Jonathan Fleming's Blog

A Photography Blog

Posts Tagged ‘canon

Shooting With The Canon G1 X Mark II

with 3 comments

I’ve been using the Canon G1 X Mark II as my primary grab and go digital camera for the last few months. My initial impressions were already pretty favorable, and I’m happy to say that it’s grown on me even more now that I’ve been shooting with it for a while.

It probably won’t dethrone my all time favorite digital camera, but it’s got a well deserved place in the camera bag:

IMG_0427-2

IMG_0411-2

IMG_0403-2

IMG_0469

IMG_0424

IMG_0426-2

IMG_0366

IMG_0352-2

All Images: Canon G1 X Mark II | VSCO

Written by Jonathan

July 10, 2014 at 9:03 pm

First Shots: Canon G1 X Mark II

with 15 comments

I’ve been shooting with Canon’s brand new flagship Powershot camera this week, the G1 X Mark II. The original G1 X didn’t really interest me at all. This camera, however, is a different story.

I’m still assessing its abilities, but right off the bat I’m impressed with the image quality. The RAW files respond well to one of my favorite VSCO presets, Velvia 50, which I used to process most of these shots.

The video mode isn’t very robust, but the quality is pretty good. Footage below was shot hand-held with the camera set to 1080/30p. You can check out more footage on my Youtube channel as well.

I’m really liking this camera so far. It’s pretty quick and responsive, I love the dual control rings, and the 24-120mm f/2-3.9 lens is fast and flexible. Can’t wait to spend more time with this thing!

 

Written by Jonathan

April 21, 2014 at 4:26 pm

Shooting The 5D Mark III

with 17 comments


Canon EOS 5D Mark III + 50mm f/1.2L | 1/160 sec, f/1.2, ISO 200 

I was honored to have been invited by my cousin and best buddy, Josh Liba, who flew all the way to San Francisco from Medellin Colombia, to help shoot a fantastically beautiful wedding yesterday as his second shooter. I helped cover the event using Canon’s new 5D Mark III, a very impressive camera. The new auto focus system in particular is a significant feature for the series. If you’re a Mark II owner, you’ll really notice the vast improvement in auto-focus performance with Mark III. Vast. Improvement.

Here are just a few frames I grabbed as I went throughout the day, trying to point my camera at whatever Josh wasn’t shooting:


Canon EOS 5D Mark III + 135mm f/2L | 1/2,000 sec, f/2, ISO 200


Canon EOS 5D Mark III + 135mm f/2L | 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200


Canon EOS 5D Mark III + 135mm f/2L | 1/2,000 sec, f/2, ISO 200


Canon EOS 5D Mark III + 135mm f/2L | 1/600 sec, f/2, ISO 200


Canon EOS 5D Mark III + 35mm f/1.4L | 1/30 sec, f/4, ISO 100

The shot above was taken using  a couple of Canon’s new Speedlite 600 EX-RTs, one on camera, and one behind the couple on the other side of the dance floor providing some rim light on my subjects. The cool thing about this new flash unit is that it has the ability to radio trigger other off-camera units. Very, very cool.

You can see Josh in the background at the edge of the frame to the right taking a shot from the other side. His on-camera flash is actually pointed at that wood-panelled wall right next to him. He fired his camera at the same exact time I did, washing light off that wall and providing my shot with some very welcome background detail. Yeah, uh, we totally meant to do that ;)


Canon EOS 5D Mark III + 50mm f/1.2L | 1/8,000 sec, f/1.2, ISO 100 


Canon EOS 5D Mark III + 50mm f/1.2L | 1/6,400 sec, f/1.2, ISO 100 


Canon EOS 5D Mark III + 50mm f/1.2L | 1/3,200 sec, f/2, ISO 100 

Such unique experience, shooting a wedding alongside your best bud. It was probably the most fun either of us have had on a gig.

Written by Jonathan

May 20, 2012 at 9:57 pm

Bikes in Flight

with 10 comments


Canon 5D MkII + 35mm f1.4L | 1/60 sec, f/11, ISO 100

I’ve switched to Canon! Just kidding. The Nikon D7000 I carried with me up the mountain here lacks a sync port, so I couldn’t connect it to the lighting equipment we were using. So for the first time I got to play with a 5D mkII and every sort of red-ringed beauty you could possibly dream of using from photographer Jasmine Lee’s gear bag. She was nice enough to invite Team Suki along to collaborate on a pretty special photo shoot.

The athlete you see in these photos is Joe Lee, Jasmine’s brother. Watching him take these jumps was just incredible, and our job was to attempt to keep up with him with the camera as he flew through the air.


Canon 5D MkII + 35mm f1.4L | 1/60 sec, f/11, ISO 100

The goal for these images was implied movement. Watching a mountain biker shred through a trail and fly through the air feels like observing controlled chaos at its finest. There’s so much speed and energy behind this sport, so the last thing we wanted to do is freeze the entire frame and make Joe look like he was hanging from strings in the air. Instead we wanted to express movement by using motion blur, so we dragged the shutter and panned the camera as Joe flew by, smearing the background. The lower shutter speed also blurred the bike’s wheels enough to show wheel spin (he was really haulin’).


