Tag Archives: Strobist

Classic in the rain…………

6 Mar

This week has been really busy, and the variety of genres that I have shot made it all the more exciting.

The downside of all this activity has had nothing to do with late nights processing, nor has it been gear dramas (lets face it the Nikons just keep on keeping on..thanks Rolf)

No, the dramas this week have been the heavens, more specifically what the heavens have been dropping, rain …. and bucket loads of it.

The whole of Australia seems to have gone from drought to extreme flood.

Not good for location shoots.

Anyway, a fantastic model (who I shall feature soon) came down my way with two friends and a beautiful early 60’s Ford Falcon..they bought the rain.

Out came the sheets of plastic and the umbrellas ( held by my ever patient assistant..my beautiful wife) and we shot until we were too wet to continue.

Kristina……………..

26 Feb

At last I can post up some images of the shoot with Kristina that came together during fashion week.

The conversation went something like this.

“Only one show tomorrow, it would be good to a arrange a shoot”

” I’ll ask if anybody knows a model for a sunrise shot”

“Good Luck, that’s only 8 hours away”

Ten minutes later we had arranged thru the wonderful Abbi from Runway Express to shoot with Kristina.

In yesterday’s post, I talked about the guys from DreamSpace Productions, well here are some of my shots from the morning.

Kristina is natural, happy and helpful, she never complains, strikes poses seemingly effortlessly and with the instructions over the phone the night before to wear something flowing, she has impeccable style.

Fantastic shoot with a Fantastic Model……..

5 Feb

Sometimes you know straight away that you are going to shoot a great model. This morning I was lucky enough to be shooting Kendall, this young model has everything it takes to go far.

Of course she is beautiful, and with a fit, lithe body, but she also possesses that something extra. Kendall wants to be good, she is prepared to lie on sharp rocks or perch on decidedly  unstable branches to get the shot, but not only that, she actively looks for great posing locations and comes up with a lot of her own ideas.

She’s not afraid of cold water, bugs and doesn’t shrink away when the occasional bystander stops to admire her talent.

A real winner this one is and I hope to have the chance to work a great deal more with her, she makes my job soooooo easy !!

Early morning lighting, the easy (and cheap) way……….

8 Jan

I have had a few people ask how these early morning shots were lit, so the easiest way is to use the marvellous (and free) Sylights lighting program.

The only thing I haven’t included is the fact that the speedlights were triggered via Phottix Atlas triggers, which I have spoken about before.

I had an umbrella on the high speedlight, but the little lights were struggling with the suns power by this stage.

This is really easy and add to the combination a dramatic sky and a beautiful model you can achieve great results.

DIY Beauty Dish….

5 Jan

When you get the call from the garage telling you that the transmission in the car will cost $4000 to fix, dreams of a new lighting set up go out the window fast. So what does an enterprising photographer do ? Thats right, Do it yourself.

A beauty dish, strobist style was required and with access to the internet providing a plethora of plans it was just a matter of gathering the bits and pieces and having a go!

It was easy to build and I modified others ideas as I wanted something that was bullet proof and easy to set up. It cost about $35 to build and the SB-600 sits nicely on the Phottix Atlas triggers (which are fantastic by the way, and great value for money)which bolts onto the bracket. I use a mixing bowl, a piece of gutter fitting, a L bracket and some nuts and bolts, painted with quality paint, done!

It’s probably a little small, but then it’s designed to be lit by my little SB-600 and used up close, so until I win the lottery it will fill the void.

I have only taken a couple of quick test shots however it seems to produce the goods and when I use it for real I will upload some images.

Sure I rather a factory built unit with a Bowens S type fitting and grid, but for now this will be fine.

Connecting with a model….

1 Jan

They are usually young, distracted by the thoughts of tonight’s party, not liking the hairstyle etc but before I get hate mail, I have been very generalist with my views on models. I have worked with quite a few creative, attentive models in the past and have enjoyed the time spent with them and the resultant images very much, however today I worked with a model who I had an instant and complete connection with. She was patient, compliant, and creative, she is also my wife.

