Elegant Product Shots
- So How Sharp Is This Lens?
- Homeless for 5 Years
- Welcome a New Member of the Team
- A Surprise Gift
Elegant Product Shots
I'm quite engrossed in book writing right now, and to support the effort I took these two brochure-worthy product shots using the A7r and a Minolta 100mm macro lens (with LA-EA4 adapter, of course.)
|The unglamorous setup: Just one softbox. Black camera on a black background. Everything on manual because no camera ever made would get it right on 'auto'.|
Now that your light is nice and soft, you'll have to take your camera and flash off of AUTO since it will try to make everything look 18% grey and overexpose EVERYTHING. Here are the settings I used:
- Flash set to Manual Output mode, 1/2 power
- ISO set to 100
- 1/160th at f/8
The settings guaranteed that the ambient light wouldn't show up in the shot - just the light of the flash. I used an F20 flash to trigger the flash behind the softbox (this being a still subject I didn't mind the wireless flash delay quite so much.) This gave just enough light to illuminate the subject but keep everything else black. Doing low-key photography like this was difficult in the days of film but with the instant feedback of digital you can experiment and get what you want in less than 30 shots!
So How Sharp Is This Lens, Anyway?
People have been raving about the Sony / Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 lens, which pictured at the top of the blog. DxOMark said it was the 2nd best lens they ever tested. How much better could it be than my Minolta 50mm f/1.7? I did a 3-way comparison to find out:
|Click on the image to see a larger size.|
In the Next Cameracraft
|Image copyright (c) Michael Yamashita|
It’s hard to convey the breadth of Michael Yamashita’s accomplishments in a nutshell. He’s been shooting for National Geographic for 30 years – longer than any other photographer. As probably the most prolific photographer of everything Asian he’s published 10 books on its vanishing cultures. He’s produced several award-winning documentaries on the National Geographic Channel on the nearly forgotten Admiral Zheng He, the Great Wall of China, and even retraced the steps of Marco Polo’s infamous journey, which produced a documentary and a book which has been selling strong for 10 years.
In the next issue of Cameracraft, Michael tells about the "minders and fixers" which can be a part of every National Geographic assignment. Subscribe today and be inspired for tomorrow.
Seminar and Book Update
There are so many projects going on right now that I'm intentionally not planning any seminars for the rest of the year. However I will make myself available to any photo club that wants to bring me out. Right now I have club in Durango, Colorado scheduled in September. (I did a seminar for their club in 2012 and it was so well received that they want me back. How can I say no? :-) )
Here are the books that are in the works:
- The Spanish Version of the "Ways to 'Wow!' with Wireless Flash" is DONE and available here!
- A7 / A7r by Yours Truly
- Fujifilm X100s by Tony Phillips
- Olympus E-M1 by Mike Hendren
- Sony RX10 by Bob Scott
- Sony Alpha 6000 by Mike Hendren
Want to be notified when these titles are released? Drop a line to info@FriedmanArchives.com and let us know!
Homeless for 5 Years
This has little to do with photography, but everything to do with experiencing life. Two years ago I got the chance to meet two homeless sisters who are well-educated, articulate, and traveling around the U.S. living in the moment and surviving off of bartering and through the kindness of strangers. I was so fascinated by their story that I wrote about it, thinking it was a story worth sharing. This blog post is already too long, so I've moved the whole story to here.
Welcome to a New Member of the Team
|DR is the tall one on the right.|
I’d like to introduce DR Rawson (www.DRRawson.com), a long time friend and now my colleague here at The Friedman Archives. DR’s position is as “The Friedman Archives' Possibilist.” What does a Possibilist do, you ask? Here’s the answer in DR’s own words:
“Every business needs someone that is always looking outside the box at the many different ways an individual or brand can extend their presence or influence. It is the task of the “Possibilist” to seek these out and discover the possibilities that exist within."
DR will also be helping answer the email we get from loyal fans, some upcoming ebooks, and so much more. DR will help fulfill my goal of offering the best customer service on the planet.
A Surprise Gift
Okay, so this was an unusually long blog post. For persevering to the end I'm offering an unexpected gift: 10% off any downloadable product from www.FriedmanArchives.com/ebooks. Just use the coupon code TwoWeeksOnly during checkout. Enjoy!
Until next time...
Yours Truly, Gary Friedman