I haven't posted in a while since the summer has been getting busy, but today I took the opportunity to try shooting a car with the Novatron studio strobes. It was fun figuring out how to shape the light the way I wanted it to look. Overall, I'm pleased with the results, but there's always room for improvement.
So after 2 years of shooting, I'm finally venturing out from the "clean edit" as it's called. So far I've been happy just producing a well balanced, properly exposed picture with sharp focus. Lately though, I've felt like trying out some more dramatic processing and I'm liking the results.
I was excited to get to try some professional film and see if it made a difference in the contrast and colors of my pictures. I would say it did indeed help with the outdoor shots as they look pretty good, but contrary to what I thought, the film is still daylight balanced, so indoor shots still came out yellow/orange. I was also disappointed to see light leaks on some shots which means my light seal replacement did not go as well as I planned....
In the past year, I've been collecting vintage cameras and lenses, these are almost all of them. It's a lot of fun, but they do take up a bit of space.....
I took a few minutes the other night to try some HDR using the built in function on the Sony NEX-3N. It allows you to specify whether you want a 1.0/2.0/3.0/4.0/5.0/6.0 stop spread of the 3 exposures. I generally found the 3 or 4 stop spreads to give the best balance of the effect without looking garish. I then edited them in the computer to further enhance the dynamic range while still avoiding the obvious "HDR look" that so many have come to despise.
I had a chance to do the old "slow shutter waterfall" trick. I used my EF-S 18-135 at f/25, ISO 100, and a 2 sec. shutter. Of course to keep it from overexposing I used my variable neutral density filter set to its darkest setting. It also helps when the setting sun is nice and golden!
Generally, I prefer the two-tone silver and black SLR's but along the way I have collected a few all black ones. So, I thought I'd feature them in pictures taken with the two-tone Pentax SP500. The cameras shown from left to right are:
1. Yashica FX-3
2. Minolta X-700
3. Nikkormat FT
4. Konica FP-1
5. Chinon CM-5
The only one I have plans to shoot is the Minolta X-700. That one was the top dog in Minolta's lineup in it's day.
Well, I had high hopes for this camera as it is in excellent cosmetic condition for its age and has the highly vaunted Super-Takumar lens. This camera is the one on the far right of my header picture, and as a side note, it doesn't have a flash hotshoe, what you see in the picture is a cold shoe attachment made by Mamiya/Sekor that slides onto the viewfinder.
Unfortunately, I discovered the light meter was not working right and it told me everything was overexposed when often it was underexposed. I figured it out halfway through the roll and switched to using my phone with a Light Meter app I found on the Google Play store. It works OK, but it tended to underexpose my pictures so I just couldn't win. I also experienced a couple occasions when the mirror would stick in the up position and would stay that way for the next frame or two.
On the upside, the lens was fairly sharp and even though the Solaris 400 film was pretty blueish in daylight, I was able to correct for it in Lightroom once I scanned the prints.
I know that sounds fairly cynical, but that's where I'm at.
I've spent the last year learning photography and videography, once again for the purpose of facilitating weddings, or other events, but certainly not for art. Lately though, I've been watching a YouTube Channel called the Framed Show (https://www.youtube.com/user/framedshow) and it's had me re-thinking my opinions on art.
I'm a long ways off from turning into a reclusive-anti-social-starving artist, but I do enjoy creating something that evokes an emotion. Maybe because I'm so new to it, I'm still surprised when a single picture can make you stop and think. It makes you wonder what was going on, and look for the story.
In music, there is very little that I've heard or played that has moved me emotionally. I like music that is fun, raucous, and technically adept. (think Stevie Ray Vaughan). But, anything you'd describe as dark, moody, or evocative, is just boring to me, and I'm reaching for the scan button on the radio.
So while art is certainly intriguing and fascinating, is it really important? As I've heard it stated recently, it certainly doesn't matter in the hunter/gatherer paradigm. But does it rank at least as important as say... coffee or socks, or more?
I'll stop there because this post is getting long, but this might be a topic I'll come back to, and I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.
the ramblings, musings, and tinkerings of Minsan Sauers.