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  • in reply to: Lights #11947

    CC, thanks for taking the time out to take some shots and post here. Quite informative!

    I’ve got a cheap little set up here at home – two softboxes that do both continuous/strobe, a larger box with grid for my 430EX II, backdrops, reflector and a few other things. I often practice lighting, as my only consistent model is myself. I’ve slowly worked my way up from natural lighting from the window, to single light source to now three. Getting there, but it’s taking some trial and error to get the look I’d like. And after a while, it’s boring shooting oneself.

    It’s always nice to see what others are working with to see what results they get. My cheapo lights aren’t nearly as powerful as I’d like, and on continuous they don’t change in power, so it’s the good ol’ move ’em back and forth trick. But they’re helping me to visualize it before I shoot strobe. My biggest problem that makes me salivate with your studio shots is my ‘studio room’ is tiny. As I’m using a crop camera, it’s made shooting quite a challenge – nearly impossible for my nifty fifty, but the alternative was my nasty kit lens for full-body shots.

    Regarding the light from the window – reminds me of when I was shooting a toddler recently. The bulbs blew out in the room light and my hubby – my biggest supporter and assistant – was fretting about not being able to turn on the lights to help with the shoot. I just smiled. The overhead lights weren’t going to make much difference, dear! 😉

    Thanks again! Interesting read. 😀

    in reply to: picking a photographer #10380

    Bit of a necro – I had a photographer friend come and shoot my wedding. She was not a wedding photog, but more of a product and studio photog. I really liked her portfolio, so I knew she could do well. But being good at one thing doesn’t make you a pro at weddings. Weddings are entirely different beasts and I have insane respect for any photographer who can pull off a beautiful wedding shoot.

    Don’t misunderstand, the photos she did for us at the bargain price we paid for were great and I truly treasure them. Composed well, no bad tilts, some pretty portraits – they captured my wedding day beautifully. But they’re nothing like the dedicated wedding photographers I’ve seen since, with the full kit and kaboodle you see – preparing, table settings, bouquet, cake, rings, dress, heels, make-up etc etc. All those artsy fartsy photos you see in wedding profiles. My husband and I spent hours and money on hand-crafting invites (I designed and we printed and decorated our own), table settings, customised guest boxes and treats. The ring he got me was custom made, and I had his custom ordered as well. I have only one or two photos of those little details we worked hard for.

    So despite all their technical correctness, they don’t have the same coverage, variety and spirit that a wedding photog would have.

    Long story short: if you ever, EVER, have any doubt, just say no. Your wedding cannot be redone if you’re unhappy. I never got any video of my husband and I dancing, even when we spent weeks with a choreographer to learn the steps to our wedding song. To this day it makes me beyond upset because we will never get that moment back, I will never look like that and the moment is gone.

    Pay what you need to pay to ensure your day is captured properly. Regret is hard to swallow. If I could go back and shift money out of somewhere else and had the local photog shoot my wedding (lord, he’s amazing), I would do it in a heartbeat. Remember: my wedding photographer didn’t take “terrible pictures” either, but I still regret not having a true wedding tog behind the camera.

    In 20 years time, your fiance won’t be worried about what togs she passed up for her wedding. She’s going to look at your wedding photos and love (or conversely despise) them. And those memories trump a disagreement over a meh tog.

    in reply to: Delivery #8398

    If I go pro, I plan on offering print packages. I think it’s invaluable, because I am one of the guilty ones that has a disc sitting somewhere collecting dust. A photog friend traveled two states, shot my wedding and burned them on a disc for me before returning home. And as much as I adore the photos, I have yet to get off my ass and get them printed. They certainly don’t deserve to be lost in a plastic sleeve somewhere in a dusty cupboard. To go that extra step to ensure clients have their beautiful work physically in hand is, I believe, important.

    I have print samples displayed of my work in my home, so when family and friends visit, they spot them and can examine the quality of the paper and my work. I also have little paper samples in my camera bag that I take with me.

    These days I get a lot of family and friends asking me for prints after I do a shoot at gatherings. I’ve told them I can send them the file and they can get it printed at Wal-Mart or whatever, but I warn them the quality is terrible and it’s on them. If they want good quality prints and can afford to spend a couple of bucks, I’d be happy to order it for them through the printers I have.

    in reply to: Bunnies and chicks! #8394

    A photographer I followed was offering Easter shoots and was reported to the USDA for it. She posted a long, angry rant on her FB and her website addressing a similar article to that and so on and so forth. She said she used a licensed animal handler and was covered for safety and legal concerns. She said when she called the USDA, there were restrictions for rabbits but not birds, including chicks. I’ve read articles like that and the USDA website. Most of the information is confusing and contradicting. I still don’t quite know what is allowed and what is not, which leads everybody to confusion even when they’re trying to do the right thing.

