Articles by Category
Lighting Tutorial Videos
- Ken Gordon on 3 Types of Fashion Images – Catalog – Editorial – High Fashion
- Thorsten on Editorial and Lookbook Fashion Lighting by Photographer Thorsten Ott
- Steady on Heffner Models Fashion Shoot with Satin Panel Lighting
- Bell on Editorial and Lookbook Fashion Lighting by Photographer Thorsten Ott
- Allison on One Light Low Key Editorial Fashion Lighting
- Paul on One Light Lookbook Lighting Tutorial
- Paul on One Light Lookbook Lighting Tutorial
- Thorsten on One Light Lookbook Lighting Tutorial
- Paul on One Light Lookbook Lighting Tutorial
- Thorsten on About the Zeroplusplus Photography Tutorial Blog
My Favorite Camera Store B&H Photo
Category Archives: Tech Info
Steelville to Sullivan GoPro HD2 Timelapse Video shot with 2,350 still images.
Two weekends ago I took a weekend roadtrip out to Maramec Springs Park, just outside of Steelville, Missouri. I wanted to test out the GoPro HD2 new underwater housing and also the timelapse photography mode.
The new underwater housing is indeed waterproof and the focusing issue has now been solved with the “flat lens”.
The timelapse mode also works very well, although I dislike the menu functions via the two buttons. It has probably taken me about two weeks to get used to the menu functions and the LCD is just tiny.
From what I hear, everyone that owns a GoPro HD2 is anxiously awaiting the new ProTune Cineform firmware update that will give us not only 24p, but more importantly, we get 35Mbps. This is over 2x better than the 15Mbps the camera shoots in. Additionally, the firmware will greatly reduce the “over-sharpened look” that is a bit annoying when shooting HD video. The still images look great, but video is too over-processed for my tastes. For post-production and color grading the new firmware, to arrive sometime this summer, will be very exciting.
Steelville, is known as the “floating capital of Missouri”, about 90 miles from St. Louis, and boasts three crystal clear rivers to kayak and canoe. After a long day on the river, I recommend Missouri Hick BBQ, great food and six different BBQ sauces right on the table.
For a scenic drive back, be sure to take Historic Route 66 via Cuba to Sullivan.
Building a strong fashion portfolio is difficult, it takes time, patience and the commitment of a styling team. It is important to establish goals for each shoot and cast the correct model. Fashion is a team effort. We have to find resources for wardrobe and then decide on the poses that might work with each wardrobe item. Additionally, there are three main categories for fashion such as catalog, editorial, and high-fashion.
Much of what I write about is geared towards the serious hobbyist or for the individual that is considering photography as a viable income and career choice. I am not a gear slut nor do I spend countless hours pouring over product specifications. Once upon a time I was interested in all this, today I am older and wiser. The brands and gear I use do not get me work or cause me to loose work. What gets me photography jobs is HOW I use my camera gear, the styling crew I use, and hopefully because of the final images. Continue reading
Welcome to the new Zeroplusplus Photography Tutorial Blog.
The purpose of the Zeroplusplus Lighting blog is to share my experiences as a commercial photographer. This field of photography is both challenging and rewarding. This blog discusses a few of my experiences and possible suggestions for the new photographer. I hope to share a few techniques as well as common mistakes to avoid. I do not claim to have all the answers, rather I discuss what has worked for me in the past 20 years.
UPDATE: July 4, 2011
This totally free Final Cut Pro X tutorial will get you started with editing in the brand new interface. The author at Izzy Video has 2 hours and 39 minutes of video training for FCP X. This is a good way to see if the app is for you…so watch and learn before you buy.
UPDATE: June 23, 2011
Rumors continue to flourish about what FCPX can and can not do. Steve Martin, wrote a great article for Ken Stone’s Final Cut Pro Website. This is a VERY informative article on the features of FCPX.
UPDATE: June 22, 2011
Apple is indeed aware that that other apps are needed to complete the new FCPX and additional apps are on the way. Meanwhile, I have posted several links to reviews and insights from several well known video editing industry professionals.
1) CreativeCOW.net – FCPX: Ready or Not, Here it Comes…
2) Phillip Hodges – What are the Answers to the Unanswered Questions about Final Cut Pro X?
3) Larry Jordan – Ain’t Nothing Like It In The World
4) CreativeCOW.net – GET READY TO RUMBLE: Perfect setup for a seamless transition to FCP X and OS X Lion
Final Cut Pro X was released today as a $299 download from the App Store. Final Cut Pro X is completely rebuilt from the ground up featuring 64-bit architecture, GPU utilization, Grand Central Dispatch, ColorSync-managed color pipeline, and native support for AVCHD, H.264, and many other codecs. We also have companion apps Motion 5 and Compressor 4 for $49.99 each from the Mac App Store.
Below is a first look video created by MattsMackintosh.
This article is about finding the best deal on a mid-2011 iMac, both new and used. Find out if Craigslist is best for a used iMac or if buying new is a better value.
Apple updated mid-2011 with new iMacs that are just perfect for the photographer and video editor. The 2011 iMac is the undisputed champion of all-in-one machines for 95% of us. In this article, I included links to specs, and tests, used mac prices, refurbished, and tax free/free shipping new 2011 iMacs. Yep….I am finally going to take the plunge on one of these incredible desktops.
