Thursday, June 8, 2017

Canon 6D and Canon 60D with the Canon EF 70-300mm 1:4-5.6 IS USM

I bought an old Canon EF 70-300mm 1:4-5.6 IS USM quite a while ago and like how some of the portraits I have been taking with it turned out.  I decided to test it a bit more both on my Canon 60D and Canon 6D.  This was no exact test as F-stop and such are not identical.  More of a test to see things closer.
If I could get the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens I would.
Only editing was moving the RAW sliders around.

I really don't like the way any turned out, there is something with the focus that is just a bit off.

This was a quick adjust settings, point and shoot:

Canon 60D f/9.5, 1/250 sec., ISO-640, Focal length was 70 mm then I cropped this picture.

 Canon 6D f/8, 1/250 sec., ISO-400, Focal length was 300 mm

Canon 60D f/9.5, 1/250 sec., ISO-640, Focal length was 200 mm

Canon 6D f/7.1, 1/250 sec., ISO-1600, Focal length was 180 mm

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

"Car d'Alene 2017" is coming. Coeur d'Alene, Idaho's 1920's to 1970's classic cars

"Car d'Alene 2017" Coeur d'Alene, Idaho's 1920's to 1970's cars.

From ones being fixed up to the really fancy ones, Car d'Alene has them all.

Each year now I invite people who want to model by some of these awesome cars.  Dressed in anything between the 1920's to the 1970's.  This is where you have to get creative to do portrait photography since the cars are all parked in close and there are tons of people walking around.  So you stay out of everyone's way and at the same time try and shoot the models with the cars without tons of people in the shot.

Despite having fun doing photography around these beautiful cars I enjoy the lighting challenges it brings.

2016 I have a lot of great models turn out and we shall see what this year brings.

The show starts June 16th late afternoon with all the cars parading around downtown Coeur d'Alene.
On the 17th they are all parked around downtown.  This is when I will be doing my job as a photographer.   These sessions are setup as TFP.  I get to use the pictures and the models get to have the pictures of them.

If you will be in the area and wish to join in, see my Facebook event page and click on the Car d'Alene event:

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

How to pose. Kind of.

From portrait photography, wedding photography, event photography, and anything where you have people, you want to be able to pose them in ways that they look good, relaxed and natural.

There is no surefire pose that works for everyone.  A pose that makes one person look awesome wont always work on another person.

This is an area that many people from photographers to models have issues with.  They seem to forget that just because a pose looks good in one picture from someone else, it may look bad on your current subject.   Same with people modeling, just because it looks good on a model in a magazine, it may look bad on you.

Photographer need to also understand that not only is the posing extremely important, the lighting also must be right too.

People that want to look good in pictures should practice posing in front of a mirror.  Facial expressions to hands and everything else.   Although many men seem to like cleavage so much you really don't want to have a photographer photographing from above you looking down your shirt.  Be natural,   Don't try to sexualize your posing.  A good photographer will make you look fantastic.

I like to start off with my client/subjects doing a pose naturally then changing the parts of the body posing to get the image I am looking for.  Some people are very natural at posing and are very photogenic.  Some are not.

Just about anyone can take a picture of a beautiful woman or man and people will like it because they like to see the beautiful person.  If your not so perfect then angles, posing and lighting will be key in getting the best picture you can.

Not everyone will like every picture or pose you do.  If the client/subject likes it, then you as a photographer did your job and they did theirs.
One big thing to help is props.  Anything from a purse to a cup and so on.  This gives the client/subject something to pose around and not look so awkward.

Photographers should direct the client to where they want them to stand, give them an emotion to try and keep directing until you have an awesome pose for everyone.  I would suggest the photographer always have a bunch of props in the car to help out in posing when needed.  Also ask the client/subject to bring along some props too.

Remember tilts and turns of head, neck, shoulders, eyes, legs, feet and everything can change a picture so much.  From attitude to just plane fun.

