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Fuji Instax SP-3 printer

I’m still loving my Fuji X-H1 that I bought recently. A sweet extra that I added was the Fuji Instax SP-3 printer  (B&H / Amazon). This printer allows you to print directly from the camera itself, giving a 2.4” x 2.4” polaroid. But you don’t need a Fuji camera to use it. You can print from your phone as well, to create 2.4  x 2.4″ polaroid type prints.

This photo above is my first test print – the make-up artist for the photo shoot in the studio today. I know it’s old news for Fuji shooters, but it’s new for me, and I’m kinda excited about it. I can see how it would be very useful as an ice-breaker, especially if you do street photography or photograph strangers. Better watch out, Louis Mendes, I now have the technology too!

Another huge benefit of this instant printer – because you do it from the camera (or phone), you still have the proper RAW or JPG  file. The instant print is now not just a one-of-a-kind photo – you can print the image repeatedly from the printer by hitting the ‘Reprint’ button. And of course, since you have the image in the camera, you can print it any time later on too.

The downside of this Instax printer is that the rechargeable battery runs down fairly quickly. If you’re going to use it extensively, you’re going to have to carry a battery pack with you like an Anker or Mophie to keep it charged.

 

Affiliate links to purchase the photo gear shown here:

 

How to set up the Fuji Instax SP-3 Printer

Page 174 in the X-H1 manual explains it:

Go to ‘Connection Setting’,  and enter the printer’s SSID and password.
The SSID is embossed in tiny letters on the edge of the printer, and the default password is 1111
Then, when you display the photo on the camera, hit the ‘Menu’ button,
and go to the 3rd page of the menu – the Instax printer should be an option you can select.
Hit ‘OK’ and from there the menu will guide you.

 

Related articles

Silent Shutter / Electronic shutter vs mechanical shutter

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Available light: Boudoir photography & Feminine portraiture

The direction of light is an elemental part of portrait photography. We can control how we pose and position our subject in relation to the light – and we might be able even control the direction of light, as we did with this sequence of photos of our model,  Adrienne.  To start off this personal workshop on Lighting for Feminine Portraiture and Boudoir Photography, we used only the available light that was streaming through the large windows in my studio.

This painted canvas backdrop is on a roller stand. (There’s a photo of the canvas backdrop further down in this article.) This meant we could change the position and angle of the backdrop, and we could also  change Adrienne’s position in terms of the direction of light. A perfect introduction to visualizing how the direction of light (and her posing) affects the contrast and the shadows.


 

Camera settings & Photo gear used in this photo session

This pull-back shot will show the light source – large studio window. It is slightly frosted, so the light is diffused. You will notice the white balance changes between some of the images – that’s because there were clouds moving in and out, changing the   color balance a bit.

 

About the backdrops – with space ever more at a premium in my studio, I’ve had to improvise something to keep two of my favorite backdrops handy.

Mounted on this stand, I can still easily roll them out of the way. I can also rotate them around as I did with this photo session, and still keep the lighting the same.

  • The smaller backdrop is by Oliphant Studios
  • The larger backdrop is by Kate Woodsman, which is the one we used on this day because we needed the width for the changes in Adrienne’s posing.

As an aside, I want to mention that my studio is available as a Rental Studio in NJ.

I also present Studio Photography Workshops where we explore studio lighting.

Or, if you just want to learn more about studio photography, here is a good introductory article: Tips for your first time in the studio.

 


 

At the very start, we used flat lighting. The backdrop was parallel to the windows, with the windows behind us when we photographed Adrienne. Soft flattering light, but there is little interplay between light and shadows. For something more moody, we would have to change the direction of light.

 


 

With the backdrop at about a 30 degree angle to the window, we are getting more shadow. Because the light source is so large, the way the light falls off into shadow is gradual. This gentle gradient in the light makes the change in contrast still easily flattering for feminine portraits. But we still have to be deliberate in how we pose and position our model.

 


 

With the backdrop at about a 45 degree angle to the window, we had to be even more specific in how we posed Adrienne. Keeping the principle of Short Lighting in mind, I had Adrienne pose with her shoulder towards the light, and her face angled that way too. The light now has a very different mood than in the first photo in the sequence where we had flat lighting. The choice is ours.

 


 

Related articles

 


Books on Boudoir Photography


 

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Studio photo session with a dancer – gelled flash

Following on the article showing the Outdoor photo session with a dancer, Ella – here is a studio photo session with another dancer – Grace. For this particular sequence, I decided on using gels to add a splash of color to the images. Grace is impressively elegant, with powerful movements when she jumped.

As far as the poses and movements were concerned, I again let myself be guided by the expert here – the dancer herself. Similar to how I described the collaborations with Ella (previous linked article), and with Anna Russel, and the tips on photographing dancers and ballerinas that she gave us.

The pullback shot below will reveal the lighting, and also the strip of carpet we had for Grace to land on when she jumped, to help cushion her feet against the hard concrete floor.

Let’s have a look at how the studio lights and gels were used.

The colored light are via the two Profoto 2×3 RFi softboxes (affiliate), to either side of her – each with a different gel. I wanted the gelled light to be more diffused than you’d get from a hard light source – hence the softboxes. The gels are from the Profoto gel kit that I normally use with the Profoto B1 flash. The studio lights used here are the Profoto D1 lights though, so I keep the modeling lights off, to not hurt the gel.

