Saturday, 4 November 2017

Don't give up the day job

It was the big day today. The day when I had to take the 'official' photographs of prize winning poultry. Thank goodness I wasn't charging. Then again, if I had been doing it for money I might have taken more time and care over the job.

I suppose that for a first attempt it wasn't too bad, but the law of Sod dictated that the one bird which I messed up most with, for no reason I can fathom, was the overall champion. Why the judge had to pick a white call duck I really don't know. The only thing worse than all white or all black birds/animals to photograph are black and white creatures. So it could have been worse.

My improvised lighting worked as well as I could have hoped for. I knew the light wouldn't be soft enough and not being dimmable was  hindrance, but the basic idea was sound. Two lights on the background and flash on the camera. Then crop and edit the hell out of the files on the computer!

The 'studio' set-up could have been larger for some of the bigger fowl though...

The platform could be both wider and deeper, and the background taller. Being able to get the bird further away from the wall would help, and a higher background would be better for tall birds. Still, I work with what I'm given. There's no option. In a fortnight I have another 'gig', this time with no permanent 'studio' to use. I can't wait.

One of my more successful results

The down time was spent mostly drinking tea and eating. I did get one or two new pictures. Nothing startling but some ideas to work with next time.

Hoping to prove that my lighting set up would work with any camera that had a built in flash I had taken my fishing compact along. It's been playing up a bit recently, a bit temperamental. When I tried demonstrating it the flash it wouldn't play ball. It worked perfectly when I'd tried it a few minutes earlier. That bloody Sod and his law.

Because I have pretty much photographed myself out at these shows I played around using the compact to shoot some video. At first glance it looks quite good. But then I'm no expert and am just amazed that I managed anything watchable at all. If I can get my ancient PC to edit the clips I'll upload them.

I also played around using the compact as a stills camera with surprisng results. For someone like me the increased depth of field small sensor cameras turn out is a bonus rather than a hindrance. It's the noise being quite bad at anything over ISO 400 that I find frustrating, but at web sizes, and probably 5 x 7 inch print size, pictures look fine.

The biggest drawback with the compact is focus speed and shutter lag. Drives me mad and I can't think why it has to be that way. Probably just a consequence of tech that's a few years old. I'm considering selling my 'toy' cameras (I've been using them again of late and hating the experience). I might use the cash released to buy a more up to date small sensor compact with a fast zoom lens. Or I might not.

More from the day here.

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