or for a crop frame dslr

anonymous asked:

how did you and your sister get into photography? i wanna get into it and eventually freelance in my spare time when i get enough experience but don't how to begin and 2) have you both done wedding photography and if not is that something you'd be interested in doing? also do you think it's better to be self taught or is it okay to take a photography class at my local community college? like i feel like almost everyone is self taught and idk if taking a class is a waste


We have always been into anything art related. Our parents bought us small digital cameras for our birthday when we were in 5th or 6th grade I believe. We were always taking photos of nature, vacations, and various events. When we got to high school (right around the time dslr cameras were becoming available to everyday consumers not just professionals) my dad bought one for himself. At first our dad wouldn’t let us use it without him there but eventually when we got the hang of using it and he let us take it places without him there. Natasha started taking photos of school events and posting them on Facebook. I started doing the same but a little bit after her. Eventually she bought her own entry level dslr and I bought my dads old dslr when he upgraded his. By sophomore year we were both posting lots of photos on Facebook. We also started asking our friends if we could photograph them. We would style our friends and have mini photoshoots. This was all just for fun for us. We have always been into editorial makeup/photography and styling our own shoots was our way of getting into that. Then during the summer after sophomore year a student asked Natasha to take his senior pictures which she ended up doing did. And later more and more people asked both of us to take their senior pictures. We had no idea how to price anything or what to include in packages initially. After 2-3 years we both were honing in our photography style and were getting better at pricing and guaranteeing a certain level of quality to our clients. When we got to college we would go home and take senior pictures during the summers. In college we took peoples headshots. So it was overtime that we started our photography businesses. We didn’t start photography with the intention of making a business out of it/going into it professionally. We still ask our friends to photograph them and have mini photo shoots that we style. Its important to us to constantly create personal work as well as client work. During all of this we both tried our hand at surreal/photo manipulation photography but it wasn’t for us. By the end of high school and throughout college we also shot a few wedding but both didn’t like photographing weddings. By the time we finished college both of us realized that our favorite genre of photography is portraits. So now we mainly shoot headshots, portraits, and senior pictures professionally and create editorial shoots for our personal work. 

Even though we both went to art school neither of us has taken a photography class. The photo department at U of M mainly focused on documentary photography which we were not interested in. Plus the photo professors were known to be sexist and/or racist. We are about 95% percent self taught. One of our digital media professors did help us learn some stuff in photoshop but that’s about it. When either Natasha or I start a hobby we go into it full force lol. So right when we got into photography we followed a TON of photographers online and were constantly trying to figure out how they edited there photos so we could improve our editing. Over the course of 8 years we have really developed our photography styles and editing skills. Early on we would sometimes try and copy other photographers which helped us figure out what we liked and disliked for our own photography. I don’t encourage people to copy other artists especially if they are going to sell their work. But it can be helpful when figuring out your own style but it’s important to make sure you are not ripping someone off and give credit where credit is due. When I would use another artists idea I always explained in the description who the artist was and linked to their work. A photographer I know was notorious for copying another well known photographer but her audience thought she was super original because they didn’t know about the well known photographer. Plus you will never be as good as the original photographer/artist and will end up constantly comparing yourself which is no fun lol.

Even though both of us are self taught I don’t think taking photography classes is a bad idea if you think it will help you learn. One of my favorite illustrators, Sam Spratt, took many illustration classes when he was at SCAD but that doesn’t mean he is any better or worse than other illustrators that are completely self-taught. I always wanted to take commercial/fashion lighting classes but they were never offered at my university. I also would love to take some photography workshops but they the ones I want to take (Lara Jade’s in particular) are too expensive for me. Also as an artist I’ve generally been self-taught. I had a few great drawing teachers and professors in high school (I took a college drawing class in high school) who helped me a lot. But when it comes down to being an artist you really have to push yourself to make stuff outside of class. This was a challenge for a lot of my classmates once we graduated. A lot of them didn’t know how to create work outside of class. (I’m simplifying a lot here bc i could go on and on about how much i disliked or liked u of m’s art school lol) My whole life I’ve been making stuff outside of class so creating a photography business wasn’t super difficult for me. 