    On a side note, I ran into a photography supplier who sells prop chicks and rabbits, and they look extremely realistic. (Taxidermy…?) Either way, while I think they are ‘cute’, I don’t think I’d be interested in doing live animal shoots just for the sake of cleanliness and safety for both the children and the animals. Nothing wrong with a basket and some eggs if you must have some props.

    in reply to: Camera Upgrade Question #8111

    I dream of owning a 5D some day, but I’m simply an enthusiast hoping to get into business (some day) and I don’t quite have that kind of money to spend. Nor can I justify it just yet as I’m not sure I can justify the cost with my level of skill.

    I think it was touched upon before, but I would second that looking at glass before a body might be the way to go. The quality of your photos can change with better lenses (I love my little plastic wonder 50mm prime) and I feel lenses are more of a long-term investment than a body. Bodies will upgrade and evolve, but a good lens will stay that way for years to come. So I personally think before I get a 5D, I’ll be looking at some serious L glass. And I would very likely keep my 60D as a back-up, rather than sell it, until I stepping-stone my way to another full frame body like a second 5D.

    That’s my personal long-term plan.

    Have you considered, just as an aside, renting a 5D and other equipment? So you can get some practice in, be familiar with the equipment, and know with more certainty that it is what you need to improve your photography, or if you can wait, or would rather spend first on better lenses. Or what have you.

    in reply to: Wanna see serious Fauxtographers? #8108

    EMTChris, that Facebook page is a goldmine of faux practices. Well done. I haven’t gotten any work done because of it. Thanks. ;p

    in reply to: Best of? #8104

    d.c, you made me think of the planning for that photo, and what kind of conversation it could have been. And I facepalmed.

    “Okay, so I have this line of roses here. What to do… Eureka! Here, hold still. Let me just…”

    “What are you doing?”

    “Sorry, I just had to tuck them in a little. They were going to fall out of your crack. Can you clench on them a little? Sweet Jesus, don’t crush them.”

    “Sorry. Are you sure this is a good idea?”

    “Definitely! It’ll look great! Now lemme throw this veil over you. CLENCH WOMAN LEST THEY FALL.”

    in reply to: Site improvement! #8103

    I find that chat rooms provided on websites I’ve seen are barely used. It’s a real shame. Don’t get me wrong, I’d totally lurk in a room here at YANAP to talk with you guys, but how useful it would be here? I don’t know. Not to mention the probable need for moderating for it if it blows up and becomes popular.

    Worth a thought, but I’d like a little more user-friendly forums first. Easier editing, formatting and so on and so forth. I’ve tried such packages like myBB, and while light and seamless, it doesn’t offer quite as much others do.

    But beggars, choosers. YANAP is still fairly small with a dedicated group of posters here, so it works.

    in reply to: An edit I did #7890

    I really like this shot as it is displayed here. To me it’s quite emotional, even before I read your paragraph about the passing of his son. I still keep looking back and wondering what exactly he was thinking at this moment. It’s a private moment you caught and I feel that.

    You converted it to black and white well; it’s not faded or wishy washy. His head is perhaps a little blown out on the left side of his crown, and the hanky in his pocket, but it’s not that bad. I really do like the contrast.

    Looking at the larger version, though, I can see it’s still a bit blurry, which is a shame. And I’m a shallow depth of field fanatic, so I’d probably have shot at a wider aperture for a softer background to help really set him apart from the others.

    Good job. Perhaps one of my favorites of yours so far.

    in reply to: honest opinions – get better or give up!!! #7889

    d.c keeping it real up in here! 😉

    in reply to: ProLab #7888

    Aw, c’mon! Why no Wal-Mart togs?

    Funnily enough, here’s a tangent. A while ago I did cheap and dirty prints at Wal-Mart because family were begging for some prints of my work, but they never wanted to pay for them. They had absolutely no clue of the value of good prints and Grandma bitched for half an hour to me that my brother- and sister-in-law didn’t buy her professional prints when they had a pro shoot the kids last year. She overlooked the two young children and a house being built on a single income, as if they could throw hundreds of dollars around willy-nilly for prints for Grandma and her favorite family members. She only knows the cost of dropping her disposable cameras in at Wal-Mart and getting them back the next day so she had no idea that what she wanted would cost other people a pretty penny.

