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43 Photographer Issue 4


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  • 1. THE ONLY ALL DIGITAL SLR SYSTEM MAGAZINE Fall 2008 · VOLUME 1, ISSUE 4 · WWW.FOURTHIRDSPHOTO.COM THE Members ISSUE Shooting the 90-250mm By Tony Spore, & Garry Frankel Starts on Pg 6 Studio lighting Primer By Lawrence Keeney Pg 28 Travel : Tasmania By Ray Pollanen Pg 35 Interior Photography By Rob Scott Pg 43 PLUS An Interview w/ Lou Manna Confessions of a food photographer JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 1
  • 2. CONTENTS NEWS Newsbytes 4/3 Photo News From Around the World 3 From the Editor's desk Micro 4/3 revolution by Tony Spore 5 The Country Wide Classic 90-250mm & EC-20 by Tony Spore 7 STAFF Editorial Editor: Tony Spore Contributors: Dave Fornell, Marco Frissen, Bruce Hamm, Alec Kennedy, Interview With Lou Manna John Minnerath, Richard Pavek, Assaf Peretz, Bob Phillips confession of a food photographer Copy Editing: Robert McLaughlin, Ryan Lee, Tony Spore, Ann Fournier Layout: Ryan Lee, Tony Spore 11 Business Business Manager: Tony Spore A Week with the 90-250mm Advertising Team: Tony Spore, Ryan Lee Nic camera quot;bet it takes good Contact picturesquot; Editorial: Advertising: 23 by Garry Frankel Fax: (909) 912-8023 Office: (805) 624-6414 Toll free: (877) 737-3541 Studio Primer Our mission is to consistently provide accurate, intelligent and entertaining coverage of the 4/3 digital SLR system cameras and The equipment used equipment. We strive to promote the development of the 4/3 digital SLR system. 28 by Lawrence Keeney 4/3 Photographer is published by, 590 W Main Street, PMB #150, Santa Paula, CA 93060-3209 USA. Contents © 2008 All rights reserved. Reproduction in any form Travel: Tasmania prohibited without publisher’s written permission. Unsolicited material A Travel journal should be accompanied by a SASE. by Ray Pollanen 35 ON THE COVER Perfect Cupcakes Shooting Interiors Photo copyright Manna. Used with permission. Real EstatePhotography DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed by 4/3 Photographer by Rob Scott authors are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions 43 of or any employee or contributor thereof. is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the authors. JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 2
  • 3. newsbytes Adobe CS4 - After only 18 months Adobe has an- nounced a full upgrade to New 4/3 cameras on the horizon- its suite products. In the This month we had 3 bodies annouced for PhotoKina news - press event they now claim the FourThirds / Micro FourThirds format. With Photokina this year, we have more a further compatibility be- Panasonic with the DMC-G1 as the first Mi- than usual news for this issue of 4/3 Photog- tween former Macromedia cro FourThirds camera, as well as 2 concept rapher but this is the info which seems to be and Adobe products. The bodies from Olympus. A very nice finish to the most important. products bring many new the year for the 4/3 format. Info about the G1 features as well as tools and about the 2 concept cameras from Olym- E-520 and E-420 firmware 1.1 - to help you work faster. A pus located here. Don’t miss the Q&A session Improved brightness level of optical view- great preview of PS CS4 is with panasonic over the G1 - Great answers finder AF target points. However, only a few available at Chris Orwig’s site. Search ID 158 about this new camera. people are noticing the difference in the view- Olympus concept cameras ID 159 finder. More info On Olympus Global site. Panasonic DMC-G1 ID 160 Search ID 155 Bibble 5 - G1 interview ID 161 A preview of Bibble 5 was at Photokina, early comments are that the colors from Oly Lensbabies - files are much better than Bibble 4. Stay tuned, Have totally redone their entire line of we will try to get a preview of it online soon. products, and added a new model called the “Composer”. This model promises to “deliver Search ID157 smooth selective focus photography with un- paralleled ease.” In addition to the new model the new lens babies also have swapable op- tics from high quality double glass optic’s to a pinhole plate. The 4/3 mount is not currently avalible, but should start shipping in Novem- ber. A very nice set of tools for selective fo- cusing SLR’s. Also, many users in the past have commented that a 50mm lens is a bit long, but they also have the Wide angle and tele- photo adaptors (at .6x and 1.6x) which will further extend the usefulness of the lensbaby. Search ID 156 NEWS JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 3
  • 4. newsbytes Nik Software - ThinkTank - UD35 Olympus 9-18mm Standard lens Nik Software has been think tank photo announced at photoki- olympuS iS now Shipping the 9-18mm lenS. very busy in 2008 start- na the urban diSguiSe 35, which holdS 2 e-3’S, we picked up a early Sample and will be poSt- ing with Viveza and upoint 14-35mm, 7-14mm, 35-100mm, 2 fl-50r’S, up ing info aS faSt aS we can. early impreSSionS are technology as well as up- to a 13” laptop, and a ton of acceSSorieS. it very poSitive, and we think that it will make a dating Color Efex to now lookS like we are finally going to get a Small great landScape budget lenS. having a very powerful bag, which will carry the35-100 attached to suite of tools, which I am the e-3. the think tank urban deSign bagS finding saves me hours a are built with the higheSt quality material aS day in my normal workflow. well aS being ultra compact.. Search id 163 The entire master collection includes Viveza, Color Efex, Silver Efex, Define, and Sharpener and the master suite cost $600. I highly recom- mend downloading the tools and trying them out. Search ID 162 Sigma 50mm f1.4 Sigma iS annoucing the 50mm f1.4 lenS for the 4/3 SyStem. thiS will add an additional faSt prime to the 4/3 SyStem. Something that uSerS have been aSking for the laSt few yearS. thiS year we have Seen many new primeS introduced from 24-150mm. in addition, panaSonic haS a 20mm micro 4/3 prime on their map, all that iS miSSing iS a 11-12mm prime and in my opinion the SyStem iS nearly complete, minuS a few Specialized lenSeS. NEWS JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 4
  • 5. from the editor’s desk As October soldiers on, we take an opportunity to look back at the recent past. We’ve seen lots of news. Photokina, and the time before it, gave us lots of news. The piece of news that has perhaps gotten the largest interest is – not surpris- ingly – the Canon EOS 5D mk2. I like the new 5D, it seems like a good dSLR. But wait a moment, what did I say? Oh, that’s right, it’s a dSLR. But what’s new with that? For me, the best news in the time before Photokina was the announcement of the microFourThirds-system. Simon Aldra - “Nomix” Why is that? The reason I think the microFourThirds-system is the bigger piece of news is the fact that it’s actually new. The new 5D is a good camera, a great camera. But it’s just evolution. It’s just a 5D with a new sensor, basically. Micro- FourThirds is a completely new system. It’s a revolution, frankly. And a revolution is always bigger news than an evolution. Actually, when I heard of microFourThirds I was afraid that John Lennon’s words in Revolution, (“You say you want a revolution […] but if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao, you ain’t gonna make it with any- one anyhow […]”) was to ring true. Not that Olympus and Panasonic have been waving pictures of a totalitarian communist dictator; but they’ve showed something completely unusual. And that’s the point of Lennon, you never get people to listen if you’re too controversial. It’s the same as telling people in the 1300s that the earth is round. How can it? It looks flat, after all. It could have happened. It could have become the greatest flop since the Betamax. It was a brilliant idea, but it’s a proper revolution. Personally, it’s the biggest news in photography since the first dSLR. Right now, it’s the most innovative idea that’s around. The best camera in the world is the camera you have with you when something substantial happens. The foot- age of President John F. Kennedy being shot in Dallas, Texas, was shot by an amateur with a cheap video camera. The winning picture in the Picture of the Year award in Norway in 2007 was not taken with a full frame dSLR that can take 10 images per second. It was taken with a compact camera, by a journalist just happening to come across the news. I was at the Norwegian launch of the 5D mark 2 in Oslo a couple of weeks ago. It was a big event with free champagne, tapas and Corona. One thing I remember quite well was Canon telling us that “CMOS + DIGIC = Better Images”. That’s not true. Better images are made when people actually bring their cameras. And micro- FourThirds will make sure you have a camera with you more of the time. If that’s not a revolution worth having, I don’t know what is. NEWS JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 5
  • 6. The CountryWide Classic With The 90-250mm and the EC-20 and I was very excited to be able to get out and cover the event. I had a couple of goals that day which I real- ly wanted to accomplish. First, I should mention that professional tennis is probably the fast- est moving game I have ever covered outside of basketball, and to capture the tennis ball in the shots is a lot more difficult than a basketball. I really didn’t want to machine gun, because over a five hour period I would end up with too many photos. My first goal was to test the C-AF, and second, I really wanted to shoot with the EC-20 by Tony Spore on the 90-250mm and get some real world ex- which gave me over an hour to look around the court, grab my passes, as well as a few minutes amples of AF speeds, and loss of sharpness. Olympus is a major sponsor of the US Open, to double-check the schedule. I soon realized one of the oldest tennis championships in the that I no longer recognized most of the names The first thing I found was that from within world. With prize monies totaling almost 20 mil- of the players—I haven’t been to a match in over the press pit, the 90-250mm with the EC-20 lion dollars, it is a serious competition and well seven years. However, it was a very nice day were not going to work for me. But the 90- respected in the world of sports. As such it is 250mm by itself was ideal. I could get in nice a great opportunity for Olympus cameras and and close to the players, so there was no need lenses to get some exposure and demonstrate for the EC-20. One of the first things to note their abilities to the world. I was able to grab a couple of tickets and get down to the Countrywide Classic, one of the tournaments leading up to the US Open in New York. Maybe next year I will try to fly out to New York but for now it is a bit out of my reach. I arrived at Straus Stadium at the L. A. Tennis Center on the UCLA campus, at 11 AM JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 6
