Recently I was shooting photos for a model who wanted several different looks for her portfolio. The quickest way to get so many different location looks was to actually shoot in the studio. Rather than driving all over the city all I had to do was pop open a few of my Lastolite Urban Collapsible Backgrounds. This isn’t a review of these backgrounds, it’s just to show you some additional photos of actually using them and the results you can get. The backgrounds that I have used here are: Derelict Wall, Wooden Fence, Shutter Door, Tarnished Metal.
Archive for the ‘Models’ Category
This is a hands-on instructional workshop using flash and reflectors/diffusers and natural light to create outdoor portraits. The goal is to help you learn both the technical and creative techniques that will help you with the process of creating remarkable images outdoors on a location photo shoot.
Topics that we will cover:
• Lighting : Natural Light, Flash and Reflector/Diffuser
• What to look for when making an image. This sounds rather vague right now – but this is huge in terms of getting a great picture.
• Posing Techniques
• Lens Selection for Portraits
• Controlling Depth of Field – How to deal with backgrounds
• Selecting a location and background choice
After demonstrating each lighting technique, each participant will be able to photograph the model using the same lighting set-up. Everyone will have the opportunity to put in to practice the lighting techniques taught.
This workshop is limited to 4 photographers
Cost is $175 +HST ($197.75) and includes photo instruction and model fees. A deposit of $100 is required at time of registration to hold your space on the workshop. You can pay by Paypal, cheque, cash, or email money transfer through online banking.
If you have any questions or would like to register for this class, please send an email or call Garry at 613-824-9295.
The workshop will be held from 4:00 pm to sunset/twilight ~8:15 pm on Sunday August 24, 2014
NOTE – To attend this workshop, you do not need to have your own flashes.
A Digital SLR camera is required with lenses. Lighting equipment and model(s) will be provided.
Model booked for this workshop is Brittany.
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!!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!