The splash of light on the background is from the Profoto beauty dish  (affiliate) that was on a boom arm. The reason why I chose the beauty dish for this, is due to the way the light from the beauty dish is contained … and also that this light was already mounted on a boom arm.

The main light on her is a Profoto RFi 3×4 softbox (affiliate) on a boom-arm, that you can see to camera-right in the photo. I changed the intensity of this flash, depending on how much fill-light I wanted from this. In the images shown here, you will notice some are more dramatically lit than the others. This mainly has to do with the brightness of this light.

In these two comparison photos you can see the effect with this main light switched off and on:

Photo gear and lighting used during this photo session

  • 1/125  @  f/8  @  100 ISO

 


 

 

Moving the gelled lights more towards the back to be more of a back-lighting on Grace. The main light is switched off.

 


 

Related articles

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Outdoor photo session with a dancer – Ella

An additional challenge when photographing dancers in movement, is the exact timing. That fleeting pose in mid-air needs to be captured at the exact moment when their feet, hands and the entire body is positioned in ideal way. Some advice about this was given in a previous article on photographing dancers – tips on photographing dancers and ballerinas – but much of it relies on constantly conferring with the dancer, who will know exactly what they want.

Ella is a dancer, with a delightfully confident personality – especially so for someone who is only 12 years old. Ella and her mom were visiting New York for a dance contest, and at the same time, wanted photos of Ella with New York as the setting. The Brooklyn Waterfront immediately came to mind – lots of space to shoot in (which is rare in Manhattan), and there is the magnificent view of the Manhattan Skyline.

To make the most of the photo session, we steadily worked according to a plan I had as we roamed around the Waterfront area. I didn’t want the photo session to feel rushed, but there also had to be a certain efficiency.

In terms of the photography, there were certain techniques that just made sense:

 

Lighting: 

I had to work with Ella’s schedule, so we had a time slot of 9am – 12pm on this semi-cloudy day. With that, the light changed as the clouds slowly moved in and out. To punch up the overcast light, or to help balance the harder sunlight, I relied on my workhorse lighting setup:  Profoto B1 TTL flash  (B&H / Amazon), with a 36″ octabox – the the Westcott Rapid Box 36 XL (B&H / Amazon). I like how the octabox collapses and sets up quickly. And of course, the Profoto B1 flash has enough juice to give me high-speed flash sync in bright light, while using a softbox. A speedlight just can’t match that.

Of course, I positioned the light in the direction that Ella wanted to do her movement. But I also had to be cognizant of the light when the sun broke through. Lighting is seldom a static decision when working on location.

The camera settings for the photos on the boardwalk ranged around:  1/1250 @ f/3.5 @ 100 ISO, depending on the cloud cover or the sun.

 

Composition: 

For the photos on the dock here, I mostly worked with the 70-200mm lens, at 200mm (or thereabouts), to really compress the perspective. For these long shots, I also lay down on the boardwalk so that I reduced the amount of “floor” in the photo, accentuating more of the background. It is important to note that I mostly shot these by zooming to 200mm, and then step back to find my composition.
–  Nikon D810 with the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II

For the other images shown here, where we used more of the scene to show context, I used a 24-70mm lens.
–  Nikon D5  with the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8E VR

 

Posing:

As mentioned at the start of the article, the decision on the movement and posing was up to Ella and her mom. Then I had to concentrate on the timing – not to trip the shot too late or too early. I would pre-focus on a spot, and then lock the focus. The timing is too crucial to wait for the camera to first respond by focusing.

In a sense the posing was a collaboration between Ella and myself, depending on the location and the lighting … and what she needed photographs of, with the actual pose depending on her.

 

 


 

 


 

Camera settings and photo gear used

  • 1/1250 @ f/3.5 @ 100 ISO, depending on the cloud cover or the sun.

 

Related articles

 

 

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Silent Shutter / Electronic shutter vs mechanical shutter

I “accidentally” bought a new camera recently. I had no real intent to. This is going to be a long story … or a short review. The story starts when I dropped the small camera Fuji X-T20 (affiliate) that I use on a gimbal. While it was still in for repairs, so I went in to my local camera store, to see what I could rent for a gig that upcoming weekend.

I idly asked to see the new Fuji X-H1 (affiliate) … and the moment I tripped the shutter, I knew this was the camera I had been looking for. It has the quietest mechanical shutter that I’ve ever heard. Super-quiet shutter sound – only the slightest of “snick” sounds. And if I wanted an actual silent shutter, it offers an electronic shutter like other mirrorless cameras.

 

Mechanical shutters vs Electronic shutters

Mechanical shutters come in two types – leaf shutters (more commonly found in medium format cameras), and focal plane shutters (which we commonly find in 35mm film cameras and DSLRs. The focal plane shutter which everyone is familiar with, has two curtains which physically open and close to expose the sensor to light. The time difference between the first (front) shutter opening, and the second (rear) curtain closing, determines the shutter speed.

Mechanical shutters, by their very nature, make some kind of sound. Add to this the sound of the mirror flipping up and down with DSLR cameras, and you have even more noise when you trip the shutter. This combined sound can be lessened somewhat with DSLRs when they delay the mirror returning down. This is what happens with the Quiet mode on DSLRs. It’s slightly quieter, but not silent.

