I’ve just done another product shoot for a friend – this time for Shannon of Forgotten Feline.
I must have a lot of creative and entrepreneurial friends
Shannon/Forgotten Feline is a taxidermist and creates fun and quirky taxidermy – usually mice with fun props in somewhat alternative poses – not your usual stuff. But she’s also doing a line of hats, fascinators, head-pieces and such. It was these that she asked me to photograph.
Setup is similar to my other product shoots:
- White background - over a table.
- Reflector/barn doors light, on a boom, pointing down and back at the background
- White Umbrella camera right pointing down at item
- Silver to subject left bouncing some light at subject and some at background
I could use a third light instead of the reflector but I prefer to keep it simple – also I’ve found that the white umbrella gives a very good spread of light – more than a softbox would.
Here’s a quick diagram:
Before shooting I take a whitebalance setting using a grey card. A colour checker would be better but I don’t have one yet – I’m keeping an eye on eBay etc for cheap ones.
Editing is fairly basic:
- Double checking the white balance
- General exposure adjusting for the whole picture (usually Exposure, Blacks and Shadow sliders)
- Additional exposure for the background in Camera Raw using Quick Mask
- General other tweaks – Clarity, Vibrance, Saturation.
I shoot RAW, edit in AdobeRGB then convert to sRGB for web.
Here are links to her shop and Facebook pages:
Etsy Shop : http://www.etsy.com/shop/forgottenfeline
Facebook Page : https://www.facebook.com/ForgottenFelineCouture
And a selection of the pictures:
There seem to be quite a few Photographer based Documentaries in the works at the moment!
Just seen (via Photo Archive News) that there’s one about Don McCullin showing in London at the moment! May go and see. Although there are a few conflict photography films I have on DVD but yet to watch e.g. Bang Bang Club.
I only realised that Don McCullin was still alive a year or so ago. Since then I’ve :
- Been to see his exhibition at the Imperial war museum which was very impressive – including his famous Nikon which stopped a bullet.
- Just got his autobiography this Christmas (but not read yet) : “Unreasonable Behaviour: An Autobiography”.
- And also realised I’ve lived a couple of streets away from where he grew up in Finsbury Park
Anyway – I have lot of respect for the guy – not just because of photography skill – but how he talks with compassion and emotion about how, what and why he photographed and also the effect it had on him.
Here’s a trailer:
Although not a massive geek in things IT and only a bit in Photography the whole Lytro thing does get the inspiration/geek mojo going – exciting science.
Just seen that Lytro are introducing new software to do “stuff” that is fairly cool:
Although not hugely amazing in terms of being able to walk around a scene or anything like that – it is still rather cool.
If you’re not aware of Lytro – it’s the camera where you can change focus after taking the picture! There are plenty of examples on their YouTube page. When it was first announced I thought – oh – it’ll only be a fad. And I still think it’s a little bit of a fad and will unlikely have a place in “serious” photography or at least for a while yet – mostly as you need a special viewer to use the pictures fully – but I now think it’s rather cool and fun. The “cool” bit is the geeky science behind it – the “light field” technology. As I understand it : when recording the light hitting the sensor (as normal digital cameras do) they can also measure in what direction all the light was travelling in – be it photons or pixels. And with this data – then can calculate where the light would be a bit earlier or later and so mathematically alter where the virtual sensor is – thus changing focal point. I assume that this perspective addition is similar but different mathematics.
When announced I was expecting them to be massive and expensive – but they’re actually quite small – compact camera size!
They’reselling for $499 and $399 so ~ £250 and £320.
Am I tempted to get one – well a little, just for the geekery. Will I ? Probably not, although not new at full price…. Seeing as they don’t currently have an outlet/distributor in the UK I guess 2nd hand ones won’t be available in the UK for a while yet.
Yesterday I did a job for Brad and Ian at Materials Council and Architronic at their stand at the Super Brands London exhibition – part of the London Design Festival. It involved photographing their stand and the surrounding area in the morning before the public turned up and then coming back in the evening for the opening reception.
Photography geekyness wise it’s not overly difficult however there were some areas to keep an eye on. The exhibition is called “Whiter than White” where the Materials Council is displaying some of its white materials. So the areas to keep an eye out are :
White Balance – With mixed lighting (white light panels above, and more orange Tungsten not far away) then white balance is something to keep a close eye on, especially since the title of the display has the word “White” in it – wouldn’t be great if everything was orange! The obvious get-out for this is to shoot RAW and choose the White Balance later in post production – so this is what I did.
Exposure – When you get a viewfinder full of white – and if on some camera automated exposure mode there is the danger that the camera will under expose the white to get it averaged out for middle gray. There are different techniques to counter this – and I used a mix depending on the scenario. When steadily photographing the white material – going up and down the display I switched the camera to manual and set the exposure myself. The lighting on the display was fairly even so this was made possible. At other times when moving around photographing people around the display etc – I generally used Aperture Priority set to 2.8 for nice shallow depth of field, but set the camera to exposure compensation of +1/3. This could on occasion be not enough, or too much – but since I was shooting RAW this gives more leave-way to change the exposure later on.