    Aaanyway, since it was coming out my pocket in my case, it was Wal-Mart. I sent in the photos in high resolution and it was pixelated to hell and an awful sickly color. I came away laughing thinking of you guys here at YANAP. And I still gave them the prints. Oh well.

    On topic, I have nothing else to really contribute. As an enthusiast on a budget making absolutely no money on this, I’ve done some prints and photo book gifts from Shutterfly since I’ve had discounts with them. Photo quality is not bad, and a damn sight better than Wally World. I’ve been looking for professional labs though, so this thread is a huge help. Thanks guys. 😀

    in reply to: Watermark? When should I start doing that? #7871

    Excellent point, Brownie, and one I didn’t even think about. Reminds me to pay more attention to that when I mess around with my photos.

    That said, metadata can be lost or stripped, can it not? eg. Social media sites stripping the data out when you upload. Just made me curious.

    in reply to: Need some critiques :) #7870

    CTM – tilted angles aren’t necessarily a no-no, but let me put it this way: there are those so-called “rules” in photography. Dutch angles are traditionally intended to convey unease or tension. So you can break those rules, but I want to understand WHY you broke them.

    What is the point of tilting the camera in this shot? What did it achieve? Did it improve the shot? Some people are dead set against Dutch angles; I’m tolerant as long as they’re an artistic exception and not the rule. I went through a tog’s gallery not long ago and each. and. every. one. was. angled. I spent the entire time with my head tilted to the left, wondering if the tog’s left foot was amputated, causing a permanent tilt to her photos. Like Sassy pointed out, why angle this? You have really strong lines here, and yet it looks like the walk is tilting to the side about to slide into a ravine or something.

    I’ve been guilty of doing dutch angles, but only last week and mostly intentionally as experimentation. What I found was:

    a.) I’m frustrated because now I cannot, in post, straighten them out and retain sufficient background for a good crop (or if I did, I would have to carefully recreate it without making it look obvious);

    b.) I was doing it because I was lazy with my 50mm prime lens. Instead of backing up to frame my subject better with a horizontal plane, I tilted the lens to fit them in to the shot;

    c.) I cannot justify any artistic reason for doing it in the first place, except to “give it a shot”. It looked trendy, but that’s about it. It didn’t make the shot pop better than a straight one.

    A photo I did last weekend, while I think is very sound technically and one of my favorites in terms of quality, I am annoyed at because it’s angled steeply and I know the people here at YANAP would be quick to point it out. I can’t justify quite why I did the angle, not sufficiently.

    Hope that gives a bit of insight.

    in reply to: honest opinions – get better or give up!!! #7869

    spin, I like what you’ve got. By all means, don’t throw in the towel. As Andre said, you have a good eye and I can see you’ve put some thought and effort into your photos.

    The site did confuse me until I saw the X in the top to get out of the gallery. Took me a bit but it’s nearly 1am, so maybe that’s me.

    There are some things to be pointed out, such as frontal flash shots (young ring bearer in the doorway), motion blur (girl with the purple dress skipping along), selective coloring (bride kissing her groom) and focusing (bride on dance floor blurred with young ring bearer in black and white). A bit off in some white balance here and there and so on. The usual things that everybody, including me, has done.

    I love – in photos2 – the girl in the hat in the snow, the two boys and the man on the floor (beautiful lighting there), and in photos3 the stone pile. Your lighting in the latter two is really quite nice, making a marked difference in your indoor wedding shots.

    I think you could use a little more practice with flash photography, keeping a special eye on how to bounce it and prevent it from flattening out your subjects and making harsh shadows. The smaller resolutions might help to load faster, but that and the compression makes them pixelated and might not be doing some of your better shots justice.

    So no, I wouldn’t tell you to quit. You’re already ahead of many of the photographers featured at YANAP, and the fact you’re asking says you’re interested in furthering more. Definitely I would encourage you to keep on learning and improving. The various subjects and results indicates you are a work in progress and not just stale, producing the same quality over and over. You have some good shots, so keep it up and go for it!

    in reply to: Just a practice shot #7868

    I recently just got my paws on Photoshop and Lightroom; though I did have an old busted PS on my laptop (ergh laptops are dreadful for accurately editing photos), I was so excited to get the new programs. They’re well worth the money, in my opinion and my photos have improved heaps alone just from the subtle editing I do with them.

    Have you looked at the Adobe Cloud option? Where you ‘rent’ the programs on a monthly basis? At least to play with and wrap your head around them before forking out the full amount? Always an option. 😀

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 59 total)