Behind The Scene ! :-)

Last Friday, I finally made the shot was thinking about for a few weeks or so.

The story is easy and simple : What if we would live outside with the same standards of living meaning by this our furnitures, our lights, sofas, carpets, lamps, you name it.

At this point I have to smile ; I remember my last flight and the lady sitting next to me who happened to be a psy. We small talked and I told her about my hobby and the perspective I have about it : a concept (doesn’t have to be a very clever or complicated one) to translate into a picture. She showed at me and said : “Funny, why do you do this and don’t shoot like a free man!” I still don’t know but I guess it will be my next subject on top of my todo list !

The composition – The props and the setup
Luckily I still have this sofa wich it too small or to big. But it looks cool and although we spoke about getting rid of it, it’s still here after all these years. And I thought it would be perfect for this shoot. Its place is in my daughter’s room. The standing lamps were bought in our home depot in Schwechat close to Vienna. Travelers will know this place because the Vienna International Airport is there. And this cow-carpet is in our house for ages now. Why am I writing all this? Because you don’t have to kill your wallet to create a scene. It could be better with an old TV set and, and, and… but it’s a personal project with no budget.

I wanted the sofa to be straight in front of the camera, like the seat of a Queen or King. Lamps left or right? Well, the answer is easy, the lamps can’t be between the subject and the main light because of the shadows it would create. So… camera right. To simulate a home, I thought my 6€ new red shoes would be cool on the carpet. Because this is typically the kind of things we do don’t we ? We come home, take off our shoes and sometimes we don’t put them away where they should go, they just stay where they fall and as it is in this shot. And this make a diagonal line : Lamps + sofa + shoes.
The lights
Well I had a clear idea about how the result should look like. As mentioned in my last post, I put my ideas on paper to have a base to start from.

Camera right: An 1,70m ø umbrella used as a shout thru. It worked well for the mission given : a fill. But, if I had to redo this shot, I would use it the way umbrella work since I had to go full power. I put the Quadra for the background behind the sofa and made a test shot :

BTS

Too dark, wich was OK, it is supposed to be just a fill, so it was now time to set my exposure for the main light. My main light is a BX500 Ri of Elinchrom. A gridded strobe with a CTO to warm up the temperature of the scene and mimic the tungsten warmth.
BTS

ƒ11. Camera left. ƒ11 is good. To make a good fill, I went for a -2 steps fill so : ƒ5,6. Done.
I just played around with my background (no measurement) and I was ready to shoot.

BTS BTSBTS

To recap (a bit darkened in CC for the purpose of the text)

Explanations

And the final shot. I used LR get back some details out of the background. Done !

Final Shot

More to come…

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Planing The Shoot

Hi guys!

Yesterday was a little sad day since the wind decided to blow, making my shooting impossible to take place. At least it would have been very complicated the risk to see my umbrella fly away.

When I elaborate or design a shoot, I try to have a pretty good idea of how it should look like. Now, this being said, I know my picture will be different from the picture I see in my mind. Putting things on paper enables me to think in terms of light and composition. I would say It’s a starting point from where to build on.

So here it is :

The idea of the shoot

So, if the wind stays away, I will shoot in 2 or 3 hours depending on how fast I am to build the setup and this will brings a few things with this : will I have enough ambiant light or do I have to create a surrounding one ? Let’s see what happens…

Stay tuned, I will uploads shots of the making of this in the next blogpost.

more to come…

PS: If you are looking for pictures on TFP Basis and you are in Vienna, contact me.

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Smartphone or Mirorless ?

Well, I suppose you guys have already heard this question a couple of times : ” Man what cam should I buy!” but nowadays the question is more smart phone or dslr ?

Well, there is no right or wrong, it all comes down to the things you want to shoot.

You can make great shots with smart phone. Like this one.

2015-08-26_01-24-36

What you’ll never get is a tool so flexible that it’s at the service to your creativity with almost no limit.

But When you shoot things smartphones can, you’ll be at home with them !

I shoot with them, with dslr, with mirorless cams…

At the end of the day, what matters is you eyes.

more to come…

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Two years and 2 months and… a baby later !

2 years, 2 months and a baby later, my wife was curious to know if her wedding dresses still suits her. Or let’s put it another way : “Do I still look good in the dress or am I too fat and do I look like an oversized muffin?”

Hum…

At this point, as a husband, you have be very careful. No lies! Be diplomatic and think twice before you even dare to open up your mouth.

But I was sure it would be fine, and so it was. This shot was just a snapshot but it happened to be a good one. I knew the light would be nice : the window is a huge source of light and there was no sunbeams direct thru it. And as far as I remember the sky was pretty much cloudy. Anyway, sometimes you have to get lucky to get the shot. Sometimes you struggle like crazy and nothing comes. A bit of contrasts and more light on her face in Photoshop, done.

At this point I realized I shot in Jpeg. Funny, I almost never shoot Jpegs since RAW files gathers so much more information you may need later on while editing and retouching. And I have been thinking about jpeg vs. RAW.