  • 7. when shooting like this is you have to get your camera off “P” - No, it doesn’t stand for “Pro” mode. Program mode does have a place in pho- tography. Also turn the AF beep to “off” , it can be quite distract-ing to the players. The press pit had a great perspective to shoot from. Personally I was a bit too big to sit in the little chairs and my long legs rolled over to the next seat. But we all just squeezed in to make it work (The press pit is spot quot;“Aquot; on the picture below). The press pit is just about the most ideal place when shooting tennis, but for me, too many guys were standing in the way, or sitting to close so I abandoned that after a few matches. The biggest problem with the press pit for me was I didn’t have enough time with the ball in the shots, to get what I wanted. The spots I really wanted to be were at the At 338mm (on left) and 500mm (right), the focal lengths in 4/3 format, I was able to get very close even from the first row of the two diagonal corners of the match behind the stadium. The EC-20 does degrade the image a bit, but still sharpens up nice. (Only used Tonal Contrast adjustment from Nik Color effects and default raw sharpening from Aperture. Olympus signs. There I would be on the players think that the EC-14 would have been a better level, but I would also be able to have some time teleconverter, because I would have had a little with the ball. However, the officials would not let wider angle to shoot, as well as a stop faster off me sneak into those spots. See spot “quot;Cquot; on the the lens. That would have been ideal. Not that overview map. the EC-20 was a bad setup. In fact I was able to get a few photos that I know I couldn’t have if I From the UCLA stadium we had very few didn’t have the closeness of the EC-20. Though bad places to shoot. It was a smaller sta- I did notice some image degradation with the dium and this leads to a lot of people be- EC-20 it still outperformed any other 2x tele- ing very close to the action. My favorite spot converter that I have used. Now, I am contem- was in the front row marked “quot;Bquot; in the dia- plating if it would be better to shoot with the gram where I could shoot across the court, and I was able to grab everything from head shots to full body shots very easily. I did have the The court side Press pit is just about the ideal shooting location, however, timing is very difficult, and quite cramped for my 6’7” 90-250mm+EC-20 for this, but even here, I frame. JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 7
  • 8. EC-14 and just upsize in PS, but more of those once again has a great winner with the E-3 and tests later. the 90-250mm combo. When using the C-AF I think that my throw away rate is higher than with S-AF. First and foremost, I am not a machine gun shooter. I usu- ally don’t end up with 10+ pictures from a series, I may come up with at most two or three. But with the C-AF I simply had more pictures which were focusing off the back wall when the player would move off my focus point, and the camera would refocus. So is this a problem with the AF system in my case? Nope, just the photographer. At the end of the day I threw out 10% of the photos which were obviously out of focus and I had around 90% which sufficiently captured the From court side even without the teleconverter I was able to get in moment correctly (and have online). So having a very close to the action and capture this serve.Taken from spot “Aquot; 90% keeper rate is in my opinion very high, with 10% ready to print. A very good rate, from su- perb equipment. All in all it was a fun day, on the court the temperature wasn’t too bad, we were around 100 degrees and the humidity was low, but I still was constantly wiping my head and brow to see through the viewfinder. With my normal shoot- ing and work schedule I don’t get a whole lot of time to shoot sports. So, when I had a chance, I was very excited to do it. My overall keeper rate was very good. I also enjoyed being at a sporting event and seeing a majority of Olympus cameras in the stands. I did see quite a few other brands but Olympus really won out in the stadium. All in all, the E-3 and the 90-250mm is an ideal setup for this type of shooting. I saw a profes- sional from a magazine at the event, and when comparing photos the E-3 / 90-250mm out per- The action is quite intense and fast moving even at 1/750 formed his much higher priced gear. Olympus shutter speed doesn’t stop the motion, but its a nice effect, but I A near miss, slightly out of focus - see the back wall, but it still is my favorite shot of the day. don’t want all my photos to look like this. JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 8
  • 9. TOP:With the EC-20 a bit more sharpening than normal is needed. Still a high performing kit but image degradation does occur. 1/1000 second at180mm ISO 500.Taken from spot “B” Left:Without the ball the action just stopped in the shot.Taken from spot “A” Between matches the ball boys/girls would run up into a line I think that they had as hard of a job as the tennis players. Shot from spot “B”. JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 9
  • 10. Tony’s Tips for shooting Action photography Spend time to find the flow of the game. In most settings everything that we shoot has a flow. In Sports if you hit the shutter button as you see the ball you will probably miss the shot. The problem isn’t with the AF of the camera, but the lag from your brain to your hand. However, having the AF system of the E-3 helped a lot. Work 1/2 the court. I saw a couple guys who constantly were bouncing back and forth on the field. After watching those guys a couple of times I was warn out, and from seeing them Chimp (looking at the LCD) I noticed they missed most of the shots. Use high Shutter Speeds. With long lenses and fast action, our goal is to get the Shutter speeds up. To do this shoot shutter priority mode, and keep it up to 1/1000 - 1/1500. Use Auto ISO. Throughout the day I went from ISO 100 - 560. With auto ISO, I very rarely wasted wasted the energy to Chimp. I just shot away confident in the camera. Use a Monopod - Even with IS a monopod is essential. Your arms are going to be mush if you don’t, and I do keep IS on, but I haven’t tried the difference between on and off. Use a single AF point - The camera focuses faster as well as you are in control of what is in focus. (Though I very rarely use the middle point) Use S-AF - In sports like this people are bouncing around, with C-AF I found that I would end up with a lot more shots of the back wall, when they moved off my point. Carry a couple Teleconverters. For shooting from a limited number of places you really need to carry at least 1 good lens (in this case the 90-250), and a couple teleconverters with you at all times. Use focus limiter - Off the Top lenses olympus has placed a focus limiting switch. This switch probably saved me more than anything else. I never had the lenses traveling too far off focus, and it kept the 90-250 constantly in the zone. Experiment. The points above are my starting point. I did shoot half the day with C-AF, and diamond pattern for my points. I never really felt that ESP did a bad job of metering so I left that alone. JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 10
  • 11. An Interview with Lou Manna Confessions of a food Photographer For this issue of the webzine we had the opportunity and pleasure to interview Lou Manna. His work is featured in many outlets throughout the food world. In addition to being one of the most well known food photographers in the world, he also shoots the E-3 and he was very open and ready to let us interview him. If you had to describe your style of photography, how would you describe it? In food photography you eat with your eyes first you have a com- position which keeps your eye in frame as you get in close to the food. You want images which are simple and clean, really having less is often more. What style of photography do you enjoy most? I seek to make Lou shots. The client wants a specific shot - show- ing knife and fork, and level. Lou shots on the other hand will be from an angle like you are flying over to get a different look at it. I shoot tethered to a 20” monitor and the client is able to see the pictures PHOTO COPYRIGHT © Lou Manna right on the screen. The review image is shown from the video out port on my E-3. That gives me the instant pop-up and I can see the histo- gram. With the E system I hardly have to use Photoshop. Everything IN FOCUS JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 11
  • 12. comes out just perfectly. I like angles and closeups which make you want to reach in and touch it. I also give workshops, and most of the guys who use other cam- eras, I find that their playback is not nearly as good as with the E-3. In play back the E-3 surpasses the sharpness quality and color of the other guys, I am able to show all the info on the screen quickly and find the pictures that the client wants. Having the simple zoom and in- formation displays make the camera setup work well for my needs. What inspires you, so you keep a fresh perspective on your work? When I go to different restaurants I look to see what they are do- ing. I also use a variety of food stylists to keep things fresh. One day I will shoot hamburgers and the next Filet Minion, so it keeps me fresh. I have found that with the high quality photos my clients have even claimed that sales have gone up 100% from the photos. People are at- tracted to the product because of the presentation of the pictures, and that keeps driving the clients back to me. It makes me feel good doing what I do. How has your step from film to digital been? I embraced it in 1995, I was one of the first digital photographers. I studied electrical engineering in college. I love anything technical. I am a gizmo type of guy, as most photographers are I guess. I was even able to transmit photos via my cellphone back then. I haven’t shot film in YEARS. How long have you been shooting with Olympus cameras? It has been since the E-10. The files were clean and looked very good straight out of the camera. Since I shoot a lot of high key im- ages on white backgrounds, with the Olympus cameras I never have to retouch for dust spots. The sharpness of the lenses, resolution and colors are simply the best. With the E-10 seven years ago I shot a pic- PHOTO COPYRIGHT © Lou Manna ture for the Marriott marque. It was cropped vertically (down to around IN FOCUS JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 12
  • 14. twomegapixels) and then blown up to 60x80 and hung on a billboard next to the Kodak billboard in downtown New York. Do you shoot with and Medium Format cameras? Once in a while I use a Phase One back, but I hardly use it, most clients are more impressed with the E-3 files, and it is more than enough for what they need. Their is a big difference in quality from my Olympus cameras. What makes a good photojournalist and did you enjoy photojournalism? It is about capturing the moment, and to be at the right place at the right time. I worked for the NYT for about 15 years but instead of following the pack I would go around back and get the guy out the back door and have him wave at me. I was able to get something dif- ferent than what everyone else had, and that gave me an edge. Even in food photography capturing the moment is important, there is a mo- ment when the food is looking the freshest, plumpest, and most succu- lent. To be able to capture it and light it really makes a difference with the right equipment. Any specific images that you would like to talk about and share how you created them? Shooting the canolies was a lot of fun. We hung around 50 of them on a grid and then had to try to get them to stop spinning. I used the 50-200 to help compress the distance of that four wide by five feet deep and three foot high grid. Do you shoot real food? Yeah, we always shoot real food in the main subject. For example with the Canolies we had them bake the shells, then they tied the line in the canoli shell. After that we stuffed the shells. If I am shooting for Haagen-Dazs I will use real ice cream. However, if we are shooting PHOTO COPYRIGHT © Lou Manna barbecue food and in the background we have ice cream, then we will probably use fake ice cream in that instance. Most of my pictures are IN FOCUS JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 14
