BetterPhoto.com - Become a better photographer today!
EMAIL:
PASSWORD:
remember me:     
     


Photography QnA: Photographic Field Techniques

Browse by Category | All New Questions | All New Responses | Q&A Home

Category: All About Photography : Photographic Field Techniques

Ready to learn about field technique for large object photography? How about for small object photography? This Q & A covers it all. Or if you are interested in private instruction, check out Kerry Drager's Field Techniques: Light and Composition online photography course.

Page 4 : 31 -40 of 469 questions

<< Previous 10 skip to page
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | >> ...47
Next 10  >>
     
 
Photography Question 
RANDI SUE MANNING

member since: 5/12/2008
  31 .  Flash Photography: Stroboframes
I am in the market for a new Stroboframe but there are too many to choose from. I shoot mostly weddings with the occasional family or senior picture sessions on location. What are your suggestions? I need to be able to switch from horizontal to vertical and back quickly, and I would like it to fit on my tripod with ease. Thanks.

5/14/2008 10:57:21 PM

W. 

member since: 9/25/2006
  Hi Randi,
I don't use a flash bracket. Too cumbersome for fast event work (like weddings). For vertical image orientation, I use my flash gun wirelessly (IR trigger) in my left hand off-camera and simply keep it over my head (and over the camera) and pointed at the subject. It's a tried-and-tested method of operation that was already used by photo journalists in the twenties of the last century, and it works well for me.
Have fun!

5/15/2008 8:55:31 AM

  I prefer the Seigelite frame with a Lumiquest Promax system for my flash, but that's just my preference. You may want to go to a camera shop and try as many as you can and see which one feels best if you are serious about getting one. My shoulders aren't what they used to be or I'd probably go with W's suggestion.
Have fun and keep shooting.

5/15/2008 10:21:08 AM

Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/16/2004
  I have both Stroboframe and CB Junior (BH Photo), the CB is better in every way and I use it both vertical/horizontal with no problem ... plus, it's priced fair.

5/15/2008 4:51:54 PM

Nina Shields
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 6/27/2005
  Randi Sue, I'd suggest that you investigate the "lightsphere" by Gary Fong; it is a wonderful source of soft lighting with the ability to go from horizontal to vertical shots with ease. It's much less cumbersome than a "stroboframe" type device and provides wonderful lighting results.

5/20/2008 4:53:18 AM

Bruce A. Dart

member since: 1/7/2007
  Randi Sue,
You said you were looking for a new stroboframe, seeming to indicate that you had something before. It depends on what flash you use and largely, what you are used to and comfortable with. I have seen many other pros work at weddings with equipment that would drive me crazy! LOL. Even a little "quick flip" type of bracket would work fine. I've used them for a couple of decades doing lots of "fast event work." Some are easier to use than others. With a "quick release" bracket on the bottom it can also go on and off a tripod head easily.Working rapidly at an event you have to be careful not to pinch the cords as you flip. A trip to a camera store to actually have one in your hand before you buy is very helpful. Good luck.
Bruce

5/20/2008 5:18:27 AM

Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/16/2004
  That pinching of the cords is what bummed me about my Stroboframe, got my fingers a couple times and the cord once...$60 and I didn't have the backup so I had to connect direct to the hot shoe...

Nina the stroboframe is a camera/flash bracket thats aids in preventing redeye by elevating the flash away from the lens. The lightspere is a flash diffuser...professionals use both the bracket and diffuser together.

5/20/2008 8:21:05 AM

Nina Shields
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 6/27/2005
  Oliver, I've used both, just proferred the lightsphere, finding the bracket to be awkward. I'm sure it's just a matter of personal preference. I've never had any incident of red eye with the lightsphere so it has worked well for me. I guess any photographer needs to experiment and develop their own system.

5/20/2008 9:34:01 AM

Sarah Weiland Hestres

member since: 4/11/2006
  I use the stroboframe pro T and have not been happy with it. The pinching of the cord is a bummer, but also the screws seem to loosen quickly and so do the screws that are supposed to keep the whole thing together. Not great quality for the $100 it cost me.
Just my $.02 worth. I don't have a better option, but at least an advice to stay away from this one.

5/22/2008 3:28:40 PM

Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/16/2004
  The CB Junior is less than $100 shipped and it is the best one I've seen for under $160...there are way better ones in the $175+ range but for you a little overkill. BHphoto.com

5/22/2008 6:23:16 PM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Carol Sawyer
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/3/2006
  32 .  Macro Photography: Extension Tubes
I have the Nikon D50 and have the Sigma 105mm 2.8 DG macro lens. I would like to buy a extension tube for it. I want to get even closer than I am now on details and insects. Can anyone help me on what one woul be best and where I can get it? Thank you so much!

5/13/2008 8:06:57 AM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member
cammphoto.com

member since: 7/17/2003
  Extension tubes typically come in sets of three so you can choose the degree of magnification of your macro subjects. You can even stack two (or all three) extension tubes for those cooperative bugs that will let you get REALLY close.
Keep in mind, though, that it's difficult (or impossible) to hand-hold a 105mm with 'tubes and expect decent results. Every millimeter of extension of the lens robs light and depth of field, so unless you have a flash ring or other means of illumination, you will be shooting your macros stopped-down in natural light.
For this, you will need a tripod or other support and a subject that's completely immobile during exposure.

