Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Lens focal lengths from 16mm fish eye up to 420mm telephoto

On a fine Summer's day last year in my village, I decided to see what the range of every lens in my collection was. I took a picture with each one and combined them into this 50 second clip. . .

At the start, I used my EOS 5D MKII and the Russian Zenitar 16mm fish eye. After the 300 mm  I switched to my EOS 7D to make use of the crop factor which gave me an effective 420 mm focal length.

Since doing this test, I have sold my old 300mm and my 70 - 200 zoom. They've been replaced by the Canon EF 100 - 400L  zoom so I may have to repeat it again!

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Fotografie Kurse für 2015

Die Planungen sind nun komplett. Wie manche von Euch wissen, gebe ich regelmässig Fotografie und ähnliche solche Kurse für die Migros Klubschule hier in der Schweiz. Kurse wie Anfängerfotografie, Portrait Workshops, Strassenfotografie und auch das Designen eines Photobooks.

Ich gebe auch meine eigenen Kurse in Klassen, oder auch Eins zu Eins, mit Leuten die das wünschen. Manchmal bekomme ich einen spezifischen Wunsch für einen Kurs, zum Beispiel von Leuten die eine neue DSLR Kamera kauften und nicht wussten, welche Einstellungen zu gebrauchen.

Jeder Kurs ist an den Interessenten angepasst, nachdem wir zusammen erkundeten, was genau er braucht. Sie lernen simple Techniken, wie zum Beispiel, wie man den Hintergrund verdunkelt für Blitzlicht Fotografie.

Eine simple Technik, um den Hintergrund zu verdunkeln

Natürlich geht das auch umgekehrt. Man kann auch den Hintergrund progressiv erhellen.

Ich zeige den Interessenten simple Techniken, wie diese.
Ein weiterer Bereich, den ich lehre ist das Zubehör. Was brauchst Du wirklich, neben der eigentlichen Kamera, Linse und Blitzlicht? Dieser Kurs hilft den Interessenten sehr dabei sich zu entscheiden, was sie mitnehmen sollen oder nicht, oder auch was sie überhaupt zu Beginn kaufen sollen.

Filter werden auch diskutiert. Welche (wenn überhaupt welche) sind empfohlen? Ich gebe dazu meine Meinung und wir diskutieren.

Der vorher-nachher Effekt eines polarisierenden Filters

Natürlich ist kein guter Kurs komplett, ohne das Fotografieren selbst! Dies ist ein grosser Teil des Kurses und ich bin immer da für Motivation und Feedback. Danach besprechen wir alles mit Tee oder Kaffee.

Der letzte Teil meines Kurses betrifft normalerweise Software und auch wieso ich es empfehle, Bilder im RAW Format zu schiessen.

 Lerne wie Du unterbeleuchtete Bilder rettest mit dem RAW Format 

 . . .oder sogar wie du nerfige Farbenstiche änderst

Die Kurse dauern entweder einige Stunden für diejenigen, die nur etwas Neues dazulernen möchten, oder es sind drei wöchige Anfängerkurse für die Neufotografen.

Egal wieviel Erfahrung, es gibt immer etwas von Interesse für Dich.

Mehr Informationen gibt es hier und ich bin immer für Fragen erhältlich

Danke fürs Lesen.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Photography courses for 2015

The planning is now complete. As some of you may be aware, I give regular photography related courses for the Klubschule Migros here in Switzerland. Courses include beginners photography, portrait workshops, street photography and even designing a photo book.

What I also do is run my own classes either in groups or on a one to one basis. 

Sometimes I get a specific request for perhaps someone who has just purchased their first DSLR and wants to get up to speed on how it works and what settings to use. Every course is tailored to the pupil after finding out exactly what he or she wants to know.

My students learn simple (but often misunderstood) techniques such as how to darken the background in flash photography.

 One simple technique to darken the background

Of course it works the other way too. You can make a background progressively lighter.

 My students learn simple techniques such as this

Another area we cover is accessories. What for example do you really need apart from a camera, lens and flash? This is a popular part of the course and helps the student decide exactly what they should take with them and what to leave behind (or not even purchase in the first place). 

Filters are also discussed. What (if any) are recommended? I give my opinion and we discuss.

 The before and after effect when using a polarising filter

Of course, no self respecting session would be complete without us actually going out and taking pictures. This is a large part of the course and I am always on hand to give encouragement and feedback. Afterwards we'll discuss everything over tea or coffee.

The final part of my course usually deals with software and in particular why I recommend shooting in RAW format.

 Learn how to rescue underexposed images using RAW

 . . .or even change an annoying colour cast

The courses can last from a couple of hours, for those of you who wish to maybe brush up on a particular technique, to the three week beginners course for the total beginner. 

Whatever your level of expertise, there will be something of interest for you.

You can find out more here. At the moment the site is in German but I am available for any questions you may have.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, 23 January 2015

A couple session

I received a message last week from a model friend with whom I had lost contact with. Steffi had moved away from the area but was now back in my neighbourhood and made contact with me.

We talked a while and it was suggested that I take some updated photos for her portfolio. I was happy to do so and duly turned up at their house a day or so later. 

It was freezing cold and very overcast outside but thankfully here and her partners apartment was lovely and warm. After a meal we set to work.

Because it was quite dark with the room lighting, I decided to use my Lightsphere Chinese clone to soften the flash. I attached it to my Speedlite 430 EX II and fired away. I really enjoy using my Lightsphere clone. The effect it has on the flash output is quite dramatic and turns what would normally be harsh shadows into soft pleasing romantic light.      

My Lightsphere copy on the table and at work

After moving some tables and chairs to make some space, we began the shoot.

The images above were all taken with the 24 - 105 using flash and the lightsphere clone. The ISO was 400.

After the sitting room, we went to the bedroom to get some photos of Steffi and her partner Marc as a couple. I wanted a light airy "feel" to the images so I mounted my two Speedlites on tripods and bounced them off the ceiling. The flash output was set to overexpose by one stop. To add to the "light and airy" mood, we took the duvet covers off. To trigger them, I used Phottix Odin transmitter and receivers. The Phottix Odins are simply fantastic to use and haven't ever let me down. They are way cheaper than Pocket Wizards and are more versatile.

I told Steffi and Marc to ignore me and just interact with each other. Their two cats joining us from time to time, helped produce some very pleasing images.

 One of the few images without flash

All the images above were taken with the 50 1.4.

Marc was also kind enough to take some images of me "at work".

Although, as usual, I took too much gear with me, I ended up only using my EOS 5D MKII, the 24 - 105 zoom and the 50mm 1.4. Still. It's better to take too much gear and not need it than to take just a few items and find that you miss something. 

Steffi is a real professional and a pleasure to work with. Nothing is too much trouble for her. If you'd like to see her online portfolio, you can use this link (German)

That's it for now. Thanks for reading and please feel free to leave some comments below.