A month or so back I had the opportunity to try out some new on camera fill-in flash settings both outdoors and indoors. I’m not sure if they worked out better than previous attempts but 2 obvious failings plague me whatever set-up I use. The first is positioning the model to prevent her from squinting in the bright sunlight. I usually end up moving into the shade which can then negate the need for fill-in flash which defeats the object of the exercise I suppose. The second problem is how to avoid the harsh shadows when working with on camera flash indoors. I’ve found getting the balance between ambient light and fill-in flash far more miss than hit. I really should spend more time on this but I lack the patience.
I’m always amazed at the number of really basic photographic questions I see being asked on forums by “photographers” who own £1000’s worth of top of the line equipment. I’m a long way from being an expert but when I was a young lad I read camera manuals and photo magazines, listened to what the boring old timers had to say, and even did evening classes so I didn’t look a complete idiot when I could afford to own a proper big boys camera. If you are spending monstrous wads of spondulicks on a hobby why is there such a reluctance to get a modicum of know-how before taking the plunge? Christ it’s even handed to you on a plate nowadays with everything you need to know, and more, being freely available on YouTube.
One of my final shoots of last year. With the mildish autumn weather, which is more than can be said about this spring, we were able to get outside for a while. The lighting though was a typical British mishmash of one minute sun out next minute sun in so I’ve had to do a bit of meddling in Photoshop to try to get the colours looking consistent across the set.
A visit from a model friend is always welcome because they brighten up my dull existence and give me a good old fashion laugh. To illustrate the point here are some recent behind the scene shots of how this model arrived at the Chateau de Vaughan. She told me that men had been giving her funny looks on the train because her makeup was all wrong. What the fuck! It seems the idea that the extra attention was caused by the shortness of her dress and the boots had never crossed her mind. Like I said, they make me laugh.
How are things going with your new D810 camera Big Ears? Well it isn’t all plain sailing! Before going off on a mini rant I suppose I should describe my set-up. I use the D810 with the MB-D12 battery grip and the Nikkor 50mm f1.4 G lens. Shooting girlies means the camera is nearly always in vertical orientation so the battery grip is a must but the price Nikon charge for it is a rip-off. I had a hell of a job finding one too. I rang most of the major dealers and was told it was on back order in the whole of Europe. In the end I managed to snaffle what was probably the last one in stock from a dealer in North Wales. Why didn’t I buy a cheap 3rd party grip? I had paid a lot for the camera so it seemed a bit churlish to scrimp on the grip. I’ve mentioned before that the 50mm f1.4 G lens is the only one I own that is suitable for the 36 megapixies of the D810 but luckily that focal length is okay for the great majority of my shooting. Before committing to the expense and weight of a top notch standard zoom I’ll see just how restricted I am working with the one prime lens.
So what are the problems? I’ve moaned in recent updates that nailing correct exposure outdoors is a pain in the arse. This I’ve always struggled with but I’m finding it worse with this camera. I need to give all the available mode settings a try-out and see which ones suit me best and then practice practice practice. I’m also occasionally getting a touch of camera shake which in all probability is down to my advancing years. Post-processing brings further problems especially when downsizing these massive images for use on the web. As can be seen in these snaps taken on my most recent trip to the rec there are moire and colour fringing issues. Mind you these stripy leggings are a tough test. More investigation is needed on the software side methinks.