Keep the photo shoot fun and relaxed and everyone should have a great time making  awesome images.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Rule of Thirds and the Golden Spiral

I have not thought about the "rule of thirds" much through the years.  I just try to frame my pictures in ways that are interesting to me.  Then this "Golden Spiral" thingy came out and people are talking about it.  Since I don't like to use rules like these because it twists my brain when you have all this other information you are processing when posing a person, dealing with the sun, (I do outdoor portrait photography mainly with some landscapes.) Dealing with your off camera flash, and or reflectors and such.

I truly think some photographers have an eye for framing their pictures in camera and for them it's natural.  They probably never think about the "RULES".   So are these rules for the Rule of Thirds and the Golden Spiral made to guide people who don't really have an eye for framing a picture?

So I applied both rules to two pictures I did from a shoot and found that the Golden Spiral is very flexible and can probably work on most of my pictures.  I'm a rebel and want to break the rules all the time.  I'm so disappointed to find I fall into using these rules without even thinking about it.

Remember the Rule of Thirds and the Golden Spiral are guides and getting close is acceptable.  I'm not going to get into all the the details you can find that all over the internet.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Dream Equipment

When it comes to being ready to do Portrait photography, wedding photography and event photography you want to have portable equipment that works no matter what.

So for portability, low light, speed for sports photography and action.   I would want a Sony A9.  I would settle for the Sony A7r II as well.  There are many things that make the camera stand out the main ones are the eye focusing.  Sony has created a camera that can focus in on the eyes of your subject so your eyes will always be in focus, don't worry if you want to focus on other stuff just touch the screen where you want the focus.  It also has dual media slots so you don't lose anything when a card acts up.

A battery for the Sony A9 can last a day, shooting around 7000 images or more.
If you have other lenses there are adapters for them to use.

Doing Action Photography or sports you can fire off  20 frames per second up to 240 RAW images in the buffer.  That's going to get you through the action.

As for off camera lighting:  For portability and action and just easy to use.  Rotolight Anova Pro LED lights.  They have a really nice light and a 50 degree spread.  Soft light.  Fixed 5600K +- 100K color temperature,  Correction filters to make it 6300K, 4400K or 3200K. Flicker free continuous output. Flash Sync/ remote triggering via 3.5mm PC mini-jack. V-Lock battery or A/C power. TVMP bracket.  This light in High speed sync has no recycle time.  I think it goes 11fps.

If your setting up a studio then you may want to go with something else.  I would just use more.  The controllers for these can do over 200 lights at once.

Price is high for both, I feel it is worth it once I save the money.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Portrait photography, Wedding Photography, Natural light, and off camera light, "Professional" photographers.

The best thing about portrait photography is the eyes.  When you see the eyes and get them in focus the picture captures me.  No matter what I do from wedding photography to event photography, I try and capture the eyes.

I started photography as a young kid with small film camera and around 14 with a Pentax 35mm film camera.  I started my digital photography with a Canon 60D that has a crop sensor and have captured many great photos from landscapes to people.  I Upgraded to a Canon 6D full frame sensor and despite people saying it is all the photographer, not the camera I have to say, yes the photographer has to be able to see what they want to capture and frame the picture.  I do know that I have to do a lot less editing after my shoots with the better camera.  Although I still can't afford the bigger and better lenses I can see a huge difference in the quality of the pictures.  So yes, equipment matters.  You can still get good pictures with cheaper equipment, but when you have better equipment and know how to use it you get better pictures in quality.
I recommend using manual in the camera and off camera lighting, Being able to completely control your settings in light will help you produce the best photos out there.

Yes, changing the settings for the natural light can improve it a little, so can Photoshopping it. For the natural light ones I was attempting to get as much sky showing too.  It is dark faced or blown out white skies.
Using off camera lighting can capture everything you see with your eyes and take a cloudy sky and give it more than just a faded look that you get with natural light.  
There are times when natural light is much better, however you need to pick the times and locations to make it work.
Any "Professional" photographer who charges clients and never uses off camera light is doing their clients a disservice.   Take a wedding for example, Natural light for many things is awesome.  What do you do when it is in a dark church or the reception is later after dark.  Yes the newer mirrorless Sony's can get the picture, but even then, having off camera lighting make it even better.
If your not using off camera light I would start learning now, it is how to really be a professional photographer who is ready to shoot in any light, any time, anywhere.  Assuming you brought your stuff with you.