5/14/2008 2:01:44 PM

Carol Sawyer
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/3/2006
  Thank you so very much for all your information. Bob!!

5/14/2008 2:47:23 PM

Michael McCullough

member since: 6/11/2002
  For a quick fix I used an old teleconverter took the glass out and it works just great with my Tamron 90mm.& D40 Nikon!

5/22/2008 11:52:11 AM

Carol Sawyer
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/3/2006
  Thank you Michael, I am not sure what a teleconverter is or where to get one. Can anyone help me with this?

5/22/2008 1:44:43 PM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member
cammphoto.com

member since: 7/17/2003
  A teleconverter contains glass elements and magnifies the image on the film plane (or sensor) by 2x (or 1.4X) throughout its entire focal range from the lens' minimal focasing distance all the way to infinity.

Extension tubes are hollow and contain no glass. They are designed to increase the distance from the subject to the film plane (or sensor) and are only practical when shooting close.

I guess one could remove the glass from a teleconverter to achieve the same result....but why?
Extension tubes sets are not expensive.

5/22/2008 6:11:22 PM

Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 6/11/2005
  Alot of people have the Kenko Extension Tubes. Here's a good reference link:
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Kenko-Extension-Tube-Set-Review.aspx

5/22/2008 6:34:52 PM

Carol Sawyer
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/3/2006
  Thank you so very much everyone for your help. I will be looking into getting a set.

5/23/2008 12:52:00 PM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Beth Huling
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/29/2007
  33 .  Studio Dimensions and Props
What is an adequate amount of space to create a portrait studio? Does it need to be 15 to 18 feet in length with around 19-foot ceilings? Also, where is the best place to find nice props?
Thankful for advice.

5/9/2008 12:02:24 PM

  Hi Beth,
Certainly I would like to have a large studio, my last one was about 24X30 foot with a 10-foot ceiling. I am in a smaller space currently. The first thing I did to make the smaller space work was paint the walls a dark neutral gray. If I had white walls, the reflections would be uncontrollable. I think that if you do not have 12 feet in width you will be limited in the size background and subject you can use. If you had a little more length, that would be good. If the ceiling is dark, you can work with a low ceiling, even 10 feet - it could work for most subjects. You want to make arrangements to hold a reflector on the ceiling, and you will want them for the sides of the shot, some of the time. Check out this article: www.siskinphoto.com/magazine4b.html
Studio Specialties (www.superiorstudio.com) makes a range of props, also backdrops. You should also check out thrift stores for bargain furniture.
Thanks, John Siskin

5/11/2008 9:06:25 AM

Bruce A. Dart

member since: 1/7/2007
  Hi Beth,
John has lots of good info here. Every photographer wants MORE space but we often have to work with what we have. I wanted a larger space until I crunched some numbers to realize what it would cost and how much more money I would have to generate just to break even. My studio for the past 30 years certainly has limitations but it is workable. I have a 11-1/2 foot by 22 foot camera room with 8 - 1/2 foot ceilings. With larger family groups I have to work on location. I have photographed groups of 11 or 12 in my small space -- with a lot of extra effort. I had to move everything else out of view, hang a 10x20 muslin background horizontally and extend it to the side walls and put another matching background on the floor in order to keep everything in the frame. And then I sometimes have to extend backgrounds in Photoshop where I have run off. Time consuming to be sure. Some folks are amazed at the photos I produce in my "small" space. Check out my gallery at www.photosbydart.com Much like the purchase of camera equipment, get the best you can afford and work with it. When you outgrow it, you will have to upgrade. Generally, every few years you can replace or upgrade some things without buying everything all at once and each time. Good luck.
Bruce Dart

5/14/2008 5:22:57 AM

Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/4/2004
  Hi Beth,
I have worked in a office type space as small as 10x9 , you can make most anything work if you want it to.
As far as Props, you can find them anywhere.
The good will is great for bags of pearl type beads.
6 pieces of moding can make a nice french window frame, for background use in nursery sceanes, teens looking through or a child looking out of in frount of a snow sceane backdrop during the holidays.
a old laundry basket is great for kids & pets.
Look on Ebay as well.
Try the Studio Threads for more:
PART1:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/QnAdetail.asp?threadID=17534

This thread will let you see into the development of several Studios at thier start.
It will go through Business, posing templets and how to deal with clients as you are trying to get expression.
I do hope this helps.
Debby

5/14/2008 6:01:14 AM

Beth Huling
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/29/2007
  Thank-you for the great advice! You are all so helpful!
John I checked out and printed the link you suggested.
Bruce I will absolutely check out your site and it is good to know that others put so much work into their photographs too!
Debby ooh I never thought about, well really any of the props you describe! Thanks for the input and I will look into the threads! :)

5/14/2008 9:48:20 AM

  Hi Beth,
Good luck with the studio! Learn how to make your space work for you.
Thanks, John

5/15/2008 7:58:30 AM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Joni Earley
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Joni
Joni's Gallery

member since: 8/6/2005
  34 .  Lighting for Model's Portfolio
My son's girlfriend has asked me to do some head shots of her for a modeling portfolio she's putting together. I have no special lighting equipment and wonder if anyone could give me any ideas on how/where to do this shoot and what type of background to use? My camera is a Nikon D70, and I do have a tripod.

