orthopedic pain management

Lighting round faces — baldness — blemishes — Photography podcast #36

Pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast #36 focuses on think­ing about how dif­fer­ent types of light suit dif­fer­ent types of faces. We talk about how both short light­ing and side light­ing are good for rounder faces. We also talk about blem­ishes and baldness.

Many thanks to Mark McCall for allow­ing me to use this image (and expla­na­tion below the image) clearly show­ing the the slim­ming effect of short light­ing and the broad­en­ing effect of broad light­ing on a model’s face.

Broad Light­ing vs. Short Light­ing
Broad light­ing refers to light­ing up the face from the “broad” side, (widest part of the face from nose to ear from the cam­era angle).
Short light­ing refers to light­ing up the face from the “short” side, (side of the face turned away from the camera)

Short light­ing makes the face appear thin­ner in the image, and is the best choice for most sub­jects. Broad light­ing works best for thin faces.

Thanks as always for the com­ments by Yves Janse and Mikael. We LOVE com­ments and sug­ges­tions so please send more.

Photography transcript 10 — Framing in Photography — Photography.ca

Fram­ing in pho­tog­ra­phy — Pho­tog­ra­phy Pod­cast #10

Pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast hosted by Marko Kulik
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This is an audio tran­scrip­tion — Spelling, punc­tu­a­tion and gram­mer may not be perfect‚

Hi there every­one and wel­come to the Pho­tog­ra­phy Pod­cast on Photography.ca.‚ My name is Marko.‚ We are com­ing to you from Mon­treal, Que­bec, Canada, and today is Jan­u­ary 26, 2007.‚ For today’s show, we are going to talk a lit­tle bit about com­po­si­tion and we are going to talk a lit­tle bit about fram­ing in par­tic­u­lar.
Now, what fram­ing is, it is a clas­sic tech­nique whereby you would use a frame to frame a photo.‚ You have often seen this.‚ You will see like a child look­ing through a win­dow and you will see the whole exte­rior of the win­dow with the child look­ing out of it.‚ The win­dow itself makes for a very inter­est­ing com­po­si­tional ele­ment and a lot of these shots work and add inter­est to your pho­tog­ra­phy.‚‚ Frames can be very pow­er­ful and you can use dif­fer­ent objects that will act as frames dur­ing the shoot.‚ You can use branches, you can use an arch­way, you can use a door­way.‚ You could sneak behind some bushes and from the left and from the right just kind of make the branches act as a frame then look at some­thing dif­fer­ent like a flower or a moun­tain or a dog or a per­son from beyond.‚ That will add quite a lot of inter­est to your shot.‚ The branches will act as a frame and make the sub­ject pop.
A tech­nique that has been tried time and time again is just actu­ally using an old frame.‚ You take one of these old wooden frames, you pop the pic­ture out, you have some­one smile behind the frame, and you take the shot get­ting the frame in the shot and the per­son in the frame, the actual pic­ture frame, and that makes for an inter­est­ing shot as well.‚ You can do it with babies, women, old peo­ple, young peo­ple, any­one, and it always adds inter­est to the shot.
Now, some­thing else that you could try is selec­tive focus when you are using fram­ing as well, espe­cially if what you are shoot­ing is far from the frame itself, you can have some inter­est­ing effects with selec­tive focus.‚ Let us say, you are actu­ally shoot­ing through a win­dow.‚ I do not know, you are in some­one else’s base­ment, you open up the win­dow, and you see some­thing inter­est­ing in the dis­tance.‚ You back away just a lit­tle bit, you take a pic­ture of the out­side of the win­dow for the fram­ing effect, and then you also have what you are look­ing at in the dis­tance.‚ If you are focus­ing on the win­dow itself, what is going to be in the dis­tance is prob­a­bly going to be less sharp depend­ing on what aper­ture you use.‚ If you are look­ing for a selec­tive focus effect, I rec­om­mend obvi­ously a larger aper­ture, which will make what is in the dis­tance some­what blurry or less sharp.‚ You can have a really inter­est­ing effect.‚ Let us say it is a flower, or a boy, or a dog, or any­thing actu­ally, you will get the sub­tle form of what is in the dis­tance while hav­ing the actual win­dow itself act­ing as a frame in sharp focus.
On the oppo­site end of it, you can, of course, focus on what is in the dis­tance and keep the frame blurry or less sharp.‚ Again, it would depend on what aper­ture you would use, but use a larger aper­ture and you can play with the dis­tances.‚ If you use too small an aper­ture, f/16, f/22, f/32, then more of the fore­ground and the back­ground will appear to be sharp and you will have less of a selec­tive focus effect.
For one of my shots that I put up on the blog, you should have prob­a­bly seen it by now; if not, just go to Photography.ca/blog.‚ For one of the shots I did for this exper­i­men­tal pod­cast, I basi­cally took a purse and used the han­dles of the purse act­ing as a frame.‚ I set the purse up on a table and put a cou­ple of books under­neath the purse.‚ I backed up and then I had a model hang out maybe about three or four or five feet from behind that purse.‚ I focused both on the han­dle of the purse and got some inter­est­ing effects there and kept the model blurry in the back­ground.‚ Of course, I did the oppo­site as well.‚ I would have shot in sharp focus the model through the han­dles of the purse and the effects are pretty inter­est­ing actu­ally.‚ I hope you liked them.
You can really get some good effects by doing sim­i­lar things.‚ You can use what­ever you want to act as a frame.‚ You could take the door­knob off an old door and shoot through the door­knob.‚ You could open up the door just a crack and shoot through the crack.‚ Focus on the crack or focus on what is in the dis­tance and you are going to have some very inter­est­ing com­po­si­tional shots.‚ These are more artsy.‚ They are more artsy-fartsy.‚ They are more fun.‚ They are more inter­est­ing.‚ They add expe­ri­ence.‚ They have another dimen­sion to the shot.‚ Of course, I highly rec­om­mend, as always, just try­ing out dif­fer­ent things.‚ If it does not work, it does not work.‚ You could take a chair, shoot through the back of a chair, shoot through the back of a model.‚ The frame does not even have to be a full frame.‚ The frame can be like the let­ter “L.”‚ Take a model or any per­son and just have them look out toward the sun­set, out by yon­der, and then use the side of their head and shoul­ders to act as a frame and have some­thing in the dis­tance.‚ Try mak­ing what is in the dis­tance sharp and then try mak­ing their head and shoul­der sharp.‚ It is all about an inter­est­ing shot and the more you play, the more likely you are to get that inter­est­ing shot.
The theme for this learn­ing show as well as the other ones where we give some instruc­tion is to exper­i­ment.‚ Do not be afraid, just try it, espe­cially if you got a dig­i­tal cam­era.‚ Try it.‚ If it does not work, erase the shot.
I very much do hope you will pro­vide some feed­back for the shots we have up and as well on the con­tent of the pod­cast.‚ You can do so through the blog directly, Photography.ca/blog, or you can do it through the bul­letin board as well, Photography.ca, just make your way to the bul­letin board and pro­vide some com­ments.‚ This was our 10th pod­cast and we are please to have made it to 10 and we hope to get to a hun­dred in a cou­ple of years.‚ Hope­fully, we will keep on this sched­ule, one a week and we will get there sooner rather than later.‚ I guess it still makes it about two years, but it is a good start.‚ Ten is solid and I am happy about 10.‚ This pod­cast will end up being our short­est pod­cast since we started at about seven min­utes or so, but we hope you are okay with that, feel­ing that good things came in the small pack­age.‚ Our next pod­cast will be an inter­view pod­cast, so of course it will be a bit longer.‚ We hope you enjoy the mix that we are pro­vid­ing you.
Thanks very much for lis­ten­ing, every­one.‚ Keep on shoot­ing, keep on tak­ing those cre­ative shots and we will see you all again in about one week.‚ Bye for now.
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Photography transcript 9 — Interview with Ann Dahlgren — A Fairy’s Child

