Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pinhole Photography

Last week I had a meeting with my web designer. The meeting went well and we totally connected on how the site should look. So ladies and gents...heres to having a site in a couple of weeks.

So some time back I did a little experiment that I thought would one day help save me ass when I needed to pick a topic for my blog. That time is now...and the topic is pinhole photography.

I came across a website that detailed the construction of a pinhole camera from a box of matches. I can't remember how, nor do I remember exactly which one it was, but if you Google, you will defintately find something. The first link on top takes you to the one, the only, the awesome DIY Photography website: LINK.

Some say it was held together by my passion for photography. I, honestly, think that the electrical tape helped a lot. But you know what, this was as close to primitive photography I could have gotten. Granted I didn't develop the film, but taking the photos felt strangely exciting. I would hold the camera against anything I could find to eliminate camera blur, open the flap to let in light, count to about 5-15 seconds and close the flap. Then twist the film a couple times and start again. I hope to rebuild my camera and use it to take some special photos. I would like to think my second round at this will go a whole lot smoother.

Here are a couple photos of my good ol' camera.

And here are some of the photos. Some of the photos below have been washed thoroughly through post-production.

Somehow I feel like I can use one those photos for my 51-Word Challenge. I gotta get back on it. Also, in the batch of photos above, you will find something that deals with a topic I would like to write about...I tried to hide it pretty well so I will be impressed if someone can guess what it is. I will give another hint next week.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Review of Presslite Vertex Revised

Review of Presslite Vertex Revised

So there have been a couple of reviews floating around that I have read on this little gizmo, but they are rather stale. I mean, if I could write a review about those reviews, that is what have to say. Wheres the passion? If you are gonna support a product that you think rocks then let me rock with you. Instead its like a trip to grandma's house on the day your friends want you to come out tothe movies with them. And not the kinda a trip where you leave with a $20 dollar bill either. Now I am not gonna go pointing fingers and naming names; my finger is way to important for that: I need it to take photographs. All I am saying is, if you are gonna support a product, then show me some ENTHUSIASM!!!

So lets start of with the appetizer of this review. I am in the mood for something light and not too filling, but something everyone can share and enjoy. For that I guess you guys need a little backstory and a lot of what the hell is Sergey talking about. In mid-August I was browsing this really awesome website called DIY Photography. There was a quick blurb about a device that was coming out in September. This device is known as the VerteX. It was love at first site. The way it looked, the way it moved; I was in awe. So I thought, let me send them out a quick email and do a little name drop that I am from Paranormal State and see what happens. Well come beginning of September I had a pre-production unit, a rented lense and a model that was ready to go.

Now for those that are curious about what I am talking about, just do a quick visit to their Presslite's website or go directly here for a quick demo on couple of its possibilities.

The photoshot that I did in my previous blog, was done using the presslite. Now because the biggest advantage of using the presslite is that it allows you to direct light to bounce of walls ceilings, etc, I had bring a stand and an umbrella for the outside photos. I will be first to admit that I probably do not have the most knowledge when it comes to external flashs and all the accessories that are out there, but I have an open mind and the ability to recognize potential in subjects. And that is exactly what the Presslite Vertex has in my eyes. It has the potential to open a person up to a whole other world of photography. Can one survive without the VerteX? Yea, I don't think every photographer needs it. But I think like an explorer, and to me, this is something worth exploring.

This review is not done. In fact I will go out and do a more technical photoshoot today...wheres Ryan and Xander at? But if you guys have any questions let me know and I will incorporate them in the review.

A quick story on sturdiness:
A lot of people have brought of concerns that it looks fragile and will break easily. That is not the case. As I was leaving the house with the camera, flash and vertex all attached I accidentally smacked the VertX right off the camera agaisnt the door. It went flying. Picked up, examinded it...nothing. Nothing broke. It still works and it works fine.

Keep on snapping....photographs, not at one another.

I love my grandma.

Technical Report

Here are a couple of test shots and how the light reacted. I didn't have the ability to come up with the cool 3D animated demo on Presslite's webiste so I took photos of how my VerteX was positioned.

Set up 1: Light bounced of the mirror panel and hit the right wall. The other part of the light bounced of ceiling and a tiny bit of the diffuse panel.