5/7/2008 1:09:45 AM

W. 

member since: 9/25/2006
  Hi Joni,
The tripod is good! Use a window as your main light source to light your subject from one side, and fill/soften/open up the shadows with a D-I-Y reflector on the opposite side of the subject. Experiment with it, placing it closer or further away.
Choose an empty wall as background, at least 4/5 feet behind the subject. Shoot Raw, so that you can adjust exposure after the fact in Photoshop, and shoot as many frames as you can.
Have fun!

5/7/2008 6:05:02 AM

  Wow! Thanks for the quick reply to my question! Great advice and I will definitely try what you suggest! I always shoot in Raw so that's a given. What sort of materials could be used as a reflector that one would have around the house?

5/7/2008 7:29:08 AM

Alan N. Marcus

member since: 3/4/2006
  Hi Joni,
No fancy lighting equipment is needed to take great portraits in a home setting. However, studio lighting makes everything far more convenient. You can make do with window lighting and reflectors. Reflectors can be foam-core insulation purchased at Home Depot or cardboard covered with aluminum foil.
At Home Depot, you can buy several clamp-on lighting fixtures, with or without aluminum reflectors. I suggest the with-out reflector design with porcelain sockets. Buy several R-40 bulbs; these are indoor floods with built-in reflectors. You will need stands to clamp the fixtures on. With a little forethought, you can make do, clamping to doors and pole lamps and the like. Set one lamp high and off to the side to simulate midday sun. Place another close to the camera to act as a fill to soften shadows. Place another behind the subject aimed at the background.
For portraiture, focus on the eyes and use a large aperture like f/5.6. Large apertures yield shallow depth-of-field as this the convention for portraiture.
Because the learning curve is quite steep for indoor lighting, my advice is to shift the venue to an outdoor setting. Use parks with trees and fountains and gardens as your backdrop. Try to work on an overcast day or in the open in shade cast by a building or under the trees. Take along a couple of friends armed with sheets of foam-core. The idea is to use reflectors to fill shadows. You can also shoot near white walls, they serve as excellent reflectors.
As to focal length: Use a long lens. The D70 sports an imaging chip size APS-C. This format is 66% the size of the chip used in full frame models. The normal focal length for this camera is 30mm. likely you purchased with the 18-70mm zoom lens. Note that 30mm is about the center of the zoom range. This is true because when set to 30mm the view that results is considered "normal". Longer is brushing telephoto range and shorter the wide-angle range. For the type of work you described, you are advised to shoot at 70mm - i.e. maximum zoom. Best would be 75mm or longer but the advantage will be slight so donít go shopping unless these sessions become routine.
Hope this helps,
Alan Marcus (marginal technical gobbledygook)

5/7/2008 8:16:44 AM

  Hi Joni, Alan and W have some great advise. I would just like to add to make notice of shadows. Some people's features look better with hard light and strong shadows while others may look better with diffused light and soft shadows. Again, experiment as much as possible to get the most flattering light. Have fun...

5/7/2008 8:23:05 AM

Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/16/2004
  Hey Joni, I shoot models for agencies in SF/LA. The reason I got accepted is due to my ability to properly light the subject. When shooting for a portfolio, you MUST light the face properly so the agency representative gets a complete idea of what you look like on camera. You do NOT want anything to artsy with shadows when starting a portfolio, you want a clean simple photo that doesn't distract from the clients vision ... and that is the major mistake I've seen. I've seen models get turned down with amazing photos because they're just not what the agency is looking for ... you'll hear too commercial ... only good for editorial, etc. When you're shooting for a model's portfolio, makeup and hair are very important as well. You need makeup, even on males, but less is best.

5/7/2008 5:53:15 PM

  I'm overwhelmed with the responses I've gotten from all of you. Thank you so much! I will definitely have fun and be challenged by everything you've suggested! Perhaps I'll even send you a pic or two when all is said and done. Truly, I'm grateful to all of you for your help!!!

5/7/2008 7:54:38 PM

Allison W. Laster

member since: 1/9/2007
  hey joni,
i attended a lighting essentials workshop a month ago and we work with natural light set-ups. my favorite and the easiest was the model with her back to a large window and two large foam core boards (you can get these at Michael's craft store) placed in front of her at an angle (about 45*). this way the natural light from behind her was reflected back on to her face in a very even way. the thing that caught my attention when using the reflectors was the fact that they were right up against the subject. so don't forget to get the reflector close to the model. I hope this helps. I if you have any questions or would like to see an example please let me know.
allison

5/13/2008 5:35:25 AM

  Great advice, Allison! And thanks so much! I'd love to see an example if you'd like to send one along!

