December 18th, 2012
Part 2 of 12 hours in room 402. Part 1 and the background story is here. The morning after our shoot with Agata, Abi arrived from Gingersnap model agency in Bristol. I’ve not shot with Abi before and she was a delight to work with. Here is a small selection of our shots.
Combined with the picture set from the night before these make up the kind of variety that I shoot in one regular hotel room. The room is a step above a Premier Inn or Travellodge room but not at a boutique hotel standard. A room like this could be found in any European town or city.
Lighting kit: I used an Arri 150 at £306 and an Arri 300 at £318, a Lupolux DayLED 650 at £700 and a Lupolux DayLED 1000 at £900. In the bathroom I used a battery operated low voltage Lowel id light at £612. The lighting kit combined cost about the same price as the Canon 5D mk3 camera without a lens at launch. It’s competent lighting that make these shots, the camera just records them. I dare say it, these pictures would have looked good taken on a mobile phone. However, having lighting kit is not the same as knowing what to do with it. We are often the weakest link in the picture making process. My advice is take the time to invest in yourself. Watch DVDs, practice techniques, attend a workshop, practice techniques then practice some more before using the lights on customer jobs.
I often see or hear about ‘professional’ photographers using fast prime lenses to avoid having to use lighting. “I hate flash” is a regular quote I hear. With the right workshop this fear can be overcome. I had to learn ‘flash’ when I left the BBC. I spent three days with a photographer called Andy Earl and in that time the penny dropped. Lot’s of practice since then has given me picture shooting opportunities and confidence. If a commercial client wants me to shoot at low ISO and with oodles of depth of field to capture the detail in clothing and yet maintain the ambience of the venue it excites me rather than scares me. Life as a photographer should be fun.
A 1:1 training session like this doesn’t need to break the bank and you can be sure that the improvement in your photography will be far more noticeable than spending money on a new camera. Email Laura for information on training to take your photography to the next level.
Lenses: The next investment after training is glass. Great lenses make great images. It’s their role to convert the three dimensional scene into a two dimensional image. I must say that I was suitably impressed with the performance from the three Sigma lenses that I have had the chance to shoot with over these last three sessions. My previous experience with Sigma lenses way back in BFB (before Facebook) was of a substandard product not built to last. How times have changed. The construction quality of the Sigmas is better than my Canon L glass and the optical quality is spot on too. The 35mm lens by Sigma is the first of the next generation of lenses and independent tests have shown it wipes the floor with the best from Canon and Nikon. I try to stay neutral in all this and my opinions are formed from experience. In just three days of shooting with the Sigmas my ideal lens line up has changed to:
Full frame Canon camera (I’m hoping for a Canon 3D sometime in 2013 to replace my 5 year old 5Dmk2) with:
Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 (I already own this and I’m delighted with it)
Sigma 35mm f/1.4
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 (I’ll be sticking with my Canon 50mm f/1.4 for now as I can’t justify the change but I do prefer the Sigma)
Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro L IS (Not good build quality but fabulous optics and the all important IS)
Sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro OIS (Great build quality, optics and IS)
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