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)

 

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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 !

 

 

Make it more interesting

We all know that : we have a shooting, the model is there, everyone is there but the it happens to be that the location is… just a kind of heee… It was supposed to be spectacular but in fact it’s just boring and nothing special.

That’s a typical situation photographers may encounter and have to deal with when shooting on location. In studio you rule, in the field, you cope. GIs learn that plans for the battles are perfect but just don’t exist any longer as soon as they meet the enemy.

I have thought a lot about the situation and the results of my thoughts (I usually think about such stuff when I drive) is this. IF THE LOCATION IS BORING, MAKE IT INTERESTING! And to do so, play with the light.

That was the theory part, now let’s go for it!

Here is the location. A nice leaving room, which is actually my leaving room:

Make it more interesting

Not that I don’t like my place, but honestly, it is not a great location to shoot. So now, let’s make it spicy !

Make it more interesting

It’s a 3 lights setup : one flash with a red gel, another with a CTO aimed at the model and a last one with a green gel.

Make it more interesting

Nothing complicated, just a game with the light.

more to come…

David Lachapelle at OSTLICHT GALLERY

Hi Guys!
This blog is not only about my experiences or my photographies. It’s also about all the things I like or dislike all around this very big topic, like… exhibitions.

Went today to the  OSTLLICHT GALERIE in Vienna to see an exhibition by David LaChapelle.

 

Bildschirmfoto 2014-08-17 um 14.22.14

 

 

 

David LaChapelle is an american photographer who has crazy ideas where fantasy dream and erotic play together. Male nudity also takes an important place in his work in the sense it appears not as the main topic of his pictures but it is often to be seen. Another signature of his are the saturated colors.

One can like or dislike it, but his pictures are almost always the result of a set up of  situations that never occure in real life. He once said ” If you want to see the reality, take the bus! ”


His website

http://www.davidlachapelle.com/
You can find some his most famous pictures on the Gallery part.

What wikipedia says about him
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_LaChapelle

Ostlicht Galerie
http://www.ostlicht.at/

More to come…

 

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…

Today just a shot from the other side!

Looking at stars and stribes !

 

I could not resist to give it a grungy touch !

Some may say it’s way too much retouched and I almost agree. Is this still a picture or a “paint” ?
Well normally I don’t go so far, but this times I break MY rules.

Jeee, it’s good !

 

More to come…

Woman in Flowers: small processing in LR 5

RED

Today just a few shots I have edited right now from the shooting of yesterday.

I love the mood and I have to say I really love to combine strobe’s light with natural light.
Again, if you want to see the behind the scene shot, go to the last article. I have made 30 shots, 3 haven’t been rejected and edited, this one of them.
I would have shot more, turning around the model to play with contrasts and backlight, but the mosquitos were so agressive that :

1) This shoot made no fun
2) The expression of the model became a kind of “Ehhh… I have to smile, but I want to run to the car as fast as I can!”

 

A few words about the processing, mostly done in LR5:

The skin was cleaned with the skin cleaning tool of LR5.
The temperature has been raised up a touch to get this yellowish touch.
In CC, I just made the black borders.
Done in 10 minutes max.

Click here and here to see the other selected pics!

More to come…

Shooting in Bad Light

Sometimes the elements are all against  you.

The light is harsh, the wind becomes stronger and stronger. You set an shoot-thru umbrella to soften the light but the wind is so strong that you have to place it in a way it does not cover entirely the subject… Unless you take the risk to see your umbrella go with the wind.

GRRRR…

So, I NOW have a solution against the wind : weights in plastic bags I put down on the stands. I Made a test : 7 kilos are are OK for a little breeze. The shots below are nice but perfectible, I love harsh light and contrasts but here, it goes too far. And the shadow of the umbrella does not cover the model entirely which is not pleasing.

RED

 

RED

Both are shot in A mode at f/5 to get a blurry background. f/2,8 was not possible even at ISO 200, it was still too much light.
We will give it another try.

 

More to come…