One of my favorite times in the moon cycle is when it is 3 in the afternoon and the moon is out. I for some reason i really do just love it. Workin her at Peace has given me the the opportunity to work with some long glass. Most of you have seen the lovely Nikon 500 f4 sitting in the back of the store. Add a 1.7 tele and it is just about perfect. I would call this a blue moon but technically i don not think it is. For the life of me i can not remember my settings. But they most likely are based on the sunny f16 rule. Here is one for your enjoyment.
the other day I had a bit of motivation, so I set up a roll of white seamless and some lights. Then out came the many Chelsea Jerseys i have collected through the past few years. So with out any help it turned in to self portrait night in my kitchen. By doing so I felt that I have a lack of lighting, and should add to the collection. At the same time I am limited by the number of wireless triggers too. It seems that it is always the case. Too many other pieces to get at the same time.
What could i acheive with more lights and triggers. How much it too much? Do i go with the speed lights or invest in larger amounts of lights with and with out battery packs. At work we took in on trade an Alien Bee B800 something or another…. It is a pretty good light, but what i found out, this may be different for other people, is that my sync speed from my D7000 dropped a bit. I am comparing it to most every other light I have fired. My normal sync speed is 1/250. With the B800 i saw that i had to lower it a tad to 1/200. Now that really is not a big deal for what i shoot with flash, but say i was in to using big ol’ macho lights at a sporting event? the third stop could make a difference in the ability to stop motion.
My Chelsea Jerseys….
Back to my original thought. The lighting in the pics is just a simple 3 light set up. From behind the seamless was my Vivitar 285HV , camera left was the AB B800 with a photoflex 2×3 box., camera right was one of my old Interfit 100 watt’ers sitting in a Westcott Apollo. If i could i would have liked more light. All were turned down way low in power. Didnt want to have to shoot at f22. I like to sit at f4-f8. Hope you like em. I know i have a stupid grin on my face. can not help that!
Most of you know i am not a huge fan of natural light children portraits. So in a way i figured I would show how darn easy it is to do. Here is the catch though. a few of the pics i am about to post have flash. Can the natural light kids portrait photogs spot which ones are flash pics?
So working long retail hours has a result of just sitting on the couch at night not wanting to do much after work. I have how ever has some motivation to make a few pictures.
These are just very simple portraits. Still sorta fun to do. I rented the alien bee B800 from work, just to test it out and get a little more familiar with it. Since every one asks for them and there are no dealers. AB likes to keep the sales online. I guess just having alright lights and fancy hipster colors, is a good way to market your self. I imagine what would happen if i showed up to a job interview for Senior Photo Editor for Mens Health wearing a bright Yellow shirt.
Enough about the casings of the lights. I had found through a sekonic light/flash meter that the B800 was not consistant. The light was powered at 1/4 power and it was + or – 2/3rds stops. Something i had never had happen when i was playing with my beloved Elinchrom Ranger Quadras. I am not going to get in to it about one verses the other because of cost, etc…. But the next $2300 i come across will be put into the Quadras.
Ok about the layout of the lighting. right smack dab in front of me behind the camera was the B800 in the 28″ Westcott Apollo. My fave. Right smack dab behind me and the santa backdrop was just one of my Vivitar 285’s set to 1/4 power. As for my prop, that is my Air Soft Taurus PT 24-7 CO2 Diamond Crusted Jesus Piece. Yeah a little throw back to some great Kanye West. made the damn thing over a weekend to give to my former room mate/BFF man crush, DJS (David Jackson Smith) for his birthday. I guess he left it so that i would always have a little bit left behind to remember him by. All it takes to be a loser for a weekend it 400 little sticker jewels and some very bad made for TV movies on Netflix. I secretly want to make another one! I have an Airsoft H&K MP5 that would look shiggity schweet all jersey shored out!
my mother is in the hospital and not doing well. She is dying, it is just a long process with all her complications. Her Hospital room has a great view of the mountains here in Provo Utah. So i figured since i am sitting and watching her. I could play with the interval timer in my D7000. The sunrise was beautiful the day before. I might as well capture it. Here is my results of the time lapse from the seventh floor of the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo Utah.
Last night right when the store was about to close Steve set up the Nikon 500mm f4. He then added the 1.7 teleconverter to it. That was equal to a 850mm lens. Now i have a crop sensor, so all you geeks that want to play that game, it was as if i was shooting with a 1275mm lens. As if the lens magically grows, like when Pinocchio lies and his nose grows.
I have take several pictures of he moon in the past, and i fee that my exposure i dead on but my focal length was always too short. For the first time I feel that finally got it.
Here is my exposure:
0471-ISO 100, SS 1/125, f16
0472-ISO 100, SS 1/200, f16
0473-ISO 100, SS 1/400, f16
0474-ISO 100, SS 1/800, f16
0475-ISO 100, SS 1/1600, f16
0476-ISO 100, SS 1/3200, f16
0477-ISO 100, SS 1/6400, f16
I made the different exposures so I coudl do some HDR later. I imagine that i will post them here as well.
Starting out wide and going i to tele. Each focal length would serve a very impoortant purpose for me.(I would hope)
Dream Reality(But sorta a dream still)
Nikkor 14-24mm f2.8 G Tokina 16-28mm f2.8
Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 G Tamron 28-75mm f2.8
Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8G VRII Tamron 70-200mm f2.8
Nikkor 24mm f1.4 Nikkor 35mm f1.8
Zeiss 50mm f1.4 Nikkor 50mm f1.4
Zeiss 85m f1.4 Nikkor 85m f1.4D
Nikkor 85mm f1.4G Tamron 180mm f3.5 Macro
Nikkor 200mm f4 Micro Nikkor 300mm f4 D
Nikkor 300mm f2.8 VR II
Nikkor 400mm f2.8 VR
As of right now, i am not too worried about what body i am using. I have the thinking that “With good glass every thing i shoot will look better.” Sorta the same lines of thought of th Teachings of the Great Don Nelson( Mr. Pentax) He says that there are two important things in photography. 1. A good piece of glass. 2. The loose nut behind the view finder. Those of you with the 4/3rds system, it would be….. “The loose nut behind the LCD Screen.”
Don Nelson is the one responsible for the Nature Photo Weekend out at Grand Father Mountain. Many have the opinion that it is the best Nature and wild life photo workshop on the east coast. I would agree. Every year great photographers come in and pass along wonderful amounts of knowledge to those in attendance. A real treat for those wanting to get better in those fields of photography.
Lenses are just tools of our trade. Working at Peace Camera i some times see a different side of it. All too many times we can very easily get caught up with just the gear and forget about why we have it all in the first place. The voice in my head at times has told me to just shut up and take the damn picture. New gear/toys are fun and exciting. It is easy to get lost in the numbers of that new toy and worry about piddley stuff and not use the gear in its proper way to make our memories and or wonderful images to share.
Use the gear you have to make the best images you can, up grade tools when possible, but for the most part, just shut up and go make an image.
I have been busy all month shooting. Here are some pics.