Tuesday, January 25, 2011
There's something different about taking a portrait of someone who's really special to you. Perhaps if it was another photographer, he or she won't feel anything different. But as for me, I get a warm fuzzy feeling inside.
I remember doing everything slowly and deliberately that morning. Unfolding my softbox and tripod, and making sure that everything is in order. Making sure the eneloops are juiced up, and the trigger fires when required. Putting the reflector at an angle, just enough to bounce enough light onto the shadow areas.
With a photo like this, its not about the most fancy model-esque poses. Its about a subtle change in the angle of the head, smile, eyes, etc. You take several shots of the same pose, and you change the lighting style along the way. Of course, I could have achieved better result with some proper teaching techniques instead of the boring studio lighting that I'm exposed to everyday at work. After a few more shots, you finally find something that's close to 'perfect'. Something that represents your photographic 'style' at a particular point in time in your life.
Why do I love this image? Because it is simple and nice. Because of the genuine smile and the look in her eyes. Maybe others will think that the smile and pose is pretty cliche, but I know she is smiling at me and just for me. Not at some random photographer who just wants to make a quick buck and fulfill a job requirement.
And finally, just natural light, a camera, and a tripod. Perhaps its not the most perfect of pictures, and I could have been a better 'model' myself. But this simple picture means all the world to me.
At times, life seems to pass by so quickly, that we forget how beautiful it is to smile. Perhaps we should just stop our busy schedules, take out our cameras (doesn't matter whether its a handphone, compact or SLR camera) and just take a photo of our loved ones smiling. We don't know how long they will smile for us, but as long as they're around, its good to have a memory of them doing so though pictures. I know one day, I'll be looking back and be happy to see this picture every time.
Do we need the most fancy cameras, or studio facilities? No. The most accomplished photographer? No. Just some determination to make a beautiful picture of someone who means the world to you, smiling.
Good evening everyone.
Posted by brandon at 3:20 a.m.
Friday, January 14, 2011
... and hokkien noodles.
Thus is a simple, unassuming life. I guess I've got much to thank for as compared to the other homeless people who roam around the city.
The cycle repeats tomorrow, and the day after. Have a good evening everyone.
Posted by brandon at 12:45 a.m.
Monday, January 10, 2011
All images shot with a Nikon D3
Standard picture control with +6 sharpening.
Large basic JPEG fomat
High ISO noise reduction and Active D-lighting OFF to retain maximum detail and sharpness.
This is a very solid, well built, highly sought after lens which heralded the days of Nikon AF-D lenses. Nikon's newer lenses aren't as well built unfortunately. Weighing 560g, its a heavy prime lens with 9 glass elements in 8 groups. It is powered by a conventional screw drive motor instead of Nikon's latest Silent Wave Motor, hence the lens does make quite some noise when it autofocuses.
Price wise, this lens had a retail value of approximately RM3,800 before it was recently discontinued. On the used market, its usually priced around RM3,000 to RM3,200.
On the periphery of an FX sensor, it doesn't perform as well optically compared to its lighter cousin, the Nikon 85 f/1.8D.Nonetheless, the 'less sharp' edges gives the lens its distinct 'look' which is great for portraits.
This lens has superb circular aperture blades which makes out of focus highlights almost perfectly circular. Its bokeh is pretty shallow and 'buttery' too, especially when mounted on FX sensors. Bokehlicious! :)
Another example of a subject which posed great AF difficulty for this lens - a black cat.
In conclusion, this lens is in a league of its own among Nikon primes. After the release of its AF-S successor, this lens is highly in demand. After all, not everyone would want to pay more than RM 5k for its successor that performs slightly better. If its autofocus performance was dead on accurate all the time, I would have no reservations to acquire one. Its for those who can afford to have work in a more relaxed environment, such as a studio, or a controlled portrait shoot, but not for intense event coverage.
Hope you've found this review useful. Drop me a comment if you have any. Cheers!
Posted by brandon at 1:23 p.m.
Sunday, January 02, 2011
My blog post for the first day of the new year.. 010111. Life could be better, but it isn't.
Not too interested to put in too many words today. Just a song to share how I feel. Happy New Year everyone.
Posted by brandon at 12:44 a.m.