If you’re using a off-shoe cord to do your flash photography. Use your reach to add or subtract light to your subject simply by moving the flash, closer (more light) or further away (less light) from the subject.
A boring name for a law, the inverse square law, is a fancy way of saying the further the light goes the less bright it is. So if you want less light, which means darker shadows and “more drama” simply move the flash further away from your subject.
I just did a bunch of Dahlia shots at Bayard Cutting in Oakdale, NY. You can change character of the flowers by moving your flash back and forth as well as higher and lower. Try it and you’ll see a large array of new possibilities.
Keep in mind that the flash does not have to be pointing at the flower. Move the slightly off center, so that only the side of the light being thrown hits the flower. This is known as feathering the light and is often used with studio lights and soft boxes specially. However, the same technique can be applied to portable flashes.
Suffolk Camera Club and Aram Mirzadeh Present
Shedding light on Lightroom 3
Wednesday, September 8th, 2010 at 7 p.m.
Bohemia Rec Center, 1 Ruzicka Way, Bohemia, NY 11716-2161, (631) 472-7037
An introduction seminar into Digital Workflow using Adobe Lightroom 3.
Free Raffle, refreshments, etc.
Please see the Shedding Light flyer for all details.1 Ruzicka Way, Bohemia, NY 11716
A couple of quick images from Avalon Preserve
Let’s start with what color management is not. Color Management is not proper color, adjusted color, or anything to do with how an image looks in reality.
Color management refers to the transfer of a specific color from one device, to another. What does this mean? Let’s take an example of a head shot. Color management gives you the best shot at making sure that the color of the eye in the portrait in camera, on the monitor, printed, or displayed on a projected are all the same hue and luminosity (it’s the same color). That’s it. Now the question becomes why wouldn’t it the same? The answer is that there is very little chance (almost none) that two devices will produce the same color even close to each other.
I’ll try to make further posts on this subject and what you can do to make sure that you’re images are handled exactly as you want them to.
Well once again this little gem has come up, so I thought I would write do a short blog on it.
Should you have a UV(0) filter on your lens?
The two sites are:
- Any extra piece of glass is going to reduce/manipulate/change the quality of the image.
- The protection offers by the filter out ways any image quality images.
Here are my thoughts on the subject:
Both statements are true. You just paid $500-$1200 for a nice lens on your SLR to get the absolutely best image you can. Why introduce something that is going to take away from your image quality? But also, you just paid $500-$1200 for a nice lens, do you really want to scratch the front element when a small piece of debris get blown into it? Or while you’re cleaning it, you scratch it?
So what’s the answer? The answer is to use a filter, but use the best filter possible to reduce the amount of disruption to an absolute minimum. Multi-coated filters, good name brand filters are the best option.
I personally use Sunpack filters as they are actually made by the same manufacturers as other “name brand” filters but cost half. When I get a new lens, after testing it and within the first 12 hours I have a sunpack UV(0) filter on there and it doesn’t come off until spring cleaning. I do my very best not to have to remove the filter. I have heard of “What about sunflares?” USE your hood, that’s what it is for. Also, you can use a GND filter on top of the UV filter. Most non-ultra-wide filtes (< 14mm) will not notice the extra lens. You should check this on your lens before trying it though. My Canon EF 24-105mm L f/4 is my main walk around lens and it has had UV(0), and 2 GND (-3 stop) filters on it without it doing any vignetting — so it depends on the lens.
Final word…. I rather break and chuck s $60 filter than have to send in my lens to Canon for a $400 repair anyday of the week.
Well looks like we have the specs for the Canon 1D Mark IV to wet our appetites for a while. Surprisingly the unit will be released around December in time for the superbowl most likely — starting street price body-only — $4,999.00!
Here are the specs:
- 10 FPS
- 16.1 MP APS-H CMOS censor
- ISO Range Native: 100 up to 12,800 in 1/3 or 1/2 stop increments, with ISO Expansion: 50 and 25,600, 51,200, and 102,400. [Editor: Native is really the only one that should be looked at]
- Dual DIGIC 4 Processors [Editor: 16x more processing power than the DIGIC 3 system]
- M-RAW and S-RAW [Editer: Medium and small sized RAW files]
- Better Noise control
- Enhanced Custom Functions [Editor: Ok, now they're just reaching for more points, really? how enhanced are they? ]
- [Editor: Something about 1080p and 720p video as well .... ]
What I’m really impresssed with so far are:
- The new AF tracking system, here is a quote from the Canon website: “As an example, with an EF300mm f/2.8L IS USM lens, the EOS-1D Mark IV can track a subject approaching at 50 kph/31 mph up to about 8 meters/26.2 feet away. This is the same specification as the EOS-1D Mark III. However, with the 39 cross-type AF points, the Mark IV’s subject detection and tracking performance have improved substantially over the EOS-1D Mark III’s. This combination of hardware and software (AI Servo II AF algorithm) improvements enables a more stable AI Servo AF control.” Which translates to locking and tracking a subject without having to keep the AF point on the subject. The system will actually track the subject and select the proper AF point as it needs to.
- Noise Control! How molly it looks nice at ISO 2000.
Sample movie and images can be found on the Canon Japan site.
For more information please visit the Canon Digital Learning Center.
There are no magic bullets on getting a knife’s edge sharp picture.
Here are some steps that you need to get you 50% there, the rest you’ll have to do…
- Use a tripod, monopod, or anything else.
