Geoff Guthro Photography: Blog http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog en-us (C) Geoff Guthro Photography geoff@geoffguthrophotography.com (Geoff Guthro Photography) Wed, 18 Apr 2018 16:31:00 GMT Wed, 18 Apr 2018 16:31:00 GMT http://geoffguthrophotography.com/img/s9/v18/u929457075-o535764138-50.jpg Geoff Guthro Photography: Blog http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog 80 120 What was the power of the Flash? http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2018/4/what-was-the-power-of-the-flash I refer to a post about a year ago called Lighting Product Photography. In that post I was explaining how products sold online could benefit with addition of a nice photo of the product. I was recently asked a question relating to that post. What was the power of the Flash?

There are many ways to light a product and with the equipment at hand, I was very limited. The setup was very simple consisting of a Speedlight/Flash shooting through a 5 in 1 reflector using the diffusion portion as seen below. I'm showing this to give a sense of where we are going with todays topic. What was the power of the Flash? 

I used to ask this same thing when reading/watching a tutorial and thinking that if I had exactly the same settings I would get exactly those results. The problem was, I wasn't getting those results. But why? Well there are a whole host of reasons for this, one being the camera settings, but in reality the first exposure should have no ambient light in the shot. That way you only light the product with the flash.

 

There are so many other variables like type, power and distance. If using a modifier, it would also depend on the type and how many stops of light-loss the diffusion creates. Flash/Speedlights range in different power/intensities. For instance, the Nikon SB5000 AF Speedlight  @ full power is approximately +0.59 EV exposure, 1.51x power or intensity, 1.23x distance or fstop number of the Nikon SB700 AF Speedlight using the guide numbers @ 35mm zoom. Now the SB5000 would need to be set at a lower setting to achieve the same exposure as the SB700 @ full power. 

To help understand the power value of each speedlight. The SB5000 Guide # is 34.5 m/113 ft (at 35 mm zoom head position)  (FX format, standard illumination pattern) (at ISO 100). The SB700 Guide # is 28 m/ 92 ft. (at 35mm zoom head position) (FX format, standard illumination pattern) (at ISO 100). I would refer to Understanding Guide Numbers. It gives an excellent detailed explanation and has a Flash Comparison Calculator and a Guide Number Calculator.

For or a bit of fun, here is an example using the Cameron W600  Manual Flash vs the Orlit RT 610 TTL  Monolight.

The difference is the monolight is approximately +2.53 EV exposure, 5.79x power or intensity, 2.41x distance or fstop number to the flash, the monolight being either with a reflector or bare bulb and the flash being at 24mm zoom for widest coverage of each, with the distance to the subject the same. I should be really using a light meter to meter the Fstop value of light output to show you. I'm using a styro-head as my subject. 

This first shot is with the flash @ 24mm zoom, distance 6' aperture F11. This gives me a guide number of 66 and on the GN chart  @ 24mm zoom in the flash manual the closest is GN65 and the matching output is 1/2 power. Note the histogram for reference. 

The below exposure is the monolight bare bulb at half power same distance. It was surprisingly close to the flash, about 1/2 of an fstop over exposed. Not the two plus stops difference I was expecting but hey, remember its just for fun and not that scientific of an experimentation. There are too many unknowns like the monolight guide number, is it for bare bulb or the reflector that was supplied?  

The next exposure was taken with the reflector attached. I believe the manufacturer had the reflector attached when calculating the guide number for this model. Check out the histogram below. Notice how it is over exposed?

I dropped down two stops on the monolight to create the next exposure. Now we are back in the ballpark. I could come down even more, about 1/3 and be really close to the flash/speedlight as seen in the histogram below below. 

 

Back to the topic, What was the power of the flash? Judging by the photo, the flash is approximately 2' to 3' away from the glasses using an aperture of F11(at ISO 100). So using the guide number calculation GN = Fstop x Distance m/ft, at F11 and 2ft away the GN would be 22 (@24mm coverage). Now find the GN chart in your manual and the closest GN that matches, tells you what power setting to start at. You may have to adjust your EV some. Keep in mind most flashes have zoom coverage. You would absolutely need to know all the guide numbers if your flash has a zoom. The Cameron W600 zoom ranges from 24-105 and the chart in the manual has the full range of guide numbers for 1/1 down to 1/128 flash outputs. So @24mm, (widest coverage) the closest to GN 22 is GN 23, at 1/16th power. Now 1/16th is my starting point for that particular flash. Since its is going to be over exposed slightly you would adjust the power down. Most flashes adjust by 1/3rds while monolights adjust by 1/10ths giving a bit more control. Remember though, I was using diffusion so that would affect the light output by about one stop. So you could either zoom in the flash to compensate as zooming will increase the intensity (but the spread will be smaller), or adjust the flash power. 

What was the power of the flash?

I guess it depends.

GG

 

]]>
geoff@geoffguthrophotography.com (Geoff Guthro Photography) exposure flash gn guide guide numbers histogram intensity lighting monolight number photography power product speedlight http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2018/4/what-was-the-power-of-the-flash Tue, 17 Apr 2018 03:28:14 GMT
"It is easy to have good quality when you shoot with hasselblad!" http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2018/1/-it-is-easy-to-have-good-quality-when-you-shoot-with-hasselblad  Thinking of what to talk about next, I read this comment posted recently on a photographer's social/media website by someone.

"It is easy to have good quality when you shoot with hasselblad!". 

Today I talk about exactly this subject. The perception that the camera makes a great photograph not the photographer. I've touched on a similar subject before in past blog posts like ( I bought a prime lens and it was not very good ). That post was about a gentleman who bought an F1.8 prime lens and then took it back because the photos were blurry. He thought it was a defective lens when actually it was a defective thought process so to speak. His perception was that it was good in low light. Which is true to some extent but you have to take into consideration that if you open up your aperture too much, the DOF (depth of field) becomes very prevalent. Especially at night in a night club across a table with no lighting other than the house lights but that's besides the point.

So back to "It is easy to have good quality when you shoot with hasselblad!". This was one persons perception. 

The photographer's reply, that this comment was directed at said...

"That's a bit like saying the best novels were written only by authors with the best type writers".

Well said...

Although you do need some equipment, it's understanding the concept of light and shadow that gets you the good quality so to speak. I can take a good quality photo with a pinhole camera by understanding the science of light and shadow if I want. I can produce excellent results from the training I've received and with the equipment I have. 

The above photo is taken using one light with a soft box modifier. So you would think, buy a soft box, put it some where and presto!! a beautiful photo. When in-fact, it's how you use the softbox, or any modifier for that matter that determines softness. You can use a bare bulb studio strobe or flashgun and get a soft light if you know what your doing. With light and shadow that is! 

Learn to control light and shadow and you can do all kinds of good quality of photography. Provided of course you know how to compose the photo. The below photo was taken using one light with a softbox modifier but in a different position. 

"What another photographer uses should never stop anyone from getting to work with what they have."  Replied another.

I love this one and it's so true. Once you learn about light and shadow and how to apply it to your photography aka.. (Composition), then the sky is the limit for what can be created. The below photo was taken using four lights placed in a specific way to try to create a product shot look and feel.

I didn't have a Hasselblad but still managed to get this photo with what I had. Why?.... Because, I learn about light and shadow. I say learn because all aspects of photography are a lifetime of learning and light is no exception.  Practice makes perfect right?

The below photo is a HPNOTIQ liquor bottle product shot. Produced with one light and a lot less expensive camera than Hassleblad. Yet a good quality photo was still produced. Now, lets say I do have a Hassleblad camera and gave it to said person ("It is easy to have good quality when you shoot with hasselblad!"). I do believe they would not produce near the quality of the below photo, which was specifically lit to create this look, by controlling light. One light that is. 

Don't get me wrong. Hasselblad is considered a premier line of camera but, the photographer also says. 

"Yes, different cameras do capture varying image qualities, but it's the emotion and mood of the final image that requires an understanding of composition and light". 

I've met some people that bought a nice camera feeling they would take better photos. They quickly realized that would not happen. The camera then collects dust.

Learn + Practice = Success. This I know improves my work and it's half of the fun! It takes great knowledge, skill and discipline to create a good quality photo. Oh...and that Hassleblad using photographer that the comment was directed at... is a world renowned high end photographer, specializing in product photography and also, my instructor.

