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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Another Session...

I just conducted another basic photography session.

A bit of activity to teach the tricks of group shooting.

To my students who are reading this blog entry, take note that the photo above is perfect composition based on the Golden Mean where the triangles A, B & C are clearly seen.

Me and my students.

The gist of my basic teachings are :
1. Get the exposure right, know the exposure triangle
2. Get the focus right, know where to point the lens
3. Get the perspective right, know the right angle, lens, and distance to get the shot

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Zuiko and Bicycles

E-30 with Zuiko Digital ED 35-100mm F2.0
35mm, f/3.2, 1/400s, ISO100, -0.3ev

I have rekindled an old past time - cycling. The last time I rode a bike was when I was a teenager, which was a 17"-frame road bike. This time around, I got myself a 17"-frame hybrid bike.

I have found that for the past twenty years, a lot of technological development had advanced this mechanical wonder. I remembered the cumbersome gearing system, the heavy iron frame, and the non-friendly tooling for wheels, brakes and fitting setups. Now, with the wonder of materials engineering the frame is much lighter, and the inclusion of easy clip-ons for easy fittings and tooling. The gearing system is very friendly, too.

What makes this past time worthwhile now is that I have a cycling partner - my lovely wife. She loves mountain bikes, but I came from road bikes. The easy way out was for me to get a hybrid bike so that we can go on trail and park rides on many occasions. So far, after one week getting the bike, I am getting the feel of riding again. Well, not counting my motorcycling days with the Aprilia RS125, the exuberance and excitement of pedaling this lovely machine really hit the right spot. I am feeling the freedom, the speed, the youth; and, using just plain clean energy while riding is just great!!

Except for the sore buttocks for the first couple of days, the light aluminum 6061 frame and wonderful Shimano equipment have helped eliminate the potential pains to my arms, back and legs. Lovely!!

Daughter coming straight at me, Continuous AF to track her approach
100mm, f/3.2, 1/640s, ISO100, -0.3ev

Well, it seems that the whole family also on the bike thing. My two kids are also enjoying this leisure. It's a good way to spend quality time with my family.

Son diligently putting on the helmet, hard at work trying to lock-in the straps
100mm, f/3.2, 1/160s, ISO100, -0.3ev

As for photography on wheels, I have decided to go back to 135 camera system, especially the OMs due to its lightweight design and small size. I seem to have about 30 rolls of Fujifilm Reala 100s in the fridge. It's about time to unleash Full Frame.

Till then....

Monday, April 5, 2010

Zuiko and Green Apples

I had some spare time after sending my daughter to Enopi Math class. The 30-minute gap was used to do some quick flash shoot.

35mm, f/4.0, 1/60s, ISO100
This was processed in High-key to accentuate the full breadth of flash coverage

Green apples.. that looked simple but cool!

How did I do a 2-minute setup?

Get the E-30 with a moderate telephoto lens, in this case the Zuiko Digital ED14-35mm F2.0 SWD.

Get the FL-50R flash, and set to Remote mode. Quickly activate the Remote Commander menu on the E-30, and fiddle with the TTL setting.

Place the two apples on a dark glass table. Shut the room lights, and use ISO100 to blacken as much as possible the disturbing backgrounds.

Position the flash in various angles and height to see the different effects.

And don't forget the Do's and Don'ts of simple composition techniques. Rule-of-Thirds, Depth-of-Field separation, contrast isolation, parallax error, etc, etc.

Shoot in RAW only, and later process it using the Olympus Studio software. The E-30 Art Filters are available in Studio v2.2.


By changing the angle and light intensity, a different effect was created.
This was processed in Low Key to accentuate the dark contrast zones.

Zuiko and Flash Techniques

Event shooting is all about getting the right shots and meeting the client's needs. You only have one chance and there's no repeat! Hustle, hustle!!

E-30 with Zuiko Digital ED14-35mm F2.0 SWD + FL-50R
23mm, f/5.6, 1/1250s, ISO400, -0.3ev + Direct FP Flash + Spot Metering

Those were the mantras I kept repeating in my recent Event Shooting class. And boy, did the participants got a whole load of flash techniques.

You name it; the basic flash techniques for quick event shooting were covered. It started with simple direct flash and output balance calculation. Then we proceeded with the bounce & white card, and estimating ceiling height factors. Next, it was dragging the shutter in dark lit room, playing with 2nd/rear curtains. We went outdoors, and played with FP high sync flash to negate "the skull effect". High speed coverage with rapid flash and rapid movement followed, which was finally topped off with the indoor/outdoor flash balance technique.

Of course, the basic EV measurements along with GN calculations and DoF controls were thrown in the whole sha-bang! At least I managed to confuse most of the class before they got their hands dirty the next day and saw what I was talking about the whole day before!

Though I was tired, it was satisfying. To see the participants learning a lot within a short span of time was very rewarding.

On to the next class....