Posts Tagged ‘review’
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.
Nikon D800 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G | 1/200 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 (19 image stitch)
Wait, what? The thought of stitching several photos together to make a portrait, a technique developed and made popular by Ryan Brenizer, seemed like an odd idea to me at first. But the kind of look you can achieve by doing so is really unique. Like any other kind of panoramic photo, the idea behind the method is to increase your final image’s angle of view while maintaining a given focal length and distance from your subject. However, this technique can work wonders when shooting very close to a human subject at wide apertures, because stitching several of the resulting photos together allows you to achieve some really pretty bokeh effects.
For example, at the distance I was from my lovely wife for the first panorama, a single-frame shot using the 85mm f/1.4 looks like this:
Nikon D800 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G | 1/200 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100
The photo above was taken wide open and pretty near the lens’ closest focusing distance. As a result, Bridget’s left eye is in sharp focus, but the background is completely and beautifully blurred into bokeh heaven due to the extremely shallow depth of field. But what if I wanted a wider angle of view while maintaining both the focal length and the super shallow dof? No problem! Lock your focus and exposure settings, and then take a series of overlapping photos surrounding the first photo’s point of focus. Merge the photos together in post, and poof! Bokeh panorama. The image at the top of this post is a 19-photo stitch from a series of photos I took surrounding the first image in the series, pictured directly above, which served an anchor point for the rest of the panorama.
One mistake I immediately realized that I made after the merge is that I didn’t take enough frames to cover the bottom right of my intended composition, though a little work in CS5 still gave me the composition I was after. But hey, not bad for a second try, right? (Wife will not allow me to post my first try because she’s not wearing makeup in the photo. I think she looks beautiful regardless, but hey, I understand). Indeed, the most difficult part of the entire process is pre-visualizing your intended composition and then taking enough frames to cover the composition when you finally merge the photos.
Nikon D800 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G | 1/160 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100
Another example of a single frame shot with the 85mm. This time I’m going for a full length portrait, accomplished by merging 19 total frames:
Nikon D800 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G | 1/160 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 (19 image stitch)
One side note: I did not stitch full resolution, 36 megapixel frames from the D800 here, but can you imagine the final size of these images if I had? Hoo boy….
Bokeh panoramas look pretty awesome on small, inanimate objects as well. Here’s a 13 image stitch:
Nikon D800 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G | 1/320 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 (13 image stitch)
I’ve heard of this awesome technique before, but never really thought about trying it myself until another blogger I’ve been following, Kim Miller, put this ridiculously awesome blog post together that tipped me over the edge. To thank her for said tipping, a plug seems appropriate: Head to her blog for a little inspiration, because she does a much better job walking you through the process than I ever could, and her site is littered with awesome examples of bokeh panoramas. Enjoy!
All Images: Nikon D800 | 85mm f/1.4G
Processing: RAW images processed using VSCO in Lightroom 4 / Image stitching in Photoshop CS5
Nikon D800 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G | 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100
It’s impossible to appreciate fully by simply viewing the downsized images I’m posting here, but from what I’ve seen so far on my monitor at home, files from the Nikon D800 look downright stunning. It seems that the big headline feature of the camera is its 36 megapixel sensor. I guess I can see why, because this thing captures an incredible amount of detail:
Same image as above, cropped. Really really cropped.
Besides the amazing sensor, however, other key elements of this new camera system are really impressing me so far. I can see definite improvements in metering, autofocus, and especially in handling over my older D700. I’m in love.
Happy shooting this weekend
Nikon D800 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G | 6 sec, f/8, ISO 100
Bridget and I made a brief drive out to one of our favorite spots to view the Golden Gate after work tonight. Well, she drove. I was busy unboxing the D800 I received only a couple hours earlier. I set it up the best I could in the car, and as soon as we arrived, took a few frames of the bridge during dusk. Hoo boy does this thing bring on the pixels.
More impressions to come…