Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 ends with a BANG!

A week after Comic Fiesta 2011, there was another event that I know I can't miss- DCIM 2011! Another great event to test out my gears, shoot models and also hang out with friends!

As you all might know, photographers love to attend such events because there's always photographic opportunity to shoot something nice.... especially the pretty models there :P


There was a mini studio set up inside with all the fancy lighting and stuff. Awesome thing is that we get to use the lightings to shoot the model over there! This shot was achieved by using 3 light sources. 2 softboxes from left and right and a lovely Beauty dish from the front.

Love the lighting! The uneven lighting on the white backdrop seems awkard at first, but somehow I kinda think it works! Well at least not the usual boring plain backgrounds you usually see from studio shoots :P


 I like how well the Demb Diffuser performs when it comes to shots involving more than one subject. It's really good at dispersing light so that all your subjects is lit up correctly and evenly.



Colours are nice and skin tone is spot on, partly attributed by the good optics of my Sigma 30mm f/1.4. The model is from EOS DSLR.my booth.

And also Goldfries was going to give a talk about "One light only" which sounds pretty interesting, so I knew I had to attend it. Not many people realize that one light can do wonders, most would think that those awesome shots come from multiple lighting system with elaborate setups here and there. But turns out you can also get a good shot with just ONE light...!

And there's this 'fashion' show happening during the fair itself, that is the Velocity Angel Model Search! And I couldn't wait to have my first taste of cat walk shooting :P


Shooting cat walk may seem easy but is ridiculously tough. First thing you need to do is get a good spot! Try to get as close to the stage as possible so that  you don't end up shooting the backs of other photogs.


Secondly, look out for eye contact! When the model looks at your direction or anywhere nearby just fire that shutter! Nothing is nicer than getting a well composed shot and also eye contact from the model!



 Love the expression of the model. It's like "I found you!!!" She wasn't looking directly at my camera, but it still look good though! LUCKY LUCKY LUCKY shotttt!!

 
 I like the lighting and mood in this shot! Or maybe because it's my own picture? Hahaha


You can find more shots in my flickr here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kytz/sets/72157628604561355/

Also, thanks Legend Lee for his 100mm f/2.8 macro lens! Couldn't have managed those shots without that superb lens. Super fast AF and sharp lens! *drools*



Before we left, we spotted this model showcasing the Fujifilm X100 if I'm not mistaken. Pretty gal =)



And I played with wireless flash! Always wanted to get that backlighitng, flare kind of effect! Lucky it turned out quite decently and way better than on camera flash alone.

What a nice event I attended. Got good shots, met some nice people there and more importantly I got to experience 3 new things which are

1) Cat walk shooting
2) Studio Shooting
3) Wireless flash backlighting effect

And also Happy New Year everyone!

p/s: As usual, you can view all my pictures in my flickr here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kytz/

Monday, December 26, 2011

Busy month of December

Indeed a busy months with many events to cover. First there was the colourful Comic Fiesta which is usually held at the end of every year. I don't really watch that many anime/manga so I was pretty blur as to what the characters are being cosplayed at the venue lol! I'm just there to cover the event and hopefully to get some good shots.

Cosplayers gathered outside of the Convention Centre near the Park area for photo taking sessions. Good move I should say as indoor lighting conditions might not be as favourable as natural lighting.


I'm also quite happy that my Sigma 30mm f/1.4 lens manages to capture really nice and vibrant colours. Pretty good contrast as well, sharpness is good especially when stopped down to about f/4 for more DOF, crucial for group shots



This time round, I got the chance to test out my new Demb Diffuser Pro and results seem pretty sweet. It gives out good bounce and also helps to spread out the light more evenly. Excellent for group shots.


And it started to drizzle. So, it's back to indoors.

 You might notice that the flash is slightly bluish right? That's because I didn't have any colour gel at that time and  realized the importance of one.

  Colour gels are used for balancing colour temp of flash with ambient White Balance. Most events have warm ambient colour temperature so if one were to use flash in such a situation, it would result in warm Background whereas the subject would be lit with a cold/bluish flash. This is of course pretty bad as there is an unbalanced of colour temperatures. Increasing WB temperature during PP is possible but your background will be overly warm. One way to prevent this from happening is to use orange colour gels. This will correct the colour of your flash to match the ambient colour temperature which is orange.

