Sunday, January 6, 2008

Tamron Macro Seminar at B & H

A couple months ago, I was invited by the good folks at Tamron to do a "day o' demos" at the new Event Room at B&H Camera, in New York City. The video clip below shows a portion of the Macro session.

We had a pretty typical set-up, gear-wise. It was what I always use in the field.....Fuji S-5 DSLR, a Tamron 180mm Macro lens, with a Lee lens shade. All mounted on the trusty Neo-Tech tripod from Manfrotto. And to fire the off-camera remote flash units, the new Sky Port transceiver system from Elinchrom....VERY small, and no misfires, so far.

Since it was right in the middle of winter, in the northeast, Gregg Maniaci from Tamron, thought some tropical, real delicate, exotic Orchids would be great subject matter. Apparently, he missed the Botany memo. Luckily, a couple of these babies survived the treacherous "nite in the freezing car trunk" ordeal, and we had some suitable flowers to shoot, afterall.

This 1:1 macro lens let us get in really tight on one of the blooms....and with some strong backlighting from one of the remote flash units, we ended up with some nice abstract images.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Sled in Parking Lot With The Lights On

I spotted this guy just a few days before Christmas in a local store

SoCal Christmas

Southern California is a great place to spend the Holiday season. We don't get snow right in the city, but, there's always a lot of creative lighting on some of the landmark buildings. And, one of these is the Spanish style resort in Riverside....The Mission Inn. It never really WAS a mission, but no one seems to care. It seems authentic, and, being this close to Hollywood, close-enough is just fine. It sure LOOKS like a real mission.....and to a photographer, how the prints look is all that matters. My wife Sue, (who has a REAL job) had her company banquet here in late December. And since I got to tag along, a camera was mandatory. Because tonite's shooting was all for my own amusement, the weapon of choice was the new Canon G-9 point-and-shoot. This is my first experience with anything less than a full-on SLR. It really feels strange using such a small and amateurish looking piece of gear. But, man, the results are unbelievable! 12 megapixels, shoots RAW, and has a very impressive video option, with the standard 640x480.....and, if you don't mind sucking up storage-space at a fast rate, a really high quality 1024x 768 option! The digital audio is really incredible, too. The photo above was taken right at dusk. The white balance was on "Tungsten" No tripod here, so it was handheld, with the ISO set at 400. Aperture was 3.2 and the shutter was manually set at 1/15th. I made a 13x19 print, and it's smokin' sharp, with minimal noise! As we entered the banquet room to the sounds of a live band....I was able to grab the camera, twist the dial to the icon of a Movie Camera, and start shooting in about 2 seconds! No warm-up time, and really good results in low light. And, the great thing is....whether you're shooting stills or video, this camera is so small and simple one even notices that you're shooting! A far cry from schlepping around a huge DSLR with an external flash.
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