Sunday, April 28, 2013

Flash Diffuser - Gary Fong Collapsible Lightsphere

A short time ago, I landed a gig taking photos at a corporate event, scheduled for the end of May. I'll have to be taking photos in the early evening, so will be needing flash. I knew right away that my Flashbender, which I've been using for about a year, would be impractical because of its size. So I started looking around for a more efficient alternative.

With some advice from my mentor, Kyla Brown, photographer extraordinaire, I settled on Gary Fong's Collapsible Lightsphere ($60 on, $45 on - what a surprise!).

Yesterday, I got to take it out for a good test drive, doing a shoot of several cats at ICAN. All I can say is, I LOVE this tool! Easy to work with, nice effect softening the flash - and if I can figure it out, anyone can!

This was my first "official" shoot with the Canon 1D Mark IV, too.

Here's my favourite shot taken with the Fong Lightsphere:

That said, the best shot of the day (imho) was taken without flash - the flash batteries were dying towards the end of the "session" with this cat, and this was taken with just window light:

The whole collection can be viewed on my Smugmug site. Btw, the peachy tint on the kitten photos is due to the new bright orange colour on two of the walls - I could've corrected the blanket/sheet to white (which is what they were), but quite like the tint for the little ones - what do you think?

Animated banner ad

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Surprise Elk Shoot

Don't you (photographers) just love it when your significant other (non-photographer) offers to take you out elk hunting with your cameras at 6.30am on a Saturday?!

The weather forecast for this weekend was dismal (and lived up to it, too), but I couldn't turn an opportunity like this down! So off we trundled with my 1D mark IV hooked up to the 24-27 2.8L, and the 7D attached to the 70-200 2.8L, with iso wound up to 1000 on both to make up for the lack of light.

We didn't find many elk, and the few we did find were quite far away - and skittish, but I got this shot:

Then we headed to Lake Lilian to see if the reflections were any good, but the light rain combined with the slight breeze had already ruffled the surface. Despite that, I came away with this - love the colour of the water:

Out on the road on the Toby Bench, there were a few scenic shots calling me ... the colours weren't inspiring but I'm pleased with these b/w conversions:

On the way home we stopped to visit the newly-arrived osprey, looking rather bedraggled after the night's rain:

While waiting for the osprey to return (my fault that she took off, I approached too quickly), I also caught a couple more scenics and a smaller bird nearby:

PS: I'm still getting to know my 1D Mark IV - loving it so far! The Lake Lilian and the Toby Bench shots were taken with it. And, omg, isn't it wonderful to have two cameras to go on an outing with, and not have to dick around changing lenses every 5 mins?! I am SO grateful! I took some photos of Gordon with it last weekend, too.

Animated banner ad

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sky Drama

Yesterday, as I was driving home from the Invermere chapter of the 2013 Crossfit Games (photos from the whole series) at my gym, Endeavor Fitness, I spotted a drama playing out in the skies above the peaks of the Rocky Mountains - sunlight, clouds, snow, peaks, valleys, forests.

As always when one is in the valley bottom, I had to drive for several minutes before I found a place where I could shoot without having a birdsnest of overhead power and telephone lines spoiling the view - happily, I found a spot before the intensity subsided!

I am very pleased with the result (view a larger version):

Animated banner ad