Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Nikon Wireless Flash Hands-on Workshop with Shooting Stations at B&H

One of the great advantages of using a Nikon SLR is its wireless flash system.  So, thats what I've been using for lighting - no strobes etc.  When I saw that B&H is having a workshop I registered right away. Lucky for me, they had 2 that day and since one is always 3-5 p.m. - really bad timing for me, the second one had to be earlier (yay!). 

That was yesterday. There were 4 shooting stations. The most interesting one was a fish tank of water with a white paper backing it. Then they had a flash in the back of it with blue gel, and a guy standing there and dunking strawberries at the count of 3 (of course when the person was ready) So what you get is blue water, and you see the bubbles the strawberry creates.  (I really do need to clean the photo up in photoshop.. Since many people were shooting the same thing, there are full of tiny bubbles in the tank). I gotta try this on my own. Who is volunteering to be the object dunker?

Since this was a fish tank which was quite big, the effect isn't as good as it could be in a bowl. With this technique you can really create a great splash effect. It is interesting to note that a year or so ago, I did a splash effect in photoshop.. So, while you can create an effect like that in photoshop, it was interesting to do almost the same thing in real life. 

The other stations were a spilled jar of bubble gum, crayons with a lego robot or somethin', and flowers. Obviously this setup was done with Nikon wireless flashes (duh!), so the participants cameras were all able to be synced with the flashes in the room. Cool stuff. 

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Friday, July 17, 2009

I'm a mean mama with no style ;)

No picture update today. Although, I do have one shot that was taken the day I shot the pics in the wooden salad bowl.  A photo with Hershy in the bowl again, on the kitchen counter, so my multi-color glass wall tiles made for an interesting background.  (I'm at a different computer, and maybe I'll add it to this post tomorrow night or something).

Anywho. So, we buy this pool for the kids at Target, and we put it on the porch.  To get to the porch you have to pass the "studio room" and fine, we do that.. We just pick up the background and go through. But now with the pool. I had to move it out of the way to pass. Then my mind starts rolling about all the neighborhood boys coming to the pool and I'll have to move everything away every day. My boys are bored in the pool by themselves, so for them alone, its not worth the hassle (been there, done that).

So, I decided to return the pool. First of all, its not as big as we thought it was, and the kids are disappointed anyway. Besides, there is a neighbor with a big pool. So, mean mama says no pool! Hopefully next year I'll have my garage fixed up for a studio (and clients daily. ;) ) and they can have their pool.

Another thing. A note for all those that are "concerned" that the baby in bowl pose is not their style and maybe I wont be able to meet their satisfaction with their type of portraits. 

1. First of all, I really don't have any props right now, so I'm making do with what I've got in the house.
2. I don't have a "style" yet per se. I have yet to develop a style. It is too soon to write me off as "not your style".
3. In the case, where in fact my style photos are not your style, I am here/will be here (same thing) to give you what you want. So if a client wants the regular poses - then of course!
4. I am aware of the more typical style in our community. I will be equipped with that wicker chair, the violin, the piano, the flowers, etc. In due time, in due time.. Meanwhile I'm working on creating images with good lighting and good composition. 

Have a nice weekend!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bumps in the Road...

Here are a few things that drive me absolutely batty

1. Letting my flash battery run out, by forgetting to shut it after I snap some photos.. (oy, let me go check if I closed it last time... whew! Ok, I did)
2. On the same note, when moving my pics to bridge, I forget to disconnect the camera from the computer... so I have battery drainage up the wazoo in here!
3. As many times as people tell you that its not easy to take pictures of babies, you shake it off.. Oh, please.. you think someone else can do it better than me, I'm great with babies.. but today before I can snap a single picture of bebe here, he spit up about 5 times.. Ok, maybe thats just him, he's a huge spitter, and crawled away at lightning speed. Oh, well..
4. This background stands just doesn't do it for me.. Its a simple one with clasps on top.. but you have to have a 6-pack to actually get it to open enough to put it on.. Yowza!
5. I need a better stand for this small softbox.. something that can go down low and up high, without me pilin' up books or putting it down sideways.. maybe a big softbox.. when I have space for it.

Ok, I'll leave it at 5. Enough complaining for now.. Yeah, I'm a kvetch, but I'm gonna get it together. You'll see, you'll see...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Peti is 7 months old!

Had to take a few shots of the little one on his 7 months birthday.. Now if only he'd sit, the suspenders would look real cute. He crawls, he stands, but sitting - what's that?

(Peti is what my 4 year old calls him.. just evolved from Hershy -> Heshy Peshy -> Peshy Peti> Pet.. weird but true)

Backgrounds got folds.. Yeah, I know...

Oh, well, I didnt change the studio setup around... I need help from the studio hand.. ;).. But, I took advantage of Dovid's day off from school, and convinced him to try a few shots. First of all, I guess I have to iron my backgrounds, because they have folds in them.. (Hello, I don't even have patience to iron shirts... ) Um... will they get burned that way?

The pics that came out without the folds visible, it was because I shot those with a wide aperture and it kind of diffused it a bit... Don't have much room to move the softbox around, so I put it as low as possible, as close to the subject as possible.

Friday, July 10, 2009


...Let's start at the very beginning
A very good place to start....

Well, this is the start of my photography career.. I am hopeful and excited, and driven to succeed. That is, I am hoping that someday soon the decision of where to set my aperture, shutter speed and ISO comes naturally and flawlessly. I am hopeful that one day, composition will come effortlessly... but until then, I have to practice, practice, practice....

The part that is driving me crazy now, is lighting.. I'm using wireless flash from Nikon, which is amazing... which was proven when I am being taught. I get the rules, when I think what I want to do, I know which way to turn the dial, but the problem is when you have a kid sitting there, and I'm rushing to get the picture instead of thinking how I want my picture to look. I played around a bit today.. I'm not entirely happy with the results. Although, I probably have to replace my SB-600 flash batteries, it seemed to be weaker than it was on Wednesday at my lesson with JC (I guess I should really stock up on batteries... which that is the con of using the wireless flash..) , and I have to change my setup.. I didnt have enough place to shoot.. I was squeezing myself to the wall, and still couldnt get the entire picture.. ridiculous, huh?

My two big boys are sick and tired of having their own personal papparazzi, and the little bebe is getting quite active. I hope to change the "studio" setup tomorrow night, so I can really practice some more.