studio photography Tag

The Muraro " Heavy Compact Small Stand " looked like a pretty simple box to bring home. It was sealed and I expected to find a Manfrotto look-alike inside - Boy, was I surprised. To give you a comparison I have included my Manfrotto compact stand in some of the images today. Not trying to play one wholesaler off against another, but there are some interesting design features here. This is the two stands folded up. The Manfrotto is the smaller one, but it isn't all that much smaller. It's a great accessory for taking to dance shows - I put a Hahnel Captur receiver and a Fujifilm EF-X500 flash on it and set it out some way from myself. It sometimes gets a more central position in front of the audience than I do but is unobtrusive enough to sit out there all night. I do sandbag it as the legs are short. But look what happens when you fold out the Muraro in comparison. About 6 inches more height and a great deal wider base for the legs. That's as wide...

The whole idea of taking pictures of toy cars - or silverware, jewellery, football fields, etc. - for illustration is to show all of the subject in focus. And to show some part of the surroundings in focus as well. Oh, it is fashionable to have one eye on a bride and groom in focus and everything else fuzzy - the same applies to kittens - and it is easy to get things fuzzy on kittens. But when you are selling something people want to see how good it is rather than how arty you are, and they want to see it all over. Thus the fight on the tabletop for every millimetre of sharpness. The optical facts of life say depth of field is greater with a shorter focal length and this applies to little lenses as well as big ones. The rules that smaller apertures produce more DOF and that moving closer reduces the DOF also stay. It is a balancing act. So far, I have found that, for my purposes, the act balances better with an APS-C sensor. Now...

There is nothing that excites a photographer more than a big, new, complex, camera. A close second is an equally imposing lens - and photographers can be seduced with ease if the gear has some new feature. I often used to think that the lens makers chortled evilly to themselves in their secret laboratories until I saw a not-so-secret Panasonic laboratory at Yamagata in Japan. No-one chortled - they were very serious and careful people. This report has no chortling either, and very little in the way of complexity or imposition. The equipment is not flash-bang pre-order Photokina stuff either - it is readily available goods that Camera Electronic has in stock. But the idea is to see if there is a better way to do a certain task - a task that may be similar to ones that you, the reader, want to do. The brief I gave myself was to see if the smaller sort of compact digital camera was up to the task of small-scale studio illustration. To see whether I had overlooked a resource for my specialised subjects. To...

If you've been following the series this week on reflectors in the studio, you'll probably wonder what we have that second head in the two-head Profoto or Elinchrom set. Well this when - when you need to throw fill light in from a distance and you can't get a reflector to do it. Or when you need to flood a subject with light entirely. I won't go into lighting rations for several reasons: a. I don't understand them. After 1:2 the only rule of thumb I know is buckle my shoe...

I got older early in life. One of the benefits of this was I discovered that I did not know it all. And that I could get into a rut. And then I figured out that you could listen around the edges and read the next page and pick up ideas. They might not have been good ideas, but at least they put you in a new rut instead of the old one. Thus my new studio routine was born. I instituted it after reading Steve Sint's book on product photography. Sint is a commercial shooter in New York who does weddings and products. He publishes through the Pixiq company at present thought some of his work is by other publishers. He writes well, and amusingly, and had never put me wrong. I can't do all the things he does, but whenever I do something he recommends, it works. He does, as I say, tabletop shoots. That is what product illustration and some concept shooting amounts to. Also what catalogue shooting really is but no-one ever admits it. The difference between what Mr. Sint...

I do not intend to rule the world, or bother going to see any more of the Tolkein movies for that matter, but the idea of one lens to take all my pictures is a rather attractive one - particularly when it means keeping it on one camera and not having to open the hatch to let dust in. I will excuse studio illustration work as I have a dedicated camera, lens, adapter combination that does that right now. I feed batteries and cards into it and extract images and as long as it churns the pixels I am going to pronounce myself satisfied - but there are more shots than just upon a product table. I go out to dance shows, car shows, and general affairs. The dream of one focusing ring to cover all is tempting. Did I use a full-frame DSLR or mirror-less body, I would opt for a 24-70 f:2.8 from whichever manufacturer I fancied and be satisfied with that. If I were using a small-frame DSLR I would ask for a 17mm or an 18mm to 55mm...