Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thoughts on lighting... II

I wrote this original article about a year and a half ago. Model Mayhem EDU admins requested permission to reprint this article but I suggested that I write a new one.


Because that original article was written over 1.5 years ago. For me, 3 months is a lifetime. Looking at the work I was doing 1.5 years ago makes me shudder. Let me show you what I mean...

Alex. My first test with FORD Models

Ugh. This is why I have to rewrite the article. I also need to update the original lighting diagram and update with new pictures.

This is probably the last of my reports regarding changing web hosting services. If you search "JustHost" on my blog, you'll find a few other posts regarding my experiences with them and why I had to switch...

This above screenshot is the uptime as documented by for approximately the last month. You'll see a few downward spikes here and there. The first drop was the transition from to InMotionHosting. The second downward spike was a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack. If you guys were around when IRC was the thing, it's basically the same as "flooding" a user (or in this case a web hosting server). Attacks can be random yet InMotion resolved it within about 24 hours.

Steadicam Tips

Found this on YouTube while researching stabilizers. I really enjoyed seeing the different uses and angles.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Solving Problems You Don't Have

The Zacuto RED ONE setup. I have no idea what I'm looking at.

With the release of the 5DMIII, D4, and the D800 there has been a lot of chatter when it comes to gear.

It even got me thinking about selling the Hasselblad (but no longer) as I thought about the D4 and the D800. Now that the commotion has died down a little, I don't see myself upgrading to the D4 unless my D3 falls apart. And being that the D3 is so well built, I don't see this happening anytime soon though I've had it for 3.5 years.

On the video side of things, there's so much more development. RED cameras are dominating the 4K playing field and Canon is stepping up and trying to take a piece of that pie. The "peripherals" market (borrowing a computer terminology) is incredibly robust. Everything from stabilizers, dollies, to field monitors, to rigs, etc. are all going gangbusters. It's a very exciting time to be video, not even just digital video.

And as new technologies come and replace old technologies, many of us become tempted to buy stuff we don't need. Because as Canon and Nikon duke it out on the high-ISO or megapixel battlefield, most photographers don't have the need for the incremental 20% megapixel or the 1.5 stop improvement on high-ISO.

Nice to have? Sure. Need to have? Probably not.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I ask for polaroids a lot. Occasionally I make them for my modeling agents. Here's a set of Ashley pure and simple.

What are the polaroids for? Well, portfolio pictures are nice and everything but I need to see through the liquify, makeup, wardrobe, etc. when making my testing decisions. After all, I get to test on average once a month so I have to make good choices.

Found this when I was looking for polaroid examples (before I uploaded my own). There's Doutzen Kroes about halfway down...

Podcast: Internet Marketing for Fashion Photographers

Facebook, twitter, tumblr, Google SEO, what do you share? how often do you share? what inspires us as fashion photographers?

A candid conversation between fashion photographers Charles LUCIMA and Rodney Alan about Internet Marketing for Fashion Photographers and how we use the above-mentioned marketing tools!

Check out the upcoming Fashion-Editorial Photography Master Class!

Please also see LUCIMA's private fashion photography workshop offerings!

Charles LUCIMA:
Rodney Alan

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Workshops... Are they worth it???

Found a question on questioning the worthiness of fashion photography education and workshops. Well, being a fashion photography workshop instructor, I had to put in my $0.02 on the topic!

Return on Investment

As a businessperson I use "ROI" (Return on Investment) often as a term to describe the appeal of any given job/task/duty/function.

I use it loosely to describe our functions as a photographer. Often I use ROI in discussions to describe abstract functions like unpaid testing, retouching or pre-production for shoots. Obviously these functions don't possess quantitative values to calculate true ROI. It's more of an quick-and-dirty evaluation of whether or not it makes "sense" to perform said function.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Magic: The Return of the Master Class

I'm pretty excited about this. I honestly didn't think I'd have another opportunity to teach the LUCIMA Fashion-Editorial Photography Master Class (a.k.a. Magic) so soon. Without getting into any specific details, after Magic II there probably won't be another workshop until (maybe) July and then October. There are some things outside of my control that will make the LUCIMA fashion photography workshop scheduling extremely limited for the rest of the year.