It is easy to have good quality.... when you know what your doing!

 

GG

]]>
geoff@geoffguthrophotography.com (Geoff Guthro Photography) camera hassleblad hpnotiq light photo photographer portrait product photography shadow soft box strobe studio http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2018/1/-it-is-easy-to-have-good-quality-when-you-shoot-with-hasselblad Wed, 24 Jan 2018 02:43:05 GMT
Merry Christmas http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2017/12/merry-christmas Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!!

GG

]]>
geoff@geoffguthrophotography.com (Geoff Guthro Photography) http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2017/12/merry-christmas Mon, 25 Dec 2017 00:29:17 GMT
Two Light Product Photo http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2017/11/two-light-product-photo I needed a reason to try my new strip soft box and a new radio trigger system recently purchased. So I thought I would try a product shoot for practice. I just used a product found in our home. It was a small moisturizer product. I've done other simple product photo shoots and even more complex one's with a single light, but today, I wanted to use a two light setup as seen in the below photo.

I set the camera so the back drop light coming from the window was non existent in the first exposure. That way the two light setup would be the only effect on the product. First I used the strip light to see how the product looks adjusting the light power to suit my taste using the radio trigger system. It was a lot better than going to each light to adjust power. Especially if you have a diffused modifier like the strip box and are using a flash gun as in my case.  

Next I turned off the strip light and turned on the other side using a flash gun bounced into a white/black umbrella. Again adjusting the light power until I was happy. If you look at the rim lighting on the blue cap in both photos you can see the result of the two different light modifiers. Above with the strip box the highlight is soft and spread. In contrast as in the below photo the rim lighting by the white/black umbrella is diffused but the width spread is less. 

Then I apply both lights and check out the results. You might have to adjust one of the lights when doing this because more light is in the photo. One might over power the other too much so to speak. Also, adjust the positioning of the lights if needed which I did and also I introduced a white reflector to the front.

Next I wanted to make the product look somewhat more interesting so I propped it up underneath for the first step in this process as seen in the  below photo. This helps to create dimension with the more angles involved. It also lights the top of the cap and highlights the impressed product name with light and shadow making it more legible to read.

You need to keep in mind that you are trying to sell a product with the photo, so reading what the product is would be of great benefit. In this case on the top cap seen above (Loreal Paris) and on the side (Hydra Genius - Extra Dry Skin - Peaux - Tres - Seches.)

Once the angles are set and the product logo or name is to your satisfaction then you are done right?  No way!! I was thinking of what the product was and it was moisturizer. So then I thought introduce some H2O. I poured some water on the glass that it was resting on and then proceeded to mist the top with water from a spray bottle as seen in both above and below photos. This now introduced problems with the top of the cap. The legibility of (Loreal Paris) was severely muted due to over misting. This in turn made the light and shadow distort the writing in the larger water droplets.

To over come this I wiped with a paper towel across the written part of the cap. I then re sprayed the cap lightly leaving the bigger droplets on the outside edges. This took some repeated tries to get it where I was satisfied. The plastic sheen coming from the top caps centre area helps highlight the written portion. 

The other problem was that the water that I poured on the glass was now affecting the white back drop underneath creating a splotchiness look to the photo. You can really see it in the closeup photo prior to the above one. So to combat this I slightly lifted the glass from the backdrop which helped and made it look like it's floating somewhat.

I chose this photo and cropped to portrait version to make a poster or magazine advertising look. The Hydra Genuis portion, I felt was easier to read as there was no shine from the metallic on label. I found the sometimes where I held the reflector would reintroduce the shine and over expose the writing. I think to improve its further I would next time keep all of the glass off of the back drop. It would probably help reduce the textured area's caused by the texture of the back drop in the shadow. All in all, I'm happy with the result and had fun doing this session. 

For a one light setup check out Lighting Product Photography

GG

]]>
geoff@geoffguthrophotography.com (Geoff Guthro Photography) camera flash flashgun hydra genius light loreal paris moisturizer moisturizer product photo photo product softbox stripbox. two light setup umbrella water http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2017/11/two-light-product-photo Mon, 20 Nov 2017 15:48:16 GMT
Enhance your life with SleekLens (Workflow) http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2017/10/enhance-your-life-with-sleek-lens-workflow  Through the Woods - workflow by Sleeklens for (LR) Lightroom. It's a workflow designed with input from professional photographers to enhance and edit your photos. Through the Woods is the landscape portion of their products. It features a one stop shop for your photo edits with all in one presets like, Calm Sunset, Dawn Rising & Shine Into The Sunset to name a few. Quick and to the point. For beginners and pro's alike, an excellent option for your digital darkroom. That's just the start. This workflow also contains numbered presets that range from (Base), (Exposure), (Colour/Correct), (Tone/Tint), (Polish & Vignette). Each numbered preset has many various settings like (1 - Base - Basic Film, Morning Light), (2 - Exposure - Brighten Shadows, Less Highlights), (3 - Colour Correct - Reduce Greens,Yellows ETC.),  (4 - Tone-Tint - Colour Pop, Warm It Up, Cool It Down), (5 - Polish - Punch it up, Sharpen, Add Contrast), (6 - Vignette - Medium Black, Medium White, Subtle Black, Subtle White). I counted 51 presets in all. You follow down the preset # to create your desired finish. 

Kind of like baking, you can create recipes. Your purchase comes with recipes to try. Keep in mind these are for specific photo types and not all recipes will work with each photo. Thats where your creativity comes into play. Speaking of creativity, Through the Woods employs brushes that further extend the versatility of this workflow. In my version there are 30 different brushes for the finer details of your work like (Basics), (Colour), (Effects), (Haze) & (Light) with each having multiple various settings. Each preset and brush are further customizable if you like and the presets/brushes are stackable. 

 

The above and below photo's show the raw un-edited version and the edited version with the Through the Woods workflow presets and brush combination. This is where Sleeklens presets and brushes shine. You can bake in so many details to put your own stamp on your work. They really put some thought into their workflows. 

As with anything there is a learning curve but they get you going on the site with video tutorials and from there the sky is the limit. I had fun at first really baking photos but then tried to get more serious about things and settled down to see first what could I do and second how fast. A couple of the benefits of Sleeklens workflow is along with a professional looking photo, you have more time to shoot and less time infront of the screen. Something all photographers want I'm sure. Don't get me wrong,  Sleeklens is fun to use and you could spend hours tweaking your work, but at the same time you can really put out a quality photo in record time, if you want. It comes in versions for Lightroom and Photoshop. They have many more workflows on their site along with tutorials for all types of photographers and prices to suit any budget. 

 

Enhance your life with the Sleeklens Through the Woods workflow @ www.sleeklens.com

 

GG

]]>
geoff@geoffguthrophotography.com (Geoff Guthro Photography) colour golden landscape light photo photographers sleeklens sun sun rise through the woods water workflow http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2017/10/enhance-your-life-with-sleek-lens-workflow Sun, 01 Oct 2017 15:28:17 GMT
Natural Light Portrait http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2017/9/natural-light-portraits You might have read or heard me describe things about Natural Light Photography or Photographers in previous posts. Things like, a natural light photographer might not be comfortable with using light modification or, you can make a portrait better with light modification. All that is true to some extent, but it does depend on the situation at the time. There are many things that contribute to reasons for using modification or not. Basically, if you understand photography, then you should be able to take great photos period. But.... by understanding light, then you can take really great photos that will separate you from the pack so to speak. You can now create a photo or scene, with or without a light modifier. Light modification helps or inspires creativity when the natural light available is (A). not enough, (B). too much, or (C). control is needed in the required photo. The angle of a harsh light across the face can surely ruin a good portrait. Not enough light can make for a poorly exposed photo, especially if your trying to get good background or composition for a portrait. AKA. Sunset with the sun behind the subject or bright sunlight mid-day. So lets say you don't have any light modifiers in your bag or on your person, what then? Recently, I went out to achieve some kind of portrait. No mods, just natural light, period. What ever the day brings. We went out for a walk through the forest but not with out me promising lunch. Definitely a motivator to get a subject. LOL. The day was mostly cloudy but with sunny periods. The changing light was unpredictable as it was quite windy and that affected the cloud to sun cover, hence the changing type of light.

