Equipment: Look and Feel Like a Pro
Just in terms of the camera equipment that I that I use, I think it's really important to make sure that you are using one hundred percent the best equipment that you can and have access to know when I say that I know that online and here right now people are thinking expense now as we're going through stuff, I know that it's expensive, I understand that however it's expensive for a reason, you know what we were doing at the back there when we were shooting, you know, two thousand isa one point four you cannot do that if your camera you know, bombs out at sixteen hundred s o or I mean six hundred still quite high, but if you're shooting and you're scared to go over eight hundred, you know it, you can't be inhibited by your equipment. Now when I say that everyone's going like, well, I can't afford that kind of equipment you can rent it's not difficult to rent equipment, go to rental sites and rent equipment specifically for those jobs, so you incorporating it into your pricing and you'l...
l see tomorrow when we talk about the wedding, how important it is to have the right gear because if you are, I mean this day and age, how many times have you gone to a wedding and the guests have been a camera equipment in you I mean it happens you know you're shooting with your kit lynn's on and you know you're kind of mid range camera and you're looking around and some of the guests have got like monster two point eight lenses and beautiful you know, high high end cameras and you know you feel a little bit inadequate so rent until it makes financial sense to buy when you are shooting images for your book for your portfolio images that you want to represent your brand you the four of you here now make friends with each other and hire the flash equipment and hire the camera's hire the lenses and divide the cost of between you go off together going to a shoot that you know for the whole day and get images that look as if they're expensive because if you shooting with one point four lanes that that image looks expensive and it elevates you into the next price bracket purely from the equipment side of things so I'm going to go through mike my gear I do understand that it uh it doesn't happen overnight to accumulate this time of year but they are a few things in here that I would not be able to do without so we'll chat about that as we're going through so it first of all and german laura any time you want to interrupt me please feel free let's let's talk about first of all the camera bag this here is the low pro to fifty light it's a roller bag, it fits perfectly in the overhead luggage compartments off the airplanes. You just have to be super, super sweet and really nice to the people at the counter because it's heavy and a lot of the times you are overweight, so just be really nice to people and sometimes you can get it through, you know, there have been occasions where I've had to put a lens or two into the into the hold, but then I've got the pelican case for the storm case, you know, it's not sort of that much of a problem if one or two pieces have to go into the hole, but this fits this is perfect for for going into the into the cabin, you know, the overhead luggage and, uh, if I use either this back or the a w two hundred, which is a backpack that vertex the a w two hundred vertex it's a backpack here I'm walking on the streets, I'm going in in airports back home in south africa, we do a lot of work in beautiful sort of farmland ends and gorgeous venues that are the roads are not that great, I wouldn't be rolling it along the road, so the backpack is a lot more comfortable for my assistant. So so, yeah, it's more it's, more about making sure that by assisted is comfortable and yeah, I know it sounds so rock suresh, but I really mean that in a nice way, because I had you know that this is my assistant is there to help and teo to do those kind of things. So, yeah, I'm sorry that it sounds like that, but that is what it is. Okay, so let's, get into the into the bag. Let's talk. Let's, talk about the camera. First. We don't have to talk too much about the nick on d for the nikon d for this is an incredible piece of equipment. If I mean, I can't see how they're going to better this. When the d three s came out, we thought that that was, you know, that there was the business, but the d four is an incredible camera. Obviously the hundred is also a really, really nice camera that that sensor was voted the best dancer in the world. It's the only sense of that sanctioned by the bbc for for broadcast. So really, really good in low light conditions, you can create amazing images at night. What I like to do is a ceremony as sorry at the reception. Maybe after the speeches, depending on how hard work because I'm no in america, it's strayed into first times in europe doesn't really work like that that little the speeches and the meal first, and then after that, they do the dancing. So so it really depends on the structure off your off your waiting, but what I like to do is to add images like this into into the into the storybook because you can't shoot images like that with substandard equipment. If you've got equipment like this and you can shoot on one hundred twenty five a thousand I saw it makes your job a lot easier, and I know it