  • 15. single scene shots, like the Heirloom tomato was shot on location in the Bahamas. What is it like being a food photographer? I love food. We usually don’t eat the food which has been on the set, but we often have leftovers. I get to eat that, so it’s great and my assistants love it too. It’s tough to be on a diet but someone has to do it. I enjoy it, tremendously the people in the food industry are all very nice. Sometimes though it is stressful, because the shots are like a fashion shoot. Often we have a food stylist, an assistant food stylist, a prop stylist, a assistant prop stylist. We also have a client or two an ad agency or a PR person, and an assistant or two from the client’s side. On my end I have my studio manager and my assistant. So we have like ten people or more on the set. For me my staff is indispensable. For example, Kristen, who does all my post processing handles every- thing after I take the shot. I trust her to bring the best out of it. What was the event, activity or point in time when you then were able to consider yourself a professional photog- rapher? I was still in college shooting for a local newspaper, just making money in something I loved was enough for me. What could be better than that. What is your most bizarre/funniest story from your pho- tography career? Almost every photo shoot is an adventure, just recently we were shooting in a freezer, taking photos of the yogurt, but it was one of the hottest days of the year. It really was weird to have to put on par- kas and long underwear, but it worked out. Also, not too long ago I was shooting catfish farms in Mississippi and leaning out of the heli- copter to shoot down, and when I put my camera on my lap I realized I didn’t have my seat belt on. If I had just leaned out a little more I could PHOTO COPYRIGHT © Lou Manna have become one with the catfish. Do you shoot Raw or Jpeg’s and Why? I shoot both but to tell you the truth I use the jpeg’s most often, they are wonderful. They keep their integrity, and are spot on. I never IN FOCUS JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 15
  • 17. have to white balance, or clean the backgrounds. It makes my digital quot;The great Sufi poet once said, 'May all your darkroom workflow a lot faster. criticisms polish my mirror brightly.'quot; Tell us about your darkroom workflow? We shoot on a compact flash card, watch it on the monitor, make the selections with the client, and then I give Kristen the card with all the originals, and she makes two copies of it at that point, She then takes the selected photos and does any retouching and resizing. We make the native size at 9x12 at 300 DPI and give those to the client. Once we do any work on it, we then save it as a tiff. Finally, we resize it at 6x8 at 300 dpi, and 6x8 at 72 dpi for web use, and then if the client has any other sizes or needs we will do that. Do you do a lot of post-processing in Photoshop itself? Not necessarily, because the super sonic wave filter makes the images so clean. I like the colors I get. I do shoot in vivid mode, it just has a nice touch. All my other settings are straight out of the cam- era. In Photoshop I sharpen it a little bit with unsharp mask at 16% at 1 pixel, I usually do it a couple times, If I do it a couple times it just looks better and each time we go down in size I will do it again. I find that a lot of pictures on the web or in a publication don’t have enough sharpening. That’s something people have to get going on. What computer system do you primarily use? I use both mac and PC. A Macbook Pro as a laptop, and the desk- top is a PC. What do you do about archiving? We use DVD’s and make two sets, one in the studio and an- other off site. We also use a lot of external hard drives all the current projects are kept nearby. But we usually have 3-4 backups spread PHOTO COPYRIGHT © JOHN ISAAC around. PHOTO COPYRIGHT © Lou Manna Do you rely on software or do you try to get it absolute- ly right on location? I try to get it 100% right in studio or on location, I try to light it as good as I can. I use a lot of mirrors, it brings out a lot of specular IN FOCUS JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 17
  • 18. highlights. It makes my pictures sparkle like jewels so we can get it as right as when they had one store. Now they have six stores and they need more photos possible at the shoot. because they realize that their image makes the difference. How has your E-3 experience been? Do you feel that you need more than 10MP ? My E-3 experience has been wonderful. The quality is great and holds up I am fine with it, I just blow up what I am given, and it works fine, but I am very well, I have made shots that were 4x6 feet posters. The rainbow stack of always interested to see what is coming in the future. I think that we will see cookies were for Little Italy and they really drew the crowds. I really like the con- higher quality pictures with smaller files, and more megapixels. trols on the camera and the easy to use the Super Control Panel. It’s just easy to use. It really is a Super Control Panel you can just toggle through the controls, simply. It is a visual control for visual people. I also like the way it feels ergonomi- What advice would you give to someone wanting to become a cally. professional food photographer? Let me tell you how I got into the business. When I was working for the New What are your most used lenses? York Times they sent me out to Craig Claborn’s (A chef and food reporter for I use the 50mm quite a bit about 80% of the time. I also love the 50-200 to the NYT) house and a few other homes. It was great, the chefs would then come get those high impact Lou shots. The 12-60mm is my third most used, it lets me to me asking for more pictures and other pictures. I just fell in love with food shoot on location with ease. photography. But food is about 70% of what I do. I also do a lot of other shoot- ing. If you love it you will be successful at it. Shoot all the time. Join an associa- Tell us about your book Digital Food Photography? tion such as ASMP (American Society of Media Photographers), it is a wonderful It is in its third printing and has been a great hit. I get emailsnearly every day organization. Many don’t think about food photography, but really it is a great from people who have bought it. It is laid out for access to information and also field to work.  to be very visual. The book encapsulates the whole art. It talks about the trends of the industry the past present and future of the business. The necessities such as the camera and lenses. It’s about how the client is going to use the shots. It also has tips such as using glue in the shots instead of milk, because with milk the cereal will be soggy in a minute. So that with glue the food stylist is able to tilt the flakes to look their best. About Lou Manna: Lou Manna is an award-winning photographer Side note: the book has really become the standard for food pho- whose work has appeared in national ad tography. campaigns, major magazines and more than 30 cookbooks, including Jacques Torres’s Dessert Circus and What is the value of photography in the food world? Dr. Phil McGraw’s The Ultimate Weight Solution A picture is worth a 1000 words. When selling food products people buy be- Cookbook. After shooting for the New York Times from cause of how good it looks. I also shoot menu boards. Right now I am shooting for 1975 to 1990, Manna went on to establish his Energy Kitchen, which is a new healthy fast food company. I shot for 2 years ago own Fifth Avenue studio, where he works with corporate, advertising and restaurant clients to create photos that can only be described as exquisite. In 2006, Manna published Digital Food Photography, a book that teaches readers how to use digital technology to enhance food photography. IN FOCUS JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 18
  • 20. Some Helpful Tips for Successful Food Photography by Lou Manna Food Having a food stylist to work with is a great asset, since they are artists in their own right and very knowledgeable in how to make the food look more appetizing for the camera. * Undercook the food so it doesn’t look dried out * Use a brush with light oil to add shine to the food * Fake ice cubes made out of hand-carved Lucite won’t melt and look much better * Use a spritzer bottle with glycerin and water to add droplets that make fruit look fresh and drinks look cold, etc. * Elmer’s glue is often used in place of milk in cereal packaging * Fake ice cream made out of confectionary sugar, mashed potatoes, margarine and corn syrup looks as good as the real thing and doesn’t melt Props A prop stylist adds another dimension and helps create a mood to the set. * Fewer props are the trend so more emphasis is placed on them * Props are smaller, lighter and softer shades of color * Solid and textured cloths work better than stripes and patterns * Keep it simple Lighting Having the ability to control light on the subject is the key to successful food photography. It is what truly makes a great photo that will make your mouth water! * Avoid using direct flash (it flattens the subject) * Bounce the flash or light off to the side of the subject to give it more dimension and some shadow * Use mirrors and reflectors to add dimension and shadow detail and create specular highlights * Use household items such as aluminum foil (as a reflector) and wax paper (as a diffuser) PHOTO COPYRIGHT © Lou Manna * For accurate color rendition take a custom white balance reading off a white card * Use gold reflectors to add warmth to the shadows IN FOCUS JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 20
