Archive for the ‘Models’ Category

Lastolite Urban Backgrounds

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Years ago, many years ago, I used canvas and muslin backgrounds in my studio and also when shooting on location in offices and homes. A huge advantage with them is their portability, their main drawback are the folds and wrinkles in the material that is nearly impossible to get rid of.  Well, physically it is impossible to get of them, the only way to do it, is by shooting with an shallow depth of field like f2.8 – 4 and throwing it out of focus. However, my biggest complaint with them though, is that they scream out dated studio photography. I would much rather use white or thunder grey seamless paper or preferably shoot at an outdoor location.

Fast forward to this week, when I received three of the new Lastolite Urban Backgrounds.  They are the next best thing to shooting at an outdoor location but they also offer the versatility of shooting in the studio and being able to rapidly change the backgrounds. Seeing these in person is one thing and then seeing them in photos is quite the other – they are amazing!  So far, I have used them for 2 photos and in both the models and MUA have been totally amazed and impressed how the pictures looked. “They look so realistic and three dimensional.”  The backgrounds are reversible, there is a different design on each side, they are easy to set up and wrinkles are non existent. When I first started to use them I hung them up from a Manfrotto U-Hook, but I quickly realized that wasn’t necessary as they can stand alone leaning up against the wall.  They are fold and open up just like the reflectors and come with their own circular carrying case. They take up very little storage space are easy to carry around. I have to say that I am really impressed with these backgrounds!!!!

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Lastolite Urban Background

Sigma F1.4 Lenses

Monday, February 24th, 2014

In the current issue – Feb/Mar of Photo Life magazine this ad for Sigma F1.4 lenses is running. It’s my photo that is in the ad, and as a result of that I’m now receiving messages and emails from people wanting to know which one of the three lenses I would recommend. They are all great lenses and depending on your shooting style that would probably influence the lens that I would recommend for you. I took this photo with the Sigma 85mm F1.4 which is probably my favourite of the 1.4 lenses, my next preference would be the 50mm and then the 35mm. But these choices are for my personal style of shooting, if you like the way I shoot then go for the lenses in that order. If your shooting style is different then maybe the 35mm or 50mm might be best for you.

As a result of the ad, I am also getting lots requests from people asking who the model is – her name is Gina. And this was one of the photos from an outdoor location photo shoot workshop in Ottawa last September.

 Sigma F1 4 Lens Ad_Photo Life_FebMar2014

Manfrotto Pro Photographer

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Today, Manfrotto Canada officially launched the Manfrotto Pro Photographers and Videographers Program. I am pleased to be one of the top professional photographers in Canada who have been chosen to be part of this program. It was over 30 years when I bought my first “real” tripod, a Manfrotto #055, before that I had a flimsy poor excuse for a tripod.  Over the years I bought other Manfrotto tripods, the #190 and the HUGE/HEAVY #075 that I used for a Pentax 6×7 medium format camera.  Today the tripod that I use is Manfrotto 055CXPRO4 Carbon Fibre Tripod which is so much lighter!!! And if you have seen any of the behind-the-scene photos taken in my studio, you know that it is jam-packed full of Manfrotto light stands, poles, clamps, arms and brackets. I’m looking forward to testing and reviewing more Manfrotto equipment in the future, I’ll keep you updated.

 

Manfrotto Pro Promo Sheet_Eng

Ottawa Photography Workshops and Photo Shoots

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

Last year, near the end of November I launched a Photography Meetup group for my Ottawa workshops. These workshops will cover a variety of topics: studio lighting and also location model photo shoots, creative impressionist photography, visual design, photo shoots in downtown Ottawa of architecture, spring flowers and autumn colours. In addition to my own workshops and classes, I have also added Ashley Murfin as another instructor/organizer. He has an incredible studio which is fully stocked with tons of props and is constantly conducting “Themed Photo Shoots”

Hope you will be able to join us on an upcoming workshop or photo shoot.

 http://www.meetup.com/Ottawa-Photography-Workshops-and-Photo-Shoots/

 

 

Studio Lighting Workshops

Monday, October 28th, 2013

This past weekend was the first of this fall and winter studio lighting workshops. During these workshops I will be demonstrating some of my favourite lighting set-ups and many of the  techniques that I use. I will also be providing instructional information on directing your subject for the camera, finding poses and angles that both flatter and accentuate your subject, and understanding the relationship between lighting and posing. This is both an instructional and hands-on shooting workshop, you will be photographing and working with the models yourself.  If you are interested, contact me, as these classes always fill up quickly.