When I was walking around hunting for my next 'prey' I spotted this fellow!! The Villian from Scary Movie 1!


Was slightly intimidated by his look actually hahaha =D

Here are the rest of the pictures. You can find it here in my flickr =)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kytz/sets/72157628565432449/

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bridal Wedding theme shoot


Been pretty much idling for the last 5 months or so, partly due to my laziness to go out and shoot and the other, nothing much of a significance to post it here :)

However, last month or so, a friend of mine told me about a photography gathering with tons of models and make up artists! There were about 100 photographers present as well!

The crowd was massive and everyone gathered in the nearby carpark lot in Tasik Titiwangsa to wait for the models to finish with their make up







And met with Philippe and his gang. Managed to get to test his Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 lens. Simply amazing! The sharpness and colour rendition is superb, also at it's widest focal length there isn't much noticeable distortion. Here are some poisons



And then the shooting session started!




Sunday, March 6, 2011

Shooooooting Birdies!

The Bird Park. Never thought that I'll come here for shooting.

As you see, they're the naughty kind. Constantly moving around, the type that never sit still. Heck, it's gonna be one tough day trying to shoot em' and to make matters worse, I don't have a telephoto lens

Anyway, today's trip is a photoshooting one, 'organized" by Brian aka goldfries for all the LYN shooters. Was nice meeting the forumers for the first time, in person. Nice and friendly people.

Justin let me play with his Sigma 30mm *oooooomph* I've always wanted to get this lens some day. A few clicks on the shutter, bang! Awesomeness, everything was spot on. Auto Focus was quick and precise. The bokeh was excellent, and all the shots came out sharp wide open! This lens has lots of contrast, a little bit too much for my taste. Image quality is excellent, although there's some purple fringing. Which lens doesn't?

When we gathered around, we also can't help noticing a father and son combo. Yes, both with big and long lens. You know like they say, like father like son eh. Anyway, it's good to see young kids picking up photography

I think the Dad is using a 5D Mark II with a EF 180 f/3.5L macro lens while the son is using a Canon 7D with a 70-200 f/4L. Not sure whether it's the IS version or not.







Birdies were hard to shoot. Lock focus on their eyes, and the going to recompose the shot.. *pooof* they flew away or turned their head. So I learned that either I do it quickly or I choose different AF points, not the centre one.


Bird Park is a really big place and with all sorts of birds. With all the vibrant and different colours too. Sadly, I couldn't even identify any of em' except the Peacock. LOL

Funny, I can't help looking at this bird here staring at his meal being prepared. The pose, the look, the eyes staring right into his meal. By this time, birds were already crowding around, they seem to know when lunch time is served eh?


Chaotic. Used a Slow Shutter speed of 1/13 sec at f/22, ISO 100. Was bored with the usual fast shots, so I tried to do something new. This picture is of course, to show motion.


And, that's all for today' entry! Will be doing a blog post on the recent PC EXPO. Stay tuned

Friday, February 11, 2011

Children's Day Out

Photographing children has never been easy, I was told.

Had the opportunity one fine day in Mid Valley. Just finished some rounds in IT Fair, I got attracted by the colourful and nicely decorated small stalls set up in the Centre Court. Well set up and decorated. I saw some children there too, colouring and making Chinese New Year lanterns and costumes I think.

That's when I took out my DSLR and started shooting away.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cheongsam Shoot

Here are the all the pictures from my previous photoshoot session which I did mention in my previous entry. Quality of pics are a little degraded when uploaded here. So do take a look at my flickr gallery instead if you want maximum quality, over here:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/kytz/sets/72157625687312287/



Here are the three lovely models for the day; Renee Hong, Sonia Ng and Shermaine Chow.












































































































Saturday, January 15, 2011

Portraiture session

Went for a recent photoshoot session co-organized by D4M and CM photography, I learned a few things namely:

1) Outdoor Shooting is easy? Think again!

