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Messages - RustyTheGeek

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61
Photography Technique / Re: On-Camera Flash Technique/Gear?
« on: April 30, 2014, 02:15:28 PM »
     Do you think a DEMB Classic Flip-It ( http://www.dembflashproducts.com/flipit/ ) and basic diffuser  ( http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/407175-REG/Sto_Fen_OM_EW_OM_EW_Omni_Bounce_for_Canon.html ) can get most of it done?
     Thanks.


I think you can go two ways... either OVER THE TOP (like surapon) or KEEP IT SIMPLE (like the quote above).

I prefer to keep it simple, esp starting out and when you are on a budget.  It takes courage and self confidence to shoot pictures of people and surapon is probably the most confident and courageous photographer on the forum!!   :D  (Not to mention, as everyone here will agree, surapon possesses exceptional physical strength, stamina and mental fortitude!  Just look at some of his equipment carrying posts!)

There are a LOT of flash modifiers and accessories available.  It's a HUGE BUSINESS, the business of flash accessories.  It's easy to spend a lot of money on flash stuff!!  Start out with the basics.

I think that based on where you appear to be in photography, you should buy the Sto-Fen modifier linked above for sure.  Every photographer owns one and likely uses it for years and years regardless of what else they have and use.  It works great, it's inexpensive, unobtrusive and doesn't take up a lot of room or add weight.

The next thing you should consider is a FLASH BRACKET.  When you elevate the flash, you will drop the shadows behind the subjects and greatly improve your shots.  I use this one because it's very well made but still folds down easily for storage.  If you get a flash bracket, you will also need a off-camera flash cable.

If you end up doing the flash bracket, you might also consider rigging it up to be able to easily remove the flash and hold it to the side for more versatility.  (Just a thought.)

Only after you have these items, should you consider buying more sophisticated flash modifiers.  I own a Gary Fong Lightsphere and few Lumiquest items but the StoFen stays on my flash 90% of the time.  You may find that you can build your own modifiers and save a lot of money.  Photographers have been using white (or amber or green) 3x5 index cards and rubber bands for decades!  I also suggest you read David Hobby's Strobist Blog for more ideas.  He's a master at flash and often uses cheaper manual flashes and hand made modifiers.

Let us know what you decide!

62
Photography Technique / Re: Thin dof posing/shooting advice
« on: April 30, 2014, 01:45:15 PM »
+1 (or 2?) on that. I bracket DOF a lot when I shoot macro, though I'm still a scaredy cat with ML :-[

And to answer the original post, I get closer and shoot with a wider lens or stand further back and shoot with a longer lens (usually the latter).  I know that sounds stupidly simple, but both things work to increase DOF while still isolating the subject at f/2.8 or greater.  Beyond that, aligning yourself and your subjects to the focal plane is about all your can do, sometimes you have to live with a bit of softness, so try to get the eyes in focus.

Wow!  Me Too!  I find it sort of funny using a high dollar DSLR with tons of features only to adjust the photographic effect simply by moving around, back and forth, etc.   :o  I sometimes do the same thing with the off camera flash.  If I have an assistant (usually my poor younger son), I direct him to just move up and back to adjust the lighting and then review the shot on the LCD.  It's faster than changing settings.

Rusty

63
Photography Technique / Re: Thin dof posing/shooting advice
« on: April 30, 2014, 10:54:39 AM »
1st, I think the pictures you shot look great already!  Good luck improving on an already good thing!

This is a great question and the previous expert answers are very detailed and thought provoking.  I could picture myself doing about the same things that you are doing and then I guess I would be asking the same questions!  This is definitely a situation where learning from experience really pays off!!

The image in my mind that keeps popping up as I read this thread is of the professional photographers shooting outdoors with a ton of gear and assistants.  In order to get the beautiful model to look tack sharp and stunning, they literally have two crews armed with 2-way radios.  One crew is at the camera on a tripod with a huge lens.  The other crew is at the model with light modifiers, lights, etc.  The camera is some number of many yards away more or less.  The background is also quite a long distance away depending on how defined they want it in the shot.

Obviously the point is to use a larger DoF for better focus but still get the desired blurred background, esp if there is more than one subject in the shot.  So in your case, you are trying to achieve a bit of optical physics magic.  As you already know, there is only so much you can do within the limits of what you are attempting.

Concentrate on nailing the things that can't be fixed later and must be right in camera.  Since you have little control of the subject in this case, that is what you must get right.  Focus/sharpness (or your desired effect) of the eyes, faces, etc and the pose, the smiles, the moment.  Everything else, esp the background, cropping, etc you will just have to do your best with in photoshop.

