Product and Still Life Workshop – FREE at creativeLIVE

Product and Still Life Workshop – FREE at creativeLIVE

I am making my second appearance at creativeLIVE this coming weekend.

And it will prove to be something totally different than what creativeLIVE normally does. We are going to be tackling the still life and product realms.

And I have a few goals and plans for this workshop.

  1. to get people excited about the incredible world of still life and product photography.
  2. to teach well enough that most of you will be able to begin to work on a still life/product component of your current portfolio
  3. to instill confidence that this can be done – without a ton of expensive tools and gear
  4. to show how there are markets for this work… from retail to manufacturing, editorial to advertising… and many of them are in your backyard!
  5. to open your eyes to what can be done in a very small space

And the lighting that I am teaching is what I call “Subject Centric” and can be applied to any subject.  Whether still life or fashion, there are consistencies in the lighting and work – and that means EVERYONE can learn something from doing still life and product

And it can be quite lucrative.

There are, at last count, about 12.5 Gazillion people and landscape shooters out there.

That number comes way down when we get to product and still life. And that is a good thing.

A good people shooter can add to their bottom line with the addition of well done product and still life. In fact, a really good product and still life portfolio can bring in some very nice ongoing clients.

Some folks say it ain’t sexy enough for them… fugedaboudit… it is plenty sexy

Just watch this weekend, and see if you don’t agree.

creativeLIVE is the place. Check out this page for more information.

Here are a few shots from my Project 52 shooters… enjoy!
peppers
Daniel Fenwick

Untitled
Michele Drumm

Hot Peppers
Pete Hudeck

Clarinet
Rob Davidson

Zuchinni-Tart
Kathy Jan

Joe
Ryan McGehee

red hot
Em Thomas

DSC_8584a
Greg Kindred

DSC_8605a
Greg Kindred

bag
Maciej Blaszczuk

ddm
Maciej Blaszczuk

Happy Frog
Steven Collins

Red-Butter-Lettuce
Kathy Jan

Bottle 2
Greg Pastuzyn

Watch
Dan Fenwick

Tools of the trade
Ryan McGeehee

salsa lemon_tomato-Edit.jpg
Charles Tibbs

I do hope you like these images and that they give you some insight into what we are going to be doing in the workshop.

Some people say shooting still life and product isn’t sexy… bullshit. Try it… spend a couple of hours with an inanimate object and some lights. Create highlights and shadows, show off the texture, or mute it if you wish.

I think you will enjoy making the images. I know you will enjoy the hard work that goes into making them.

See you at creativeLIVE.com/live starting June 21… and continuing on all weekend.

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Commlite Enters the Trigger Market with Some Cool Features

Commlite Enters the Trigger Market with Some Cool Features

NOTE: These triggers were sent to me to test. My TOS is clear. I do not review items that are not interesting or do not live up to my standards. If I don’t like something, I do no write about it.

I like these triggers.

Commlite is a company based in China, I believe, and they have a pretty cool set of triggers here.

I am using the Commlite G430‘s in my setups for studio lighting now. they have a very small footprint, and I Velcro them to the Profotos. They include the cord and studio strobe plug in the kit of two triggers, and it works great.

Commlite, ComTrig G430. it comes packaged with a Transceiver a Receiver, a speedlight sync cord, and a studio strobe jack.

The units are in pairs for the initial setup. You get a Transceiver and a Receiver. After that you can purchase as many Receiver units as you wish. The unit has no limit on how many receivers it will work with.

The G430’s have 16 channels and 5 groups to allow multiple photographers using the same lights to have access to varying patterns if they wish. It also allows a photographer to have two setups at the ready and simply change the group setting for the second shoot.