5/13/2008 8:08:46 AM

Allison W. Laster

member since: 1/9/2007
 
 
 
hey joni! here is the example of the setup I was talking about. slight sharpening and boost to contrast.

5/13/2008 7:16:23 PM

Allison W. Laster

member since: 1/9/2007
 
 
  lindsey at the window
lindsey at the window
 
 
hey joni! here is the example of the setup I was talking about. slight sharpening and boost to contrast. because the background is blown out it gives the shot a commercial look to it. very easy set up. hope this helps.

5/13/2008 7:16:46 PM

  What a gorgeous shot! It really helps for me to SEE what people are talking about so thanks so much for sending this! Very helpful!

5/13/2008 7:25:33 PM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Maryana Zagorodny

member since: 5/1/2008
  35 .  Indoor Pictures of Dark Clothing
Hi! I take pictures of clothing on a live model. I currently do this outside on a white paper background, but this really limits what I can do to cloudy days. How can I soot pictures of clothing inside? My current problem is that dark items, such as a dress, lose the details if I use flash, which I have to if I am inside. I take pictures next to a window and use a flash but the dark details get lost. I use a Sony Cybershot DSCN1 8.1MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom and white seamless paper. Any help would sincerely be appreciated! Thank you!

5/1/2008 12:08:21 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  Sounds like you're trying your flash straight on. You'll need to find a way to light at an angle if you want to show texture. A cloudy day will look different than direct sunlight, but it will still give more detail in the clothes than a straight-on flash. Or with your current set-up, lessen the power of your flash so that the main exposure is coming from the window.

5/1/2008 12:19:28 PM

W. 

member since: 9/25/2006
  Reflector panels can be foamcore boards from Home Depot, or, better, D-I-Y reflectors: some spray-glue, aluminum household foil, any panel, and an iron is all you need. Have fun!

5/1/2008 6:47:38 PM

Maryana Zagorodny

member since: 5/1/2008
  thanks for the great tips. cant wait to try! Will let you know how it goes!

5/1/2008 9:58:16 PM

  Hi Maryana,
You might want to check out this article about using one light: www.betterphoto.com/article.asp?id=129. Lighting, really controlling light, is one of the most important skills a photographer can have. BetterPhoto has some good lighting classes!
Thanks.

5/2/2008 5:00:59 PM

W. 

member since: 9/25/2006
  On those D-I-Y reflector panels: Don't forget to crumple up the aluminum foil good, then stretch it out carefully, so as not to tear it, before you apply it, shiny side up, to the spray-glued panel. Then iron it flat without heat.

5/2/2008 5:05:48 PM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Tara R. Swartzendruber

member since: 3/28/2007
  36 .  Capturing Motion in Studio
Why do I still "miss shots" (such as a kid turning their head) with studio strobes? I have two photogenic 1250's synced with my Nikon D80.

4/30/2008 10:52:54 AM

Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/17/2005
  Timing, Tara, is everything, especially in portraiture. It ain't the lights it's like the photographer. Posting some examples to fully understand what you mean would be helpful, at least to me.

OTOH, if it is your timing, maybe this will help: When I shoot portraits, regardless of format, I rarely take my eye out of the viewfinder unless we're taking a break. I talk to the client as I work and don't use a tripod. When I shoot medium format, I prefocus, watch the client while we chat and trip the shutter electronically without looking through the viewfinder but always watching the client and anticipating their movement or facial expressions. (See, e.g., the portraits on my website (not the gallery here).
Take it light ;>)
Mark

4/30/2008 12:22:49 PM

W. 

member since: 9/25/2006
 
OR you can shoot bursts at 7fps, and I bet there'll be plenty good ones among them.

4/30/2008 3:25:14 PM

Tara R. Swartzendruber

member since: 3/28/2007
  I am very much a viewbinder/no tripod person. I like to talk and take pix at random as the kids are playing, etc... I guess I was under the impression that the strobes would "stop motion," but I'm always amazed at the pix I get when I think I'm getting a certain expression as I push the shutter, and end up with their head turned away at the last minute. Kids move quickly, but I thought the strobes would help "freeze" this a bit more. I'm sure, then that it's the photographer. It's difficult, though to always catch the right look in small children. Will my strobes still fire if I shoot 7fps as W.S. suggested? I guess I should try that....

4/30/2008 5:17:25 PM

  Hi Tara,
Your strobes may fire once or twice at 7 fps, but no more. The key is to learn to think just a little ahead. When your camera takes a picture, the mirror flips up, the aperture stops down, then the shutter opens, THEN the strobe goes off. All this takes time, which is a problem with a moving child. Keep in mind that pushing the button harder will not make the camera take the picture faster. Your strobes will stop action, but they can't turn back time. What shutter speed are you using?
Thanks, John Siskin

4/30/2008 7:29:28 PM

Tara R. Swartzendruber

member since: 3/28/2007
  John,
I generally keep my shutter speed at 125 with the studio strobes and change my aperature as needed to keep my subjects properly exposed. Thanks for the explanation about what all is happening. This is pretty much what I was assuming was "the deal," but I really hate to miss out on something I should be doing differently as I'm still somewhat new to this.