We found some cover from the sun with the shade of a near by tree. You can see in the above photo the dappled sun on her face. The location is not flattering around her hair line top as also down her nose and across her right eye. To me it looks as if it is almost burned in post LR (lightroom). Also, I felt that the blur of this particular background was creating too much separation, looking somewhat green screened. In this situation, I could have stopped down some on my aperture, to diminish some of the bokeh in the background. Quickly the sun diminished and I captured this below. Again, the separation is too great for my liking for this background.

I could have also cropped some in post, or just went closer and go portrait for camera orientation. This would help but I felt the background would still be somewhat un-interesting. Both above photo's were shot @ ISO100, shutter speed 1/800, F3.5 aperture. The light changed to a nice soft diffused type of light. For some reason today our subject was co-operating and actually posing for the camera so we went to the lake for another shot.  

The photos are nice but they were not what I was looking for in a natural light portrait. I tend to shoot more headshot, so I guess I was looking for more of an actual studio type feel. As we move further I noticed some foliage with a bit of colour that I felt was perfect for a portrait with natural light. The light was still diffused by a thin cloud cover creating a nice soft light similar to a shoot through umbrella or some diffused light source. The larger the light source the softer the light. Even though the sun is a large light source, it is hard as it is very far away making it look small. The thin cloud cover provided the diffusion making it soft and seem larger. 

 

I decided to open up my aperture to create and even softer look with the focus on her face. Not much else is in focus and doesn't need to be. The key here is to get the eyes in focus as the (DOF) depth of field comes into play. I was using my Nikon 85mm 1.8 med-telephoto prime lens (glass) for this session. The above and below photo were shot @ ISO100, Shutter Speed 1/400, Aperture  F1.8

So by understanding light, whether it be artificial or natural, in this case natural with no artificial modification, I'm able to produce a nice Natural Light Portrait. The look of softness in the photo is created by the camera's F1.8 aperture setting combined with the soft natural light provided by the diffused sun with cloud cover.

For more on understanding light checkout this video by Karl Taylor  Types of Light

GG

]]>
geoff@geoffguthrophotography.com (Geoff Guthro Photography) aperture bokeh camera diffused headshot light modification natural natural light natural light portrait photo photography portrait sun understanding light http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2017/9/natural-light-portraits Thu, 07 Sep 2017 01:03:44 GMT
Have Camera, Will Travel - (No Camera? No Problem) - Revisited http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2017/8/no-camera-no-problem-revisited Last year, I did a post (No Camera? No Problem!). We were vacationing in the Almaguin Highlands Region. One day we were in Burks Falls at the covered bridge over looking the area and didn't have my camera, so I used my (Phone). No camera No problem Right? Well... I knew that it was not going to be the best... and it wasn't. Again, you can boast about mega-pixels and all, but the small lens on a phone can only let in so much light. You can't tell me that a tiny lens not much bigger than a pin hole is going to take a better photo than a DSLR with a nice lens (glass). Yes, you can take a good photo but as I said in that post, I will revisit and take a better shot. This year, I did just that.

There is a nice ice cream/ bake shop located in the Burks Falls Welcome Centre. They also have some tables you can sit at on the patio around back. On the front wall of the Welcome Centre is a sign outlining a river walk from the arena to the footbridge below the dam.

The walk dates to the early 1900's. A rail line was built, connecting Burk’s Falls station on the Grand Trunk Railway and the village of Burk’s Falls station on the Magnetawan River. The rail line was mainly used as a freight spur, from the Magnetawan River to the Grand Trunk Line and today, provides the scenic walking trail, (The Heritage River Walk).

I haven't done the walk, but plan to do so in the future. We really went there for the ice cream and I got out my camera this time. No problem. LOL. We made our way to the covered bridge where I took the shot below last time. They days were similar with vastly different out comes. The phone's photo below looks washed out colour wise and a lot of contrast. But hey, in a pinch the phone camera gets you something right? Although, I have not gotten the quality that I would make prints from.

In the below photo using my DSLR, you can even see detail in the shadows. It is picturesque to say the least, with much better result and about as fast as the phone. It was shot in RAW, Manual Mode (ISO 400, 1/1000 @ f8), with minimal post work.

View From Burks FallsView From Burks Falls

I used my 35MM prime lens. I profiled the colour to camera vivid in ( LR ) post, although I could have easily done the same in camera as a RAW file has many advantages over Jpeg. I never shoot Jpeg anymore and haven't for years. One thing, the files are bigger but I'll go into detail on that in a later post. I'm not that worried about storage these days as storage is cheap so there is no reason to shoot Jpeg. I have two SD cards in my camera and have shot for 8hrs solid and didn't even fill them up. I had captured a number of shots along the bridge over looking the area keeping in mind composition. I want a scene, not a snap shot. You could definitely come back and redo this scene in all types of weather and time of day. A nice sunset perhaps? The bridge in the back ground is HWY11, of which you can see the opposite view to here from there. I never noticed this until this year, going up along the HWY. I was glad I went back to try to redo the shot because it is such a beautiful spot as a lot of the Highland Area is. As locals call it and I tend to agree. It's Gods Country.

Have Camera, Will Travel---No Problem!!!

GG   

]]>
geoff@geoffguthrophotography.com (Geoff Guthro Photography) 1900's burks falls colour dam grand trunk railway heritage river walk iso jpeg landscape light magnetawan river photo raw scenic the almaguin highlands region http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2017/8/no-camera-no-problem-revisited Fri, 25 Aug 2017 00:40:47 GMT
Whats In Your Bag? http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2017/7/whats-in-your-bag One of the most in-expensive, highly universal tools a photographer can have is .... a  5 in 1 reflector.  A 5 in what? A 5 in 1 reflector is a disc, consisting of white & black nylon, single-laminated reflective cloth, spring steel crimped framing with diffusion panel cloth wrapped around the spring steel, with gold, black, white, and silver external covers. The covers can be inter-changed in different configurations around the panel to produce different results. They come in various sizes and some can fit into your camera bag, although mine are larger but portable enough to carry around with me.

Here are some of the ways you can utilize this tool to enhance your photography. 

1. Silver reflector. A hard light with specular hi-light from the reflective nature, with a cold tone due to the silver. 

2. Gold reflector. A hard light with specular hi-light, again from the reflective nature, but warm toned due to the gold. 

3. White reflector. A softer light with less specular hi-light. Muted reflective nature due to the neutral white.

4. Black reflector.  A light absorber with no specular hi-light.

5. Diffusion. A very soft wrap around light with soft hi-light.  AKA. Soft box, Shoot thru Umbrella

All of these reflect a bounced light from another source, whether it be from artificial, sun, or just daylight with the exception of the black and diffusion, black being the absorption and diffusion being the shoot through. A natural light photographer might find this an option rather than flash. I do find that natural light photographers, ( not all mind you) tend shoot that way because they feel intimidated using light modification. That being said, by no means am I saying that I'm some kind of light master guru. I'm not. When I got my first set of lights I thought I would be taking great portraits right off the bat. Boy, was I ever wrong! I quickly realized this is a whole other science to learn. It's learning about light and shadow and manipulating the light and shadow.  I'm always learning.

A 5 in 1 helps with all kinds of light modification. Yes there are limitations but the benefits far out weigh the limits to make this such a useful tool for any photographer to have. You don't need a big expensive camera to use these. They can be applied to any form of camera right down to your cell phone camera. In a later post I will show scenarios using a 5 in 1 reflector and the different effects they produce.

I do not get paid by a sponsor to use/promote these but I do use these tools to help get paid... by satisfied clients.

GG

 

]]>
geoff@geoffguthrophotography.com (Geoff Guthro Photography) black diffusion gold light light modifier photography reflector silver white http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2017/7/whats-in-your-bag Mon, 31 Jul 2017 21:00:43 GMT
I bought a prime lens and it was not very good. http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2017/6/i-bought-a-prime-lens-and-it-was-not-very-good I have a mirrorless camera. I bought a prime lens and it was not very good. So I took it back. 