  • 21. Links: Lou’s Blog A Recipe for Successful Food Photography by Lou Manna (excerpted from FOOD ARTS July/Aug 2007 issue) 1-Start with a full helping of the CAMERA MANUAL. PDNonline Believe it or not, these days digital cameras are mini computers and they can Behind the shot - soft Icecream make or break an image. The manual is the cookbook that will help you find the key ingredients of your camera and allow you to create a much better photo. Flying Canolies 2-Think GREY. I know that grey is not an appetizing color, but it’s what the camera’s light meter Digital Food Photography is calibrated to measure. Use a grey card to meter the reflected light or an incident light meter to meter the light falling onto the subject. This will give you the correct exposure for a colorful photograph that everyone can digest. 3-Think WHITE. Not just white plates to make the color of the food stand out, but be aware of the very important White Balance setting on your camera. Did you ever get a shot of food and it looks green, ugh...that’s because you shot it in an area lit by fluorescent light and did not use the correct setting. Auto White Balance doesn’t always work well; you can set it manually or take a Custom White Balance and that’ll clean up the color of your photo so it will be tasty. 4-Think RIGHT. That’s correct! In the Western World we read sentences from left to right, so doesn’t it make sense that our eyes scan a photo the same way? There are some simple rules of good composition to hook your eye and make you hungry. One is a spiral composition that leads your eye clockwise into the food. 5-Serve with the PROPER RESOLUTION. Here’s the pixel sure to use some type of photo editing software (Adobe Photoshop) and cook the photos to enhance their visual flavor. Set the digital oven to 300dpi with an image size of at least 5x7 to 8x10 in a TIFF format for the best look. Don’t forget to write captions and a descriptive file name…mmmmm. IN FOCUS JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 21
  • 22. news · articles · forum · galleries · shopping · and more... All subscribers will receive this magazine one month before it is released to the general public Subscribe to the site today and don't miss any information Click the globe for more information (S id 123) earch THE INTERNATIONAL ONLINE COMMUNITY DEDICATED TO CAMERAS, LENSES AND PHOTOGRAPHY IN THE 4/3RDS FORMAT JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 22
  • 23. Nice Camera, ‘Bet It Takes Good Pictures’ . . . A week with the 90-250 story and photos by Garry Frankel This report will be my story on what it is like to use one of the world’s nicest lenses for a week in the real world. Sorry, there won’t be any scientific measurements and cool charts, just what it is like to take pictures under the stress and strain of a week long event. For those of you new to Olydome, the Olym- pus 90 to 250 mm, f 2.8, is one of the larg- est, heaviest, and most expensive lenses in the While this looks big, to get the same practical results with the Olympus Super High Grade lens line. It is the so-called “major” brands would be even larger, heavier, and more expensive !! But it sure “takes good pictures”. Above the very big brother to 35-100 f2 and is only best- author whips his kit around on his monopod. ed in terms of focal length and list price by the 300mm f2.8. Having said that, to get the same quality, field of view, and speed from a lens by the so called major brands would result in an pro soccer goalie) Ethan Zohn. We even had even larger, heavier, and more expensive solu- an exhibition game between USL’s Minneapolis PHOTO COPYRIGHT © DAVE FORNELL tion. Thunder and the English Championship League’s Burnley F.C.. So you can see this is a really big For a week this July I was again a volun- event !! teer photo journalist with the media depart- ment at the largest soccer tournament in the I do over 10,000 frames a year around soc- western hemisphere, Swan’s USA Cup presented cer games and tournaments. About one half of by PUMA. With statistics like 970 teams from them are action game shots. Until now I have 16 countries and over 13,000 participants, this Easy to get up close and personal at this professional used mostly the 50-200 and 1.4 tele-converter event is a big deal !! On top of that, this year exhibition match with the E3 and 90-250 combination. Here to shoot game action. For this set up over the featured a visit by Cameroon’s famous player the f 2.8 let us keep the shutter speed at 1/500 while the ISO years I have used the E500, E1, E510 and now was only at 320 to get best possible image quality in rapidly Eto’o and Survivor Africa’s winner (and former fading light. JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 23
  • 24. the E3. I have never used a monopod to shoot and that can be distracting when it is a parking soccer games. lot or other unattractive setting. I have pretty much been happy with the re- So right about now most of you are nod- sults but it can sometimes be a struggle, espe- ding your heads up and down and saying the cially in lower light levels. The 50-200 plus 1.4 easy solution it to just spend lots of $$ and get TC combo can spend some time hunting in low- a fast, long, lens. You are right, naturally, but er light and lower contrast. So you learn to an- it may not be just that easy. Using the expen- ticipate the action and to be mostly pre-focused sive, fast and long lens may be a little harder before the action hits, and then the system only than it appears at first glance. has to “quot;tweakquot; the focus for the shot. Getting ready for this years “quot;Cupquot;, I had the When zoomed in to max the combination is a opportunity to borrow an Olympus demo 90- bit slow at f 4.9 so you start to get some slower 250 lens, so I jumped at the chance to try my shutter speeds and have to crank up the ISO. If dream lens out. It was a bit more work than I Above, this was how I carried around the lens for a whole week, you are shooting action on the other side of the had anticipated. usually with the E3 attached. I often had the E410 with the field the f 4.9 also yields a fair bit of depth of 12-60 swinging loose in my free hand at the same time. field, so the background can be mostly in focus The lens arrived about a week before we were to make the journey down to Blaine, MN that I was not going to whip this thing around for the tournament. That gave me a chance to like I was used to on my 50-200. try out this big brute before I would be shoot- ing for real. My first discovery was that this It was time to dust off my monopod, which set up was not as light and easy to use as I had had not seen any use since the release of been used to with my old lens set up. In fact, the E510 and in-body IS. After some care- I could not hand hold this lens for more than a ful manipulation, I found a good balance point few minutes at a time without quickly fatigu- and settings where the monopod could take ing. Keep in mind I am an out of shape 50 year the weight of this monster and the not so tiny old, so for some of you younger quot;gym ratsquot; you E3 and grip. Once I got things well adjusted, I might do a bit better in this regard. found that I could keep the viewfinder at ex- actly the right height and just had to rotate the The other obvious physical difficulty is the camera within the collar to switch from land- size of the zoom ring and the force needed to scape to portrait mode. I feel kind of stupid turn it. The lens functions very smoothly but that I had never figured this out before ! But with the big zoom ring you need much more using a monopod is much slower than hand effort to move this much glass than you do on holding, so once again I had to anticipate the a 50-200. It became very clear from the first With the collar attached you simply slack off the screw to go from portrait to landscape modes and tighten the screw up. As you can see here, I found it easier to use with the ball off to the side rather than having the camera on top of the ball. JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 24
  • 25. action a bit more than I had been doing for the to zoom even as fast as I did with the 50-200, last few years. so I would have to choose my focal length ahead of time and anticipate the action. After a few The next thing I figured out was that using thousand frames I got this time down to a sec- this lens was going to be more like using a fixed ond or less, but when you are shooting action focal length lens. There was no way I was going that is a long time. By the time I got to Minnesota, I was pretty comfortable using this big lens, and it was per- manently mounted to my monopod, even when not on the camera. It was also easier to carry around by slinging the whole affair over my shoulder, with or without the E3 attached. I am glad both the camera and lens are very tough. Even the lens hood on the 90-250 is metal be- cause something this big and heavy is going to take a pounding. On the practical use side, the first thing you notice is how bright things are in the viewfinder and how little the lens has to hunt when chang- ing from near to far focusing. I did find I was The pictures above and below demonstrate how a shallow DOF more confident using single point focusing. At by shooting at f2.8 can really help to reduce the background. At f 4.9 the background would be much more prominent. f2.8 you don’t have a huge lot of depth for fo- Above, when the lens and camera popped out of the quick cusing, so I want to be sure I am not accidentally release set up on my tripod, the only damage to the camera or focusing on a point behind the action (a common lens was a tiny dent in the metal lens hood.The small 1.5” by cause of OOF action frames). 1” quick connect on both my tripod and monopod may not be enough for such a large combination. The results and image quality from this lens are truly amazing. It was a pleasure to be able the frames that I can only compare to what I get to shoot action on the other side of the field when I use my remarkable 35-100 f2. and to put the background slightly out of fo- cus. This really adds to a three dimensional feel Besides working action shots during games to the athletes featured in the action shots. At on the monopod, I also got to use the combina- the same time, even in very high contrast light- tion on my tripod during the opening ceremonies. ing, you get that little extra feel of quality to As these lasted over 1 hour and I was going to be doing all the long shots while others were quot;embeddedquot; in the action, I chose to set up with the video guys to get the same point of view as JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 25
  • 26. they had. This was where my only mishap with a bit of a joke amongst the whole media de- this camera/lens combination happened. The rig partment because in a way it is a bit of an un- fell out of the quick release holder, glanced off a intended insult to us photographers !! My pal woman’s head, and smashed into the metal and Alex got that a lot with his 1DmkIII as well, so it concrete of the seats in the row below. became our mantra, sometimes just shortened to '‘Nice Camera' or '‘Good Pictures'. So after a It was a treat to also shoot some profes- while we wore it as a bit of a badge of honour !! sional teams when Burnley came to town to play against Minnesota’s own Thunder. Because I Truly though, even when we were knee had this rather long lens I was given the assign- deep in other photographers with their D3’s and ment to make sure I could get shots with people 1d’s and such, each and every one of them was in the not often populated east bank of bleach- ers. Just to help make a visual suggestion of what a great crowd it was (and it was !!). To ac- View from my location at 35 mm (above) with Ethan Zohn at the mike, and below is the view at 250 mm complish my assignment I had to shoot across the entire pitch, a distance of some 50 yards. So by now you can all probably see I was really in love with this lens and what it could do for me, as a photographer. I would still urge you to consider that just spending this much money by itself will not solve all your problems and may not make you a better photographer. This lens needs thousands of frames of practice before you can become really proficient with it, and perhaps will require some changes in your normal practices, even just how you carry your kit around. A good example is how my hardware was not totally up to the stress of this very large and heavy gear, and that may have con- tributed to the lens and camera falling off the tripod and crashing to concrete and metal below. The fact there was no damage speaks volumes Frame left, Minnesota Olympus shooter Hebert Gomez who for the professional quality of this gear. took the pictures of me with the 90-250 shoots with his E510 and 35-100 and in the centre of the frame Brown College OK, about the title for this story, . . . “Nice Photography Intern Alex Caroll who was my partner in crime Camera, ‘Bet It Takes Good Pictures”. You hear Above, play action is in focus while the slightly out of focus for the whole week. Alex shoots with his 1dMKIII (No he has that a lot when you wander around with a lens background still give a nice affect due to the “compressed” not had time yet to send it in to fix the CAF !!!). that is physically this large. In fact it became view of a really long lens. JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 26