When I shoot with strobes, I never shoot TTL. I use Elinchrom strobes and the TTL feature is not available. Hotshoe-flashes? I am not a fan of them, they overheat too often. I meter the light with a light meter and I do know my exposure is perfect on the spot I meter. So, in this case, do I need all the information? Sometimes yes, probably. But I don’t see it as a MUST any longer. I tend to think it depends on the subject. When struggling with complicated light setup, I go RAW. Because I will need all the subtle nuances to get some details which would be destroyed thru the Jpeg-compression. When I shoot fast stuff, I need the cam to save the data very fast. That’s what Jpegs are good at. But you need to be very accurate exposure wise.

Ok guys, have a good week !

more to come…

Shot with a Fuji EX-1 (as good as Leica in my opinion, but only adapted for slow subjects). No flashes. Iso 200, ƒ 3,6, S 1/40 – 20mm (perspective retouched in LR 2015 CC)

Two Years, 2 Months and a baby later...

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How To Shoot (with a cam) your Family with Quadra from Elinchrom

Ulli + Louise

Today’s blog post is an how-to post and not a personal thought message. Although I would recommend to all of us to shoot also your relatives. I am sure your wives from times to times just say: “Humm… I don’t know. Your Hard Drive is full with pictures of me, I’m not in the mood today… blablabla…!”

Sounds familiar ?

Here is the thing guys : just pretend it to be shoot of your kids and you need someone to hold (s)he or them… Trick’s done and works like charm. Somehow the word KID is compelling. :-)

In this case, it worked. This time again.

OK, let’s go to the story behind the picture:

I wanted something really simple. My wife holding Louise in a very soft light. Nothing more, nothing less. What I needed was background. I have realized that a green background creates a lovely contrast with he red/pink of the skin and this is where I thought about the little garden’s house of my parent’s in law.

A look at the sky : a bit cloudy, very cool so you have consistent light with no burned spots. Just in case I decided to take a diffuser, just in case the sun would show up. This happened to have been a great idea, since Mister sun played hide and sick during the shoot. And Louise’s grand-father had to hold it almost all the time.

I took my Quadra and used only one light. As a light diffuser there is only a Joe McNally reflector used as light diffuser too. It’s set on a C-Stand. The Quadra shoots thru it.

My Camera ? Fuji Ex1.

I metered the light with a Sekonic.

Done.

SETUP-1

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It’s about flowers and what it takes to make a great shot.

Flowers are not my thing!//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsShort post today. This is the story of guy who loves taking pictures who suddenly experiences the emptiness of its creativity. When no idea crosses my mind, I just take pictures of nice looking subjects in the hope to deliver their beauty to the viewers. Like this one. This leads me to my next question : what does make a great shot? We are literally bombed with perfect pictures. But which are the ones which are great ? My opinion is that sharpness, colors, gear, contrasts, etc… are, at the end of the day not important. What matters it emotion. But who am I ? A nothing in the photog’s world and there are so many gifted guys out there like… Frank Doorhof, Regina Pagels, Raphael Hainaut, Carmen Kronspiess, and Joe McNally. Joe is a worldwide photog, so I thought I ask him. And, he mailed back : check yourself guys and have a nice weekend: Bildschirmfoto 2015-08-21 um 17.39.20

More to come…

 

 

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Profoto B1

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Poker games…

This shot is already a few months old.

It was shot in a very tiny place where I shot all my self portraits. I am not really a fan of my appearance but I have noticed that it is easier to shoot myself instead of running after models and looking for locations especially when you have a 8 to 5 desk’s job which is really interesting but very time and energy consuming when you consider the business trips.

Anyway, I really do respect poker players for many reasons.

I really admire their coolness and their aptitude to get the most of what they got given: their cards. At some point of my life I have realized that life in general and poker have a great deal in common. It’s not only the cards that matter, but what you’ll do with them.

Thinking of this, I decided to make this shot.

Poker -

We aren’t equal. Maybe from a legal perspective we are. But we all don’t get the same cards. If you are the son of Bill Gates you may not have the same problems my neighbor has, or if you were born impaired. But still, it’s in your hand to handle and to influence the turn of your life. Meaning by that, it’s never too late to do the right thing.

Take me. Last december a photog I am following on G+, Frank Doorhof, posted a message about his workout. I knew he is/was overweighted. His message combined with the fact I had to handle my own weight helped me to make the decision to go see a doctor. I was 110kg (=242.51lb) at the time. 9 months later and 2 workouts (30 min hometrainer) a week during this period, I have lost 25kg (=55,12lb). To be honest, I did not think I would be able to make it at the very start of this process. I don’t know if Frank still uses his rowing device, but needless to say I owe him something even he doesn’t even know it!

:-)

Yes, having bad cards makes life harder, but where there is a will, there is a way.

That’s why I love poker players and this shot.

I hope this picture and its story behind it will help you to reach your goal especially when you believe it’s too late.

more to come…

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De nombreux setups utiles en exterieur

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Nion Wedding Bus

Joe McNally has transformed an truck into a photo studio.

On one weekend, he shoots the just married couple in this truck for free !  :-)

More to come!

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