We had taken our kids and those belonging to some friends to a local park for some time outdoors playing basketball and Nerf wars for the boys. Of course I had the camera with me and took multiple images of the kids playing, pulling faces and just generally being cute. I spotted a tree with the local creek in the background and asked my wife to pose…..naturally. Those of you that are married know that photos of your spouse are usually snapshots at weddings or other alcohol fuelled occasions which featured half closed, blood-shot eyes or questionable dance styles.

Not so today, my wife posed as I suggested, smiled naturally, and looked like she was enjoying the attention. Later in the day after we had off loaded what seemed like half the schools’ worth of kids, I did some processing on the raw image and was delighted when my wife asked me to download it for her Facebook profile. Yes there is some digital enhancements, but you know what, I think these adjustments just help her amazing inner beauty shine through even stronger.

 

 

Beach and surf…

30 Dec

Yep, it’s so easy to just get up and sit by the water’s edge anywhere along the Gold Coasts many beaches and headlands and find something to photograph. At the moments most models are partying fairly hard and the thought of getting out of bed for make up and hair at about 3.00am just doesn’t excite them, so to keep in practice I am shooting everything, and using all the lenses and bodies I have. Sort of moving away from my comfort zone, even when it comes to processing techniques, …always learning something new.

The trouble with stretching yourself is that you discover short comings, both in knowledge and GEAR.

I quite like finding out that I need to learn more about something I thought I was on top off. Learning is easy when its your passion, and time just flies by reading articles on techniques, what I don’t like so much is realising that to step up to the next level further financial investment is required. I need studio lights..now, and I what I want to do with them is take at least one outdoors on location powered by a battery pack . Oh dear, not cheap but the flexibility provided by having so much light will help me produce a greater range of images. Strobist with speedlights is great, and I enjoy the simplicity of this setup, but!

Anyway the surf was lower today but the usual crowd were out in force.

Playing in the pool……….

26 Dec

My daughter has one of the incredible water proof(3 metres), shock proof, idiot proof point and shoot compacts, so on Boxing day the sun returned to the Gold Coast and into the pool we went. My wife and son held me down under the water(uummh…what was the life insurance value) while my daughter played Ethel Mermen for the camera. Just a bit of fun, I tried triggering a speedlight via the slave  with the on camera flash of the compact, but the water diffused the little flashes’ output too much.

The speedlight was double bagged in zip lock bags and it worked well.

Fairies in the forest……..

23 Oct

I had the pleasure of working with Shay, a young model with great attitude and ability, on a fairies in the forest themed shot. I always think to myself that a lot of these style of shoots are at best cliché, and more often than not just plain bad, so it was with a far bit of trepidation that I undertook this project. But as I worked through the logistics’ of the concept, it occurred to me that I was stepping out of the comfort zone yet again. No air-conditioned, light controlled studio environment, oh no gentle reader, this was location at its worst time. Almost midday on a very typical sunny Gold Coast day, what clouds there were took one look at the Nikon D700 and floated away south over the border leaving me with full sun and incredibly hard reflections. We set up under the most substantial corpse of trees we could find, and proceeded to erect and test the four speedlights, triggers, gels, diffusers and got down to establishing our settings, etc.

Of course the make up and hair stylist knew I would need a little extra time to get the test shots and waited just long enough to bring the model to the set, we proceeded to place her into the pre-tested location and bingo…..second shot of the day and there were smiles all round. The moral, know your gear, be able to produce results regardless of the conditions and be ready to work. When todays client said when will the images be ready, a look of amazement crossed her face when I replied tomorrow. Here’s the key, test shots to establish settings, compose in the camera and only take enough images to satisfy the brief. Once loaded into the digital darkroom of your choice, your time to complete the project will be reduced greatly. A previous AIPP POTY winner said anything more than a minute or two in post production per image is too long…Bravo!!

Now the following image did take a little longer than a minute or two to process, however this was really only due to the need to remove the ladder that the model was standing on, Lighting, exposure and composition hardly altered from the RAW file.