Ladies Camera Club

18 Apr 2007

clearing out

My external hardrive is a bomb site. Photos in no particular order (except of course clients!!) and a mish mash of odd photos taken for no particular reason. So I had a bit of a sort and came across this from December. This kid is such a delight.
Ive had a ton of emails and comments left this week which has left me reeling. So many nice things being said about my photo's and so many questions. Here are a few answers for you!!
You asked what lens I use? I use a Sigma 28-30 F2.8 on both my Nikons D200 and D70. I also use a 28mm F1.8 and an 85mm F1.8. Next week I get my dream lens - the 50mm F1.4. That will make my lens kit complete.
You asked what I do to get such crisp shots? Well Im glad you think they are, thank you. The trick is to get the shot right first. I never crop after a photo as my main aim is to fill the frame at the session with the composition I need. That helps because once you crop a photo in an editing suite, you start to get the dreaded pixelations. To prevent pixelations I would suggest you photograph in RAW. But Im not anal enough to swear by it. It also helps if you use your on board metering. I live by mine. Lighting is key. I love northern light - its bluer with a kind UV colouration. I also love the shade. I avoid midday photography as I hate shadows on faces and TRY to avoid it but sometimes it works. Southern light is fine but tends to be yellow/red/orange depending on the angle. Dawn and dusk is wonderful for silhouettes. But my best light is an overcast day!!!! So lighting is definately a helper with crisp shots. However once you over expose a picture you cannot darken or reclaim whats not there (ie - white out skin, white out clothing etc). I tend to slightly under expose a picture - at least the information is there to saturate/de-saturate at will.
You asked if I use actions? Nope - not at all. Some actions have destructive filters which make the quality of the photo look a bit pants. I generally work in layers using 2 brush styles (top secret!!!) and a sensible usm. Sometimes I might truss it up a little with a hard light or a glow. But I never, ever add what isnt there. Its likened to using a dimmer switch at home. You either boost or decrease the light according to taste.
These really are just my own thoughts and musings. Im sure David Bailey has his comments or ideas too. I hope they help. But do invest in a DSLR at your earliest opportunity if you want to be creative. The canon 350's and D50/D70 are going great guns on ebay right now. Prime lenses such as a 50mm 1.8 are considerably cheap too.
Gotta go - Im chin strapped xx


Andrea said...

I loooooooove your pics :)
How do you do to your pics is sooooooo bright???
Can you teach me???
Pleaaaaaaaseeeeeeeeeee!!! :)
Your pics soooooo tooooooo bright & full of live, my pics is soooooo dull :(

My email is:


Kate said...

thanks for all the great tips. I really want to change my SLR to digi but I just can't afford the spec I want. I will have to try and copy some of your lighting tricks with my Coolpix for now!!

SuzyB said...

I wish I knew what all that meant, I just know I really love your photos :D

Tigger's rambling said...

Great to have all that info on the photo's :-)
I'm looking forward to having mine taken by you again at the weekend :-)

H.Green said...

Thanks for the photo tips! Give me a horse running or jumping at high speed and I can catch a perfect shot. A person? Forget it, lol. It probably has to do with the fact that my 'good' lens is a 300mm with image stabilizing (canon) and that's what I use for all of my equine shots, Including the portraits of people with their horses because it blurs out the background so nicely. My smaller lenses are the crappy ones that come with canon cameras. So, they are icky and I hate using them. If I know I'm taking pictures of people only, I grab my little canon G2!

I know what you mean about getting the shot right the first time. When I first started doing equine photography I had a film camera, a canon ElanII. And film and developing were expensive so I learned really fast when to snap the shot of a horse jumping over a fence and get it at the perfect moment the first time. The majority of my action shots do come out right the first time. I avoid holding down the shutter release (I think it's 'cheating', but that's just me, it's ok for everyone else to do, lol) unless I'm shooting at a rodeo (for bull or bronc riding), that action is REALLY fast and if you want a good shot you do have to 'cheat' a little by snapping shots off rapidly to get a good one.

Also, my crummy people shots probably have to do with the fact that I've done nothing but practice (and get hired for) equine photography since I was about 15 years old (am 33 now). So, I've had years to get it right. I guess I should just sit down and spend some time on some still subjects.

I know you use Nikon, but can you suggest a good canon lens for 'people photography' ? I do want to get better at that for sure. Or maybe a website that explains in pretty plain terms the good and bad things about the different lenses?

Thanks so much Kirsty :)

Orla said...

wow thanks for all that - have loads to digest there - can't wait to see you in action at the weekend!

*** Moneypenny *** said...

Kirsty that's wonderful, chinese, but wonderful, I wish I knew what it all meant *lol*. I adore looking at your photos and you have been such an inspiration on the her space my space blog ~ thank you. Your little belle is such a fabulous model bless her.
Hugs & sparkles Vanda xXx

Elisabeth said...

Hello from France !

Thank you for your wonderful overlays ! I used "whitles" for my last LO. I love it !

See it her :

My blog :

Bye !

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