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This is an audio tran­scrip­tion — Spelling, punc­tu­a­tion and gram­mer may not be per­fect
Marko Kulik:                         Hi there every­one and wel­come to the Pho­tog­ra­phy Pod­cast on Photography.ca.  My name is Marko.  We are com­ing to you from Mon­treal, Que­bec, Canada.  Today is Jan­u­ary 18, 2007.  For today’s show, we are lucky enough to be doing an inter­view with Ann Dahlgren.  Ann Dahlgren along with her hus­band, Dou­glas Foulke, put together this fan­tas­tic book called A Fairy’s Child.  I was lucky enough to come across this book a few years back in New York.  I love the­atri­cal pho­tog­ra­phy and I love mytho­log­i­cal por­traits and pho­tographs, so this is going to be a really, really fun inter­view espe­cially for me and I hope for you, too.  Rather than just talk about it, let us get into it now.
So, I would very much like to wel­come, Ann Dahlgren today.  Ann Dahlgren is a fine art pho­tog­ra­pher and author of the book A Fairy’s Child that she did with her hus­band, Dou­glas Foulke, who is also a fine art photographer.  He is hang­ing around closely and maybe will be able to hear from him dur­ing this inter­view, but we def­i­nitely love to get a feel for this book called A Fairy’s Child, which is just a won­der­ful, won­der­ful piece of what I might call the­atri­cal photography.  Hi there, Ann.  Can you tell us a lit­tle bit about your book?
Ann Dahlgren:                      Hi, Marko.  Well, as you said, the book is called A Fairy’s Child.  It is an explo­ration of fairies and some pretty fan­tas­tic environment.  Basi­cally, the book started as just an idea for Doug and I to do a fun pho­to­graph of a fairy.
Marko Kulik:                         Then how did it evolve into a full-on book?
Ann Dahlgren:                      The idea actu­ally started on a com­mer­cial shoot that we were on in Florida and this art direc­tor we were work­ing with started telling us about this island off the coast of Maine where peo­ple build lit­tle fairy houses.  We thought, “Well, that’s pretty cool.“  We have never heard of any­thing like that before and so, we just started brain­storm­ing about the pos­si­bil­ity of actu­ally mak­ing a pho­to­graph of a fairy that looked real, but yet was mys­te­ri­ous and ethe­real and all the things that we love about pho­to­graph.  Basi­cally, it started out with us pro­duc­ing one pho­to­graph and from there it just kind of led to another, which led to another, which led to another. At some point I guess after we had maybe 20 or 30 fin­ished prints, we thought, “Well, maybe we can make this into a book.“  So, that is how it started.
Marko Kulik:                         How long did it take to pho­to­graph all the pho­tographs?
Ann Dahlgren:                      We basi­cally did it on our free time, in between what we do commercially.  So, we worked on it I think over a period of four to maybe five years.
Marko Kulik:                         Four to five years.  Okay.  Where did you find the children?  Were they local chil­dren, were they rel­a­tives, were they actors?
Ann Dahlgren:                      They were everything.  Basi­cally, 90% of our com­mer­cial work is on loca­tion, so every time that we were some place and we came across some really inter­est­ing loca­tion, we would then plan to either go back or else stay after our com­mer­cial shoot to actu­ally do the pho­to­graph for the book.  So, some­times we would do a cast­ing locally to find some mod­els, other times they were friends of friends or fam­ily members.  It kind of was what­ever, wher­ever we could find some­body that fit our idea of our lit­tle fairy.
Marko Kulik:                         For those lis­ten­ers that have not found this book yet, I am going to be putting some links to Ann and Doug’s site, so hope­fully you might be able to find it through there and see extra pic­tures, but I just wanted to tell peo­ple that I was actu­ally blown away when I found this book, wan­der­ing through SoHo about two years ago.  I per­son­ally love the­atri­cal photography.  I love mytho­log­i­cal images.  I love fairies and it was just an absolute treat to find this book in a lit­tle bookstore.  So, if there are still books avail­able, I highly rec­om­mend search­ing for them and get­ting your hands on them.  I will put one or two on our site just so you could see what we are talk­ing about and then you can check out Ann and Doug’s site after that.  I would like to ask you, Ann.  What is your per­sonal con­nec­tion to fairies?  Is it a sub­ject mat­ter that has inter­ested you all along?  Is it a rel­a­tively new thing?
Ann Dahlgren:                      No.  I am not the type of per­son who has pro­fessed to have seen fairies in real life or any­thing like that although we have found that there are peo­ple like that out there.  We have got­ten quite inter­est­ing e-mails from peo­ple that have dis­cov­ered our book and we have found that there is a whole world out there, fairy lovers.  No.  It just sounded like a chal­leng­ing and fun sub­ject mat­ter to try to cre­ate these photographs.  So, I would not say that I have any par­tic­u­lar con­nec­tion with fairies.
Marko Kulik:                         Okay.  Okay.  Well, it is too bad.  I am sure a few peo­ple would have loved to hear the oppo­site, but…
Ann Dahlgren:                      I know.  I know.
Marko Kulik:                         It is all good.  I have no per­sonal con­nec­tion to them myself.  I just love the way they look from my childhood.  So, I am just curi­ous, do you both pho­to­graph at the same time?
Ann Dahlgren:                      Well, sometimes.  Usu­ally what we will do is when we are pro­duc­ing a shoot, I would work a lot on the cos­tume, the make-up, get­ting the kids out­fit­ted, then their ears and their wings and all that entailed.  We would talk about dif­fer­ent cam­eras and films that we are going to be using and usu­ally Doug would start shoot­ing and then I would shoot some.  A lot of times, we would have sev­eral dif­fer­ent cam­eras with dif­fer­ent films loaded, so he could pick up one and I could pick up another and we could direct the child in what­ever way we felt was the right way to go.
Marko Kulik:                         So, it is totally a col­lab­o­ra­tive effort then.  You guys just work on all these projects absolutely together.
Ann Dahlgren:                      Yes.
Marko Kulik:                         Excellent.  Excellent.  So, I would like to always ask, what was your first camera?  How did you get into pho­tog­ra­phy?
Ann Dahlgren:                      Well, for myself, it started back in camp.  So, I was prob­a­bly 10 and we had a lit­tle dark­room at the camp that I went to and that was where I took my first pho­to­graph and processed and printed my first print.  I know for Doug, it started with him at prep school.  His story is, he was told that he should take pho­tog­ra­phy because he could smoke in the darkroom.  That is where it started with him.
Marko Kulik:                         Is he still smok­ing in the dark room?
Ann Dahlgren:                      I do not think so.
Marko Kulik:                         Well, good, good, good.  Very nice.  Very nice.  For the tech kids out there, they are going to won­der how these pho­tographs were created.  The first thing that will prob­a­bly come to mind for a lot of peo­ple is going to be Pho­to­shop, but I am not con­vinced that is the case.  Can you give us a lit­tle insight into how these pho­tographs were cre­ated?
Ann Dahlgren:                      Sure.  All of them were cre­ated using tra­di­tional black and white film.  Most of the times, we would shoot with T-Max 100 or 400 and Kodak infrared film.  We were lucky enough to have put a dark­room into our house, so we would come home after the shoot and process and make prints of what we had just shot and then work from there.  So, pretty much 98% of what you will see in the pho­to­graph was actu­ally there.  We had a spe­cial effects make-up artist make some pros­thetic ears for us.  We had a cos­tume designer who make us a set of wings and then from there, we basi­cally started mak­ing our own cos­tumes, our own wings and things like that, but over time of trav­el­ing with these things and tak­ing the ears on and off, all these kids, they started to dis­in­te­grate and we even­tu­ally had to have more ears made.  Towards the very end of the book, when we were kind of on a dead­line with our pub­lisher to bring in, I do not know, a cer­tain amount of images, the wings really were trashed at that point.  So, we started exper­i­ment­ing with pho­tograph­ing insect wings pri­mar­ily cicada and but­ter­fly wings and then putting those on to the last images that we had shot in postproduction.  So, really, that is the only Pho­to­shop that we really used.  It really was not until the end of the book process that we started uti­liz­ing Pho­to­shop.
