April 18, 2014, 09:13:36 PM

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Messages - RustyTheGeek

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61
Thanks mackgyver!  My post was getting too long but I wanted to say more!  Your suggestions are very important considerations and spot on!  I would add however that the background needs to have some contrast or pattern to help promote the subjects.  It looks like the trees, etc will work beautifully if they are sufficiently OOF.  The OP just needs to avoid too much sky in his shot and not bisect the heads with the horizon.  :-)

IMHO, the OP should really do a practice session to see what his images will look like.  The first time I did something like this I learned sooooo much!!


62
I agree on the aperture, keep it 5.6 or above.  Maybe even 6.3 or 8 depending on how close you are.  The closer you are to the subject, the higher the number needs to be.

Your best option might be to use a 70-200 or a 135 prime and get further back from them while also keeping them far in front of the background so it will blur.  The distance would also help diffuse the fill light from the camera.  Unfortunately, the 430 might struggle with distance over 8-10 feet, esp if you used a diffuser.  If you are far enough away from them, the diffuser would not be necessary.

Get a friend and go practice at that venue at the same time of day.  Test different ideas, lenses, flash setups, etc.  Let us know what you decide and how it goes!!  Relax and have fun!
I see!

Do you really think fill flash is necessary? I would think you would want to shoot at F2.8 for the best blurred out background, but I guess not. I will experiment with 2.8-8 when I shoot this friday. I also have a 70-300 Tamron which already has those apertures you guys suggest...

You won't be able to shoot at f/2.8 because your long lens can't do it.  Edit:  Whoops!  Sorry!  I mixed up which lens you have.  (And a long lens that could would likely be the 70-200 f/2.8, which is worth more than all your equipment combined.)  And assuming you rented a faster long lens, there will be too much light in the daytime to be able to use f/2.8 unless you used a ND filter.  Even at ISO 100 you will likely not have a fast enough shutter to allow f/2.8.  And even if you did, one of your subjects would be out of focus.  Trust me, you probably don't want to go below f/5.6.  You can blur the background with distance behind the subject at f/5.6 but you can't get multiple faces and prom dresses in sharp focus at f/2.8.

Yes, fill flash will be necessary.  Otherwise you will have undesirable shadows in the faces, esp if you have backlight or a bright background.  Discussing lighting techniques for this is a whole other discussion and it doesn't sound like you have the equipment anyway.  In this case, with your limited equipment, ETTL is your friend and it will be easier to tweak/adjust the highlights later in LR with possibly a little too much light vs too little/more shadows in the faces.

There are several levels of challenge on shoots like this.  Focus, DOF, background, lighting, posing and people management.  Practicing with someone (or several someones) ahead of time would be of great benefit.  Rehearse the entire thing at the same time of day so the light will be the same.  Set up your equipment, pose your subjects, focus, camera settings, people herding, talking to the subjects and finally examine the images in LR and see what needs to be tweaked and what needs to be adjusted in camera.

I would seriously recommend that you get LR 5 to correct and improve the images.  You will no doubt have shadow, white balance, shadow, contrast challenges that you will want to improve (and learn from) after the fact.

Most of what I'm saying here is basic stuffThere are many other CR members here with way more portrait experience than I have that could probably offer more experienced advice and suggestions.

But in this case, I think you need to follow the KISS principle and not add any more equipment or techniques than you can handle.

Everyone here at CR are glad to help and know the stress and concern a photographer faces.  The best way to achieve success is NOT spending a lot of money, it's PRACTICE!!!

63
I agree on the aperture, keep it 5.6 or above.  Maybe even 6.3 or 8 depending on how close you are.  The closer you are to the subject, the higher the number needs to be.

Your best option might be to use a 70-200 or a 135 prime and get further back from them while also keeping them far in front of the background so it will blur.  The distance would also help diffuse the fill light from the camera.  Unfortunately, the 430 might struggle with distance over 8-10 feet, esp if you used a diffuser.  If you are far enough away from them, the diffuser would not be necessary.

Get a friend and go practice at that venue at the same time of day.  Test different ideas, lenses, flash setups, etc.  Let us know what you decide and how it goes!!  Relax and have fun!

