more to come…
Shot upstairs at home.
Light come from a Beautydish set on a C-Stand (Yeah!!!). To mimic the natural light, the strobe is very high at a almost 70° aiming at the model.
The C-Stand is behind the model. The most difficult thing is that the model can not move like she wants as her face needs to look towards the light.
Skin : LR
BW conversion : Alien Skin Exposure 5
more to come…
I have received a comment last week about how to help people to choose their gears when they don’t really have clue.
In my opinion, brands are not important. I am a Nikon Shooter by accident. I could have been Canon shooter or even Sony as I used to shoot with a minolta when I shot analog back in the days.
Truth to be said, there is no bad camera.
The only thing in my opinion is : “what am I going to do with it?” Do I need the Nikon d4 if I don’t shoot sport? Do I need the d800 (36MP) if I never order XXL-prints?…
This weekly show of the grid reviews the camera you might need depending on the kind of shooter you are.
Expressions are everything in a portrait.
It can be a sad expression, a dream-uish expression, a joy, etc…
But you got a catch a moment or the personality to make it work.
What photography is for me is flower and gardening for Ulli.
So I had in mind for a long to shoot her with and among flowers.
Early this summer we shot on location, but the conditions were bad : wind + mosquitos + heat (almost 35°C) made this shot really turn to hell ! But we managed a few shots. We have to make a few as we, photogs, never go home without a game!
This time, I wanted to make something less sophisticated. Ulli, a white background, nice DOF, flowers, done.
It was shot on sunday in our living room. How? Well, I metered the light on her pull-over aiming at the camera. Direct light coming from the window is of course much more stronger so it turned to a huge white softbox. Actually you can see down left a blue strip which happens to be our curtain! I got something like ISO 800; f/4 or f/5,6 ; 1/60 or 1/125.
Many of the shots went a little blurred, but the best pics, just like magic were all sharp enough. And keep in mind, a good one does not always have to be sharp. We had fun, and guess you guys can sense that too. You can click on the pics to see them larger.
My friends always ask me : Marc, what camera should I buy?
I see them expecting me to provide just a name with 2 lenses and that’s it. As I take a little moment to think, their look changes and turns from “come-on-tell-me!” to “what-is-wrong-with-my-question?”.
And then I tell them:” Why do you want to buy a camera?”
It’s an old salesman trick : answer a question with a question. It provoques a little introspection. But what am I supposed to say ? It really depends on what you want to shoot.
You like to click every time you see something you like: go for a smartphone
You like composition in Architecture but it has to go fast : go for a smartphone
You like some quick macro : go for a smartphone
You love the polaroid feel : go for a smartphone (or get a polaroid !)
Now if you like to take control over your camera, your composition and make decision about how light should be caught in the picture, get a real camera (fuji, sony, nikon, canon…).
A this point, my friends ask me: “And how many pixels?”
This when you see how powerful marketing is.
I ask them again something :” Mate, will you print your pictures, and if yes will you make posters?”
Usually they say no.
And here is my point : “buddy, what you want is a point and shoot that make some great pictures. Use the smartphone you already have in your pocket. Get Snapseed, it’s free and edit your pics with it!”
They are very surprised.
They were all expecting me to tell them to break their savings and to run to Mediamarkt, Saturne, B&H, Darty… And I advice them not to. Well, although it was good news because they will save a lot, they look a little disappointed. They will get over it.
The shot above was shot last weekend. My Fuji was on the table. We were outside in the shade. Don’t ask me for F-stops or shutter speed. This was shot with a cheap smartphone (Medion P-5001 ; I bet you never heard of it). In this case, I uploaded the pictures and edited this one with TOPAZ-Filters. Now, take a calculator :
$ 300,– (Topaz Bundle when you use coupons)
$ 170,– (Medion P-5001)
= $ 470,– !
Now, I could have done an equivalent shot with:
$ 2.000,– (D700, now discontinued)
$ 1.793,– (100mm Zeiss, Macro)
$ 300,– (Topaz as written below)
= $ 3.093,– (D700 can be found at € 1.8700,– in Austria, other rates taken from Topaz website and from B&H online shop)
Equivalent does not mean “the same”. The thing is I am much more versatile with the second kit. But my purpose here is just to show you may be not versatile, but still you can nail the shot with a a low budget smartphone.
Shot in Vienna 2 weeks ago. Again with my Medion Smartphone. This time I only used snapseed to edit the shot. Is it a great picture? Well, it’s more than OK. Now, honestly, could you say wether it was shot with a d700, d90, d80, Sony a99 or Fuji Ex1 ?
Your eye matters, and what you do with it.
But let’s come back to the non-answered question above: “No, pixels don’t matter.”
My smartphone only has 5MP. Which is obviously more than enough.
This post is, from now on, my best answer to my friends : you matter, not your cam.
More to come…
A few words, it does not mean a long review.
Having it now for a few month, I have to say I like it very much and I use it very often. The reasons are easy to understand : it’s small, has no weight, a great captor. Pics are very sharp.
But it doe not match all my needs.
It’s an awesome camera for pictures without strobes. And for motives which are not too fast. The Autofocus is normal. It’s not a warrior. And the EVF is not smooth enough for making sure to have the shot while panning. But for landscapes or portraits, it’s a nice guy to have with.
I love the colors direct out of camera. I only use Topaz filters when I go for moody shots where I do not want to stay trusty. Zack Arias says he has a special emotional connection to his Fujis. I Am afraid to say I don’t. I like my fuji very much because I can take it with me anytime, but it could not replace entirely my Sony or my nikons. Because they are different and fill different needs for different situations.
Now some of you will ask me ” Hey Marc, If you could only take ONE camera with you, what it be? ” There is no right or wrong answer to that question. If I would not use flashes, I would say “Fuji Ex1!” But as I love to use my Quadra on location, I would say “Any DSLR”. With a good 24-70mm which is my workhorse.
It’s just a tool. They all are soooo damned good! And they all provide good results when you shoot at 1/125 of a second, f/8! And outside, I almost never shot about 1600 ISO…
Due to some business trips and stomach dysfunctions, I haven’t yet used my new C-stand, But I am going to catch up very soon!
more to come…