is, you know, that everybody's jokes about you've got such great pictures that must be an amazing camera. Well, it is. It is an amazing camera, you know, if you look a tte let's, go back, teo hot dogs versus cafe de flore. Oh, if you if you look at that the great chefs of the world, they they have amazing pots and pans and amazing stoves and ovens, so it does make a difference. Your your equipment does make a difference. You can create great images with, you know, if the ambient lighting is perfect if you shooting with, you know, nice, overcast, great reflector the difference between, say, the d fifty three hundred or the d seven thousand and this is it's not really going to be that much you know even with your iphone you khun take it under perfect conditions but with this camera it's all about what happens at low light on and you know you're fucked you're focusing focusing speeds and you're focusing you knowhow shop you're you're focusing is so low light conditions you can go and shoot that four thousand ten thousand so I really have not much difficulty I like to shoot my first dancers only with ambient light I do not shoot with flash when I'm shooting the first dance if you look at that image over there in the background you'll see that there's a bit of backlighting coming through but that's done on purpose by my assistant who is at the back with one of these man florida uh leads so he's got this on the mona part I'll talk about that in a second and he's got that behind the subject creating that backlighting so you know this is this is what I use for that over there um I also used this to create this image over here this this type of lighting so I've been told by some other people is kaya secura lighting caress your lighting I didn't know that and I didn't do it on purpose obviously I had some sort of I mean I did it on purpose but it it wasn't I knew the name or anything like that it was done in old library and literally just using this and playing with the white balance to make it look like it's very very tungsten obviously it's daylight balance but you know you can put gels in to them they've got facilities where you can put jewels in and creating that type of image over there very good for things like hollywood lighting bringing it up nice and high above the subject over there I also created that image over there with just one off these and they're very very easy to use obviously because it's continuous lighting you can see the results so you khun manipulate to where you want your shadows and how much contrast you can get and they are so so easy tio you so that's the men fratto how much do one of those cost it's difficult for me to no no no it's just really the exchange the exchange rates okay I think it's I think they're about three hundred dollars if if I'm correct I mean in terms of the exchange just for that one over the ice alight yeah I mean obviously I've seen I've seen the ice line I haven't experimented uh I haven't experimented with it myself so I can't really comment on that I've seen the ads and I've seen it you know online and it looks like it's it's a great product here but I have and had I haven't had the opportunity to use it okay so right that that would be that would be that okay then I know I know that you can use a lot of unconventional lighting as well this image over here that's london bridge in the background that was shot in london on dh that was illuminated with the flashlight with this flashlight over here um this's the same flashlight that they use in c s I that's probably the reason why aborted whatever cia psy freak esos they you know they even use it during the day to find things but yeah I mean if you if you can have a look at our if we can see it on the wall there you can it's kind of telescopic you can change are we good with that? Not really. Okay, we're good with that yeah so you can you can really manipulate that and you can see that that image that I shot there you can see the fall off the bottom of the dress you can see how that the fall of happened there so it was that flashlight and there it is the assistant is holding the little flashlight over there and it's illuminating her and let me nuts that can't be this is like twenty dollars thirty dollars I'm not sure but it's you know it's not a not a huge expense. So I said normal led flashlight again uh shooting with the uh with the men for what you do here is you've got this little foot that can fit onto that can fit onto that and then you pop them on top of the morning pod you pop that on top of the monitor pod and now you've got a facility where you can really that light wherever you need to put it, you know and you've got a lot of space underneath so you're pretty cool like that, okay, right. So let's, just talk about lenses now, all right? Let's talk about lenses so what I did here was I just took out all my lenses that I haven't put them on the floor and I just took a quick photograph here I didn't really do that took that off the internet, but yeah, I mean, is that there's a huge amount there's a huge amount ofthe lenses that are out there that obviously are available to us and have different properties and have different effects in different perspectives and things like that now, like, like I was saying to you a little early on the eighty five one four