Rockwood

Today, Rockwood conservation area in Guelph, a field workshop I taught for www.digitalphotoacademy.com:

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This type of walkaround course is very good at helping you put theory into practice. If you want to learn, really learn, consider coming on one of my get out and shoot courses!

 

Booth fun.

Two studio strobes. Computer, with special software. Long tether cable. Two,printers in a pool. USB hub and other tech goodies. Graphic design. Fun props.

That’s how you do a photo booth, so that’s what I did for last night’s wedding, in a reception hall, outside the ballroom. Lots of fun was had, and lots of prints were handed out:

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If you’re having some kind of event, check me out. It’s not costly (around $300 for a two hour booth, say, including a pro photographer, travel, all euiopment use, custom template design, and professionally made “made on the spot” 4×6 glossy prints.  Going home with a fun picture makes the evening’s memories so much more “real” for the guests, and having a booth like this encourages people to have fun.

 

ISO guideline

FROM SEVEN YEARS AGO: What ISO setting to use? High is good for shooting without blur or shooting in the dark but gives you noise (“grain”). What is optimal?

The following may help.

If you do not use AUTO ISO, my rule of thumb for starting points is:

  • Outdoors, or when you are using a tripod: 200 ISO
  • Indoors: 400 ISO (whether or not you are using flash)
  • Problem light, such as museums or hockey arenas: 800 ISO

You can vary from there of course, but you will not be far off.

Here’s an 800 ISO handheld image (200mm, non-stabilized lens). It won me a media award:

TODAY: so what has changed? Only that you can now shoot, on a modern camera, at higher ISOs before you start no notice grainy noise. What worked then works now—but you can now go higher, sometimes much higher,  without noticeable noise. Life is good.

There we go again.

On the BBC news front page recently:image

You will notice the flash warning. Lobbying in England by an epilepsy group has resulted in this warning being displayed in all media whenever there is flash.

Because a few people react to flash. Only a few, and only when they do not take their meds, and only if the flashing is repeated at a rate of around 25 Hz, of course; but that’s beside the point, apparently.

It is a shame that there is no regard for reasonableness in these knee-jerk reactions. I can see the day that flash is illegal anywhere in a British public space… preposterous. Now if they said “we prohibit repeated strong stroboscopic flash at a rate of 25 Hz, deliberately aimed at large audiences”, it would perhaps be a different matter. Perhaps.

But superstition rules. Flash in news. Cell phones at gas stations. WiFi and Peanut butter in schools. Vaccinations. All of these  represent either some danger or some possible but unproven danger or no danger, just superstition. But when there is danger, the question is “how much? ” And it is there that policy makers fail. Obviously we accept danger in life, otherwise we would all live in tents in open fields, ride bicycles limited to 2 km/h, and wear helmets 24/7, and have police officers assigned to every family 24/7. We would not have airplanes either, or electricity or cars. Clearly, that is nonsensical: we accept risk. And the risk involved in flash photography is extremely minimal. So carry on flashing, speedlighters: no fear.