All Posts Filed in ‘gear

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Halloween

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Last year my girlfriend Amy (Vintage Reflection) and I put on a a little photoshoot with some friends for Halloween. We had a laugh, it was good fun and we definitely needed to do it again. On the run up to Halloween this year I started looking for inspiration. Not going to lie, it was around June that I started looking! I was looking at Benjamin Von Wong’s work and came across this absolutely awesome blog post on Ultra Violet light. I then saw the good humored review on DigitalRev which also featured UV light.

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Ok so now I had the lighting style that I wanted in my head, I then needed to work out no how to use this and what lights to get. So I set about researching the lights it would seem that ultraviolet lights do not put out a great deal of light. So I would need a few different lights to give me the flexibility I need, I order two of these bulbs and then one of these strip lights and to attach the smaller bulbs to light stands I got these rather handy clips.

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Make-up well, that was a no brainer really, UV make up was the obvious choice but what should we do? Well Amy and I sat and looked through lots on ideas on Pintrest and settled on Sugar Skulls from Day of the Dead. Our mate Jermaine, well he fancied the idea of a Joker, I think both ideas were great and lent themselves really well do the UV lighting.

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During the shoot we played around with exposure times, getting some motion blur into the shots. Moving the strip around, lighting from beneath and above gave some different effects too. I just wish I had the flash heads that Benjamin Von Wong was using, sadly I don’t have £10k to drop on them. I had actually wanted to use rear curtain sync with my flash guns to try different lighting style but sadly my triggers won’t allow me to do that. That being said in hindsight, I could have manually popped the flash on a long exposure. Next time yeah?

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Anyway, hoped you like them, I had a laugh making them.

If you liked these ones, why don’t you check out what I shot last year.

SHOOTINGDAVE

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Brighton

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This weekend the Girl and I went down to Brighton, I’ve not been since I did the London to Brighton bike ride a few years ago. The weather was kinda crappy but it was cool to have a mooch around somewhere different. I also rented a Canon 17-40mm f/4 L USM from LensLocker to take for a walk around. Now not all of the photos you will see are taken with the wide zoom but my 50mm f/1.4 USM (I never leave home without it). I still don’t know how well I get a long with zoom lenses, they are cool and they are useful but I often end up just twisting it to the one extreme or the other and leaving it there…kind of makes me just want to use a wide angle prime instead. The 17-40L is pretty cool, it behaves well, no flare and no CA…I don’t know if I love it. It’s one of those lenses that I need rather than want. What wide angle lenses do you use?

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SHOOTINGDAVE

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New Year…New Gear

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I can literally think of no better way to start 2014 than breaking into the full frame world…

New Year New GearNow the weather has been SHIT! I am itching to go out and use this thing! So far I have had to make do with just taking photos of it as you can see above and on my instagramHowever I did manage to sneak it out in the pouring rain on New Years Eve and took it to a local coffee shop.

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We took the little man down there as well. Needless to say he got soaked. Here a few photos from the outing…I know they aren’t that interesting.

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Obviously I cannot come to any decent conclusions as yet but from first experiences… it is so nice to have a 50mm be a 50mm again! Also low-light performance, what can I say, I actually have low-light performance now! The 50D wasn’t exactly a massive fan of shooting in the dark, at all.

SHOOTINGDAVE

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Filling the frame

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As you may or may not know, I shoot with a Canon 50D. That’s right, a crop sensor camera. I’m not going to write about the drawbacks/benefits of shooting in this manor as that really is up to the individual photographer to decide. What I am going to talk to you about it my experience with a Canon 5D MkIII. A camera that  I rented a few weeks back.
lusting_for_full_frame_001Now I am no stranger to shooting on a full frame camera, my first camera was in fact a Canon AE-1 Program and last time I checked, that was full frame. However I don’t think I ever truly appreciated the difference between full frame and crop. I guess we can put that down to experience or lack of.

lusting_for_full_frame_002I am also no stranger to shooting on the 5D MkIII, I got hired to shoot at a gallery where I was given a 5D MkIII and a 24-105 f/4 L USM lens to shoot with. However, even then, the difference was hard to judge.

