Fun

I shoot fun photos too. As you should. The other day, I went to a concert, and before the concert, I took a few photos at the Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto. I used my little Fuji X100 camera, which has a fixed 24mm (35mm equivalent: 35mm) lens.

Jellyfish love?

I shot these at 1600 ISO, f/2. 1/125 second. close to glass. No flash, of course.

The biggest problem was focus. These darn fish move.

I would not want to be one of these little fish.

I suppose the moral of today’s post is: bring a camera everywhere. Try stuff you have not shot before. Use high ISO values if you need. Quality is paramount.

For a shark, food is paramount.

 

 

High Noon

Just let me dispel that persistent myth that you cannot shoot at high noon. In bright sunlight. Well, you can shoot, but you will get awful pictures.

Nonsense.

Here. Look at this. Talented photographer Tanya Cimera Brown, yesterday, at noon, on what must be the brightest day this year so far. So this is in bright, harsh, horrible, colour-saturation-destroying, full-on sunshine. Straight out of the camera:

The sky is nice, the red-blue-green theme woks, the model is great, the sun provides a nice “shampooey goodness” hair light: what more can we ask for? And that is with a camera that can only sync at 1/160 second. With my 1/250 sec 1Dx I could do even better. With the old 1D I used to have, even better, at 1/300 second.

OK. That’s using a strobe. Can you do it with speedlights? Sure. You may need to go unmodified, to have enough light; and that means off camera. Here: two speedlights, aimed direct at the subject from off camera positions, do this:

And this: two of me, by Tanya, using the same techniques:

All those were also SOOC (Straight out of Camera).

So learn flash already!

For best results, do my Flash in the Plan program: take my course and get the book (for both, go to http://learning.photography); then follow with a hands-on session, and you will know how to do this. It’s not rocket science, but you need to learn the background, understand the constraints, and learn the artistic tips. Then, you can do this too (provided you have a model as beautiful as Tanya, of course):

Because yes, you CAN do great work at high noon. All you need is flashes and skills. And a camera, of course. Show the world what you can do!

 

Distraction

I am busy with my amateur radios:

As we speak, I am talking to Bill, AK5WB in Texas on 20 metres, using the new antenna above, a 6 band tuned “Butternut” vertical that took me a day or two to set up and tune. But it was worth it.

And I was discussing pixels with Bill. He wondered why Canon went down to just 18 Mpixel from the previous higher pixel counts?

Because it gives you lower noise, which at higher ISOs becomes obvious.

But isn’t it a drawback, having fewer pixels/

Yes, but not as much as you might imagine. Like any log scale—just like power in radio, for instance. Going up from 100 Watt to 130, or down to 70, has no discernible effect. That is, the effect is so small as to be negligible. Not so with noise! Hence the fewer pixels in some top cameras.

73 de VA3MVW!

 

Simple is good

And that can also apply to black and white photos. These recent business photos prove the point, it seems to me:

Both work very well in B/W:

  • The colour is not distracting (a yellow hallway. a green kitchemn)
  • I can make skin lighter or darker by dragging “Orange” in the B/W slider (HSL section) up or down.
  • I cam make other items lighter and darker too, this separating subject from b/g.

That is why I always send b/w versions of my photos to clients. Properly finished B/W versions, that is.

 

It’s not rocket science.

Photography is not rocket science., But it IS a skill that needs to be learned, and if you want to do it well, just like a rocket scientist, you need to dedicate time to learning.

Followers of this blog know that I have a particular style; and my style is what I would call the dramatic portrait. Darker, saturated colours. I.e. like this:

…rather than like this:

So. Which one is right? Both. Either. Neither. Whichever you like.

My personal answer is very clear: the first, for me. I don’t suppose I have to explain again: expose for the background, -2 stops as a target; THEN worry about flash. Read the flash book (buy it today at http://learning.photography) and take a course from me to learn how to do this like an expert.

But look at the girl. Isn’t that a great picture of a tween? Silly, unable to be serious… during a recent shoot,  two girls and a set of grandparents turned up; I offered to take their picture, and did. Why do people not have pictures of their children like this? Surely not to save a few dollars…?

The two friends together:

And the girls themselves? When they’re all grown up, wouldn’t they want better pictures of their onetime bff than the iphone selfies they have (and will inevitably lose!) hundreds of? Please, have a pro do some cool pictures of your children. or learn how to do it yourself. Buy the book, take a course, and never look back.

And now back to regular programming.