Photo Notes A place to talk about making images.

May 20, 2010

A Mixed Bag

Filed under: Commercial Photography — John Siskin @ 5:23 pm

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A few ideas and images I thought I might share. The photos are from cameras I built, check out the links and this one as well:

Shot with the super wide camera I built.

I like generators better than battery packs. They weigh more, but will work for hours on a tank of gas. Easy to refill. They don’t recycle slower as the day goes on. You can get a two-stroke generator for about $100.00 at Home Depot.

The more advertising there is in your cases the more likely they are to be stolen, whether it is advertising for you or the case manufacturer. It is always best to keep a low profile. Military surplus cases can be very good. Don’t pack anything you can’t lift.

If you are going to do any complex lighting find a way to tether your camera to a laptop. There is just no way to really evaluate the details of your image on the back of the camera. Viewing size matters.

Keep model releases in your camera bag.

Keep a chain-pod and a shoe cover in the bag as well. You never know.

You can always crop into an image, but you can’t create more space around the image, so leave a little room.

If you’re going to shoot kids keep cheap toys around to give them. Bribery is your best way of motivating children. Come to think of it, it works on adults as well.

Remember to thank people, especially assistants.

Remember the Odd Couple? Felix Unger was a photographer. It is important to be obsessed with detail; it is your job.

Shoot in raw. Always.

Learn to pre-visualize. Look at people and things and decide how you would light them. Imagine your sensor is an empty canvas, what do you want to put in it?

If you don’t practice you won’t be able to shoot well. Musicians practice. Masters of martial arts practice. You need to practice seeing, which you can do without a camera, but you also need to practice technique which requires any equipment you plan on using. Lighting requires more practice than most aspects of photography.

You might even consider taking a class, perhaps one of mine?

An Introduction to Photographic Lighting

Portrait Lighting on Location and in the Studio

Getting Started In Commercial Photography

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