Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Strobing high school gyms

Just a reminder to check out this article from September.


I've added more info including a strobe clamp review from photographer Dirk Dewachter.
Check out the Cool Vivitar flash Mod I've added.
Price sheet for Radiopopper JRX remotes, $99.00 for a set.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

good read on SportsShooter.com


Someone posed the question about strobes in gyms and the new D3 and Mark III, wondering if they were important now that you can shoot at higher ISO's without a lot of noise. Glad to see the general consensus agreed with what we here at MaxPreps believe. Basically that there's good and there's good enough. We would like to see good images, not just good enough. So get out those strobes people, basketball is almost here.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Ghost eye fix

Ghost eye is not quite zombie eye but a flat white/red eye with no pupil. Basically the reflection of the flash off the surface of the eye without the reflection going large and over the eyelid. Most folks have been trying to color those in, not a good idea. I will delete any eyes that look colored in. Here's how you can fix most of those slightly ghost/zombie eye shots. You can click on the image to see a larger version, use the back button to get back to the blog.
I can't remember whose photos these are, but everyone has this problem at one time or another. So thanks to the photog who shot these, hope you don't mind.

Ghost eye, too much white with a bit of red.

Here I used the brush tool in Saturation mode at 50% opacity to remove the red color

Then I used the burn tool at 35% midtones to gradually burn back the detail in the eye, trying to keep the eye looking as natural as possible. I've not added anything that wasn't there to begin with I've just removed what the flash created.

Always carry gaffers tape!

This week two different photographers had flash bracket problems. Equipment will break but you have to think outside the box, my philosophy is WWMD, or what would McGyver do? For the broken bracket my fix would be to find one of the team trainers and beg some tape, then stretch the off camera cord as far as it will go down the monopod and tape that sucker down. Make sure you don't tape over the red TTL dohickey (I hope I'm not getting too technical for you) and you're good to go. Flash can be upside down, it won't matter. I've done this and it works great.
So there's my little McGyver fix, what's yours? Send me some DIY photo projects or down and dirty fixes and I'll post them here.

From Micheal Listner: One that comes to mind is when I was shooting during a wet snow storm (works for rain too.) I forgot my camera's rain cover so I improvised using an empty WalMart shopping bag. It looked corny standing out there with it, but it did the job and saved my camera from damage.

From a thread on SportsShooter.com, a cheap flash bracket for night football from photographer Mark Peters: Another vote for mounting the flash beneath on a monopod. Skip the superclamp. Go to a hardware store, buy a simply L corner bracket with the legs about 2 in. They are predrilled with 1/4 in holes. Two hose clamps from the automotive section is all you need to hold it on. Use a 1/4 thumbscrew to attach an off shoe cord and your set. I mount mine upside down for the additional separation. Your cost = less than $5 and it saves the weight of the clamp/ballhead.

Great article by our own Dirk Dewachter.....

Veteran Maxpreps photographer Dirk Dewachter has an article on SportsShooter.com this month about the nightmare of getting your gear stolen and how we can protect ourselves from thieves. I've had my gear stolen, it was a nightmare I never want to relive. Here's the link to Dirk's article: http://www.sportsshooter.com/news_story.html?id=2105

Here's a few things I do to try and protect my gear:
When I am at a venue that I know I will be leaving some gear in the press room or other area, I pack my gear in a big rolling pelican case and bring a cable with a lock. I get some funny looks from the other shooters who just drop their bags on tables or chairs and walk away, but obviously they haven't had their gear stolen, yet. I do the same thing in hotel rooms, everything gets packed in the pelican case and it gets locked to something sturdy, like the toilet. In the car I have metal rings in my cargo area and the case gets locked to those if I have to leave gear in the car, then the case gets covered up with a packing blanket that lives back there just for that purpose. Last but not least I have an insurance policy that covers all my photo gear as well as my personal computer equipment, whether it's in my home or on a job, I'm covered. What they won't replace are the images shot on the job, so when I finish a shoot my cards stay with me, I don't pack them with the gear, just in case.