C-Stands

Have you ever experienced shooting on location with strobes?
Here is the thing : the last times I did, it became windy within a snap! I need a very stable stand. And this when I have started to flirt buying a C-Stand instead of a normal stand.

I know it has to be expensive : the gears on it are expensive so it must high quality. It don’t want to see 800€ getting lost because I wanted to save 50€ on the tripod or my light stand (I think 1€ is 1,34€, don’t ask me for GBP conversion please !  :-)    ).

On Kelbyone videos, I have heard about C-Stands. Joe McNally uses them and says they are heavy and stable. I buy what I can see and take in my hand. Unfortunately, it looks like they are hard to find in Austria…

Last summer, while visiting the Warner Bro’s studio in LA, well actually it is Burbank if I remember the ticket placed on my windscreen, I could see one of these and I was sold. That’s what I need.

I have bought mine on Amazon. It seems there aren’t many retailers here in Austria. It’s a C-Stand Avenger. What’s weird is that it is an italian product (Manfrotto) which seems to be more popular in the US than here in Europe! :-)

 

I have just unboxed it and I’ll give shot tomorrow!

More to come…

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Hospital

I hate hospitals.

As far as I remember, I have always hated to go to the hospital. Who likes it? Well, I guess the very few of us. Probably docs.

As a child I remember the long waiting times seating on a chair to be the next one to get in. My mom took my hand end I was pretty scared. Many years later, as soldier having a little surgery, I could note that the smell is still the same. I had become an adult, but as soon as I was at the hospital I had the feeling it was not true, being treated as kid : clothes off, pyjama from the place, always someone coming in and out without knocking on the door… My will, my wishes… gone, you have become a body to cure and you’ve lost all that builds your humanity.

 

Sure, I know doctors save lives in hospitals. I know all that and 10 minutes in front of ER on TV makes you understand what it is about. But every time I cross the doors of hospitals, I can’t help but think this is where people are born and where they… die.

 

Hospitals

 

 

When I am there, I feel this ambivalence, and as a result I sense a tension.

I have tried to catch it in the shot above. The light provides a kind of drama. The temperature of light is cool. If you have been thinking :” what’s this? and why is this bed empty? ” as you saw the shot, then I have reached my goal. When I saw this bed, I could not help but wonder if the guy who was in it before was still alive. Sounds wired or crazy, but the idea he could have been released with a smile on his face did not cross my mind.

If you can feel that tension, then this shot works. This shot is a way to say : “Go away, may God or Fate make I will never get close to you!”

Can you sens this disturbing feeling in this shot?

 

This was shot with a fuji EX1, postpro: I applied a BW preset in Exposure 5 and I mixed the result with the original.

 

More to come…

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Bad News

Bad news
In the french Brittany, a few years ago.

A smile, a scarred look like above, an expression combined with an action and there is story. Does not have to be complicated. Thee is story when you look at the picture and ask yourself : “What’s going on there ?”

More to come…

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Why you need a real friend or an editor

Now you have learned a lot about ISO, shutter speed, lights, lightmeter, stands,… you want feedbacks.

Who gives you feedbacks?

Your relatives? Yes but most of the time, your family wants to be nice. They see how you struggle and you spend hours in Photoshop. And they don’t mean it bad when they tell you “yes honey, it’s a nice shot” even if it’s obvious it sucks so much, even a cat would run away. They love you. They don’t want to hurt you and crush your dreams.

Your colleagues? They tell the truth or not? Hard to say. If the shot is good, they will tell it. If it’s bad, they won’t because they don’t want you to be mad at them. You should understand that since there is a meeting in ten minutes where you and them have a project to show… Some of them will tell you the truth, but it’s hard to find such a guy. It has to be a colleague and a friend. But as they are not so much interested in your passion, they will check one, five or maybe ten pictures. But not more. at least not with the same interest. And that’s OK.

Your friends? hopefully you have one.  :-)  Well, if you are friends you already know if (s)he is a “yes it’s sooo great” sayer or if  (s)he says what (s)he truly thinks. You had time to notice that in the past. I am very fortunate to have a great buddy, Boris,  who reviewed my pictures a few days ago (~5000). I was not expecting technical advises, at the end of the day what I needed was just a “yes, this one rocks, this one doesn’t). But actually he did give an appreciation, pointing at the fact I am a compostion-guy more than a portrait-guy. Such advises are very helpful.

Your Online Gallery? No, you get only good comments from people who wants you to click at their own gallery. forget the hits, forget those comments, they are bull…

A pro photographer? Well, I guess that’s the best way to go. They will tell you without emotion what’s good and what’s not. And they have a deeper insight since they know the technic. They say it’s bad because that, that and that and they can tell you the way to go. I did that in the past. But he also was a buddy of mince. What I need is someone who can see and who understands. Frank Doorhof for instance does portfolio reviews. Hum… It’s time build one now !  :-)

LOOKING AT YOU
Boris, my honest friend with his sharp look ! Thank you so much for help !