Before you even ask — YES, you need one. The best one that you’ll actually carry with you.
- Be it, a $450 carbon-fiber Manfrotto, or a $12 Walmart special. Having it and using it better than having it and not using it.
- This includes a ziplock full of rice that you can slap down and use as a bed to place your camera on, to using the side of a building to push your camera against.
- A proper stance is the last part of this. Left hand underneath against your chest, cradling the camera on your palm, your fingers spread out being parted by the lens.
- Use a fast shutter speed.
The general rule of thumb is that if you at 100mm focal length, you can hand hold up to 1/100th of a second or faster. I would not tell anyone to hand hold anything below 1/80th — as your blood pressure, heart beat, and simple act of breathing can introduce movement in the image. This goes double for longer focal length.
- Use good glass.
You have to do your research before buying your glass. Almost all main lens manufacturers have your “regular” or “consumer” lenses, and also a “professional” series. The main difference is the construction and optics that are used in the lens. Canon has the “L” series, Sigma has the “EX” series, Tamron well they don’t but they claim all of their lenses are professional.
- Use the proper depth of field — good focus
A whole lot of images are in fact very sharp — you just don’t like where the sharpness is. This is because of poor focus, because the subject moved, you moved or you just mis-focus. This plus, a small depth of field puts all or some of your subject out of focus, and not very sharp. Using manual focus is obviously idle, if possible. Using a larger depth of field (smaller aperture) would also help. If you camera has a “auto-keep-focus” such as the Canon AI Servo that will lock and keep focus will also help if the subject is moving.
- Use a short focal length
Now this one is my personal note, I think most people try to zoom too much. Most your feet and get closer to your subject and fill the frame. Use the shortest focal length you have (without going into the wide range [< 50mm]).
- Proper post-processing
Unlike film, almost all digital images need some post processing. Specially USM (UnSharpen mark) — opposite to it’s name it’s actually a tool that sharpens your images. It is not a tool to sharpen a blurry image, but if you have done everything else this last step will give you that extra pop of sharpness.
As always, there are dozen different answers to every question, but I am hoping that these small points help someone get a sharper image.
This is one of those topics that keeps coming up. Almost all digital files are “compressed” formats. Which means they have “zip-like” functionality built-into them. With Zip, or Windows Compress, if you zip a document, or a file — when you unzip it, you get the same exact file back (hopefully). Well this is not true for most digital media formats, such for Audio, Video, or Pictures. These lossy formats actually throw away information to make the file smaller. You can never get that original data back. Now let’s admit — most people cannot tell the difference in listening to a MP3 (lossy audio format) of “Smoke on the Water” or the originally recorded digital CD. That’s because most of the information that was thrown away by the conversion was outside of our listening area. Yes some of it was outside of hearing range as well, but most of it is actually inside of what we can hear but don’t usually listen to, specially where there is something more interesting going on.
So what does this all have to do with images and photographs? Well most of the formats that we use are also lossy formats. JPEG is a HUGE lossy format, GIF is even worse. Jpeg actually has 100 levels of lossy. from 1 to 100. 100 being the least lossy, and 1 you won’t recognize your image from the source. The trick with jpeg is to lower the quality enough so that you can’t tell that it was shrunk down — usually between 60-75 (6-7 as some programs refer to the scale).
Formats such as Raw files (CR2[Canon Raw], NRF[Nikon Raw], DNG[Adobe DigitalNegative]) are lossless formats, which means they’re much larger. TIFF and PNG are also two types of lossless formats. Right now everything I shoot is Canon Raw, which is then converted to a DNG for store and archival. I think it’s always better to have 100% of the data in our raw file and in Lightroom it’s breeze to create any size, spec JPEG I need as an output.
It’s a little late for this year, but keep an eye on the LIDS’s (Long Island Dahlia Society) website for their next event. It’s a simply layout but the colors and types of Dahlia’s that they had were absolutely fantastic. You can see a bunch of the images that I took with just one off camera flash hand-held on site in the full gallery pages. I’m sure I’ll be including one or two of them in the main galleries as well. Oh, it is ‘lord of the flies’ in there, so the visitors get to buy Dahlia’s at the show. I have no idea if these are the rejects or just extra, but nonetheless they’re fantastic. I bought two large vases, to do a more controlled set of photos as well.
Here is one from the show:
|Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II (Canon) & 100.0 mm
|Flash fired, compulsory flash mode.
I’ve been a sports shooter for as long as I can remember, I just like shooting sports. With that comes certain restrictions. You can’t always crop your pictures the way everyone else thinks you shoot. First as a commissioned piece, you have to allow for editorial space. Second, the publisher (whatever the format it might be) will tell you exactly what size the image should be. For example, all of the images that I deliver to the Rough Riders for their website has to be 1155×855 pixels, and yes it has to be horizontal images. That’s because the primary media for the site is their website. They do also want verticals and standard ratios as well since they do use them for print, but that’s the size of their template for their site.
This is specially true if you move from a cropped sensor to a full frame. You end up with a lot more room than you’re used to. After you get used to it, you start cropping less and less, but you still do it. Also in sports, everything is cropped, because you can’t move. You have to take the frame that the player develop for you. If you want that instant you have to click, and crop it later.
All that said, what’s the best crop? A crop should be to spec, and it should emphasis your subject as much as possible. Now some people go for the deepest crop they possible can. I don’t subscribe to this theory. I think dead space, used properly, can add to your image. It all depends on what you’re trying to show, and point to.