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  1. #781
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    I have since learned...

    I was speaking with a reliable photographer who has had dealings with some of the locations I have reviewed and have since learned that some of these places are very difficult to work with, even when you have their "cooperation." As little as that relieves the issue of location-hunting, it does allow me to feel vindicated in my assessment of the situation, Darin. In fact, I have learned that there actually was no coordinator "on-site" and that I had to go through a business office, elsewhere. There's 2012-style convenience for you.

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    I feel I have the "right" model for my upcoming shoot. She is extremely accommodating and down-to-earth with posing and knowing what is expected. If anything, she has only gotten better at it, since we did our first shoot, together, in November 2010.

    The challenges continue to mount for the shoot on Friday and all of "moving parts" to contend with. In a way, I wish I had a shoot coordinator to handle all this stuff. It is Art Direction to be sure... and my Art Direction class definitely did not prepare me, individually, for it.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 01-23-2012 at 12:35 AM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  2. #782
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Dag nabbit!

    Sure as I am standing here, it never fails. The location of my Senior Project shoot dematerialized! The entire "PROJECT" has to be completed in five weeks, which can be a tough nut to crack. We're in week 3, right now. Admittedly, I was working against that tight timing (there never seems to be enough, when you are a student) I felt it was a little too difficult to quickly coordinate the shoot with the responsible parties and get their cooperation. Hence, poof... the primary pick location is gone... in preference to the Chicago White Sox, no less! Gosh, this is going to look strange in Part 3 of my Project Journal submission, tomorrow.

    That hails an "emergency alteration of our course, dag nabbit!"

    I quickly sought a similar venue, knowing I have even less time time than I did, before (it kind of works like that, doesn't it?). Hey, I was optimistic... and wham, the chair got kicked out from under me. Happily, through due diligence, I got a hold of a fine young man, at another locale, who seemed considerate and willing to accommodate "a student in need." Out of four locations, this was a first. We agreed that for safety sake and minimal impact, the shoot has to be done in the wee-hours of the morning. Okay... since the models are getting funded for this shoot... I suppose if you want a paycheck, you make the time.

    Obviously, since there is hardly any time left, I am going to have to assume the location looks the same as pictured (fingers-crossed). The responsible party made no allusions to it having been changed. Still... you know the old ASSUME play on words -> put a pair of eyes on it. I may have to scoot on downtown, camera in hand, and do an emergency research run on this locale.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 01-24-2012 at 05:35 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  3. #783
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Shooting jitters...

    Wow, I have to say... even after checking all the gear, for the umpteenth time, I am still nervous as all get out. I suppose the part that has me the most concerned is the lighting. And why not? It is the key element to our photography. Without it, we have nothing.

    I am using 6 portable SONY electronic strobes (HVL-F56Am and HVL-F58AM). ALL of them wirelessly triggered, either through that inferior method of IR or with the more reliable external RF wireless trips (requiring manual ratio balancing).

    My lighting guy is about as good as they get with these devices... still, I am concerned.

    One of the drawbacks of shooting in these downtown hotels is that they require a union electrician to "certify" every wire you plug into the walls. I do understand the concern for public safety, but the costs, with an the early morning shoot can really take off on you. So, battery power it is. The union guy can sleep in. Although, I feel like... I have one-hand tied behind my back. Irksome. Some say it is the cost of doing business. I call it... well, you can just fill in the blank. I do not believe I need to draw a picture for you. Let's take one!

    As a possible solution to this, I was looking into the Paul C. Buff Vagabond Mini Lithium portable two plug AC power source. It can support the 750W studio strobes, but at $250 a pop... two of those are a pricey addition to my toy box. I may consider after this shoot, but still... you need a reason to have stuff in your bag. I suppose if I do more of this location-type shooting, it would make more sense. It is just too infrequent at this point... but then again, I have to remember the silver rule of photography... "If you not do have the correct equipment, on-hand, you do not get your desired shot."

    Looking ahead, all the costuming arrived well ahead of time. The props are all accounted for. 50% of the photo-batteries probably need top-off charging <- Modern Photography 101: Battery Management. The one thing that you cannot control are the talent. Life gets in their way. Heck, it gets in my way. A coordinated shoot is a miracle, in my opinion. It often depends solely on the "inve$tment" they have at stake. Money talks... B/S walks.