Marko Kulik:                         Very, very interesting.  So, really these kids are against real backgrounds.  The back­grounds that you are going to see in all the pho­tographs, those were the back­grounds on loca­tion?
Ann Dahlgren:                      Yes, definitely.  Like I said before, when we would go on loca­tion and we would find these inter­est­ing spots, that is when we decide, “Okay.  This is our next loca­tion” and we would go back and pro­duce the shoot.  We shot a lot in West­ern Florida where the Banyan trees are.  Actu­ally, our very first shoot was in the Sara­sota, Florida region and just the way that the Banyan trees grow, it is pretty fantastic.  So, we started with that.  We have shot in loca­tions in Cal­i­for­nia, Col­orado, New York, kind of wher­ever we found a spot that spoke to us.
Marko Kulik:                         For cer­tain of the images, it looks as though the chil­dren are fly­ing almost or one in par­tic­u­lar that I have the lux­ury of look­ing at right now, one of the chil­dren looked almost sus­pended or flying.  How would that have been accom­plished?
Ann Dahlgren:                      Well, she went flying.  We did a few shoots in the stu­dio and one par­tic­u­lar shoot that we knew we wanted to do was to actu­ally have a fairy flying.  So, we hired a rig­ger or a grip per­son from the movie indus­try to come into the stu­dio and set up this whole har­ness sys­tem where we could actu­ally fly her.  I think the shot that you are prob­a­bly look­ing at has two fairies in it.
Marko Kulik:                         Yes, it is.
Ann Dahlgren:                      Basi­cally, we designed the set in the stu­dio and then we had the two girls take turns in the har­ness, fly­ing.
Marko Kulik:                         Fantastic.  If you are going to attempt this today, would you go more Pho­to­shop or would you still try and do it the tra­di­tional way?
Ann Dahlgren:                      I think now since we do use Pho­to­shop every­day in what we do, we prob­a­bly would uti­lize Pho­to­shop a lot more.  It just was not some­thing that we were using on a daily basis at all back when we started this project.  I think we started it in 1997.  So, every­thing we did was on film in there.
Marko Kulik:                         Okay.  Again, we keep hear­ing this all the time, Pho­to­shop has become a pretty impor­tant tool for pho­tog­ra­phers these days and we are using more tools.  It is just a tool that we can use instead of hir­ing a rig­ger, let us say, to have some­one fly.
Ann Dahlgren:                      Right.  It def­i­nitely cost us a lot more money to actu­ally pro­duce the pho­tographs the way that we did, but that was the way that we went about it.  We did not really think about doing it any other way at that time.
Marko Kulik:                         As an artist, for you, is it more sat­is­fy­ing to have done it the old fash­ion way?
Ann Dahlgren:                      Sure.  It was just so excit­ing to be able to have a vision and put it all together, go to a loca­tion, make it hap­pen, bring the fog machine and the whole deal and come back and have on film what we really imag­ined was there ver­sus sit­ting in front of a com­puter and mak­ing it hap­pen.
Marko Kulik:                         Right.  Right.
Ann Dahlgren:                      Yeah.  I think there was a sense of accom­plish­ment def­i­nitely after all the work that we went through.
Marko Kulik:                         A well-deserved feel­ing of accomplishment.  On another tech­ni­cal level, I am curi­ous actually.  I noticed some of the pic­tures are quite soft, which really adds to the mood effect.  Were you using soft focus fil­ters as well or was that done in the printing?  How was some of the soft­ness achieved on the pho­tographs?
Ann Dahlgren:                      Well, it was done both with fil­ters, with par­tic­u­lar lenses and also dif­fus­ing again in the darkroom.  I know in some of the pho­tographs, we used an old lens that Doug had which is an old Imagon por­trait lens.  It just had this won­der­ful qual­ity of hav­ing a very min­i­mal amount of focus to it.  So, that was over dif­fer­ent lens put on the cam­era, but yeah, we would shoot with softer fil­ters and dif­fuse again in the dark­room.
Marko Kulik:                         For good effect, for absolutely good effect.  Are you going to be doing any other the­atri­cal style themes or con­cepts in the next lit­tle while or do you have projects sim­i­lar in nature for the near future?
Ann Dahlgren:                      We do not have any­thing in the works at the moment.  We have thought about it.  We have a lot of images that we played with in the process of this book that were edited out in the process of our pub­lisher want­ing a cer­tain look to the book.  For instance, we pho­to­graph a lot of old peo­ple to make it a lit­tle bit more of a scary, edgy field to it and we did a whole sec­tion of under­wa­ter pho­tographs where we actu­ally have the fairies in the pool and we were down there with them, with scuba tanks and pho­tograph­ing them under the water.  So, there is poten­tial for another aspect to this whole fairy project that we would love to con­tinue with, we just have not had the time recently.
Marko Kulik:                         Well, when you do have it done, please think of me.  I def­i­nitely want a copy.
Ann Dahlgren:                      Okay.
Marko Kulik:                         For those peo­ple who are going to be intrigued by this book, is it still available?  How can they get their hands on it?  Can they get their hands on it?
Ann Dahlgren:                      Well, at this point, we just were informed that the first print­ing, which was 10,000 copies, is sold out.  In fact, we only actu­ally have two copies I think as our own.  So, we are wait­ing to hear back if Abrams is going to do another printing.  If they do not, then we will have the option to try to take that some place else to have another print­ing done.  So, hope­fully, we will keep it out there.  At this point, your guess is as good as mine of where to find them.
Marko Kulik:                         Okay.  At least for now though I guess thank good­ness for web­sites, peo­ple who want to see some of these images, I know there is a lot of them avail­able at anndahlgren.com.  I am going to put that in the show notes.  Ann Dahlgren is spelled A-n-n D-a-h-l-g-r-e-n, anndahlgren.com if peo­ple want to go directly, but I will put the link in the show notes as well and I believe Ann has allowed me to put a cou­ple of the images on my blog to intrigue you to go to her site because it is also a fan­tas­tic site with a lot of images left from the book.
Ann Dahlgren:                      Right.  The direct link to the fairy web­site is afairyschild.com or you can go directly to the book web­site also, which has a short lit­tle flash movie with some images from the book.
Marko Kulik:                         I am going to put that link in the show notes as well.
Ann Dahlgren:                      Okay.  Great.
Marko Kulik:                         So, I would like very much to thank Ann Dahlgren and Dou­glas Foulke.  Unfor­tu­nately, Dou­glas was not able to be on the line now for tech­ni­cal rea­sons, but we were lucky enough to speak with Ann today and I absolutely thank her.  So, thanks so much for agree­ing to do this, Ann.  I know it was a pretty spon­ta­neous request, but I have been in love with your book for a long, long, long time and your style.  It has really been my plea­sure to speak to you today.
Ann Dahlgren:                      Great.  Thank you, Marko.  It has been a plea­sure.
Marko Kulik:                         So, thanks so much.
Ann Dahlgren:                      Okay.  Bye-bye.
Marko Kulik:                         Bye now.  So, that was our inter­view with Ann Dahlgren.  We really hope you like that interview.  I know I learned a lot and I appre­ci­ated it.  We are going to have more inter­views for you in the next few weeks as well.  If you would like to com­ment, please do so either through the blog, photography.ca/blog or through the bul­letin board.  You can just click on the link and find your way there and you can leave com­ments and sug­ges­tions and any­thing else you like in either of those two places.  So, thanks very much for lis­ten­ing every­one and we will be back prob­a­bly next week.  We will bring you either another inter­view or some knowl­edge, either way you will get knowl­edge on both.  So, take care every­one and happy shooting.  Bye for now.
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Photography transcript 9 — Interview with Ann Dahlgren — A Fairyžs Child