For a truly silent shutter, an electronic shutter is needed. An electronic shutter reads the data from the sensor, line by line. No mechanical shutter involved – but the time taken for the data to be read, (which varies from design to design), can cause problems under certain conditions. You can get “rolling shutter” – for example wiper blades become bendy. Or when the camera moves at certain speeds, the subject can become “wobbly”.

The real problem with electronic shutters appears when you get banding in your photos when shooting in with certain types of artificial lighting. Some artificial lighting isn’t quite continuous, but pulses (usually at the frequency of the AC power.) Then you get

Here are two examples from a wedding that I photographed, where I tested the Sony A7R III  (B&H / Amazon) for a few frames to see how the silent / electronic shutter would work out. Not so well, in this situation.

The banding is quite horrendous.

Here is another photo taken directly afterwards, using the mechanical shutter.

Both images were taken at 1/200 @ f/2 @ 3200 ISO

The banding may have been reduced at slower shutter speeds. I wasn’t going to experiment any further during the wedding, and continued with my workhorse cameras – the Nikon D5 and D810.

This banding  is nearly impossible to fix in post-production. The appearance of the banding depends on a few things though:

  • The appearance of banding depends on how fast the camera dumps the info from the sensor. A camera like the The Sony A9  (B&H / Amazon), has a much faster readout than the Sony A7Riii, and is less prone to banding.
  • The specific shutter speed will affect how banding appears, and you might find at slower shutter speeds that it is much less noticeable.
  • And of course, the lighting type will affect whether there is banding at all.

Note again that the banding doesn’t appear in the image with the mechanical shutter.

 

The need for a silent shutter

I have been strongly desiring a camera with a silent shutter for a long while now. Every time I’m photographing a wedding ceremony, or a corporate event where someone is speaking at a dias, I cringe when the loud shutter sound echoes around the quiet of the place.

With corporate events, where someone is speaking at a podium or on stage, I would like a selection of photos of the person while they are speaking, but without weird mouth contortions. This means I have to take a lot of photos so that I have that choice afterwards when I cull the images …. but the camera’s loud shutter sounds so loud, that I can’t bear it to take so many photos. It really stresses me out in quiet environments.

It gets even worse when I have to stand close to a videographer, for then zina is the camera’s sound can be really intrusive.

So I’ve been looking for a camera with a really, really quiet mechanical shutter, and an electronic shutter for when I truly have to be silent.

That camera turned out to be the Fuji X-H1 which I accidentally bought when I discovered just how quiet its shutter is. But buying the Fuji X-H1  (B&H / Amazon) wasn’t really such a quick decision – it’s been a long path getting here.

 

How I decided on the Fuji X-H1

As mentioned earlier, with DSLRs you need to distinguish between the silent (electronic) shutter and the quiet shutter … which is just the mechanical shutter with the mirror return delayed. It’s still not silent.  The Canon 5D mk 4 is very quiet with its Quiet shutter. The 5D mk3 and 6D are even better.  The Nikon D810 isn’t too loud either, but they can still be heard.

I love my workhorse Nikon D5  (B&H / Amazon), but the shutter is loud. It does offer an electronic shutter for silent shooting, but the D5’s electronic shutter limits you to a 7 megapixel JPG. It can’t shoot RAW files with the silent shutter.

Then the Nikon D850  (B&H / Amazon) seemed like a perfect solution for me, fitting in with my existing system, while offering a silent / electronic shutter for when I need to shoot silently. The major obstacle for me was when I found that the  Nikon D850 medium RAW files are soft.  So that still left me hanging.

The Sony A9  (B&H / Amazon) would appear to be my best option … but the mechanical shutter is still loud. If I had banding issues even with the A9, I would be stuck with a loud shutter. I wanted silent or really, really quiet. The Sony A9 is much less prone to banding than the A7iii … but electronic shutters will suffer from banding to an extent, until they they manage to make the ‘global shutter’ (with instant readout of the entire sensor), more affordable.

So yes, I’ve been strongly considering the Sony mirrorless cameras, but their shutter sounds are loud. Electronic shutters are actually silent, but you run the risk of banding when shooting in artificial light – which is generally what you encounter when shooting corporate and other events. Sony can still happen. I just don’t see much advantage over my Nikon D5 for most things.

So here, unexpectedly now, I have a new camera that I’ve fallen in love with – the Fuji X-H1.

The X-H1 offers in-camera stabilization, which might be crucial for some. There are various other features which makes the X-H1 a really superb camera. I also like the soft shutter release. Some people complain that there isn’t an apparent point at which you can feel resistance to hold the focus, but I found I instantly liked the feel of the shutter button.

 


 

I bought the Fuji X-H1  (B&H / Amazon) along with the Fuji XF 50-14mm f/2.8 R  (B&H / Amazon), and I immediately used this combo at a corporate event where there were presenters speaking in an auditorium … and I LOOOOVED there being so little shutter sound. What a relief after the ker-chunk of the Nikon D4 and D5 bodies. It really feels like a weight off my shoulders not cringing every time I hit the shutter button.

 

For equivalent sensor technology and megapixel count, the full-frame sensor will always give you that stop better high-ISO noise, compared to a crop sensor. However, here is the 100% crop of this photo shot at 3200 ISO with the Fuji X-H1. I can live with this.