  • 27. as many looks from other photographers as the any good pictures ??quot;. Alex and I decided to re- 90-250 did! tort “quot;well you won’t see any bad onesquot;. So I hope this gave you some insight into the Nice camera !!!! practical side of going to such monster lenses as the Olympus 90-250 f2.8. My thanks to: -30-  Olympus Canada (but don’t tell anyone they lent me the lens), Fridley MN Olympus shooter He- bert Gomez for providing the pictures of me and for volunteering to help cover the opening cer- About Garry Frankel: Garry Frankel is a 55 y.o. former medium format emonies (please see his gallery on the Cup web wedding studio stringer who now fashions site), and all the staff of the Media Department PHOTO COPYRIGHT © DAVE FORNELL himself as an amateur photo journalist. Living of Swan’s USA Cup presented by PUMA. Please in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, he is probably take a moment to go to and best known for his “WinterPeg” postings on Above, the 13 members of the Media Department of the the net over the last 4 years that depict life scan through our photo galleries as well as our Schwan’s USA Cup presented by PUMA. Taken with the E410 in Winnipeg down to sometimes below -30C ! and 12-60 and FL50 on a tripod. You can see the IR remote in video “quot;Kick TVquot;. Besides 3 years on staff at the USA Cup, Garry my right hand. Besides the photo galleries on the Cup web site, also volunteers his photography to worthy we produced a local b/w news paper for 3 issues during the Now I just need to get my banker to increase groups such as Special Olympics Manitoba, week, as well as providing shots for out of town media trying the limit on my credit cards by a factor of 10 Manitoba Soccer Association, The Fort Whyte to follow their home town teams. Our most popular product is Centre, and fund raisers like Walleye Warrior Ice and I will be all set !!! the daily Kick TV 5 mins of streaming video. All our production Fishing Derby for Cancer Care. Garry’s latest is used by the Cup’s year round efforts for marketing worldwide shoot was “A refugee camp in the quot;heart of the and other events at the National Sports Centre. Oh yes, one more thing . . . the next most cityquot;, a special public education program put on annoying thing to say to a photographer is quot;“get by Médecins Sans Frontières. You can see his latest pics here. looking out of the corner of their eye to see what the heck I was shooting with. That was a real ego boost for this Olympus shooter. Funny how it was only the Nikon shooters who would actually ask what I was using, while the Canon shooters seemed too embarrassed to not know what it was. Oh ya, my other camera was the little tiny E410 which pretty much had the 12-60 glued to it for most of the week. This really made up for the extra weight of the E3 kit and this big lens. The worlds smallest digi SLR got almost JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 27
  • 28. Primer for Photographic Studio Portrait Lighting by Lawrence Keeney bare light and a large softbox. There are reflec- Photographers who use the great outdoors tors that are made of different colors to reflect as their studio normally have one main light a cool light or a warming light. There are barn which is the sun. The sun can be augmented doors which when fitted to the light will allow with fill flash, reflectors, scrims, or gobos, but control of the size and shape of the light. There the photographer is always at the mercy of are gels which change the color of the light. the sun which, during the day, changes in in- There are scrims which diffuse the light, and tensity, direction, and color. gobos which block and shape the light. There are grids which attach to both the bare light, or Other things outdoor photographers are softboxes which help confine the light to spe- faced with are clouds which diffuse the light, cific shape and size. and reflection off buildings, trees, and other objects that can add a color cast to the image. The trick to studio photography is to know when and how to use all these lights and light With all the problems associated with light- modifiers. ing outdoor shots, we still must remember that some of the world’s greatest photographs are I have to insert a disclaimer here: I am a big of the outdoors with only natural lighting. fan of Paul Buff’s Alien Bees series of studio lights and accessories. I presently have 5 of the A studio photographer has much more standard Alien Bees flash units of various power control over the lighting of his/her subject. levels. I have one Alien Bees ABR800 Ring Flash, Over the years, many products have been de- and one Zeus ZRM1 RingMaster with the Z2500 veloped to help control studio lighting. There Power Pack. I have one large soft box, one medi- is the bare light which produces a hard light um soft box, two strip boxes, a 30” Moon Unit, a which produces high contrast in the photo. 56” Moon Unit, a Beauty Dish, gels, gel holders, There are soft boxes, of all different sizes and numerous light stands and boom stands, reflec- shapes, which provide a large source of very tors, etc. All of my lighting experience is based soft light which produces lower contrast in on using this equipment. I must also point out I the photo. There are beauty dishes that pro- am not a professional photographer, and even duce a light source something in between the JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 28
  • 29. though I have been studying lighting for about 5 Lighting, Short Lighting, Rembrandt years, I have a lot to learn. Lighting, and Split Lighting. In actual practice, a fill light is normally used, When I started looking into setting up a but with one light the effect is easier home studio, I started from ground zero with no seen. knowledge of what was available, or what the different pieces of lighting equipment were even When you are doing studio por- used for. The objective of this primer is to pro- trait lighting, one important thing to vide those just starting out with studio lighting remember is to make sure the eyes with some basic understanding of what is avail- are properly lighted. able and how it works. Subsequent articles will go into setting up the lighting and backgrounds, Butterfly lighting is achieved by metering the lighting, and a few tricks that make placing the light high above and di- setting up, and using, a studio easier. These ar- rectly in front of the subject. When ticles will include example photos of different the light is in the proper position, you lighting setups, as well as lighting diagrams. will see a shadow under the nose that takes on the form of a butterfly. If you ask almost any professional studio I personally have a hard time iden- photographer how to get started with studio tifying this shadow as a butterfly lighting, they will recommend you to start with shape, but I do see the shadow. only one light. The reason for starting with a single light is to learn to “quot;see the lightquot;. What I Broad lighting is when the light mean by this is when you are lighting a model, is illuminating the broad side of the as an example, the studio light will not only light face and the nose is producing a her face, but the light will cast shadows. It is shadow on the short side of the face. the combination of the light and the shadows The broad side of the face is the that make a great photograph. Adding addi- side of the face that has the most tional lights, or reflectors decrease the amount surface exposed to the camera, and of shadows which, for the beginner, make it dif- the short side of the face is the side ficult to see what the light is actually doing. The of the face that has the least sur- more lights you add can only add to the confu- face exposed to the camera. In other sion of which light is doing what to the overall words, in broad lighting, the nose is lighting of the subject. facing toward the opposite side of the camera as the main light is com- of the face. In short lighting, the nose if facing ing from. the same side of the camera as the main light is Lighting Styles: coming from. Short lighting is when the light is illuminat- With one light you can easily set up the ing the least exposed side of the face and the Rembrandt Lighting is similar to short light- classic lighting such as Butterfly Lighting, Broad nose is producing a shadow on the broader side ing, but it is when the nose shadow connects JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 29
  • 30. with the shadow on the side of the face. This to as AB), I will discuss these, but most of my encircles the modeling light is out of view in this shadow looks like a triangle of light. If you don’t comments will apply to any brand of lights. photo. On the top of the light you can see one see this triangle of light, it is short lighting. of the handles for the reflector clamp. Squeez- The lowest power, and lowest priced light is ing these two handles releases the grip on the While all these lighting setups require a fill the AB400 which is rated 160 true watt sec- reflector so it can be removed. Between the two light from either a flash or reflector for a truly onds. This light is really the workhorse of my reflector release handles, you will see a thumb well lighted image, you can demonstrate the studio. I have four of these lights which I use to screw. This screw is used to secure the umbrella shadows with just a single light. light my backgrounds, and for a hair light or fill rod when the umbrella is fitted to the light. At light. I also use these lights in a large 6’ x 6’ quot;“Vquot; the bottom of the light you will see the adjust- Split Lighting is a little different in that the reflector I built. I suggested earlier that a new able mount for the light. The thumb screw holds subject’s nose is pointed at the camera, and studio photographer should start with one light, the light securely to a light stand, and the longer the light at 90 degrees to the camera on either and this is the light I would recommend they use. adjustable arm allows you to adjust the angle of side, the patch of light on the side of the face the light. This photo also gives you a good view opposite the light disappears. Basically, only of the screw that attached the light to the light one side of the face is lighted. What I haven’t mentioned before is profes- sional studio lights contain a modeling light that allows you to see how the image will be lighted prior to taking the photo. This will train your eyes to quot;“see the lightquot;. Most other lighting setups are variations on these 5 setups. Lighting Components: Now, let us take a look at some of the light- ing components we can use in the studio. The other lights available in this series are the AB800 which is rated 320 watt seconds, and The first item we will look at is the studio the AB1600 which is rated 640 watt seconds. flash, sometimes incorrectly called a strobe. Since I am only familiar with the Paul Buff line I will describe the details of the AB400, but of lights called Alien Bees (hereafter referred my comments will also apply to the AB800 and The picture above shows the back of the light, and all the the AB1600 lights. controls. This photo above shows the front of the light. Here you can see the removable 7” reflec- tor, and modeling light. The flash lamp which JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 30
