Thursday, January 29, 2009

You asked for it. you got it (toyotaaaaaaaaa.....)

quick, name what movie that title is from! One of my favorites. I know you got it fast Coco (and by the way I miss you, and your needle with botox in it. ha ha)

(This is a sample of the fun post processing that you can do with photoshop and using actions.)

So, I am often asked what camera I use etc. So here is the official "in my bag" list. I use everything I own, or I get rid of it. All of my lenses are my favorite, and I use them all. I bring every one on my photo shoots. That being said, I proceed, smile.

-Nikon D300 (yes, I'm a Nikon girl. My high school photography teacher was partial to Nikon glass, and I just trusted him. Now it is just comfortable for me, so I stay with it. The first SLR I used was actually a Canon AE-1. It was my Dad's.)

-AF-S Nikkor VR 70-200mm f/2.8 G IF-ED (no, I don't know what all that means. ha ha. It just takes amazing pictures if you need to be far away from your subject, even in low light situations. It is my most recently purchased lens. It will mostly be used for wedding ceremonies. Although it has some other fun uses that I am planning on trying out.

-AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G-ED. This lens rocks. I did not go into the store intending to buy it. I don't even know how I happened upon trying it. I really don't know another photographer that uses it. I just love super wide angle shots, and this baby is magic in my hands. A cheaper route is definitely getting a prime lens. I just love that I don't have to change lenses so much. It is still a really wide aperture which means it is heavy because it has so much glass. But so very sweet.
-AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G-ED. This is just your all around basic flexible portrait lens. Not super exciting, but the workhorse. Again, just easier than a fixed prime lens.

-AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 D- When I first started doing portraits, I used this lens exclusively. It is a great lens! If you ask me what lens you should get first, I would say this one. And for even a lower price you can get the f/1.8. It is only about $130. Keep the aperture all the open (at 1.8) and see what fabulous pictures you can create. The cool thing about a prime lens is number one they are way cheaper, and you can get a wider aperture (lower the f-stop, wider the aperture), and a sharper image. I used to have an 85mm f/1.8, but I sold it because I was always using the 50mm over it. I am kicking myself about that now, but oh well. I personally like to be close to the people that I shoot. I like to be in their face, in the moment, really feeling it. I can talk with my subjects and interact with them. That is not every one's style. You have to go with your personality, and what works for you. That is something I have learned. There isn't one way to do things. Every amazing photographer does things differently. How they feel comfortable doing it, or what they prefer. That is what makes every photographer unique. We all see things differently. I like that. Everyone approaches a situation in a different way. You have to find what YOU like. Same thing with lenses. Don't just take what I say as what is best for you. You have to go down to the camera store, and try out all the lenses in the store. See how they feel to you. Budget can dictate your limitations sometimes as well, and that is not a problem. It can be better if you only have one prime lens. It forces you to stretch your creativity. To not just sit in one place and take pictures, but to move around and be creative.

-Nikon speed light SB-80DX- This is the flash that I use when I have to use flash. I really prefer natural light, but sometimes that just isn't possible at a dark reception. I have discovered that this is pretty outdated. Not that it doesn't do the job just fine. I bought it about 7 years ago. Lately, I have been looking at flash differently. As a way to be more creative, so I am not disliking it so much. But whenever possible bounce that flash baby, never shoot directly at your subject. Again, depends on what you are wanting to get. There are no set rules. You do what looks good to you. Oh yah, and I use a flash bracket usually with this.
-Promaster system pro 42" (I think) reflector. You use this to bounce light, real or artificial. It has a white, silver and gold side. Fun to play around with. You usually need someone to help you to hold it. Which means I don't use it that often. Which brings me to another subject....

-I feel more comfortable shooting alone. I feel kinda bad about this because people have asked me if they could tag along on one of my shoots, and I always say no. You see, it is all about what I was talking about before about being close to my subjects when I shoot. I need to feel that connection with them. When other people are there, it distracts me and them from getting into that zone. I need a name for that zone. Where nothing else exists. It is just me and them. This gets me into trouble because I can injure myself. Like running into a cactus. Yah, that was painful. It was the kind that hooks into your skin and the Dad had to get two sticks and use them to pull the hooks out. Not pleasant, but my adrenaline is going pretty strong on a shoot so I didn't feel it too much. So sorry, my friends. Unless I am specifically teaching someone what I do and it is a model that knew I was doing, I will be going solo. If it is just the mom, or a friend that is helping out the subject I don't mind because they stand way back and let me do my thing. I actually love this, because than they help me adjust the dress, and carry things. That is real nice. When I start doing more elaborate lighting, or have a huge wedding, I will have to break down and ask for help. My sister Kelly was great to have help at my last wedding. She left me though and went to a near by thrift store. ha ha so, typical. LOve you KEll.

-AS far as post processing goes, I use Adobe Photoshop CS3. Photoshop really is a must to learn if you are serious about photography. I just took a local community college class initially. It is an amazing program and there is no end to the things you can do. It is just the learning how to do it all that stinks.

-Once you have a basic understanding of Photoshop and how to work layers, using actions is so much fun! My favorite are the Kubota, and Totally Rad Actions. I have others too. They are all wonderful and just expand the possibilities.

-You are never done learning or improving in any field and of course that is true of photography. You can always take it to the next level. But you have to build on your knowledge and it takes time and practice, so don't feel overwhelmed. I learn new things every day and it is so exciting. If you can afford to attend a workshop do it. There are so many, and in every price range. You don't need to spend alot of money to improve. Like I said one lens, a simple slr, and alot of practice, go a long way. You can learn a ton from other photographers on their blogs. I appreciate so much the photographers that share information. Rebekah Westover is someone that I admire for doing that. She is really down to earth, and is happy to share. There is information to be had everywhere on the web. At your fingertips, and for free. Don't feel you are limited by your pocketbook. You will learn so much just reading your camera manual backward and forward. (Or telling your husband to read it for you and tell you what it says. ha ha. )

-So did I answer every one's questions in my very own long winded way? I hope so. Now, I am goff to bed.

-Buona Notte. Sogni Doro.

p.s. Why does spell check not like the word alot, besides the obvious? Really, it isn't a real word? What else am I supposed to use? Mucho?

p.p.s. If I don't make sense in this post and you read it before I go over it again tomorrow, sorry. I am just too tired. Thank you for your understanding. smile.


Anonymous said...

because it's two words: "a lot"

Amie said...

I skimmed cuz none of that meant anything to me, but yeah, A LOT = 2 words. Back to English 101 for you. ;)

Leslie said...

that's exactly what i was going to say!

Anonymous said...

reading this makes me realize how complicated photography can be, but i found it very interesting. your pictures make such a BIG difference to other photos. do you have a cozy lens? :) i love showing sisters and friends your photography masterpieces and i am still holding on to the dream that someday you will photograph our family. (give us several months notice so we can diet beforehand and find "most exquistite" clothing!)
tanti bacci!!!!
ps that's ok if you spelled a lot wrong. i am always impressed how well you spell... ;)

Anonymous said...

oh, and i had to comment about the part of dave reading the camera manual to you and explaining it! too funny because the same thing often happens around here!!!! this is another reason why you and i could never have gotten married...;)

heather said...

that, and we are both girls!! ha ha

nicole boice said...

forget paris of course :)