Specs from the Commlite Website state:
1. Flash groups control, 3 groups, 7 combinations.
2. Can be used as a camera remote: single/continuous/Bulb, wired or wireless.
3. Wirelessly trigger speedlight strobes and studio strobes
4. Auto-awake for speedlights. (Compatibility includes Nikon SB-600)
5. A Master camera can control multiple cameras.
6. TTL pass-through function. (Doesn’t support TTL function)
7. Compatible with other ‘ComTrigseries triggers to achieve different functions. (e.g. ‘ComTrig H550 )
8. Flash sync speed can be high up to 1/320s (This depends on the camera and flash combinations.)
Radio frequency: 2.4GHZ
Signal type: Frequency Shift Keying (FSK)
Antenna: Built-in PCB Antenna
Control Distance: 150m (subject to environmental limitations)
Channels: 5
Flash groups: 3 groups; 7 different group combinations
Normal triggering sync-speed: 1/320 second
Battery Type: 2 x AAA (2.4V~3.2V)
I got sync speeds of 1/320 with my Canon 60D, and found them very solidly built units. I have not had the opportunity to take them in the field, but in the studio they operated fantastically. The build quality is solid, the options are wide, and the units do what they say they are going to do.
NOTE: I used them with a Canon 430 EX, a Canon 550EZ and a used Sunpack. All flashes operated fine.
A few notes on things I really liked. The threaded knurl for keeping the flash on the shoe is exceptional. When you lock this thing down, it stays where you put it. I like the low, streamline shape as well as the recessed channel settings buttons. Easy to see, they are not easy to accidentally bump and change (which usually leads to much gnashing of teeth and violent howls until the simple mismatch is found.)

ComTrig G430 On/Off switch and Channel Selector.

The On/Off switch is solid and is not so easy as to be moved inadvertently. Depressing the Group button makes the selection fast and easy.

ComTrig G430 Channel switch and jack portals include a separate jack portal for the camera controller.

 

ComTrig G430 controls are LED lights that leave nothing to doubt. As someone who struggles a bit with tiny type and sliders, seeing the lights lit up on this matte black unit really helps.

I recommend these triggers for anyone who wants to have some flexibility, as well as a very accurate piece of equipment for working with their lights. No matter if you are a speedlight or a studio flash shooter, these triggers seem to be reliable and well built.

The other trigger set was a pair of H550’s

This unit combines all the features of the G430 with Ultra high sync-speed, multiple channels and groups as well as wired and wireless camera/flash remote control.

Additionally these units can be use for flash relay, flash awakening?TTL pass-through in one unit. It utilize the global free FSK 2.4G wireless radio frequency, coming with 16 independent channels, so it can be used in working environment where many photographers are working at the same time.

These units rocked!

They promise a syncspeed of 1/8000, but I didn’t test above 1/6400 with my Profotos. Not because they wouldn’t do it, but because I was a bit pressed for time. I will be back with these triggers shortly, but for now the G430 and H550’s have been safely ensconced in my camera bag. The two models work with each other, and if I need ultra high speed sync, I have it.

The shots at 1/6400 were dead on with no loss of power or shutter interference. The units have to be matched for your camera (via a cable between the unit on top of the camera and the shutter release port on your camera. Then they must ‘learn’ about your camera by having the transceiver hooked up to the camera for a couple of shots. Once the learning process has been completed, you can unhook the shutter release / flash cable and go to making pictures.

Eezy-Peezy.

From the Commlite Website:
1. Ultra high sync-speed (Up to 1/8000s)
2. Flash groups control, 3 groups, 7 different combinations.
3. Different mode camera remote: single/continuous/Bulb, wired or wireless.
4. Wirelessly trigger flashguns, studio flashes, outdoor flashes.
5. Auto-awake speedlights. (Compatibility includes Nikon SB-600).
6. Flash relay
7. One master camera can control multiple cameras.
8. TTL pass-through function. (Doesn’t support TTL function)
9. Compatible with other ‘ComTrigseries triggers to achieve different functions. (e.g. ‘ComTrig G430 )
10. Flash sync speed up to 1/250s (Subject to different cameras and flashes)
Radio frequency: FSK2.4GHZ
Antenna: Built-in PCB Antenna
Controlling Distance: 150m
Channels: 16
Flash groups: 3 groups, 7 different group combinations
Normal triggering sync-speed: 1/250S
High sync-speed: up to highest shutter speed of camera: 1/8000S
Continuous trigger frequency: >20 frames/S
Battery type: AAA x 2 (2.4V~-3.2V)
As with the G430’s I found these units did just as they claim, and that is refreshing. The same great build quality as the G430’s give the H550’s a nice feel as to weight and substance.
I will be using the Commlite Comtrig units at the upcoming creativeLIVE workshop, and would love it if you turned in. Feel free to ask questions.
Here is their website: Commlite.com/en
They’re available for sale as of now, but direct from manufacturer for now.
The price for ComTrig H550 is US $50.00. Price for ComTrig G430 is US $59.00.
Commlite ship the products to a worldwide, global market.
They come with a 12 month warranty.
So yes, I recommend them, and think they are very strong competitors in the wireless trigger realm. I am shooting a professional shoot tomorrow and going with these (I have tested the heck out of them). Thanks, Commlite, good product, good build quality, good reliability, good value.
NOTE: I do not think they are available for sale at this moment, but I understand they will be very soon. I will add a link as soon as I see they are online for shopping.

