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Messages - PaulTopol

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Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Speedlite Tutorials?
« on: April 12, 2014, 11:38:22 PM »
I am sure you are right in your description but you seem to be experienced and he appears not to be.

I think you are over-complicating it for a beginner.

Have certain basics in your mind and then alter to taste.

With experience comes the realisation that you can vary everything and end up with shots that wow.
But you have to start somewhere.!

Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Speedlite Tutorials?
« on: April 12, 2014, 08:14:22 AM »
Go take pictures. have fun. make mistakes. we all do. all part of the learning.

ask questions.

not even the professionals take perfect pics with every shot.

flash is a great tool. just needs practice.


Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Speedlite Tutorials?
« on: April 12, 2014, 05:50:46 AM »
Shutter Speed controls ambient light and Aperture controls flash.

It disturbs me when people say that, especially to the inexperienced. Whilst it has some truth in that shutter speed does not affect flash power when below max sync, it is misleading in that aperture does affect ambient and flash (if the flash is in M and you don't change the power level).

Don't be disturbed.
Play with all the variables until you find what works for you. Don't poopoo what the experts teach.
One has to have some basics to build on otherwise it is the blind leading the blind.

There really is only one rule:
make sure enough light hits the sensor to give you the pic you want.
3 basic variables: iso, f-stop, shutter speed.
If you don't have a foundation to build on then you cannot make any intelligent changes to how you use your tools i.e. your camera and lights/lighting.
So: Given your chosen iso then Shutter speed controls ambient and f-stop controls flash. See what happens when you try to control flash with your shutter speed. Not much effect!
Sure you can control ambient with f-stop, but it also controls flash.
The man is a beginner with flash. Has a long and fun road to learn. Give him some basics to start with instead of knocking what experts say.

Have a great day


Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Speedlite Tutorials?
« on: April 11, 2014, 06:47:05 PM »
Been on this journey that you are starting on.

Your final goal should be Manual settings, with playing with av etc. along the way.
Simple to remember, after lots of practice: Shutter Speed controls ambient light and Aperture controls flash.
Sounds simple but sometimes difficult to get ones head around it.
I shoot a number of community events, some weddings and some engagements, Kids, adults, some posing, most not.
Settings when i shoot generally are manual : F5.6 (reasonable depth of field) and 160th (freeze motion for the ambient lit stuff). Then set the flash (580ex2) for ETTL. Point flash to ceiling or wall, have reflector card pulled out (so i get highlight in the eyes). people love my pics, the focused ones of course. so i must be doing something right.
If it's a group,  and i have not prepared with multiple lights, i increase the f stop, to give greater depth of field, slower shutter speed, say 100th, and let the flash work harder, still on ettl.

Next goal for you then is to have everything on manual, including you flash. But the above works REALLY well for me.
For more stuff look for Joe Mcnally, Zack Arias,
LOTS of free stuff, that's how i learnt.

Have fun


First of all I'm a portrait photographer and I've got experience, I know what's composition and all the sweet things that we care about. Second I didn't sign any contract with him and he told me that I could post the photos on my website. I went there to understand how weddings work and I wasn't hired as an assistant (but he told me you are coming as an assistant).
During the wedding the bride was a bit annoyed about the posing shots that he was trying to create and she was asking for more candid shots. I'm not saying I'm better than the pro and I will never say that, I don't even want to undermine him. I sent him about 40 photos the day after the wedding and he called me up telling me that he was impressed for my first wedding experience. At the end of this I just would like to be rewarded for this little success because I'm not making a living out of it.
By the way I don't like the way the pros use their assistants, people who make a living out of it should pay for their help. It is just fair. Sometimes when I have to do paid jobs I ask a friend to come along and I give him/her some money even if it's a $200 job.

You wanted to learn and he allowed you to be his assistant so you could get experience. Your ego has colored your view of what is the right thing to do.

Your comments/description show that you feel he did things that you would never do. We are all different and we can all learn from each other. You would have handled that situation differently? But he got the job and you didn't. Must say something about his ability. If you can do it better then start your own business.
Meantime thank him for allowing you to go to the wedding to practice (because that is what you were doing).
Give him the pics you took, free, and let him get the congratulations on a job well done.
Your ego has been massaged by the bride which should be sufficient to inspire and motivate you to do better and go into the wedding business.