    I guess I am suffering from nerves. Hard to sleep with this final shoot coming. I suppose that is the hardest part... there really is no backing out or backup to this. It is a go/no-go situation... much like an event or a wedding shoot... and no-go is not really an option. There is hardly any time for a "do-over." All I can do is "patch."

    It is amazing how many people are seriously interested in seeing the result, because it is a forward-looking, yet modest type of activity. I am not really asking anything to be actively from other parties, just their passive support and not getting in the way. Do not interfere with my "sphere of influence," as it were.

    Wish me luck... this has been a long time in coming. Thanks for watching.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 01-27-2012 at 11:21 AM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  4. #784
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    The morning shoot

    I have to admit, shooting at 2-4 in the morning is probably one of the weirdest ideas I have had. Just going through with it was taxing... not to mention the strange way everyone was acting during the shoot... kind of a mix of "is it really this late?" and "how soon can I hit the sheets?"

    Personally, I do not recommend it. We had the hotel maintenance staff doing their assigned jobs, but for the most part we had uninterrupted access to the staircase. The hotel did a wonderful job of clearing the area for the shoot. I was just stunned, earlier, when I arrived @ 7PM. It really made it as easy as possible.

    The talent was running a little late, so it kind of warped the shooting schedule a bit. My Make-Up Artist had another early appointment, too... which shortened her availability during the shoot. Again, pressures... pushing the shoot this way and that.

    So, I went after it using a lighting system that I was dubious about, but again... doing what I could without blowing the budget any further. This was a pricey effort... courtesy of yours truly's wallet and as much as some folks might think it is a bottomless pit... it is not.

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    I have posted a few attempts on my Flickr account. Just click on the Flickr link in my signature, down below.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 01-30-2012 at 11:57 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  5. #785
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Despite the hour, it was fun

    Admittedly, when you're tired and beat... you tend to really find yourself soured a bit.

    It's thirty-six hours later and I have sprung back, although my right arm is sorely tested. I think I may have strained it a bit, loading the gear back up. Yeah, another side effect of being tired.

    But, then again...

    "ENGARD!"

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    EXIF: a850 w/ SIGMA 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM
    @ f/9 - 1/15 sec - ISO-1600 - SSS:ON - Spot Focus - Flash (HVL-F58AM)
    Last edited by DonSchap; 01-29-2012 at 02:05 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  6. #786
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,562
    Checked out the Flickr images. Nice job on all of these. Al that worrying for nothing. LOL


    Frank
    Sony A77
    Sony A580
    Sony A 100
    Maxxum 400si.
    Sony 18-70 Kit Lens
    Minolta AF 35-70
    Minolta AF 50 f/1.7
    Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 Di LD
    Tamron 60mm Macro
    Tamron 17-50 f/2.8
    Tamron 2x Converter
    Sony HVL-F42AM
    Quantaray 70-300 4.5-5.6 Macro
    Slingshot 200 Bag



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/22083244@N06/

    http://s305.photobucket.com/albums/nn219/sparkie1263/

  7. #787
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560
    Again, it is still a work in progress, because I need to settle on a White Balance I can keep consistent for the series, so there is no variation as they are viewed. The bluer WB does not work for the series, so I will reduce temperature to around 2800K and touch up all the images accordingly. I will update the series as this is completed.

    Thank goodness it is digital, if this were film... I'd be in the darkroom for days.

    The instructor told me that he is quite impressed with the results so far and thinks I have "pulled it off."

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    That is reassuring, but then again, nothing has hit real paper, yet. Thank you for the eval.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 01-30-2012 at 08:23 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  8. #788
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Derbyshire, UK
    Posts
    2,505
    Yes I agree very nicely shot Don. You got a lovely model there too and you've obviously got a good rapor going, some of the expressions are very natural. I'd say you deserve a well earned vacation now.
    Around every picture there's a corner & round every corner there's a picture
    - the fun's in finding them

  9. #789
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    2,346
    Don,

    I can see that the color temp is going to take a little fiddling around. At least the exposures all look pretty much spot on and comparable. The series looks very good.

  10. #790
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560
    I went back through the images on Flickr and updated the WB on select images to maintain a common look in the series. I think I have it, but if any of you see something I missed, I would appreciate the critique.

    Thanks

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    Last edited by DonSchap; 01-30-2012 at 11:55 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

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