5/1/2008 7:11:21 AM

  If you ask me, children are not studio type people. If you can get a child to sit still for more than 300 miliseconds, you are the luckiest photographer on earth. Try shooting in a more candid setting, where they are comfortable. If you follow them while they play, You can get the most dramatic photographs of them. I rarely shoot children in a studio. I usually try to shoot them in their home or at a park.

Have fun and keep shooting,
Mark H.

5/1/2008 7:48:25 AM

Tara R. Swartzendruber

member since: 3/28/2007
  Thanks, Mark. I agree. I do enjoy taking photos outside when possible. Living in Nebraska, however, winters and many springs (rain & wind), summers (mosquitos & wind) and falls (cold...but better) don't always allow for this, so the studio is a good second choice. :)

5/1/2008 10:22:40 AM

  Hi All,
I have had a couple of commercial clients that regularly required shots of children from newborn to teen. The key is to be prepared, and to have extra children. So you want to have the lights et-up and tested, product if any, ready to go. I assume for any child less than ten years old I will get less than 45 minutes of shooting time. Donít waste it! I used to keep toys around for the very small, not for them to use but for them to keep. This not only impressed the kids it helped with the parents. Finally you have to keep the people in the studio to a minimum, if your client is there, someone from an ad agency and a parent you are going to have a tough time getting the kids attention.
Thanks, John Siskin

5/1/2008 4:46:14 PM


BetterPhoto Member
 
 
 
Hi John

The problem I have is shooting portraits of toddlers and young children. I have found the best frames are captured while the children are involved in activities that they know and enjoy.Most of what I do with children comes from photographing my own two daughters. My daughters taught me to always be ready for the unexpected so you can get the perfect shot. I have captured som unbelieveable frames, one of the best being of my oldest daughter simply playing with a paper bag.

Have fun and keep shooting,
Mark H.

5/2/2008 10:44:51 AM

 
 
  Drummer Boy
Drummer Boy
Shot for a client, Rhythm Child, that makes drums and clothing products for children.
 
 
Hi Mark,
Nice shot of your daughter! Although I have a few candid shots of my nice and nephew, most of the shots I have of children are for clients. I think that it is very satisfying, in several ways, to take photos for a commercial client. I get to see my images used by the client, and I get paid! Thanks! John Siskin

5/2/2008 4:27:48 PM

Bruce A. Dart

member since: 1/7/2007
  Hi Tara,
Like most things in photography, studio portraiture is not just a quick snap of the shutter. Photographing children especially illustrates this. Henri Cartier-Bresson said "you shoot, shoot, shoot and sometimes the picture is in between!" That's why he talked about the "decisive moment" when you make the picture. With kids you have to have an infinite amount of patience and take lots of images because they are quick. Expressions change rapidly and when you see something by the time your brain transmits to your fingers to hit the shutter, they are on to the next. As suggested, set up a "play" situation and anticipate. Since they tire -- and bore--quickly, try something and move on to the next attempt. With practice and timing you will get better at noticing what works. Contrary to everything else you learn in photography, studio lighting is different. It depends more on the f/stop for lighting and less on the shutter speed. As mentioned, the strobes will stop action so it doesn't matter if you are at 1/125, 1/60th, 1/30th as far as stopping action is concerned. The slower shutter will make a slight difference in picking up ambient light and the background will get lighter. The faster shutter will tend to make the background slightly darker but it won't really change the exposure on the subject. Of course these settings are in manual mode. You need a broad light source because the subject will move and the light will change. Kids who can crawl will; those who can walk (or run) will! You just have to keep putting them back. If several people are on the camera room, only ONE gives direction to the subject. Others, while trying to be helpful, will have the subject looking different places until the poor kid gets so many directions and voices that they don't know what to do or where to look. You need to have approximately the same f/stop light output (main) over most of the area the child will be in so if they move you still have adequate light. Moods change with young children in a moment. Keep shooting; they can cry one moment and laugh the next (and vice versa.) Good luck
Bruce

5/6/2008 5:16:59 AM

Tara R. Swartzendruber

member since: 3/28/2007
  Thanks everyone, for your advice. It makes me feel better that I am not doing anything wrong, per se, and that while there are some missed shots, there are still many good ones I am able to capture....and I will keep practicing timing, etc.... Thanks again!

5/6/2008 7:40:02 AM

Bruce A. Dart

member since: 1/7/2007
  Tara,
That is exactly the point. Looking at the great photos what you don't see are the missed ones in between and the "rejects." Everyone has them. The better you get the fewer rejects but everyone has them. The not so facetious joke used to be that the difference between amateurs and professionals is the size of their waste basket. Throw away the bad images and show only the good ones and your photography "improves" tremendously!! Once when I asked a colleague about how to get better at a certain type of photography, his response of "you just have to do more of it" really ticked me off at the time. Looking back, he was right of course but that was not the answer I was looking for at the time. We all want the "magic wand" kind of solution but in reality you just have to do it. Again, and again and again. Don't forget to have fun along the way.
Bruce

5/6/2008 8:03:11 AM

Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/16/2004
  Hey Tara, I use portable strobes and ringlights...they're great BUTTTT you have a lag between pushing the button to the time the flash POPs however slight that is it is still long enough to miss great shots. I use White Lightnings with Pocket Wizards and the AB800 ringlight.
My opinion is the same as several above when shooting kids get them out of the studio and into their environment...you'll have tons of looks and less chance of missing THAT SHOT...BTW every photoshoot (especially kids) there will be shots you miss, should've tried or could've done better.

