Monday, August 31, 2009

Interesting interview with Teru Kuwayama

©Teru Kuwayama
There's an interesting interview here with the photographer and co-creator of lightstalkers, Teru Kuwayama. Being on the blog 'Gizmodo' it's a bit tech orientated, lots of attention on the gear - but there are some useful nuggets of information. If that's of interest there's another piece on preparations for covering conflict here on the lighstalkers website.

Follow me on Twitter...

Right I've finally given in and got onto Twitter (and I'm desperately hoping it won't become just another tool for procrastination...)

You can follow me by checking out my profile here

Friday, August 28, 2009

Didn't you get the memo?...

Interesting little observation - whilst here in the UK this months professional photographer magazine runs an article on how great the photography double act of Markus Klinko and Indrani are... in the US they're apparently filing for bankruptcy. whoops.

Interesting reading

The nature of the internet and especially the existence of tabs in internet browsers makes it a graveyard for I tend to discover most days. Anyway needless to say I was reading an article on WTJ the other day that led to this interesting post on ripping off other photographers work. That in turn led to another interesting site whose sole purpose seems to be to spot copyright infringement of artwork - kind of like plagiarism's bounty hunters. Anyway their awesomely named site, you thought we wouldn't notice, is well worth checking out. Hopefully with the improvement of image mapping technology such as tineye, image theft will become a thing of the past. Still the second article I mentioned was on the blog of an Art Buyer called Heather Morton and it made for unsettling reading especially some of the examples given in the comments section. However the blog has definitely gone in my favourites folder, similar to APE, it's full of useful insider knowledge and opinion - invaluable in many ways to the young freelancer.

The image is an unrelated snap from a week or so ago. I don't like posts without pictures.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Using the Elinchrom Quadra's as video lights and shooting with 5DMkII

I got asked recently to help light an interview for a documentary airing later this year with an American TV network. It was however quite experimental, firstly we'd be shooting the entire thing on the Canon 5Dmk II and secondly I was going to attempt to light it partly using the pilot lights on my new Elinchrom Quadra heads.
The Elinchrom Quadra kit with manfrotto Nano stands in a 1510 Peli Case
The Quadra pack has LED pilot lights which mean that they can be run from the battery pack without running it down too quickly, that they don't generate much if any heat plus they are already white balanced. To use them as a constant light source you have to first make sure the pilot light stays on (holding down the button for more than 3 seconds) and also shut off the auto-power off feature, lest they turn off in the middle of filming.
The Canon 5D MkII with the Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS L lens attached, along with radio mic
I soon discovered that one major disadvantage of using the Quadra's in this way was that the LEDs have a very limited output and that it was constant and thus unable to be increased or decreased. Of course the LEDs are designed as pilot lights and not modeling lights so this shouldn't be a major surprise. Still it did mean using them for filming was not massively useful. Firing with a reflector dish they are perhaps powerful enough but create an ugly shiny light, whilst using them with a softbox obviously reduced the amount of light reaching the subject.
The red arrow points to an Elinchrom Quadra A head with reflector dish acting as a background light
In the end I ended up using window light and mutliple reflectors to shape the light around the subjects head. Using one Quadra head to throw some light on the background (see above image). As we were shooting at around ISO 500 on the 5D mkII at f/2.8 towards the 200mm end of the focal range we were able to get a fantastic look that would require a lot more physical space in the room with a traditional film camera.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Canon 5DmkII and the RED One compared

Awesome video from Byron Shah and Jason Ensler that compares three HD cameras the Canon 5D mkII the Red One and the Panasonic GH1 side by side to create one seamless piece - really fascinating to watch. You can see more of how it was shot here.
Via PDNpulse.

Red One, Canon 5D Mk II, and Panasonic Lumix GH1 Footage Comparison from Birns and Sawyer on Vimeo.

Friday, August 14, 2009

BBC: On photojournalism

Short little piece from the BBC here on the future of photojournalism following the closure of Gamma photo agency.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Syria re-visted

Been looking back at some old images I took in Syria and Lebanon in 2007. I've done a little colour re-edit (at the time I was mostly shooting with black and white in mind).

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Doble Filo: Hip Hop in Havana, Cuba.

These pics are from an afternoon spent with the Cuban hip hop band Doble Filo when I was in Havana last month. I also shot one of their gigs and I would have loved to have spent more time with Edgaro, Irak and the rest of the band. Listen out for a couple of their tunes on a new Gilles Peterson album.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Bike Polo Portraits and the Elinchrom Quadra

Here's a little something from the weekend. I was able to catch the tail end of the two day European Bike Polo championships held in London. It was my first proper outing with my new Elinchrom Quadra kit. I was using just the one light with softbox attached and was pretty happy with the results - its incredibly portable and simple to use. I think it may have even caused a slight bit of kit envy - either way I got the sense the 'official photographer' was not happy with me being there - especially when he tried to get the organisers to chuck me out. Thankfully they were far more friendly and understanding and had me accredited in no time! These guys were a mixture of players and supporters - it was an awesome event with an amazing atmosphere and I only wish I could have been there both days. You can find out more about it from the official website.