Tuesday, November 16, 2010

First attempt using on-camera flash, high heels, and of course drag queens!

So I have pretty good experience using studio lights, I mainly use two soft boxes in my studio.  I mean really I think it's cool when photographers use 30 different lights and spend 20 hours setting it all up and adjusting the output of each light so slightly no one can really tell a difference.  Honestly two soft boxes and the occasional spot are pretty much all you need to create beautiful lighting for just about anything you might need.  My motto is to keep everything as simple as possible!

Moving on, I finally decided to bite the bullet and purchase a flash to use with my Canon 50D.  I decided it was time to add some fill light to my available light portrait work, but of course it arrived just in time for the annual pre-Halloween Dupont Circle High Heel Drag Race in DC.  The event is basically a celebration of Drag Queens.  At 9PM they line up and run a few blocks.  Of course the real fun in the 2 hours before the race where they parade up and down the street in their outfits and pose for pictures.

So having never used on camera flash before I set out to learn in the trenches.  I set the camera to 800 ISO, played with the flash power and slapped on a diffuser.  For most of the night I was shooting wide open on manual with the shutter speed at 100 and the flash either at full power or 1/4 power.  I used full power if the subjects were about 15+ feet away and 1/4 power when they were closer.  That seemed to work pretty well.  I had the occasional over or under exposure, usually from misjudging the distance of my subject.  The main problem I had was with the auto focus.  Shooting wide open doesn't leave much room for error.  Of course I didn't catch this until late in the evening, once I did I started shooting at f11 and that gave me the DOF I needed to compensate for the moving subjects.  All in all I am happy with the results and love how well the night flash photography converts to B&W, there is just something about flash photography at night!  Honestly even though the costumes were beautiful in color, they just loose something with the flash lighting.

Anyway here are the images, enjoy!

All images shot on Canon 50D
Dupont Circle High Heel Drag Race

Friday, November 5, 2010

Failure, pretty clouds, and bird poop!

So this was supposed to be the post where I reviewed the various Impossible Project integral films, but of course I have been deathly ill all week and haven't been able to get all of the images ready and the review drafted.  On top of that I have started a complete condo renovation, mainly involving repainting every surface where I live, but also involving a new addition to the built-in shelving in my closet (formerly my darkroom, something had to cover the hole in the wall where my sink was).  So all that to say it will probably be another few weeks before I can get my review completed.  The good news I ordered a few boxes of the newest color film so I should be able to add that to the review and cover everything Impossible has released so far!

Until then here is one of my favorite captures from the past summer.  This is one of those that resulted from my habit of always having a camera on me, even if I don't plan on shooting.  On this day the clouds were so amazing I just had to take a long lunch from work and snap a few pics.  Enjoy and have a great weekend.  Think of me while you are out enjoying the weekend as I will be painting my closet so I can finally put everything that is currently on my living room floor back where it belongs :)

Holga w/orange filter
Ilford HP5