This brings me to the business/freelance part. Turning something you are passionate about into a business can be great and horrible. A lot of my friends don’t freelance because the business side of it destroys their interest in the art. Some of my clients are very particular and they don’t always like the photos I take. But this is something I have to get past. Also over time you start to get better clients because they come to you knowing what they will get. Early on people would hire me because they knew I took photos not because they liked my style of photography (I hope that makes sense). Now people know what they are getting and it’s less likely that a client will be unsatisfied with their photos. As a freelancer keep in mind that it’s a lot of emails and advertising yourself. Yes it’s great that I can make money off of something I love doing but I have to keep in mind that it’s still a business. When I first started out clients would ask for lower prices and I would lower them because I didn’t want to lose a client and I didn’t know if I was too expensive or not. This was fine at first but now I don’t budge on my prices because now I know my worth and it’s not fair to my other clients to change prices. Also photography gear can get expensive and when you freelance/do photography professionally there is a point when you’ll probably to invest in professional gear. Part of this is to put you among other photographers in the industry but the physical quality of your photos will also improve. This way you can better guarantee what a client will get. Ex. my dad’s old dslr that I used had a cropped sensor so if the lighting wasn’t the best i couldn’t edit the photos as much in photoshop as I can with a full frame camera. Basically I just want to make it clear that once you start freelancing it’s a business so just like other business you have to know when and where to invest and how much. 

I’m sure you were not expecting this long of answer but I hope it helped! 

Chụp ảnh 101

Như đã hứa, hôm nay mình quay lại với mấy điều cơ bản trong nhiếp ảnh.

Hôm qua mình đã nói một vài quan điểm của tớ khi chụp ảnh, hôm nay mình chia sẻ những điều cơ bản khi bắt đầu chụp ảnh ^^ Bắt đầu bằng chuyện bạn có gì rồi hay bạn có ý định mua gì nhé. Mình nghĩ tìm hiểu những thứ bạn có sẽ giúp bạn nhiều điều khi chụp đấy ^^

Chủ đề hôm nay: Thiết bị giống như quần áo, đừng mặc sịp ra ngoài ^^

Tại sao mình lại nói vậy? À thì bạn đừng cố làm siêu nhân^^ Đùa chút thôi, chúng ta sẽ từ từ giải thích điều này nhé.

Câu hỏi số 1: Bạn nên bắt đầu mua máy ảnh nào?

Trả lời: Để mình chia sẻ 1 chút câu chuyện của mình nhé, như mình đã từng trả lời 1 ask trước đây, mình bắt đầu bằng 1 chiếc máy ảnh compact, sau đó chuyển qua Canon 400D, Canon 5D và hiện tại đang xài 2 chiếc Fuji: XT10 và Xpro 1. Dù mình khá hài lòng với ảnh chụp nhưng mỗi lần chụp mình đều cảm thấy giới hạn kĩ thuật của chiếc máy đang dùng.

Mỗi lần như vậy mình đều vào các forum để nghiên cứu về máy ảnh mới, lens mới, etc… Sau khi đổi qua cũng kha khá thứ, dùng thử nhiều máy ảnh, mình chia sẻ những điều như sau:

Số 1: Số Megapixel *Mp* chỉ là phù du, kích cỡ sensor mới là quan trọng.

Như nào nhỉ, mình sẽ cố giải thích đơn giản 1 chút. Số Mp sẽ quyết định xem bạn in được bức ảnh lớn cỡ nào, còn sensor mới quyết định chất lượng ảnh của bạn (giả thiết tất cả các yêu tố khác giống nhau)

Vậy sensor là gì ? Sensor là cảm biến của máy ảnh, nó giống như con mắt của máy ảnh, bắt lấy ánh sáng đi qua lens và chuyển nó thành số 0 và 1, sau đó được xử lý tạo thành ảnh số.