I have always had the perception that outdoor shooting is relatively easier than indoor shooting because lighting conditions would be good, especially when it's a bright day. Oh my... I was certainly proven wrong by the conditions that day - Sunny,hot and humid. "How bad could it be? " you might think.

First of all, the very bright conditons SCREWED my camera's metering system, resulting in totally over-exposed and underexposed images very frequently. At the same time, my white balance was also OUT but luckily I was shooting RAW. I had to constantly dial up and down the exposure compensation, using Av btw, after every shot. And when I've adjusted it already, the next shot again came out underexposed/overexposed. It's because the lighting conditions is so variable to the extent that a slight change in angle(composition) will more often than not, result in such drastic results.

2) Using "fill flash" ?

Looks easy, sounds easy but it's not easy. Balancing flash output with ambient lighting in indoor shooting is always a challenge. But how about balancing flash output with a super duper GIANT overpowering source of Light? Result- your camera Metering system gets OWNED once again. Dial down the Exposure Compensation and use flash to fill up the foreground subject? Didn't work at all... was pain in the a$$ to get the settings right, I was probably spending more time checking my camera than on taking pictures LOL.

And one important thing, I was using a Nissin Di622 Mark 2. It only has a max sync speed of 1/200th sec which is so slow for bright conditions where you would be needing a much faster speed(HSS), because I wanted to use wide apertures of like f/1.8 and f/2.8. Having only a max speed of 1/200 means that I had to dial down the aperture to around f/9 and even worse f/11 to get an "optimum exposure". Remember I said metering was screwed? Had to dial either up or down again, to get the proper exposure.

f/2.8 or f/1.8 is so desirable especially when you want blur out the busy background or there are background elements that you wouldn't want to be in your picture. And also, one of the reasons for shooting @f/2.8 instead of f/1.8 is because as you narrow down the aperture, sharpness increases. Refer here : http://k-ytz.blogspot.com/2010/12/prime-lens-awesomeness.html But I had to use undesired aperture values just to get the so called exposure right.Either this, or I really need a Canon Speedlite which can do HSS(High Speed Sync speed) of around 1/2000th i reckon. I prefer the latter though haha

Using fill flash also often screws up pictures. They came out overly exposed, sometimes not firing at all, underexposed pictures. It's just so Rojak! Same case, I had to keep dialing up and down the Flash Exposure compensation this time + the overall exposure compensation. Now, 2 things to worry about for EACH and EVERY shot. FML =.=

3) Posing and Composition

A good portraiture shot is not only about the photographer, it's about both the photographer and his model. You want a certain type of shot, but your model does not know that. Show/tell her what type of poses you want be it a smile,not smilling, looking away or certain angles like bending towards something, hands crossed or up in the air, etc.

Some shots are nice when the model looks into your lens, however there are some also which are nice even when the model doesn't give eye contact.Normally this types are to give a feel or mood to a certain type of shot. Composition,angles and lighting play a major role in getting that kind of effect

Came across this book before the shoot. Seems pretty good actually, although I dunno what is written there =X http://forum.lowyat.net/index.php?showtopic=1269417&hl=

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Also, that in portrats, composition is very crucial for getting a good shot. Some tips here:

1)This is most important- What to frame?

Don't just shoot a full body shot with no background at all. That won't make a good picture. You should instead always look out for background elements to add into your frame, to enhance the composition. There's not much skill involved if you're just shooting dead on full body shot. There are always things around to spice up your pictures, so it's up to you as the "painter" to use your creativity.

2) Get your angles right- High?Low?Side?

Best if you experiment, and take many shots from all sorts of angles.And also don't worry that you end up with "rubbish" shots because the more you shoot, the more experienced you become, and therefore you'll have an idea on which angle to tackle =)

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To sum up both points above: What to frame + Get your angles right

Which picture do you prefer? Left or Right?









I'll be updating with another post of the pictures I took. Stay tune.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

2011 WishList

What a nice way to kick start the New Year with a nice WishList? Actually, I'm pretty much broke already, having spent most of my money on photography *sigh*. What an expensive hobby, I kept reminding myself. How can one help it, when you're trapped in a whirlpool full of poison which you can never escape.It would take quite a lot of will power to escape.

