Upping my Game...
Also in this issue:
- Other ways to get a blurry background
- A-Mount to E-mount Adapter Nuances
- Portrait Lighting Workshop (and other events)
- And more...
Upping My Game
For over 20 years I've prided myself on making "Wow!" images using pretty modest equipment. I was one of the earliest proponents of wireless flash when Minolta introduced it to the world in the 1990's. I used it extensively in my travels to add better light with the greatest of ease.
But over the years I slowly started to hit its limitations. It wouldn't reliably trigger outdoors (or in a large gym, as I discovered on an important shoot); and the intensity of the flash would be severely reduced when trying to "overpower the sun" using High-Speed Sync (HSS).
Recently I wanted to "up my game" and start taking outdoor portraits using fast glass wide open. That almost always means using a fast shutter speed, necessitating either a camera with a leaf shutter in the lens (like the Sony RX-10 or Fujifilm X100 series) or using a powerful strobe capable of High-Speed Sync (HSS). Essentially, what I wanted was the benefits of modern technology so I could do portraits that would wow my customers (and possibly other photographers). And it meant triggering via radio instead of using the wide and narrow pulses coming from the on-camera flash.
And so I've acquired three new radio-controlled Godox flashes: The AD600, AD200, and the TT350S, and have been putting them through their paces for the last few weeks.
|Godox flashes sell under the brand name "Flashpoint" by Adorama in the US, and "Neewer" in Europe.|
After extensive testing my first real shoot was with the awesomely talented singer / songwriter Melissa K. Harding. (Listen to her creations on Spotify, or learn more about her at www.melissaharding.com .) As always, click on any of the images to see them larger and sharper.
|AD200 with umbrella to left, TT350S behind providing the hair light. I would have taken a behind-the-scenes shot but a car was coming.|
|I don't know why I like this one...|
|Here we wrapped the tiny flash in a paper tube to make it a spotlight, and exposed for the ambient studio light.|
Seminars and Workshops
The Friedman Archives High-Impact Photography Seminars are being planned for the 2nd half of the year, including Atlanta, Georgia; Boulder, Colorado, and Scottsdale, Arizona. Let me know if you'd like to be on the waiting list for any of these cities at Gary at Friedman Archives dot com.
There's also a new event scheduled for July - a Portrait Lighting Workshop, co-hosted by myself and Master Portrait Photographer Brian Ramage. A chance to get true hands-on practice under the guidance of two pros who do a pretty gosh darned good job with this stuff. This one-day event will occur on July 28th in Huntington Beach, California. Enrollment is open now, and be sure to use the early sign-up discount code reubal to get $50 off!
In the Pipeline
Sony A7 III - Pre-order now at a special price!
Fujifilm X-H1 - Pre-order now at a special price!
A-mount to E-mount Adapters
This is for you Sony shooters who have A-mount lenses and want to use them on an E-mount body. Sony has 4 such adapters: the LA-EA1, LA-EA2, LA-EA3, or LA-EA4, and choosing between them used to be an easy decision: the even-numbered adapters always gave the best performance. Then Sony introduced E-mount cameras with native phase-detect AF, and the nuanced decision became less cut-and-dried.
To help demonstrate the nuanced behavior, I've put together this short video (because if you were to read the same information your eyes would just glaze over):
Here's the extended summary for those of you who don't want wade through a 13-minute video, enhanced by youtube viewer "Lofote":
- Screwdriver-driven lens? LA-EA 2 or 4. (If you don't need autofocus, then you can use LA-EA1 or 3.)
- SSM / SAM lens and APS-C body: LA-EA1. The LA-EA1 isn't being made anymore, so you can substitute the LA-EA3 instead.
- SSM / SAM lens and any full-frame body except A7R: LA-EA3
- Camera that has “NEX” in name, the original A7, A6000, A5000, A3000, A3500, A7S, and A7S II: LA-EA2. Since the LA-EA2 isn't being made anymore, you can substitute the LA-EA4 instead.
- Sony A7R: LA-EA4
(Don't forget to watch the alternative ending at the end! :-) )
Next time: I can't imagine blogging about taking engagement pictures. But the ones I'll share next time are special...
Yours Truly, Gary Friedman