Posts made in April 2012

How to achieve attractive product photo shoot using model?

April 30, 2012 9:27 am HKT No comments

Alex shows you several ways to beautify the latest Cactus products with the best ambient light ever.

Product link

Camera bag in action

April 27, 2012 10:00 am HKT No comments

20120427 Camera bag in action - 1 20120427 Camera bag in action - 2

I waited a long time for a sunny afternoon for this product photo session. This is a new product called the Ciesta Half-linen Camera Bag. The Indian red bag is the selection featured here. I found a slim model for this session and she was more than happy to play with the Nikon camera and this nice-looking bag. I shot these photos with only ambient light and managed to make the bag look nice. The lens I used is the Canon EF 85 mm f/1.2L II USM. Having this lens in hand, you can take product shots like Photo 3 that focus on the product with a shallow depth of field; this really draws attention to the product.

20120427 Camera bag in action - 3

20120427 Camera bag in action - 4

Equipment Setup

Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3 Photo 4
Camera Canon EOS 5D 1 1 1 1
Lens EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM 1 1 1 1

Ways to achieve a blown out background

April 25, 2012 10:00 am HKT No comments

20120425 Ways to achieve a blown out background - 1 20120425 Ways to achieve a blown out background - 2

I took a series of product marketing photos weeks ago for the BLACKRAPID camera strap series. You can see one of these photos (Photo 5), which was shot in a tertiary institute with Celia’s help. It was rather cold and she showed up wearing an outfit that was a blend of red and black. Her look was a great contrast with the background. As you can see in one of my recent video demos featuring Celia, this photo was taken with ambient light only. But it looks quite nice. There is no special skill involved. What makes Celia stand out is that as long as you are marking the right aperture, one that properly exposes her face, maintaining her face tone, so to speak, you can come up with this effect.

Similar things happened when I took the other shots shown here. This is a mall that was designed to utilize a lot of natural light to light its interior (Photo 3 shows you a larger scene of the mall). I marked the white balance mode to fluorescent to make it look cooler. Plus, I marked an aperture to expose the people there properly, so the background turned out to have this blown out effect. It feels like the man was leaving for a supernatural destination… Photo 4 was shot in the bookstore in the same mall, this time with a tungsten mode to reinforce that cool tone.

20120425 Ways to achieve a blown out background - 3

20120425 Ways to achieve a blown out background - 4

20120425 Ways to achieve a blown out background - 5

Equipment Setup

Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3 Photo 4 Photo 5
Camera Canon EOS 5D 1 1 1 1 1
Lens EF 17-40mm f4L USM 1 1 1 1
Lens EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM 1

Using Manfrotto Photo-Movie Head & Gun-Type Shutter Grip for a video demo on B-Grip

April 23, 2012 9:36 am HKT No comments

Alex gives you a full function demo on the versatile tripod – Manfrotto Photo-Movie Head, and shows you how the Gun-Type Shutter Grip helps in photo & video shooting.

Product link

Find the light for your photos

April 20, 2012 10:00 am HKT No comments

20120420 Find the light for your photos_Cactus v5 - 1 20120420 Find the light for your photos - 2

I shot this bicycle photo during the late afternoon (Photo 1). You might think I did well, capturing the flare. Well, I agree that this photo looks cool, but the flare did not come from the sun. In fact, it was produced by the flashlight I put far behind the bicycles. It doesn’t matter where the light comes from as long as it looks good, right? Of course, if you happen to capture the beauty of the ambient light in a “natural” way, that makes you feel good. It’s like a blessing kind of thing. But in reality, it takes a long time to prepare a good shot. If you are lucky enough to come across and shoot magical moments, that is great. But patience is always the key to this art.

Like I said earlier, it doesn’t matter what it takes to get a good photo. I think that partly explains the wide use of Photoshop to achieve that goal. Then the next question is do you really enjoy photography? By that, I mean the process of finding the magical moments, composing, finding the right aperture, all the aesthetic judgment, etc., to achieve a great picture, instead of using software to create it. If the answer is yes, then all the things you have to do are worth it. We have different needs. That’s why there are so many options on the market for us to choose from, be it DSLR, mirrorless cameras, etc. As long as these choices meet our needs, that’s what is important.

Photo 2 was taken in Penang, Malaysia. The sunlight here is real, and when the light is there, it makes a good picture. This rule applies to Photos 1 and 2 as well as Photo 3. When we look through the viewfinder or the LCD, so to speak, we might be attracted by lots of scenes or subjects. But that doesn’t mean the photos you take will be as eye-catching as you expect them to be. An unlit subject may disappoint you. Wait until the light comes, or add it yourself, like I did in Photo 1, then you can get a decent picture.

20120420 Find the light for your photos - 3

Equipment Setup

Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3
Camera Canon EOS 5D 1 1 1
Lens EF 17-40mm f4L USM 1 1 1
Flash Cactus KF 36 Manual Flash 1
Flash Trigger Cactus V5 Wireless Flash Transceiver Duo 1