This is what I was told in a recent friendly conversation with a gentlemen about his equipment. I was intrigued for sure as to why it was deemed in his view, as not very good. After all, this brand is a reputable brand and you don't make a product that isn't very good and expect to sell it.  A lens or ( glass) as some would say is a prescision instrument. It requires a vast amount of technology and precision to build it also.  After a bit of inquiry I started to get a picture of what he might be meaning. This gentlemen takes photos on family travel trips and such. He has a zoom lens that came with the camera with a range of about 18 to 140mm. Awesome! So I asked him what the prime lens was aperture wise. He replied f/1.8.  I started to get a sense that this might be the problem. You see at those aperture's you get that beautiful blur background (Bokeh) to bring focus on a subject but... you also have a low or narrow depth of field (DOF). Meaning the parts in focus and parts not. It can also shoot in lower light as the aperture hole is bigger  So was this lens not very good?  Or, not used properly for what it is intended for. So, if you bought a nice expensive mirrorless camera and are not shooting in manual? Then you bought a nice expensive point and shoot and don't really know what to buy next, let alone know the equipment you have already. Which is fine but, my journey includes the art of photography and I love every aspect of it. The lens is awesome believe me but, if you don't know how to use it, then you can't get the maximum potential out of it. There is not one piece of camera equipment that I have bought that I didn't have to learn how to use after I bought it. I only buy what I need and even then sparingly. I also look at reviews online about a product. They tell the tale. You Tube is excellent for real world reviews.

Today I talk briefly of what he might be meaning by, (not very good). In the two photo's below are a pair of water shoes. The first photo has a focal point just past the toe of the shoe towards the middle. The background and foreground of the shoe are out of focus as the rest of the photo.

The photo below has the focal point at the toe and everything else is out of focus. So if your using AF (Auto Focus) mode it will choose where to focus on, hence the two different looks of both photo's.

Both above photos were shot at F2.8 and not even down to F1.8, which would create more bokeh but have even less depth of field (DOF) as demonstrated in the photo below. Not much in focus but it does draw you to the subject with a blur background and foreground. Otherwise the subject would get lost in the photo.

So maybe you would use these aperture's for a portrait and not get much in focus. Especially in AF (Auto Focus) as it again would pick the focus points. To combat this choose manual focus and select your focal point. But remember if your down to a low aperture not much is in focus. Therefore you would need to select the proper aperture for the subject. 

In the photo below, I wanted to show the can of cola but in a way the shows focus on the can, not the park in the background . You can still tell its a park but your drawn to the pop can first. The can is a certain width so the DOF had to be a consideration. I chose F3.5 for this photo. Notice the DOF? You can really see it just at the bottom of the pop can as a thin focus point across the bench. Remember though, the closer the subject is to the camera, the more shallow your depth of field becomes, along with a more narrow (FOV) field of view.  A couple of things to keep in mind when doing portraits, as people are not flat, like the can is not flat, so that coupled with a low aperture would greatly affect the outcome. If shot at F1.8 the DOF would make most of the can out of focus.

So if you didn't know why this was, then you might think the lens is not very good. When really how it was applied was the cause. If you were in full auto then you would be all over the map so to speak.

 

In the photo below the aperture was at F3.5. The subject is eating at the table with most of his face in focus but the arm, cup and background of the photo is blur. Enough to draw your eyes to his face. Notice the knob of the chair in front? The DOF is greater in this photo but I was close to the subject so the natural lens focus distance came into play. So this is something to keep in mind when composing your shot.  

So why a prime lens? I would use it for portraits/weddings etc. They create a great blurry backgrounds, can generally be sharper, have a shallow depth of field and can shoot in low light and more.  The 85mm F1.8 allows me to create the mood of the photo and create a lovely bokeh and focus on a certain subject.  Visualize the bride getting ready in front of the mirror,  or during the wedding with the camera looking over the shoulder of the groom during vows toward the bride focusing on only the brides eyes. You could create intimate looks at those aperture's. You would need to be in manual though and know how the DOF works with the lens. 

The below photo shows the subject shot in natural light. I had some sun so I turned the subject to help reduce harsh highlights on the face. I set the aperture to F4.5 to create a bokeh to blur the background enough to separate her and to minimize the distraction of the leaves in the background. 

I love my prime lenses and basically only use them now. I have 35mm prime and 85mm med telephoto prime Nikons and they are sharp and perform to a great degree of accuracy. I bought them though after careful consideration of what I'm using them for. I feel that people go buy the nicest stuff out there to show others they know that they are doing or for show. Really you could tell right away if they do or not. I believe that its ok to go cheaper and figure out what you really need as you grow and advance your photography. You'll spend less enjoy more and use your equipment more. Then you know what you want and how to use it. There is a lot more to photography than pointing and shooting.

The photos in the blog were taken with Nikon prime lenses 

For more information about bokeh, depth of field and prime lenses check out  Bokeh,  Depth of Field, Understand distance and depth of field or  Prime Lens Buying Guide  

 

GG

 

]]>
geoff@geoffguthrophotography.com (Geoff Guthro Photography) 35mm 85mm aperture auto focus blur bokeh depth of field dof f1.8 f2.8 f3.5 f4.5 lens nikon photography prime subject http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2017/6/i-bought-a-prime-lens-and-it-was-not-very-good Tue, 20 Jun 2017 19:12:55 GMT
Lighting Product Photography. http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2017/5/lighting-a-product  With today's social media and online selling platforms your product needs to stand out more than ever. You will see many occasions online of possessions or products being sold using a plain old or bad picture. Lighting a product changes the look so much, you could create moods to suit your taste, with the right lighting.

 

Today I'm using a simple one light setup using a speedlight coupled with a 5 in 1 diffuser. I'm attempting to shoot light through the diffuser to create a soft light and minimize harsh highlights. I'm using a white background. I also placed the flash slightly back of the product or glasses as in the above photo. 

This will showcase the product being photographed. I do not have a boom for my flash to go directly overhead, so I had to settle with angling the flash head. I tried to minimize the shadows with another 5 in 1 reflector and positioning the light and camera angle first. There is some post work done in Lightroom to further whiten the background and minimize shadow anomolies. 

The 25 yr ring had a wide black streak from the right side so to help minimize this I placed the reflective portion of the 5 in 1 to the right of the ring. You have to experiment and take time to get it the way you want. I turned the ring this way to get more detail in the written portion and for dimension. Positioning of the second 5 in 1 reflector served to help light the front portion of the ring.

 

The shoot was done in daylight. I set up my camera first, so the exposure was completely black at f11, ISO 100 with shutter speed @ 250, set my flash and started taking shots.  I adjusted my shutter speed as needed to get optimal look and feel. I also moved the light back and forth and this created different looks depending on how the light has cascaded across the product. 

 

If your selling multiple products, or one of value, you should retain a photographer to take care of the presentation. I for one travel to home, business or location and can do multiple products in one shoot, just like the ones you've seen in this post. Even if you are selling some of your old possessions to make some extra cash, presenting your product in a professional manner, can greatly enhance your price and reduce time to sale.

GG

]]>
geoff@geoffguthrophotography.com (Geoff Guthro Photography) 25yr 5 in 1 camera flash glasses iphone light phone photo photography product ring speedlight http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2017/5/lighting-a-product Mon, 15 May 2017 00:44:29 GMT
Interview with a Comedian http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2017/4/interview-with-a-comedian I recently had the opportunity to do a photo session, with local Southern Ontario area Comedian, Craig Churchill. He had approached me to do a series of portraits for promotional / handout purposes. I agreed to the challenge and tried figuring out what might incorporate comic quality to the portrait. 

I have also, inserted a short Q & A  that Craig was kind enough to provide. It is embedded throughout this blog posting.

For this shoot, we used the X- Drop back drop system with the black and white back drops. One medium 5 in 1 reflector. A camera flash bracket and an off-camera flash. The shoot was done in a living room so space was very minimal. Also window light was present and there were enough curtains complete with sheers so that we could utilize that light source for somewhat of a fill. I bounced my flash off the 5 in 1 to create a studio lighting look. With the use of the camera bracket, the flash positioning can remain the same for portrait or landscape.