Buying used on Craigslist tips
Buyer beware, those used 2010/2009/2008 iMacs on Craigslist may not be the deal you had hoped for. In the last 2 months folks have been unloading their old iMacs like hotcakes. Why you ask! Because the new mid-2011 have such speedy new i5 and i7 Sandy Bridge processors and are such a great deal. Some of the prices I have seen for a used 2010 iMac are just insane…more than or equal to a 2011 iMac! I suggest that you use this great tool for estimating what a used Mac on Craigslist should sell for. This will save you $$$$ and grief.
I will say it again…check the used iMac specs very carefully if you decide to purchase on Craigslist. Most sellers have zero clue to what model they are selling and will copy and paste any specs from the Apple site, true or false. I have seen numerous ads for a 2009/2010 iMac, with 2011 specs and Thunderbolt port images???? In many cases, the used Craigslist asking price is actually higher/identical than new or buying the iMac from Apple Refurbished direct.
The Seattle Craigslist used iMac prices are crazy high. This week I saw at least six 2009 27″ iMacs selling between $1650 and $3000!!! Any refurbished 2011 iMac with a Sandy Bridge 2.7Ghz, or better, and a little extra RAM would completely smoke any top-of-the-line 2009 or 2010 iMac…..period!
The most I would pay for a 2010 21.5″ iMac is $1000; the most I would pay for a 2010 27″ iMac is $1200. This is what they are worth in processing power today.
If you want to save a few hundred dollars on a 2010 iMac, buy refurbished directly from Apple. Refurbished Macs are like new and come with a 1 year warranty. You can even extend that warranty with Apple Care to 3 additional years for just $169. So lets say that your 2010 iMac dies in 3 years, and Apple is unable to fix it…..they send you a current model for free. How cool is that! If you feel left out with your 2010 27″ iMac, don’t worry. OWC has several great upgrade options available just for you.
Thank you for the great video tutorial compliment Simeon!
At first I was only going to write a reply, but after looking at the length of it, I realized that it was becoming more of a post than a reply, lol. Valters Preimanis of Photologs.net also had a question about the panels.
I first learned of the DIY Panel System after watching a Dean Collins video back in the winter semester of Brooks Institute of Photography in 1988. I constructed 4 panels and my lighting improved 1000% overnight. I still fondly recall my teachers and classmates looks of astonishment during Fashion Class critique. The all asked “how the hell did you light the model, the light, the shadows, and the skintones look amazing”. My teacher Harry Liles, a 30 year LA advertising photography veteran, was especially amused by my simple and inexpensive lighting setup. That single image earned me early access to the expensive Comet strobes that were only available to the upper classman at the school.
In those days, lower division classmen were only allowed to light with Mole-Richardson tungsten lights for the first 1.5 years. I hated those lights with a passion. Imagine yourself photographing people with a 4×5 view camera, tungsten lights, a 1/30th of a second shutter speed, changing 4×5 film holders and cocking the shutter, directing and posing models…..all while wearing heavy Kevlar gloves because the Tungsten lights were so damn hot. Sweat just dripped off my forehead because of the heat. AND all this time I was nervous as hell shooting agency models because I had no idea how to pose or direct. The models probably thought I was a Guy-With-Camera and horny, LOL.
In 2001 I spent 2 years as a part-time digital retoucher for a very large commercial lab. During that time, I learned a great deal from the expert retouchers, those with 10+ years of experience. Later I learned color management and ran the massive 60″ Roland 12 color inkjet printers. It was my paid film photography to digital photography education.
As I discuss in the Creative Lighting for People Photography video, the retouching step is really the second step in my digital workflow. Everyone has a different workflow and methods, use what works best for you.
My point is, sure I can retouch the hell out of an image. But my clients rarely need extensive retouching. For portraits and fashion work, 95% of the time I can get away with the batch processing you will see in the Creative Lighting for People Photography video. For modeling agency models portfolios I do even less, the plastic skin look is “OUT”.
Six years ago I stumbled on this camera setup technique on the Moose Peterson website. He discovered that by changing the sharpness, saturation, and tone (contrast), to the lowest values, the camera histogram displayed additional room at the shadow and highlight values.
Later I learned that this happens because our camera histogram isn’t based on the linear RAW data. The preview/histogram is based on the rendered gamma-corrected JPEG produced by the camera…of the image we just shot. By changing the 3 settings mentioned above, I “trick the internal camera processor”, resulting in a much lower contrast image, with additional detail in the shadow and highlight areas. I may even expose differently given that the camera histogram looks different as well.
Shooting 2-3 stops from wide open is the sharpest lens resolution we can achieve. This is the sweet spot that the lens engineers designed for. If you are shooting everything at f/11 – f/32 on that $1600 Nikon or Canon L lens, your also throwing away all the fantastic detail and resolution that these engineers slaved to create.
The second trick is from the days of school. We had these two CIA tech guys give us a lecture on film and lens resolution. They took a $20 plastic Kodak 110 Instamatic film camera and a custom cut 110 sized sheet of Kodak Tech-Pan film and made a very sharp 16″ x 20″ print. We were all surprised how clear the image was from that thumbnail sized negative. The CIA method was based on very high resolution film, careful film development, shooting at the camera lenses sharpest F/stop resolution, and on a tripod with a shutter release.
Today I still use their methods but with a modern digital camera, let me explain further. The D2x has a DX sensor that is smaller than a FX or full-frame sensor. If I use full-frame film lenses then the 3/4 size sensor is only capturing the sharpest 75% center of the lens. We all know that camera lenses suffer at the edges. Full-frame lenses project an image circle that is 25% larger than a DX sensor and so we are only using the sharpest and most distortion free area of the lens. Continue reading