Ottawa Studio Lighting Workshops Canon 5D MKIII - Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX

Ottawa Studio Lighting Workshops
Canon 5D MKIII – Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX

 

Ottawa Studio Lighting Workshops Canon 5D MKIII - Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX

Ottawa Studio Lighting Workshops
Canon 5D MKIII – Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX

 

Angelique will be one of the models in upcoming workshops

Angelique will be one of the models in upcoming workshops

 

 

It’s Been Awhile

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

In fact it’s been a LONG time since I have posted anything here.  I have been extremely busy with work – photo shoots, workshops and editing/processing photos. So unfortunately I haven’t had a spare minute to post anything here. I do however do post many of my pictures on my Facebook Page and Garry Black Photography Facebook Page, please add me or “Like” my page if you haven’t already.

Here are two images from recent shoots, one in Ottawa and the other in Namibia, Africa. Somehow they seem rather similar to me.

Virginie in the grass

Virginie in the grass

 

 

Lion in the grass

Lion in the grass

 

For the Africa trip I used the new SIGMA Sport 120-300 mm F2.8 DG HSM OS lens. I used it with a Canon 7D which has a 1.6x cropped sensor, which made the lens effectively a 192-480 mm which was incredible. I had bought the 7D especially for this trip and to use with this lens. Once I have the opportunity to process some more of the images from this trip (and some time) I will post more images taken with the lens and a review of it.  But I can tell you right now – I loved using this lens!

 

Studio Photo Shoots

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Here are some of the photos from recent Studio Lighting – Model Photo Shoot Workshops. Now that the warmer weather has finally arrived the Model Photo Shoots are moving outdoors. If you are interested in attending…..send me an email.

 

 

Canon 5D MKIII - Sigma 70-200 F2.8 EX

Canon 5D MKIII – Sigma 70-200 F2.8 EX

 

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Canon 5D MKIII – Sigma 70-200 F2.8 EX

 

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Canon 5D MKIII – Sigma 70-200 F2.8 EX

 

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Canon 5D MKIII – Sigma 70-200 F2.8 EX

 

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Canon 5D MKIII – Sigma 70-200 F2.8 EX

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Canon 5D MKIII – Sigma 70-200 F2.8 EX

LENS REVIEW – SIGMA 35MM F1.4 DG HSM

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

For the past several weeks I’ve have been using and testing Sigma’s new 35mm F1.4 DG HSM lens and every time I mention it or post one of the photos, everyone asks “what do you think of it?”  The short answer is…..Stellar results and performance!

 So what makes this lens so great?

This is one of the newly designed lenses from Sigma’s new Art line, one of the three new lines that also includes Contemporary and Sports categories. When I first saw this lens several months ago at a trade show I was quite impressed with the solid feel and mechanical  quality/construction.  As soon as you see and start handling it you realize the quality of this lens, it has a feel to it of being a superior  professional lens – which it is.  There are many well thought out and designed features, one which I really thought was very well done is the large and well placed manual focusing ring, which is a full-time manual override.  Since the depth of field at F1.4 (as it is with any F1.4 lens) is only a very thin plane of focus, I sometimes find myself fine tuning the focus manually. I’m old school and this approach works for me. That being said, the majority of the time I use the auto focus and with this lens I found it to be quick, accurate and there it almost completely silent. Just take care where you place your focus point(s), as you would with any F1.4 lens. The minimum focusing distance is about 12 inches, which allows you to get in really close to your subject, an added bonus.

