Friday, 27 April 2012

Co-assignment #1

Finally got my pictures and can start writing about the assignment.

First of all, kids can be difficult subjects to work with, or at least, they need more time. Sometimes, it is just best to go with the flow and let things happen. Be an observer and take shots as things unfold. I may sound harsh, but that's what we are paid for, right?

Since my friend is the main photographer, I focused on how he worked instead. I must admit I am not good with kids, and still have a lot to learn. Maybe I should just avoid kids.

We started in the house, and make the sofa the main backdrop of the family portrait.
The light setup

Later, we made our way to the playground. Probably a bad idea, since there was a passing rain. The kid wet his shorts and began throwing tantrums. I was tempted to stop the session, but I kept quiet since I was not calling the shots. An assistant should know his place and position.

My on-camera flash was too harsh. The colours were washed out and a hard shadow was casted.

Apparently, the kid was feeling uncomfortable with his wet pants. But portraits shouldn't be just about smiles and laughters :)

Need to keep a watch on my flash in future

Probably the best of the day?

Sunday, 15 April 2012

First Photo Competition

Got called by a friend to join a wine tasting(!) event at a community event, co-organising a photo competition with the theme "Gems" of that neighbourhood.

The day started with congestions along those filter lanes on the road. Makes me wonder how badly our road system is designed, if our public buses are also trapped by these lanes!

This was then followed by a heavier drizzle, and slight hunger, since we had little since the morning. Sat in a 1.5 hour experience sharing by 2 judges, one a nature photographer and the other a wedding photographer. Some nice photos, though I did not get my question posted to them, which was "if writing can improve what you will take". I believe it does, so maybe taking a poetry class helps :)

I must admit that we did not really try hard to get the photo, since his aim was the wine and mine just spending time with some of my oldest gears. We even had a not-so-short lunch before moving out! Nevertheless, I had a venue in mind (due to the weather).

On walking towards the venue, we came across a small shop selling some Polariod stuff. I got myself a pack of PX100 Silver Shade. Hope this is a better stock.

Where's my venue? Right under the nose, I mean the roads: the underground train stations :)

While I had a venue, I had no design. The friend came out with a design to be shot as a passer-by, stepping towards the lens. Fitted the fisheye, off-camera flash, and full manual mode with the remote. Tried a few exposures to get the correct shuttle speed (for the ambience) at 6sec, closed down to f/22 and ISO200, laid the toy on the floor and supported by the lens cover.

Original exposure. Completely forgotten to correct the white balance and correct the flash gel
Post processed. Corrected the white balance and adjust the contrast. Luckily the flash didn't turn out to be too blue.
Of course, we had to submit the original JPEG from the camera. This shot took us about 10-15min :)

The rest of the day was supplemented by a tea break in a Japanese style confectionery, followed by the buffet dinner and a glass of wine (so much for the tasting :). Fun, if you asked, and there are really some nice photos relevant to the theme (though I still cannot understand how some get selected, maybe it's because they were taken by iPhone??).

My takeaway from the experience? Take a writing or poetry lesson (probably it will enhance your creativity), and I finally know there is a Chinese cemetery in that neighbourhood.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Different sides of a face

Can really surprise me how different the sides of a face can look.

Taken with D700 and a 1.5m x 1m white reflector about 1m on the left of camera.
Main light is from the window (glass pane) on the right of camera.
Need to watch the hand under the arm.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Protrait with Artificial Lighting

Tested a setup with 2 lights and reflectors.

Left of camera is full-length reflector (1.5m height) + 1/1 SB700
Right of camera is 80cm circle reflector + 1/16 SB800

About 1m away from subject. Note that focus is not accurate since done manually in quite dark setup.

Discovered I need to watch my histogram more carefully as I seemed to always get the pictures
underexposed by about 2/3 stops than what I like to have.