Don’t Be Afraid To Take A Rest

Alone against the world

 

Just the two of us


Yes, I really think we have ups and downs, times when pressing the shutter speed is a need without ends.

And there are times of failures, of desert-crosssing-periods. Time to make a break and regenerate.

Time to focus on what really matters, love, family, time to just be there and doing nothing. Times to question if the trail we are on is the right path. Time to stop and just enjoy.

Like those two folks.

Shot at Getty’s Center, Los Angeles, CA in Juli 2014. Pretty tricky to frame with no other fellows in the picture.
I have taken a break and I am starting to hear the call of my gears again… But I want to wait a little more!

:-)

I want to lay on the grass and forget the rest, and come back stronger with more punch than ever !

more to come.

 

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10 Things you should know before you shoot “Guys With Ties” !

Hi Everyone !

This post is about something we normally only do on assignments : Corporate Portraiture.
Thank the Lord, Mister B, a good friend of mine and also a brilliant and very successful CEO was so kind to open his office’s doors for a shooting on a Sunday. As always, shooting on locations has a stress component since you are always confronted with things you can’t or don’t figure out before the shoot starts to roll.

So I thought you could be interested to read the learning effects of this experience:

 

Tip number ONE
Make sure you have all your gears with you, meaning by that : Camera, Triggers, Stands, Gels, Light Modifiers, Batteries,… Sounds kind of “it-is-so-obvious-you-do-not-have-to-mention-this-!” but trust me such things happen. And you don’t want them to happen when the guys from the board are coming in the conference rooms to get their portraits made. Make sure you have Gaffer Tape.

Tip number TWO
Take your time to look at the location to get the best of it : what room is best? What angles is more appropriate? How is the decoration? What about available props?… You gat the idea don’t you? :-) At this point as if your options are runnable and for how long.

Tip number THREE
Each photographer has his own style. His own style in the sense that for some reasons nobody knows, you will instinctively shoot a special way. So if your client hired you, it’s because you provide a look, a style he likes and would like to find in you pictures. Photogs are no industrial visual products makers. This means

a) You  need to talk with clients before the shoot to make sure he likes your style
b) You need a portfolio you clients can see before he hires you. When I got married, my wife did chose our photog only because of a few shots in a portfolio. This awesome portfolio is HERE.
c) Be confident, even when you have to say : ” Ok, I now see what you are looking for. And I am sorry to say that what you look for is not what I can give.” Too bad, but this provides trust, and there will be another project where you will fit better and you will get the assignment.
d) be consistent in your style and postproduction. Your client should not get the feeling he hired 5 different photographers. Finally you are the one he wanted.

Tip Number FOUR
Guys in Ties have no time, or claim to have no time which makes for you no difference : you have to set up everything before they come in so you only have to focus to make them confident and forget about the lighting-things that only interest photos but not clients. Crack a few jokes – the ones which work – and try to get the thing done quick. Those clients are not models, they were having stress a few minutes ago and they are probably still thinking what they are going to do right after the pictures. And they probably hate being in front of a camera and are here because their boss told them to.

Tip Number FIVE
Take a zoom rather than a prime lens. I love prime lens but you are more versatile with a zoom-lens. I had taken a 24-70mm and a 70-200 which stayed in the bag. But you never know…

Tip number SIX
Don’t mess up. Gather your stuff in a spot and don’t spread them around. This not your place and they don’t want to be disturbed.

Tip number SEVEN
Get an assurance. For you gears and for the damages you can create. For example : A manager gets his feet in you stand and falls and breaks his left hand. Who is reliable?…

Tip number EIGHT
Get information about the firm and its communication’s design: Colors, logos… and make your shots match that. And while you are at it search Facebook and any pro-socialnetwork for personal information. So when Shirley is coming in front of you, you kind a know her a little. You will feel more comfortable and it will help her to feel the same way. Wich is fine because the pictures will be better. In my case, I knew my subject before as we are good friends and we just needed a few minutes to shoot.

Tip number NINE
If you have problems, don’t let it know. Just solve it as if it is a normal thing of the shooting. So your models won’t get nervous.

Tip number TEN
Now that you have shot the guys of the Board, thank them! Because, you are not the important guy of day, for them you are the guy they would run away from. Only their boss may feel and think different.

More to come…

 

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Just have fun

Sidewalk in LA

I often tell my friends they should plan something : the idea, the light, the models, the style, and… Of course this a good advice, and your pictures will have a very good starting point from where you build on and this makes your creativity go to the next level.

BUT…

USA 2013

But many of us don’t have the time for this, because they have a job, kids, wife (or wives… ehe!), or simply do not have the patience for this. And there are other, like me, who manage to have time even when they don’t. But the thing is that when it becomes a must, your satisfaction factor goes lower because you shoot less and the result may not be as good as expected. But when you succeed,then that’s a bull eye shot!

Barcelona, Spain, Summer of 2013

But there are days I simply what to have fun, not to bother that much about light metering and just shoot spontaneously.

Claudia-Luis-Teo-7

Days you just want to catch the moments.

Mit Snapseed bearbeitetes Bild

These periods are important to refuel ideas and motivation. I don’t think a fashion photographers is always having great ideas and that a photo-teacher is always 100% motivated to teach. As artists, I thing they must have a private garden where they shoot what they want, just for them.

I know photographers who stopped shooting for them. They only shoot on assignment. But where is the pleasure?

WE Ramsau 2013 Mit Kathrin und Boris

What do you think about that, do you feel the same ?

More to come…

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Micmojo – A wonderful portrait shooter

Enjoy !

More to come…

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Tips for beginers (2nd post)

Oops, sorry, something went wrong with the last post.

