Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Tethered shooting with Canon 5DIV

Its been a while since I last blogged. I've not been around as basically I've not had much to say.
However, fired up by 2018 I decided to spend a cold wet Saturday in the Creative Cube trying the out the tethering with my Canon 5DIV.

I found tethered shooting to be simplicity itself.
I simply connected the 5DIV to my MacBook Pro with the supplied USB lead, switched the camera on and immediately Canon EOS Utility 3 launched and I selected Remote Shooting.
From here I could control the camera settings (changes were instantaneous) and enable Live View shooting.

I also had Canon DPP4 open looking into the folder the images were being saved in. 

I applied Digital Lens Optimisation in DPP4, as well as correction for distortion etc as I find DPP4 does this a little better than Lr lens correction, there is not much in it but to me the files from DPP4 look a little crisper.

Then within the DPP4 Tools menu I Transferred to Photoshop, saved as a psd file and adjusted the images to taste.

The subjects were lit with two Rotolight LED lights and I used my  Canon 100mm f2.8 Macro USM lens.

Ceramic art by Maggie Barnes Ceramics

Thursday, 5 October 2017

BJP IPA 2018

I've submitted my Lippy Ladies project to the British Journal of Photography International Photography Award.

The project was shot from September 2016 to September 2017. I used two Canon 5DII bodies with Canon 16-35mm f2.8 L, Canon 24-70 f2.8 L and Canon 70-200 f2.8 L IS lenses. I also used a pair of Canon 430EXII Speedlites triggered by a Canon ST2. I used various reflectors and softboxes.
images were processed in Adobe Lightroom CC using my own preset.

This is the Artists Statement and images I've submitted.

People are the most interesting subject to photograph yet also one of the most difficult when it comes to capturing some essence of their personality.

So, with that challenge in mind, I decided to create a photographic essay.
 I ride a motorbike and, in spite of the common stereotypes held by the public, I know how varied individual bikers are. 
I put out a request on the web to the motorcycle community and received an email from the Chair of the Lippy Ladies, a female only motorcycle club based in the North of England. As soon as I met them, I knew I’d found my subject.

Over the next 12 months I photographed as many Lippy Ladies as I could, and over the time I got to know them, I also incorporated some south Yorkshire Lady Bikers as the two clubs overlap territory and members.

What I learned as I went along was, as Edward Steichen said:
 “A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.”

Meeting and getting to know the Lippy Ladies was a much bigger part of the project than the technique of taking the photos themselves, building that rapport with them has been vital to the success of the project.

Each of the Lippy Ladies has a fascinating story. These are strong independent women, Pilots, Engineers, Bike Racers, ex-HGV drivers, with varied backgrounds but all with one thing in common, a love of speed and motorcycles.

These women are quietly leading extraordinary lives, but with this project I hope to make them more visible and celebrate them as role models to other women – and also men – of all ages.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Canon 5DIV - first shoot

Just this week I received my Canon 5DIV. Today I had a brief window to get out for an hour or so and use it.
I went down to York Cemetary, as its an interesting old, predominantly Victorian, cemetary that is interesting to photograph and very quiet.

I took all my L lenses and a tripod so I could see how the touch screen worked and also test the Canon Connect App on my iPhone.

I'm pleased to say that everything worked as I hoped. The 5DIV proved to be much faster than my 5DII had been and the touch screen was an absolute joy, both for menu and for image taking. It is possible to have choice of either touch focus or touch focus and shutter release. Its easy to switch between the two.
The Canon Connect App gives all the functionality of the camera touch screen but on your mobile device. I found that this more than compensates for the lack of an articulated screen, I was stood several meters from the camera and was still able to operate the camera.

Using the camera hand held proved very familiar, the ergonomics are not a radical departure from the 5DII. What struck me most though was the AF system, it has more AF points, to be expected really, but I found selecting my AF point quick and easy with the stubby joystick on the back, and also now the battery grip, of the 5DIV. This makes the camera much faster to use.

Looking at the images in Lr CC back in the studio the focus was accurate and the detail from the 30mp files certainly a step up from the already excellent 5DII.

So far the 5DIV is everything I'd hoped it to be.

Weather proofing given a brief test

Monday, 11 September 2017

Canon 5DIV - very first impressions straight out the box

So, the 5DII have been sold, and a 5DIV bought to replace them.

First impressions as I unboxed it were that the 5DIV is better built than the 5DII, Canon have really upped the fit and finish, this is definitely the best constructed camera I've ever handled. It feels better made than both a Leica M240 and Hasselblad H5D both of which I have considerable experience.

The touch screen is an absolute joy to use, and the whole camera is very responsive to touch. The ergonomics of the 5DII were very good but Canon has refined this further with the Mk4 and every button falls neatly into place under a digit.  I also bought the battery grip which matches the camera body perfectly in fit, finish, and functionality.

Nice to see is the locking PASM control, I often found the 5DII PASM control has moved whilst being put in and out of the camera bag.

All my lenses focus faster than they did with the 5DII and the Yongnuo ETTL flash triggers work perfectly as well. I've only shot a few images indoors under mixed light sources but the images up to ISO12800 look useable if required.

Up until very recently I was satisfied with my pair of 5DII, the image quality was more than good enough, but then I bought an Olympus OM-D M5 as a second system and this terrific little camera together with the M.Zuiko 12-40mm f2.8 PRO lens was so nice to use with its fast and accurate AF, and OLED touch screen that I found myself using in preference to the 5DII more and more. However, I still loved the quality of the Canon L glass, good though the M.Zuiko is it can't compete with my 70-200m f2.8 L for portraits but finding the 5DII so slow to use it wasn't getting the use it should have been. 

Time for change I thought; do I get rid of the Canon system all together and get all the M.Zuiko PRO lenses and another OM-D M5 body? or replace the 5DII bodies? Going down the Olympus route would be cheaper, but at the end of the day good though the mFT system is I really like a full frame sensor for some work. And those L lenses are so hard to beat.

So a new 5D4 it was, I could only afford a single body, but my shoulders will thank me for that in the long run.

Early days yet, but keep an eye out over the next few weeks as I get to know the 5D4 a bit more.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Lippy Lady - Lindsey - Full Sutton airfield

Coming to the end of the 12 month Lippy Lady project.

This morning it was a most enjoyable shoot with Lindsey at Full Sutton Airfield. Lindsey is a commercial pilot, who used to instruct at Full Sutton.

I used the Canon 5D2 with the usual 16-35mm f2.8 L, 24 - 70mm f2.8 L and 70 - 200mm f2.8 IS L lenses as well a finishing off the shoot with a few on the Olympus OM-D M5 with M.Zuiko 12 - 40mm f2.8 Pro lens.

I used some fill-in flash triggered with the Yongnuo YN622C wireless triggers which worked faultlessly.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Expensive shoot

While I was on the beach at Aberffraw shooting St Cywfan I managed to loose the eye cup from the EVF on my Olympus OM-D.

It all still worked as before but its was not quite so comfy as the edges of the EVF are quite sharp.

So I went online to order another. There are no third-part ones available, not that I could find anyway, so had to buy OEM, £16.99 fuck me Olympus! That is outrageous for a small piece of rubbery plastic.

In the extremely unlikely event that someone finds the one I lost, and happens upon my blog, please contact me so I can have it back.