3 portraits and a Pepsi machine

posted on 2011.07.08, under Black and White Photo, Lens, Photos

A stroke of luck is scoring 3 top-notch models in one afternoon.  I met this crew one by one over a 1 hour period on the backside of the Opera house in Yerevan.  It was totally random, I just ran into this crew and the photo shoot was on!  They are a stunning bunch.

I used the 16-35mm lens, Canon 580EXII flash, Apple Mac Book Pro, 64 GB Pro Master flash card, Think Tank Sling-O-Matic 10 carrying bag, Aperture 3 and NIK software.

I moved between the subjects.  I would shoot one person for a few shots then another person.  I used this technique for three reasons. I did not want to make anybody feel self-conscious.  I wanted the subject, to WANT to be filmed, as opposed to getting too much attention and wanting a break.  I noticed that each time I came back to one of the super models, they would be less interested in the camera, and I would get a more natural shot.

Eventually some strange characters came, KGB type, thuggish guys, and I split, but more of that story in another post, along with some video.

If you are sitting on the fence regarding the NIK complete software set up, get off the fence and make the purchase.  If you love your photos, and want to treat them to something special, the NIK software will be your new favorite gear.  I use NIK as an Aperture plugin.

Into the Beehive with the Canon 5D

posted on 2011.07.03, under Canon 5D Mark II, Photos, Video

I shot this video using the Canon 5D and the Canon 16-35mm lens.   No external microphone was used.   I shot this in about 1 hour, came home, transcoded (using MPEG Streamclip), imported into Final Cut Pro and exported in about 2-3 hours.  Total project took about 4-5 hours.

I used Magic Bullet Looks, which significantly increased the rendering time.  I was doing some photo editing on Aperture and it took my computer (MacBook Pro 2.3, i7, 8GB ram) about 2 hours to render this 11+ minute clip.

I shot the photos, using the 16-35mm, using pocket wizard TT5,  and hand held the 580EXii.  Approximate settings – 1/250, f13, ISO 160

I shot the video in Ushi, Armenia.  The guy in the video, Merooj, is a friend of my Dad’s.  He brings his bee’s to 3 different feeding locations a year. My Dad’s home happens to be one of these locations. The bees may travel up to  3 miles away from the hive in search of flowers.  Merooj has no fear and does not flinch when he is stung by a bee; he actually smiles.

Shooting was a bit difficult.  I was always aware that I was standing amongst 30 hives and bees would fly into my body every few seconds.   As it got hot the bees became more active and it felt more congested then a New York sidewalk.  But the real difficult issue was keeping the camera in focus.  It was extremely bright outside and the cloudy sky was creating an intense contrast.   I was never 100% confident with exposure and focus.   I have a marshal monitor (5 inch), but the hassle is not worth the benefits, so I did not use it.  I have since ordered an EVF from Zacuto that runs off of Canon batteries.  I’ll let you guys know how the EVF (electronic view finder) works when I get it.