This was shot at 1/55 @ f/2.8 @ 3200 ISO … and I had some subject movement at that slow shutter speed. But I could take a much larger number of photos without anyone knowing, and then select the sharp images where people had good expressions.

With mirrorless cameras, the lack of a mirror also means there is no mirror slap, less risk of blurred images. And when you shoot in silent mode with the electronic shutter, there is no physical shutter smacking around inside the camera, and this too reduces your risk of camera shake.

My final summary – I think I am going to love this new direction that this (type of) camera will allow me – completely silent (or near silent) photography.

 


 

Related articles

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New York infrared B&W photos

It’s Summer again and (intermittently) sunny outside, and the trees are green … or snow-white as in this B&W infrared photo. The contrasty tones, and the dark skies with bright foliage are typical of B&W infrared photographs. Last year, in this article on mirrorless cameras and B&W infrared, I mentioned how I had searched for a Fuji camera & lens combination that worked without giving me a central hot-spot. I found the Fuji 14mm f/2.8 lens (B&H / Amazon) worked beautifully on my infra-red converted Fuji X-E2, without that hot-spot in the middle of the photo. The 14mm lens also gave me the necessary wide sweeping view that I wanted for B&W infrared cityscapes.

Here are a collection of images shot recently, with that infrared converted Fuji X-E2 and the Fuji 14mm lens:

The B&W infrared images tend towards the surreal – which works to our advantage. Here the white steam from one of these roadworks pipes appear to blend with the clouds … but are in front of the traffic light. This makes the traffic light appear simultaneously more distant.

 

This photograph was taken during dusk when there is less infrared light to be found because the sun has started to go down. Except in this case, the heat from the food cart provides a ghostly (infrared spectrum) light compared to the surroundings, which then drops into comparative darkness. I wish I had taken a similar photo with my iPhone to show how bland it looked as a color image. None of this dramatic light.

 

Sunlight reflecting off one of the many windows in Manhattan, gave this oddly structured highlight on this building, revealing just the face of the person in the billboard advert as the rest of the building drops into dark shadows.

 

 

Times Square tourists participating in one of the street performers’ acrobatic antics, incongruously seem to be praising the Westworld billboard in this photograph. The ghostly white skin tones that B&W infrared render helps make this even more surreal.

 

Next up, three images taken in and around Bryant Park in New York. Two scenic photos, and then also this photo of the boule players in the park. You can just barely make out the heavy metal ball flying through the air.

 

The next two photographs show the architecture surrounding the area around the Ground Zero Memorial in New York.

 

Related articles

 

Converting your camera for infrared capture

If the look of infrared photography appeals to you, then you can have your camera converted by Life Pixel. On their website they list all the options, as well as which cameras are suitable, and which lenses might be a problem. There’s a ton of useful information on infrared photography! Check them out.

 

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Bounce flash photography and dark ceilings

With the tutorials here on how to bounce flash, the questions inevitably come up – what if there is nothing to bounce your flash off? What if there are dark ceilings? Well, these limitations do affect how I use flash at events – but I still work according to a few set guidelines that give me the best results with bounce flash.

I bounce my flash into the direction that I want to come from, regardless of whether there is a white wall or ceiling. It really is all about the Direction of Light.

I also shy away from using any of the on-camera plastic diffusers or flash modifiers. I rarely use any other light modifier than the Black Foamie Thing.

These are topics we have discussed before:
– Bounce flash off a dark ceiling
– Wedding reception lighting with one flash

Now, there are times when I have to resort to off-camera flash to help augment the on-camera flash, and sometimes when I have to rely on just the off-camera flashes to be able to capture the event. Difficult venues where on-camera bounce flash just isn’t plausible.

This recent wedding took place in a venue with a wooden ceiling – but worse than that, there were wooden beams which really didn’t reflect much light … and still, my first approach is to see how on-camera bounce flash would work.

You can see how the beams here would create deeper areas where the light just isn’t reflected when you bounce flash. In the background, and to the right, you can see that there were strips of white areas to the ceiling. This just complicated things.

With times like these, I revert to manual bounce flash, rather than the customary way of using TTL bounce flash. The TTL exposure is too erratic in this scenario – I suspect that so little of the pre-flash is returned (that the camera uses to determine TTL flash exposure), that the camera just can’t give a proper TTL exposure. It was the case here with the Profoto A1 flash (B&H / Amazon) that I was using.

I ended up using full manual power on the flash to be able to get f/3.2 – f/3.5 @ 3200 ISO here when bouncing off the wooden part of the ceiling. When I moved to where the flash would bounce off the white part of the ceiling, the exposure would then completely blow out. There TTL flash would make it easier again.

This is where the Profoto A1 flash (B&H / Amazon) came in really handy. Not only does it have a bit more power than the regular top-end speedlights, what helped me was how easy it is to flip between manual flash and TTL flash. Just the slider switch on the side. No need to go into the menu to toggle the setting. Just slide the switch up or down to either TTL or manual flash, depending on where I was in the reception room.

This did mean that I had to continually check where I was bouncing my flash – but this has become second nature, since I am always considering the direction my light has to come from.

The Profoto A1 is also superb in allowing me to repeatedly fire full bursts of flash without the flash overheating.