on know that fashion photographers like it and I know that they work with it so that's why I gravitated towards that let's just go through the other lenses before we talk about that eighty five let's talk about the seventy two, two hundred two point eight that lanes I know I shot the whole engagement station with with the eighty five one four but at the wedding eighty percent off the time that lens is on my camera it's it's ah it's got a great shallow depth of field it's got a versatile zoom so you could do a three quarter shot or you can go in really nice and close it's good in low light conditions and the combination with the higher so with the camera with the ability to shoot high eyes so you khun shoot in the dark with with their equipment and thatjust liberates you to not worry too much about your equipment it's like I don't care if it's dark eyes can cup you know that I'm sorry I never I never want to hear anybody have the excuse with like the most award winning beautiful shot is happening right in front of your face and you're like and then it happens and it's gone and it's like if only I had a fast lens you can't be you have to have the best year possible and available to you at the time and like I say rented for that day just for the day that that those images that I showed you earlier on jack failures cape town photographer international photographer one of the best fashion photographers that we've produced food, sports illustrated she's the most amazing stuff he right up until about a year ago and he was actually in high school with me in the same year as me and uh up until about a year ago so he never owned a camera he didn't own a camera didn't own a lens it's a commercial thing that in terms of when you're shooting for commercial work advertising and editorial the client's issue we are shooting a pair of shoes you go and get the right camera, the right lines, the right lighting equipment to shoot a pair of shoes you don't have everything so that maybe one day somebody asked you to shoot a pair of shoes that you can you know it, they hire stuff specifically for that shoot even in terms of the studio space he's shooting a parachute you see a small studio space like that you shooting a car? You need a big space like this. So why do you have a great big studio if you're only shooting headshots? You know it's going higher going rain keep your overheads low this is there's a straight business, you know, information. This is not about photography. This is about running a business running a sustainable business because you have to keep your overheads low if you've got these fixed costs that are debilitating, you're you know you're you're already putting yourself at a disadvantage, okay, so shallow depth of field nice, versatile zoom it's ah it's grateful during the ceremony you can get you know the groom looking at the bride you khun get the rings getting put on you can there's a hole different array of things that you can do with that versatile seventy two, two hundred two point eight and when I say eighty ninety percent of the time it really is eighty or ninety percent of the time on my camera I even in fact I shoot a lot of families in london in august and the reason why I do that because this school holidays and people are on vacation and I will go to london for six weeks end of july beginning and end of july in the whole of almost and I will go and shoot this year we did two hundred and seventy five families in five or six weeks I should twelve families a day six of one house in the morning, six another house in the afternoon and all I take with me seventy two, two hundred two point eight defore, collapsible reflector, that's all I take and like I say shooting a lot of work making a lot of money with the right equipment, okay, so back to back to seventy two, two hundred two point I'd um I think it's really important like I said a little earlier if you have two point eight shooted at two point obviously if you're doing groups you need to take into account that you can't you need a wider sorry yeah why did dip the field but if you've got two point I'd shooted at two point eight and you've also know you also noticed that a lot of the times when I shoot I make sure that the bride and groom are similar focal distance away from me the similar focal plane so with this start over here and made sure that their heads with the same distance and you saw that when we were shooting my and shawn over here a little earlier on yeah it's a it's a really really cool ins to use just to show you this shocked over here this's a behind the scenes shot of what was going on over there it was a really rainy day and the bride wasn't in the greatest off moods and we just went and picked a couple of branches off nearby trees and the bridesmaids the's are bridesmaids holding the trees in front off the lens and I'm shooting through it so it makes it you know, because of the shallow depth of field you've got that beautiful out of focus branch in here framing her and if I had you wouldn't believe me if I showed you that and that's the end that's in product and that also just I mean, you saw upstairs when we were shooting with a prism in front of the lens or with the cd in front of the lens experiment don't experiment on the day don't experiment when it counts and you