So what about image quality? The sharpness and colours are amazing. The resolution/sharpness wide open is excellent, and shooting at F1.4 – F2 is one of the main reasons why you are buying this lens.  The in-focus details are razor-sharp and the bokeh, background blur, is very soft and diffused. For low light photography this lens is 2 stops faster compared to my 24-70 F2.8 and with my Canon 5D MKIII it focuses incredibly quickly and accurately. Plus there is the additional advantage of the 1.4 aperture for bokeh, which is way better bokeh than f2.8.  There is practically no chromatic aberration, fringing and distortion. On a cropped sensor camera it would be a fantastic normal field of view lens, as it would be approximately the equivalent of a 50mm lens. Before getting this lens, I already had the Sigma 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM a lens that truly impresses me with it’s image quality. The new Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM actually surpasses the build and image quality of the 85mm.

 Below are some of the photos that I have taken using a Canon 5D MKIII and the Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM lens.

Canon 5D MKIII - Sigma 35mm 1.4 DG HSM @ F7.1

Canon 5D MKIII – Sigma 35mm 1.4 DG HSM @ F7.1

 

Canon 5D MKIII - Sigma 35mm 1.4 DG HSM @ F2.0

Canon 5D MKIII – Sigma 35mm 1.4 DG HSM @ F2.0

 

Canon 5D MKIII - Sigma 35mm 1.4 DG HSM @ F2.0

Canon 5D MKIII – Sigma 35mm 1.4 DG HSM @ F2.0

 

Canon 5D MKIII - Sigma 35mm 1.4 DG HSM @ F4.0

Canon 5D MKIII – Sigma 35mm 1.4 DG HSM @ F4.0

 

Canon 5D MKIII - Sigma 35mm 1.4 DG HSM @ F1.4

Canon 5D MKIII – Sigma 35mm 1.4 DG HSM @ F1.4

 

Canon 5D MKIII - Sigma 35mm 1.4 DG HSM @ F1.4

Canon 5D MKIII – Sigma 35mm 1.4 DG HSM @ F1.4

 

Canon 5D MKIII - Sigma 35mm 1.4 DG HSM @ F11

Canon 5D MKIII – Sigma 35mm 1.4 DG HSM @ F11

 

Canon 5D MKIII - Sigma 35mm 1.4 DG HSM @ F1.4

Canon 5D MKIII – Sigma 35mm 1.4 DG HSM @ F1.4

 

Canon 5D MKIII - Sigma 35mm 1.4 DG HSM @ F1.4

Canon 5D MKIII – Sigma 35mm 1.4 DG HSM @ F1.4

 

 

 

Given the high optical quality and the excellent build of this lens, I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending it. The lens sells for a very reasonable price, which is also substantially less than the camera manufacturers’ equivalents. It also comes with a 7 year warranty from Sigma Canada. Bottom line – I would definitely recommend this lens, it is probably the highest quality lens that I have ever shot with!

 

 

Sigma 70-200 F2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

My go to lens is the Sigma 70-200 F2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM, this lens is incredible! When I first got it, I did a serious comparison test with the Canon EF 70-200 F2.8L IS USM lens that I owned at that time….which I have since sold. Which should tell you which lens I thought was better.

 

 Canon 5D MKIII – Sigma 70-200 F2.8 EX

 

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(Click to see large version)

Here is a 100% close up of Natasha’s eye from the photo below

 

 

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NFRCC – Niagara Falls Presentation

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013
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Canon 5D MKIII – Sigma 24-70 F2.8 EX

 

Upcoming Presentation NFRCC 2013 – March 15,16 & 17

“A Fashion Shoot, from Conception to Final Image”

There are countless variables to go into the making of a great fashion image;  Concept and Theme, Location, Lighting, Model; hair, make-up, clothes and posing, Styling, Post-Processing & Retouching, Photographic Composition and Creativity.  The photographer has to create everything that ultimately appears in the picture. Basically starting with an empty studio or location – a blank canvas.

In this presentation, Garry intends to demonstrate how the use of light can create form, dimension and contrast. As with every other field of photography it’s all about the light. He will also cover model posing/composition and will offer some post-processing tips.

http://www.nfrcc.org/convention/speakers/garry-black