Personally, when I shoot people, esp groups or couples, I have learned the hard way to not drop below f/5.6 (depending on my distance which is usually within on camera flash range) and try to move the subject(s) away from the background as much as possible if I want it to blur.  I can go with a more narrow DoF (lower f stop) the further I am away from the subject.

That's simply my amateur opinion.  I'm reading this with great interest as well and I'm glad you asked the question.

NOTE:  As I read over the other posts in comparison to mine, mine seems like a complete waste of time, as in Duh!.  First time I've considered clicking the 'remove' link!

65
Photography Technique / Re: Am I the only one this has happened to?
« on: April 21, 2014, 05:30:22 PM »
I know this might sound strange but... what exactly do pervert photographers do with up close 300mm action shots of children playing in a park that could be so bad?

I mean... the kids are fully clothed.  Right?  They're just playing or walking or running or sitting.  What's the difference in what the picture means in someone's camera compared to what the live in-person action in the park means, right in front of everyone?

Don't even get me started on what girls wear in pre-school, kindergarten, elementary all the way up through high school that their parents see no problem with buying and dressing them in because it's in style.  Many parents dress their kids (girls) like barbie dolls with things like "Juicy" shown across their pre-pubescent butts and then complain that other people are perverts.  If you have had kids in school in the last 20 years, you probably know what I mean.  Some boys aren't much better, dressed like thugs and gangsters.  This explains why many schools went back to mandatory uniforms to keep the peace and stop fights and gang related violence.

I don't know about everyone here but if I'm going to shoot up-close shots of people that might get me in trouble, it will be of attractive women.  Not kids.  And in this day and age that should be OK, right?  I mean, if you go by what we all see in the media, advertising, clothing ads, movies, etc.  Or maybe not.  Sorry, I'm just confused.  And not necc in a good way.   :(

66
Photography Technique / Re: Am I the only one this has happened to?
« on: April 21, 2014, 03:42:31 PM »
Dear Friends.
Sorry , I am not the Lawyer or an Attorney. It happen  to me many times, And I have the copy of this page" The Photographer's Right"  in my pocket and let the read, and I ask for they name and ask --If they are Lawyer or Attorney or not ?, and write  their name on my notes book---After that No problem at all.
Enjoy.
Surapon.
PS, To all of my friends---Please copy and print " The Photographer's Right" and keep in your Camera bag, One day you will need them.

http://www.bobatkins.com/photography/tutorials/photography_law_rights.html


Love it!  Here dude, read this!  (That's OK, you can keep it!)  That should keep them busy for a while!!  LOL!   8)

67
Short video of Blue Angels at El Centro practicing.  Good shots of the planes performing, the photographers shooting and the beautiful day.  Enjoy...

www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=726296920723859&set=vb.428109517209269&type=2&theater

68
Photography Technique / Re: Am I the only one this has happened to?
« on: April 20, 2014, 11:52:56 PM »
Be glad that he spoke to you and didn't just call the police.  I know folks who have ended up in the back of a police cruiser.  People are paranoid - but, unfortunately with the rise of the internet - the perverts are out there and taking and sharing pictures, too.  So the paranoia is not completely out of line.  At least now in the digital age, if you are approached and accused, you can immediately show the pics to prove your innocence.  Back in the film days, it was not so easy.

But we shouldn't have to constantly prove out innocence.  For a benign activity such as photography,  we should not be automatically thrown in to consideration as either terrorists or child rapists. 

Afterall... those who have participated in the bikini thread are not all full-grown lady rapists...

If it is a public place... people are being photographed... not necessarily by a photographer... but by street light cameras, parking lot cameras, cameras at a checkout...

Hey... don't photograph me... that died a long time ago.

Now I need to go search for the bikini thread!!   ;D

69
Photography Technique / Re: Am I the only one this has happened to?
« on: April 20, 2014, 11:50:04 PM »
Be glad that he spoke to you and didn't just call the police.  I know folks who have ended up in the back of a police cruiser.  People are paranoid - but, unfortunately with the rise of the internet - the perverts are out there and taking and sharing pictures, too.  So the paranoia is not completely out of line.  At least now in the digital age, if you are approached and accused, you can immediately show the pics to prove your innocence.  Back in the film days, it was not so easy.

But we shouldn't have to constantly prove out innocence.  For a benign activity such as photography,  we should not be automatically thrown in to consideration as either terrorists or child rapists. 

Afterall... those who have participated in the bikini thread are not all full-grown lady rapists...

If it is a public place... people are being photographed... not necessarily by a photographer... but by street light cameras, parking lot cameras, cameras at a checkout...

Hey... don't photograph me... that died a long time ago.

