Archive for September, 2009

Lighting and Portraits

I feel like I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately, photographically speaking. I really have had a hard time seeing anything interesting to capture. But, since I did get a light meter a few weeks ago I wanted to practice with it. Stella has been very cooperative lately so she’s been my main subject. I did manage to get a few pictures of the other girls, but they were a bit more on the “hostile model” side.

The first photo is Stella in front of a backdrop in the basement. The main light is a Canon 430EX strobe shooting into a bounce umbrella. The background light is a Vivitar 285HV shooting directly into the background, but angled down to get the differential exposure that I wanted around Stella’s head. Since the flash unit is on the ground, the bottom is brighter than the top. I’m not sure how I like that effect, but it’s not a bad picture. I’m trying to remember to pose, get the hands occupied, watch the height of the light so the catch lights line up correctly, etc.

The second picture was taken outside, in the shade. I wanted to try lighting from behind to get a bit of a rim light on Stella’s hair, and use a reflector to provide the main light. So, the setup was a snooted Canon 430EX shooting behind Stella and into a silver reflector. The reflector was angled to provide the main light source.

I think that it worked okay, but only okay. It seems a bit flat to me. I may have to play with it some more. A major flaw here (in my opinion) is the lack of distinctive catch lights in her eyes. There is a bit of reflection, but just not enough for my taste.

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A Tale of Two Cameras

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Lucy modeling for me.

I’m at a bit of a crossroads right now with respect to photography. You see, I like to use black and white film. I have made the decision that I’m done with my Pentax K1000, and it is time to replace it. And that’s where my dilemma lies.

I could get a Canon EOS film body (the EOS-3, to be exact) and then I’d get to re-use my lenses whether shooting digital or film. Very sensible. The one tiny issue is that, see, it’s fully automatic. Just like my digital. I’d sort of like to keep my film experience very, uh, non-automatic. In a discussion over the weekend, the suggestion was made to simply turn all that off and shoot fully manual. It’s a good theory, but I know myself well enough to know that I wouldn’t. I just couldn’t.

My other option is get a different camera. Like a medium format “different” camera. Probably a TLR as I’m cost sensitive. One problem is that my consumables cost really starts to take off. Medium format film is much more expensive than the bulk 35mm I’m using now. Another point is that, unless I get a Mamiya, I’m only using one lens forever on my medium format. Not the end of the world, but still….

I guess logically I would say “Get the Canon EOS body,” but there’s a side of me that wants to get a medium format rig and take it for a whirl.

And meanwhile, indecision is decision.

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Goal!

Goal!

At school Lily has a folder that will hold all of her writing. She has to decorate the folder with pictures of her choice. Yesterday she specifically asked me to get a picture of her scoring a goal so that she could put it on her folder. Perhaps she’s just a bit too comfortable with a camera always pointed at her. Bad parent, bad!

And my alternate “Goal” shot:

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