Canon 5D MkII + 35mm f1.4L | 1/80 sec, f/11, ISO 100

We brought in an Elinchrom Quadra lighting unit to get some light on Joe. The Quadra has a good amount of power considering how small and light it is, and we used it to give us some subject to background separation as well as to make sure important elements of our subject weren’t too blurry from all the movement. These shots were taken with a single unit, bare bulb at full power, and we took turns being the shooter and the voice activated light stand.


Canon 5D MkII + 15mm f/2.8 Fish | 1/100 sec, f/8, ISO 100

Yes, Suki was there. We had to keep her on leash because if we didn’t, she’d chase Joe down the trail. Quite a hilarious sight to see actually =)


Canon 5D MkII + 15mm f/2.8 Fish | 1/60 sec, f/9, ISO 100

Of course, another way to imply movement is for the background to be sharp and the subject to be slightly blurred by motion:


Canon 5D MkII + 15mm f/2.8 Fish | 1/160 sec, f/8, ISO 100

Special thanks to Jasmine for inviting us out to help with the shoot and get our hands on some really cool gear, and to Joe for being such an awesome sport. It was a ton of fun, even for Suki, who would never pass on a hike or a chance to chase a cyclist down a dirt hill. Please make sure you have a look at Jasmine Lee’s photography website!

Written by Jonathan

February 27, 2012 at 10:03 am

Making the Sky Purple

with 11 comments


Fuji X100 | 1/240 sec, f/8, ISO 800

Recently I posted a photo of Suki on Flickr that made some wonder, “hey, how’d you get the sky so purple in that shot!?”

Some sort of post-processing trick perhaps? Or maybe the sky really WAS a surreal, deep purple that night? The answer is neither actually. It started with a simple white-balance adjustment in my camera.

Shooting RAW does allow you to make color corrections in post, but depending on your camera, you already have a ton of control over the color of your images while you’re actually shooting. Besides providing the typical white balance presets that can be selected at the camera depending on the situation (daylight, cloudy, shade, tungsten, flourescent etc), many cameras allow you to further customize white balance by shifting it along blue/amber, green/magenta axes. Below is an example of the white balance shift menus from Nikon (left) and Canon (right).


Want your selected white balance to be a bit warmer? Add some amber in this menu. Cooler? Add some blue. Greener or magentaer more magenta? You get the picture.

My Fuji X100 presents the white balance shift menu differently, along the red/cyan, blue/yellow axes.  So, to add amber warmth to a white balance setting in the x100’s menu, you have to add some +Red and -Yellow steps, instead of just simply adding amber like you can in Nikon and Canon DSLRs. Me no like.


See how purple the image at the top of the post appears? I achieved that look by shifting my auto-white balance as magenta as possible, which on my X100 was +9 Red and +9 Blue (or on Canon and Nikon, just shift on the magenta axis…come on, Fuji!!!)

Ok, so now daylight is thrown into magenta, but there’s a problem that comes with doing this. If you take a picture of someone with this white balance trim, they’re also going to come out purple! What to do?


Fuji X100 | 1/1,000 sec, f/2, ISO 200

Take a look at the two images above. It’s actually the same RAW file from my X100, converted in Lightroom 3. The one on the left is the output from my camera with the magenta bias and the one on the right is corrected. How? Simply by moving the hue slider in Lightroom towards green until the colors look more natural.  The green corrects the magenta cast, and vice versa.

So if green corrects magenta and you’re in a magenta-biased white balance, couldn’t you light your subject with a green light source to preserve a more natural skin tone? Yup:


Fuji X100 | 1/1,000 sec, f/4, ISO 200 (sb-900 bare camera left)

Notice that my happy volunteer here is lit with what appears to be much more natural looking color compared to the purple daylight you see behind her. This is the same magenta biased white balance set at the camera that I described above, with a bare strobe on camera left lighting my subject.  But here’s the important part: I stacked two green gels on the strobe to compensate for the magenta cast. It’s like correcting the white balance on JUST my subject. Without the green gels, I’d just be hitting my subject with more magenta light.

So now I have a surreal, magenta background with a color corrected subject. This was the method behind the shot I took of Suki at the dog park:


Fuji X100 | 1/1,000 sec, f/2, ISO 200

I started at sunset with an underexposed background, magenta biased white balance…


Fuji X100 | 1/250 sec, f/2, ISO 200

Add Suki in the mix, light her with the green gelled strobe…


Fuji X100 |  1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200

…Wait for her to give me a better pose…


Fuji X100 | 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200

…Almost there…


Fuji X100 |  1/500 sec, f/2, ISO 200

Perfect! Now get out there and experiment with your color controls. Don’t forget to break rules while you’re at it!

Also, just an update on Suki’s health. She had a horrible day yesterday with her allergies but is doing much better today, She’s becoming more playful again which is a very good sign. Thanks for all your well wishes for Suki!