Better to be friends with all the people you meet on the way up because you might meet them again on the way down.
I have shot as a second shooter. My pics belong to the pro who allowed me to shoot.
If the bride was to call me I would refer her to the pro.

Street & City / Re: Street Portraits from a small Karoo town...
« on: March 13, 2014, 07:59:26 PM »
Lekker shots!! :D

Software & Accessories / Re: Large Prints from RAW files
« on: March 06, 2014, 08:01:50 PM »
Here are my 2 cents worth:
 Critical for me is
1. Calibration of monitor. Then I know the colours I see, even if I stuff them up, have a chance showing up as the same colours on somebody else's calibrated monitor.
2. Calibration/profiling of printer with the paper of choice. Each paper/printer combination will need it's own profile. Then I know I have the best chance of producing, to my eyes, the same colours that I see on my monitor.

My workflow is roughly:
Shoot raw
Adjust in Capture One.
process out to:
a. Tiff AdobeRGB for me to print myself on my Epson 7900 or do adjustments in Phototshop.
    I don't like adjusting in jpg because you do not have 100% of the pixels to play with.

b. JPG Srgb for my customers/friends because most monitors are roughly calibrated for Srgb.
    Print  the tiff file using Qimage..THE BEST!! (Totally calibrated/profiled for giving you the best chance of
having great prints.)

I also save, sometimes, into Prophoto. But, as others have mentioned, the best our available equipment can handle is AdobeRGB.
My Eizo monitor shows almost the same as AdobeRGB. My printer will print roughly AdobeRGB.

Printing, like anything else, takes practice. Some learn quickly, other learn a bit slower.
Start doing the stuff you understand, if that means only knowing how to turn the printer on.
same way you and all of us are learning photography...push a button..see what happens.

Printing BIG on your own printer is awesome!!

Have fun

EOS Bodies / Re: New 1DX Firmware Version 2
« on: December 31, 2013, 08:55:54 PM »
I'm In January already here in Ausie.

I want it now.

You can wait till it's 2014 at your end of the world.

EOS Bodies / Re: New 1DX Firmware Version 2
« on: December 31, 2013, 07:22:11 PM »
It's January. Where is the is the Firmware upgrade??

Canon General / Re: Renaming and storing photos
« on: December 23, 2013, 02:45:10 PM »
Use DownloaderPro from Breeze systems.
Totally customizable for downloads.
 I get DL to sort into camera (1d2, 1dx, 5d3)
You can also sort by camera serial number. Easy with DL.
You can also set it to store 2 copies (1 onto 1 disk, another onto backup disk)
Outstanding program. Been using it for years.


Isn't it great when you are walking around with a 1d* and a white lens and somebody says " taking pictures?" If I say "no" they look very puzzled.

Or people saying "ooh that's a big camera". I normally answer saying "yup but I don't know how to use it". "I use it just to make friends. See we are talking already". Normally gets a smile and we start talking and discussing photography.

Or "That's a nice camera". I say "Yes, thankyou, I am very lucky".

or being at a party and kids come up and ask "how much did it cost?"

we could just answer that bigger is better!

Canon General / Re: Canon Testing a 75+ Megapixel EOS-1 Body? [CR1]
« on: July 21, 2013, 04:19:21 PM »
I'll be ready to sell my OLD 1dx!

Hate working with out of date technology.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 1D X Product Advisory
« on: June 18, 2013, 09:00:03 AM »
Where can I find this advisory on the Australian website?
I got a "1" and no markings. Been suspicious of mine since I bought it.
Told, and agreed with, that it was my technique. Never had the same problem with my 1Dmk2.
Still, love the shots I get with my 1dx.

EOS Bodies / Re: New AF Technology Coming in July? [CR1]
« on: May 25, 2013, 07:31:40 AM »
Better than 1DX?

Software & Accessories / Re: Alternatives to Adobe Software
« on: May 07, 2013, 08:39:09 AM »
Capture One does an Excellent job.

Shoot it right and you almost don't need P$.

These big companies almost ask to be pirated.

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