Me on white

I’ve got a third studio strobe. The reason is that the original seller/distributor in Germany (who is just another photographer) doesn’t seem to continue selling the ones I bought, and so I’ve got a similar – maybe slightly older – model from another seller via Amazon.

And just an hour ago I did the first real test: light something “on white”, which means put two strobes onto a white background, and one on your subject.

First test was with two bare strobes (just standard reflectors) at level “2”, and that main one through a 20″ socked beauty dish on level “3” – that measured aperture 11 on the background, 8 on the subject, which gives a difference of exactly 1 stop. Should have raised the background ones to 2.5 to blow out the white just a bit more. Set as I did, I had almost no light “spill”, which surprised me a bit – the place was a bit small for a setup like this, so I have to check again with those background flashes powered up more. But for a first check it was ok, at least in black & white.

Mitchie took my picture with these settings (thanks sayang!), and I worked on it a bit with the usual 3-step process for black & white, which is OV3 and SFX on Windows, then RT on Linux. It’s borderline usable, but it shows the direction, which is why I show it here:

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Wolfgang, November 2017

As always, thanks for viewing. And as Joe McNally uses to say/write, more tc…

The right camera, the right lens

There are a few other photographers whose blogs I follow; one of those I read since years is Kirk Tuck, a professional photographer about my age from Austin, TX, USA. In his latest blog post he wrote about a walk with his Panasonic G85 (which is here called G80, its successor is the G81), married with an old and manual focus Contax/Yashica/Zeiss 50mm/1.7 lens.

And yes, nice results. My main and now only camera is the Olympus OM-D E-M10, which is comparable, and like Kirk I wanted to take a walk with that camera today. I could have used one of my older and manual Olympus lenses from the OM system – I have the 50mm in both versions, with apertures of 1.4 and 1.8. Or I could have used the Zuiko ED Digital 50mm/2 Macro which I also love and which gives me autofocus with the right adapter. But instead, I just used the 45mm/1.8 from the newer Olympus Micro Four Thirds series of lenses, and like Kirk, I let it on f/2 almost all of the time.

So here are some impressions from my walk around noon today:

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Thanks for viewing.

On LensCulture: Nadav Kander

“I was driven beyond belief. I was driven to be accepted, to be respected. Without that drive, how are you ever going to do that? Rather, you’re going to go to a party and carry on with your life. In the end, I don’t think one gets ‘discovered’—rather, it happens for those individuals who fight to have their work seen.”

A very good article about one of the great and still living photographers, Nadav Kander, at LensCulture. Fair warning: contains some nude images, so maybe NSFW in/at/around your area.

Enjoy.

Quote of the day, August 26th, 2017

“A well focused 12 megapixel camera trumps a poorly focused 24 megapixel camera any day of the week. A photograph of a captivating subject taken with a camera that’s mediocre at high ISOs still beats another noise free image of a coffee cup in a coffee shot every time. Waiting for the perfect camera is a fool’s errand.”

by Kirk Tuck, professional photographer in Austin, Texas, U.S.A., in a blog post of his.

Thanks for reading.

A picture of me, taking a picture

During yesterday’s lunch break, Arno and I walked around the houses a bit. I had my camera with me, taking some photos, and he captured me doing it:

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This was taken with his mobile phone. And what I took is this:

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More photos of me, taken by Arno can be seen in his Google Photos folder.

Thanks for viewing.

Portraiture, naturally

Happy new year again, everyone.

I’ve been thinking about my (and others’) photography lately, and watched lots of videos, and read lots of other photographers’ blogs. I also looked at my own photos, and identified some favourite ones. Almost all of them are photos of family members (including “our” cat). And that reminded me of my original reasons to get better cameras since late 2009.

It’s this personal photography which is most important to me. Keeping memories about family, friends, colleagues, strangers, simply people I’ve met or with whom I live. Thinking about 2017, I’d say that I have everything I need gear-wise. Ok; I could use some more lights (and/or modifiers for them), or maybe some more lenses. But mostly I have what I need – a very nice and capable little camera with prime (single focal length) lenses, and a telephoto zoom should I need some more reach and/or the perspective you have with these.

So I started the new year with what I like the most: take some portraits, naturally. Like this one:

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Zuleikha, January 2017

A propos the title of this short article, “Portraiture, naturally” – got that one from a video of British photographer David Thorpe on Youtube. David is a very interesting photographer, and both his Youtube channel as well as his blog are very worthy of having a look and read. Like us, he has discovered the Micro Four Thirds system as pretty much ideal for his needs, and this after a life-long career as a photojournalist. I’m always glad when I discover people like him, and some of his writings are just so funny – take for instance his description of a “gentleman” from his article about “The Gentleman’s Lens“:

“The gentleman has always held an emblematic status in England. A gentleman is good at what he does but not superb. That would involve too much effort, which is ungentlemanly. A gentleman is superior but without effort. Effort would imply that he is concerned about what others think. That would be pandering and decidedly ungentlemanly. The essence of a gentleman is summed up by the old English aristocracy’s mode of dress. For example, an expensive, but not too expensive jacket which has been allowed to become a bit ratty, with leather patches on the elbows and frayed – but not too frayed – lapels. The message of the jacket is that the wearer has enough money but not too much (vulgar!), though almost certainly more than you because he allows a good quality jacket to become scruffy whereas you, not being a gentleman, would probably have had it repaired or – horror! – bought a new one. The message is that so superior are you that you do not even deign to compete.”

Time- and priceless, just as his discovery why gorgeous women in glamorous bars never give him a second look (that’s in another of his articles, but I’ll leave that discovery for yourself). The man surely can make you laugh. And he has world-class photos.

Ok, enough for now. As always, thanks for reading.