Tuesday, July 31, 2012

L U C I M A | Condition One: Concept/Ping

Transition between Jessica and Codi

[The following is an excerpt from the Fashion DSLR Video Workshop lesson plan]


Borrowing the technical term of Internet connectivity, I love bouncing ideas off of like-minded individuals. Like Jacqueline or Rick [Craft]. And if you haven't read this article, it's a must read. I'm not supposed to say this because it's self-serving. But seriously, in the interest of your education it makes one very important point:

Monday, July 30, 2012

L U C I M A | Condition One: Behind the Scenes

This one has been fun. Really putting me to the test when it comes to visualizing music and choreographing action. I wanted to share a few behind the scenes images showcasing the construction of the video.

Death by 400 cuts. There around 300-400 edits that made it into the final cut of this video. Which means there were thousands of ones that didn't make it.

L U C I M A | Condition One: Preview

Here's a sneak peek at the 400-piece jigsaw puzzle I've been working on for a few weeks now :) From the rough cut so it's not yet (color) graded.

Video: Non-Linear

As I'm finishing up the grading to the workshop video, I had an epiphany.

While stills are two-dimensional I consider video to be four-dimensional. The added dimensions are time and sound.

I'm going to save the sound portion for another day and really try to verbalize my thoughts on time in video.

As human beings, we experience time linearly. We're on a one-way train from A to B. There's no going back. There's no rewriting history. There's no changing the past. Likewise there's no telling the future.

But what if you could?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sony NEX-7 Review: Suitable for Clients?

Q: I am guessing that this is a camera that you'd only use for model portfolio development, and NOT a camera that you would use to shoot a client's commercial project on IN FRONT of the client, especially if it's in a studio. On location just you and a model, yes. In a studio with pro lights, a full crew, and 4 people from the client company, no... right?

A: Most photographers would answer this question based upon technical differences between the NEX-7 and whatever camera you also own. They might argue that the NEX-7 has better dynamic range, it's sharper than most cameras, has great resolving power, blah blah blah. And that if it's what you need then you should bring it to the client shoot.

I'm here to tell you the NEX-7 has no place being in a professional client environment.

Because size matters. On a client shoot you need to bring out the big guns. Perception is king. Sometimes at the cost of results. Even if the NEX-7 were a better camera on all accounts (compared to my Nikon or Hasselblad), I'd be worse off for not having the respect of the client if I pulled out what looks like a toy camera.

It's the same reason why I acquired a digital Hasselblad. I didn't want the client saying, "Hey, I have a 5DMII or D700 too!" Because what they're really saying is, "Hey, I have the same camera as this professional photographer. Is he qualified? Did I overpay? Could have done the shoot myself?"

In a nutshell, the world isn't ready to accept the possibility that a mirrorless camera can rival the DSLR/DMF (digital medium format) in many respects. And for that reason, which is all the reason you need, it does not belong in a professional environment. Given time, clients might understand.

But not yet.

Same with digital, for a long time clients still asked for film. That's because clients aren't well-educated. We have to respect that since they pay the bills.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

L U C I M A Workshop Facebook Page

There are lots of Facebook groups out there but there's only one forum/group where I'm a member (and an active one at that). It's the L U C I M A Workshop Facebook page. Admission is free but most of the group is comprised of workshop members new and old. It's where I share many of my insights and thoughts for learning. In fact many of the discussions there lead to posts here.

Check it out!

Sony NEX-7 Review: Errors of an Armchair Quarterback

Red Riding. Kendra with NEX-7.

Being that much of my growth is derived more organically and less externally, I rely on a host of experiments and random events to provide me with fresh perspective. It's why you'll never hear me bemoaning not having enough "inspiration".

As I mentioned in a previous post, experimenting with the "What if..." game, shooting different models, and going to different places all help me mix things up.

And that's where the NEX-7 comes into play.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Podcast: Bekka Gunther Part I

As a multi-part podcast with Bekka Gunther, Rodney and I catch up with Bekka and find out what's going on in the world of Bekka Gunther!

Sony Nex-7 Review: Video Thoughts +

Stilts. Codi with NEX-7

Video - Shot some video the other day and it's interesting. What you see in the EVF is what you get. So in my case, if you display in B&W, then it records in B&W. I should try to remember to set it back to color when I'm shooting video. In fact I'm worried that by converting it to B&W in camera that the camera algorithms automatically add contrast that I typically don't want/need

Video record button - Yup, it's poor placement. I hit it accidentally too. Didn't think it'd be an issue but it is.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Avedon Quote

Been looking for this on my blog and I can't find it or I never posted it here:

"I've worked out of a series of no's. No to exquisite light, no to apparent compositions, no to the seduction of poses or narrative. And all these no's force me to the "yes." I have a white background. I have the person I'm interested in and the thing that happens between us."
- Richard Avedon - 1994

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sony NEX-7 Review: 2-shoot post

IQ with Macy Nicole.