I agree with you but only to a point.  Photography by security cameras is something most people accept and believe to be benign because it's anonymous and is the same for everyone.  No one is 'singled out' that anyone can tell.

Photography by an individual with a zoom lens is more personal.  I agree that we shouldn't have to feel embarrassed to shoot public pictures but society today is what it is.  Girls should be able to walk down the street in provocative clothing and not be objectified, judged or harassed but it happens anyway.  It happens because people are human and think/do things for their own reasons derived from what they feel is right, their morals/ethics or what gives them satisfaction, good or bad.

Everyone makes judgments based on their observations and assumptions regardless of the truth or accuracy of those assumptions.  Then they act on those assumptions and judgments.

All we can control is our own actions and try to anticipate a problem before we do things to cause it.

70
Lenses / Re: Bought the 300mm 2.8 ii and think its huge
« on: April 20, 2014, 11:30:23 PM »
Well, I use my 300 for my primary wildlife lens.  With a 2x TC, its a hand holdable 600mm 5.6 with a very short minimum focus distance so its great for photos of small passerines, shorebirds or shooting from a hide.  It's easy enough to hike with once you get used to it especially with a nice black rapid style strap.  I've also used it for field sports with and without the 1.4x TC.  Its good for tight portraiture, especially for indoor sports where you will definitely need the wide aperture.

There's plenty of good uses for the lens if you shoot the style of photography it calls for.  Mine is the ancient non-IS version and I would instantly trade up for the vII if I could afford it.  I bought the sigmonster because I got a crazy good deal on it and it will come in very handy for when I'm distance limited like, say, shooting waterfowl or in a restricted habitat but I will almost certainly continue to use the 300 primarily.  It is just too good and too useful for wildlife and sports.  I'd say keep it around for a bit and see if you use it.  You can't really lose too much money if you find yourself selling it on later and you'll never be hard pressed to find a buyer.  I'd guess that if you have any interest in wildlife or sports photography, you won't ever want to get rid of it.

Thanks for the type of answer I was looking for. I PP a few BIF and was amazed at how sharp this lens is. I think I am going to use it for a few more weeks then make a decision from there.

What is your reason for shooting?  Why do you own what you already own?  Regardless of the answers, is this lens purchase in line with your previous purchases and will it make a difference in your performance, enjoyment and advance your skill?

I notice that you already own 2 5D3 bodies along with other expensive lenses so money obviously isn't an issue and you say as much.  So I think your plan is sound, keep it for a few weeks and enjoy it, then decide.

Keep in mind that you can throw a 1.4 teleconverter on the 70-200/f2.8 and only lose a stop with a max of 280/f4 mm if you sell it.  Not as good as the 300mm/f2.8 but you can easily get the stop back in post with the sensor on the 5D3.  I shoot swimming that way all the time.  Of course I shoot for fun, I'm not shooting for Getty Images.

71
Photography Technique / Re: Am I the only one this has happened to?
« on: April 20, 2014, 11:09:29 PM »
People have the right to take pictures in any public place


There's a distinction to be made between what's within your legal rights and what's polite or ethical.  In the U.S., you have the right to go around like Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged and insult everyone you meet, so long as you don't do it in a way that amounts to fighting words.  It is, however, extremely uncivil to do so.  Regardless of your rights, it's uncivil to take photos of people who don't want to be photographed.  The world is not your modeling agency, and its people are not your hired "talent."  Don't treat people as mere scenery in the theater performance that is your life.


Agreed and well said.  Just because you can do something legal doesn't mean you should.  I'm not saying you did anything wrong.  But invading someone's personal space with a long lens makes people nervous and potentially feel threatened.  (Regardless of your intent you can't always know how others may interpret things.)

In this case I don't think you acted inappropriately but the situation did give another observer an opportunity/excuse to do what they could do even if they shouldn't.  Which in this case is be the park savior/protector/big shot/bully.

72
Photography Technique / Re: Am I the only one this has happened to?
« on: April 20, 2014, 10:53:17 PM »
To the OP, I think I speak for many photographers when I say that photographing people, esp anonymous people in public is somewhat akin to public speaking and can be unsettling and a little scary sometimes.  It takes confidence and nerve.

You can't control the other guy, but you can control yourself.  It's up to you to keep the encounter positive and not play (into) his game.

I photograph school events, swim meets, boy scouts, church stuff, etc.  I have always tried to keep an attitude of confidence when I shoot these things.  In other words, I shoot like I belong there and I'm shooting for a purpose.  It doesn't matter if I am shooting for an official purpose or for my own purpose.  If I am approached, I simply respond that I am shooting pictures to share with everyone (parents usually) for them to have of their kids.  It rarely goes past that.  I am very accommodating and cheerful about it.  I offer them my card and make sure they know how to see all of my pictures on my zenfolio page.  There they will see thousands of images of many different things that include kids.  I treat any inquiry like I assume they are interested in my images and want know how to obtain them.