  • 31. stand, and to the lever that allows you to adjust can be found on the dump feature by reading the bare flash by shaping the light, diffusing or the angle of the light. the on-line Operation Manual on the Paul Buff reflecting the light, coloring the light, etc. The top control on the control panel is the web site. Umbrellas are generally used to increase the flash intensity adjustment, which has a range apparent size of the light source which softens of 5 f-stops (1/32 to full power). The adjust- The final item in this row of controls is the the light which, in turn, reduces hard shadow ment is made by a continuous adjustable slider. Remote connector. This connector can be con- edges. Umbrellas come in various sizes up to Beneath this adjustment is a row of lights, push nected to an optional remote control panel via 60”, and there may be some that are larger. I buttons and connectors. a telephone extension cord. This remote control use the 32” size. The size is measured across comes in handy especially for a hair light which the top of the arc length across the top of the The first item on the left is the sync con- is generally placed high above the model, as it umbrella when it is opened. nector. If you are triggering your light through a allows you to change the intensity of the light sync cord, this is where you connect the cord. from a remote position. Umbrellas are made with white, or silver, If you are not using a sync cord, but triggering and some are reversible. The white produces a the flash from another flash, the next item in softer source of light while the silver produces the row is the optical slave sensor, which will be a high output that increases contrast. There are used to trigger the flash. This sensor will trig- also translucent white shoot-through umbrellas ger this flash when it sees another flash go off These umbrellas come with a black cover so the in the room. This optical sensor is disconnected umbrella can be used as a bounce light, or by when a sync cord is connected to the flash. removing the black cover and turning the light The next three buttons in this row are la- beled On, Track, and Cycle. These buttons con- trol the operation of the modeling light. The On button allows you to turn the modeling light on or off. The Track button allows you to set the light to be constantly on, or to be on with an adjustable intensity that tracks the intensity of the flash. The Cycle button allows the modeling lamp to be used as a recycle indicator, turning itself off when the unit is recycling, and coming The last two items on the back of the light back on to let you know when the unit is fully are the Power On switch and the socket for the recycled and you are ready to shoot again. power cord. The next three items in the row are for the The next component we will look at is the flash recycle. The red Dump LED will light as the umbrella. The umbrella, and many of the other unit recycles, then the green OK LED will light items I will be describing, are called a light modi- to indicate that the recycle is complete. You can fier. Light modifiers change the characteristic of manually trigger the light to dump the charge by pressing the Test push button. More information JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 31
  • 32. around can be used as a shoot-through modi- over a portion of the face of the softbox to fur- 40 degree grids. These grids just snap into the fier. ther control the light. front lip on the standard reflector on the light. For the beginning studio photographer, I One caution when using a softbox is they re- would suggest buying one of the white/silver quire a little more power from your flash so you reversible umbrellas. may want to chose the next size larger flash if you are contemplating using a softbox. A brolly box is built similar to an umbrella except it is enclosed with a black cloth to pre- A stripbox is vent light from spilling out. The brolly box is just a very thin soft- sometimes used in place of a softbox, but be- box that produces it cause of the way it is made can not be used own characteristic as close to the subject. I have not used a brolly type of light. I have box, so I cannot give a definitive comment on two 10” x 36” strip this light modifier. boxes. You can modify Grids for light boxes are made from a black the light even fur- material and are fitted with Velcro so they can ther from either a easily be fitted to, or removed from the soft- bare flash, or a flash boxes. and softbox by adding a grid to them. Grids for These grids direct the light and control the the bare flash are made of a honeycomb mate- spill of light. There is a Honeycomb Grid Beam- rial and can be purchased as 10, 20, 30, and width Chart on the Alien Bees web site that show you the spread of light based on which grid is used, and the distance the light is from the subject. As an example the light will be a 2’ My favorite light modifier is the softbox . I have one small (12” x 16”), one medium (24” x 36”) and one Large (32” x 40”) softbox. They also make larger ones. For me, the softbox gives you much more control over the direction and spill of light. It is easy to drape a black cloth JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 32
  • 33. diameter circle at 10 feet distance from the light filters, snoot, or barndoors. With this device, you would need only one transmitter and one re- if you are using a 10 degree grid. just slide the gels into the holder. ceiver. The transmitter attaches to your camera, A snoot is a cone-shaped device that looks like an inverted funnel. When attached to the LightMod Mainframe mentioned above, and a flash, it puts out a narrow beam of light with the same pattern as a 20 degree honeycomb grid. Barndoors are designed to direct the light where you want it to go, by opening and/or closing one or more of the four doors. A Beauty Dish is a pan type reflector with a white interior and a black exte- rior. This light modifier is One of the most interesting modifiers is used quite often as a soft a set of gels. These gels are sheets of semi- light source for portraits. translucent plastic which are 8” x 10” in size. The beauty dish does not At Alien Bees, they come in 20 different col- provide quite as soft a light ors. These gels can be taped or clipped on the as a softbox, but does pro- front of the light reflector, or you can pur- vide a round catch light in chase a LightMod Mainframe which is a device the eye that is more pleasing and the receiver plugs into the sync connector that includes a reflector, and a holder for Gel to some people as opposed to the rectangu- on one of the flash units. If you have more than lar catch light from a softbox. There is a diffu- one flash in the studio, all the other flash units sion sock for the beauty dish that is translucent will trigger optically from the flash that is con- white. This sock provides an extremely soft light nected to the receiver. source from the beauty dish. No studio would be complete without a flash There is a wired remote control, I mentioned meter for setting up the intensity of the flash briefly before, that can control up to 4 individual units to achieve the different ratio of lighting lights. However, the lights must be connected to between them. I use a Sekonic L-358 which has the remote control via telephone type cables. been very reliable and accurate. In addition to the sync cable or the opti- Quite often, if you have only one light, you cal triggering of the flash, you can purchase a will want a source of light to reduce the shad- transmitter and receiver for wireless triggering ows on the side of the subject’s face opposite of the flash. In a studio set up, you normally the main light. This is where a reflector comes in JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 33
  • 34. handy. You can purchase reflector kits that have for studio work I decided to buy the 34” version. the Internet to get more information on any of gold, silver, and white reflectors that fold up into This is made so it folds up into a flat 13” circle the subjects I mentioned. a very small package, or you can just use some- when not in use. As white balance is a complex thing like a 2’ x 4’ sheet of white foam board as subject, I suggest you take a look at the photo- Note: a reflector. vision web site and view their video on the sub- Model images by Lawrence Keeney ject. All images used in this article are courtesy With all these lights and light modifiers, you of Paul C. Buff, Inc. will need some way of holding these devices One thing I haven’t mentioned yet is the up in the position you want. There are all kinds background for studio photography. I purchased, of light stands, boom stands, background light and use, three different painted muslin back- stands, etc. grounds. However, 90% of my studio shots are taken with seamless paper backgrounds. I use I have a couple of the general purpose light white, gray, and blue 104” long rolls of back- stands from Alien Bees, then I have a couple of ground paper. To hold the paper background, Manfrotto boom stands, and a couple of back- I use a 12’ wide JTL background system. This ground stands. The general purpose stands can includes two stands and four 3’ long rods that be raised or lowered to the correct height for you connect together for a 6’, 9’, or 12’ wide the lights and modifiers. The boom stands can background. be used as a light stand or a boom stand. I quite often use one of these as a boom stand for my I found that re rolling the background paper hair light which hangs above and behind the was a pain after the photo shoot was over, so I About Lawrence Keeney: model. The background stands are much shorter purchased a Manfrotto system that mounts on than the general purpose stands so you can set my background stand and has a plastic chain I Lawrence Keeney is a 72 year old amateur studio your lights close to the floor level up to about can use to roll up the paper while I am standing photographer with a home studio in Southern waist level. on the floor. I modified the design of the Mon- Nevada. He took up photography when he retired as an Electrical Engineering Manager, as a way to frotto system which allows the paper roll to go try and stimulate the right side of his brain. Another handy device is called a LiteDisc up and touch the ceiling. This gave me about Holder manufactured by Photoflex. This device 10” more in background height. He presently photographs 1 – 3 models a month is designed to clamp on to a reflector or trans- and gives them photographs to help build their lucent panel and allow you to mount it on a light This article should give you enough informa- portfolios. He also does some paid product and industrial photography. stand. I quite often use this to hold the reflector tion to select the equipment for your studio, and beneath the model’s face when I am shooting a practice some of the lighting styles I mentioned. He has designed a number of web sites for butterfly style portrait. I had to touch lightly on some of the subjects to personal, small business, and corporate keep this article from becoming a book. Because companies. He is currently working on 6 web site designs, and he incorporates his photography One of the problems you will run into in of this, I suggest you use the search feature of into these web sites. studio shooting is white balance. I have solved this problem for myself by purchasing a Digital Calibration Target from www.photovisionvideo. com. I originally received their small version, but JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 34
