- A Brilliant Way to Find Perfect Portrait Light
- 1-paragraph APP reviews
- Pivoting My Santa Gig
Pivoting My Santa Gig (*)
|Better not pout!|
So I was offered a Santa job at a mall in New Hampshire 3 days a week. I turned it down because, unlike last year, no COVID precautions would be in place. Even masks were optional. And even if the kids were vaccinated (a big IF), I would just be a huge asymptomatic super-spreader hotspot, and the kids would take the virus home to their families where either their vulnerable grandparents with compromised immune systems might die from it, or the virus can continue to fester and mutate. Neither option is an acceptable outcome.
Yet I don't want to waste this hard-earned beard. So I'm pivoting and offering a safe, online Virtual Santa Visit through the miracle of technology!
Give your child a safe and convenient experience with a Santa that talks up character values rather than material possessions. (Although toys will certainly be discussed.) Learn more and secure your spot at https://FriedmanArchives.com/santa !!! :-) I'm only doing this a few days a week through Christmas, so don't miss out!
- The Spanish book on the Sony A1 is now available in all formats!
- The E-book for the Sony A7 IV book is now open for pre-orders! Get 10% off if you pre-order now.
- The Streaming version of the Friedman Archives High-Impact Photography Seminar is on sale for December, and makes a great gift - even for those just learning using their smartphones. Use discount code Kodachrome when checking out.
- Don’t forget zoom talks – I've added a new talk at the request of the Royal Photographic Society. More about zoom talks for your photo clubs (and my most popular topics) can be found here: https://www.friedmanarchives.com/photo-clubs-only/
1-Paragraph App Reviews
- Looking for a creative ringtone that lets people know you're a photographer? Or just love the mechanical sound of a DSLR shutter? Check out this $30,000 Nikon Camera Symphony created by Benjamin Von Wong and Andrew Kesler. Recommended.
- There's a new 3rd party app called Monitor+ that controls Sony cameras and it looked great until I tried to use it. It was first hawked here by a guy with a ridiculously-large microphone (that should have been my first warning). It looked like a great user interface and even allowed you to shoot remotely and specify your focus point on the phone (something Sony's app doesn't always let you to do.) Tried it but it kept crashing, and tech support was useless. Good thing I didn't spring for the $18 full version. Not recommended.
Samsung Expert RAW – this was billed as being an experimental feature by Samsung, allowing your phone to save a processed .jpg and a .dng file on your phone at once. (Currently not possible - if you want one of each you have to switch modes and take two pictures.) This app was miserable - no shutter sound despite setting; normal and telephoto images come out way dark. Crashes a lot. Hard to install. Tap to focus doesn’t always. I de-installed it immediately. Not recommended.
Normal and telephoto images come out "way dark".
- Galaxy Max Hz app fixes it, but fair warning, you have to be a geek to install it, for it involves side-loading and running ADB from your PC. No, I can't walk you through it (hey! It's a 1-paragraph review!), but this website might help.
A Brilliant Way to Find Perfect Portrait Light
It's hard to find the perfect portrait light on your own, since everything might look perfectly good to your eyes. But your eyes and brain see light differently than film or sensors. Portrait photographers discovered that the most pleasing lighting for portraits is when soft light on one side of the face is exactly twice as strong as the light on the other side. (This is affectionately known as "2:1 Lighting Ratio". :-) )
|So is this.|
|16: 1 on the left; 1:1 on the right. Cinematographers know that lighting is a great way to manipulate an audience's emotions.|
|3:1. More dramatic.|
|This one is about 4:1. More dramatic still.|
|1000:1. Not your standard portrait lighting.|
|You'll scream when you get your lighting ratio right! :-)|
It's a simple little trick and I always keep a card tucked away in my camera bag. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you!
Next month: An alternative to Wireless Flash. (Plus a tour of the new studio!)
Yours Truly, Gary Friedman
(*) And for those of you who are asking what's a Jewish kid from Encino doing portraying Santa Claus, let me remind you that, with the exception of the real St. Nicholas who did provide presents to children, the modern-day Santa has nothing to do with Jesus or Christianity. (Same thing with Christmas trees.) (Or Hallmark Christmas movies). It's an opportunity to bring some joy to children; nothing more.