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Category Archives: Photo Techniques
Wow, what a trip Senegal is! Incredible place but tough on docs and patients using the less-than-ideal infrastructure. Take the above photo for instance.
My friend Dr. Al Ruenes and his colleague, Dr. Serigne Gueye, were doing a fistula repair on a patient in a remote clinic south of Dakar when the power went out. So they’ve got the patient opened but can’t see a thing.
Well, as much as I love my Nikon Speedlights, it was continuous lighting that saved the day because I pulled out my little headlamp flashlight and my Lite Panels Micro Pro LED on camera video light, handed them to the docs, and they were able to finish the operation with a nice main light and a broader fill!
The docs liked the light quality so much, they continued to use it even when the lights came back on (probably a good thing, since we lost power a couple of times that day!)
We’re wrapping up here today and hope to be home tomorrow. It’s been an incredible experience seeing what obstacles are faced and overcome here on a daily basis. Hope to have some video up (but, it’s going to take a while).
I hardly shot a still while I was here….video took up all my concentration, and I’m still making rookie mistakes. I’ll have more on that in another post.
I had the opportunity, a few months ago, to work with prototypes of the newly-announced Coolpix P7000 on an assignment in the Southwest US. It was for Nikon’s ad agency in Japan. The P7000 is a fully-featured compact that would be the perfect backup/stealth/walkaround camera for a travel photographer.
This is not a review. So, if you are looking for MTF charts, camera-to-camera comparisons, and all the stuff a full-blown review offers, stop reading now, please.
It is, as the headline clearly states, my impressions of the machine. On these gigs, I’m handed a camera or a lens and I have a limited time to make as interesting a set of pictures as I can, not do side-by-side comparisons. So, tech heads, please forgive me in advance:-).
When I got the call, my client said “bring along your DSLR too, in case we see something special and you want to shoot it on your main camera.” I thought it was a very generous offer, but based on my previous experience with a variety of compacts, I declined. I knew that, in the heat of a great photo opportunity, I’d probably forget to use the compact altogether (Oy! Can say “blown assignment?”).
So, in order to save me from myself, I went out without a “net,” and after a day or so of getting used to using the LCD screen (although there is an excellent, if not 100% accurate, optical viewfinder), I didn’t miss the D90 nearly as much as I thought I would.
In fact, I’m using one of the pictures from this assignment in the oversize calendar that I do as a promotional piece for clients every year. I’ve done the calendar for years and never used anything but DSLR pictures. But I got my early copies last week from the printer, and the P7000 frame is indistinguishable from the DSLR frames. Not bad!
To read more about the camera and see a few JPEGs, hit the jump.
….they couldn’t do any better than Geographic shooters, and all around wags, Cary Wolinsky and Bob Caputo did in this short piece. Talk about being shot out of a cannon (that’s cannon with two “n’s”), they launched their new blog, Pix Boom Bah, with this wacky video.
The site looks like a place where humor and high production values will help teach basic photography concepts, served up by these two veteran Geographic shooters (and fledgling standup comedians!). Finally, photography has its own mini Monty Python troupe!
Some of my friends and colleagues have been sharing some great information lately.
Nevada Weir, adventure travel photographer extraordinaire, shares a great post: The 10 things she wished she knew before becoming a professional travel photographer and the 10 things she’s glad she knew. Take number three in the “glad she knew” category:
I knew that I had some great traits for a traveler: I can handle alcohol; I can sleep anywhere; I have an “iron stomach”; I have a bad sense of smell; and I remain very calm in times of stress or uncertainty. All very useful for the solo traveler.
Funnily enough, I have all those same traits (especially the alcohol-holding abilities) EXCEPT that I do go to pieces in times of stress and uncertainty….but I’m working on it, sometimes even without the alcohol part!
To find out where Jim Richardson has been parking his fedora,why Stephen Alvarez craves getting high above all things, and why Joe McNally won’t confess to a swami, hit the jump. Continue reading
Tech info: D90, 18-200mm
One of my favorite ways to use a wideangle is to move in really tight on a subject, getting as close as I can to it (without being pecked, kicked, slapped or arrested) and have it fill one side of the frame, while letting the background fill the rest.
It’s a great way to create a strong, storytelling picture of inanimate objects or people (or roosters). You just have to be careful, with people, not to get so close that you distort their features (unless you want to).
Here’s another example, using one of the Gorgon heads at Magnis Lepta in Libya as an anchor for the composition:
Tech: D70, 12-24mm
Or this shot of the Place of Refuge on the Big Island:
Tech: D80, 12-24
Most of the time, the side of the frame I place the subject on depends on which way he, she, or it is looking. You always (well, almost always) want the subject looking into the frame (don’t ask me why, it just feels right).
For the Hawaii shot, it was a gray afternoon, and it wasn’t twilight yet, so I set the WB to tungsten, orange gelled my SB 800 flash (which was being held by my brother Gary, who was the writer on the piece, and fired through my little portable handheld umbrella system). I underexposed the background by about 2 stops and ramped up the flash till it looked right.
So move on in with the wide angle for stronger compositions….but be careful not to ruffle any feathers!