Jonathan Fleming's Blog

A Photography Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Tokina 50-135

Meow!

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Just found this image buried in my archives. Almost forgot about it! I met this cat on a leisurely stroll in Kyoto this past spring. He was perched on a ledge overlooking someone’s backyard, relaxing and enjoying the calm day. Took this with one of my favorite lenses, the Tokina 50-135mm f/2.8. I think the image demonstrates pretty nicely the lens’ pleasing rendering of out-of-focus areas, as well as its sharpness at maximum aperture.

The Tokina 50-135 f/2.8 was the main lens I used on my recent trip to japan. If it only had a vibration reduction system, it would hardly leave my camera at all!

Shot Specs: Nikon D300s + Tokina 50-135mm f/2.8 at 135mm f/2.8 1/160 Sec ISO220

Soft, Wrapping Light

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Suki likes to hang out in the same room where I keep all my photographic equipment, so often times I’ll just go in the room, set up, and start photographing her. She’s there anyway, right? Last week, I decided to get a nice shot of her face, especially since I didn’t have a chance to go outdoors and make an image of her for week 11 of my 52 week project. There aren’t any large windows in the room and it was late afternoon, so it was artificial light or no shot. Suki is just about as soft to the touch as she looks, so I wanted to convey that softness in the photo.

Light from a bare strobe is not soft. It’s hard and harsh. So to make it as soft as possible, you need to diffuse it…a LOT. This is how I did it:

What you see here are two SB units (SB-800 and SB-900), firing up into an all-in-one umbrella with its reflective shroud in place. The light from the two units will hit the umbrella and come back down towards Suki, but not before it hits another layer of diffusion: a skylite diffusion panel. Using two units increases my light volume and keeps my recycle times shorter than using just one, since all this diffusion makes the SB units work harder. Now I have a bigger light source relative to my subject, and a softer quality of light (learned all this from Joe McNally!).

Poor Suki. Relaxing in a room, and all of a sudden these huge pops of light start going off above her head. This was her initial reaction to the big diffusion panel:

The sounds of the camera, the pop of light, the whine of the flashes as they recharge, the big beeps they make to indicate they’re ready to go, someone’s voice saying “look at me! look at me! stay! stay!” …. it’s a lot for a dog to hear and see. But Suki’s pretty used to it now.  In fact, she gets bored and sleepy after a while:

But hey, the final week 11 shot was worth the trouble, right Suki?!

Camera: Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC and Tokina 50-135mm f/2.8

ASL Handshapes

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I have some friends who are teaching an American Sign Language class and needed a photographer this past weekend. In ASL, signs are constructed using a limited set of specific hand shapes. They needed each hand shape to be photographed for use in the class’s course materials, including the class website and various keynote presentations.

Photos needed to be done on-site, so I had lug my equipment over. My goal for the lighting was to make the hands look as dimensional as possible. I didn’t want the the lighting to be too flat, and I wanted it to be easy to determine what shape the hand is making in every shot. I have one SB-800 hitting the background, one SB-900 unit firing from above, and a light-stand below holding a silver reflector. The image above is just a screen capture from the Library module in Lightroom 3 Beta.

Nikon D300s + Tokina 50-135 f/2.8

UPDATE:

I’ve received a few requests to make prints of this hand shape chart available for ASL instructors. If you’re interested in purchasing a print or poster of this chart, head over to asl.jonathanflemingphotography.com.

Written by Jonathan

March 22, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Nomar

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This weekend I did a little photo session at a friend’s house. They have a little 14 month old boy named Nomar. He’s adorable, has a great personality, and we had a lot of fun. Bringing Nomar’s favorite toy, a little Luigi, made him a very cheerful little guy, and really helped during the shoot.

He and his mom photograph really well! For the more “formal” family shots on the couch, I used a 3′ by 3′  Lastolite skylite panel  on a C-stand, with two speedlights firing through it. A reflector on the floor gave some fill from below.

Nomar was even goofier when with his Dad, mostly because mommy was behind me making him laugh. He seemed to be really fascinated by my camera too.

Of course, his Dad knew how to make sure he had a blast during the session too. I used the skylite panel and a tri-grip diffuser over the window to soften the harsh light for the natural light photos.

I thought it was pretty cool that father and son had matching outfits. Very cool!

Nomar’s other favorite toy besides a plush Luigi? His mother’s cell phone!

Don’t break it now!

In all, I have about 80-90 photos ready for the family, which I’m still processing. These are a few “previews” from the shoot. So much work to do!

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Camera Specs: Nikon D300s + Tokina 11-16 f/2.8, Tokina 50-135 f/2.8, Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 VC, Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G