also saw I got this safe shots first go on, play at home on the weekend or, you know, if you if you I don't have a job and photography is the only thing that you are doing experiment find things that are going to work so on the day, you know, it's going to work, I didn't go up onto the roof going like hope this prison things gonna work, I knew it was going to work because I've done it before I'm not going to get myself into position was like, ok, looking mika cool, this is that you do it a cycle, there was a disaster, so I knew exactly what I was going to get. Well, I didn't know what was going on because it's quite a random, but I knew that I was going to get a great result from that, so understanding your lenses and how they work is really important as well, and then right, so let's talk about the eighty five one four, um super super fast there, I really believe in plate and honesty it's not the easiest lanes to work with because that depth of field is so ridiculously shallow that your eyeball is in focus and your eyelash is out of focus so what a lot of people do when they're shooting with it they put it on to a yeah on the order focus they put onto a f c so it's continual so as you pressing the shutter it's it's going to take when it's in focus because if I if I get into focus if I'm in focus and I wait like literally half a second I could be out of focus just just from breathing or you know it's a lot of people shoot in continual focus mode there so so that when you've got your focal point on the subjects I that as you take the shot too you know that it isn't focus you might also have to have your camera calibrated to your lens isn't there a fine tune in the menu so when you buying this lens don't put it on and go to the wedding and start shooting at one point four and your images are a little bit soft make sure that your your camera is calibrated to the lens and you can order find tune it yourself it's not a difficult process to do but it's not it's not the easiest lens to work with if you have just got it in you know no one should you know right, but as you can see it's beautifui shop, super super sharp eyelashes are in focus. The rest is just falling off with this image over here I did shoot flowers separately and drop them in to give that kind of in a in a perfume ad type of look is that there's a lot of floral influences obviously in perfume ads and I've brought in some of the flowers in over there, so I should I should a couple of shots and then I see the flowers I care and I wanted bring those flowers in somehow in the postproduction side of things and I just shoot random things that potentially could be used in overlaying in the postproduction side of things if we look at this over here super shop on the eyes, everything else it goes and it looks you can't create that in post production. Well, you could but it's going to take you three hours and if you're going to do that with ten images that's going to take you thirty hours going by the lens go higher the lens it's really and you're kind you're trying to create this illusion that you're shooting with high end equipment where it's better just to shoot with the real deal great for details because it separates the subject from the background it's a great lands for details you're waiting cold and I to go toe is going to love images like this on and it does it enables it enables you to isolate your your subject so that takes me onto the fourteen to twenty four I didn't bring that lanes with me because you mainly use the fourteen to twenty four for images like that establishing images interiors when you're shooting you know the reception whole exteriors it's quite a heavy lane so I didn't want to have to charm the people at the counter too much so I left out that lands at home because I'm not I'm not going to be shooting with it over the next three days anyway but it's very cool for things like this when you're shooting the interiors off the reception venue it's great for dancing as well you know you can you can have that wide lens and you could be in quite close to people and you're shooting with with the with the wide lens and uh dragging the shutter there you're going to get an image that is going to be like, very kind of nice and disco so it's going to work quite well over there okay also you could end up uh you condemn shooting images like that where you've got the dancing going on because it's a very fast lens you can capture images that you're freezing the motion with ambient light at a reception venue the reason for that is because you're shooting on two point eight and you can shoot it higher size so you can shoot images like an often most of the time when you shooting high end weddings they've got like lighting cruise you know and that that dance floor is flooded with light and it's easy to shoot so that like I was saying a little earlier on shooting for affluent clients is easy because they said everything up for you you know the beautiful venue beautiful dogs for they've got this nice ambient light coming in everywhere it's fantastic okay so that was obviously shot with the fourteen to twenty four two point eight then twenty to twenty four to seventy two point eight it's great for three quarter portrait you can shoot a nice three quarter portrait with it if you want to this image