Monday, June 20, 2011

Nina at the studio

You might recognize Nina from the Biker Chique series I did some time ago, I asked her to come to the studio for some more beauty style shots, Make-up and hairstyling kindly provided by Sanne de Wolf from SDW-styling

For this portrait the main light source is a 59" / 150 cm Parabolic light modifier on camera axis, fill from below with the silver fabric sunmover reflective panel, white seamless is lit from on side with a striplight

More light on the back, less light on the front :-)

Underneath 2 little experiments...

Shooting trough a glass plate and using the reflection from the flashes for highlight effects, 98% in camera

Firing the flash trough a perforated sheet of metal, it was not easy to get the structure of the steel sheet to show on the skin, i had to do some serious fine tuning, even the difference between the light from the modeling light bulb and the flash tube had en effect on the structure.

the result, you like it or you don't...

De gustibus non est disputandum

Fien and Gaëlle

Just one result from a short test with Gaëlle Verspeelt as Mua (and hair) and Fien as the model, I want to post this one as I used the Hensel Parabolic for main light and I know there are not many examples to be found on the net

Hensel parabolic umbrella powered by the Hensel 500Ws on camera right (high) and slightly feathered, underneath Sunmover reflective panel wit silver fabric and a white paper seamless in the back. Added some D&B and removed some colors in post .


A few days ago we visited the brewery from one of the most famous beers in Belgium, Brouwerij Moortgat, home of the "Duvel"

I was halfway there and yes I forgot my tripod ... not good, I expected this fast moving bottle things aka "catch me if you can" so slower shutter times would be good to show more dynamic in the shots, a tripod would come in handy but i had to do without and use whatever available.

One thing i did not want to do is take the tourist pictures, i went for something more graphical and sought for stuff with lines and contrasts

Behind this glass the first magic step happens...

A big quantity of brand new authentic Duvel Crown corks called out for a shot :-)

Small kids, little toys, big kids like big toys...

And off course the "Duvel shop" was not forgotten on our way out :-)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

ViV, the very important viaduct‏

The viaduct of Vilvoorde which is a very important part of the ring around Brussels has an enormous amount of cars passing over it every day but almost none of the passengers or drivers will get to see the inside of this huge concrete and steel construction:

As the viaduct is due to some serious refurbishing there was a possibility for the Press (yours truly) to visit the inside of the bridge and the area around the Dilatation joints which will be replaced with new ones, these old joints produce a unique sound that is familiar to everyone living in the area near the viaduct, the new one will produce 7dB less.
Picture of the old joints with the cars passing by:

And a complete view of the jo
int from beneath

I have serious trouble with vertigo, but it did not bother me too much as i was so eager to see the inside of the structure

Look at my car, oh oh vertigooooooo !!

His way to become the face of the works, similar picture published in the main newspapers

Drive Safely !!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bride on the run

Editorial fashion, this is really my cup of tea and with the help of Jessika's styling and the hair & make-up done by Sanne De wolf my job was easy...

Normally i would lite this kind of stuff so there are no shadows left, it gives a fresh look but it tends te be boring on the long end so it was time for something else!

I was doubting between the Af-d prime 50mm or my working horse, the AF-s 24-70 to create the first images, the 24-70 won the race while I was scouting the location, rough terrain and the zoom would help me to change composition without breaking my legs...

For this first set the sun is on the models back, pretty harsh sunlight even at 10AM, shadow side fill in with the sunbounce mini, zebra Fabric.

Im glad we used the zebra for warming up the tones a bit, because i fooled around with colors a lot in post and this would have resulted in pretty pale skin-tones with a silver fabric

About the same lighting technique only i added / replaced the sun as main light by overpowering the ambient , i let the 800Ws loose in the beauty dish from high left (@f22 with ND8) and shadow fill provided by the sunbounce mini zebra fabric (low right) + a little desat and D&B in post :-)

Beauty dish on the left (i choose the beauty dish mainly because of the wind, it would have been impossible to use an umbrella that day)

Natural sunlight form the left + fill with Sunbounce Mini zebra fabric & Sunbounce sunmover silver fabric

Time to change lens to something more portrait like, the 135 f2.0 Dc, I set the Defocus control to the corresponding aperture, works great even at f:5.6, the maximum DC aperture

Flash shoot-through umbrella + sunmover silver fabric placed low under the chin = beauty style portraits, the make-up was given a wet-look but you'll have to ask Sanne for details :-)

Natural sunlight form the left + fill with Sunbounce Mini zebra fabric & Sunbounce sunmover silver fabric (no flash)

These are taken with the 135mmDC wide open at f:2.0 to see how the Dof plays in the composition, because of the more tele range there's a lot of compression and the more 3D effect you get from 50 or 85mm at f:2.0 is lost a bit, but the OOF renders quite nicely, very different from the 70-200 at 135mm & f:2.8

Friday, June 3, 2011

135mm f:2.0 DC, first impressions

This is a piece of glass that I wanted to buy since a long time, according to some websites a lens almost nobody understands, this is not a soft-focus lens...

The 135mm f2.0 with defocus control is pretty unique (along with the 105mm version) as you can optimize the lens configuration with an extra control ring according to the used aperture to optimize everything out of focus (bokeh optimization)

So this is a people lens, excellent for portraiture but for the first test I wanted to try some other stuff, it's supposed to be tack sharp at f:2.0 and it is, yes really!

Under each photo you will find a link to view the images in full resolution, images have been optimized in Lightroom, contrast, WB and I also optimized the sharpness as I would with every other picture ( I do not use the in camera sharpening as this embedded feature is not used by Lightroom with the Nikon Nefs)

testing contrast and color rendition at worst time of day to take pictures, about noon, harsh sunlight, focus is on the retro looking building, no deformation, almost no CA or other lens problems... looking good

- click here for full size version -

focus on the first yacht left

- Click here for full size version -

testing the extremes, f2.0 aperture wide open, i had to drop the ISO to Lo settings to keep the shutter speed within the 1/8000 max.

I love the effect of the f:2, the shallow DOF, with a bit of 3d feeling, sun was in my back when making this, flat and harsh light.. look at the high res picture, the detail in the text

- Click here for full size version -

this is more an out of focus test, DF set at f4 Rear, if your subject is close enough everything out of focus turns into a creamy bokeh even if the background is very cluttered an full with annoying stuff, this lens will change it into a creamy and abstract backdrop...

- Click here for full size version -

More to come soon!