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This is an audio tran­scrip­tion — Spelling, punc­tu­a­tion and gram­mer may not be per­fect
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ ‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Hi there every­one and wel­come to the Pho­tog­ra­phy Pod­cast on Photography.ca.‚ My name is Marko.‚ We are com­ing to you from Mon­treal, Que­bec, Canada.‚ Today is Jan­u­ary 18, 2007.‚ For today’s show, we are lucky enough to be doing an inter­view with Ann Dahlgren.‚ Ann Dahlgren along with her hus­band, Dou­glas Foulke, put together this fan­tas­tic book called A Fairy’s Child.‚ I was lucky enough to come across this book a few years back in New York.‚ I love the­atri­cal pho­tog­ra­phy and I love mytho­log­i­cal por­traits and pho­tographs, so this is going to be a really, really fun inter­view espe­cially for me and I hope for you, too.‚ Rather than just talk about it, let us get into it now.
So, I would very much like to wel­come, Ann Dahlgren today.‚ Ann Dahlgren is a fine art pho­tog­ra­pher and author of the book A Fairy’s Child that she did with her hus­band, Dou­glas Foulke, who is also a fine art pho­tog­ra­pher.‚ He is hang­ing around closely and maybe will be able to hear from him dur­ing this inter­view, but we def­i­nitely love to get a feel for this book called A Fairy’s Child, which is just a won­der­ful, won­der­ful piece of what I might call the­atri­cal pho­tog­ra­phy.‚ Hi there, Ann.‚ Can you tell us a lit­tle bit about your book?
Ann Dahlgren:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Hi, Marko.‚ Well, as you said, the book is called A Fairy’s Child.‚ It is an explo­ration of fairies and some pretty fan­tas­tic envi­ron­ment.‚ Basi­cally, the book started as just an idea for Doug and I to do a fun pho­to­graph of a fairy.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Then how did it evolve into a full-on book?
Ann Dahlgren:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ The idea actu­ally started on a com­mer­cial shoot that we were on in Florida and this art direc­tor we were work­ing with started telling us about this island off the coast of Maine where peo­ple build lit­tle fairy houses.‚ We thought, “Well, that’s pretty cool.”‚ We have never heard of any­thing like that before and so, we just started brain­storm­ing about the pos­si­bil­ity of actu­ally mak­ing a pho­to­graph of a fairy that looked real, but yet was mys­te­ri­ous and ethe­real and all the things that we love about pho­to­graph. ‚Basi­cally, it started out with us pro­duc­ing one pho­to­graph and from there it just kind of led to another, which led to another, which led to another. At some point I guess after we had maybe 20 or 30 fin­ished prints, we thought, “Well, maybe we can make this into a book.”‚ So, that is how it started.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ How long did it take to pho­to­graph all the pho­tographs?
Ann Dahlgren:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ We basi­cally did it on our free time, in between what we do com­mer­cially.‚ So, we worked on it I think over a period of four to maybe five years.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Four to five years.‚ Okay.‚ Where did you find the chil­dren?‚ Were they local chil­dren, were they rel­a­tives, were they actors?
Ann Dahlgren:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ They were every­thing.‚ Basi­cally, 90% of our com­mer­cial work is on loca­tion, so every time that we were some place and we came across some really inter­est­ing loca­tion, we would then plan to either go back or else stay after our com­mer­cial shoot to actu­ally do the pho­to­graph for the book.‚ So, some­times we would do a cast­ing locally to find some mod­els, other times they were friends of friends or fam­ily mem­bers.‚ It kind of was what­ever, wher­ever we could find some­body that fit our idea of our lit­tle fairy.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ For those lis­ten­ers that have not found this book yet, I am going to be putting some links to Ann and Doug’s site, so hope­fully you might be able to find it through there and see extra pic­tures, but I just wanted to tell peo­ple that I was actu­ally blown away when I found this book, wan­der­ing through SoHo about two years ago.‚ I per­son­ally love the­atri­cal pho­tog­ra­phy.‚ I love mytho­log­i­cal images.‚ I love fairies and it was just an absolute treat to find this book in a lit­tle book­store.‚ So, if there are still books avail­able, I highly rec­om­mend search­ing for them and get­ting your hands on them.‚ I will put one or two on our site just so you could see what we are talk­ing about and then you can check out Ann and Doug’s site after that.‚ I would like to ask you, Ann.‚ What is your per­sonal con­nec­tion to fairies?‚ Is it a sub­ject mat­ter that has inter­ested you all along?‚ Is it a rel­a­tively new thing?
Ann Dahlgren:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ No.‚ I am not the type of per­son who has pro­fessed to have seen fairies in real life or any­thing like that although we have found that there are peo­ple like that out there.‚ We have got­ten quite inter­est­ing e-mails from peo­ple that have dis­cov­ered our book and we have found that there is a whole world out there, fairy lovers.‚ No.‚ It just sounded like a chal­leng­ing and fun sub­ject mat­ter to try to cre­ate these pho­tographs.‚ So, I would not say that I have any par­tic­u­lar con­nec­tion with fairies.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ ‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Okay.‚ Okay.‚ Well, it is too bad.‚ I am sure a few peo­ple would have loved to hear the oppo­site, but‚¦
Ann Dahlgren:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ I know.‚ I know.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ It is all good.‚ I have no per­sonal con­nec­tion to them myself.‚ I just love the way they look from my child­hood.‚ So, I am just curi­ous, do you both pho­to­graph at the same time?
Ann Dahlgren:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Well, some­times.‚ Usu­ally what we will do is when we are pro­duc­ing a shoot, I would work a lot on the cos­tume, the make-up, get­ting the kids out­fit­ted, then their ears and their wings and all that entailed.‚ We would talk about dif­fer­ent cam­eras and films that we are going to be using and usu­ally Doug would start shoot­ing and then I would shoot some.‚ A lot of times, we would have sev­eral dif­fer­ent cam­eras with dif­fer­ent films loaded, so he could pick up one and I could pick up another and we could direct the child in what­ever way we felt was the right way to go.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ So, it is totally a col­lab­o­ra­tive effort then.‚ You guys just work on all these projects absolutely together.
Ann Dahlgren:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Yes.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Excel­lent.‚ Excel­lent.‚ So, I would like to always ask, what was your first cam­era?‚ How did you get into pho­tog­ra­phy?
Ann Dahlgren:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Well, for myself, it started back in camp.‚ So, I was prob­a­bly 10 and we had a lit­tle dark­room at the camp that I went to and that was where I took my first pho­to­graph and processed and printed my first print.‚ I know for Doug, it started with him at prep school.‚ His story is, he was told that he should take pho­tog­ra­phy because he could smoke in the dark­room.‚ That is where it started with him.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Is he still smok­ing in the dark room?
Ann Dahlgren:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ I do not think so.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Well, good, good, good.‚ Very nice.‚ Very nice.‚ For the tech kids out there, they are going to won­der how these pho­tographs were cre­ated.‚ The first thing that will prob­a­bly come to mind for a lot of peo­ple is going to be Pho­to­shop, but I am not con­vinced that is the case.‚ Can you give us a lit­tle insight into how these pho­tographs were cre­ated?
Ann Dahlgren:‚‚‚‚‚ ‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Sure.‚ All of them were cre­ated using tra­di­tional black and white film.‚ Most of the times, we would shoot with T-Max 100 or 400 and Kodak infrared film.‚ We were lucky enough to have put a dark­room into our house, so we would come home after the shoot and process and make prints of what we had just shot and then work from there.‚ So, pretty much 98% of what you will see in the pho­to­graph was actu­ally there.‚ We had a spe­cial effects make-up artist make some pros­thetic ears for us.‚ We had a cos­tume designer who make us a set of wings and then from there, we basi­cally started mak­ing our own cos­tumes, our own wings and things like that, but over time of trav­el­ing with these things and tak­ing the ears on and off, all these kids, they started to dis­in­te­grate and we even­tu­ally had to have more ears made.‚ Towards the very end of the book, when we were kind of on a dead­line with our pub­lisher to bring in, I do not know, a cer­tain amount of images, the wings really were trashed at that point.‚ So, we started exper­i­ment­ing with pho­tograph­ing insect wings pri­mar­ily cicada and but­ter­fly wings and then putting those on to the last images that we had shot in post­pro­duc­tion.‚ So, really, that is the only Pho­to­shop that we really used.‚ It really was not until the end of the book process that we started uti­liz­ing Pho­to­shop.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Very, very inter­est­ing.‚ So, really these kids are against real back­grounds.‚ The back­grounds that you are going to see in all the pho­tographs, those were the back­grounds on loca­tion?