———————

I have been asked back to creativeLIVE to do a workshop on Table Top Product Photography. You can see more at their site. Dates are June 21, 22, 23, 24, 2012. Register for free and watch all weekend!

I was recently on creativeLIVE and have received some rave reviews of the workshop. If you are interested in taking a look at the workshop, you can find it on creativeLIVE’s web site here. I think it is a tremendous value and if you are unable to attend any of my workshops, this may give you a ton of information you will want to have to push your photography to the next level.

My New WordPress Theme and Info Site

My New WordPress Theme and Info Site

WordPressThemesForPhotographers is a new site at the URL I used for selling my WP sites. We are no longer selling those sites, but will be offering customization and initial setups of WordPress Themes for photographers, designers, artists and small business.

I will be bringing and showing the best Themes and Plugins for Photographers that I can find. One theme per day, peripheral posts as they come along.

———————

I have been asked back to creativeLIVE to do a workshop on Table Top Product Photography. You can see more at their site. Dates are June 21, 22, 23, 24, 2012. Register for free and watch all weekend!

I was recently on creativeLIVE and have received some rave reviews of the workshop. If you are interested in taking a look at the workshop, you can find it on creativeLIVE’s web site here. I think it is a tremendous value and if you are unable to attend any of my workshops, this may give you a ton of information you will want to have to push your photography to the next level.

OT Sunday: Hot Shots, Drums, Books and Jazz

OT Sunday: Hot Shots, Drums, Books and Jazz

Hey Hot Shot is a photo competition held by the Jen Bekman Gallery in New York. Featuring the work of up and coming photographers, the competition introduces new ways of seeing to an ever widening audience.

It is certainly one place to go on the internet to see work that may surprise. shock, confuse and delight you. From tranquil to bizarre, photographers working in the ‘fine art’ field deliver a wide variety of interest.

I love to visit on beautiful Sunday mornings like this one.

This Round of Hey Hot Shot features the winner Laura Plageman.

Photograph by Laura Plageman

Response to Print of Kudzu, Texas, Laura Plageman
We are thrilled to announce that Laura Plageman is our Grand Prize-winning photographer! Laura will receive $10,000, in addition to a solo exhibition at Jen Bekman Gallery and two years of representation from the gallery. She was selected from the 10 Hot Shots of 2011—Michael Cappabianca, Cristina De Middel, Robert Grimm, Phil Jung, Laurie Kang, Brendan George Ko, Kevin Kunishi, Meike Nixdorf, Laura Plageman and Uygur Yilmaz.

She was selected from the 10 Hot Shots of 2011—Michael CappabiancaCristina De MiddelRobert GrimmPhil JungLaurie Kang,Brendan George KoKevin KunishiMeike NixdorfLaura Plageman and Uygur Yilmaz.

Grab a cup-o-joe, or a diet Pepsi… heh, and spend some time with photographers who present a different look at the world than we may be used to.

(more…)

Sorry We Were Away, Back Now… Hopefully for Good.

Looks like we had a server issue where one of my plugins was creating a huge CPU draw. The culprit was Contextual Related Posts which creates a little set of links at the bottom of each page to show you posts that may be related to the one you are reading.

Problem was that it creates that on the fly, so as each link loaded into the home page, it was busily creating new Related Links. I am running a cache program to prevent server overloads, but this little guy skips around it and apparently pulls those links.

I am hoping we are back on track now.

Using a different plugin that creates the related links on the admin side. When I write a post, it will then pull the related links in at the post instead of on the view.

I wait for the process, the page is read and cached so you don’t have to wait for servers to pull up dynamic info.

———————

I have been asked back to creativeLIVE to do a workshop on Table Top Product Photography. You can see more at their site. Dates are June 21, 22, 23, 24, 2012. Register for free and watch all weekend!

I was recently on creativeLIVE and have received some rave reviews of the workshop. If you are interested in taking a look at the workshop, you can find it on creativeLIVE’s web site here. I think it is a tremendous value and if you are unable to attend any of my workshops, this may give you a ton of information you will want to have to push your photography to the next level.