Vậy thường thì sensor càng lớn càng tốt, vì càng lớn thì càng thu được nhiều ánh sáng, thông tin, vì vậy chất lượng càng tốt. Ở mức phổ thông, chúng ta tạm chia thành mấy loại sau:

  • Điện thoại: nhỏ nhất, iphone là ví dụ, thường là ½.3″
  • Máy ảnh compact: to hơn iphone 1 chút, thường thấy trong máy ảnh du lịch, thường là 1″
  • Micro 4/3rds (Mi cờ rô pho thớt =))): cảm biến to hơn máy ảnh compact chút nữa, thường thì chất lượng khá tốt nếu nhìn ảnh trên màn hình, còn nếu zoom 100% thì sẽ kém hơn.
  • APS-C : hay còn gọi là cảm biến crop, thường là những chiếc DSLR cho người mới dùng, chiếc Nikon D5500 của bạn mới ask chẳng hạn. À Fuji của mình cũng là APS-C. Hệ số crop factor là 1.5 hoặc 1.6 (mình sẽ giải thích sau)
  • Full-frame: Thường có ttrong những chiếc máy ảnh chuyên nghiệp, Canon 5D, 6D, Nikon D800, Sony A7 ….

Cảm biến càng lớn sẽ cho chất lượng ảnh tốt hơn khi chụp trong môi trường tối, ít sinh ra noise *muỗi*, cho nhiều “bokeh” hơn,etc…

Số 2: Máy ảnh càng nhỏ càng tốt

Hình như hơi mâu thuẫn với số 1 nhỉ?

Đúng là như vậy, máy ảnh càng nhỏ sensor càng bé, nhưng chúng ta cũng cần quan tâm 1 thứ, đó là sự tiện dụng.

Máy ảnh càng bé, bạn càng muốn đem theo nó hàng ngày, bạn càng dùng nó nhiều, và cũng là bạn sẽ càng đem lại cho bạn nhiều niềm vui ^^

Mình từng dùng chiếc Canon 5D, nó rất to, và nặng khoảng 1,5kg. Vì vậy sau khoảng 1 tháng chăm chỉ, mình cất nó ở nhà thường xuyên, có khi cả tháng không dùng tới. Thay vào đó, mình mua chiếc Fuji, nó rất bé, cần 1 cái cặp cũng rất bé, nặng chưa tới 800g, và mình mang nó hầu như hàng ngày ^^.

Vì vậy mình khuyên các bạn đừng quá ham hố những chiếc DSLR to nạc, hãy cân bằng giữa 2 điều trên, chọn 1 thứ vừa nhỏ nhẹ, vừa cảm biến lớn ^^

Vì vậy mình khuyên các bạn chưa có bắt đầu bằng nững máy sau : dòng Fuji X100 ( cảm biến ASPC nhưng lại là compact, máy rất nhỏ và nhẹ dù giá hơi chát), Dòng Olympus OM-D ( cảm biến M43, máy nhỏ gọn nhưng chụp rất đáng gờm), Máy Fuji nói chung (ASPC và nhỏ nhẹ, dù giá hơi chát), Iphone từ 6S trở lên, Samsung Galaxy S7 ( 1 công đôi việc, chụp cũng rất đáng sợ, dù chưa so sánh vs máy ảnh chuyên nghiệp nhưng nếu bạn biết sử dụng thì …)

Câu hỏi số 2: Có máy rồi, nếu là thay dc lens thì dùng lens gì?

Trả lời: Trong 1 tỉ các loại lens thì ta chia làm 2 loại chính, lens zoom và lens fix.

Các vấn đề kĩ thuật, các bạn có thể tham khảo cụ google, mình sẽ nêu quan điểm của mình là chính.

Thế nào là zoom? Là lens thay đổi được tiêu cự, thường dc kí hiệu bằng tiêu cự ngắn nhất-tiêu cự dài nhất. Ví dụ như chiếc lens canon 18-55 f4-5.6. Nhưng mình  không khuyến khích các bạn dùng lens zoom, vì lens này làm bạn lười, hơn nữa lại to hơn, nặng hơn, nhưng không nét bằng. Quan trọng nhất là vì tiện mà bạn sẽ kém sáng tạo hơn.

Vậy còn lens fix, là lens 1 tiêu cự thôi, thường có những tiêu cự chính là 18mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm… Mình khuyên các bạn bắt đầu với 50mm và 35mm. Giá của lens fix cũng không quá đắt, chất lượng lại rất tốt. 

