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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Good Intentions

We are very close to the end of this dreadful year, and full of hopes for the forthcoming 2010. For some funny reasons when a year ends we expect the new one to be much more favourable, like there was a net separation between December 31st and January 1st. A borderline. An abyss with no links whatsoever.

Amazing how the human being is. This is like believing in superstitions (I’m Italian, I do). Is like thinking that a politician is different from another. A democrat is better than a republican or vice versa. We’re like little kids, that’s what we are.

Anyway, after such philosophical introduction, and among us, absolutely out of context in a fishing, travel and photography blog, I’d like to spit my good intentions for the so much awaited 2010, and these are fishing, travelling and photography related.

Good intention for fishing: run away from the tackle fashion. Become a better fisherman, not a tackle expert. Use what I have and concentrate on the technique, not the latest lure. Develop my instinct and make good use of my experience.

Good intention for travelling: Travel less, travel better. Discover new places, take time for fishing, photography and actually know the place better. The people. The culture. Become a better traveller.

Good intention for photography: Know my camera better. Is what I got and I have to get the best out of it. Study the lights and improve my lighting, again with the tools I have. Think out of the box and vice versa, you never know. Work out “new” compositions. Move a step forward.

It IS going to be an amazing year.



Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Drew Gardner - An "Epic" photographer

I admire photographers who are good with lights. I also admire photographers who are creative. Hence, I guess, I have at least a couple of very good reasons to admire this guy, who not only knows how to light a scene, but is also able to create such an amazing image with this incredible atmosphere. His name is Drew Gardner. He's got a DVD available, check is web site to find where is available. This video is a trailer of the above mentioned DVD, Epic Location Photography

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Dark Session

The use of artificial light is, as the followers of this blog know, very high on my list. I got absolutely hooked by the use of strobes, speed lights and studio light, especially after becoming a follower of the Strobist community myself.

The problem is to find models, I mean, patient people who don’t mind being around with an obsessed guy who take strange pictures of them. Randomly, a member of the family gets involved in the task. Poor soul, he knows when we start but never knows when it all finish. This time it was my nephew’s time. 18 years old, rock music lover and with a light beard showing in his chin, perfectly matched with a dark hooded sweater.

We did the session inside a house in construction. We started close to sunset and finished when it was dark and I had to work my way through things with a portable lamp. Three lights: two Metz and one Nikon SB800. Elinchrom Skyport triggers. Manfrotto Nano Stands, translucent umbrella and a Honlphoto grid. These are my tools, together with the Nikon D90 and the 18-200VR lens.

We worked around different kind of situations, mostly based around the idea of the dark warrior or something alike. One light was taking care of the background, both from a bare Metz 48 or through a translucent umbrella. The kicker light, that for me somehow is the main light, or at least the one that takes care of giving the image “that feeling”, is on camera left coming from a SB800 gelled blue or red with a Honlphoto grid. On camera right we have a Metz 58 through a translucent umbrella.

The result is mixed. There’s so much to learn about lights and their fine tuning that I can’t expect major improvement overnight, yet a couple of these images make me happy and proud. The most disappointing is probably the third one, where the light coming from the umbrella is too strong and kills a bit of the atmosphere.

If you need any info about the setup don’t hesitate to contact me.