lusting_for_full_frame_003It wasn’t until I was left alone with the rental camera, it wasn’t until I started using my lenses on it that I really noticed the difference. My most used lens since I got into digital photography is the Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM. It is a focal length that I know like the back of my hand. It is a focal length that I know what the picture is going to look like before I even take it. I did a Project50 with this lens which is where you take a photo a day for 50 days with a 50mm lens – 50 days – 50 photos – 50mm

lusting_for_full_frame_004However the focal length is a lie. on my camera (Canon 50D) it is not equivalent to 50mm. Due to the crop factor it is actually 80mm – which is pretty much a telephoto focal length – or a nice portrait length.

lusting_for_full_frame_005So you can imagine the difference I saw when used it on a full frame body.

lusting_for_full_frame_006Suddenly a 50mm became a wide angle lens! OK admittedly it isn’t but it makes the lens a lot more usable as a walk about lens which is really nice. Still not 100% sold on whether or no it is a good portrait lens on full frame or not.

lusting_for_full_frame_007But for walking around a grabbing a few coffees, it does seem to be ideal.

lusting_for_full_frame_008Speaking of which, we popped over to this little coffee place in Balham called Trinity Stores – a local cafe which serves up great coffee…

lusting_for_full_frame_009…and even nicer food! This hansom bastard above was a Chicken, Bacon and Avocado club sandwich! Poor sod didn’t stand a chance against my appetite!

lusting_for_full_frame_010I liked this place and I liked the fact that glass fronted building makes it feel like there is no barrier separating the inside with the outside. If you are ever South of the Thames, you should pay them a visit!

lusting_for_full_frame_011SO back to the camera…what else did I like about it?

lusting_for_full_frame_012Well at the wedding it I recently shot (blog post to follow) it proved to be a valuable asset. The low light performance is ridiculous! I mean it’s stupid! My camera is really only usable up to ISO640 but I had no problem shooting at ISO6400 at the wedding. Also when noise does become visible, it is completely different to noise on a crop sensor. It looks a lot more like film grain rather digital artifacting. This is one of the reasons why I don’t shoot at high ISO’s on my 50D is the noise just ruins the way the image looks. On 5DMkIII the noise (when present) was much more pleasing to look at. It almost added to the feel of the image.

lusting_for_full_frame_013So I should get saving a sell my 50D right? Wrong! When I get my 5D MkIII (and I will) I will definitely keep my 50D. There is no way I could get rid of it. Not because I am sentimental about it, far from it. It’s just that it is still an amazing camera. Sure it may only have 9 focus points but they are all cross type. It has a pretty decent frame rate…6.3fps last time I checked. It has no problem grabbing focus either. Also the 1.6 crop factor is actually quite a benefit for me when I am out on track. It gets me that little bit closer to the action.

lusting_for_full_frame_014If I am honest, I am utterly sold on the idea of getting one. I love this camera, I love the extra width and shallower DoF you get. The noise is just so nice when it does appear and the camera is so simple to use. I hated giving it back after my rental period was up…but I will be buying one in the future. (I am also taking donations).

Oh and if you were wondering where I rented the camera from, it was they guys down at Lens Locker be sure to give them a shout if you want to hire a camera or a lens or both! Just be sure to let them know I sent you 😉

SHOOTINGDAVE

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Gear Review: Hahnel Combi TF Triggers

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Hahnel Combi TF

I have had these triggeres for about a two years or so now and I can honestly say that I would recommend them to anyone. (Providing they had a need for triggers) They come in two varieties, Canon/Nikon.

They came by recommendation from a chap in a  Jessops store which is not a place I normally take advice from but turns out on this occasion that it was a good one.

Since getting them I have probably had less misfires than you can count on one hand. They have only refused to fire twice, once because I accidentally changed the channel they were on and the other because it was -10 degrees centigrade. I can’t really blame them for that seeing as I don’t even want to operate in that kind of temperature.

The cool thing about this system is that it is so incredibly simple to use. You put the trigger on your camera and put the receiver onto the flash and BAM! You are good to go! Also you can reverse the set up so you can mount the receiver to the camera and hold the trigger to remotely fire the camera. Pretty neat huh!? The basic kit comes with one trigger and one receiver but if you need to upgrade, you can also buy additional receivers. They work right out of the box so you don’t have to fanny about setting them up.

One thing I have noticed with these is that if you leave the batteries in the receiver and put them in your bag, they can go through batteries quite quickly, so it might be an idea to remove them when not in use.

There is one feature that I would really like to have from this kit and that is the ability to fire the flashes on the second curtain rather than the first. I really want that. BADLY!

Want one? Get one!