a (fashion) shooter

Archive for February, 2009

some hot spreads

by on Feb.22, 2009, under the industry

A couple recent hot spreads mentioned on Fashiongonerogue. the first one in Italian Marie Claire:

Tiiu Kuik and Michelle Buswell on the beach

and here is the lovely Doutzen Kroes  nude in VMan magazine

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Magnum photographer at the New York Times

by on Feb.21, 2009, under the industry

Just in case anyone here missed it, Paolo Pellegrin of Magnum Photos has done some relly beautiful work for the Times recently in the 2.28.09 issue of the magazine – Oscar Issue: Great Performances. It’s a somewhat unusual approach to commissioned celebrity photography, and the results are lovely.



There were also some nice photos by Ryan McGinley in the 1.25.09 article – What Do Women Want?


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more tests…and notes on lighting

by on Feb.17, 2009, under cameras

(I was trying to get off of this testing phase on this blog. and back to lighting, but I am still testing…)

In trying a third Canon 5D Mark II body today, it focuses better with the outer AF points, but they are still no good for full figure shots where the target is far off. Lots of out of focus ones. 


On a positive note, the outer AF points seem to work ok for waist-up shots. And the color on this one is FAR better than my other 5D2 bodies.


(If the skin tones look a little funny, that’s because they are. The model is going to Japan tomorrow, where they insist that the models be as pale as possible. So she’s been hiding from the sun ;-) And thus, copius amounts of spray-on tan were applied.)


Still, if I were shooting something critical and could not be tethered to a computer to check focus, I would not use this camera! The auto focus is just too dodgy on far away objects, even using the center point. Tis a pity.


p.s. Dear Canon: Isn’t the one-shot AF mode supposed to only take the shot when it’s achieved focus at the selected AF point? IF so, maybe part of this problem could be resolved with a firmare fix: make it so that in one-shot AF mode the camera actually does not take the shot if the image is out of focus. Would this work, or can the camera just not tell that the image is not in focus?

**notes on the lighting setup for the above shots will follow shortly**

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Canon 5D2: so long

by on Feb.08, 2009, under cameras

My 5D2 is now gone. I couldn’t take it.
There are a few issues with this camera which I can not live with. The AF is still pretty bad on this, my second 5D2 body in anything but the brightest of light. (the first one was returned with abysmal focusing and weird image quality issues.)
People right and left are reporting failures in damp conditions/light rain. There were a bunch of 5D2 failures on Michael Reichmann’s Antarctic trip.
I am used to the 1-series bodies, which have never given me issues – the AF on the 1Ds3 has been superb. I get nearly 100% in-focus shots on the 1Ds3, as opposed to 50-70% typically in focus with the 5D2. Even my original 5D bodies have more consistent AF. Sheesh. There is also banding in shadow areas, even at 200 ISO and with the firmware update. I do not have any banding issues on my 3 other Canon cameras.
Additionally I still feel the 5D2 files are not as pretty as the 1Ds3 files are. Maybe it’s the new low pass filter, maybe it’s something else…anyway, with the grip and two batteries inside, it’s not noticeably lighter than the 1Ds3. So, I’ll try again with a video/DSLR camera once Canon sorts this thing out, or Nikon comes out with a good one. In the mean time, I’ll be shooting my older 5D bodies which have been bullet proof for years, 1Ds3 (which I LOVE) and perhaps a Nikon D700 just for kicks.
I do not usually shoot in conditions where I need to worry about water resistance in a camera, but lately I have been. Here are a few images of my friend Jenny’s horses (5D2.) I was shooting there because I am planning a fashion shoot this spring which will involve horses. Once again, there were many blurry shots, and what looks like very brittle looking images. Here are a few which turned out ok:
In the end, when the stakes are high (as they are whenever I am shooting a job) using a camera which I am not sure is focusing correctly, or which I am afraid may fail if there is moisture in the air, etc. is not my idea of a good time. There are plenty of things to worry about on a shoot. I don’t think my camera should be one of them.
(*I cringe every time I remember this scenario: I was shooting advertising with the 5D2 with models, hair, makeup, stylists, etc waiting on me. As I was shooting tethered, the art director was standing next to me looking at the monitor and saying “they are soft!”, and I was there thinking, yeah, I can see that, but I don’t know what the f*ck to do about it. This is after hours or working with the AF microadjustments, etc., etc.)
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