5/6/2008 9:18:24 AM

 
 
  Rattle Snake & Rat
Rattle Snake & Rat
I think this shot shows the importance of being aware of your surroundings. I think this was taken with a Kodak Retina, 2A, a fine old rangefinder camera.
 
 
Hi Tara, et al,
I did an article about the decisive moment for the ASMP journal here in Los Angeles, a few years ago. You can see it at: www.siskinphoto.com/magazine1b.html. I was writing about the way that decisions of others interact with the photos we might want to make. Since I am a commercial photographer this affects me quite a bit.
Thanks, John Siskin

5/6/2008 11:35:36 AM

Bruce A. Dart

member since: 1/7/2007
  Hi All,
I thoroughly enjoyed John's article about the "decisive moment." While this came in to my computer I was called on 10 minutes notice to go create an image for our local university for a billboard and all those resulting decisions flooded through my mind with laughter as I read John's article. Well done my friend and so true!!
Reminds me of an article former RIT instructor and author Ralph Hattersly published years ago about how light is a wave similar to sound and are we really using "light" to photograph.LOL But that's another story. Apart from all the editorial decisions, when the photographer actually presses the shutter button is what Cartier - Bresson intoned. Another article, and I wish I remembered the author, maintained that each image is the sum total of and draws from all we have learned about photography to that point. Also true and worthy of discussion. Thanks to all for sharing.
Bruce Dart
bdphoto@ptd.net www.photosbydart.com

5/6/2008 12:33:33 PM

  Thanks Bruce! I often don't hear anything from people who have read my articles. So I really appreciate your response.
John Siskin

5/6/2008 3:19:02 PM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Amanda Perin
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/27/2007
  37 .  External Flash for my Canon?
I would like an external flash for my Canon Rebel XT, and was hoping for some suggestions from all the professionals on BetterPhoto.com. I am a novice who is in the process of developing a portfolio, so I do not have a lot of experience with external flashes, but will need one that works best for my skill level as it develops. Thanks for your input!

4/22/2008 9:59:10 AM

  Hi Amanda,
You should probably start with the latest version of the Canon 580. While it is expensive, it does have power and auto features that make it good to use outside and in doing events. Thanks, John Siskin

4/22/2008 3:31:42 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  There are other brands that are good ones like Metz and Sunpak, but the 580 is a good one. Especially if it's dedicated to your particular model of camera. It's good enough that it's gotten to the point of taking much of the learning to estimate light levels and power ratios for some.

4/22/2008 3:56:44 PM

Matt  Armstrong

member since: 5/6/2007
  Amanda,
I think it depends on what you are using the flash for. But if your not going into to much manual and your just starting out, I would suggest going with the 430ex flash. I also have the xt and purchased the 430 not too long ago. I have never had a problem with it and I just shoot on TTL mode a lot of the time. It will save a lot of money as well, money that could go to getting a strobist kit from M-pex. Check out strobist.com and learn how to use the off-camera flash, this will make your pictures better and also increase your knowledge of how lighting works. If you find you like the external flashes on or off camera then I would suggest getting the 580. Having two flahes can do alot for pictures. But do check out strobist.com, it helps ALOT.

4/29/2008 6:11:07 AM

  Instead of having to purchase a number of flashes, as you progress, I would start with the Canon 580EX. Additionally, Canon Visionary, Paul Gero, offers an amazing course on how to use your Canon 580EX flash, which I took in December 2007 (although my interest was to learn to use it with my antique 420 EX as a master-slave unit). Paul was very helpful in that regard as well.

4/29/2008 7:41:55 AM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Mandi M. Wiltse
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/30/2007
  38 .  Shadows Against a Backdrop
 
I'm very new at this and just bought and received my first backdrop. My question is about shadows. I don't have any extensive lighting yet, but would that correct the problem with the "shadows" you see in some of my photos or do I just need to adjust my subject? Any feedback would be appreciated!

4/18/2008 2:14:13 PM

Bob Fately

member since: 4/11/2001
  Mandi, the "drop shadows" you speak of are the result of three factors - the "hardness" of the light, the distance of the subject from the background and the distance from the lens axis to the light source. As you increase each of the latter, the shadow will be less visible.
"Hard" light refers to high-contrast illumination - think of a sunny day at the beach. As a point light source, your electronic flash is a hard light source unless you modify it with some sort of diffusion - there are many flash diffusion gadgets on the market. The diffuser makes the light softer - think of an overcast day where the sun is diffused by the cloud cover - which helps eliminate shadows.
Meanwhile, it's just a matter of having enough room in the studio and asking the subject to step forward. A few feet may make a big difference.
As for increasing the lens-to-light-source distance - this is what flash brackets are made to do. Alternatively, you could have your flash mounted on a light stand off to one side and triggered by remote control.
Hope that helps,

4/18/2008 3:41:25 PM

Mandi M. Wiltse
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/30/2007
  Much thanks. I've ordered a few more backdrops and will work on my photos with the things you mentioned!!