With post production the trick is to get the material to be white, but not blow-out the details. Also while shooting and editing the old term of “expose to the right” applies i.e. exposing so that the historgram sides to the right – more white, but without over exposing. The point of this is that making things darker in photoshop etc tends to be better than making them lighter – as noise etc becomes more evident then.
Here’s a quick selection of the opening night. Got in rather late but edited a quick few for their newsletter today.
if you’re wandering about the Gin – then they were the sponsors of the Architronic areas (presentation area turned bar for the reception)
I took a few pictures of some of the areas – and will upload a couple of pictures later on.
In collaboration with Super Brands London – the Tent London show is going on at the same time in another part of the venue – The Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane. I was quite surprised to see this as it was upstairs and a LOT bigger than I expected – it was huge. As far as I can tell – Super Brands was for the larger more established designer companies, and then Tent was for the smaller companies – either starting out or still relatively small scale.
Unfortunately – as I was working I didn’t really have the time to photograph them but there’s plenty to see.
If you’re into interior or furniture/fittings design and free over the weekend – I highly suggest going. Mind you – open House London is also on this weekend. Entrance for Super Brands/Tent London is £8 in advance or £10 on the door for adults. Less for kids etc.
Nice little video on/from Magnum photographer Christopher Anderson.
Talks briefly about how he became a photographer, “fell” into war/conflict photography and then out again.
Bit of an arty piece – uses words such as “engaged”, “conciousness” etc which all too often can be used in far too much of a high-brow manner, but in a very down to earth way. I appreciate that.
Unfortunately I can’t embed it – wordpress.com doesn’t like script embedding – boo WordPress/oolaya
Something I came across in my Photography news feeds:
Since jacobs have gone bust – a lot of their stock is being auctioned off. This will be over four days and has already started see:
All the good stuff i.e. SLR related is on day 3 – so still available.
There is a potential for huge bargains since there is so much going on sale in so little time. BUT I think the snag is you need to collect in person 10-12th September 9am to 4pm, and more-so for me – I think the location is the Jacobs offices in Leicester. Darn. Would love a couple of cheap primes.
Interesting shortish (22min) interview with Steve McCurry (photographer of the famous “Afghan girl” photo :
I thought people might be interested in:
Here’s another with him in a bit, following him down the street:
I notice in this second one he completely swaps over his hands and grip compared to what one would normally do.
(Originally found on PetaPixel)
I’ve just finished editing my first shoot in a while – for my friend Charlie Pyne. She’s a Bass player – both Double Bass and Bass Guitar and is working on her website and needed some photos. We were trying for a few looks – vintage-esque, smart and a bit rock-ish – so we had a few outfit and background changes. Below is a small selection of what we came up with. I’ve converted all the colour to black and white and done some toning but only two of those below.
Although it was in my home-studio it was quite light outside so on the first few on grey I tried natural light only as there was a window to one side – I quite liked how they came out – getting shallow depth of field – something I can’t do with studio lights as they’re too powerful.
Did some retouching on them but was made easy by Charlie being Charlie – pretty with lovely skin/hair/eyes etc etc She’s a lovely person too so managed to get some fun natural looks.
I’ll load some more onto my site in due course and update here when Charlie has her website up. In the mean time here’s a duo she’s part of : Strawberry & Cream.
Although I’ve seen a lot of stencil street art – I’ve always wondered if there’s any photography biased street art around – and I’ve just come across some thanks to a post on PetaPixel about street artist.
This is the second post on him atually – they also did a story on him when he won the $100,000 TED award.
Initially he seemed to be pasting his photographs/art in poor and deprived areas – mostly slums around the world – be it for art and creativity and to highlight the plight of people living in such areas.
As well as interesting and creative photography he uses them in very creative and artistic ways – I really like it, but don’t take my word for it – check out his website :http://www.jr-art.net/
Post the grant from TED he’s started the Inside Out Project. Here’s the short TED talk:
If I was campaigning for some worth cause I’d be seriously tempted to partake. Ha may even consider it when not. I like his conditions – no credit, no sponsorship, no branding, no marketing etc.
EDIT: Ah – there has been an Inside Out project in London : http://www.insideoutproject.net/#@section=view_project@project=272
Well …. seems I’ve been passed over again
Just a quick post to mention that Pulitzer Prize 2012 winners have been announced.