À quên, còn 1 vấn đề, đó là hệ số nhân của sensor như phần 1 mình có nhắc tới. Đại loại là trên những cảm biến nhỏ hơn full frame, nta sẽ có 1 hệ số để nhân vào tiêu cự, so sánh nó với full frame … VD như lens 50mm cắm trên ASPC sẽ là 50 x 1.5 = 75mm trên full frame. Vì thế để có tiêu cự 50mm trên ASPC, chúng ta cần mua lens 35mm…

Vì thế mình khuyên các bạn sử dụng 35mm trên crop và 50mm trên full frame để bắt đầu.

Câu hỏi số 3: Mục đích chụp của bạn là gì, mua lens gì tương ứng?

Trả lời: Theo nghiên cứu thì tầm nhìn của con người khá giống với lens 50mm, vì vậy ta có mấy thứ cần quan tâm sau.

  • Nếu bạn chụp đời thường, giống mình, thì hãy chọn 35 hoặc 50. Nó đem đến cảm giác đời thực nhất có thể, hơn nữa khi chụp bạn nhìn thế giới như nào , ảnh ra sẽ như vậy. 35 thì rộng hơn 1 chút, nhưng vẫn cho bạn cảm giác ấy.
  • Nếu bạn chụp phong cảnh là chính, vậy thì chọn lens có tiêu cự nhỏ hơn 18mm, thường thì nên bắt đầu bằng 18mm. Nó sẽ cho góc nhìn rộng hơn, cảm giác con người sẽ nhỏ bé hơn,
  • Còn chụp chân dung, mình vẫn khuyên bạn ở 50mm, dừng ở 85mm, đừng tiến xa hơn. 2 lens này có độ “xóa phông” vừa phải, nhưng vẫn gắn con người vào khung cảnh xung quanh. Việc này rất quan trọng đó, mình sẽ chia sẻ sau ^^

Quay trở lại tiêu đề, Thiết bị giống như quần áo, đừng mặc sịp ra ngoài ^^

Mình nghĩ thế này, thiết bị chỉ là công cụ thể hiện cá tính, phong cách hay cái chất của riêng bạn, bạn mới là người tạo ra bức ảnh, đừng quá phụ thuộc vào thiết bị của bạn. Nhưng cũng đừng vì vậy mà chọn sai, quan trọng là hãy chọn đúng cái bạn cần, yêu nó, đừng quá lố, muốn trở thành siêu nhân ngay lập tức ^^

Hôm nay mình chia sẻ đến đây, mai tiếp tục nhé ^^ Mình biết là chỉ vài người đọc hết đống này thôi, mình định type ngắn thôi, nhưng vừa type vừa nghĩ nên nó hơi dài, hơn nữa văn lại lủng củng nên chắc ít người đọc. Thôi thì ai trụ được đến những dòng này, mình rất cảm ơn các bạn~

 Chúc các bạn ngủ ngon^^


“Thoughts on my ‘Back to the Kit Lens’ Experiment and Series”

Note: I couldn’t post this as a set for some reason (maybe the photos together were too large). I’ve provided links so you can see the others in the series that are on @milmon365

I have only been taking photographs with a DSLR for about 2 and a half years now. In fact it was only in the summer of 2015 when I began my first 365 days project here on Tumblr. My first DSLR was a Nikon D3200, with a standard, 18-55mm “kit lens.” I have since gone from that first camera to another crop sensor camera, the D5500, and to a full-frame D750.

As I prepared for my trip last week, I didn’t feel like carrying my big, heavy D750. In addition to my luggage and all the computer and recording gear in my backpack–I was on my way to another digital storytelling workshop–I just didn’t want to carry a camera bag with other heavy lenses. Also my D5500 had been sitting on my night stand, looking lonely and unused. I realized that I have become so accustomed to using the controls on the newer camera that I had almost forgotten how to use this one. Finally, and most importantly, I decided to test my current knowledge of photographic technique and my vision by bringing only my 18-55mm kit lens and using it exclusively for the entire week. So for this past 7 days I’ve used my crop sensor camera and a “cheap” lens to make my daily photographs.

Verdict: I loved it!

I’ll admit, it was a little rough on the first day, but I think I improved over the course of the week. I can see my own growth in three ways. I was able to:

  1. Recognize, or “diagnose,” the limitations of my camera and lens for the shot I was after. Some of the shots were from a moving train; others were taken in low light, and so on. There were challenges, for sure, but I think I was able to understand what the basic issue was and how to account for it via my settings.
  2. Know what other aspects of the “trinity"–Aperture, Shutter speed, and ISO–and things like exposure compensation, I could (or should) adjust to make the image better. In other words, do my best to work within and around those technical limitations.
  3. Know what to do to fix lingering problems in post-production to produce the image I wanted.