4/18/2008 4:47:38 PM

Bruce A. Dart

member since: 1/7/2007
  Hi Mandi,
Understanding light and shadows is the essence of photography and we all work at that our whole careers. Bob is correct but there is more too. We see shadows every day and often don't think about them. I joke with some of my subjects that I spent years learning how to get shadows out of photos -- now I'm (sometimes) putting them back in as part of the composition. Putting your flash on a bracket (wedding photographers do this all the time) elevates the flash above the lens. The shadow is still there but it drops low behind the subject and is hidden from view. In the studio, raising the flash about 45 degrees and moving it to the side not only helps hide shadows, it generally provides more shape and form to the subject you are photographing. Of course you modify this depending on your subject and a bunch of things you intend to do but it generally works. Bouncing your flash off a wall, a large white card or shooting through some diffusion material also help. When I started I used darker backgrounds because the hid the shadows more until I learned how to control them. As you add more equipment, a background light will help also. Remember that the falloff of light varies in an inverse square proportion (I failed physics in high school and God laughs when I have to use it every day.LOL) so a little distance away from the background can make a big difference with shadows too.Check out my web site at photosbydart.com or e-mail at bdphoto@ptd.net if I can answer any other question. What seems clear when you start sometimes gets a little muddled when you actually do it. Good luck, and most importantly, HAVE FUN!

4/22/2008 4:41:31 AM

Mandi M. Wiltse
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/30/2007
  thanks for the repsonse bruce. I will be looking at your website today and I'm sure I will be amazed. Everyone here is always so nice and helpful.

Like I said I'm very new at this, but I'm sure I will be able to master the art of photography the more I practice! :)

4/22/2008 6:14:46 AM

Roy A. Meeks
Contact Roy
Roy's Gallery

member since: 10/21/2003
  Until you have a two or three light system always be sure that the shadow is behind the back of the subjects head i.e. the subject should never be looking at the shadow if it is a profile. Roy Meeks

4/22/2008 8:45:43 AM

Mandi M. Wiltse
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/30/2007
  Roy could you please explain a little more? I'm not sure that I understand on to make sure the shadow is behind my subjects head?

4/22/2008 10:43:21 AM

Bruce A. Dart

member since: 1/7/2007
  Hi Mandi,
A flash unit from camera position will put the shadow behind the subject. Raising the flash, as with a bracket or a synch cord, will cause the shadow to fall down low behind the subject. A flash to the left of the camera -- at camera height -- will create a shadow on the opposite side. If you don't have a "modeling light" that shows you where the light is going, you can demonstrate it with a flashlight or any other light near the flash pointed in the same direction just to show how the shadows fall.
Bruce

4/22/2008 11:43:25 AM

  Hi Mandi,
You might ant to look at this article on how to manipulate one light. www.siskinphoto.com/magazine3a.htmlIt is the quality of light that creates shadows. There are some more articles on my site and here that should help.
Thanks, John Siskin

4/22/2008 3:29:26 PM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Jessica Grande

member since: 4/15/2008
  39 .  What Lens Is Best to Capture Human Iris?
I need to get equipment that will give high resolution when capturing the human iris ... so that I can see the Iris structure. Any suggestions? Thanks!

4/15/2008 3:37:27 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  macro

4/15/2008 4:17:14 AM

Jessica Grande

member since: 4/15/2008
  Any particular type? I'm a total novice so...:/

4/15/2008 4:43:03 AM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/18/2000
  What camera/lens do you already have? Many compact digitals have a macro mode that allows very close focus. There are also adapters for many that allow attaching a close-up lens (screw-on like a filter, such as Canon 250D or 500D).
For an SLR, there are specialized macro lenses that will focus very close to give up very detailed image. Longer focal lengths like 100mm or 150mm allow more distance between the subject and the front of the lens. Shorter focal lengths - like 50mm or 60mm - might be uncomfortably close. Other alternatives include using a close-up lens screwed onto the front of a lens you already have, or using extension tubes between the lens and the camera which also allow closer focus.

4/15/2008 5:27:18 AM

Jessica Grande

member since: 4/15/2008
  Well I don't have any equipment at the moment. So I need the whole kit but I'm a student so I want to know the most cost effective way of doing it. Although, having said that I need to be able to have high resolution so that I can study the pictures.

4/15/2008 6:24:21 AM

Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 6/11/2005
  If you don't have any equipment now...maybe you should visit a local eye doctor and talk with them. THey should have a good idea of what types of equipment are out there for imaging the eyes...

4/15/2008 7:58:48 AM

Alan N. Marcus

member since: 3/4/2006
  Hi Jessica,

Likely you are studying to be an optometrist or ophthalmologist. If true you are surrounded by people far more able to advise then any of us. So, seek out their opinions.

