Month

January 2016

The Sweet Spot: What’s the sharpest aperture on a lens?

  There’s this famous urban legend about a woman who has a lump growing on the side of her face and when she finally goes to the doctor, he cuts it open with a scalpel and millions of baby spiders crawl all over her face. Then there’s the other urban legend about F8 being the sharpest f-stop on every lens. The first was made up to scare the crap out of us about spiders and the second may have been true for lenses built last century, but certainly doesn’t apply to digital lenses. The truth is not all lenses are created equal and the “sweet spot” or aperture setting that will create the sharpest image will vary from lens to lens. (If you really want to geek out on this subject and find out the science behind lens sharpness, check out Ken Rockwell’s blog) So here’s the non techy lowdown...

Ep 58: Seeing the light: Rookie lighting mistakes and how to overcome them

Lighting can make or break a shot. And sometimes we can get so caught up in the shutter speed or composition or depth of field that we forget the basics about lighting. Gina and Valerie discuss common rookie lighting mistakes – and ways to overcome them. From simple hacks and great techniques, you’ll discover lighting tips that you’ll be able to use straight away! #ginachallenge #peelingpotatoes Click play to listen to the podcast or find it on iTunes here. If you don’t use iTunes you can get the feed here, or listen to us on Stitcher radio. Show notes Shout outs       Yongnuo Gear YONGNUO YN-160 II LED light Yongnuo RF-603 N1 wireless camera trigger Yongnuo starter pack YONGNUO YN-560 III Bundle With RF-603 II Single Transceiver for Canon Photo critique 1 “Happy Sunday everyone! I just set up my very first in home studio. I’m wondering if...

I had a date with Creativity and ended up going home with Fear and Loathing: How to survive burnout.

A few years ago I was working crazy hours, shooting six days a week, 12-14 hour days. I should have been feeling on top of the world. I was being contracted to shoot covers, billboards and promo shoots with all my dream clients. Yet something wasn’t right. I was struggling to keep up and had this constant “black mood”. I made a date with Creativity and Inspiration. It had been a while since we’d hung out, so I invited them to dinner. When the day of my dinner date arrived, I wasn’t feeling it. Normally it takes me two seconds to decide what to wear on a date but everything I tried on looked wrong. I was also having a bad hair day and a massive zit was camping on my left cheek, just below the large dark bags that had set up shop under my eyes. I yawned for...

Keep moving forward

“You are always a student, never a master. You have to keep moving forward.” – Conrad Hall I took this image in Havana at dusk. I love shooting street photography at dusk because the streetlights and car headlights add so much depth to the shots and there is still enough ambient light to pick up other details.

Ep 57: It’s our 1st birthday! How to take your photography to the next level.

No matter whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional, there are ways that you can take your photography to the next level. Gina and Valerie discuss nine ways that you can improve your photography and give it that extra edge. They’re not time-consuming but, cumulatively, these baby steps will help to make all the difference with your shooting. And they work regardless of what level you are at right now! #ginachallenge #justdidit Click play to listen to the podcast or find it on iTunes here. If you don’t use iTunes you can get the feed here, or listen to us on Stitcher radio. Show notes Shout outs Photo critique Hi all, Here are some studio shots I took of my sis before Christmas. Any critique on the lighting, posing and post-processing would be gratefully received, thanks! Dan Listen to the episode to hear Gina’s critique. It’s our 1st birthday! How...

Step away from the viewfinder. Why chimping is for … chimps.

  Chimping was a term that was made up shortly after the introduction of digital cameras. It’s when you see photographers take a photo then look at the back of the screen, take another shot and look and the back of the screen and keep shooting and looking and shooting and looking. This is often accompanied by “OOs” and “Ahs” and when you start to see photographers doing it over and over they resemble chimps … OO! OO! OO! Are you guilty of this? I don’t really have a problem with people looking like monkeys. The real issue with chimping is when it comes to portrait shoots. The act of looking at the screen and back to the model and back to the screen makes the photographer look like they don’t know what they are doing. Gaining trust and rapport is crucial to a successful portrait shoot. Chimping in front...

Ep 56: Jazz and blues: How to create mood in your images

How do you create images that evoke emotion and tell a story? You don’t want to clutter your images with lots of content. Sometimes, it’s the subtle nuances that can speak volumes. Some of the most powerful images in the world are those that can convey a profound feeling with a simple snap. In this episode, Gina and Valerie discuss the steps you need to take to produce moody and memorable images, ranging from the setting, lighting, emotion and much more. #ginachallenge #pressure Click play to listen to the podcast or find it on iTunes here. If you don’t use iTunes you can get the feed here, or listen to us on Stitcher radio. Show notes Listener question Question from Matt Zahn‎ I woke up early this morning and decided to work on single speedlight high speed sync. I used a wooden Stink Eyed Santa as my model (above). He...

6 important lessons my vegetable garden taught me about becoming a better photographer

There is an old Sicilian proverb: “From caca good things grow.” This summer I decided to plant a veggie garden. Leading up to Christmas, my mind and body were completely fried. I’d been working crazy hours finishing my book and online course – plus travelling and lots of photo shoots. I felt like I just needed to recalibrate my system by going back to basics. I wanted to switch off, step away from the computer, put the camera down and chill. There is something incredibly restorative and relaxing about gardening. Firstly it brings back awesome memories of my father who always said that he felt most alive when he was working in his garden. (I feel the same way when I’m standing behind a camera.) There are also many lessons that gardening has taught me. To grow anything from seed takes a great deal of effort and patience. For a...

Quote of the week inspired by Japan

“The world has enough beautiful mountains and meadows, spectacular skies and serene lakes. It has enough lush forests, flowered fields, and sandy beaches. It has plenty of stars and the promise of a new sunrise and sunset every day. What the world needs more of is people to appreciate and enjoy it.” – Michael Josephson  

Ep 55: Jack of all trades: How to shoot under extreme pressure

These days, many clients want a lot of bang for their buck. That is, they often want multiple looks in multiple locations – for multiple purposes. So how can you pull this off without going crazy? In this bootcamp, we look at what happens when cafe owners want social media profile pics, a cover shoot for a chocolate aficionado magazine, lifestyle product shots, lifestyle talent shots, shots of the cafe in action, shots of the chefs, and food shots. All done in half a day! Gina and Valerie discuss how to plan for this shoot, what gear you’d need to bring, how to structure the day and much more. #ginachallenge #pressure Click play to listen to the podcast or find it on iTunes here. If you don’t use iTunes you can get the feed here, or listen to us on Stitcher radio. Show notes Listener question From Andrew Deagle (Queensland):...
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