Set up 2: All light bounced of the diffuse panels straight toward the the right wall.

Set up 3: All light bounced of the mirrors straight toward the right wall.

Set up 4: Half of the light bounced of he mirror panel and half bounces of the diffuse panel.

Set up 5: Half the light bounced of the mirrors straight toward the right wall. The other, smaller half of light bounced of the ceiling and a tiny amount of the mirrors heading directly toward the subject.

Set up 6: Something like 70% of light went toward the ceiling. The other 28% or so went toward the slight right and the other 2% toward the subject.

Did I really just write," I took photos of how my VerteX was positioned."?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

First Model Photo Shoot

Hey there my photography gangsters, 

So in the midst of being busy with Univ-Con, I managed to squeeze in a photo shot that I did with a model I had met up with. Ashley is majoring in PR and is a really cool person. It has been sometime since I did a formal photo shoot, and on top of that, I hardly ever shot anyone other then my friends. 

I was trying some experimental lighting, which I was tell you more about later...probably after Univ-Con. 

Ashley - 1

Ashley - 2

Ashley - 3

Ashley - 4

Ashley - 5
Should I remove the spots or should I leave them? I kinda feel it adds to the photo. Or maybe I need to add one more effect to make those spots feel like they are part of the photo.

Ashley - 6
Wish I got the right foot into frame...

Would appreciate all comments and critiques...I gotta go back to Univ-Con.  Will write more later tonight.

Addicted to photography,

Friday, September 05, 2008

In a hotel room in ny...

Hey Everyone,

The following blog is brought to you with limited interruptions by water.

There are times when I think how cool it would be to have a carbon copy of myself; who will do what I say when I say to help me out with life. Unfortunately that scenerio only exists in my head.

My photography was partially put on hold as PRS and I are working on show promotions and
Univ-Con, our 7th annual paranormal conference. Ryan, Heather and I are in New York. We are going to do the CBS Early Show tomorrow. And its gonna be live. That's right live! Talk about pressure. Watch me trip as I go walking towards my seat; remember Serg, "right foot, left foot, right foot, left foot, left foot, right wait...damn it." See, I better write this on my hand so I don't screw this up.

But while I am here I can at least stop by and saw hi to me 'rents. It has been some time since I've seen them and I miss them. I feel bad, because I want to see so many of my friends but I can't. Russians I am so sorry...well I am sorry if you are reading this blog. If you are not, then I take that sorry back. I will buy you guys a drink, next time we are out.

The one thing that I love about New York is that it has a great cast of characters. All for me and my camera to observe and capture them. And that will be on my to do list after I get all this work stuff out of way.

Water: Just drink it.

Also, quick side note. Google just release a beta version of Picassa 3. This is one amazing program for PC users (they are working for a mac one), that will help with browsing through and organizing your photographs. You can check it out here: just because serg said click here, will you really do it?

Have a great weekend everyone; I need to go have a chat with myself.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Tribute to a Photographer: Philippe Halsman

As my photographic journey continues to take me places unknown, I come across a few people who share part of my passion.

I came across Philippe Halsman or at least his photograph sometime ago and reminded myself that I would need to revisit this at one point. It has become one point.

Salvador Dali Atomicus Photo by Philippe Halsman

The photograph above does a great job at both capturing the portrait of our intended subject, and grabs your attention and doesn't let go. This was the day of no photoshop. A day where throwing a cat or two was required to get an amazing photograph.

Rumor has it that Halsman was originally going to use babies, but their modeling agency demanded too much pay. The babies have yet to earn any other gigs; they are currently unemployed. The cats went on to do a Friska's commercial.

Essiantly though, it took six hours and 28 outtakes to get this shot. A more detailed article can be found here on how the photograph was produced. So without further ado, for my tribute to Halsman, I will take photographs of objects in mid-air today. I need to practice on how I handle my external flash. For this mini-day project I will be using my amazing Canon Rebel with a Canon 28-105mm lens and the Canon 580 EX II Speedlite. Come on Canon Sponsorship!!!!

And last but not least, our 51-Word Challenge continues.


Raw Nature