John Close, as always, is right on target, recommending a Macro Lens. As he pointed out, most compact digitals feature a Macro Mode. So, look for this feature.

Like the human eye, camera lenses are not perfect. While all are well corrected for aberrations, none are entirely free. The typical camera lens is highly corrected for distance. When they are asked to perform at close range, they are slightly compromised. On the other hand, a Micro Lens is corrected for close-up work and is compromised at distance.

Likely you will not be using this camera merely to photograph the Iris. Students always have need for a good all-around camera. I am advising that for now; buy a compact with a micro mode. As to tack sharp, pay attention as to how the camera will be mounted. Likely sharpness will be compromised unless you secure it to a sturdy mount. You can clamp or otherwise affix to a pre-existing instrument stand. Consider the slit-lamp or a skiascope etc.

Tell us more and we will try and help.

Best of luck,

Alan Marcus
ammarcus@earthlink.net

4/15/2008 8:12:23 AM

Jessica Grande

member since: 4/15/2008
  I'm studying Iridology and I asked my tutor what to get but he could only recommend his own set up, which is expensive. He said my best bet was to ask a photographer or someone who knows a lot about photography.

As I'm just starting out I quite like the idea of a compact with micro mode and a stand, it'd be cheaper, right?

4/15/2008 8:46:44 AM

Alan N. Marcus

member since: 3/4/2006
  My vote will be the Canon PowerShot A580 about $150. Has macro mode, powered by two AA batteries that are easy to replace.

Likely others will make suggestions. Check this one out, itís easy to use and it will do just what you want.

Best of luck,

Alan Marcus
ammarcus@earthlink.net

4/15/2008 9:01:44 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  Look at different compact camera's focusing distances.
An Olympus Stylus 760 has different macro modes. One is 3.2 inches.

4/15/2008 12:16:58 PM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Erica Dallas

member since: 7/14/2007
  40 .  Studio Lighting
I have a Canon Rebel XT EOS, I am going to be taking studio pictures of kids in dance costumes with a backdrop. I will be setting up in the dance studio that is the size of a bedroom. I was wondering what you recommend for lighting? Can you help me? Thank you!

4/9/2008 2:37:34 PM

Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/4/2004
  Erica,
You can use a 2-3 light system even in that size of room: main, fill and backlight. (The backlight can double as a hair light.)
How often you want to work with studio lights and the funds you have available for your purchase will really determine what you should start looking at.
If you give me a price range and a bit more of where you're looking for your business to head, I will be more than happy to help. If you'd rather do this by email, be my guest. I also find it so much easier to research by phone as well.
I hope this helps!

4/9/2008 2:50:18 PM

  Hi Erica,
Debbie is right about the number of lights. If the children move a lot it would help to use umbrella, large ones to create a large area of good light. It would help to have strobes with a good amount of power, as that will give you more options on how you modify the light.
Thanks, John Siskin

4/9/2008 3:11:09 PM

David E. Bunkofske
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/2/2007
  Erica,
You can get by with one Studio Light and one umbrella Placed right behind and above the camera. I shoot weddings with this light and it lights the whole front of the church. I use a 1500 power Lite. You could get by with one less than half that size.
David

4/15/2008 7:17:56 AM

Bob Friedman

member since: 6/10/2002
  Erica:
If you are doing this on a budget you can get a Interfit 150, 2 light kit with stands, softbox, and umbrella, at any Ritz or Wolf camera for about $299 and the IR hot shoe transmitter for $39. Should work fine shooting at ISA 200 or $400. As you grow and get bigger/better lights you can use these for hair lights, background lights, etc.

On Ebay "Studio For Less" has a deal with more power for same price.

http://cgi.ebay.com/2-Pro-Studio-Strobe-Monolight-Softbox-Wireless-2KIT300_W0QQitemZ330228405809QQihZ014QQcategoryZ30087QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp1742.m153.l1262


bob

4/15/2008 8:30:11 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

4/15/2008 9:25:25 PM

Erica Dallas

member since: 7/14/2007
 
 
  Jordan, Spring pics 2008
Jordan, Spring pics 2008
 
 
Thank you to everyone, I really appreciate all of the feedback! I should be getting the lighting soon.

I have an example of a picture that I took last year of my daughter, the lighting wasn't very good (too bright) because it was the first time I had ever used portable lighting. I was using someone else's equipment so I didn't know how the set-up was supposed to be. It was 2 lights on stands with the umbrellas. The second night I finally had a little understanding of how they worked. I now work at a portrait studio and am getting better at "portrait" style pics.

Thanks a million to everyone!

4/15/2008 10:16:25 PM

Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/4/2004
  Posing is a very important part of Portrait photography.
There are ways to flatter the person by posing and shaping the body to look more awake,thinner,commaning an even younger.
This will become very essential if moving forward into the Profession of Portrait Photography.
Canids are wonderful, but people want to also be presented as well as possible when paying for portraits done of them.

I hope this helps,
Debby Tabb

4/16/2008 11:27:18 AM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
<< Previous 10 skip to page
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | >> ...47
Next 10  >>

Copyright © 1996-2014 BetterPhoto.com, Inc.ģ All Rights Reserved.