Friday, June 11, 2010

Canon backup camera?!?

When you aren't holding your SLR or medium format camera in your hand, do you have a backup camera nearby? When I am not working, sometimes I head out on errands or personal trips without a camera. Because of this, I wind up missing some shots that I would love to have. Sure, I have the iPhone camera, but that won't do much better than snapping a nice pic for my facebook page or the family blog. I don't carry the family point and shoot with me, because (even though it takes nice snapshot style pics) it just doesn't have the quality that my Canon 5DmkII does.

Well, a lot of pro photogs I know like to carry the Canon Powershot G11 with them at all times. It is as close to a "real" camera that you can get, with the exception of a couple Leica pocket cameras on the market for insane prices... The G11 offers RAW shooting, great color depth and a very respectable 10 megapixel sensor. Sure, it's just a little too big to fit in a shirt pocket, but a purse, fanny pack or cargo pants pocket wouldn't mind holding this little gem.

So, do you carry a camera everywhere? If so, what model do you carry with you?


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Some recent cover photos...

I thought I'd share a couple recent covers that I shot for Quick. They both had to be fun, sumer type photos to go along with the party themes of the feature stories. However, I didn't want them to look exactly the same, so I used a very simple technique to change the background.

Even though both were shot on the exact same red seamless in my studio, I pumped up the power on a single light behind the model on the "Cake in a Glass" cover. This made it appear to be pink in the middle and slowly fall off to a light red around the edges. Using a modest power setting on my main subject light, the main to background ratio helps keep the background looking bright and sunny.

The "Happy Hour" story needed a more sexy, nightlife feel to it. To achieve this, I simply bounced two lights (one from each side of the background) towards the middle. This created a very mild bright spot in the center, but it quickly fades to a darker, richer red. Metering for a powerful main light on the subjects, I am able to really bring out the true red color in the seamless. The ratio from main to background power favors the subject, making the background appear darker and more bold.

So, there you go... two different looks and feels on two different covers, but shot on the exact same background! It just takes a little different light setup, and you are good to go!


The BEST AA NIMH Batteries around...

I think that I bragged about these Delkin 2900mAh rechargeable batteries when I first bought them. Right away, I noticed the fast recycle times and long life in between charges. I did state my reservations about them holding up after several charges, though. Many seemingly good batteries have fizzled out after a dozen charges, but not these!

I bought them from Thomas Distributing online last year, and they are still performing like the day I got them. I've tried plenty of brands and been happy with the Maha Powerex and the Duracell brands. I've been less than happy with the Sunpak and Lenmar brands. And, there are a few brands that I will never even think about trying again. Until something even better comes along, I think I will continue to use the Delkin batteries.

Now, I know what you are thinking... why not use a dedicated battery pack, like a Quantum pack to run your flash? Well, I've used them in the past, and they provide a lot of performance! However, they tend to slow me down with all the extra cords/cables and the battery pack attached to my belt. Plus, having AA's in my flash, Pocket Wizard radio slaves and a few other misc pieces of gear, I know that carrying a few packs of rechargeable batteries is all I need. It simplifies things for me.

If I accidentally forget to bring a cable for the Quantum, I am out of luck. But, if I forgot to pull a set of AA's out of the charger before I leave for a shoot, I always have a second or third set waiting in the camera bag. Of course, if worse comes to worse (and it has before), I can run down to a convenience store and buy a set of alkaline AA's to get me through a shoot. So, I am a AA kind of guy. They just work best for me, and right now the Delkin rechargeable batteries are my favorite.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sarah Jaffe in the news...

It was nice to see the Sunday edition of the Dallas Morning News, because the Guide's cover story was on a fabulous Dallas-area musician named Sarah Jaffe. It was fun doing this photo shoot with her and seeing how far she's come with her career over the last few years. This was the third time I've done a photo shoot with her, not counting the few times I've also shot her in concert.

Sarah's got a lot of potential to make it big in the music business, and I'm proud that the calls North Texas her home!

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