Written by Jonathan

June 29, 2011 at 1:19 pm

She & Him at the Fox Theater

with 2 comments

I’ve had a major crush on Zooey Deschanel since first seeing her in the movie Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe, and that’s when I thought that all she did was act. After discovering her musical talent, I flat out fell in love with her. Her style, her voice, her everything! So I was thrilled to be able to snag tickets to her concert at the Fox Theater in Oakland over the weekend.

We arrived early enough to get a spot up front, although off to the side of the stage. I brought my DSLR along, but I found out upon arriving at the venue that no cameras were allowed during the performance. I was so disappointed! Convinced that it would be the ultimate tragedy to not be able to photograph dear Zooey my first time seeing her in the flesh, I smuggled my little Canon S90 in and used it during the performance. Certainly not the most ideal equipment for the job, but its performance was impressive for a compact.

Shot between ISO800 and 1600 all night. Noise was definitely apparent in the photos, but it was a more pleasing grain than any compact I’ve had prior to the S90. Of course, running the images through Lightroom 3 Beta 2’s amazing noise reduction tools was a big help. Since I was further from Zooey than I expected to be, I appreciated the extra 45mm of reach the S90 gives me over my Panasonic LX3 as well.

Taking photos of the concert was a real challenge, however, as I had to spot meter (easier to do on the LX3), time my shots when lighting and subject placement were both ideal, AND keep an eye over my shoulder for Fox Theater staff. A few less careful photographers around me were scolded by security and forced to put their cameras away. I somehow never got noticed. Whew!

Once thing I really wish is that Zooey moved around the stage a little more. She sort of stayed in the same spot the whole time. Oh well. Maybe she’ll loosen up a little bit on She and Him’s next tour!

Ok enough of my babbling. Here are a few more images from the night (below). Enjoy!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

_____________________________

Canon Powershot S90

Top Image: S90 at 22.5mm f/6.3 ISO1600 1/60 Second

The “Desktop Image” – Shooting RAW with the Canon S90

with one comment

The Canon S90 has exceeded my expectations as a great compact camera for landscape photography. Due to its small size, it’s incredibly easy to slip into a pocket carry with you at all times, just in case. Take this image you see above, for instance. Driving down a freeway back to my office in San Francisco after visiting some of my company’s customers on the east side of the San Francisco bay, I spotted these beautiful clouds hovering over lush green hills.

As the exit ramp off the freeway quickly approached, I debated with myself as to whether or not I should take a few minutes and try to capture an image of this beautiful scene. With only seconds to decide, I chose to not let this opportunity pass me by. I was so glad I had the S90 with me!

Getting the shot

After posting this image on flickr, I got quite a few questions about how I got the image to look this way, and if there was a lot of post-processing involved, so I thought I’d write a little “how I did it” on the image. The short answer is that there isn’t very much to the post processing here. The entire strategy for achieving the look I wanted, however, started at the camera and ended in Lightroom 3 beta.

I typically record JPEGs with the S90 since it’s more of a casual-use camera for me (I always shoot RAW with my DSLR). This was actually the first time since I starting using the S90 that I chose to record in RAW and post process the image myself. Shooting RAW allowed me to plan ahead in achieving the look I wanted in my editing software.

In this scene, the sky was brighter than the hill, not by a huge amount (the entire scene is front-lit), but enough to make it very difficult to get a nice even exposure across the frame. With no filters at my disposal, I had to improvise.

This is what the image looked like coming off the camera into Lightroom. Notice that the sky is over-exposed. Not to worry! I intentionally over-exposed the scene to get a good exposure on the foreground, while being careful not to blow out any highlights. In digital photography, this technique is often referred to as “exposing to the right [of your histogram].” The idea is that to get the most out of the dynamic range of a RAW file, it’s OK to over-expose the image and bring the exposure back down later, as long as you don’t over-expose so much that you clip highlights and lose detail.

In this case, my intention was to overexpose the entire scene at the camera and then selectively darken certain areas of the frame in post. The S90’s live histogram made this really easy. I simply added +EV at the camera until my histogram indicated that I was about to start clipping highlights, and then took the picture. I ended up adding +2/3EV at the camera.

Now, all that’s left to do is darken that sky in Lightroom to even the exposure out:

Here’s the final image. Darkened the sky with Lightroom’s adjustment brush and graduated filter. Notice how much detail was retained in the clouds despite the over-exposure at capture. Removed a couple distracting elements, added some contrast, and there you have it!

It’s important to keep in mind that in order for this method to work, you have to stay within the limits of your camera’s dynamic range. If this scene was back-lit and/or had a dynamic range that was higher than the camera could record without losing detail, achieving a balanced exposure might require exposure blending, HDR, or the use of a graduated neutral density filter over the lens.

Ok, so multiple people have told me that this image reminds them of a default desktop on Windows 9x/xp. I suppose it does…but hey, why use it on Windows???

That’s more like it!

___________________________________

Shot Specs: Canon Powershot S90 at 9.64mm f/5.6 ISO80 1/400 Second