 

Q. Why comedy?

A. 've given this question some thought and it's tough to answer without coming across as being full of myself. I don't think I have much of the dark, tortured soul you find in a lot of comedians. I just always liked to make my friends laugh growing up. I didn't start in stand-up until a lot later than most people. I did my first set three years ago at the age of 41. But i chalk that up to not knowing the right avenues to pursue this passion. It's easy to start a band when you're a twenty-something in St. John's, Newfoundland, but I had no idea how to break into stand-up at that time and place. Then I spent most of my thirties in Halifax, where I joined up with a public speaking club called Toastmasters that helped me develop my confidence. I don't think I ever had stage-fright, but a big part of stand-up is sharing a point of view and I guess I wasn't ready to do that until now. 

 

One thing I have learned about a comedy portrait is, that it's not always the suspected whacky zany look as you would expect, but more of a serious portrait look, or a straight face with a funny prop that makes it. What? you say. The theory is a sound approach and takes some imagination but when put into practice can produce an excellent result with a satisfied client. 

Q. What is your comedic style? 

A. My jokes tend to be observational in nature, commenting on things like TV commercials and celebrities, although I draw from my personal life as well. My material is usually short form. Currently I think my longest joke is still less than two minutes long. A lot of comics around here - especially the ones I know in Hamilton - tend to more storytellers and are able to pull off longer form pieces. I've been doing this a little less than three years and I'm still working on developing my longer form skills.

Q. Who in the comedy industry inspires you and why? It doesn't have to be a famous person/comic.

A. There are a lot of comics I like and respect - Louis C.K., Patton Oswalt, Lewis Black - but it pretty much starts and ends with George Carlin. Specifically later-in-life Carlin, when he got angry and detached. I think most people enjoy the early seventies Carlin when he did his "Seven Words You Can't Say on Television", but I didn't gravitate to him until I started watching more stand-up comedy in the 80s, and by 1992 when he did his HBO show "Jammin' In New York" I was a disciple. My material is nothinig like his, but his style is something I aspire to, and it's one that you don't see in many others in the business. He chose his words carefully and actually did  his material more like performance pieces. He considered himself a writer who performed his material rather than as a performer who wrote his material. I'm still trying to work out the difference, but I think I get it.

Locally another guy has been a growing influence on me, Gavin Stephens. He of a similar age to me and he seems to have a similar frame of perspective on a lot off issues as me, although he's been in the game a lot longer than I have and has some good advice about surviving the grind. I've spoken to him a few times and he's been really encouraging.

 

After a number of classic finger pointing shots, we decided to throw the theory to the test.

Experimenting with the razor and shaving gel as the prop, Craig seriously thinking about ... To shave or not to shave? I found the black back drop worked well. The contrast helped focus on the prop and subject. Time was minimal as Craig had a show that night, so we focused more on the content and composition, utilizing a simple setup and lighting. 

Q. How do you come up with material? 

A. I love picking apart an idea and finding the absurdities in it that people perhaps never noticed before, or looking at an idea from an unexpected perspective. For example, the whole idea of the Tooth Fairy. A child can lose a tooth, put it under his or her pillow, and "magically" the tooth is gone the next morning and in its place there's a couple of dollars. I thought to myself "why doesn't the same thing happen if that kid is in an accident and loses a finger?"

 

We did one shot through a side door window just after a huge rain storm. It was originally colour, but this B & W version, I felt gave more to the photo.  There are challenges with making this shot. Fogging of the glass from breathing for and reflection. To help minimize the reflection in the glass, my assistant held up the black back drop behind me. Craig held his breath to control the glass fogging up.  

Q. In your opinion, how is the state of comedy today?

A. Comedy today is in a weird state. There are a lot of comics out there. I actually don't venture into Toronto much, but even in the satellite cities - Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Brantford - there are a lot of comics out there, and quite a lot of them are really good. And there are a lot of comedy rooms in those cities giving them an opportunity to hone their craft, or perfect their art. There are a lot of problems in the local comedy industry but I don't see the comedians themselves as a problem. Most bad or lazy comics will kind of weed themselves out, so I don't worry too much about that. The biggest obstacle to a successful stand-up career, especially in Canada, is getting the public motivated enough to get out and see a show in a time where any and all forms of entertainment can be streamed onto your phone. The number of shows I've done where the audience was basically the other comedians is higher than I want to admit. If people don't get out to see live comedy, the venues won't host it, or won't pay well if they do host it.

Craig Churchill

Twitter - @TheyCallMeCarg

 

Thanks Craig 

 

I had a lot of fun working with Craig. It really showed through in the results and he was easy to work with. His standup routines are really funny and he does a great Mick Jagger stint. We will be going out again, trying out door stuff with the same concept. I have some other ideas to try and will post the results in the future.

So you heard the man. Get out and see the show!! 

 

GG.

]]>
geoff@geoffguthrophotography.com (Geoff Guthro Photography) 5 in one Brantford Halifax Hamilton Kitchener-Waterloo London Toronto X- Drop back drop camera colour comedian comedy comic flash flash bracket funny photo photography portrait prop southern ontario http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2017/4/interview-with-a-comedian Sat, 15 Apr 2017 04:11:30 GMT
When Nature Calls http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2016/9/when-nature-calls When Nature Calls, I like to head out to one of my local conservation areas and hangout. Photo opportunities are out there but you have to find them and... Get out there!! I love to take my camera and try new techniques or just practice. Earlier in the summer I had stumbled upon a real gem. The Fletcher Creek Ecological Preserve off of Gore Rd on Concession 7. Recently I was on solo hiking/camping trip near by and went to explore the area. I was out here with my son previously in the summer but he could not complete the hike. I knew at some point I would be back.

.

The temperature that day was about 27C. It was hot in the sun but nice in the shade. I brought only the camera. No camera bag or gear. You can see the trail route on the map photo above. Walking a nice trail system with my camera in hand, I came across a stream. It was a beautiful area. You could walk bit down stream and I noticed how clear the water was. I adjusted my ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed, as the light in the area was significantly darker than other areas of the trail and I tried a couple of photos. 

One downstream and one upstream. 

In the above photo I had held the camera down low crouching on some rocks and you can see the foreground and background was blurry. I was thinking I needed more light but lowering the aperture which was @ f6.3 was not so wise to gain the light. Shutter speed could be manipulated too but too slow as in this situation, @ 1/30th of a second with no tripod was not going to work either and didn't. The tripod could have made things much more stable and I could use the slower shutter speed to catch the water flowing. So in this case (meaning handheld) my ISO @ 1000 could have been changed along with a tighter aperture for sharpness. I would still have to up my shutter speed enough to handle camera shake.  Also, the background highlights are blown out. With two different areas of light I could have used a flash for the foreground and exposed for the background.  This gives me a reason to go back and re-shoot this. Take my time and bring my gear. Practice makes perfect. Again, you can learn all the theory you want but unless you get out there you will not get those results. Thats why Nature is perfect for Photography. 

As I made my way through a nice winding path it opened up to a beautiful old quarry. With camera settings re adjusted. (ISO 100, @ f8, Shutter Speed @ 250). The Above photo is from the first lookout facing north. This is a beautiful area with clear water running through it. There are three main lookouts around the quarry that explain its history. 

This was an old limestone quarry the Hamilton Conservation Authority had purchased in the late 80's. In the early 90's they made it the preserve and proceeded to naturalize the area. 

Notice how clear the water is. I was up on a ledge and could still see the rocks under the water. This area has a spring running through it. I had to be mindful of th suns position in the photos. There were very few clouds so I had adjusted my exposure when shooting towards the sun to find a happy medium between the sky and the shadows in the trees. Exposing for the Sky would create darker shadows in the trees. Exposing for the Trees and shadowed areas would blow out the sky. I wanted it to be more like what I was seeing.

A view facing East from the second lookout area. Notice the clouds?  The sun, a hard light source, was slightly to my above right so shadows can be an issue. You can still see rock detail in the shadows. Plus you can see the tree detail. This is just how the day looked. Awesome!! 

Looking west the suns position was more in front of the camera to the left. Blue Skies Smiling At Me.

In this view, again some cloud detail in the distance, but also detail in the tree shadows made for a beautiful photo. I would have liked more actual cloud in the sky as it would help create more depth in the photo. You can walk down and explore the whole area. In fact, a couple was having a picnic to the right of this photo. They even had a newborn. Its a very peaceful serene area. The people I came across along the trail were very friendly. But how could you not be on a day like this. 