It was particularly gratifying to see that I have indeed learned some things over the past few years. What I’ve learned has made me able to manipulate the device, the digital camera, to get it to produce the images that I wanted to capture. I was able to use the processing of the RAW files in order to convey the feeling or mood that I wanted to convey when I first saw my subject. To me that is the most important thing of all, being able to share my thought or feeling with those who view my photos.

All in all, I am extremely happy with my results of this past week. Not because my photos were “perfect,” but because of the process and the progress I was able to see in myself as a beginner and a student of photography. I look forward to another chance to do this experiment. In fact I’m thinking it might be a good idea to take a few days or a week each month to just get back to the basics, and in this case to the kit lens and to my crop sensor camera, to help me to test my knowledge, skills, and creativity.

This past week has been “eye-opening,” no pun intended (ok, maybe just a little one!). I’m just really happy to see that I’ve learned a little something over the past few years. I’m excited to keep learning, growing, and sharing.

Thanks for providing such an encouraging and inspiring community!


July 30, 2017


Alone Time

Anon request: Hey girl<3 love ur fics, I was wondering if you could do one where female reader is on the road with Tyler and josh as a photographer and they are in a van because haven’t really taken off yet and someway or another they get some time alone for the first time in forever and do it in the van. Please no daddy kinks or blood play thank you so much xxx

Warnings/Tags: None fairly fluffy and vanilla

“I’m gonna miss you so much, but I’m so proud of you and Josh.” You say siting on the edge of the open trailer attached to the van; swinging your legs as the boys pack; about to embark on their first series of shows and music festivals since the departure of Nick and Chris, and the addition of Josh to the now two-piece band. You and Tyler have been dating for about a year and things have started to get pretty serious lately; even loosing your virginity to each other. You really hope the two of you can  keep your relationship alive despite the distance.

“I have a feeling you’re not gonna miss me all that much.” Tyler says with a curious looking smile.

“Are you crazy? Of course I’m gonna miss you Tyler I love you!”  You respond puzzled as to why he thinks you wouldn’t miss him.

“Well it’s just that me and Josh were talking and we know you love photography and we really need a photographer for the road so we were hoping you would come on this journey with us and be our photographer, that way you’d never have to miss me.” He smiles.

“Tyler, I would love to ,really I would but I don’t think my little crop sensor DSLR camera that I just use just as a  hobby is going to be able to do any justice. I don’t even own a wide enough lens and I don’t think my cameras ISO capabilities are high enough for how dark some of the venues might be.”

“I was afraid you would say that which is why…” He trails off reaching into the the trailer and pulling out a brown box and handing it to you. “I know you’re Birthday isn’t until next month but..go ahead, open it.”  He says excitedly.

You open the box to find a full frame sensor camera, and a wide angle lens. “Tyler!” You gasp. “Thank you so much, but really you shouldn’t have, you and Josh are barely making money from this yet, you  should have saved your money and put it towards new equipment or something.

"No baby I wanted you to have it.  It’s not brand new or anything but the guy at the used camera shop said this is perfect to get you started photographing shows and what not. Josh chipped in too; we really want you to come with us but it’s yours to keep regardless of your decision.” Tyler says just as Josh returns from the house with another box of equipment.

“Oh you gave it to her? What’d she say?” Josh asks sweaty and out of breath as he loads the box into the trailer.

“So what do you say? We can’t pay you or anything yet, but I know we’ll be able to one day, but for now I  can pay for your food and stuff on the road.” Tyler looks to you for an answer.

“Yes of course! Thank you! You guys don’t have to pay me the camera is more than enough.” You place the camera box down to your left and hop down from the trailers edge pulling both boys in for a hug. “Eww Josh you’re all sweaty.” You tease.

“Yeah, well why don’t you guys quit the cute stuff and get back to helping. He jokingly pushes you both towards the house.  

"I’m so happy your coming with us. We’re gonna spend so much time together. Tyler slips his hand in yours as you make your way back to the house for more equipment.