If they are negative or accusatory, I pretty much just act the same way, like I've done nothing wrong and if I stop, one or many people will miss out on the results of my efforts (that I offer free of charge).  Depending on the event and my level of desire or the importance of the images, I might elect to stop or I might elect to get someone of importance involved to shut the jerk up.

The difference in my usual situation and your stated situation is the anonymity and lack of a connection to a purpose except for your own enjoyment.  Unfortunately, in this day and age cameras make people nervous.  Blame it on the negative media, rude and invasive paparazzi and unconstitutional ordinances/laws against public photography.  I would have given the guy my card (without an address).  What pervert up to no good offers to share their identity?  I might have offered to share the pictures but I also would have explained that I'm simply enjoying the day like anyone else and not breaking any laws.  If I had to pack up and leave to diffuse the situation, so be it.  But I would have tried my best to turn it around and put the guy at ease first because it's in my neighborhood and I'm likely to see the guy again.

73
Photography Technique / Re: Am I the only one this has happened to?
« on: April 20, 2014, 10:29:12 PM »
I know getting into fights isn't socially acceptable... but in my middle age I'm more willing to kick a little ass than I was when I was younger.  But it feels awkward to tell someone... give me five minutes to put my gear away and then I'll happily beat that ass.  [

OK, I'm not prone to violence but the way you stated this, it cracked me up!   ;D

Let's be honest, most of us probably sympathize.  Like you, I'm middle aged and, it seems like the more I see of life that can be unfair sometimes, the more tempted I am to want to yield to a primal impulse and 'fix the problem', at least in a fleeting fantasy.

In reality however, we know violence only makes matters worse, usually for us and not the jerk.

74
Software & Accessories / Re: shoulder sling
« on: April 20, 2014, 02:30:19 PM »
I have used several BR Straps and they are great but for the past couple years, I have used a super simple strap called the BosStrap.  I have the older gen 1 version with a pinch clip instead of the 'never remove' version they have now.  And I connect it to the tripod socket like I did with the BR straps.  In other words, I use the BosStrap but in a BR way.  I chose a self made hybrid of the two designs.

http://www.bosstrap.com/

75
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: How to Annoy a Photography Snob
« on: April 20, 2014, 11:44:24 AM »
I just love to come here and gush about a Sigma lens....especially when it's better than the Canon counterpart....You can just feel the "L" Groupies getting nervous tics...they try to express their opposing opinion (...the "rendering" in the "L" is more to my liking...) with tact...but you can just feel their indignation right thru your keypad.....I guess I don't understand the Fanbois groupie thing....but it is entertaining.  8) 8) 8)
How dare you sir? ... don't you know that there is a commandment that says "thou shalt not question L supremacy"? ;D

My only beef with third party lenses is poor resale value, which of course stems from people's ignorance of third party lenses, thus triggering a vicious cycle.
So if the 35A and 35L were both the same price I'd go for the L. I've used it briefly, and while the Sigma is probably better, the 35L is amazing already. But I won't pay $ 500 for that L ring! I actually tape over the L rings on my lenses.


But not only the L fanboys are vehement against Sigmas and Tamrons. I was shocked how Ken Rockwell snubbed the excellent 18-35mm (even he had to agree it is optically superior) and advocated not in favor of an L but all the EF-S lenses! Of course, he recourses to simply lying when comparing the 35A's build quality to the 35L's. Without batting an eyelid, he says the Canon has a metallic body and the Sigma has a cheap plastic body.
And in both Sigma reviews he holds being sharp as a bad thing, saying these are sharp because they are built for amateurs, who care only about sharpness! Lol! So to build a lens for pros, Canon and Nikon deliberately build non-sharp lenses.

Another reason to never read a single word Rockwell has said about anything, ever!

You were joking when you said you taped over your L red rings, right?

Rockwell makes for fun reads. Gives you a chuckle once in a while, but you're right- not for any edification.
I actually did tape (gaffer's) over my red rings- well over my entire 24-70II, actually (and a lenscoat is en route for my 70-200). :)
Captures less attention (it is important for me for a few reasons) and keeps my lens scratch free as a bonus.
By the way, you were totally right about the 135L- it is magical. Just received it yesterday and I already love it!

+1  I have taped over the red rings for years with black gaffers tape.   Along with other parts of the lens.  Partly for less attention, partly for protection since the top edge of the lens is usually shiny hard plastic that hits everything, esp when the camera is put down on a flat surface, etc.

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