For more on this Ecological Preserve click here Fletcher Creek Ecological Preserve

GG

]]>
geoff@geoffguthrophotography.com (Geoff Guthro Photography) Fletcher Creek Ecological Preserve Gore Rd concession 7 forest iso limestone photo quarry shutter speed spring sun sunny trail trails water http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2016/9/when-nature-calls Wed, 21 Sep 2016 09:48:56 GMT
No Camera? No Problem! http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2016/8/no-camera-no Recently, I had vacationed in Northern Ontario's Almaguin Highlands, near the village of South River. During one of our afternoon car ride adventures, I didn't have my camera handy, so I whipped out my iPhone 6 to grab some snaps. This is a view from the covered footbridge in the village of Burk's Falls. I can revisit to this place to photograph with my DSLR and improve this scene properly. My iPhone has replaced the point and shoot though, for quick snapshots. I repeat ( point and shoot ) not my DSLR. Anyone who believes that the average camera phone can replace DSLR is sorely mis-guided. (Hint) Do not use the digital zoom on the iPhone. It will severely degrade your photograph. Digital zoom on a phone has along way to go to be acceptable in my opinion. 

Burkes Falls OntarioA view from the covered footbridge.

There is an Ice Cream/Bake Shop right before the covered footbridge. Bring cash as they don't take debit or visa but the ice cream is well worth it. Plus the muffins looked delicious. Outside of the shop is a plaque telling of the falls history and how it generated power for electricity until 1960. It started out powering the area woodworking mills. 

The plaque reads:

BURK'S FALLS HYDRO-ELECTRIC DEVELOPMENT  

 

Local woodworking industries first used Burk's Falls as a source of power in 1855. At this point the Magnetawan River which rises in Algonquin Park and flows into Georgian Bay drops 28 feet. In 1904 a rock-fill crib dam was built across the river. The development was reconstructed in 1923 and new generating units were installed. The plant was owned and operated by Knight Brothers Limited, a woodworking firm. In 1950, when the municipality became associated with the Hydro system, the Burk's Falls Generating Station was acquired by Ontario Hydro. Continuing in operation for another decade, the 245-kilowatt development was retired from service in 1960.

    

ERECTED BY ONTARIO HYDRO

 

Also, check out the Heritage River Walk where the covered foot bridge is located here:  Burk's Falls

GG

]]>
geoff@geoffguthrophotography.com (Geoff Guthro Photography) Burk's Falls Ontario burk's falls camera cloud falls footbridge iPhone6 landscape north ontario photo photograph rocks sun trees up north vacation water http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2016/8/no-camera-no Mon, 29 Aug 2016 21:28:41 GMT
All Creatures Great and.... Small http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2016/7/all-creatures-great-and-small One thing I love about still photography is, you can study the photo and really get into your subject .  In the beginning of my photography journey, I took photos of just about everything. I was trying to find out what type of photographer I was. ( Still Am ) LOL One of the more interesting subjects I found was small things close up. Something most humanoids don't do much. Look at the small things in life. There are all types and so many interesting shapes structure and colours. I didn't use any special macro or close up lens but tried to get close enough to really see the subject. Some are hand held ( hands out front ). Some are through the view finder or with a tripod. The point is, I just went out and tried to shoot photos using the basic, a camera and an 18 -55 mm or 70- 300mm  glass (lens).

In the above photo, I remember just being out in a field kneeling down and looking in the grass. I tried to get as close as possible without disturbing it. Look at the colour. The almost metallic green armour. The leg has small hairs that can help grab. I just find looking at these afterwards interesting and can pass time. Shot at 1/60 sec, f20, ISO200.

I distinctly remember the above photo. I was using my 70 -300mm glass and a Nikon body. I was out for the afternoon with a friend to shoot what ever wildlife we could find in the area. This was in Grimsby Ont. down by the lake. It was in a field with some overgrown brush. My friend had a mono pod and a killer canon zoom glass setup. Why I remember it is... the ticks. God if I had known. My friend wore shorts. I wore pants and afterward I found about five going up my pant leg. Occupational Hazard. The bee looks cool  with the wing movement, the legs ready to land. Notice the blur background. Those were flowers and grass. The bee could have been sharper but this was hand held. No tripod. Shot at 1/1600 sec, f5.6,  ISO400.

This spider above was through some bushes in a conservation field edge. I saw it but put the camera out  closer to frame it. Its wrapping something for later consumption. I love the Black and yellow on the body. The red or orange on its legs. Shot at 1/125 sec, f8, ISO200.

Tiger SwallowtailTiger Swallowtail

This Tiger Swallowtail I had to follow for a while. Its hard to capture a single butterfly fluttering around in a vast space. You can't just run after them. I thought I lost it and went around this pine tree and there it was. Beautiful colours and shape. shot at 1/16, f20, ISO 200.

Just a ToadJust a Toad

Just a Toad. I did what a friend suggested. Just go out there. No trail just go out in the bush and you will get something. I got a Toad. This guy posed for me as I was able to actually setup a tripod to take this shot. Hmmmm. My first portrait? Nah couldn't be. Could it? Really? Shot at 1/15, f16, ISO 1600 using 70-300mm glass.

This tree swallow I found at Christie Conservation. They have bird houses set up for them. You have to be careful as to not disturb them. They will attack you. They are quite small but can pack a punch when flying. One hit my Nikon 70-300mm glass hood as I was trying to shoot a photo of it Coming at me. This shot was with a tripod. I waited a bit and it came out. If you had a remote trigger it would be better but at this time I had not invested in one. But still I captured some pretty interesting subjects. Some people wonder where to I find this stuff. I say just look all around you. So if your just beginning your photo journey. Or, wondering what to shoot photo wise and bored. Just grab your camera get out side and think....

All Creatures Great and Small. 

AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II   

AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED

GG

]]>
geoff@geoffguthrophotography.com (Geoff Guthro Photography) 300mm 55mm bee butterfly colour creatures glass green lens nikon orange photo photography spider tiger swallowtail toad tree swallow yellow http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2016/7/all-creatures-great-and-small Mon, 04 Jul 2016 11:30:15 GMT
Whats In Your Bag? http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2016/5/whats-in-your-bag Awhile back I had done a segment of whats in your bag using the tripod as the subject. Todays subject? (The Stroboframe Camera Flip) by Tiffen. Why would you want a flash bracket?  Well there are a number of reasons, one of which, it gets the flash off camera. Flash on camera, if used right can be fine, but it can create anomalies within the photo that are not so desirable. Why use a bracket if I can bounce flash to simulate off camera light? True. Off camera light can be simulated by bouncing the flash of of a wall or ceiling. 

Stroboframe Camera FlipBuy Item

Camera Flip Specifications: 

Net Weight: 15.4 oz.
Bracket Height: 9.5″
Nominal Lens-to-Flash Distance: 12″
Includes: Shoe mount, 1/4″-20 camera mounting knob, cork base pad

I find in some cases when going from horizontal to vertical composition, the flash cannot achieve the same bounce positioning due to the flash head swivel limitations. This is the main reason I use the bracket.

When using the bracket you can still use TTL mode or go manual if you choose. You will also need a hot-shoe cord to connect the flash to the camera. If you have Umbrellas or Softboxes and aren't using wireless triggers, chances are you have the cord already. You can still mount the bracket to a tripod and again as mentioned earlier bounce onto a reflector or wall to create a nice soft off camera look in horizontal or vertical positions. In wedding photography a bracket is often used. It does add weight so over time you might find you have a few sore muscles.