 

Here is the picture mentioned in my previous post :

Life

more to come…

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2 Tips for beginers

Back in the days I was shooting with a Nikon d40 I really loved. It was a very affordable camera with a very nice feel when you pressed the shutter. And the sensor was pretty OK. Not a ninja, but ok for street photography.
At this time., I went thru all the clichés : I claimed to be an artist, I put watermarks on my pics, borders, etc…

This shot is from this period. I loved it and I still have it on my wall today.

Here is my tips of the day :

1) Shoot for you because you enjoy the process of shooting and don’t look for recognition (do it, but much later in the future)

2) Sometimes, there is almost no time for your hobby. You can manage a little time, but not the few hours needed for studio shoot. When things go like this, then keep it small and look for quality instead of quantity.

Have a nice soccer evening (Algeria is leading 4/1 vs. Korea) !

more to come…

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A month with Fuji-Xe1

fui-x-e1-

I have spent one month with my fuji Xe1, so-called sexy one, and before I go deeper in details about my experiences and impressions, I have to describe the kind of photog I am :

  • I am a guy photographer. Even if I love nice landscapes, I am better at shooting people. My best pictures of landscapes are pictures with an individual in the fore or middle ground.
  • I love motion in pictures. But when I watch my galleries in LR, it looks like I mostly shoot static subjects.
  • I love to play with light. Light is for me even more important than the subject in itself.
  • I now really agree and practice the following statement of Don McCullin who once said : “I use cameras like I use a teeth brush : It’s just a tool to get the job done”. For those who don’t know Don McCullin, he was a photojournalist who covered many wars during decades. His shots of the Vietnam war strongly influenced the public opinion. Click here and here for more information about his life. He is still alive and mainly shoots dark landscapes in the Somerset, United Kingdom. So to me it doesn’t really matter what camera I have as long as the picture is what I like.
  • My favorite lens is a f/2,8 18-70mm because of its versatility.

 

OS 418 ne répond plus...

 

That being said, let’s go down the topic.

 

Aspect of the camera
It looks nice. Is it important?
The good thing is the was you set the camera : like in the old times, you have to turn the ring to set the aperture and wheel for the shutter speed. Here, you have the “real” speeds : 15, 30, 60, 125, 250, 500, 1000, 2000, 4000. If you need a  more accurate in 1/3 of a stop, you have to use the correction exposure wheel. The camera is small and light.

Is it convenient?
It’s a camera which is very light and small. So you can take it with you everywhere you go.

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Image Quality
I have the 18-50 which is actually a 24-75mm and the combination camera/lens is great. It’s not a continuous f/2,8, but honestly, it hasn’t yet been a problem. The quality is very good. Very sharp. There is a technical reason for that, but the technic does not interest me so much, the picture is what I care about. And the camera is able to deliver very nice pictures, with a lot of nuances, and nice colors. Fuji made/makes films and this know-how is noticeable.

Electronic View Finder
No optical view finder in the camera. Is it good or bad? It’s not so easy to answer that question in a few words. If you are a nostalgic guy who think old things are always best, then stay away from the fuji xe1. But maybe you should reconsider your point of view since EVF will certainly rule in the coming years. They are cheaper to produce. My opinion is that it depends on the situation: it’s nice to see the result in the EVF while you are composing the shot. When you down the shutter-speed, you see the picture becoming darker before you press the button. It’s cool. On the other hand there is a delay between what you see with your eye and what you see thru the EVF, especially when you shoot subjects in motion. Considering the fact you have to focus besides,… So to me, the FUJI is not a camera for sport or speed street photography. But it’s perfect for all subjects which don’t move or very slow.

Focus
Even after the new firmware, it’s not a ninja.

Battery
That’s a thing Fuji should, and maybe they are, work on. In the owner manual it is said you can shoot 600 times with a full loaded battery. Well, I am far below this. 300 is more realistic. A second battery is a must have.

Spiderman

The menus
Not as intuitive as Canon (best in class for me even if I am a Nikon/fuji shooter), much more easy to use than Nikon, they are at a very easy to understand. The “Q” button leads you to the main settings you see on the LCD . You can navigate there and change the values with the wheel. It’s easy, done within seconds, it’s very cool.

Is it OK for Studio work?
I don’t think so. Here the EVF hits its wall : because what you see is what you get thru the EVF, it’s often too dark to focus on the eye and the compose the shot. Maybe there is parameter to change this setting. But after a month, I am still looking for it. If one of you knows how to do it, please click above CONTACT and let me know!  :-)

Is it ok for on location shoots with strobes?
Yes, in the limitations of the EVF.

ISO and noise
The X-e1 makes a good job with very few noise. Good point!

 

First Time MY Pics Are Exposed !

Are you happy with your camera?
Yes! A big yes as it is suits my needs. And when I need a cam for sports or studio-works, I grab my dslr-cams.
It’s the camera I take anywhere any time. And the best camera is the one you have with you !

Gmunden, Austria

More to come…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 videos about the new CC !

Check it out!

http://petapixel.com/2014/06/18/demo-round-up-of-the-photo-features-and-apps-from-todays-creative-cloud-overhaul/

 

More to come…

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ADOBE launches a new version Creative Cloud 2014 !

A new version and what does this bring to me ???

Humm?

Watch this video to learn more about that !

https://creativecloud.adobeevents.com/ccnext/?scid=social25149246

 

More to come…

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Playing with long exposure

Playing with long exposure creates ghosts. And this can make a lot of fun. It’s also a way to create something interesting in a, well, let’s say not so interesting spot.

Depending on their motion, below 1/8 of a seconde, subjects tend to fade away.
Play with this!
For best results, use a tripod or just breath out and when the air is all gone, shoot. That’s how I shot the picture below.

Going to the bathroom

(shot in Les Andelys, Normandy, France)

More to come…

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