 

 

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Architecture & Dance III – Part 1

marceliot:

Such great ideas, I have to reblog this one !

Originally posted on Gary Ng © Photography:

Architecture: the word itself rings of incredible man-made marvels, high rise structures, extending through the clouds,. Essentially architecture creates shelter, protection and warmth for its occupant which stands the test of time. Architecture are made by humans for humans. Sometimes though, architectural works are abandoned by the people it was intended to serve, most of the time due to unforeseen circumstances. In the end, these once thriving architectural marvels only awaits the reclamation of mother nature. Enter Architecture & Dance III, the synthesis of dance and dilapidated architecture. This series brings meaning to the existence of abandoned architecture.

GNG_6279GNG_6468GNG_6528GNG_6592GNG_6751iGNG_6948GNG_7118

GNG_6800GNG_7134

GNG_7028GNG_7249

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the two amazing ballerinas, Lim Shin Hui & Joelle Jacinto for their time and effort in creating such stunning photographs with me. These are only half of the photos which I would be sharing with you all, you have gotta hold on to your sea horses for Part 2. Stay tuned!

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Do I Need This?

Do I need this ?

One of life’s rule is : do your best with what you’ve got.
And this applies to photography as well.

So what does that mean exactly?
It is like playing poker: your cards are not so important. What matters is what you do with them. My camera is not important, what I do with it is important.

Do I need high ISO like the DS4? : no
Do I need 15 frames per seconds? : no
Do I need 8000th of a second as shutter speed: no

What I need is to make shots that suit my gears.

To be honest, I love my d700. But I am almost sure I could do the same pictures with my d40x (which is now owned by my brother-in-law).
I love to shoot in studio. I shoot at 1/125s, iso 200, mainly at f/8-f16

And the technical stuff about the colors of the sensor? I don’t get the talks around this topic since as soon as we get the shot, we manipulate everything with filters and Photoshop…

I shoot manly manual. Do I need all the electronic on board since I use my light meter from Sekonic anyway???

So what do I need?

I need a small cam I can take with me most of the time.
I need a sharp lens, the quality is now affordable for most of us
I need a friend, a real one who tells me when my pics suck. And the ones which don’t.
I need inspiration.
I need an idea.
A message…
A story…
An emotion…

More to come…

 

Bildschirmfoto 2014-08-27 um 19.27.45

 

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Magic Face

It’s not about photography this time but about video… Amazing,… and scary somehow. Can you still trust who you are video-chatting? Is he/she the one you think he/she is?

Here it is!

http://vimeo.com/103425574

More to come…

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Struggling

I might be the last guy on Earth who has seen this video.

This video is shot by Zack Arias, at a period of his life when many things were going not so good. As a photographer, you want to be successful and he wasn’t, at least not as much as he wanted. We all experience that. And this applies far beyond the fotog-world. When I look at my old pictures today, I just see wasted time, energy, and money. Zack was asked to write a guest post in Scott Kelby’s blog. Instead of writing, he shot this video:

I am not talented. I just want to have fun, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But deep inside of me, I wish I were.

And then I look around me and see the fotogs I know, mostly all hobby-fotogs or wannabees : one made a book, the other has had an exhibition, these one just won a prize, ect… And what do I do? They are all so much better than I am and better on the road. Zack describes this in a way I could never do. He is talented. Fuck! Another one…

I have from time to times such thoughts. Fortunately, I don’t shoot for a living, and I am not up to that. But still, I love photography. One day, R, a mate from Photoclub who is a pro told me he loves my shots. He loves them because he sees my pleasure in them and the fun I share with the models.

I could not believe that the guy I admire actually admires me…

Zack had the same situation.

I am trying to say is this : Just do your thing and don’t look at the others. Don’t compare yourself. Stop to look for your hits at Flickr, just love what you do or do something else. And if you love it, just don’t give up on doing your thing. Just because you love it.

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Let spice your shots !

Play with Depth Of Field !

Bildschirmfoto 2014-08-21 um 19.09.43

What to do with you cam ?
Set the aperture at 2,8 or 4

But my light meter gives me f22?
Well down the power, or use grey gels, or back up the strobes.

How to I compose?
Make some kind of close-ups, and focus on them while including the background. The background will be blurred.

more to come…

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Highkey

2 strobes aiming at the white wall and a white reflector on her right do that :

Bildschirmfoto 2014-08-20 um 19.29.08

:-)

 

More to come…

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