To sooth that I recommend rubbing the money you made taking the photos on the sore spots. I find this helps. (joke) LOL

For more on camera brackets check out this video from B&H photo.  Photography Tips: Preventing Unwanted Shadows

GG

 

 

]]>
geoff@geoffguthrophotography.com (Geoff Guthro Photography) camera camera flip flash flash bracket horizontal' hot shoe off camera on camera photography stroboframe tiffen vertical wedding wedding photography http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2016/5/whats-in-your-bag Sat, 28 May 2016 13:50:14 GMT
Natures Gift to Photography - A Photo Opportunity http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2016/4/natures-beauty---a-photo-opportunity Natures beauty. There are many types of landscape photo opportunities. The key is... you need to either have the camera with you at all times or recognize those opportunities and act upon them. A few years ago I happened upon a scene and got a beautiful photo. I talk about it in a previous post called A Moment In Time. It featured a boat house with fog burning off of the water. It was magical and the scene was gone in a few minutes. There was a lot of luck as far as timing goes but actually seeing and reacting to it is harder than you think. For a moment in time I actually thought of not capturing it. So, on March 24th 2016 there was such an opportunity. I was hearing the previous few days that our area was going to experience freezing rain. Freezing rain causes all kinds of damage to trees and such. It also provides some beautiful photographic scenery. The trees were nicely coated with ice and it was still raining. It was around noon hour, I noticed that there was some fog. I wanted to get a nice scene of the ice on the trees but the fog reminded me of a few years ago. Opportunity!! This fog, was not going burn off as there was no sun shining through. I was going to go to Christie Conservation but a serious accident happened on HWY 52. It was closed and was going to be, all day. I decided to go to the Eramosa Karsk. I thought with freezing rain, the roads would be in bad condition. The Karsk was a close location. Upon arriving, I saw the gate was closed. Wow! Closed? I thought it was probably because of the trees and the amount of ice on them. Trees get quite damaged as everybody knows so the potential for danger was great. I was thinking of going home but turned into the Albion Falls parking lot. There is a trail that goes to a rail trail. I thought of getting something with the trees bent over and the trail going straight or something. I took a couple of warm up photos.

 

​In this weather, its quite dangerous to be around water. The creek was high and running fast so I was sticking to the trail and the fence line. I stuck to the top of Falls area too. Going down into the gorge would be foolish. Safety #1. You might hear that you need to go where nobody goes to  (GET THE SHOT) so to speak but that is not always true. Composition, weather conditions etc... can greatly affect the Photo's ambience and look. Natures Gift to Photography. Weather conditions. I had two for sure, fog with freezing rain... aka ICE. 

 

The trees look all dressed up. It's quite beautiful to walk and see. I'm fortunate to live in an area rich with forests and trails. The city has done a good job of providing this. You really can get away from it all just 5 min from the house. 

 

I did go further up the trail but I was getting wet and so was the camera. I did not want to chance much more. The tree and straight trail photo I had imagined wasn't coming together so I headed back, all the while taking pictures as the scenery was beautiful in its own way.

​It wasn't until I got back to the falls reservoir that I saw it. Exposed it. Composed it. Waited until there were no cars and... was able to produce the photo below

H2O in its three states ( Liquid/Water, Solid/Ice, Gas/Fog ) help make this scene.

 

 A beautiful scene with the help of Mother Nature. H2O in its three states ( Liquid/Water, Solid/Ice and Gas/Fog ) help make up this scene. ​Natures gift to Photography. I'm glad I went out that day and captured some of natures beauty.

GG

]]>
geoff@geoffguthrophotography.com (Geoff Guthro Photography) albion falls beauty fog gas ice landscape liquid nature photo photography scenery solid trees water http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2016/4/natures-beauty---a-photo-opportunity Sat, 02 Apr 2016 16:06:11 GMT
It's all Black & White to Me http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2016/3/before-colour-there-was-black-and-white People tell me all the time, they love black & white photography. It brings a certain mood to a photograph landscape or portrait and more. Some colour photo's actually look better done black & white. With the modern camera of today shooting in RAW format allows it to be an instant reality. The RAW information is just like its from the camera. I've learned over the years that winter photography is best done black & white. A co-worker of mine had bought me a four hundred and fifty page book of photos done by Amsel Adams. I noticed Adams did black & white winter scenes that were stunning. A lot depends on location but even locally there are many opportunities to capture some B&W. This scene below worked well this way. Colour versions just didn't work. The brown mud, trees with no leaves etc.. didn't lend anything to the shot so I thought B&W

I like the contrast between the snow and water. The boardwalk was interesting also with the contrasting shadows and texture on the top boards. Its really a combination of shades, ranging from black through grey to white

 

For portraiture it can be just as pleasing to the eye as colour. Principles of lighting can still apply. Black & white photo's can still be over/under exposed etc.... You can shoot natural light, use modifiers, strobes, flash etc.... all of that can still be the same to light your subject.

 The above and below photos were shot in natural light.

 

Wedding photography demands a certain ratio of black & white to colour.

Not too much but enough to break up the colour. One client mentioned the good ratio of black & white to colour photo's in a recent wedding shoot I had done. 

It can be a photo saver too. The photo above was not the best looking in colour. It was the contrast of colour and shadow. I believe I bounced the flash up too high. I thought try converting it to black & white and it was a favourite to many. The black and white gave it a 20's or 30's type feel/look. A sellable photo saved by converting to B&W.

It's all black & white to me.

GG  

 

]]>
geoff@geoffguthrophotography.com (Geoff Guthro Photography) Amsel Adams RAW black black and white camera colour grey landscape light modifier photo photography portrait shades snow wedding white http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2016/3/before-colour-there-was-black-and-white Sat, 05 Mar 2016 18:13:55 GMT
Off Camera Fill Flash for Portrait Outdoors http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2016/2/off-camera-fill-flash-outdoors-for-portraits Whats there to taking a picture.  Just point and shoot right?  I hear that a lot. I used to feel this way until I started to take photography seriously. Once I started doing that, I quickly realized how much I did not know about photography. First, the composition, the camera and settings ( manual vs all other modes), light etc...the list goes on. Wait!! Did I say Light?  I recall when I first started to study light and its importance with regards to photography. I'm still learning about light. You can manipulate light or create light to compose a certain look or mood. Outdoors there is an abundance of light, but... at different temperatures and intensities it can and will be a challenge for portraiture. Challenges like getting proper exposure, foreground vs background. One or the other might be under or over exposed. I love pointing things like this out to clients or friends. It helps them realize that there is more to photography than pointing and shooting. It helps them see why a photographer might charge what he does. Once people realize the time and effort goes into a photo, they don't mind paying for it. Remember, a Pro makes it look easy.  Why?  Because they are a Pro!! They do it all the time, so it looks easy to us. But...... doing, is a different story. I showed a client a photo contest I had entered. We looked at the photos in the contest and then the winner. I had pointed out that although it did win the contest, it could have been done differently, where as the sky would not be blown out. I explained that, in that situation, the sky could have been exposed properly for detail but the inner scene would be dark so a flash would have to be used to fill in the darker area. When the client went home, he looked at some photos he took and saw the skies blown out. This was something he did not realize before. I had ruined his photo's or impressions of them.  I look at it as, I've helped him improve the photos he will take in the future. 

Todays post demonstrates the difference using off camera fill flash and natural light. I went to the Eramosa Karsk, in Hamilton Ontario, back in October to practice shooting portraits in a forest setting. I brought my 42" reflective umbrella and stand to mount the flash on.  I had gone from constant lights to flash and wanted to practice using it in a real type setting, like I was on a paid portrait shoot. We walked through the trail system and scouted out some possible locations within. The first was a small bridge which in the end was not an ideal location. For todays purposes the photos used here are a good demonstration of off camera flash vs natural light. I had setup the umbrella just to the left of the camera about 45 degrees above the subject.

 Photo #1 shot using no flash.

  Natural LightISO 100, shutter speed 1/125 sec at f/5.0, Flash did not fire.

Photo # 2 with off camera fill flash.

   Using Fill FlashISO 100, shutter speed 1/125 sec at f/5.0, Flash did fire.

You can see the difference in the detail the first photo is sort of dull looking where as in the second photo the subjects shadows are filled in creating less of a raccoon look in the eye area and less shadow under the neck. It also creates a catch light in the subjects eyes and illuminates the face and hair. How much power you use  will change the outcome of the photo. Too much and the subject looks photoshopped or green screened on a backdrop. Adjust the flash power to your liking though to create just the right look for you. Later in the shoot I put the flash on the camera but bounced off a 5 in 1 reflector ( white side ) which I held behind the camera to the left. This still gave a fill flash look in tight areas or where space is minimal. I don't use the camera's own flash as it is really limited for what it can do. Maybe as a trigger for a setup without TTL cord or wireless triggers. Too much ambient light though and it would be useless. I shoot all manual, flash and camera. This gives me the most control over the final product. 

