Les étoiles dans les yeux

Voici déjà un certain temps que je souhaitais refaire quelques portraits mais il me manquait un concept porteur dans le sens où photographier une jolie fille en soi est joli, sympathique, etc… mais que cela manque un peu de contenant si je peux m’exprimer ainsi. Ce qui finalement donne du plaisir est autant la conception que le résultat. Et sans commencer ici un débat philosophique, je crois que cette affirmation est vraie pour beaucoup de choses dans la vie.

Alors j’ai cherché un concept. C’est ainsi que, après un certain temps, mettre les étoiles dans le regard a surgi dans mon esprit. J’ai un peu recherché comment faire et très vite tout est clair dans mon esprit pour faire le shooting. Il neme restait plus qu’à demander à une de mes collègues de participer. L’idée lui plu et une semaine plus tard nous étions dans le studio pour ce TFP.

Le matériel : des lampes LED, un grillage pour les fixer et… c’est tout.

Bildschirmfoto 2016-06-26 um 12.09.59

Pour le fond, j’ai posé une plaque de plastique transparente que l’on utilise normalement comme un toit pour les cabanes ou les maisons de jardin. J’ai utilisé un flash rouge dans ce set up.

Bildschirmfoto 2016-06-26 um 11.53.58

Sur la photo ci-dessus, pas de flash. Les nuances bleues proviennent de la lumière ambiante du studio dont la chaleur est celle de la lumière du jour. Mes LED ayant une lumière de 32ooK (donc plus chaude), mon réglage calé sur celle-ci fait que la lumière du jour devient froide.

Voilà voilà…

(Wien, TFP, Juni 2016)

 

Last post about the gears

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.

enjoy!

 

What camera should I buy?

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.

Fuji EX1

 

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…

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 !

 

 

PERFECT EFFECTS 8 free for download

The guys at OnOneSoftware (OOS) just made PERFECT EFFECTS 8 free for download.

How long will be this offer available ? I don’t know.
I have downloaded it and I will give it try. And well, Where is the problem, man, it’s free!!!

Here is the link :

http://www.ononesoftware.com/products/effects8free/

I will post in a few weeks  an article about my experience.

More to come…

Do we need new DSLRs?

I have always the same question coming out of the mouth of colleagues of mine : ” Hey Marc, do you think this lens makes  a great job?” or “Should I buy the D800e?”

 

Miss U - Glamshot

 

And my answer to them is “I don’t know”.

Now of course, it is a little provocative from me. My opinion is that it depends on your expectations. But to be totally honest, it depends how much you are easy to be a victim of the Marketing Gods.
What I mean is : I almost shoot always at f8 or f11 at ISO200 or ISO800, sometimes more, but not often.
And yes, I shoot RAW.
And in M-Mode.

Miss U - Glamshot

So by doing this, I reject a lot of stuff that brands advertise.
And the sensors nowadays are so great that I do not see any reason to buy an expensive camera or lens. The worst camera of today would have been the best of the bests twenty years ago. Where all shots bad that time?

But if you are a pro, it will be expected you have gears normal people don’t. But, looking at the shots, I am not sure that studio /strobists shooters notice a difference while watching at their pics done with d80 or d7000 or d800. Look at the shots made by Joe McNally for instance. As a Nikon Ambassador for Northern America, I guess we would say something else. But when I look back and compare my shots, I see an evolution in terms of mastering the light and composition. But I could not say which shot was done with such or such camera. And so my friends neither : they just could not guess.

Miss U - Glamshot

Now this had its limitations : If you need high ISO or you shoot sports, gears may have a strong impact on your results. But how many times will my colleagues ever shoot sports like a pro?…

That’s why I stick to my d700 for shootings. And do you like these shots ? So was it Canon ? Pentax ? Nikon ? It was Fuji… or maybe SONY?
Can you say that ?

Miss Blue
Besides, we all use photoshop to change the shots. So, does the camera really matter ?

 

more to come…

 

 

(PS : It was my back up cam : SONY a700)

Use One Light and Play With It

Miss BlueI love classics. I love them because they are good and survive the filter of time. Which is why the become classics.

They may get out of fashion, but they never disappear. When I shout women, I love to use a big light source because it’s soft and and wraps the subject perfectly well. And still, you can easily create contrasts like on the picture above: Just place a huge softbox at 9 o’clock (you are at 6), grab a reflector and place it at 3 and you’re done.

Miss Blue

 

Almost the same setup : the main light, this time is set at 8 o’clock !

This second shot was some kind of tricky to shoot. Tricky in the sense that the gold reflector was just a few centimeters away from her shoulder. Note how the reflection on her neck is stronger.

My TIP :  Learn to use one light, to talk to it, to modify it, to reflect it, to move it… Just play with it and enjoy the results. Frank Doorhof (www.frankdoorhof.com) who is a fashion photographer and Kelbyone trainer always says it : if you want to do it with 2 lights, do it with one… ! I always do it in my TFP Shoots I do mainly in Vienna.

Here an interesting link : http://www.frankdoorhof.com/site/tag/one-light/

More to come…

 

 

 

6 videos about lights by Joe McNally

http://fstoppers.com/free-one-hour-lighting-tutorial-from-joe-mcnally

Joe McNally is not only a great photographer, he is also a Master of Light. He works for the National Gegraphic and numerous magazines. Just google his name and you will find a lot of videos and articles. He also is a kelbyone trainer.

Enjoy!