2 still shoots later with the Sony NEX-7 I have a pretty good understanding of this camera. Lemme talk about them in no particular order.

- Not sure why the histogram doesn't appear in the EVF when it appears on the Live View display. Slightly irritating since I'd like to see a live histogram if possible.

- People talk about dynamic range and IQ all the time. Here's an example. You draw your own conclusions. It was lit like you'd imagine. And the shadows were much darker than they appear. But fortunately they were recovered in post.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Lie to You

In late April, Ksenia called me to discuss a potential music video. Ksenia Ranger had been singing for years and with her first album almost done, she wanted to shoot an music video to showcase her first release Lie to You.

She referenced the Siren Song video I shot with Jordan for the feel and wanted something similar.


I've started an Instagram account and though it seems redundant seeing that I have a twitter, flickr, tumblr, FB, blogger, etc. account I've decided to make my Instagram account a look behind the scenes at my shoots, my work, and other "live" images that reveal how I do things. So follow me @charleslucima on Instagram!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Sony NEX-7 Review: Initial Reactions

Cargo Net 1/125, f/4.5, ISO3200

Dogball 1/1600, f/7.1, ISO3200

Glisten 1/500, f/5.6, ISO800

Goldilocks 1/320, f/5.6, ISO200 (unprocessed only resized)

Understandably I caught heat for saying that the NEX-7 and X100 wouldn't stack up to my shooting.

So to give these cameras a fair shake, I dropped by Calumet and picked up a NEX-7 to see what all the fuss was about. It came with the standard 18-55mm kit lens and the minimal f/3.5-5.6 apertures. Lenswise, it's far from impressive.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Fuji FinePix X100 and Sony NEX-7

Sensor size comparison. Courtesy Wikipedia.

Last year it was the Fuji FinePix X100, this year it's been the Sony NEX-7.

Many of you have lusted after these smaller APS-C sensor cameras. For their portability. For their dynamic range. The NEX-7 even shoots 1080p at 60fps. They are the crème de la crème of today's small camera technology. They offer a bridge for many prosumers that don't want to use a standard DSLR. These cameras have the same size sensors as Nikon DX (crop) cameras. They are much larger than the Four Thirds and even slightly bigger than the Canon APS-C sensors like those in my Canon 7D.

And many of you have jumped on over and purchased one of these bad boys.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Workshop Q/A II

Q: I have a huge interest in advancing my fashion shooting and editing skills. I have done some work for local modeling agencies using a small strobe kit and I'm looking into various workshops around the country. I'm self-taught and hope to gain from a group educational setting.

I have five years as a freelance travel and food photographer under my belt, however I've only been supplementing my income with odd jobs. I'm young and hope to eventually advance enough in my market to support myself with photography, so education and experience are my current main goals. I'm glad to see that you offer some course time on professional practices as well!

Could you please give me some more information about your workshop schedules and pricing? I would be looking at attending a course next spring, and while I'm sure you do not have a firm schedule, I just want to confirm that you have offerings year-round. Thank you! I appreciate your time!

A: Thanks for the message! I am still putting together my next group workshop and I don't have specific details just yet. I will soon though. It looks like the class should be sometime in September. I'll put your email on the notification list so you'll know soon!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Tip of the Day: The Back Door

Doors. Macy Nicole.

I don't know about you but at our house, friends and family come in through the back door. Strangers, solicitors, and guests come in through the front door.

We treat those that come in through the front door differently from those that come in through the back door.

For example, we qualify the people that come in through the front door. It's much more formal. We ask questions before we let them in. And as a result, very few people that knock on the front door actually make it through the door. Most of them get turned away.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Tip of the Day: Thumbnails

It's been a while since I wrote a TOTD.

I'm sure a lot of my posts can be categorized as TOTD, but I'm too lazy to go back and redo them. Private workshops and videos have been keeping me busy.

This TOTD stems from a reviewing images (image selection) over email from a recent private workshop. The photographer asked if I wanted to see the RAW files, I asked for thumbnails. I should have been more specific because I got 800x1200 pixel files.

Way. Too. Big.

Which leads me to question how you are all evaluating/selecting your images. If you're looking at them with your entire display. You're way too close to the picture. You'd have to stand 5 feet back to see it in its entirety. Which is why I review my images like this:

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Podcast: Posing/Flow

As a followup to the previous entry regarding posing/flow Rodney and I decided to talk about posing and flow for our most recent podcast. Have a listen :)