But you're more than welcome to take a private fashion photography workshop with me!

So other than whorishly promoting the upcoming LUCIMA Fashion-Editorial Photography Master Class (a.k.a. Magic), what is this post about? It's about the perspective of Magic and the value of that perspective.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

L U C I M A Fashion Photography Workshops

Jessica at the Working with Modeling Agencies Fashion Photography Workshop. Photo courtesy of Joshua Allen Green.

I've only recently started promoting my fashion photography workshops here and on Facebook. Last weekend I taught the LUCIMA Working with Modeling Agencies Workshop at LUCIMA STUDIO and it reminded me how much I enjoy teaching fashion photography workshops.

Throughout my life, I have always been an educator in one form or another.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Le Secret Spot: Arlington Garden in Pasadena

Lucy at Arlington Garden courtesy of cbarnesphotography

I know a secret spot
Paradise by the sea
We'll find a place to park
That's kinda cool after dark

Still Cruisin' - Beach Boys

I've been asked where "Le Secret Spot" is and for those of you that live in Los Angeles, you're in luck because it's pretty much down the street from where you live.

Arlington Garden is in Pasadena. The address is 235 Arlington Drive. Pasadena, CA 91105. Click on the link to see official pictures from their website. The park is an amazing little mediterranean-styled garden that has lots to offer photographers of any type. Personally I love the rustic and country-esque feel of this garden. It's really a little slice of heaven!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

March 10-11th Modeling Agencies Fashion Photography Workshop

Some behind the scenes action from today's LUCIMA Working with Modeling Agencies Fashion Photography Workshop! Shot this time lapsed at 1-minute intervals with my GoPro Hero2. Check out the website for more information about LUCIMA Fashion Photography Workshops!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sun Control: Nikon D800E versus Fujiblad/Phamiya

All this talk about the Nikon D800E approaching medium format territory and I think many of us (myself included) have forgotten one of the big selling points for medium format systems such as Hasselblad/Fujinon (Fujiblad) and Phase One/Mamiya (Phamiya), namely that these cameras employ leaf shutters on their better lenses thus allowing flash sync speeds of 1/800th and 1/1600th of a second.

In layman's terms that's more than 2-3 stops what a Nikon/Canon will sync (in reality, not the listed 1/250th white paper specs).

Which means you're able to turn down that sunny-16 (f/16) sunlight down to f/8 or f/5.6.

How do leaf shutters work?

Podcast: Nikon D800/D800E vs. Canon 5DMIII

Following the announcements of the Nikon D800/D800E and the Canon 5DMIII there has been significant discussion regarding these cameras and what it would mean particularly for us fashion photographers. The resulting podcast is a candid conversation between Charles LUCIMA and Rodney Alan about the Nikon D800/D800E and the Canon 5DMIII based upon our experiences with the Nikon D3 and the Canon 5DMII and 7D. Listen in as we discuss our impressions of the specs, AA-filters, comparison to medium format, what we need, and where we see this going as it pertains to fashion photography.

1 spot left for our upcoming workshop!

Charles LUCIMA:
Rodney Alan:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

R&D versus Marketing

I cringed when I watched the episode of West Coast Customs that featured the Hewlett Packard car. It was a Lincoln Navigator or a Cadillac Escalade (or something similar) that was decked out with practically every HP technology, gadget, or device that HP makes/sells.

Why? The moment I saw that they brought the marketing team (head of marketing or anyone in marketing for that matter), I knew it was going to be "all show and no go" as we used to say in the motorsports world.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Sex Appeal: The Wacom Intuos5

I have the Intuos4 (small) tablet. They just announced the Intuos5 and here are a few things I'm really looking forward to:

- USB wireless battery/dongle making the tablet wireless
- Multitouch gestures (looks like they're Apple gestures)

Is it enough to get me to upgrade? Not quite. I don't use the buttons on the tablet. I prefer the shortcuts not the keyboard. Though I do use the trackpad for multitouch gestures already. So really I'm not getting anything new. Still it's a sexy looking tablet!