 

more to come…

Weekly French Post – Le Post du Dimanche en Français

DSC_1269-Bearbeitet-Bearbeitet

Est il nécessaire d’avoir du matos super cher pour faire de belles photos?

La question mérite d’être posée.
En effet, les grands photographes qui sont mes modèles sont finalement des photographes qui sont décédés et qui disposaient pour l’époque de très bons appareils. Maintenant, si je compare leurs appareils avec les miens (D80, D90, D700 pour Nikon, A700 pour Sony, EX1 pour Fuji (NEW) et mon Canon AE1) et que je compare ensuite mes photos avec les leurs…

😦

Le constat est sans appel. Heureusement, je ne shoote pas avec l’intention de payer mes factures. Mais pour le plaisir de faire une image qui me plaît. Mais, diandre, comment ai-je fais pour en arriver là? Et bien je crois que la réponse est multiple. Un grand fautif est Chasseur d’Images. On y lit des tas d’informations sur le nouveau matériel. Et puis l’idée fait son chemin tout seul. Ensuite, et bien je n’aime pas me séparer de mes bébés… que j’aurais dû revendre.

Bon, alors je me suis donné un challenge, faire une photo avec le moins de matis possible (voir au-dessus).

Un lieu gratuit.
Un modèle issu de mes connaissances. Aussi gratuit.
Une focale fixe.

Les focales fixes sont-elles vraiment un plus…
Oui et non.
Oui: mon 100mm de Zeiss est phénoménal.
Non: Mais mon Nikon 70-200, f2,8 réglé à 100mm fait juste un poil moins bien… donc… En avais-je vraiment besoin?

Un D700. Acheté au rabais quand le d800 est sorti.
Une source de lumière. Le soleil. Gratuit.
Un réflecteur: un mur blanc. Gratuit.
Une robe rouge. 10€ dans un Chinese Shop de Luz, Portugal.

Ensuite on aime ou pas, mais le fautif n’est pas le matériel mais moi.

Faut il pour autant ne pas acheter du matériel pas cher? Là non plus la réponse n’est pas uniforme. Tout dépend de ce que l’on souhaite créer.
Sur Facebook, j’ai lu un article de Dominik Fusina qui relate ses difficultés avec le SAV de Nikon. Il s’est mis temporairement à shooter avec un Fuji. Je lui ai demandé pourquoi il a besoin du Nikon D3s alors que ses images avec le Fuji sont au top. Il m’a fait comprendre que le Fuji est génial mais qu’il ne fait bien que se qu’il peut faire. Ainsi le sport, les très hauts ISO, ne sont pas les ses points forts. Voici un lien pour voir son blog. Alors oui, selon l’usage, le recours au prix fort est parfois nécessaire. Mais combien, moi le premier, d’entre nous sont-ils suréquipés?

J’ai donc décidé de ne plus lire les pages techniques des magazines comme CI, MLP, CP etc… et prendre ce temps ainsi gagné, souvent à 8km  au dessus du plateau des vaches, pour accoucher sur le papier mes futurs projets. Et la photo ci-dessus est une de celles réalisées dans ce contexte.

Et vous?

Etes vous aussi victime du Syndrome d’Acquisition du Matériel ?

Bon dimanche et à la semaine prochaine !

 

GOOGLE’S TRANSLATION: (may sounds very funny & strange, but it’s sunday and I have today no time to translate myself…)

Is it necessary to have super expensive gear to make beautiful photos?

The question deserves to be asked .
Indeed, the great photographers who are my models are finally photographers who died and who had at the time very good devices. Now, if I compare their devices with mine ( D80, D90, D700 Nikon , Sony A700 , Fuji EX1 (NEW ) and my Canon AE1 ) and then I compare my photos with their …

😦

The conclusion is clear . Fortunately , I do not shoot with the intention of paying my bills . But for the sake of making a picture that I like . But Diandre , how do I do to get there ? Well I think the answer is manifold. A large fault is Chasseur d’Images . We read lots of information on the new hardware. And then the idea is gaining ground alone. Then , well I do not like to part with my baby … I should sell .

Okay, so I gave myself a challenge, take a picture with the least Matis as possible ( see above ) .

A free place .
A model derived from my knowledge. Also free.
A fixed focal length.

The primes are they really a …
Yes and no.
Yes : my 100mm Zeiss is phenomenal.
No, but my Nikon 70-200 , f2, 8 is set to 100mm just a hair less … so … I really was in need?

D700 . Purchased at a discount when the d800 is out.
A light source . The sun. Free .
Reflector : white wall . Free .
A red dress. € 10 in a Chinese Shop Luz , Portugal.

Then we like it or not , but the fault is not the material but me.

Should we therefore do not buy cheap equipment? Here again the answer is not uniform. It all depends on what you want to create .
On Facebook , I read an article by Dominik Fusina recounting his difficulties with the Nikon service . He began temporarily shooter with a Fuji. I asked him why he needs the Nikon D3s as his pictures with Fuji are at the top . He made me understand that Fuji is great but it does though is it can do. And sports, very high ISO , are not its strengths. Here is a link to see her blog. So yes , as usual , the use of high price is sometimes necessary. But how many, including me , of us are over-equipped ?

So I decided not to read the technical pages of magazines such as CI , MLP , PC etc. … and take this time and won, often 8km above the plateau of cows to give birth on paper my future projects. And the photo above is one of those carried out in this context.

And you ?

Are you also a victim of the Materiel Acquisition Syndrome ?

Good Sunday and next week!