over here I might try something like this tomorrow but literally this was shot in a bathroom the bride was standing in the bath there was window behind her and I'm seriously not joking she was in the bath and my butt I was in the basin pond I'm coming back like this and I'm shooting with the twenty four to seventy beautiful ambient light wrapping around her I'm over exposing because there's a lot of background like coming in so it zaveri backlit shot and the bride if I shot it with it with a straight up if I haven't if I hadn't compensated with my exposure compensation she would have bean dark and the background would have bean correctly exposed, so I'm over exposing on purpose and creating their notion she was sitting you're standing in the bathtub so you can get a nice three quarter shots there you can do a shot like that where you shooting quite wide but you don't have distortion at the ages it's a very high quality lens you're not getting distortion on ages as well there as well, so this over here and as you've seen a lot of the times I should little stories that I've got going on inside my head they might not necessarily be literal in terms of the image e but what I what I see here, the little story that I've got it got going on here in my head is that they were getting all excited and all steamy in the lift and they come downstairs in the lift doors opening like, okay, cool and they're walking out now that's just my mind I'm just having fun with what goes on in my in my warped minds, but you can feel is a story there's something going on and I'll articulate that to the client you heard me telling them upstairs there this is the kind of thing that I'm thinking about, you know, just you run with it and even though the viewer might not no, the story might not understand the story they can feel that there's a story there, it's not just two people in the field looking at each other, the the twenty four to seventy grateful group shots if you if you if you've got enough space, I would still come back and maybe put the seventy two, two hundred two point eight on, but the twenty four to seventy that's this lens over here. So I need to show you, theo, think about the lens hood it's quite funny thing about the lancet. Obviously you don't necessarily need to shoot with the lancet all the time, but it's it's impressive and so much about what I do is about what people perceive me to be about. So I've got a thing with with kit lenses, you know, you get that you get the eighteen to two hundred caitlin or enough that's a kid, but it's it's, a it's, a it's, an extendable zoom and when you're zooming in, that goes forward and it comes back now I know it works and I know you can get great pictures with it. It just looks amateurish to me. So if I've got this lens hood on you don't actually see you don't actually see it extending. And that's just a little thing about me I don't want people to know that my lands extends like that so I put the lens hood on and it just looks a lot more impressive that you know it looks like a solid piece of off equipment over there and the same thing with the seventy two two hundred I keep that the lens hood on even if I don't need it because it looks impressive clients wo you know the people in the congregation the people who are attending that what did you see that guy's lanes must be a great photographers like yeah you know so yeah just that's just a little thing about and I think you're learning that about me that it is a lot to do with perception and what people think about your brand all right so I nearly lost the clicker okay just one more thing about theseventy about the twenty four to seventy I use this quite a lot too for family photos the reason I use it for family photos is because I can shoot a wide group so say you guys are in the family right now I can shoot a wide group over there and then say it was just mom and the bride I could come in a little closer I could just stand over here and the two of you together I zoom in a bit and bang I got my shot three quarter shot perfect. Well, why are you telling us that if I've got if I've got the twenty four to seventy sit upon my camera and I'm setting up my group shot right over here what I'll do is I'll set up the group shorts I'm standing over here and I'm sitting up the group shot and I've got the camera in my hand I come back bang bang come in and I'm arranging all the family there so what am I essentially doing? I'm getting in the way off uncle bob and I'm not I'm not changing lenses I'm not shooting with a twenty four seventy and then going okay, I need to do a tight shots I need the seventy two, two hundred sean, can I just have the seventy two, two hundred and uncle bob's firing away, getting all the shots that that I don't want him to get, so I don't get upset with uncle bob, I just get in his way and that this twenty four to seventy works really well for that cause I'll be standing right in the middle and I'll be going back and forth okay, good got the family shot off you go and uncle bob can you again and I'm like no, no, no there are here the next people let's go, so that comes with confidence and you'll see how we do that tomorrow but that twenty four to seventy of nice and versatile because you don't have to change lenses when you're shooting the family formals.