When we think about advances in camera technology, we tend to think of things like better digital sensors, fancy radio flash triggers, and such. If you’re like me, the last thing you think about improving is your camera strap.
After all, what is there to improve? The strap has a simple job: to hang the camera around your neck and never break. If you want to get fancy, you get a stretchy neoprene strap for added comfort. Mission accomplished.
Or so I thought until I tried the BlackRapid RS-7, my first “sling” style strap.
The winning outfit. Looks strange? Read the explanation below. Click to enlarge
I love shooting fashion shows. They combine several of my favorite aspects of event photography into one package: interesting lighting, beautiful people, music, and night-life. (more…)
Phottix Strato II Multi
If you follow my product reviews at my photography training website, you probably know that the Phottix Strato has long been my favorite radio trigger for off-camera flash photography.
(If you want to learn why, you can watch my video review of the Strato.)
Well, the geniuses at Phottix have just improved on perfection by creating the new STRATO II MULTI flash trigger. (more…)
I have a serious impulse-buying problem at my local camera store.
The other day I went in for a $5 lens cap and came out with $75 worth of stuff, including the book ON CAMERA FLASH: Techniques for Digital Wedding and Portrait Photography by Neil van Niekerk. I should know better than to even peek at the book rack.
But in this case I’m really glad I did. Because this book kicks ass.
Now, I consider myself a fairly advanced flash photographer. After all, I sell a course on off-camera flash photography on my own website. I know a thing or two. But of course, the more you learn about photography, the more you discover there is to learn.
That’s why I’m always thrilled to find a book like this one. (more…)
Click to enlarge
Last week I participated in a “Models and Photographers” Meetup event where I took the photo at left. If you’re an aspiring photographer, or even a pro looking to meet new models or experiment with new techniques, I highly recommend using Meetups (www.meetup.com) as a low-cost, low-stress way to get out in the field and work with like-minded people.
In my city there are at least a dozen photography Meetup groups, many of which hold events at least once per week. Some Meetups charge a small fee to help cover administrative costs, but usually everyone involved is working for trade to build their portfolios (called TFP). At last week’s meetup I found half-a-dozen would-be models and a similar number of photographers all working hard to create great images together with no financial pressure, and no expectations except that any good photos would be provided to the model afterward.
My photo above got some attention from the group, because other photographers who shot the same model in the same location did not get equally good results. They asked me to explain how I made the shot, and I happily obliged (sharing our techniques is one purpose of this group). I thought you might enjoy the explanation as well. (more…)
Just some of the gear I'm packing
Preparing for Burning Man is only slightly less daunting than packing for a polar expedition — or perhaps a mission to Mars is a better analogy.
Each year my packing list grows longer and more complex (it now spans 8 pages of closely-spaced typing), and each year I nevertheless forget several important items and end up cursing myself out there in the Nevada desert when I discover that I forgot to bring, say, the superglue that I need to re-attach the sole of my shoe so that I don’t have to walk 3 miles back to camp barefoot on the blistering, 120-degree surface of the alkaline lakebed. Or the charger for my camera battery. Or my can opener. Or, even worse, the beer. Or any one of the hundreds of other things that make life bearable in the extreme environment of Burning Man. (more…)
The Hoop Unit performs in the lobby
In a previous post I wrote about shooting an indoor event in a dark warehouse with the Lumiquest 80/20 with on-camera flash. Today we’re going to look at another option for event photography: using the Canon OC-E3 Off Camera Shoe Cord (or a generic equivalent) to get the flash off the camera.
If you want to view the photos before reading about them, see the gallery here.
Last night I attended the San Diego Burning Man Film Festival at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park. You can always count on the Burning Man community to turn out in fanciful costumes that make great photos.
Since I knew I’d be holding the camera in one hand and the flash in the other hand all night, I chose my gear based on weight: the super-light Rebel 350D and the 430EX flash (each considerably lighter than carrying my 40D and 580EXII). Unfortunately, my workhorse lens for indoor photography, the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS, is a monster, so the camera is still quite a brick to hand-hold all night. Not to mention front-heavy as hell on the tiny Rebel body. But these are the trade-offs we make. (more…)
The annual Burning Man festival held in the Nevada desert is a photographer’s dream: A surreal landscape populated by bizarre machines, monstrous, mind-boggling art projects, and the world’s most outrageously costumed characters all trying to outdo each other with sheer creativity. Each year approximately 50,000 people attend this weeklong event, and for many photographers it is the annual pilgrimage not to be missed. (more…)
If you’d like to view the photos before reading about it, see New Year’s Eve Party.
It’s the worst possible conditions for photography: a vast, crowded warehouse, minimal light, and no ceiling to bounce a flash from. But somehow we’ve gotta light this scene! We know that on-camera flash sucks and will make everything look flat and washed out like a DMV driver’s license photo. So my first inclination is to carry a wireless-triggered speedlite in my outstretched left hand while shooting with the camera in my right. That would get a nice angle on the light and make everyone pretty.
But this is New Year’s Eve. I’m wearing a tux, and a speedlite won’t fit in my pocket, and besides, I want to keep one hand free to embrace friends or carry a cocktail.
The solution? (more…)