Midnight Project.

Hey folks, it’s been a while, I know, sorry about that!

Recently my work for the Charlatan has been mostly shooting hockey and Basketball, and nothing really impressive came out in the past few days, so I got lazy and didn’t post for a while.

The only significant thing that happened and I’m not sure I told you guys was that I bought a 24-70mm f/2.8, which is the most sweet lens I’ve ever had. I never leaves my camera, the 2.8 aperture gives me enough light to go about in almost any situation, and it’s a very fast and sharp lens. The files straight out of camera just look beautiful, I’ve rather use the 24-70mm and a higher ISO than put my 50mm 1.8 on…

Today, out of a moment of boredom, I decided to put my new photo acquisitions to use and create a mini studio in my room. I bought two oldSB-80dx flashes for cheap online. The flashes are just great and they have a built in slave, so I just put them on manual and fire away!

So I had this idea for a while now to take photos of some miniatures I have laying around my room, and decided it was the time. got the 2 flashes, a white piece of paper, and started shooting tiny portraits, with a tiny setup. Since I do not own a macro lens, I just used my 24-70mm that focus at a really close range (and since I use a DX camera, it acts like a 105mm at the telephoto end).

Coke Miniature of brazilian soccer player Juninho

The main challenge was to get a shallow depth of field because with so tiny subjects, the flashes acted like huge strobe lights, and still at 1/128th of power and f/11 it was still bright.

I won't confirm or deny that I painted a Hitler like moustache in Dunga's face after the world cup...

It’s amazing to work with miniatures though, because well, they are not real! They don’t get impatient, they keep the same facial expression, they can stand there literally forever, and they can be posed and move around at your will!

Although they look pretty much the same, it was a valid experiment, and kept the photo juices flowing.

A random medieval miniature

And if you’re wondering, here’s the setup I used:

The main light on the miniature’s face was quite harsh, so I just threw my umbrella over it to difuse a little, it worked wonders!

And that’s it folks, next weekend the newspaper will be sending me to CIS in halifax, so I’ll probably get back to you with all sorts of cool shots.

Pedro, out!

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New Job = New Gear!!

As some of you might know, I got a job at the Charlatan, the Carleton University’s newspaper, as a Staff Photographer. Now that I’m getting paid to take photos (which stills strikes me as a bit unreal, I must confess), I decided to reinvest the money I’m making.

I was getting annoyed with my results while taking portraits, I was bouncing my flash on walls and the ceiling, but It would not give me the exact look I wanted, mostly because I couldn’t put my flash exactly where I wanted. So last week I went out and bought a light stand and a umbrella.

My cat, champaign, shot with of camera flash through the umbrella

It costed me about $100, but the ability of setting my flash on the exact spot I want with minimal trouble (and to be able to shoot directly without needing to bounce it around), already made my portraits improve immensely .

Shoot-through umbrella on a light stand.

Other than that, I had borrowed a 55-200mm f4-5.6 from a friend a few months ago, in order to cover my telephoto needs, but I don’t want to rely too much on a lens that I do not own. When I was shooting an assignment two weeks ago, another photographer gave me a tip on a 70-210mm f4 he found really cheap on Ebay, and I decided to take a look.

The ebay photo of the lens.

It seemed like a solid lens. It’s old, it’s true, but it looks in great shape, and all the reviews I read make it sound like a very solid piece of glass. So now I’m waiting on that, it should be here in next week. (fingers crossed!).

I’ll post some samples as soon as I get it.

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Minolta and the Joy of Film Photography

Recently, I’ve added a new toy to the collection, a borrowed one, and very awesome. I was hanging out at a friend’s place, talking about photography with his parents, when his mom brings up the subject of film photography.

I had to admit that I never took photos with film before (well, I did, but not with a SLR, or since I started to get interested in photography), which made her reach inside a closet and pull out this huge camera bag packed with equipment.

She put the bag in front of me and told me to keep it, to play with it for a while.

I couldn’t be happier.

So now I’m experimenting with film, we shall see how that goes. I already took some exposures, and will have them processed by the end of the week. Luckily I just got hold of a negative scanner, I’ll keep you guys on the loop.

Ah, here is the gear:

Minolta X-700 film camera

Sigma 70-200mm f4.5

Minolta 50mm f2.0

Magnicon 28mm f2.8

Nissin 360WX flash

Several film rolls, both B&W and color.

Minolta and Gear

Flash – SB 600

I finally got a flash!! I found this too-good-to-be-true deal on  Kijiji for an SB 600 (retail $270), for $200. You might say that this is actually expensive, but the info said the flash was bought on december of last year for a trip and forgotten,  so it was “new”

I say the add 2h after the guy posted it, and send an email just in case. less than 6hours after I got a response, and we set to meet yesterday at a cafe. I went with the mentality that if it was any less than perfect, I would not buy it. I brought my camera and batteries.

As I got there, the guy was ultra nice, bought me coffee, and showed me the flash. It was even better than in the add. Completely in the box, almost untouched, not even a scratch. The guy turned out to be moving to Brazil in September, so he even gave me a battery set and charger. It was perfect.

So If I was going to settle for a SB-28, I got an amazing SB 600, cheap, in perfect condition, and through the internet. I’ll put up a series of posts when I have more time to play with it.

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