November 6, 2013
I'm not a full time professional photographer but take on 2-3 paid jobs per month. It keeps me sharp and I find it rewarding to work with other professionals on a specific task.
My latest assignment was to shoot a video for a 20 second commercial, that will run on regional TV in January 2014 (my 2nd TV-commercial). Some stills where also required for printed adds. I won't be doing the final retouching of the raw files, but the photo above is my post processing.
The two aspiring models (Philip Stangebye to the left & Alexander Behrang Keshtkar to the right) where really nice to work with. They required nearly no instructions and fell quite naturally into the role as "silly fishermen". Thanks guys!
On the technical side I faced a small set-back when setting up the Speedlights. The PocketWizard Mini TT1 had run out of battery power. So without my trusted PocketWizards for light control, I had to revert back to standard Nikon Commander mode and IR-control the two Speedlight SB-900/910 I was using. The Speedlight got extra power from Nikon SD-9 battery packs, which I recommend for longer shoots, where you need fast recycling time. We worked in a square living room with white walls and ceiling, so there was really no need for the PocketWizards. But they are part of my workflow, so....
The room was lit with natural light from a large window behind me. We drew the curtains to dampen the sunlight and get an even spread of the ambient light. A Speedlight SB-900 on the left and a Speedlight SB-910 on the right - both with diffusion dome - pointed to the ceiling facing backwards (to avoid shadows on the wall behind the two models).
The Speedlights was set to full power and I still had to bump up the ISO to 320 to be able to use a f/5.6-6.0 aperture.
For the video I used a LED light rig built of three Metz MecaLight - LED 480, LED 320 and LED 160. Video was shot in 1080p/24 fps at a shutter speed of 1/60 second. No sound was recorded as music and speak will be added in post.
November 2, 2013
1/4 sec at f/6.3, ISO 100, -1/3 EV
First are foremost you are alone. For me photographing is a reflective process where I focus on the image and think abstract thoughts - letting my mind flow. While in this state there is nothing more disturbing that other human beings. So when the sky is all grey and its raining softly, then its time to grab your photo gear and head for the forrest, beach or open landscape to escape the every day life.
An all grey sky (the lords big soft box) and a bit of rain is perfect conditions for shooting black and white photos. With me today I had the following equipment:
- Nikon D800
- Nikon Coolpix A
- AF-S Nikkor 28mm f/1.8G
- Nikon MC-36 remote cord release
- Velbon GEO N830 tripod and QHD-72Q Ballhead
- Crumpler backpack
- Holebrook WP sweater
- Stetson Herringbone Hatteras
The AF-S 28mm f/1.8G lens is a nice and not so heavy lens that fits perfectly on a D800. It is sharp and delivers a soft bokeh wide open. A bit of vignetting, radial distortion and green CA is visible wide open, but is easily corrected in Lightroom.
Here is one more photo from todays walk in the forrest. I shot maybe 25 different scenes, but only two made it through my final selection.
1/3 sec at f/14, ISO 100, -1 EV
October 30, 2013
Photographing Halloween can be a scary process - not so much because of what you encounter of creatures and ghosts, but because you as a photographer have to shoot with flash in near complete darkness trying to capture fast moving objects. But with a Nikon D800, AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G and a SB-910 I threw myself into the big crowd of halloween participants- app. 4.500 persons, that took part in the 2nd largest Halloween event in Denmark (the master event being held at Tivoli).
Måløv is - with only app. 9.000 inhabitants - not a big town. But a few pertinacious souls have build this Halloween event over many years into an event that encompasses the whole town.
Here are a couple of shots from the event.... by the way - the red devil is the town priest :-)
You can see all the photos here.
October 15, 2013
The weather in Piemonte (Italy) with the typical fog banks in the early morning hours. The famous red wine grape - Nebbiolo - that is use in great wines from Barolo and Barbaresco - translate into "fog at the foot of the mountain".
October 5, 2013
In Denmark we have for many years used a secure domestic credit card - Dankortet - and all Danes use it more or less for all their purchased based money transactions. In my e-store - nikonphotoexpert.com - we sell Nikon equipment and other photography related articles. You can pay with Dankortet or a Paypal account. October 1st I received an order for a AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4 lens and the payment was done with a Dankort. The delivery address was in Denmark, I could see a phone number, an e-mail address and the IP-number. Their was nothing suspicious with that order - except the customer name - but then again I have many customer with a none Danish name, and they have never given me any worries. The money was transferred to my account and I shipped the lens.
Today I received a mail from nets - the largest provider of payment services in the Nordic - informing me, that the owner of the Dankort has made objection to the purchase and denied to have place the order. So they had to transfer the money from my account to the owner of the Dankort.
The most probably explanation is that the Dankort has been stolen and used to made this purchase (you also need the 3-digit code on the backside of the credit card to complete the on-line purchase) before the owner reported the theft.
The only thing I can do now is to report this "theft" to the police. But the bottom line is that I have done nothing wrong and end up with the bill (equal to a full quarter earnings as we are a very small e-store and the profit margins are very small).
Please remember - I had no chance to check if this was a suspicious order.
What a demotivating experience....
October 4, 2013
I really don't like to superpose a copyright logo or any other text across my photos. And I generally don't like all the different types of frames various software tools let you add to a photo. But I recognize the need to visually protect your work besides adding copyright information into the EXIF data, and at the same time promote your name and portfolio.
So I've designed a compromise - adding a standard black frame and my name in RED and url in WHITE separated by a GREY square. I have not added a (C) in front of my name. Adding my name and URL implies that this photo is protected by a copyright (still part of the EXIF-data).
What do you think? Does it ruin the photo?
October 3, 2013
End August I was asked to photograph a young couple with their newborn girl Lola on the day og her baptism.
There was no time for a complicated shoot so I chose a simple set-up with two SB-910 and a white shoot through umbrella on the left and a large silver reflector on the right, to open op the shadows. The flash was remotely controlled with PocketWizards.
I shot with a Nikon D800 and AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 and AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4.
The first batch was just short of 200 photos. I reduced this number to 105 photos through a 1st phase editing in Lightroom and uploaded the photos to a folder in Dropbox for them to review. They chose 21 photos and the final 2nd phase editing involving LR, Color Efex Pro 4 and Silver Efex 2, as I made a color and b/w version of each photo. Personally I like the b/w versions best.
As you can see - Lola is not all that happy with the situation :-)
Here is my favorite from the day...