Here are a few more of the results:

I did use the  Black Foamie Thing here as my on-camera flash modifier. Not so much because it would control the direction of my flash, but to not blitz people in the eyes with such a strong beam of light.

 

Photo gear used during this photo session

 


On-Camera Flash Photography

On-Camera Flash Photography – revised edition

This book is explains a cohesive and thorough approach to getting the best from your on-camera speedlight.

Particular care was taken to present it all with a logical flow that will help any photographer attain a better understanding of flash photography.

You can either purchase a copy via Amazon USA and Amazon UK, or can be ordered through Barnes & Nobles and other bookstores. The book is also available on the Apple iBook Store, as well as Amazon Kindle. Also check out the Amazon Kindle store.

Learn more about how the cover image was shot.


 

Summary

In a sense there is nothing new here about bouncing your flash – rather it is an affirmation that keeping to specific ways of approaching lighting, gives a look that is consistent with the style of photography that clients see on my website. That becomes important – creating a look that clients can expect when I photograph their events. Also, bounce flash photograph is really easy – and give superb results if applied with some thought … even when it seems near-impossible.

 

Related articles

 

Video tutorials to help you with flash photography

If you like learning by seeing best, then these video tutorials will help you with understanding flash photography techniques and concepts. While not quite hands-on, this is as close as we can get to personal instruction. Check out these and other video tutorials and online photography workshops.


 

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Nikon D850 medium RAW files soft?

In the review of the Nikon D850 camera, I noted that this near-perfect camera had one major flaw for me – the medium RAW files appear soft. For event work or any kind of volume work, the massive full RAW file is just too much overhead, whether in storage or processing time. I need a RAW file in the 20-24 megapixel range. The medium RAW file of the Nikon D850 (B&H / Amazon) would have been ideal – allowing me to shoot the majority of work as medium RAW, and occasionally flipping over to full-size RAW.

I have had several photographers contact me to say they just don’t see the same results as I had. One of the things that I take pride in with the Tangents blog is that I want everything that I show and explain, to be real and stand up to scrutiny. That’s one of the motives behind this website – with the Flash Photography Tutorials, I wanted to be able to show the results from the techniques, and not just make big claims or grand-stand, as you often see on photography forums or in Facebook groups. I want the material to show in consequent way, what the flash photography techniques can achieve. The same goes for everything throughout the site.

In testing resolution of a lens, I am mostly guided by how sharp a person’s eyelashes are rendered. That helps me decide if something is really sharp … or just adequate. It works for me, but it isn’t exactly a neutral, scientific test.

The idea that I might be propagating a false idea that I found the Nikon D850 medium RAW files to be soft, pushed me to finally buy a lens resolution chart – this one. It is made by AbelCine. More about it on their FAQ. There’s still a learning curve for me in properly interpreting the info to be gleaned from it. But at least, there is now a less subjective way of comparing results. (That thing is expensive, so expect to see it more often here on this site!)

 

 

I took photos of this in the studio, using 4 cameras:

  • 45 mpx; 25mpx …  Nikon D850  (B&H / Amazon)
    The example shown below is with the camera set to medium RAW, and processed with ACR.
  • 20mpx …  Nikon D5  (B&H / Amazon)
    The example shown here is with the 20 mpx image rezzed up to 25mpx so that the size is the same.
  • 24 mpx … Nikon D750  (B&H / Amazon)
  • 36 mpx as 25mpx … Nikon D810  (B&H / Amazon)
    I shot with the D810 in the 1.2x crop mode, which brings the 36 mpx down to a more manageable 25mpx which we can then compare. I had to move the camera slightly back to get the same framing.

All these were shot in the studio using studio lighting, with a Nikon 105mm f/2.8 micro lens set to f/8.  That lens at f/8 is really, really sharp. I shot this at a distance of around 12 ft to the board.

Here are 100% crops of approximately the same area of the processed JPGs of the RAW files.  I tried to match the framing as closely as possible.

What I looked at – the sharpness of the lettering, as well as the sharpness of the two areas marked 9.5 – the softness might not be dramatic, but it is there.

Now specifically look at the larger area with concentric circles marked as 7.5 – the D850 medium RAW file doesn’t show this as perfectly concentric. There is some weird artifacting happening that will affect detail. The other three cameras don’t show that.

To my eye, the Nikon D750 looked sharper than the Nikon D850 medium RAW file. The 25mpx crop of the Nikon D810 looks sharper than the medium D850 file. The uprezzed Nikon D5 file still looks a touch sharper to me than the medium D850. With the superior focusing of the Nikon D5, and the superb high-ISO noise, this is till my first choice as a workhorse camera.

 

 

 

 

Summary

There are the results in a more tightly comparable format. Whether the differences are enough to swing you either way, is personal choice. I wanted to be wrong about this – in so many respects the Nikon D850 (B&H / Amazon) is as perfect a camera as you can possibly get. But there it is. As mentioned in my original review of the Nikon D850, it convinced me that I needed another Nikon D5  (B&H / Amazon).

 

Related articles

 

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Flash Photography workshops NJ NYC

Photography Workshops in NJ / NYC  (2018)

Here are the dates for the group photography workshops for 2018.
There is the regular workshop on flash photography with speedlights, and two workshops on studio lighting.
Then there are the 3 dates where we will do the Photo Walks in New York again.

As always, there is the possibility for personal workshops and tutoring sessions which can be tailored to your needs and to your schedule.


