October 29, 2009

Ryan Schude Photography - A "whoa!/hmmm..." experience

No no no...not a ho-hum experience...a "Whoa!--hmmm" (stroke your chin while you say hmmm) experience.

I was reading Scott Kelby's blog today and decided to take a look at a link for Ryan Shude Photography that Scott suggested his readers check out.

Go look at this picture of his and come back here and tell me you didn't have a "what the heck" first reaction with a follow up of "...hmmm, that's actually cool" and then went to look at more.



October 20, 2009

Thank you gadget/techno maker PEOPLE (Canon EOS-1D Mark IV)

I was up late last night at my day job (hmm...that might qualify for an oxymoron) and I was following the Canon announcement of their new Canon EOS-1D Mark IV.  Right after the announcement of the Nikon D3s; wow, the photography world is getting real treats this week!

When I read the specs of the D3s when they came out, my heart pounded a little faster, and I felt a little rush as the blood rushed to my head.  But when I read the specs of the Mark IV, my heart raced and I was immediately trying to figure out how to buy one of these with the rush and intensity of techno/gadget junkie jonesing for a fix.  If the specs prove out, this is going to be a one hell of a camera!

Personally, I like to think of myself as a purist gadget junkie.  I couldn't care less which company creates a cool gadget or piece of technology.  I just feel blessed to be able to engage with it.  Hence I do not care to get myself into the Nikon vs Canon, Apple vs PC, Ford vs Chevy crap fests.  I have found no inner calling or need to find myself a champion for any business or group of corporate shareholders.  If a company puts out an awesome piece of gadgetry or technology, I embrace the essence of that which drives my adrenaline levels...not the brand.

I must admit, however, that I'm in complete awe of the PEOPLE behind the creation of the gadget or technology.  So if the specs prove out on the Mark IV, my sincere congratulations and a heartfelt techno junkie fix set of hugs to the PEOPLE that made the Mark IV, and a honorary congrats to Canon for putting the money and corporate framework in place to allow those talented PEOPLE to follow their dreams by creating a pipeline to which they can push their creativity and skills through to me the end consumer.

If I am lucky, I will not "switch" from Nikon to Canon, but be able to purchase a Canon and some lenses to serve a higher purpose in my creative pursuits as a photographer.  This is a WOW! moment for me in photography.  My heart races at the announcement of the Mark IV like it raced when I saw the Transformers trailer years ago.  My soul rejoices to the PEOPLE that made the Mark IV and Transformers movie a reality for my person to feast upon.

Here are a few links of information I found interesting on the Mark IV....take a close look at Vincent Laforet's recent blog post on the Mark IV's video capabilities...just think of what a couple of PEOPLE did to make this particular blog post and video review a reality as you read...the human spirit and drive is quite impressive!



These are truly happy days fellow photogs!

EOS-1D Mark IV at B&H Photo Video


ps...“Throughout the EOS-1D Mark IV’s development, we’ve carefully studied feedback from our photographers and developed a camera to meet their specific requirements” said Mr. Shinbori, Senior General Manager of Camera Development Center, Canon Inc.

From what I read from Thom Hogan, Nikon could stand to follow Canon's lead on Mr. Shinbori's statement.

October 16, 2009

New Nikon D3s

Cannot wait to get my hands on this one!

Here's a blurb from the Calumet Photo storefront:

"What would you do if the laws of photography changed? With the introduction of the new Nikon D3S, professional photographers around the world will reconsider this question entirely, and re-examine the power, potential and reach that photography can now achieve. The D3S's abilities are so evolutionary that photographers will experience an entirely new level of performance and reativity, pushing them further into the uncharted waters of possibility. Standing on the shoulders of the incredibly fast and versatile D3, the new D3S makes spectacular improvements that will enable you to think and shoot in ways you never thought possible: commercial-quality low-noise images as high as ISO 12800, the ability to shoot HD movies at high ISOs with stereo sound, saving a selected frame from D-Movie as a JPEG for immediate print and web publication, light sensitivity beyond what your own eyes can see clearly, and the consistent accuracy and reliability that Nikon is known for. All of these things are now at your command. The new Nikon flagship will quite literally make you see things differently, and help you approach your next assignment with a new sense of excitement. It's time to redefine the true power of photography and the future of imaging. What could you accomplish if you could redraw the boundaries of photography? Find out, with the D3S."

Nikon brochure.

Adorama D3s

B&H D3s

Calumet Photo D3s


October 8, 2009

Who says you need the right tools?...I do!

Photo by Michael P. Young
 Creative Commons.
For the love of pete, will I ever learn?  They always say the right tools make a job go faster and easier.

In they heyday of my poorboy days, I did almost all of my automotive work myself.  And over the years I was able to assemble a meager tool kit.  For a while the toolkit grew exponentially as compared to previous years due to my working at a hardware store.  So, as you can guess, I was like a kid WORKING in a candy store.  Eee...my paychecks exponentially shrunk as the greedy little payroll trolls in the back accounting office robbed my Peter to pay their Paul as related to my store credit account!

However, there were certain jobs in working on my automobiles where I just plain had to get creative in using what tools I had to get a job done.  And somewhere in the atmosphere above that hot, gravely, black asphalt parking lot of the lowly  apartment complex to which I called home, hangs a tapestry of expletives suspended in a dark black cloud of angst that received it's first breath of life when I crushed my first knuckle on a job where I didn't have the right tool.

In my photographic career, I have often found myself, again, without the right tools to make the job "easy".  Unlike the "omg, I hope this frickin' wrench doesn't slip and sever my finger" fear of automotive repair, when faced with a photographic assignment where I don't have the right equipment (yes, still being plagued by the lack of money thing) , I can usually scrounge around and apply a little creativity to accomplish my shoot with only a bruised and sheepish ego.

And that's exactly what happened with my first low-key photo shoot.  All I had was a 42" white shoot through umbrella, and two small softboxes.  The small softboxes were too small for a full length, so they got relegated to one fill light camera left, and the other a hair light.  The shoot through umbrella would have to be my main light.  But krikey, it spilled light like a stuck pig.  To add salt to the wound, my available distance from the beautiful model to the black seemless paper was fixed and shallow (welcome to on-location, in-home photo shoots!).

So, I needed to find a way to "feather" and flag the light from the fill light and that piggy umbrella.  So I went out to the truck and got my window shades..you know...the ones that you have to fold into a circle in such a way that if you "think" while you fold the damn things, they just keep popping you in the face....but if you just wiggle and wave your hands around like a hula dancer, they just circle up real nice?  One of those did the trick to flag off the spill from the main light hitting the black seemless background.

Now, the fill light. Well, since the fill light was a softbox, I was able to "feather" the light onto the subject at an angle and direction that kept the light from spilling onto the black seemless.  Unfortunately, the fill light was too bright and I didn't have anymore room to move the light back to take advantage of that inverse square law crap related to light intensity.  Nor did I have any ND filters for the flash...remember the poorboy thing here.

I tried using the silver side of the second sun shade to "reflect" light for fill, but I was totally not liking the look.

I did, however,  have access to some ivory sheer material and a portable clothes hanging stand.  I tripled folded up the sheer material, placed the portable clothes hanging thingy in front of the fill light, and draped the triple folded sheer over the clothes hanger and viola....I got my look.
Photo by Michael P. Young – Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons.
So, you might ask:  Is there a new tapestry of curse words hanging over the poor house in which I shot this?  Actually, no...I've learned to control my anger towards inanimate objects (though I till think they try to taunt me!).