Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Technique Tuesday: Finding Lines In All The Right Places; Master Class Kick-off: and Shooting With Tamron 28-300VC Lens

Good Morning Everybody,

Group on deckMy class kicked off to a fine start yesterday. We had photographers attending from around the country and around the world. One of our attendees coming all the way from Australia. We moved through a lot of information during the first day of class and then LaDawn and I invited everyone to our home for a little Welcome Party yesterday evening.

The weather was perfect and we were able to spend some time getting to know each other out on our deck. After snacks and an easy dinner we retired to my studio area and I gave the class a quick explanation of  how we handle our sales consultations and presentations. As you can see from this photograph the first thing photographers reach for are our the wedding albums sitting around the studio. This is more of a crowd “grab shot” - no one knew that I was taking the photograph, so maybe we don't have the best expressions on everyone’s faces even though they were thoroughly enjoying themselves ;~)

Group at StudioAfter an hour or so describing our sales process we invited the class members into our production area where LaDawn gave everybody a behind-the-scenes tour of exactly how we process the images for our clients.

I think it's always good for visiting photographers to see just how we process through our work flow. It takes a little bit of the mystery out of it and lets them see that we do things pretty much the way everybody else does things.

DAZ and RobI think everybody thoroughly enjoyed their visit last night but it's back to work again today. By the way, that's Rob Kumler and I – Rob and his wife Wilma own K&R Photographics, one of the leading equipment suppliers here in the Greater Cincinnati area. Rob, Wilma and I have been friends for many many years and I always invite them for our Master Class social gatherings.

Of course, most of the talk revolved around the brand-new Canon 5D Mark III.  I asked Wilma if she even had any on the shelf. To my surprise she said that they had one left – a complete camera kit which includes a 24–105mm IS lens.  Folks, when I checked at Amazon yesterday there was a 1-3 month wait for the camera. But, if you want one today you can get Wilma call at 859.341.6986 and maybe nab it! You better hurry, I bet it won't last for long.

I'm excited because I get to try a brand new lens. One thing I loved about shooting with my Canon 7D was the fact that I could use my 18–200mm IS lens. That lens gave me a full range of focal lengths that were very handy when shooting wedding candids. Since acquiring the 5D Mark III, there is no easy solution in lenses to cover that focal length range. The equivalent focal range would be 28–300mm lens on a full frame sensor camera.  Now it's true, Canon does offer 28-300mm lens with push pull zoom.

Tamron lensThe fact of the matter is; that it is quite a bit bigger – 11 inches long, and heavier at 6 pounds, and more than I want to be lugging around at a wedding.  And it's also about $2700 – whew! That said I quickly got on the Internet to see if any other manufacturers were offering this focal length combination. It seems Sigma use to offer that combination but now that lens is no longer available. I finally found my way to the Tamron website.  I gave my friends at Tamron a call and asked if I could test drive one. They were happy to honor my request and let me borrow thee lens for about a month.
It just arrived yesterday.

That was perfect timing for my class this week and also Texas school where I’m teaching two weeks from now. The lens is image stabilized and I'm really interested to see how it will do optically during our all day shooting session today.

Tamron shotBTW, all the images I posted today were captured with the Tamron 28–300mm VC lens. I like the one image I posting at the right that my buddy and coach, Eric Cameron, grabbed during our party last night. It was late in the evening and he wanted to see just how slow he could shoot with the vibration compensation feature switched on. I was amazed when I saw this image taken at 1/6 second at 300mm.

It was later in the evening and most everyone had returned to the hotel.  LaDawn, Eric, Rob, Wilma, and I headed out to the deck to enjoy a little more fresh air. The only light on the deck was candlelight so I asked the LaDawn to just  lean against the deck and just give me a smile back to the camera.

LaDawn DeckI clicked off this image at 25,800 ISO, 1/13 of a second, at F5.6. I thought the lens did a good job. Anyway, my early impressions from the new Tamron 28–300mm VC lens is pretty favorable. I was also amazed at its close-up focusing capabilities. At 300mm I had the ability to focus as close as 8 inches away – amazing! I'll give you  more feedback after my shoot today and also accompany the article with several images from today session – I can't wait to see what were going to get.

Anyway, on that note gang it's time to get with today's Technique Tuesday. Please enjoy.

Looking For Lines In All The Right Places

I've mentioned this many times before here at Digital ProTalk but, one of my favorite things to do when I'm shooting at a wonderful convention like Photoshop World, is to shoot around the main convention center. During my wedding shoot-out a few weeks ago, even though we had a great location to shoot – St. Matthew's Church – in downtown Washington, D.C. As we arrived back at the convention center I had a few minutes to shoot around the convention center space.

It's not difficult to compose a great photograph.  The secret is to discern the leading lines and other compositional elements in the scene before you press the shutter button.  Once you know what you're working with, it's easy to determine where to place your subject within the scene.

The convention center offered a wonderful array of lines, shapes, forms, and interesting geometric spaces in which to place the subject for some very compelling images. In this tutorial I'll walk you through a couple of the spaces at the main entrance of the convention center. I'll discuss what I'm looking for when I view the space, how I'm looking for interior frames in which I can frame up my subject, and how I can use leading lines to draw the viewers attention directly to the subject. This tutorial also includes a description of the lighting and the exposures that I use the making all the photographs.

I think this tutorial is a nice lesson on how to see differently, how to find the lines in your composition, and how to get your best portraits of your subjects and some really unusual locations. Why not hit the play button below and enjoy the show.


Hey gang, that's it for me today. Class starts in about an hour and we've got a very very full day ahead. The nice thing about today’s shoot is the fact that we have a much smaller group than usual in attendance which should give everyone ample opportunity to work in all the locations that we've selected for today's lesson. I'll plan to be back here again tomorrow with a quick review.

On that note gang, I'm out here – it's time for class.

See you tomorrow, David

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