Tyler’s words were  naive a best; sure you spend a lot of time together; a lot of time between shooting pictures helping to lug  Tyler’s heavy ass piano up and down venue stairs, a lot of time sleeping in a cramped van next to each other but never with each other and only for a span of four hours here and there if you’re  lucky, and more notably a lot of time with Josh. It’s not that you have anything against Josh; you love Josh, he’s such a good friend to Tyler and to you as well and he makes for great company but any rare alone time you and Tyler would be able to have is instantly deterred by Josh’s presence, and the lack of intimacy is taking a toll on both of you.  Having recently lost your virginity to each other, your want for each other is almost constant, no matter how busy or tired you both are but all you can manage is a few sporadic heavy make-out sessions whenever Josh is out of eye shot for more than a few minutes, whether it’s when he stops to use the bathroom, or decides the taco bell drive through line is too long and goes inside to order.


Tonight’s a successful night;  the boys are finally starting to have more and more people attending shows and tonight has been by far the most yet.  It’s not a ton, but it’s definitely a lot  more than the twelve people that attended the first show outside their hometown,  at the Park Ridge VFW in Illinois. You snap picture after picture of the performance; you’ve never seen the boys, especially Tyler, look so proud. After the show it’s back to lugging equipment into the trailer and time to head back on the road to the next show. It’s Josh’s turn to drive; you and Tyler laying in the back with nothing more than a quick kiss goodnight before falling asleep.


A few hours later you’re woken up by the sudden sputtering of the van, and look out the window to see you’ve come to a stop in a rest area off the side of the highway.

"Please don’t tell me the van just broke down.” Tyler says sleepily, rubbing at his eyes.

“No, sorry man, ran out of gas.” Josh says. “ I thought we had enough to make it to the next gas station, it’s only a half mile away, the exit is literally right there.” He huffs, clearly frustrated and slightly embarrassed by his miscalculation. “You guys stay here and rest I’m just gonna walk to the gas station and fill up a gas can I’ll be right back.”  He says as he exits the van.

“I’ve never been more happy to run out of gas in my life.” Tyler says as soon as the van door closes.

“Tyler why would you be happy to run out of gas.” You ask completely puzzled by his words.

“Because now I get to do this..”  He says moving to straddle you, placing soft wet kisses along your neck.

“Mmmm Tyler!”  You moan, knowing your desperate need for intimacy is finally about to be fulfilled. Tyler helps you rid yourself of your shirt tugging it over your head and begins kissing down your bare chest; stopping only to tongue at each nipple before moving lower, fumbling with  the button of your black skinny jeans as his lips ghost over the  flesh below your navel.

“Tyler…Tyler..Stop!” You whine as you squirm under his touch.

“What’s wrong baby?” He asks barely lifting his mouth away from the surface of your skin.

“Nothing, it’s just that we don’t have much time, and as much as I miss feeling that tongue of yours…” You pause to drag a finger lightly over his lips. “I miss something else much more.” You tease brushing your leg up against his denim covered bulge.  He groans in agreement and you quickly undress each other; completely unfazed by the light sheen of sweat beginning to pool on your bodies without the air conditioner running in the late summer heat.

“God I’ve missed this so much.” He breathes into your neck as he pushes into you. “Mmmmmm feels like you have too; so wet for me baby.”   He mutters against your flesh, kissing up your neck and connecting your lips.

“You have no idea how m-much.” You moan into the kiss, running your fingers through his fluffy brown hair, tugging lightly; some pieces stuck to his forehead and neck with sweat, as he slowly  thrusts.

“Uhhh you feel so good.” He pants, arching his head back slightly; you seize the opportunity you kiss him gently right below his ear where you know he likes, he closes his eyes humming lowly in response and driving his hips harder into you.

“Fuck, Ty…Yes…so good.”  You whine wrapping your legs around him and pulling him in deeper. He grunts loudly, hooking one hand around your leg, pulling it from around himself and placing it over his shoulder, hitting your spot from a whole new angle.  "Oh shit Ty, right there, don’t stop.“

"Mmmmm you like that baby?” He grinds into you holding your leg

“God yes….Oh shit I’m gonna cum.” You cry out as the pleasure building in your core comes to a peak, Moans of his name falling from your lips as you ride it out. Tyler’s thrusts speed up chasing after his own orgasm, finishing just moments after you.  The two of you collapse into  into a sweaty pile, your leg sliding from his shoulder down to his  side.

