I have always been fascinated by ringflash photography, but the only ring flashes I have shot extensively with myself have been the compact macro ones.
Large, studio-style flashes have been out of my reach due to some agonizing price tags.
But that has changed. With the appearance of ringflash adapters from several manufacturers, ringflash photography has become if not directly inexpensive then at least approachable. The ringflash adapter is in essence a light modifier, which will fit on your speedlight and transform its light to a ring shape.
I have fooled around with the Orbis adapter lately. Orbis is a New Zealand product, but widely available. I have been very pleased with its capabilities. But before I go into details about the Orbis, let me just briefly describe the physique and principle of a ringflash to you.
Ringflashes fall in two main categories: small ones for macro work and large ones for portraiture and fashion. I'm covering the first category here, and will return to the macro ringflash later.
Continue reading Orbis ringflash adapter.
Back in September after having attended Photokina, I hinted that PocketWizard had something up their sleeves in my podcast from PhotoKina as well as in this blog.
They wouldn't go official with it, but my conversation with Lorenzo Gasparini did leave me with the impression that there was something interesting cooking. As a reply to my question about PocketWizard and exposure control, Lorenzo Gasparini said: There's no exposure control... not at this point.
Continue reading I said so! PW's do it smarter!.
In a recent podcast on High Dynamic Range I mentioned Michael Freeman's book Mastering High Dynamic Range Photography, which is an excellent book on HDR. But I recently got my hands on another Freeman title published by Ilex - ”The Photographer’s Eye” - and I have to say that this is the best how-to book on photography that I have read in a very long time.
The scope of the book is to get the reader to think about the process of creating an image – outer and inner frames, the dynamics, the composition, the exposure, the decisive moment – everything that makes a great picture. Freeman refers to it as designing pictures, and I like that term because it so strongly implies that there is more to it than just pointing the camera and pressing the shutter release.
Continue reading The Photographer’s Eye.
Several people have asked me what gear, software and methods I use to produce the On Location podcasts, and after having replied to several directly and in our forum for podcast feedback, I thought it would be time saving to recap it all and expand a bit here.
I will go through it in the sequence I follow when I make my weekly shows. These are the typical steps:
1) Prepare, research and maybe script
2) Record on location and/or at home
3) Mix and edit the sound
4) Create and tag mp3
5) Create images for the slide show
6) Record mix and edit the sound for the slide show
7) Produce the slide show
In general I use a very low tech, dogma approach to the project, and try to keep gear, software and time used at a minimum.
Continue reading How On Location is produced.
This story is just hilarious! It seems that Canon's service center in Russia has been receiving some complaints, which were a bit surprising - over vacuum cleaners!
And for a good reason, because some one has been selling Canon brand vacuum cleaners, and obviously managed to get others to believe that we were talking brand name products. The looks of the machine with the Canon logo could fool most people and add to that the manual and number plate seen here.
This Canon does hopefully suck.
Thanks to Canon Rumors for the heads up.
I have always loved panoramas, 360 degree images, gigabit pictures, Photosynth and all the other technologies, which combine several pictures into one – or at least into one experience.
The recent time as shown some “real life” examples of these technologies, and I'd like to dig out a couple and illustrate what I mean. Continue reading Great ways of combining images.
As much as I respect renowned celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz I cannot help think what almost any decent photographer could do with a prop dock on a tropical island, Sean Connery all dressed up, lighting gear galore and about a dozen assistants.
She certainly produces nice shots, but then again: with the setup she has (and the paycheck she gets), she'd better.
I had had my eyes on these flash triggers for a while, and had tried to purchase a set since they were first announced. They seemed to be a good compromise between the industry standard in the form of the expensive Pocket Wizards and the cheap so-called eBay-triggers, which are found under a large number of different names.
During Photokina 2008 I got the chance to meet with Korean SM-Development, the company behind the triggers, and managed to bring home a set – one transmitter and two receivers. I have since then used them for almost all my off camera flash shoots, and can now report about my experiences, which are overall very good. Continue reading Flash Waves strobe triggers.
I started this blog back in August 2008, and as a celebration of its first New Year I thought it would be fun to look at the most visited pages I published on the blog since then.
Starting from the tenth spot a small news story on a fancy strap begins (or rather ends) the list, which then consists of a mix of technical, gear-related articles and opinions. My flash modifier series seems quite popular, which is good, but I like the fact that my opinion on the megapixel race and the value of pictures is placed high. Both types of entries will be high on my list in 2009. The first place is somewhat a surprise, but I guess a few references on other blogs and incoming links have lifted my rumor-piece to a first place. The number of visits to the first three entries are about the same, so it's not like a clear winner. I have omitted the front page from the list. Its number is about ten times the top ranking story, so a lot of people see the front page and don't get much further - as it is on most sites.
10 Black Rapid Strap
9 Flash modifiers
8 I filmed with a D90
7 A mini snoot
6 Too many pixels
5 Flash diffusers
4 Flash filters or gels
3 Flash snoots and grids
2 Why your images are worthless
1 Nikon's bigger brother
I usually respect Annie Leibovitz for her work. I read Vanity Fair regularly, and Leibovitz' pictures are always worth some attention. I'm not exactly overwhelmed by her style, her compositions or her lighting skills. My guess is that most skilled professionals would be able to do a lot of what Leibovitz does, if they had the resources that she has. But she sure does a decent job of most assignments given to her.
Continue reading Tasteless espresso.