Flash Photography Workshop with Speedlites

The fee for the full-day workshop is $600 and the workshop is from 9am to 8pm. Lunch and refreshments are included!

The workshops are limited to 6 people, so that I will be able to attend to everyone. There will be two models with us. The workshops will be held at my studio in Little Falls, NJ. The tempo is relaxed – I want to make sure everyone benefits, and will be a stronger photographer at the end of the day.

The flash photography workshop for 2018 will take place on:

  • July 15, 2018  (Sunday)  –  NJ

For more details and to book a spot: Flash Photography Workshops.

 

Photo Walks in NYC

With the NYC Photo Walks, we will photograph a model around a colorful, interesting parts of New York City. The group will be limited to just 4 photographers, so it won’t be crowded. We will also work at a relaxed tempo, so that I can attend to everyone and help everyone get amazing images. There will be an assistant to carry and hold the light for us. We just get to shoot and have fun! Here is a recap of a previous photo walk which took place along Brooklyn’s East River waterfront.

I will provide the Profoto B1 flash, and will have enough Nikon, Canon and Sony wireless TTL triggers for the Profoto flash so that everyone can shoot individually.

The $200 fee for the 2-hour photo walk is due at the time of registration.

  • May 27, 2018  (Sunday)  4-6pm  – Brooklyn Waterfront
  • August 26, 2018  (Sunday)  4-6pm – Brooklyn Waterfront
  • October 28, 2018  (Sunday)  4-6pm  –  Brooklyn Waterfront

For more details and to book a spot: Photo walks in NYC 

 

Studio Lighting Workshop

If you’ve been curious about getting to know more about studio lighting for portraits, but it all seems too daunting or technical, then this Studio Lighting Workshop is for you. The program is aimed at being is a learning experience where you get to use studio lights and light modifiers. After this workshop, I want you to feel comfortable next time you step into a studio, knowing you have a solid place to start from, and have the confidence to experiment further.

The workshops will be held at my studio space in NJ, and it has a wide range of studio lighting gear! It is easily accessible from New York as well, and we can fetch you from the local bus terminal. There is also free parking at the studio.

  • April 22, 2018  (Sunday)
  • November 18, 2018  (Sunday)

For more details and to book a spot: Studio Lighting Workshops.

 

Personal workshops & tutoring sessions

If you would like an individual workshop, or a personal tutoring session, those are available as well throughout the year, depending on both of our schedules. The studio is only 17 miles from Manhattan. Just a short hop from New York and quite accessible by bus. Oh, and there’s parking at the studio. Free parking.

If you are limited in how far you can travel, there are Skype sessions and also video tutorials to help you get a much better understanding of photography and lighting techniques.

 

 

The post Photography workshops (2018) appeared first on Tangents.

How to set up wireless flash with the pop-up flash

In starting to use off-camera flash, there are some minimum pieces of gear we need. Such as this gear list – starting out with off-camera flash. We don’t necessarily need to buy radio triggers immediately. Many new cameras with a pop-up flash, has the ability to have the pop-up flash be a master to optically trigger a slave flash. This is especially helpful if you are on a budget. Later on, when the limitations of optical slaves start to hamper us, can we look at buying radio triggers.

Radio controlled wireless triggering of a flash allows the photographer to not be concerned with line-of-sight between the camera and the remote flash. So that is the ideal. However, using the camera’s pop-up flash as an optical trigger is a useful intermediate step for us. And it also works in a pinch, even if you have radio triggers.

The camera can be set up so that the pop-up flash acts as the master controller, and through a series of light pulses that we can’t distinguish with the human eye, control a slave flash. Normally we would set the pop-up flash to not add to the overall exposure, but just trigger the slave. The slave flash then is the one illuminating our subject, whether as direct flash, or used with an umbrella or softbox.

These three tutorials for various cameras show how we do it in the menu of the camera, and in this example, the Canon 580EX II flash. If you have a different camera and flash – and you most likely do – these tutorials can still help, since the setup remains quite similar for most cameras.

 

 

 


 

This video tutorial is one in a series that originally appeared on the Clickin’ Moms website in 2012, but licensing has now reverted back to me, and here we are – a tutorial that might be dated in terms of some of the gear used, but the principles remain the same. In conjunction with all the other articles about off-camera flash photography, these videos should make a good primer on the topic of off-camera flash.

For a more up-to-date list of gear for off-camera flash, start with this: Gear list – Starting out with off-camera flash

 


Off-Camera Flash Photography

Off-Camera Flash Photography

With this book, I wanted the material in the book to flow as a truly accessible introduction to off-camera flash. The techniques here are within the reach of everyone.

As always, the aim was for those aha! moments when things become clear and just makes sense. And then, hopefully, inspire the readers of the book to see how easily off-camera flash lighting can expand our photographic repertoire.

You can either purchase a copy via Amazon USA or Amazon UK. The book is available on the Apple iBook Store, and Amazon Kindle.


 

Video tutorials to help you with flash photography

If you like learning by seeing best, then these video tutorials will help you with understanding flash photography techniques and concepts. While not quite hands-on, this is as close as we can get to personal instruction. Check out these and other video tutorials and online photography workshops.

The post How to set up wireless flash with the pop-up flash appeared first on Tangents.

