using selective focus to overcome lack of depth of field
When you don't have enough depth-of-field, to get all the essential elements in focus, there is always the option to use a sequence of images and selective focus. In this case, a cute story in two images.
This little flowergirl was especially enamored of her digital camera, and would snap everything, and immediately chimp. But instead of keeping my focus on her, I immediately refocused on the little boy to show his querying expression. If I had kept my focus for on her for the next shot as she looked at her camera, there Read more inside...
off-camera flash photography: distance between softbox and subject
There are all kinds of formulas for how to figure out the optimal distance between the softbox and the subject. One of the most common suggestions is to use the diagonal of the softbox. While I believe this might something you can play around with in the studio, I do think it is an overly technical way to approach it when shooting on-location.
Working on-location am usually concerned with:
- getting my composition,
- direction of the light from the softbox (in relation to my subject's positioning),
- my shooting Read more inside...
Using images from a past workshop, I want to explain a simple concept with flash photography on location. In workshops and seminars I quite often describe the flash as 'riding on top of' the available light exposure. It's just another way of describing the usual technique of under-exposing the ambient light somewhat, and then using flash to give correct exposure. We can thereby control the final look of the image by controlling the direction of light from our flash.
By using flash like this, we can use the flash to 'clean up' the light in the Read more inside...
A valid question on how much the change in aperture affects depth-of-field, is whether an 70-200mm f/4 zoom would give you the same kind of look that an f/2.8 zoom would.
For me, a fast f/2.8 aperture is essential on a zoom lens, especially the telephoto zooms. For the same scenario, it gives me a higher shutter speed than the f/4 zoom. Or I can use a lower ISO. More importantly, since I often bounce flash in large areas, the f/2.8 aperture gives me more chance of successfully bouncing my flash than an f/4 aperture would.
Kate is from Ukraine and has a deep fascination for New York. As a present, Kate's sister flew both of them out for a vacation here ... and had me photograph Kate around New York yesterday. The idea was to get a mixture of portraits of Kate and some photos of Kate in obvious New York locales.
We started off in the Meat-Packing district because I wanted a photogenic spot that wasn't too crowded during a weekday (in winter), so we could have an easy start to the photo session. Since Kate might not have been experienced with photo shoots, I thought Read more inside...
(subtitled: the episode where I finally learn now to use the Auto modes elegantly)
In my discussion of what would be the best camera in the world, I mentioned (at length) the clear advantage that Pentax cameras have because of their Hyper-Program and Hyper-Manual modes. I explain these two modes in more detail in that linked article, but in essence, the modes work as such:
Hyper-Program - is a program exposure mode, but by dialing the shutter speed dial it becomes Shutter Priority / Tv. By dialing the aperture dial, you instantly Read more inside...
The advice for optimal camera settings for best image quality are usually:
- use the lowest possible ISO:
- at an aperture about 3 stops down from maximum (the widest) aperture;
- at a shutter speed fast enough to avoid camera shake and unintentional subject movement.
Taking this general advice at face value, means using the camera at its base ISO, which would either be 100 ISO or 200 ISO. However, while this advice is sound in theory, in practice this doesn't have direct consequence on my decision about my camera settings.
In terms of Read more inside...
Comparison between a softbox, a white shoot-through umbrella and a bounce umbrella
I've had several requests from readers of the Tangents blog about how the light from a softbox would differ from the light from an umbrella. Spurred on by that, and by my own curiosity, I met up a while ago with my favorite model, Anelisa, specifically to do comparison shots.
And here it is ... Read more inside...
shooting in bright sunlight with off-camera fill-flash
This adorable kid looked at the camera briefly because I was singing to him. Kids are devious little creatures. They know when you're calling them and will purposely ignore you. So you have to be crafty too in getting their attention. Of course, you have to be ready for the moment ... and shoot a lot. Sometimes that Decisive Moment is to be found in the edit.
The photo session was from 12 noon to 1pm. So the sun was high overhead. We're often told that the sun directly overhead isn't the best time to take photographs. While Read more inside...