Anyway, cut the crap, here's mine.Which I hope to be able to fund for it by saving up on lunches, maybe working(lol?) and by doing anything necessary to earn $$ lol:


 1) A  23" Dell U2311H E-IPS monitor

I've always wanted to get a monitor to pair up with my Studio XPS 16 laptop for a long while now. Been using a 15.6" screen for already the past one year, I want more workspace for web surfing, watching movies and photo editing. Talking about photo editing, this is also one of the main reasons why I'm getting this. This monitor is not your usual monitor, it's a E-IPS LCD monitor mind you. The usual monitors uses TN panels but this one is using a E-IPS panel which is far more superior and costly too. Colour reproduction and accuracy are far greater than the other monitors you find in the market within the same price range

Price:RM639 from Dell's main website. Comes with 3 years warranty on default.
Link: http://accessories.ap.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=my&cs=mybsd1&l=en&sku=230-11538&s=bsd&redirect=

2) Seagate GoFlex Desk 1TB 3.5" external HDD

Tons of Storage space! Who doesn't want 1,2,3 TBs of HDD space? Video and picture files are getting bigger and bigger nowadays. More and more people are downloading bigger and bigger media files like FULL 1080p videos, especially movies which can easily take up to 21GB of space just for a 2 hour movie. Well, of course you can opt for the lower resolution of 720p which is roughly around 4-6GB depending on the quality also. Games also are taking up so much space, for example SC2 which I installed took up 8.67GB of precious HDD space. That's why I need more space!

I've been taking quite a lot of pictures lately, shooting them in RAW, Post Processed in Lightroom 3. Guess what, a single 18MegaPixels .... yes 18MP of goodness.. RAW file takes up about 26MB of space. That's just 1 picture. I shot about close to 400 pictures in a day of event shooting. That's around 10GB of space! Bloooody space consuming. Laptop HDD left around 70GB of space, that also after "cleaning" up don't know how many times already. Kennot tahan, need moarrrrrr~!!

Price: RM230-250
Link: You can get it anywhere =) The prices are roughly similar around Malaysia although the cheapest prices are in KL =)



3) Demb Diffuser Pro


I've wanted to get this for some time now, especially for indoor event shooting where there's isn't any low walls for bounce flash.Bounce flash is very important mind you, to reduce the harshness of direct flash and to remove those dark shadows especially on the eyes.

Price: RM175 from Yamiya
Link: http://www.yamiya.com.my/store/product.php?productid=17379&cat=0&page=1











Yup those are the three I'm aiming in the near future, where actually I can foresee getting the Demb Diffuser Pro much faster than the other two. $$ factor. Getting these three is more of a matter of " When " than " If "  =)

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This is my my aim by then end of this year or starting next year.

1) Sigma 50 f/1.4 EX DG HSM 

There's no need any introduction to how awesome this piece of glass is.

It's a huge and gigantic lens by the way, 77mm filter thread FTW! It has a standard focal length of 50mm(80mm in 1.6x sensor), a large aperture of f/1.4 and HSM which stands for Hypersonic Motor, which is equivalent to Canon's USM(Ultrasonic motor). The f/1.4 wide aperture will promise a much better bokeh experience. From what I tested, it's really creamy and smooth unlike my current 50 f/1.8 which tends to be more "distracting" and less creamy.

Build quality is superb, it's heavy and really feels like you're holding one L lens in your hands. The large front element (77mm filter thread btw) is so BIG and BEAUTIFUL, it kinda gives you some indication to what it can offer, SUPERB Image quality. It feels a little rubber on the outside, with a nice smooth focus ring and that HSM works like a charm. Very smooth, quiet and fast focusing in action! Blerghhhh reminds me of my nifty fifty's transformer's sound =.=

Price:RM1.6-2.1k depending on ORI or AP set


2) Sigma 30 f/1.4 EX DG HSM

Surprise surprise! This will be exclusively for indoor event shooting when it's crowded with people,where a 50mm lens would be practically unusable as it's too tight. At 30mm, one can shoot wider and closer(due to closer MFD).

Price: RM1.7k