November 6, 2010
Jesse Rosten lit this shot with 9 iPad screens set to full brightness.
I wish I had taken this shot. Better yet, I wish I had had this idea. Jesse Rosten, one of my favorite sources of inspiration for all things camera and video, came up with the idea of lighting an entire shoot with iPads. Turns out, he broke out the meter and at ISO800 1/60, he came up with f1.4, which is do-able, especially if you borrow another 8 iPads.
FStoppers did a great iPhone photoshoot that put this concept on its head, pro lights with an iPhone shooting. Great results there, also. Check out these posts, they add to a long line of posts I’ve seen from many photographers lately that say, “your gear doesn’t matter.” Although, I agree that people shouldn’t be so gear obsessed that they are missing opportunities to cultivate their skills and make art, I also believe that simply saying “gear doesn’t matter” doesn’t give up the whole truth.
As Chase Jarvis repopularized, the best camera is the one thats with you. To me this means gear IS important. You need to know your gear backwards and forwards and until you can change a ton of settings without pulling our eye from the viewfinder before you even think about a new camera, you need to learn more about YOUR camera. You also need to learn about your next camera, but this can wait until you’ve exhausted damn near all the possibilities with the gear you have now. Then wait longer. Wait until your inspiration drives you to an idea that requires new gear. Then save and wait. Then, as my advertising photography professor, Michael Miller says, “don’t buy it unless you can make money with it.” Otherwise rent it.
Now go to Jesse’s video on this shoot and enjoy:
October 5, 2010
Have you ever met a couple with a smiling, quiet confidence, as if they know some secret you don’t? Jamie & David have that mysterious and cool connection. We spent an afternoon with them taking photos and exploring Apollo Park.
We give a free engagement session with every wedding that we book. It allows us a chance to break the ice and get to the know the bride and groom. The better we know them, the better they know us and the more comfortable they feel. In the end, the photos show it. We brought a cooler with some food and drinks and had everything waiting set up on a table to loosen the mood from photo-shoot to picnic and we ended up having a great day. Rare birds buzzed around while we hung out in a park on a beautiful day making art, how could that go better?
[Skip the next two paragraphs if you don't like techno-jargon about photo-geekness, I won't be offended.]
We shot this over about two hours in natural light with a diffuser until fill flash was necessary, then when the light was right, we used two flashes with umbrellas as key light and fill light balanced with the night sky and the afterglow of the setting Sun for a backdrop. With the wind around here, my gear would have escaped like Mary Poppins if it weren’t for Jonathan Redman and Sigifredo Castenada who were nice enough to come along and man the light stands. Many thanks. I had a light stand blow over at a wedding with 20 pounds of weight on it ( I need more sandbags).
Images taken with a Canon EOS 7D + 50mm 1.4 or 10-22mm (f3.5-4.5). We used one large 40-something inch Westcott shoot-through umbrella on a Matthews reversable light stand + Jonathan for the key light and some off -brand cheapo light stand + Sigi for the rim light from amazon. The Matthews stand is awesome, when I make the jump to C-stands, I’ll have to buy Matthews. I’ve also been using the California Sunbounce Sun-Sniper strap, which I have to mention because it makes wearing a camera feel great.
There were a few things that I wanted to try that we didn’t get a chance to because time got away from me. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment when you’re having fun and things are going well. I was in the zone. In the end, I feel like we got some great captures and every time I do this, I realize more and more that this is definitely what I need to be doing right now. Love is the most important thing in the world and I am happy to be out there photographing it. It beats birds and mountains hands down. I feel lucky to have people out there that choose us for their photos and as long as they keep coming, we’ll keep shooting.
Jamie & David are getting married April 2nd, 2011. Big thanks go out to them for believing in us.
December 22, 2009
For a slideshow of these images, please click here.
I’ve been trying to hone the portrait skills a lot lately. The more I learn about light, it seems the less I know. Every subject is different and its not always a simple task to record the essence of someone’s personality in 1/250th of a second. I’ve had an idea of pic of my father in my head for along time and I finally sat the parents down for a portrait session. It didn’t last long enough, but I was pretty happy with the results. My Dad and my step-mother, Jean made great models and could’nt have been more patient with me.
After investigating why my dog was flipping out, I waslked out the front door to find a very young Siberian Husky cruising and terrorising the neighborhood streets. Of course, the dogs of the ‘ hood weren’t standing for it, so I went to check for tags and this little monster came at me full speed ahead. The tag read,”Chiya,” and we called the number only to find out that the owner had just started a softball game. I told him we’d take care of her until he could pick her up. In the meantime, I had to snap a few shots, and she seemed not to mind.
December 16, 2009
I’ve been struggling through finals this week, but I had to get my head out of the books for a while. I’ve been stir crazy not shooting and I finally hit critical mass. I know these are old tired tricks, but they’re fun ones. There’s about a million shots of water drops out there, but I could’nt help it. The rest of the shots are my regular models for new settings and gear, I try to image these objects differently everytime which challenges me to keep things new. The Canon 430EX II coupled with the flash triggering of the Canon 7D is making that an easy task. If you’re interested in photography and have an external flash, you’ve probably heard of the strobist movement. Strobists are capturing amazing results with modest gear and putting amazing images out there. Visit David Hobby’s site and blog to learn more.
Its new moon, so check back soon for more astrophotography and a post on