“I love you so much.” He breathes heavily, pushing sweaty locks of hair from your face. “We need to find a way to do this more often, even if it means I gotta kick Josh out of the band.” He jokes.

“I love you so much too and I agree” You smile. Just then you hear the gas cap being unscrewed, followed by the glugging noise of gas filling up the tank, and scramble to get dressed. Josh screws the gas cap back on and opens the driver side door just as you both finish slipping  on your shirts; Tyler’s pants up but still unbuckled.

“Well, well, well, what do we have here.” Josh teases.

“Hey Josh, you wanna sleep now, I’ll drive.” Tyler tries to change to subject. “I’m kind of awake now.”

“I’ll bet you are.” He laughs. “Sure I’ll sleep on the sheets you two just fricked on, no problem.” He chuckles as the two boys lazily switch spots, climbing over the seats in the van. “I swear there better not be a wet spot.” He jokes, settling in to the makeshift bed.

“No promises.” Tyler laughs throwing his arm around the seat preparing to reverse out of the spot in the rest area.

“You know if you guys ever want  ummm.. alone time, you can just tell me to get lost or something, well not lost-lost but you know what I mean.” Josh says mildly embarrassed.

“Yeah we already decided, we’re just gonna kick you out of the band.” Tyler’s perfect laughter fills the van.

“Not cool.” Josh playfully pouts.

“Hey Babe, you still wanna sleep some, or you wanna come up here and keep me company.” Tyler asks. As tired as you are his warm smile lures you to the the passenger seat and you climb over in the same manor the boys did. Tyler rests his hand on your leg as he drives.

About twenty minutes out, you hit heavy traffic from what appears to be an accident up ahead.

“Any ideas on what we could do to kill time while we’re stuck in traffic.” Tyler jokes, loud enough for Josh to hear. Josh groans half asleep in protest to Tyler’s innuendo.

“Hey you wanna see some of the shots I’ve gotten so far.” You ask Tyler, pulling out your camera bag from under the passenger seat.

“I’d love to babe, I bet they’re as amazing as you.”

Catch me if You Can plan & kitbag

Through volunteering with Glasgow Sport I have the opportunity to shoot the Glasgow Rocks vs Surrey Scorchers basketball game on Sunday 19th November 2017. My kitbag will include the following:

  • Nikon D750
  • Nikon D3200
  • Nikon 35-70mm f/2.8
  • Nikon 105mm macro
  • Nikon 300mm f/4.5
  • Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-5.6

Hopefully with two DSLRs (one full frame and one crop sensor) and a range of lenses, I should be able to capture the variety of images required for this brief. The one thing I don’t have which would be useful is a monopod so I’m just going to have to support the camera on the side of the court.  


I always have my DSLR on the passenger seat of my car. I broke my electronic lens in March, so I’m using my manual lenses until I can afford a new one. It’s a miracle this is in focus. Because of the cropped sensor on my Pentax K-5, a 50mm lens is actually a 77mm lens which is too long for general walking-around photography. In other words, I couldn’t back up any further to frame the shot.

Ramblings about photography - pt.12 "Selfie Sunday"

Ramblings About Photography - part 12 “Selfie Sunday”

Some time ago, I got a question by fotoforays, whether I would make a tutorial on how to take self-portraits (like the one I posted on one of the last „no edit Fridays“) without a tripod or special equipment.
To be very honest, at first I thought this was a joke, because… well… „Tutorials on making selfies“…  Hello?! I mean… we’re all serious photographers, aren’t we?
Well, I’m not. So I loved the idea. And I also realized, that I put quite some thought in it.  So, I decided, to give it a go and I promised to put something together. There is just one problem: I don’t do tutorials. So, please note, that this not a tutorial, but more like some thoughts on planning a self-portrait shooting.
Planning a self-portrait is not really different to planning any other portrait, except that the model is also the photographer (which in some cases is not a good idea. I won’t mention names here) and the fact, that you cannot look through the viewfinder.
I will hardly lose any words on the artistic aspect btw, but mainly talk about the technical side. So here are some points to consider.