The number of photography awards can vary years to year, this year there are two:
Feature Photography – Craig F. Walker of The Denver Post
Breaking News Photography – Massoud Hossaini of Agence France-Presse
Here’s the winner for Breaking News Photography (see above link for more details):
For those interested in the Photography of Pulitzer – there is a book called “Moments – The Pulitzer Prize Winning Photographs” however it’s now out of print so hard to get hold of. Also as years go buy it’s been updated so there are numerous versions of the book too. I have one, think the 2002 version – I’ve yet to go through it in detail. I THINK there might be a version from 2007.
Photography is cool right.
So is (some) painting with light.
So is stencil art.
Well take a look-see at these great combination by photographer Fabrice Wittner.
More at the above links.
A total bit of randomness to the random banter blog. Just found this funny so had to share.
Concious I’ve not been posting anything for a while – not even Random stuff or bit’s of interest – thought I’d share this as found on fstoppers.
How crazy is this car rig!
Follow either Fstoppers or Vimeo links for more info.
I can’t help thinking that with that level of retouching – they don’t really need that fancy rig though. Mind you – well aware that need and want are very different things – must have been fun to play with it.
Although I know of and have seen 5×4 cameras – having never used one I’ve not REALLY known what it takes to take and produce a picture using one. And of course in the physical world of film – “producing a picture” also means making a print.
Found this on PetaPixel, found it interesting and thought I’d share.
Another video from Fstoppers.
Starting to watch this video I thought I’d be posting it here as an example of photographs being taken/used to make a difference in the world i.e. political leverage. But that sort of content is minimal in the video – instead – I just love his narrative – it’s a lovely mix of technical and arty – sometimes photographers can be terribly technical (myself included) or overly arty-farty and up their own backsides – but Jack Gescheidt‘s narrative is just an honest, forthright and dignified account of his project. Love the fact he’s so honest - admitting that as well as reasons of anonymity – nudes are used as an impact tool – to get people talking.
So filed under Bits of Interest + Ramblings
Yes – I am one of those people that will shop around and research things like hell. I blame my father – he does the same and has drilled “research” into us as kids. But in all honesty – I do enjoy it. I’m not a gambling man – but I do enjoy saving money – each to their own.
I usually do this for anything in £ double figures and above really – putting varying amount of effort into it.
I have on occasion thought that I should do a website for it and automate it – but by now there are plenty of those around e.g. http://www.camerapricebuster.co.uk (great site BTW)
They sometimes fall short though – and at the moment, because I’m looking to go to Kenya to cover a friends wedding next week – I’m looking for memory cards. I have 2x 4Gb and a couple others e.g. 1x 2Gb and 1x 1Gb But as I shoot RAW at weddings – they have a habbit of filling up very quickly. In the UK I’ve lugged my netbook around with me and offloaded cards onto there as they get full – but in Kenya I want to be less reliant on it – so decided to buy a big card – either 16Gb or 32Gb – so had a look around.
The main two makes in terms of pro cards are Lexar and Sandisk – so I’ve decided to stick with those. There seems to be two main speeds level available at the moment – 400x and 600x
My cards at the moment – from those mentioned above I have 3 Sandisk and 1 Lexar – the most recent 3 being Sandisk – but I’m not averse to trying Lexar again…. especially if the price is right.
So here are the Pro level Compact Flash cards that I found on the main sites :
|UDAM7 – 100Mb/s||128Gb||£635|
(7day = 7dayshop; Warehouse = warehouse express
Since I’m not shooting video or sports – I think size will be the main priority here, and also ease in a way – if 2x16Gb cost the same as one 32Gb – I’d go for the 32 just so that I don’t have to swap out.
On a couple of lines – there is quite some saving to be had! E.g. compare the 16Gb 600x at 7dayshop for £80 compared to that at Warehouse Express for £139! A saving of £59 on an £80 item! Shopping around is not to be dismissed. I have bought stuff with Warehouse express for work before and they’re good suppliers – so it’s surprising to see this kind of difference.
If you’re wondering – yes the 128Gb card exists! And no I won’t buy it
For my 32Gb craving, and on price generally I think I’m going to go for the Lexar 400x 32Gb from either Amazon or MyMemory – checking on postage costs and stock levels. Hope Lexar won’t let me down and make me regret swaping from Sandisk – shouldn’t do really.
One final word of warning – memory cards are one of the most copied / counterfited items around. So if a price is too good to be true from an eBay or Amazon Marketplace seller – then it probably is too good. Have a search – there are lots of counterfeit guides on eBay for checking your cards.
Just a quick “Bits of interest” share rather than a long ramble.
Found this to be interesting and inspiring (Chris Buck on Subject Interaction) :
Seen on PetaPixel.
But they saw it on Strobist.
When reading tips about what to work on or on turning pro – they often mention – do what inspires YOU. This way you’ll produce better work and won’t loose direction and interest.
I do have a habit of just doing whatever lands in my lap rather than creatively following what I want to do. Hopefulyl will do soon ….. as soon as this backlog is out the way