 

GG

]]>
geoff@geoffguthrophotography.com (Geoff Guthro Photography) eramosa karsk fill flash flash forest hamilton ontario natural light off camera fill flash outdoor photography portrait http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2016/2/off-camera-fill-flash-outdoors-for-portraits Wed, 10 Feb 2016 23:08:27 GMT
You Wanted The Best... (Photo Memories) http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2016/1/you-wanted-the-best-photo-memories Photography captures events passed. Whether it be moments ago or decades ago. People, love photos. People, love memories. Photography can bring back memories long past. Some of my favourite are from a time not long ago.  

YOU WANTED THE BEST. YOU GOT THE BEST. THE HOTTEST BAND IN THE WORLD!!! 

​​One of the greatest introductions ever.

For me, it all started back in September 1975 but this time is from August 2010. I was fresh off seeing KISS in Burgettstown PA, 5th row back. What a show that was. All I can say is AWESOME. Fast forward a couple of weeks and now we are in Darien Lake. An equally AWESOME show. Quite the story too. My KISS experiences have been....... Well, lets put it this way. Not many people have been able to have had the experiences that I've had with regards to KISS.  I'm sure many are just as magical. This particular concert was no exception.

The Morning

I remember the morning of August 13th 2010. KISS was playing in Darien Lake and I wanted to go.... bad. I phoned a friend to see if she wanted to go. She was in, but had Med School till 3pm. Perfect!!. I could go order the tickets and pick them up at the window in Darien Lake. Well.... 3pm rolled around and past. We didn't hook up until after 6pm and now with a 60 min or more drive, plus the border wait, I was concerned. We made a stop Tim Horton's for coffee at the Casablanca exit of the QEW Niagara from Hamilton. There were a lot of people in the building but my friend was very adept at cutting through crowds to the front of the lines and then soon we were on our way with coffee in hand.

The Border

At the border, there were guards everywhere. There where two RV's off to one side on the border crossing back to Canada. A guard walked by and asked if we saw anyone go by here. I replied that i didn't see anyone but the guards. They were definitely looking for someone. He tapped on the window of the car infront to look at them as they were facing away. I thought we would be there for ever and it was getting later. Soon after, were on our way and pulled into the park. It was getting  darker now. Not long until show time. I really wanted to see the begining. My friend had not seen the likes of KISS before and was a big Nickleback fan. We walked along looking for a ticket window and we found ourselves going away from the venue. Now I'm worried but we back tracked and found the window and got our prized tickets. Twenty Five rows back, dead centre. Now going through the turnstile I can hear The Who's, Won't Get Fooled Again ending. I knew the curtain was up, revealing the KISS logo in the centre.  We hear the rumble...... and the crowd cheering!!! My heart is pounding now because good luck finding your seat in a time like this. It was dark and everyone was focused on what was coming. We frantically looked for our seats and after a couple of failed attempts we found them. I was in a row and asking people in the row behind where these seats were. A KISS ARMY brethren, and thats what KISS fans are. If you've never been to a KISS event whether it be a concert or not I highly recommend you go. Anyway, a KISS ARMY brethren told me I was at my proper seat just as they were saying.

YOU WANTED THE BEST. YOU GOT THE BEST. THE HOTTEST BAND IN THE WORLD!!!!! KISS.

The Concert

I literally set my camera bag down, pulled out my daughters point and shoot (FUJI Fine PIX) camera and started shooting photos. I was actually amazed at what I captured. What a show too!! # 7.  Below are some of the captured memories during the concert.

KISSKISS

Any later and I would have missed the opening. KISS rises over the drum kit. I snapped a number of shots of the show. It was hard to balance the photography and watching the show. 

KISSKISS

I had no idea what I would get. My dream was (and still is) to do some photography of KISS from the pit upfront. We were Twenty Five rows back for all of these photos. I was pushing the limits of this camera for sure. 

KISS Balls of FireKISS Balls of Fire

You could feel the heat from the fireballs on your face and the beat of the drums in your heart. 

Eric SingerEric Singer

Being in the centre of the amphitheatre was a bonus. Zooming in, I was able to capture some cool stuff. Look at the blur of Eric Singer's stick. You can still see his face throughout.

The Star ChildThe Star ChildPaul on the Carousel. Darien Lake on August 13th 2010

Paul on the carousel. Looking right at me. I love this shot. The night sky in the background was perfect. Almost like a studio look. Remember, this is a (Fuji Fine PIX) point and shoot I was using. I could only imagine what I could capture if I had my Nikon SLR and 70 -300 MM glass.

Gene SimmonsGene Simmons

The Demon. Gene Himself. He loves his roll and loves KISS. Nobody does the demon like Gene. If you listen closely, Gene is actually a very accomplished bass player. An intricate part of the KISS machine. One lucky guy bought this guitar for $5000.00 and was presented with it after the show. 

KISSKISS

One of the most awesome things is the KISS ARMY. You can't help but feel the camaraderie. Everyone singing.

KISS on FireKISS on Fire

Everybody getting into the show. I've never been asked to sit down at a KISS show. Everyone is doing the same thing. 

KISS Rock and Roll All NiteKISS Rock and Roll All Nite

Time to...... Rock And Roll All Nite And Party Every Day!!!

KISS KonfettiKISS Konfetti

The confetti, one of the best parts of the show. My friend said, although she was not a big fan of their music, hands down, it was the best show she had ever seen. I'm so glad I have these photos. I still remember it like it was yesterday. These photos bring back so much happiness and joy.

 

Who knows, maybe one day I'll be in the pit at a KISS show.

 

People over there LET ME HEAR YA!!

GG

]]>
geoff@geoffguthrophotography.com (Geoff Guthro Photography) Concert Concert Photography Darien Lake Gene Simmons KISS Paul Stanley Photo Memories Photography http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2016/1/you-wanted-the-best-photo-memories Tue, 19 Jan 2016 13:20:15 GMT
Wine Bottle with Natural Light http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2015/11/the-sun-grapes-and-a-bottle-of-wine Today, I talk about a scene I did with a bottle of wine, grapes and a glass, using natural light. Light is essential in photography and there are many types. Understanding and using it is a whole journey in itself. There are lots of Natural Light Photography opportunities out there and when you start to understand and study light you can manipulate it to create some pretty awesome pictures without the use of strobe or flash. You might need some kind of light modifier. It depends on your location in relation to the light.

It was a sunny day in May, much like an earlier bottle shoot that I did a couple of years ago. I brought minimal gear, but I was glad I brought what I did. There were some challenges to overcome and I used what I had, which was a camera, tripod, remote trigger, 5 in 1 light modifier disc, light stand and a black backdrop. I knew what vision I wanted and the composition is very similar to that earlier shoot I mentioned above. One bottle, some fruit and a glass. I positioned the glass, fruit and bottle on the table and took some test shots ( exposure, white balance, color calibration ) and got a feel for how wanted it to look as seen in Photo #1 below. 

1.

When doing a shoot you usually run into some sort of challenge, so having good trouble shooting skills is of great benefit. One of the challenges I faced was the over all harsh light. Even though the subject was not in direct light, it was a enough of a hard light source to create the reflections on the bottle. You will notice in Photo #2, the label has a green stripe going down the right side with white reflection streaks. On the left, is a reflection from the light coming from outside the cove of the pavilion I was in.

2.

You can see where the green streak was coming from ( top right ) in Photo #3. Using my X Drop Black Backdrop,  I was able to drape it over my umbrella light stand with the 5 in one reflector holder. This essentially took light away from the right side of the bottle eliminating the green streak and the other reflections from that side.

3.

Now to handle the left side. I used the 5 in 1 reflector. The diffuser is what I used to create a soft box type of light on the bottle. You can see how close I was to the bottle when shooting with it in Photo #4.

4.

Once I had all in place I found the I did not like positioning. The table had the wood line going up the left side I found it to be distracting so I repositioned the glass, grapes and the camera slightly a bit to create the final shot below. Photo #5

5.

 

GG  

 

]]>
geoff@geoffguthrophotography.com (Geoff Guthro Photography) 5 in 1 bottle flash grapes hard light light natural light photo photography reflector strobes understanding light wine wine bottle http://geoffguthrophotography.com/blog/2015/11/the-sun-grapes-and-a-bottle-of-wine Fri, 06 Nov 2015 20:37:40 GMT