1. Focal lenghts
You probably heard, that with portraits, the focal lenght is of special importance. Why is that? Shorter focal lenghts (shorter than 35mm) can create extreme proportional distortions, depending on how close you are with the camera to your subject. I wanted to use the term „big nose syndrome“, but thank God, I googled and… well… it’s better not to use this term. At least not for what I’m trying to tell.
The classic focal lenght for portraits lies at about 80mm, so – if you are using a camera with a crop-sensor (for example APS-C with Canon DSLRs or DX with Nikons) - you are good with a 50mm lens or longer, because on these cameras the angle of view of a 50mm lens lies in about the range of an 80mm lens on a full-frame camera. If you have no idea, what I’m talking about, don’t worry, I will make a post covering this subject soon, so just bear with me for the moment.
Does that mean, you can’t use shorter focal lenghts? No. Of course you can use shorter focal lenghts. Just be aware of the proportional distortions, which can have a very disturbing or even (unwanted) comic effect with focal lenghts of less than 35mm.

Let’s use the example of the 50mm lens (80mm on the crop): My arms are simply not long enough to cover my whole face, when hand-holding the camera, so I had to use the kit-lens of my Canon at about 30mm (about the angle of view of a 50mm lens on a full-frame camera, so we’re good with distortions and my nose doesn’t look bigger than it is in real life, which is big enough anyway).
Or think about the classic selfie-camera: Your smartphone. Smartphone cameras have very, very short focal lenghts of sometimes only 6 or 8mm. Why do these extremely short focal lenghts have comparatively little proportional distortions? More on that in the post about focal lenghts, which will be one of the next posts, I suppose.

2. The closest focusing distance
Another important factor is the closest focusing distance. Originally I wanted to make a close-up shot of my eye (without the use of a tripod, because I was lazy) and my arm was long enough to have my eye fully covered in frame, but I wasn’t able to focus, because of the closest focusing distance of the lens I wanted to use, so I had to go with more of my face. I’m still sorry for that.

3. Controlling the frame

a) Composition.
To compose a hand-held shot, when you can’t look through the viewfinder, is not really easy. How to do it anyway? Three ideas came to my mind.

1. Shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot and hope. And shoot again and hope again. Using a wider angle and cropping in in post works pretty well. Many selfies are made exactly that way.
2. Use a mirror and the display of your camera. Control the composition with the reflected display image in the mirror. This can work pretty good.
3. Use the front-camera of your smartphone or (and that’s how I did it) the swivel-screen of your camera. My Canon EOS 700D (T5i) also has even a touchscreen, which comes in handy here. I can just tap on what I want to be in focus and the camera’s autofocus does the rest.

b) Depth of field.
Another crucial thing. The shallower the depth of field, the harder to focus. If you are using a deep depth of field (by using a small aperture = larger number) it is much easier to focus. Smartphone cameras usually have a very deep depth of field because of the small size of the sensor

c) Focus
Go for the eyes. Can’t go wrong with that :)

d) Stabilizer
You might switch on your stabilizer, because hand-held-shots from the extended arm… you know what I mean…

4. Artsy and general stuff

Here some ideas:

- Soft, even light makes skin look more smooth and hides imperfections. But you also run  into danger that your face loses it’s character and the picture looks boring.
- Frontal view makes your face look more roundish.
- Looking down creates double-chins.
So, the perfect way to look fat and in a selfie is to use a frontal point-of-view with soft light and you looking down. But you can use that to your advantage of course. I, for example, have a very slim face, so frontal view with soft light, looks better with me (at least IMHO).

- A point-of-view and also light from below makes you look very unappealing, maybe even creepy, so you might want to avoid that. Except of course, you want to make a creepy shot. Looking up a bit and a slight point-of-view from above, makes you look more friendly.

- Try to get some catch-lights in the eyes. That makes them look alive. Eyes without catchlights look dull and dead – something you can use of course, if it serves the idea.

- If you are shooting b/w or do a b/w conversion, a red-filter smoothes out skin-imperfections and reddish spots. A yellow-filter increases the contrast. So if you want to have a punchy portrait, go with yellow. If you want to have a smooth one, go with red.

The list can be endless… So, again, this is not a tutorial, but only some thoughts on selfies.

All “Ramblings about photography” to be found here
All “What I learned about photography” posts to be found here