64
Photography Technique / Re: What could I do better?
« on: March 16, 2014, 11:41:12 PM »
I'll agree with everyone so far.  All good feedback and advice.  I think this is technically a good photo given the lens (70-300 which I used to own), the APS-C 60D (which I also own) and the circumstances.  I think this is a normal photo to expect.  If you want something more exceptional, it might take a better lens and definitely a better opportunity.

-  Upgrade to LR 5, you'll be glad you did.
-  Um, use the tripod for the landscapes.  A shutter of 1/1000 more than compensates for a little camera shake, esp if the lens has IS, which it does.
-  Don't sweat it.  Just learn from it and move on.  Remember,  a good picture is a good picture regardless of pixel peeping and zooming in looking for sharpness.  Concentrate on making a good picture and have fun!

65
Photography Technique / Re: Can you share your workflow?
« on: March 11, 2014, 04:18:49 PM »
Wow, surprised by the lack of response.

Anything else I am missing?

Well, no offense but this has been covered several times in the past and so I assume many have failed to respond because...

-  They have responded before in the past...
-  It takes quite a bit of time to provide a good complete answer.

Everyone has their priorities for their workflow.  Some favor speed from start to finish, others favor careful sorting and/or quick classification and others want to delete as much as they can early so they can focus on the good shots.  There are many different reasons and methods to the workflow and it usually evolves over time based on lessons learned or when needs change.

Regardless of workflow, I would urge you to make sure the images always exist in more than one (at least two or more) places (different physical disks, media, etc) before you start deleting or formatting your memory cards.  And then do computer backups often.  You'll thank me someday!

66
Lenses / Re: Collecting gear
« on: March 10, 2014, 06:55:11 PM »
In the last 6 months I've sold the 28-105 (it isn't great for indoor photography and is a bit soft on my equipment) and gotten myself a Sigma 18-35 f1.8 and upgraded to a Canon 40D.

Ahhhh, the wonderful and sweet 40D!  Love that camera!  Love it!  May it serve you well for a long time to come my friend!!  Heck, while you're at it, you should find a great and wonderful 5D Classic while you're at it.  Another amazing body for a great price now!

67
Photography Technique / Re: How can I get this apple sharp?
« on: March 09, 2014, 06:59:13 PM »
Please share your final results!

68
Photography Technique / Re: Cool example of why gear doesn't matter
« on: March 09, 2014, 06:52:04 PM »
Heck man, this illustrates that every shoot presents untold amounts of unexpected problems and you just gotta be ready to work with/around those problems.  Loved it!  The photographer has a good and cheerful attitude and that helps everyone else keep going.  Better equipment does produce better quality but more than anything it merely makes getting the shot EASIER.  Better equipment doesn't replace the photographer or their vision.

69
Photography Technique / Re: Three days in The Big Apple
« on: March 09, 2014, 06:32:33 PM »
Wow-christianronnel, Those are a couple of inspiring shots!

I think my equipment list is coming together:
Monopod
5 DIII + 7D w generic straps
24-105/ 24-70 +10-22 & 8-15 fisheye
1 ratty looking backpack
cards & batteries-
It could hardly be simpler
Just gotta talk my wife out of the plays on Broadway and most the museums now...
As far as I can tell from the web site , the Statue of Liberty is open, fingers crossed.

Thanks everyone!


Please don't avoid the Broadway shows, at least not all of them.  They are a must!  And since you list two bodies, don't carry them both at the same time, they will just weigh you down.  You will be walking A LOT.  Keep it light.  Just take a body, two lenses, and minimal extra stuff.  You'll have to deal with security sometimes, you'll have to manage and hold on to it all in the subway and you'll have to put it somewhere when you eat.  A lot of places you go are small.  Tables, chairs, etc are cramped.  One SLR on a BR strap with an extra lens in a backpack along with all your extra stuff (including perhaps a light rain jacket or umbrella) will be plenty.