Ann Dahlgren:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Yes, def­i­nitely.‚ Like I said before, when we would go on loca­tion and we would find these inter­est­ing spots, that is when we decide, “Okay.‚ This is our next loca­tion” and we would go back and pro­duce the shoot.‚ We shot a lot in West­ern Florida where the Banyan trees are.‚ Actu­ally, our very first shoot was in the Sara­sota, Florida region and just the way that the Banyan trees grow, it is pretty fan­tas­tic.‚ So, we started with that.‚ We have shot in loca­tions in Cal­i­for­nia, Col­orado, New York, kind of wher­ever we found a spot that spoke to us.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ ‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ For cer­tain of the images, it looks as though the chil­dren are fly­ing almost or one in par­tic­u­lar that I have the lux­ury of look­ing at right now, one of the chil­dren looked almost sus­pended or fly­ing.‚ How would that have been accom­plished?
Ann Dahlgren:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Well, she went fly­ing.‚ We did a few shoots in the stu­dio and one par­tic­u­lar shoot that we knew we wanted to do was to actu­ally have a fairy fly­ing.‚ So, we hired a rig­ger or a grip per­son from the movie indus­try to come into the stu­dio and set up this whole har­ness sys­tem where we could actu­ally fly her.‚ I think the shot that you are prob­a­bly look­ing at has two fairies in it.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ ‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Yes, it is.
Ann Dahlgren:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Basi­cally, we designed the set in the stu­dio and then we had the two girls take turns in the har­ness, fly­ing.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Fan­tas­tic.‚ If you are going to attempt this today, would you go more Pho­to­shop or would you still try and do it the tra­di­tional way?
Ann Dahlgren:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ I think now since we do use Pho­to­shop every­day in what we do, we prob­a­bly would uti­lize Pho­to­shop a lot more.‚ It just was not some­thing that we were using on a daily basis at all back when we started this project. ‚I think we started it in 1997.‚ So, every­thing we did was on film in there.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Okay.‚ Again, we keep hear­ing this all the time, Pho­to­shop has become a pretty impor­tant tool for pho­tog­ra­phers these days and we are using more tools.‚ It is just a tool that we can use instead of hir­ing a rig­ger, let us say, to have some­one fly.
Ann Dahlgren:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Right.‚ It def­i­nitely cost us a lot more money to actu­ally pro­duce the pho­tographs the way that we did, but that was the way that we went about it.‚ We did not really think about doing it any other way at that time.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ As an artist, for you, is it more sat­is­fy­ing to have done it the old fash­ion way?
Ann Dahlgren:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Sure.‚ It was just so excit­ing to be able to have a vision and put it all together, go to a loca­tion, make it hap­pen, bring the fog machine and the whole deal and come back and have on film what we really imag­ined was there ver­sus sit­ting in front of a com­puter and mak­ing it hap­pen.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Right.‚ Right.
Ann Dahlgren:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Yeah.‚ I think there was a sense of accom­plish­ment def­i­nitely after all the work that we went through.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ A well-deserved feel­ing of accom­plish­ment.‚ On another tech­ni­cal level, I am curi­ous actu­ally.‚ I noticed some of the pic­tures are quite soft, which really adds to the mood effect.‚ Were you using soft focus fil­ters as well or was that done in the print­ing?‚ How was some of the soft­ness achieved on the pho­tographs?
Ann Dahlgren:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Well, it was done both with fil­ters, with par­tic­u­lar lenses and also dif­fus­ing again in the dark­room.‚ I know in some of the pho­tographs, we used an old lens that Doug had which is an old Imagon por­trait lens.‚ It just had this won­der­ful qual­ity of hav­ing a very min­i­mal amount of focus to it.‚ So, that was over dif­fer­ent lens put on the cam­era, but yeah, we would shoot with softer fil­ters and dif­fuse again in the dark­room.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ For good effect, for absolutely good effect.‚ Are you going to be doing any other the­atri­cal style themes or con­cepts in the next lit­tle while or do you have projects sim­i­lar in nature for the near future?
Ann Dahlgren:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ We do not have any­thing in the works at the moment.‚ We have thought about it.‚ We have a lot of images that we played with in the process of this book that were edited out in the process of our pub­lisher want­ing a cer­tain look to the book.‚ For instance, we pho­to­graph a lot of old peo­ple to make it a lit­tle bit more of a scary, edgy field to it and we did a whole sec­tion of under­wa­ter pho­tographs where we actu­ally have the fairies in the pool and we were down there with them, with scuba tanks and pho­tograph­ing them under the water.‚ So, there is poten­tial for another aspect to this whole fairy project that we would love to con­tinue with, we just have not had the time recently.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Well, when you do have it done, please think of me.‚ I def­i­nitely want a copy.
Ann Dahlgren:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Okay.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ For those peo­ple who are going to be intrigued by this book, is it still avail­able?‚ How can they get their hands on it?‚ Can they get their hands on it?
Ann Dahlgren:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Well, at this point, we just were informed that the first print­ing, which was 10,000 copies, is sold out.‚ In fact, we only actu­ally have two copies I think as our own.‚ So, we are wait­ing to hear back if Abrams is going to do another print­ing.‚ If they do not, then we will have the option to try to take that some place else to have another print­ing done.‚ So, hope­fully, we will keep it out there.‚ At this point, your guess is as good as mine of where to find them.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Okay.At least for now though I guess thank good­ness for web­sites, peo­ple who want to see some of these images, I know there is a lot of them avail­able at anndahlgren.com.‚ I am going to put that in the show notes.‚ Ann Dahlgren is spelled A-n-n D-a-h-l-g-r-e-n, anndahlgren.com if peo­ple want to go directly, but I will put the link in the show notes as well and I believe Ann has allowed me to put a cou­ple of the images on my blog to intrigue you to go to her site because it is also a fan­tas­tic site with a lot of images left from the book.
Ann Dahlgren:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Right.‚ The direct link to the fairy web­site is afairyschild.com or you can go directly to the book web­site also, which has a short lit­tle flash movie with some images from the book.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ I am going to put that link in the show notes as well.
Ann Dahlgren:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Okay.‚ Great.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ So, I would like very much to thank Ann Dahlgren and Dou­glas Foulke.‚ Unfor­tu­nately, Dou­glas was not able to be on the line now for tech­ni­cal rea­sons, but we were lucky enough to speak with Ann today and I absolutely thank her.‚ So, thanks so much for agree­ing to do this, Ann.‚ I know it was a pretty spon­ta­neous request, but I have been in love with your book for a long, long, long time and your style.‚ It has really been my plea­sure to speak to you today.
Ann Dahlgren:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Great.‚ Thank you, Marko.‚ It has been a plea­sure.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ So, thanks so much.
Ann Dahlgren:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Okay.‚ Bye-bye.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Bye now.‚ So, that was our inter­view with Ann Dahlgren.‚ We really hope you like that inter­view.‚ I know I learned a lot and I appre­ci­ated it.‚ We are going to have more inter­views for you in the next few weeks as well.‚ If you would like to com­ment, please do so either through the blog, photography.ca/blog or through the bul­letin board.‚ You can just click on the link and find your way there and you can leave com­ments and sug­ges­tions and any­thing else you like in either of those two places.‚ So, thanks very much for lis­ten­ing every­one and we will be back prob­a­bly next week.‚ We will bring you either another inter­view or some knowl­edge, either way you will get knowl­edge on both.‚ So, take care every­one and happy shoot­ing.‚ Bye for now.
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Photography transcript 8 — Painting with light — Photography.ca

