This Weekend’s Flash Course

…was a good thing for all participants. Flash photography is a key to creative shooting.

Here’s me, and yes I need a haircut”:

One of the students outside:, using the Outdoors Recipe (1/250 sec / f8 / 100 ISO):

Charlie (who I think should be called Zoolander) and a shadow:

Learn to use flash, if you do not yet know how to do it. You will be grateful to yourself. I do private training, or you can sign up at a school, or you can read a good book (hint): but however you do it, learn this!

Coins and Uncle Bob

Photographing coins is notoriously tough. They are shiny and matte; the shiny bits can be dark or light depending on how you shoot them; they need to show coin detail without showing dust detail; and above all they are three-dimensional, not flat: to do it properly takes a lot of equipment and skill.

But you can do a lot with a little: an 80-20 rule says you can get 80% of perfect with 20% of the effort.

Let’s take a look. A macro lens and a ring flash gives me the following, for a 2015 proof quality coin.

First, the ring flash is held not quite right:

A better positioning gives me consistent results like this, for the obverse (front) side:

And here’s the reverse (“back”) side:

Not bad for five minutes work, no?

Remember that 80-20 rule. Often, you can do with “good enough”. Like when selling on eBay: perfection makes people suspect that you have simply copied a commercial picture, and hence the item pictured is not your item. So this is a good compromise: pretty good, little effort.

I used:

  1. Macro lens
  2. Ring flash (or in this case, Orbis ring flash adapter)
  3. Flash set to manual, 1/4 power
  4. White balance set to flash
  5. Camera set to 200 ISO, 1/125 sec, f/11

And Bob’s your uncle!

 

Ajax

That was a good meeting, yesterday in Ajax. I presented “Developing your photographic style”, an all-new presentation, to the Ajax Photography Club, my favourite club.

I shall publish some excerpts here, in the next little while. First, though, one more trip to Europe tomorrow. I apologize for the tardy blogging in the mean time, but that will change.

 

 

Booth

I spent Sunday night shooting pictures at a wedding—photo booth pictures, to be precise. And while some photographers think of this as a low-end endeavour, I love it, and I recommend it to all.

“Photo booth” means photos of people using props and funny poser, and printing images on site.

This needs a computer and special software:

IMG_7717

And a tethered camera with a studio-type lighting setup:

IMG_7716

And, ofcorse, props…:

IMG_7720

And finally, technical knowledge as well as people skills.

IMG_7719

The printouts people are handed look like this:

2017-06-04_222331

Look, by the way, at that last picture. How do you fit around 15 people in front of a backdrop meant for two? Here’s how!

20170604_222321_174_1DX_5398

And that’s why I love booths: all my varied photography knowledge comes together for this single purpose.

The result: as the bride told me: “They will remember this wedding because of the booth photos”. If that isn’t the best compliment ever, I don’t know what is.