Video tutorial: Manual flash settings

One advantage that the larger speedlights have over the smaller speedlights – aside from more power – is that they show the distance the flash can reach for the specific settings. This video is a continuation of the off-camera flash tutorial series. What is described in this video is also written out in more detail in this article: Practical tutorial: Controls for manual flash exposure. If manual flash seems confusing, then I would recommend checking that article out as well, and then look at this video tutorial on manual flash settings again. It should all fall into place then.

The gist of this video, and this tutorial: Controls for manual flash exposure, is that the controls for flash exposure are all inter-linked. Manual flash is controlled by 4 things:  Power, Aperture, ISO, Distance.  (We can use the acronym ‘PAID’ to remember them.)

Now, if you have correct flash exposure, as you change one of those settings – Power, Aperture, ISO, Distance – you have to control one of the other settings to keep to correct exposure.

Or, the counterpoint to that is, if your exposure is under / over, then you can change one of those settings to affect the power to get correct exposure.

What this video explains is how the back of the speedlight tells you exactly what you need to know – how the change in power affects the distance (for a chosen aperture & ISO combination.)

If this doesn’t quite make sense yet, work through this video and that linked article on manual flash – while you have your camera in your hand! It definitely needs the practical hands-on visual to see how this is interconnected.

If you bounce flash though, then this all changes. The above is for the flash pointed directly at your subject.

 

This video tutorial is one in a series that originally appeared on the Clickin’ Moms website in 2012, but licensing has now reverted back to me, and here we are – a tutorial that might be dated in terms of some of the gear used, but the principles remain the same. In conjunction with all the other articles about off-camera flash photography, these videos should make a good primer on the topic of off-camera flash.

For a more up-to-date list of gear for off-camera flash, start with this: Gear list – Starting out with off-camera flash

 


Off-Camera Flash Photography

Off-Camera Flash Photography

With this book, I wanted the material in the book to flow as a truly accessible introduction to off-camera flash. The techniques here are within the reach of everyone.

As always, the aim was for those aha! moments when things become clear and just makes sense. And then, hopefully, inspire the readers of the book to see how easily off-camera flash lighting can expand our photographic repertoire.

You can either purchase a copy via Amazon USA or Amazon UK. The book is available on the Apple iBook Store, and Amazon Kindle.


 

Related articles

 

 

Video tutorials to help you with flash photography

If you like learning by seeing best, then these video tutorials will help you with understanding flash photography techniques and concepts. While not quite hands-on, this is as close as we can get to personal instruction. Check out these and other video tutorials and online photography workshops.

 

The post Video tutorial: Manual flash settings appeared first on Tangents.

Video tutorial: TTL fill-flash

 

This video tutorial on TTL fill-flash settings, is the visual counterpart to this article – Flash Exposure Compensation (FEC). Whether you use on-camera bounce flash, or off-camera TTL flash as in this off-camera flash tutorial, you will need to adjust your FEC to control the amount of TTL flash you get. Adjusting the FEC allows you varying degrees of fill-flash. This video and the article on flash exposure compensation explains a sequence where you get to compare how different levels of fill-flash affect your final photograph.

Also check out these related articles for concepts mentioned in this video:

  • Using the histogram to determine exposure
    Our initial exposure is based on metering off the white clothing. This gives us a baseline exposure where all the other tones fall into place accordingly.  This technique works for available light and for manual flash.

 

 

This video tutorial is one in a series that originally appeared on the Clickin’ Moms website in 2012, but licensing has now reverted back to me, and here we are – a tutorial that might be dated in terms of some of the gear used, but the principles remain the same. In conjunction with all the other articles about off-camera flash photography, these videos should make a good primer on the topic of off-camera flash.

For a more up-to-date list of gear for off-camera flash, start with this: Gear list – Starting out with off-camera flash

 


On-Camera Flash Photography

On-Camera Flash Photography – revised edition

This book is explains a cohesive and thorough approach to getting the best from your on-camera speedlight.

Particular care was taken to present it all with a logical flow that will help any photographer attain a better understanding of flash photography.

You can either purchase a copy via Amazon USA and Amazon UK, or can be ordered through Barnes & Nobles and other bookstores. The book is also available on the Apple iBook Store, as well as Amazon Kindle. Also check out the Amazon Kindle store.

Learn more about how the cover image was shot.


 

Video tutorials to help you with flash photography

If you like learning by seeing best, then these video tutorials will help you with understanding flash photography techniques and concepts. While not quite hands-on, this is as close as we can get to personal instruction. Check out these and other video tutorials and online photography workshops.

 

The post Video tutorial: TTL fill-flash appeared first on Tangents.

Off-camera flash tutorial – Off-camera flash on location

Continuing on from the previous off-camera flash tutorial, we explore balancing ambient light with off-camera flash. With this video tutorial, we use a speedlight in a softbox, and we look at using TTL flash. There is a certain simplicity when we work with TTL flash in a non-static situation – we allow the technology to help us get to proper flash exposure quickly. More about this in the article on Manual flash vs TTL flash.

We start off just using the available light for a few headshots of our model, Anelisa. The next step would be to control how bright our background appears in relation to our subject, using off-camera flash. In TTL mode we do this with our camera settings for the ambient light … and our TTL flash follows that. We can of course adjust the brightness of our TTL flash with Flash exposure compensation.