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This is an audio tran­scrip­tion — Spelling, punc­tu­a­tion and gram­mer may not be perfect

Hi there every­one and wel­come to the 8th Pho­tog­ra­phy Pod­cast on Photography.ca.‚ My name is Marko.‚ We are com­ing to you from Mon­treal, Que­bec, Canada, and today is Jan­u­ary 10, 2007.‚ Well, first off, I would like to wish every­one a very happy new year.‚ We were slightly delayed in get­ting this out because it was the hol­i­day sea­son, but we are back on top of our game and I expect, I intend, my goal is one pod­cast a week for 2007.‚ So, if I fail, if I miss a week, please feel free to send me your com­ments, photography.ca@gmail.com.‚ You can leave any com­ments there.‚ In fact, you can also com­ment on our bul­letin board about any­thing you like, this pod­cast, pho­tog­ra­phy in gen­eral, at Photography.ca and you will find the link to the blog there as well and to the forum as well.
For today’s show, it is pretty much an exper­i­ment, an exper­i­ment that I did actu­ally.‚ For the longest time, I have been want­ing to exper­i­ment with paint­ing with light.‚ For those peo­ple that do not know what it is, paint­ing with light is illu­mi­nat­ing a per­son or an object with light.‚ In order to expose a pho­to­graph, in case we do not know or we need a reminder, we need light.‚ We could leave a shut­ter open for two days straight in a dark room and there will be no expo­sure at all on that film, which means you can leave it open for two days, close the film, put it back to frame 1, for exam­ple, and then just shoot again nor­mally and there will be no dif­fer­ence at all because no light hit that film.‚ We need light to expose a pho­to­graph.‚ Usu­ally, that light will come from the sun, it will come from a flash, it will come from ambi­ent room light, and that is how we light our sub­jects.‚ With paint­ing with light, we pho­to­graph in a dark or very dark envi­ron­ment and then we manip­u­late the light to light the sub­ject or model or what­ever we are pho­tograph­ing.
The typ­i­cal way to do this is with a flash­light or some type of light source where you will leave the cam­era on a tri­pod because you do not want it to move at all and you will just out­line the object or paint in the object or illu­mi­nate the object in some way.‚ I should tell you that this is not the eas­i­est thing to do.‚ I should also tell you that if you are lucky enough to have a dig­i­tal cam­era, it is way eas­ier with dig­i­tal cam­era because you could just do your exper­i­ment and if it works, yahoo, keep it; if it does not, just dump it and start again.‚ With­out a doubt, one of the hard­est parts of this exper­i­ment would be the expo­sure.‚ How do you deter­mine the expo­sure?‚ Well, if you are using a dig­i­tal cam­era, it is just so easy.‚ You do not even really need a light meter or expose.‚ You just out­line the object with a flash­light or a pen­light or some­thing and if it is well exposed, you see it; if it needs more expo­sure you give it more and if it needs less you give it less.‚ If you are using a tra­di­tional‚ cam­era, it is pretty hard or it is much harder actu­ally, but how I sug­gest doing it is using an ambi­ent light meter, hand­held.‚ What you would do is you would prob­a­bly use a sec­ond per­son, that would be eas­i­est.‚ You get that per­son to shine the light source.‚ In my case, I used flash­lights, we will talk about that shortly, but any­how you would get that per­son to shine the light source and then you meter the light source and you have to go through the entire expo­sure with that read­ing.‚ If, for exam­ple, it said f/5.6 at 1 sec­ond, that would be f/5.6 at 1 sec­ond for that sin­gle spot of light.‚ If you were out­lin­ing an object, you would have to go around the perime­ter of that object, if that is what you wanted to do let us say, for 1 sec­ond at a time hold­ing the flash­light pretty steady and mov­ing it at a 1-second incre­ment.‚ Pretty dif­fi­cult to do, again, that is why dig­i­tal makes it so much eas­ier.‚ The effects are amaz­ing and one of my favorite words in the Eng­lish lan­guage is serendip­ity, which means the thrill of find­ing some­thing unsought.‚ This often hap­pens with paint­ing with light.‚ We will try to get one effect and after it is over and we see the results, some­thing really weird and wacky and won­der­ful hap­pens.‚ It is part of the art and you improve on it.‚ If you get a result that is pretty good, you try and do it again and get it bet­ter and bet­ter and bet­ter and hone your result until the pic­ture is fan­tas­tic.
Here is how I did my exper­i­ment.‚ I bought a bunch of small­ish flash­lights and I just wanted to illu­mi­nate dif­fer­ent objects dur­ing the expo­sure while my cam­era was on a tri­pod. ‚Okay, I bet some peo­ple are won­der­ing, “All right, all right, get to it.‚ How did you do it, Marko?‚ How did you do it?”‚ Well, I do not know if I did it the right way or the wrong way, but I sure as heck had a lot of fun doing it and here is what I did. ‚I pur­chased a lot of small flash­lights.‚ My goal was really to out­line the perime­ter of the object and to just get it to glow.‚ This was pretty darn dif­fi­cult actu­ally because it was hard to con­trol the spray or the fine­ness of the light, let us say, so I bought a Maglite and other dif­fer­ent types of flash­lights, all small, and I tried to con­trol, let us say, the noz­zle by mak­ing it really, really thin.‚ I tried using a fun­nel.‚ I tried using a cap.‚ Every­thing I used, the light still was not fine enough for me, so I really was not 100% sat­is­fied with the result.‚ I still had a good time.‚ I still had time.‚ I think a cou­ple of the results are cool, but I did not have the ulti­mate pre­ci­sion tool.‚ I have heard that there is some­thing out there called a Hose­mas­ter, which also hap­pens to be my pornonym, a hose­mas­ter, but it like costs sev­eral thou­sand dol­lars for this machine and appar­ently using fiber optics, it really gives this very con­trolled, fine stream of light in which you can out­line objects.‚ I did not have it so I went to the depart­ment store, spent 20 or 25 bucks on some flash­lights and had a blast, actu­ally.‚ I used these flash­lights to out­line cer­tain objects.‚ At first, I started with some­thing that was alive.‚ I actu­ally started with my cat and I tried to make the spray of light as fine as pos­si­ble out­line the cat and the result was actu­ally pretty cool.‚ It was cool because you need a long expo­sure.‚ When you close all the lights or get it really dark and you place your cam­era on a tri­pod, you really need a long expo­sure.‚ A cat is a liv­ing thing and a cat, unless it is sleep­ing, it is going to move.‚ What hap­pened was, I tried to out­line my cat and my cat would move through­out many of the expo­sures.‚ Although that was not what I wanted, serendip­ity, word of the day, I really had a cool effect with one shot in par­tic­u­lar whereby the cat was still for, let us say, 4 sec­onds of an 8-second expo­sure and then moved his head to another direc­tion and was pretty still then too.‚ You actu­ally have a ghost­ing effect with two heads, which is really, really inter­est­ing.‚ So, that was my first test.‚ I used — I think it was the Maglite actu­ally.‚ I bought two size Maglites, the mini Maglite and the medium-sized Maglite and I out­lined them both.‚ I did about five shots with the cat.‚ I will prob­a­bly put one up, so you can give me your com­ments.‚ Let me know if you like it.
