To all ye who want to paint with light ...

I should have started this blog many moons ago as I started experiencing the joys of rediscovering the art of photography. But as the saying goes - it's better late, than never!
So, here I am, in the hopes of recording what I learn as I progress from ignorance to enlightenment; about what my eyes can see that my camera can capture; and, what my mind imagines and my camera paints with its capabilities.

Please feel free to add any comments and share your wisdom (tips or tricks) that you have picked up along the way.

And do check out my How-To and Birding pages as well.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Day 55 - Good news and not so good news

To start with the not so good news - I went to the photography store from where I usually buy my gear and showed my new strobe to the gentleman there hoping to figure out how to get it off-camera.  One look at it and he told me that I'd never be able to work with the flash because "It's no good!  It's not good at all!"  He seemed outraged by the purchase, to say the least.  Yet, I read up all sorts of reviews about this unit and people seemed to be getting on OK.  The strobe has a single pin!  What I probably didn't realize was that their cameras might have a single pin hot shoe which doesn't bode any trouble for them, but mine has 5.  I was warned not to use it with the camera else I might fry the circuit!  :-(  So, another eBay purchase gone to waste.  Of course, working in the amateurish ways I work in, I can definitely see myself hand-holding the flash in an attempt to sync it with the shutter.

The good news is - I splurged on a macro lens. :=)  Well, splurging isn't the good news (no way!), but getting the macro lens I've wanted for so long definitely is!  It's a Tamron, 90 mm, f2.8.  Pretty nifty, this one!  I shall post some pics of it tomorrow.

I was really tired after my late evening to midnight cooking class yesterday, and obviously had no energy to do much (although I went out hoping to do some photography, but it started pouring all of a sudden).  So, I just spent time wandering the camera store, and dropping loads of cash in there.   Once the rain held up, I quickly made my exit before I did any more damage to my wallet.

And oh, I also bought a remote release and a lens cleaning kit (long overdue), as well as a compact camera bag that will now hold all my lenses.  My concern about lens storage is now at an end.

Considering that this is a 90 mm prime lens, I thought I'd also give portraits a shot.  I've read that a lot of photogs consider the 100 mm as the best portrait lens, but this one is 90, so I figured I'd see what it has to offer by way of that.  Here is the lot from today's experiments with my newest baby!

One of my first shots with the lens in fairly low light conditions. (This is my cookie that I was eating at the time). Handheld, AV, f2.8, ISO 200.

Long shot of the park at the back, from my couch.  I love the bokeh in this one.  Handheld, AV, f/2.8, ISO 200.

Long live my gerberas.  Even after over a week, they're still pretty fresh.  Mounted on tripod, AV, f/7.1, EV 0.33, ISO 200.

Mounted on tripod, AV, f/8.0, EV -1.00, ISO 100

Mounted on tripod, TV, f/4.5, EV -0.67, ISO 100.  I used a steel tray as a reflector just behind his face, to the right of the frame.  Now I see that I should have used a higher f-stop so I could have got both eyes in focus.  Next time!

Mounted on tripod, TV, f/9.0, EV -1.67, ISO 100.  I used a steel tray as a reflector in front of his face, to the right of the frame.   I corrected that in this one.

This is my first time trying some serious portraits, so I'd love to know where I could have improved.

1 comment:

  1. The best way to use that flash off-camera (if the optical wireless trigger doesn't work) is to use an inexpensive radio triggers from, yes, a Chinese reseller on eBay. The most popular ones are the "Cactus" triggers. They allow you to fire any strobe remotely by radio signal. And they are cheap:

    I bought some of these a few years ago. They are prone to false triggering, but work fairly well otherwise. I'll show them to you next time I see you.