  • 35. Tasmania The mists around Mount Ben Lomond by Ray Pollanen a.k.a OzRay Tasmania is without a doubt one of the most fascinating tourist locations in Australia. Unlike the Queensland Gold Coast, with its Las Vegas style tour- ist culture, or NSW, with its breakneck pace and a mask for every occasion, Tasmania is all natural, no artificial colours or flavours here. Sure, Tasmania gets its fair share of ribbing because of its small size, population, remote lo- cation and perceived slow way of life, but take a visit and you will be more than impressed. Suddenly, the flashing lights and overdone makeup loses its attraction and one realizes that there’s a lot we’ve foregone for the sake of life in the big smoke. And while tourism is one of the major industries in Tasma- nia and visited by a phenomenal Beach on Bay of Fires get the feeling that the place is amount of people, you never over-crowded. It’s rare indeed that one has to stand in a cue to get to see an attraction and it’s so easy to just move a few steps to one side and suddenly you have the place all to your- self. But where does one start? Seemingly small as Tasmania may appear, it’s not a place that one can appreciate in just one week; it’s not a place that you can even become familiar with in several months.You need to pace yourself and accept that unless you only want to scratch the surface, you’re going to need to take Tasmania in small Australia and Tasmania bites. In most cases, the wis- JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 35
  • 36. est decision is to adopt the old adage that ‘less is more’ and take Tasmania For a start, the east coast is blessed with some of the purest beaches in somewhat smaller portions. Selecting the time of year to visit can also be anywhere in the world and most certainly the quietest ones that you can important, not so much from the point of view as to best weather, but what find. The sand is like the whitest snow, and coupled with the unusual rock each season can offer and what places are best visited in each season. formations that provide a backdrop to the beaches, they are some of the most spectacular beaches to boot. These beaches can stretch for miles and, Summer is, of course, the most popular time of year and if one’s prefer- along the Bay of Fires near St Helens, you can find isolation even at the busi- ence is for warmer climes, then the central and eastern parts are the ones est times of the year. Isolation indeed, an early morning dip, at worst, may be to tackle first. But other times of the year can be just as rewarding, if not noticed by just a hand full of other visitors. Freycihet Peninsula Bay more so, than what one might expect. The central and eastern parts of Tas- mania are generally perhaps the warmest areas (up to a point) and, certainly in the summer months, have the most predictable weather. They are more shielded from the vagaries of the Great Australian Bight in the west, which is influenced by the Indian Ocean, and also from the southerly weather that flows around the Great Southern Ocean in the south. The other unique feature of the east coast, but not more so than any other part of Tasmania, is the wildlife that one encounters at every turn. Unique creatures like the Echidna (known as the spiny anteater), if not dis- turbed, goes about its business unperturbed and gives you a side show you didn’t expect. Tasmania is a wildlife lover’s paradise. One has but to walk along a car park and find a sleepy little critter like a Pademelon, having a midday snooze under some bracken. But some of the wildlife you’ll just have to observe from a distance, as they tend to occupy the more remote loca- Echidna (Spiny Ant Eater) along the path tions. They’ll be quite at home as you pass by and tend to ignore all but the most persistent observers. JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 36
  • 37. Sunset across Freycinet Peninsula TV antenna across the bay JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 37
  • 38. Freycinet Peninsula is one of those very unique places that is simply a mandatory place to visit, if in Tasmania. From dawn till dusk, there is an ever- changing element that captivates the visitor no matter which way one looks, or where one goes. Being located on the most eastern side of the island, Freycinet often enjoys some of the more pleasant weather and is generally worth seeing nearly any time of the year. Though being somewhat isolated, Freycinet is still far from complete wilderness and visitors are accorded with most modern conveniences. Sometimes it’s difficult to get away from such, even if you wanted to do so. Rastas the Border Collie on dolphin watch and sea birds at entrance to Freycinet Peninsula Bay Boat on rocks at Freycinet Peninsula JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 38
  • 39. But overall, the modern conveniences don’t really infringe on the natu- ral scenery, except perhaps at the end of the day when you’re resting your feet from a days walk and just wanting to see what the other half of the world might be up to. But while relaxing, you have the opportunity to re- flect not only on the beauty that you’ve seen along the way, but also some of the oddities. Whatever you do at Freycinet, you’re certain to come away with memories of rugged landscapes, inspiring scenery and a sense of be- ing in one of the most remote and perhaps least untouched places in the world. When the sun finally sets, you really do know that you’ve had one great day out and just look forward to the next. Whatever your thoughts and whatever messages you’ve left behind, you’ll know that the east coast has really been quite a memorable place to visit. The north central region provides completely different scenery from the eastern coast, to put it mildly. Set in a partly coastal plain, but over- looked by rugged escarp- ments called ‘Tiers’, the north-central part of Tasmania is resplendent with rain forests, rugged Central Tiers rain forest mountains (as far as we’re concerned) and simply walkways as well, as evidenced by little calling cards every so often along the magnificent scenery. Much designated paths. of the tiers are heavily for- ested and within the for- It’s not all easy going though, so one does need to plan in advance and ested areas one will find select sites carefully. Fortunately, there is so much information available and lush rain forests, rivers and the national parks layouts etc are so well detailed, that it’s not very difficult waterfalls just about every- at all to work things out. Nevertheless, able or not, there is so much to see where. The most published in this area that one will not be greatly disappointed even if the more noted are but a few of what exist sites can’t be accessed. Again, selecting the time of year to visit this area is throughout the region. Most very important, as the region can experience very rapid changes in weather of the scenic sites are read- and it can even snow at the height of summer. ily accessible and many have access for those not able The ultimate place to visit, in this area of course, is Cradle Mountain. to walk or easily traverse Only around an hour and a half or so from Launceston, the road takes one distances. But watch out to a completely different world. One can try and describe Cradle Mountain for the wombats in the eve- in words or photographs until the cows come home, but nothing can really Central Tiers rain forest nings, as they like to use the convey things with any degree of justice. One just has to see it first-hand. JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 39
  • 40. Cradle Mountain Cradle Mountain from the valley JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 40
  • 41. you’ll miss far more than you’ll see. Cradle Mountain has been around for a long time as a national park, and historic buildings like the boat house, are reminders of years gone by, when life was just a little different. The boat house is not used any more; it just ages gracefully and provides anyone with a camera, something more urbane to remind them of their visit. The walks take you through all sorts of differ- ent landscapes and scenes, and the one thing you quickly realise is that this place is old, yet full of life. And it’s the freshness that really hits you as you walk along the paths and tracks. It’s something so far removed from normal life, that it takes a while to realise what’s so different. PHOTO COPYRIGHT © DAVE FORNELL Everywhere one Rain forest on the shores of Lake Dove looks, something catches the eye and while what may be beauty to one and ugliness to another, there Cradle Mountain boar house on Lake Dove is no shortage of variety. But listen- Be it a short(ish) walk around Dove Lake or a longer one to the base ing to the talk, of Cradle Mountain and around, one can’t help but be impressed. But one most seem to find has to take time to look more closely and see what’s in the shadows along beauty, rather than the way to really appreciate things. Pandanus Palms grow vigorously around ugliness. When Dove Lake, a most unlikely place to expect them indeed. When you come the mists roll in, across rain forests, where gnarly old trees provide colour, texture and a hint Cradle Mountain of Lord of the Rings, you once again feel the uniqueness of the Tasmanian takes on a com- wilderness. It’s sad that when the weather is overcast or slightly drizzly, and pletely different maybe even on fine days, many rush through this area and fail to notice the aspect. If you’re variety and depth that is on offer. a warm weather person, this is not In Tasmania, one could stop almost every 100m and find a subject worthy the place for you; of photographing. At Cradle Mountain, whether it’s blazing sun, pouring rain but if a bit of a or freezing snow, there’s always something worth photographing, or simply chill is something stopping to watch and listen. One wonders what memories some people that you just take take away with them. The diversity of terrain, fauna and flora is exceptional. in your stride, The contrasts between the soft and rugged, the shadow and the light, are a then a whole new pleasure to observe. It does take patience and if one is on a short schedule, world of beauty is JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 41