My next test was with a model, actu­ally.‚ I used a live model and, again, I tried to out­line.‚ My out­lin­ing attempts again, it was dif­fi­cult to con­trol the spray of light because I really wanted to get fine detail and it was dif­fi­cult.‚ If you are not inter­ested in the fine detail, you could just go over var­i­ous aspects of the body, legs, face, hands, breasts, what­ever, and you can get good effects.‚ For me, my best effect hap­pened when I actu­ally used a laser light.‚ I bought one of these $3 lasers.‚ I have cats, too.‚ My cats love to chase the thing.‚ Dur­ing the expo­sure, I out­lined the model with a laser light and that effect was really cool in my opin­ion.‚ Again, it was not per­fect.‚ The con­trol of the light was not per­fect, so hard to do per­fectly, but the result is quite good and I am actu­ally pleased with the result.‚ Again, serendip­ity being what it is, we also tried using a crys­tal.‚ We had the model hold the crys­tal and then we shone the light using the laser light through the crys­tal and then that dif­fracted light hit the model in all kinds of weird and cool ways.‚ I did a few expo­sures with that as well, which you will also see on the blog.‚ Really, it was a com­bi­na­tion of both out­lin­ing the model, try­ing to get the best result I could with the light, hold­ing it steady as I could, mov­ing my hand as steady as I could, and then shin­ing the light through the crys­tal, which also illu­mi­nated the model and gave a really very inter­est­ing result.‚ If any­one wants to try to do exactly what I did, please, enjoy, exper­i­ment.‚ Take my idea.‚ Go with it.‚ Run with it.‚ Make it bet­ter.‚ Do some­thing fun.‚ Do some­thing art­ful.‚ Do some­thing dif­fer­ent.‚ Do some­thing inter­est­ing.‚ That is what this pod­cast is all about, fine art pho­tog­ra­phy, mak­ing art from pho­tog­ra­phy, and really hav­ing a lot of fun with it.
Next, I wanted to try to out­line dif­fer­ent objects out­side.‚ This was just the wrong time of year for it, I must say.‚ I mean it is freez­ing in Mon­treal.‚ My cam­era died.‚ I was using a dig­i­tal cam­era.‚ It died in mid-shoot.‚ My hands were freez­ing.‚ I highly sug­gest doing this in the sum­mer­time.‚ If any of you are lucky enough to be in Cal­i­for­nia or the Mid­dle East or some­where warm, enjoy your­self.‚ Go out­side and do it.‚ I have seen paint­ing with light pho­tographs where you could paint a whole tree or a moun­tain.‚ The results are really, really inter­est­ing as well.‚ You can use even a flash.‚ You can use a portable flash and just really pop that flash at dif­fer­ent lev­els of inten­sity, again, for great effect.‚ Take a light meter.‚ Do an expo­sure, let us say, of the tree and then just try pop­ping it.‚ Try get­ting as close to the orig­i­nal expo­sure as pos­si­ble and then play­ing with it and mod­i­fy­ing it from there.‚ One thing that is very cool, which we men­tioned at the begin­ning of the pod­cast is that you need light to expose the pho­to­graph.‚ So, while I was light­ing cer­tain objects out­side, I wore com­pletely black.‚ I got in my bur­glar uni­form, put on some black jeans, black sweater, black hat, black gloves, and that way I was actu­ally able to manip­u­late the light dur­ing the expo­sure and walk through the shut­ter with­out my body affect­ing the expo­sure. ‚Because my body was so black, it was so dark, not enough to reg­is­ter on the cam­era sen­sor.‚ I was able to walk like in front of the lens with no prob­lems what­so­ever.‚ For one of my tests out­side, I tried to light a bird­cage and I used the flash­light, one of the smaller ones.‚ I tried my best to only light the bird­cage and the result is pretty inter­est­ing.‚ It is okay.‚ Like I said, my hands were freez­ing.‚ I moved quickly, but I did spend like over an hour out­side, maybe even an hour and a half just try­ing dif­fer­ent exper­i­ments, try­ing and look­ing, try­ing and look­ing, and it was quite inter­est­ing.
Like I said, I would have loved to have had more con­trol over the light, over the fine­ness of the point of light only because that is what I was after.‚ If you have an image in your head, you always try and achieve that image, but it is not really nec­es­sary.‚ If you want to just light some­thing thicker and not get the fine detail, you could also do some really inter­est­ing results.‚ I know that some peo­ple have also put like fil­ters, soft focus fil­ters on front of their cam­era dur­ing the expo­sure and that soft­ens the whole thing up as well.‚ I did not do it this time, but it is some­thing that I would def­i­nitely con­sider doing in the future because I do intend to try this again, prob­a­bly in the sum­mer­time when it is warmer.‚ For another object that I tried to light, I tried to light a boot.‚ I took a boot and I put in the win­dow, in a win­dow rather, and again I tried to out­line the boot and the result is pretty inter­est­ing.‚ I think it is inter­est­ing.‚ You can leave a com­ment and tell me what you thought as well.‚ Again, I took a light meter, shone it, took a base expo­sure, and just try to go over the entire boot at a reg­u­lar rate what­ever the expo­sure told me.‚ I tried to deal with about a half a sec­ond or a sec­ond and then go around the entire object for that half a sec­ond, leav­ing it half a sec­ond at every point while trac­ing the object in effect.
If you are going to light an inan­i­mate object, in a way, that is kind of easy because there is one less vari­able of move­ment that you have to con­tend with.‚ When I lit the cat and the model, the expo­sures were like from 8 sec­onds to 30 sec­onds.‚ Those mod­els — your cat can­not be per­fectly still for 30 sec­onds, a human can­not either, usu­ally a 60th of a sec­ond is the max you can nor­mally shoot some­one with­out like a ghost­ing effect or a move­ment effect.‚ They were pretty still, but there is still move­ment involved, so that is a vari­able that may add or detract in the photo, but it is a vari­able you need to be aware of.‚ When you are deal­ing with an inan­i­mate object like a boot, a bird­cage, a tree, a small hill or moun­tain, there is no ghost­ing effect, so you could really take your time.‚ You could put your cam­era on bulb with a shut­ter.‚ You could leave it open for min­utes at a time.‚ The max­i­mum I did was 30 sec­onds, but you could leave it open for min­utes for sure, min­utes.
That pretty much sums up my expe­ri­ence with this test with paint­ing with light.‚ I would absolutely love to hear some posts or com­ments or send me some pic­tures, post it on the blog or post it in the bul­letin board or send it to me by email, photography.ca@gmail.com.‚ I would love to get some feed­back on your own exper­i­ments or maybe if you took some­thing away from this pod­cast or you have some­thing to add or you think, “You know what?‚ Marko, you could’ve done some­thing dif­fer­ently or bet­ter,” I would love to hear it.‚ So, please shoot me a com­ment and it will be my plea­sure as always to com­ment back.
That about wraps it up for our first pod­cast of the year and our 8th pod­cast in total.‚ Again, please com­mu­ni­cate via the blog, via the bul­letin board.‚ We intend to do this once a week.‚ Next week, I am not sure what the topic is going to be yet, but I have an idea that it might have to do with fram­ing, ooohhh fram­ing, and the pos­si­bil­i­ties and the dif­fer­ent types of com­po­si­tion and/or art­ful­ness that you could cre­ate with var­i­ous fram­ing tech­niques.
That about does it for me.‚ Thanks so much for lis­ten­ing.‚ Keep on shoot­ing every­one and we will be back next week.‚ Bye for now.
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Photography transcript 7 — Interview with Dita Kubin — Photography.ca

