations that tend to have quality light in spite of how much cloud cover there is. shadows being casted, exteriors that bounce light back into scene, etc and then try to schedule as many shoots at these locations as possible. i avoid open parks like the plague...too unpredictable especially considering i work almost exclusively alone and don't have the option to bring sunblockers, reflectors, and other such light modifying gear. im sure this matches the situation many find themselves working under.

Having said that, this series is intended to give an impression of the people using the free dog doctor care - and considering an project I had as a template, any shots of mine make the model look way, way too good already :-p

i definitely think the images are serviceable. for what the project is and what the end uses may be i think they will work fine. i understand there is a difference between "they work" and being personally satisfied with the shots. i imagine you seek greater personal satisfaction through your original post.

that in mind, i still think you can use your existing gear, open up a bit on the aperture, find backgrounds that allow for greater fall off and you can get more personally pleasing results. i would find it in camera first before resorting to PP tricks...those things tend to look fake and cheesy and are a ton of effort in post. i imagine most people get tired and compromise their post production resulting in that faked look. 

Photography Technique / Re: Thin dof posing/shooting advice
« on: April 30, 2014, 12:14:07 PM »
I've also mulled over taking the shot with a small aperture... waiting till the subject is away... turning the focus to manual so it doesn't shift, and the opening the aperture wide... And then placing them in the bokeh filed image with Photoshop.

You would need a tripod of course.

I've thought about this... but I don't think it is an option I can use with my body's firmware.

Shoot two images onewide open and the other at f8 in quick succession... then over lap then in layers in Photoshop and just make the dog in focus...

I think it would look strange at really large print sizes, but at calendar size, it would go unnoticed.

I probably should read the manual, but I don't think any bodies are set up for that type of on the fly automatic adjustment.

you could do takes a considerable amount of time and care in PP to do it so it doesn't look fake (even at smaller outputs). or, you can just find the appropriate aperture, focal length and distance from subject while you are shooting.

Photography Technique / Re: Thin dof posing/shooting advice
« on: April 30, 2014, 11:39:00 AM »
My 100L with f2.8 produces a way too thin dof wide open.

well, you dont HAVE to shoot wide open. i think sporgons suggestion and mine is that you should understand what each focal length will behave like and what apertures are afforded to you given any given situation.

you could use the 17-40mm at 40mm and F4 and get usable shots. you could also use the 70-300 at 70mm and 5.6 and get usable shots. its all about understanding how each lens will behave in a given situation and what apertures are available to you given the look you are trying to achieve.

unfortunately this takes alot of time and shots to familiarize yourself with how your gear behaves in certain situations so you can confidently make decisions quickly during a shoot. i know when i can pull off F2 on my 35mm or when wider than F5.6 isnt an option on my 70-200mm. but i only know that through taking ALOT of shots where things didnt work out.

beyond that, considering the shots you posted, i would suggest you ditch shooting in sunny spots and seek out more flattering light. you are using the speedlights to fill well but it still looks flashy to me. softer, more diffused light is much more flattering for portrait work. you can still use a speedlight on camera with diffuser to pop a little catchlight in the eyes while shooting in shade and maintain a more natural light look.

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