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Member Since 27 Dec 2009
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Topics I've Started

Project 52 Final Assignment

14 October 2019 - 11:59 PM

This is Assignment 52 - our final assignment.   


This would suitable for an email promo, postcard or a portfolio cover.  There were no specific requirements.  It had to show what we do; and how we do it.  It had to be a shot that we are proud of.  The big requirement is that it has to get the viewer to pay serious attention.   


I decided to go with a minimalist approach.  Over the past year, I've learned that the KISS principle serves me well.  The less cluttered the image, the better.   ;)  Hard to say if I will continue with this style over the long term, but for now, I quite like it.


For this shot, I decided to experiment with a technique called Dark Field Lighting.  My glass is placed directly in front of the soft box.  The soft box has a large foam black card placed directly in front of.  The key is to leave space for light to come around the edges and the top - that is what lights up the edges of the glass.  I also used black cards on both sides, to eliminate reflections.  Finally, I hung a large piece of black paper in front of my camera.  There was a hole cut in it, for the lens.


I learned a lot from this assignment, even if it was a bit of a "graduation" exercise.  I found that my strobe's modelling light let me see how the shot would look before I took.  As an example, slight movements of the glass to one side or another changed the symmetry of the light showing in the glass. 




Here's the technical stuff:

  • Godox Strobe with soft box @ 1.5
  • 1 large black card, directly in front of the soft box.
  • 2 smaller black cards, on each side.

Camera data:

  • D810
  • ISO64
  • 24-70/f2.8 @ 70mm
  • 1/125 sec.
  • f 3.2

My instructor's only suggestion was to add a layer that matched the background.  Then, roughly where the body and stem met, add a simulated "spray" light.  I did this by placing the glass into a separate layer.  Then, on the black layer I used a white brush at 10% opacity.  The resulting feedback was all positive.


I can't say enough good things about Project 52.  It has taken my skill set to levels that I would never have thought possible.  I met some wonderful people and had a helluva lot of fun along the way.  Thanks for looking, everyone.  :D

Thom Hogan on the Nikon Z50

10 October 2019 - 12:38 PM

For those of you who like mirrorless but not full frame.  :)



Adobe Lightroom Classic & Mac OS Catalina

09 October 2019 - 12:09 PM

Nikon Rumours is reporting a "bug" for OS Catalina. Lightroom Classic doesn't detect Nikon cameras if the camera is turned on AFTER the "Start Tether Capture" command has been sent.  Here's the link:




Cnet has a good review of Catalina.  However, they suggest that unless you urgently need the new features, hold off for a month.  That will allow enough time for updates that will stabilize the platform.  :)

What is Wet?

27 September 2019 - 11:58 PM

This is our second to last shot for Project 52, the commercial photography course that is being taught by Don Giannatti.  In this shot we were being asked to show how a new water repellent product works.  The challenge is that it must be shot to two different layouts; and show water being repelled.  The shots must also show how the relationship between the surface and moisture is changed by the product.  Did I mentioned that bright colours are preferred?


How we made the image was up to us.  However, our "client" was expecting one shot that was suitable for use as a brochure cover (1 x 1 crop); and a banner for their web site (960 x 245 pixels).  For the presentation, the two images had to be combined as shown.


The "product" is my old sailing foul weather jacket.  Then I went nuts with a small spray bottle.  I lit this with my Godox strobes and soft-boxes.  One was off to camera right, on a stand in portrait.  I placed a homemade scrim as close to the jacket as I could.  The second strobe and soft-box were mounted on a light boom in landscape mode, as close to the jacket as possible.




My settings for each image were different.  Brochure/cover shot:

  • 24-70/f2.8 @ 70mm
  • 1/125 sec
  • f10

Banner shot:

  • 105/f2.8 macro
  • 1/60 sec
  • f13

Other than inserting the two images into a single PS file, there was minimal work.  Just levels adjustments; high pass for sharpening.  In LR, I tweaked texture and vibrance.  I also adjusted the colour balance on the banner.  My instructor observed that there can be minor colour variances between zoom and prime lenses.


Oddly enough, another student came up with almost the identical image.  Don asked Keith and I if we were channelling each other.  He told us that both of our images were "professional quality".  I'll let others judge.  I do know that I don't "struggle" with assignments nearly as much as I used to. 


Thanks for looking, everyone.  :)




Nikon Rumours: Nikon Z50?

23 September 2019 - 11:58 AM

I try not to get caught up in endless rumours, but Nikon Rumours is usually pretty careful.  No details on how soon is "soon".  :)