We also look at how a longer focal length allows us to compress the perspective and minimize the visual clutter of a busy background.

 

This video tutorial is one in a series that originally appeared on the Clickin’ Moms website in 2012, but licensing has now reverted back to me, and here we are – a tutorial that might be dated in terms of some of the gear used, but the principles remain the same. In conjunction with all the other articles about off-camera flash photography, these videos should make a good primer on the topic of off-camera flash.

For a more up-to-date list of gear for off-camera flash, start with this: Gear list – Starting out with off-camera flash

 


Direction & Quality Of Light

Direction & Quality of Light

I wanted to distill the essence of what we, as photographers, work with – light! Before we can truly grasp on-camera flash and off-camera flash, and really, any kind of photography, we have to be aware of the direction and quality of light. We need to observe the light that we have, and then decide how best to use it, or enhance it.

With this book, I try my best to share those “aha!” moments with you, and I do believe this book can make a difference to your photography.

The book is available on Amazon USA and Amazon UK, or can be ordered through Barnes & Nobles and other bookstores. The book is also available on the Apple iBook Store, as well as Amazon Kindle.


 

Video tutorials to help you with flash photography

If you like learning by seeing best, then these video tutorials will help you with understanding flash photography techniques and concepts. While not quite hands-on, this is as close as we can get to personal instruction. Check out these and other video tutorials and online photography workshops.

 

The post Off-camera flash tutorial – Off-camera flash on location appeared first on Tangents.

Off-camera flash tutorial – Balancing flash with ambient light

In the previous off-camera flash tutorial, we started at the elemental level where we did not have to consider ambient light. This helped us in understanding a few of the basics. Ultimately though, where off-camera flash will be used most, is on location where you have to consider the ambient light as well. With this tutorial video, we look at how we would go about balancing flash with ambient light.

With this segment, we cover the essentials such as:
·  Using maximum flash sync speed.
·  Flash exposure compensation when using TTL flash.
·   Manual flash vs. TTL flash
·   Using a hand-held light meter to determine (manual) flash exposure.
·   Adjusting your speedlight’s power according to the light-meter, to get correct flash exposure.
·   And always, that acronym, PAID: Power, Aperture, ISO, Distance.

 

This video tutorial is one in a series that originally appeared on the Clickin’ Moms website in 2012, but licensing has now reverted back to me, and here we are – a tutorial that might be dated in terms of some of the gear used, but the principles remain the same. In conjunction with all the other articles about off-camera flash photography, these videos should make a good primer on the topic of off-camera flash.

For a more up-to-date list of gear for off-camera flash, start with this: Gear list – Starting out with off-camera flash

 


Off-Camera Flash Photography

Off-Camera Flash Photography

With this book, I wanted the material in the book to flow as a truly accessible introduction to off-camera flash. The techniques here are within the reach of everyone.

As always, the aim was for those aha! moments when things become clear and just makes sense. And then, hopefully, inspire the readers of the book to see how easily off-camera flash lighting can expand our photographic repertoire.

You can either purchase a copy via Amazon USA or Amazon UK. The book is available on the Apple iBook Store, and Amazon Kindle.


 

Video tutorials to help you with flash photography

If you like learning by seeing best, then these video tutorials will help you with understanding flash photography techniques and concepts. While not quite hands-on, this is as close as we can get to personal instruction. Check out these and other video tutorials and online photography workshops.

 

The post Off-camera flash tutorial – Balancing flash with ambient light appeared first on Tangents.

Off-camera flash tutorial – Flash with no ambient light

This tutorial about off-camera flash, is one of the segments in a series on how to use off-camera flash in a simple scenario – where there is no ambient light. This is a good introduction to the topic. In the next tutorial video, we will consider how we go about adding off-camera flash when we work with ambient light.

With this introduction, we cover the essentials such as:
·  Basic gear you would need for off-camera flash.
·  How we decide on our settings – in this case, it is really easy. We decide what aperture and ISO we want to use, because we don’t have to take ambient light into account.
·  Flash exposure is controlled by 4 factors:  PAID = Power, Aperture, ISO, Distance.

 

This video tutorial is one in a series that originally appeared on the Clickin’ Moms website in 2012, but licensing has now reverted back to me, and here we are – a tutorial that might be dated in terms of some of the gear used, but the principles remain the same. In conjunction with all the other articles about off-camera flash photography, these videos should make a good primer on the topic of off-camera flash.

For a more up-to-date list of gear for off-camera flash, start with this: Gear list – Starting out with off-camera flash

 


Off-Camera Flash Photography

Off-Camera Flash Photography

With this book, I wanted the material in the book to flow as a truly accessible introduction to off-camera flash. The techniques here are within the reach of everyone.

As always, the aim was for those aha! moments when things become clear and just makes sense. And then, hopefully, inspire the readers of the book to see how easily off-camera flash lighting can expand our photographic repertoire.

You can either purchase a copy via Amazon USA or Amazon UK. The book is available on the Apple iBook Store, and Amazon Kindle.


 

Video tutorials to help you with flash photography

If you like learning by seeing best, then these video tutorials will help you with understanding flash photography techniques and concepts. While not quite hands-on, this is as close as we can get to personal instruction. Check out these and other video tutorials and online photography workshops.

 

The post Off-camera flash tutorial – Flash with no ambient light appeared first on Tangents.