Promaster Tag

Ah, that is the universal motto of the photo enthusiast. We read a little, think a little, google a little, and then go out and fiddle a lot. We invent things to do that need not be done, and ways to do them that make no sense, and then lash the ideas together with 1/4" bolts and gaffer tape.Just as well we are playing with cameras. If we were amateur explosives enthusiasts there would be smoking holes in the ground all over Perth...

Every couple of weeks I am tasked with writing an advertisement for our local daily newspaper - it goes into a section entitled " Market Place".The criteria for the products featured are price, providence, and practicality. It can be quite a complex choice: a. No good trying to sell a multi-thousand dollar item in a small column - the people who are going to enter into a large camera system or select a premium-quality lens are going to do it with a great deal of care and research. Trying to sell a Leica in a one column ad would be like trying to sell a Ferrari sports car in the back of a comic book.The item selected needs to be affordable by a large number of people. People who read newspapers...

There are very few occasions when you see light coming up from under a subject in real life; some discotheques in the 80's had light panel floors, you can see it in the classical footlights at the burlesque theatre, and when you open the hatch of hell there is a sort of a lurid glow that comes up. The effect can be quite unsettling.It is stock in trade for Disney artists and illustrators of fantasy and science fiction when they want to make a subject look evil.But it is also a very valid technique when you are trying to illustrate products for advertisements. In many cases the art director wants the viewer to see all parts of the subject evenly lit for either sales appeal or technical illustration. In some instances this is difficult to achieve with the classic hard/soft light or even with a light tent. No matter where you place the lights, the thing always has a shadow around the bottom bits.Enter the light table. A support for the subject that is sturdy enough to bear the weight,...

Those of us who use cameras to take pictures in the bright noon sunlight get what we deserve - brilliant colours in the main subjects, overexposed skies, and deep shadows under overhanging objects. These overhangs can be eyebrows, noses, lips, chins, and bosoms. And that's just on cars - people are worse...

We used to have reflectors for photography that had only one side. Mathematicians may see a flaw in this as topographically the disc reflector had a front and a back. And an edge, we hasten to add, for the literal-minded. But for a long time they only put a white surface on one side and left the other as a nondescript cloth that did nothing. Not no more.Starting with a well-known English manufacturer of lighting accessories, and followed-on by a number of budget copyists from other continents, the trade has made increasingly complex reflector sets  for studio and outdoor use. Today we review a 7 -in-1 from Promaster.These kits come in several sizes - I picked the 22 -inch set from the shop racks and unfolded all the possibilities.The basic structure is the familiar steel band loop stretching out a translucent fabric. Then a 3-part cover is sewn up that provides 6 more types of reflecting surface. The choices of fabric take it from merely a light modifier to an actual backdrop accessory. What it lacks in surface area it...

Have you ever seen a keen wildlife photographer hauling a really big telephoto lens through the airport customs or out on a long trip. Dedicated people. aren't they? Large plastic and metal cases - aluminium road cases - giant padded nylon tubes with complex lids and catches. They look like anti-tank teams hauling their tubes and rockets - you almost expect one to tap the other on the top of the head and then stand aside from the back-blast.Well, it you are not quite that dedicated and don't use lenses all that long, there are another alternatives for carrying and protecting the things.If you have the lens on your camera but still want a bit of protection we can recommend the Op/Tec range of neoprene covers. These are generally known as Hood Hats and are available in various sizes to fit nearly all lens diameters. You can snug it onto the lens hood and whip it off when required.If you want to protect the whole lens while out and about, reverse a Snoot Boot onto it. It will also serve...

We have a great deal of studio equipment here at the shop - lights, stands, backdrop materials, clamps, accessories, etc. Some are very well-known brands - Manfrotto, Profoto, Elinchrom, et al. Some are surprises - Kupo, JinBei, and Plain White Box.With the former you can get quite detailed catalogs, both in print and on-line. There are always new things coming out and catalogues need to change to reflect this - some are on the ball, like Manfrotto, and some are tardy. If in doubt, try to trace it on the web - despite the Chase-Me-Charlie nature of some internet research, there are good companies out there.If you are contemplating the big part of the studio - the lights - you need to think ahead. You might start with a small space and small ambitions but find that your scope widens and the space you need to light gets bigger. When you essay to go bigger, the power you need from your flashes grows exponentially. Plan ahead so that you have some reserve now - for later.Also plan what sort of...