  • 42. at your feet. Even the plants seem to crave for the colder weather and with a bit of mist about, things can appear as if it’s winter already. However, the more you look, the more you realise how different this place is and the more you appreciate the often sudden changes. Those who do, walk away with so much more than those who look only for post card results. But if it’s postcard results that one wants, then they are about in spades. Walk, look, stop, peer and ponder, and you will find things to maintain your attention for hours if not days. But if you’re up to it, you can take lon- ger and more arduous walks in the area. The most dedicated take the Over- land Walk from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair which takes on average 8 days (approx 85 kms). But if you don’t do the walks around Cradle Mountain, even the easy ones, you’ll miss out on so much in a relatively compressed area. Those that do manage to get to the more rugged areas, begin to realise exactly how unique this part of Tasmania is from the rest of the world. Even though you might be out for no more than 4-6 hours, you get to experience what only a very small percentage of the population gets to see. Once again, no amount of words or photographs can really begin to describe what this part of Tas- mania is all about. Go there, look, feel, smell, taste the place for yourself. Forget the Gold Coast and the like and tell your friends that you’ve experi- enced true wilderness. About Ray Pollanen: Ray is a science research project manager in the defence Science and technology Organization in Australia. He also fills most weekends photographing for a Melbourne newspaper covering sports. More of Rays work can be seen at his website - River gully on Cradle Mountain walk JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 42
  • 43. Shooting Interiors in Real Estate Photography Using the E-3, FL-50r and 11-22mm at “work” story and photos by Rob Scott AKA Riley Much of my role is furnishing the real estate industry with the tools they need to create interest in marketing a particular property. The two most im- pressive ingredients are the so called quot;money shotquot; and strong interior imag- es. Creating good interiors is no accident, it needs thoughtful composition of good raw material, and execution based on good technical skill and selection of the right equipment. Style comes later, but a style that is attractive places you in the market and makes you remembered. Balancing indoor / outdoor light and Depth Of Field Olympus equipment is particularly suitable having generous available depth of field, an optically superior set of wide and ultra wide angle lenses creating images with good edge and corner sharpness closer to wider open apertures more suitable to my style of photography. I use an E3 and FL-50r flash with an 11-22 welded onto the body. PHOTO COPYRIGHT © DAVE FORNELL I like my interior images to be a warm pleasant mix of daylight through windows, ambient lighting from tungsten sources inside the house and an amount of flash. I find that too much flash makes very harsh images and I do what I can to soften the impact of flash, yet still render a scene faithful to the interior in question. To do this well you need a repertoire of skills to tackle the situations you will encounter. Controlling Depth of Field Depth of field is a vital aspect of photographing interiors, it is an audience that neither appreciates or knows much of shallow depth of field photography and requires that a scene be in focus from foreground through to background. JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 43
  • 44. The smaller sensor sizes of 4/3rds cameras al- low this more easily with the fortunate aspect that wider apertures are better facilitated by the lens suite. It is not an uncommon requirement to seek a depth of field from 3 feet to the view beyond at infinity. A great view makes it imper- ative to light the inside scene to the same mag- nitude as the outside scene. For lesser views, you can slightly overexpose as this looks natural and still shows the context, but you should not underexpose the exterior scene. The easiest way is to shoot the scene with flash, you simply set the aperture to the depth TOP: This shot is full 60ft long, iso800 F4.5 of field required, and set the shutter speed to focused just 7ft out synchronize the outside scene. You could me- ter a scene by zooming on the window view so Bottom 2 images(2): that only the outside scene remains and apply- Merging tones from adjacent spaces ing the math for the depth of field required. In more simple room plans this is easy, as you can do a lot with apertures from F4 to F5.6, but for lighting larger interior scenes, you can run out of flash power especially in the far corners. In these circumstances you have no choice but to ramp up the iso and the shutter speed, but the higher shutter speed will have less of a conse- quence on the flash lit interior. I don’t do any- thing fancy with flash, I generally have a camera mounted FL-50r and resist if at all possible us- ing slave flash. I like to shoot manually with the exposure running up about 1/3 stop underexposed and using the flash for fill flash. In higher iso’s the ways. More accurate White Balance is easier to ful representation of the interior space and a flash will extend a lot further, and the greater achieve making images of more faithful colour. good demonstration of the quot;feelquot; of the space. dependence on ambient light gives a more faith- In mixing sources of light, you create a warm Light from adjacent sources and rooms is much more evident and illuminates spaces to a friendly atmosphere instead of dim dark door- JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 44
  • 45. Left (2): Warm Ambient from light tungsten spill. Top: Position controlled no flash iso800 feel full of light and colour, quite the opposite of of the ambient light is restored. Should I need to or they will blow out, for which there are a num- flat flash dominated images. shoot slower than 1/30th sec, I usually dial back ber of workarounds. the flash power on the flash a given amount. • You can get in a position where windows To engage this feel I really need to shoot Since IS will hold a 22mm (EFL) lens theoretically can’t be seen. with a slower shutter, as slow as 1/30th sec. to 5 stops, I can feel reasonably safe to shoot • You can shoot in the evening when outside Push the speed higher and the light from tung- without a tripod at a 1/15 second, composition- light balances interior light. sten’s will be progressively shut off, doorways ally handy and expedient. • Apply film to the window to hold back sun- return to the dark, adjacent spaces lack detail. The trap is that you really need more shut- light. Roll up on the iso and the transmissive power ter speed to shut off outside light from windows • You might choose to use HDR. JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 45
  • 46. Top: Interior panoramic from an E-300 with 11-22 and FL-36, balanced outdoor light Bottom: Window light allowed to blow out • Take two exposures and cut and paste the window scene into an interior. advantage. Sometimes it is actually desirable to quot;disablequot; the view. Even these workarounds are becoming less necessary; the current vogue is to allow win- Nowhere does light control count more dows to blow out and strong overexposures; if than an interior panorama. Balancing light from you look into some indoor advertising I’m sure outdoor and indoor sources, while maintain- you will see that style. I allow windows to blow ing a good average light from flash is a tricky out too, where the view has no practical use or experience. Particularly when wood ceilings do not lend themselves to bounce flash because JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 46
  • 47. it tends to colour the scene. In the shot above right I used my older E300 and a simple FL-36 Four Thirds and Noise. Shooting higher iso in dimmer conditions is common, but I do so supported by flash. People make the mistake thinking they will save on iso and shoot to the left, to underexpose, but this is death to 4/3rds, and makes images unnecessar- ily noisy. I shoot to the left when supported by flash that simply fills the darker spaces. A prin- PHOTO COPYRIGHT © DAVE FORNELL ciple point, perhaps more useful when shooting indoors without flash, is that shooting to the left should be avoided, indifference to raising iso. Whatever iso I need to achieve that I use up to about 800iso+. This is virtually guaranteed to work because flash goes a long way at higher iso and will fill nearly all the shadows. Since noise lurks mostly in the shadows it’s all going to be good - no matter what iso. Any noise remaining is subsequently can- celled Post Processing. At iso800 noise is quite controlled in these circumstances. This makes demonstrating what the home offers in visual are more comfortably viewed closer to sitting a generous range of control from around 1/8th appeal. height. sec to 1/160th and iso100 to iso800. If you think about the spaces you inhabit, At the same time, it is preferable to show you will likely have a favourite memory of that more floor space than ceiling space, unless there space. It is usual to approach this aspect with is some other architectural objective. Composition, Controlling the that ‘comfortable quot;viewquot;. For kitchens and bath- Eye-Point rooms the higher placed benches require a high- er eye point than bedrooms and lounges, which Real estate photography can be a mixture of paths, for some it is the road to a wider photo- Logically, a key component is composition, graphic career, for others it is a career in itself. and of interest here is making the viewer com- Personally I find great enjoyment and reward in fortable in the space depicted. While it’s my my role in real estate photography. My models role to shoot the architecture not the furniture, never flinch or blink, never require a break and clearly one cannot ignore the furniture pre- are not interested in an expensive lunch. Yet sented. The objective then is a synergy of of they can be photogenic and appealing, even am- JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 47
  • 48. orous. I love to look at other examples of inte- rior lighting, be it from competitors, House and About Rob Scott: Garden type magazines, even movies and see Rob Scott is a 53 year old real estate opportunities everywhere to apply to my craft. photographer working in the rich Australian It is my belief that all people really want is work environs of the Adelaide Hills since 2003. that they enjoy, and profit to share; I’m a happy Riley holds a Degree in Business and is a man.  qualified Industrial Engineer. JULY/AUGUST 2008 FULL SCREEN CLOSE 48