Monday, June 28, 2010

Loving my Telephoto lens!

This shot was taken while on a family/business trip to Melbourne at the city China Town. I'm loving my 70-200mm lens at the moment! This shot proves it...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM with Wide-angle/Macro filter on

I took this with my newly acquired (second hand, thanks Kev!) 50mm prime lens. I made a tweak to the lens configuration by putting on one of those wide-angle/macro filter attachments Desmond gave me. It brings the lense to a more palatable 40mm and when the front attachment is off, it turns into a pretty decent macro lense.

I can visibly see any loss in quality. Only downside is that if I go down to f/1.4 the focus is so soft that it is often not usable. This was taken at f/1.8 and is still pretty decent. I found that the sharpest starts at f/2.8.

I did some tests on my MechWarrior figurines. Will post the test shots if I ever get to it...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Finding myself in Black & White

Night with LC and OSL-1, originally uploaded by Mervin Chiang.

I found myself doing more and more black and white renderings lately. Maybe I should read up more on them. I think it's a unique view of things. Forces me to look at the subject and story more than the colors of the frame.

Also, I've finally gotten my 17-55mm "utility" lens and also my got the 70-200mm telephoto lens a few days back. My set is nearly complete. All I need now is a good wide aperture portrait lens with a way to do macro shots and my kit is complete for a while.

I also got a cool Monfrotto strap for my tripod that sticks to one leg and can be used to sling over my shoulder. Very good indeed!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

David & Anne Night Shoot Setup notes

I wasn't intending to post this. But since Desmond asked me how I did it, and I wrote it up in the facebook comments. I decided to post this to keep a record...

Photographer's comments:
Because the sun has gone down way below the horizon and there is no more light, this shot was tricky.

1. I had to use wireless flashgun placed to the right of the frame with a diffuser and a poker card attachment to bounce light.
2. My flash stand was a cheapo one, so it was placed only at same height as subject. Should have been higher.
3. Mounted camera on my better tripod (the monfrotto)
4. Camera set to remote trigger (from memory) build in flash was -1 stop. Flashgun was +1 stop.
5. Camera setting was then finally set after metered reading at AV mode, to f/4.0, 0.3s shutter, ISO 3200 at 31mm focal length.
6. I fired many shots. Mainly because I wasn't the exclusive photographer there and it was hard to get attention. The tricky part is to get them both to stay still and open their eyes... Naturally! :P

Finally note on location: It's not the best. Would have liked to loose the fences...

Aperture Size Does Matter

2-8 vs 1-8 sample, originally uploaded by Mervin Chiang.

I was talking to Kev about the coffee pod shot I took a while ago and he mentioned that there wouldn't be a huge difference and I should have a look at using my f/2.8 utility lens instead to take that shot. I thought to produce good "blurring" I should use the widest aperture I can find and that was f/1.8 Although I was complaining about its sharpness.

In my quest to convince myself that I need a lower than 2.8 prime lens that should double up as a Macro (near impossible by the way), I want to evaluate this shot. The top one is at 2.8 and the bottom one is at 1.8. Can you see the difference?! How can I not have a less-than-2.8 prime lens?

But I don't want to carry around a prime portrait lens and another Macro... hmm... I may have a solution, but it would compromise the macro quality. And that is to use those cheapo filter add-ons from HK/China. Will test them out soon!

More Lessons from David & Anne's Photo Shoot

A few more lessons before my little brain forgets all again!

1. Sharpness isn't everything (thanks Kev :P)
2. Move my butt. I was looking at the others, some great angles I can't even see
3. Wireless flash on portraits should be at side angle and higher than subject. Low angled flash is has a more dramatic and scary look.
4. Posed shots almost always look slightly less natural (pointed out by Kev)
5. Lazy mirror lock technique. Focus, switch off AF, live view, remote shutter click (hehehe)

Thanks all I can remember. Hope I didn't miss anything.