And I'll push my favorite little flash one more time.  The SunPak RD2000 with a StoFen diffuser works great on the 5D-III for fill.  Don't forget to get a few eneloops.  Two AA batteries in that flash should last all day with an extra two in your pocket.


70
Photography Technique / Re: Three days in The Big Apple
« on: March 08, 2014, 11:39:35 AM »
As for a tripod, what if you took a Tamrac Zipshot?  You could use it as a monopod up on the top of Empire and it wouldn't get in anyone's way, etc.  I think the reason they don't allow the tripods is due to the crowds and the fact that the tripod legs stick way out and trip folks, etc.  Whatever the reason or whatever you decide, maybe you can use some kind of monopod braced against the rail to help with shots like that.  Good luck!  Enjoy!

71
Photography Technique / Re: Three days in The Big Apple
« on: March 08, 2014, 11:31:05 AM »
I would agree with winglet, if you're trying to keep it simple, a 24-105 (or 24-70) + a 16-35 (or 17-40) would be great.  Those two lenses would not weigh you down and you would have plenty of room left in your day pack for other stuff.  Make sure and watch the weather and maybe take a light jacket depending on temp and possible rain.  The only other lens I might throw in would be the 15mm FishEye because it's so fun and very small/light.  If IQ isn't your top priority, you could replace the 24-105 with a Tamrom 28-300 super zoom and you'd have more reach but still take a wide lens of some kind.

I haven't been to NY in a long time and everyone else has offered so much good advice on the city that all I'll say is the Subway makes NY a joy to move around in.  No waiting for taxis or buses, etc.  But most of the time you will want to stay on the street and walk.  There is soooo much to see.  It's a feast for the eyes.  Very interesting both day and night.

72
Technical Support / Re: Lightboxes, umbrellas, stands, etc.........
« on: March 07, 2014, 03:55:02 PM »
Strobist is an awesome online resource as well. Read the Lighting 101 section for awesome tips on starting out with flash. I invested about $60 for an umbrella, bracket, stand, and ETTL cable on B&H (lower quality, I guess) but it was perfect for starting out, and you can always move up.

+1

David Hobby (Strobist) and Joe McNally are great flash gurus and they are a blast to learn from.  But they each use different methods.  I prefer David Hobby because he works in the manual settings realm which is the best way to learn what is going on.  Once you master things manually, you understand what is really going on and you can be much more creative.

Spend most of your time reading, buying books (try 1/2 price books too) and experimenting.  Don't get too caught up in buying stuff right now.  In fact, you'll learn a lot more by building your own light modifiers until you really know what you want.

Have fun!!

73
Canon General / Re: Why Image Quality isn't Everything
« on: February 28, 2014, 07:57:21 PM »
I love that leopard!  Go leopard, Go!   All humans are mere tasty meaty obstacles in his path!  Bwaa Ha Ha Haaaa!   :o

74
Lenses / Re: Good lens for hiking
« on: February 28, 2014, 05:49:31 PM »
Hey, thanks for the clarifications tapanit!  You are fortunate that you have the luxury of easy consistent water access.  That makes a big difference with how far you can go and weight reduction overall.  Please don't get the wrong idea, I wasn't trying to criticize, only illustrate why weight is an important factor for me.

I try to minimize the extra effort and energy it takes to manage all the extra bits of gear.  Since we put a lot of our stuff up in bear bags at every camp, there is a lot of packing and unpacking every day.  The more items you have, the more you have to unpack/repack, make room for, organize, account for, keep clean, etc.  It gets tiresome after a few days.  IMHO, when hiking, the simpler the better.  So that's why I am trying to really think the whole "better camera" thing through.  Because the group loves my pictures regardless, even if they're just from the little rugged D20.  I'm the only one who really appreciates/enjoys the IQ difference and superior handling of the SLR.

And yes, the rain makes for rather flat pictures but at least there are no harsh shadows and lens flare, right?   :)

75
Lenses / Re: Good lens for hiking
« on: February 28, 2014, 02:39:51 PM »
I'd go with a Ricoh GR if I were hiking. Superlight, truly pocketable and great image quality for the price and size.

I'm intrigued by the Ricoh GR.  Hmmmmmmm.

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