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This is an audio tran­scrip­tion — Spelling, punc­tu­a­tion and gram­mer may not be perfect

Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Hi there every­one and wel­come to the Photography.ca Pod­cast on Photography.ca.‚ My name is Marko.‚ We are com­ing to you from Mon­treal.‚ Today is Decem­ber 24, 2006.‚ So, it is the day before Christ­mas and we are all hav­ing some fun, get­ting ready for the hol­i­days and I have decided to put together a pod­cast with a fine art pho­tog­ra­pher, Dita Kubin from Mon­treal.‚ So, we actu­ally were able to do a tele­phone inter­view together and you are going to lis­ten to it very shortly.‚ The inter­view lasts about 20 min­utes, so I am going to get into it right away and with that, I guess I just want to wish all the lis­ten­ers the hap­pi­est hol­i­day sea­son pos­si­ble and a Happy New Year as well.‚ Thanks so much for lis­ten­ing to our shows.‚ We intend to do so many more dur­ing 2007 and we are going to do many more inter­views.‚ We would love to get your com­ments, so what­ever you have to say, send it to us on the blog by e-mail, on the bul­letin board and it will be my plea­sure to dis­cuss any­thing you like with you.‚ So, Happy New Year every­one and on that note, let us get into the inter­view now.
So, I would like to wel­come a really spe­cial guest today.‚ Our guest is Dita Kubin and she is a fine art pho­tog­ra­pher in Mon­treal.‚ I would like to wel­come her to the show and we are going to ask her a cou­ple of ques­tions and hope­fully, she will give us some insight into her art and her activ­ity.‚ Wel­come, Dita.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Thank you.‚ Thank you very much.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Excel­lent.‚ Good.‚ Nice.‚ Wel­come.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Thank you.‚ Thank you very much.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ First off, you have a very unusual web­site name for peo­ple that wants to go and visit your pho­tog­ra­phy and it is Phudge.ca.‚ Phudge is spelled P-h-u-d-g-e, Phudge.ca.‚ How in the world did you end up choos­ing Phudge.ca?
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Well, what is funny I guess is people’s reac­tion to it because I think that it is pretty obvi­ous and peo­ple often also mis­pro­nounce it and they say, “Fyudge.”‚ That is pretty funny to me.‚ Actu­ally, it is pretty sim­ple.‚ Phudge, obvi­ously, pho­tog­ra­phy with the ph.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Yeah.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Phudge, well, the idea that it is all just visual dessert, visual plea­sures and not to take it so very seri­ously because I think that within sort of this arts, arts milieu, there is this ten­dency to take every­thing so seri­ously and every­thing has this heav­i­ness about it that I just absolutely did not want to go there with the art that I was mak­ing.‚ I just wanted it to be kind of a light thing, a very light thing.‚ It is not brain surgery.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ So, it is just very, very play­ful.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Yeah, it is.‚ It is.‚ I find the whole art process to be ther­a­peu­tic and play­ful for the indi­vid­ual and not to get stuck behind the heavy con­cepts of art.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Excel­lent.‚ Okay.‚ That is great.‚ Well, thanks for that intro­duc­tion.‚ So, I would like to get right into it with you.‚ A lot of your pho­tographs, they caught my eye, which is def­i­nitely one of the rea­sons that I con­tacted you.‚ I def­i­nitely find your pho­tographs some­what unusual.‚ Is there some way you can describe your cre­ative process a bit?
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Well, unusual, an inter­est­ing adjec­tive to describe my‚¦
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ They are unusual, just let me clar­ify.‚ They are unusual in that they make you look twice.‚ They are just not like the reg­u­lar head and shoul­ders por­traits within an envi­ron­ment.‚ There is other stuff def­i­nitely going on.‚ I guess for that rea­son, they caught my eye.‚ So, back to the ques­tion.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Right.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Can you describe the process a bit?
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ I guess you are talk­ing mostly about the last series that I had been work­ing on.‚ That series, I was work­ing on for two years.‚ It actu­ally began orig­i­nally because I needed a cou­ple of images to donate to an art show and I had noth­ing new.‚ I just decided to pho­to­graph some­one and I was just exper­i­ment­ing in ways that I had not done before.‚ When I started to put the image together, all of these really inter­est­ing tech­ni­cal ele­ments started com­ing out and I had such a fun time work­ing on it that I decided to actu­ally to try to push this sort of tech­nique that I did not even know what I was doing at that time just to push it fur­ther and see what I could get out of it.‚ For me, it began very much as a tech­ni­cal explo­ration.‚ I did not really have any pre­con­ceived ideas of what I wanted to do.‚ Then when an image kind of made itself, I stood back and I quite enjoyed what the result was, then decided that I would try a cou­ple more por­traits in that vein to see if there was some­thing in it.‚ When I had then the next two, I just some­how really opened my eyes and enjoyed so much the process of it that I decided I would do a whole series of that.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Let us talk about one photo in par­tic­u­lar and we are also going to put that as the main photo for this entry in the Photography.ca blog.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Okay.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Let us talk a lit­tle bit about the Soma por­trait that you did.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Right.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ How was that por­trait con­structed?‚ Can you describe the process a bit for that one in par­tic­u­lar?
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ That one in par­tic­u­lar was one of the harder ones that I had made although con­sid­er­ing that this was a two-year project, the ear­lier ones were not as elab­o­rate, as com­pli­cated because I was not in the place where I under­stood what I was doing very much.‚ So, this was the first very dif­fi­cult one I had set for myself think­ing, “There’s no way I’m gonna be able to do this, but let’s just go and try.”‚ Obvi­ously, for the main rea­son that you can­not con­trol smoke and what it is doing.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Yeah.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ So, I had invited this woman, Soma, to pose for me.‚ She is a friend of a friend.‚ We just brought sort of props with us to the stu­dio.‚ I rarely shoot in a stu­dio, but I thought that with the smoke and it was still quite cold out, that this was the best place.‚ It was all shot with ambi­ent lights, so no flash in that at all.‚ We just played around with very many dif­fer­ent sort of I would say com­po­si­tions because we were within one set­ting, so there was not too much we could do with that and just sort of played.‚ There was no real, again, pre­con­ceived idea of what the final image would be although I had thought that I really wanted to do an image where she was lying on the ground and the smoke was com­ing up towards me, that was one thing that I thought would work.‚ It did not at all.‚ I really found myself to be quite smoked very quickly.‚ It was com­ing into my face.‚ It was hilar­i­ous at the same time because I just could not see any­more.‚ There was so much smoke in my face.‚ Yes, we laughed and then we just con­tin­ued doing dif­fer­ent things and it ended up that after the shoot was over, I did not really know what would result from it.‚ After I processed my negs, I had my proofs I started to see what could be pos­si­ble, that only this idea came out.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Okay.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ At that point, which is actu­ally how I do all of the por­traits, is that I reviewed all of my shots and started to see how I could make it work towards a final.‚ I worked with sort of low res maque­ttes at first because there were so many images involved that I sort of weed out what does not work and work my way to a final.‚ With the small maque­tte, I was doing in this direc­tion of the final one.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ For those, I am sorry to inter­rupt.‚ For those peo­ple that do not know what a maque­tte is, can you give us a quick def­i­n­i­tion?
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Sure.‚ It would just be basi­cally a model to work by.‚ So, what I do is I work dif­fer­ent vari­a­tions, dif­fer­ent small scale mod­els.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Okay.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Then I weed out the ones that are not work­ing visu­ally or tech­ni­cally and then I start work­ing towards the ones that do.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Okay.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ So, they are just like quick work­ing copies, if you will.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Excel­lent.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ So, this one started to form in front of me.‚ You are ask­ing me how exactly was this one made because so much of the work is post­pro­duc­tion.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Yeah.‚ It looks like it might be using more than one pho­to­graph.‚ Is that cor­rect?
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Yeah.‚ I believe that this one and it is funny, I do not have an exact count for any of them, but this one would be any­where between 8 and 11 images‚¦
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Wow!
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ That were used to make this one.‚ The idea being that it would be seam­less in how it is blended together.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Yeah.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ But not nec­es­sar­ily seam­less that it looks like one sin­gle image.‚ The images that I made after this one are more nar­ra­tive and obvi­ously, they are not always real­is­tic.‚ So, you know that it is not made with one image.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Right.‚ Are all the images that you used of the same shoot or some can be taken from com­pletely dif­fer­ent times and places?
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ I started that it would be just one shoot and then got into the mind­set to be a puri­tan, that I had to use it from one, but again, I was reminded by another artist friend of mine to just not limit what you are mak­ing in any way.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Okay.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ So, I threw that idea out and I started using images from other shoots with other peo­ple in fact.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Okay.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ I do not do that very often, but some­times it works and some­times I will have some­thing from a year ago that I shot that has been wait­ing to be used and I just do not know in what way and that was partly the case with this one.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Okay.‚ Are these blended using some­thing like Pho­to­shop?
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Yes.‚ It is all Pho­to­shop.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Okay.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Yeah.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ How long would it have taken you to cre­ate to this par­tic­u­lar image?
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Well, it is funny because I do not sit down and work at it until I fin­ish.‚ I really need to let them breathe for a while.‚ For this one, what I would have done was I worked on a small maque­tte at first, so maybe that would have been a two-day kind of thing.‚ Scan­ning, clean­ing them, work­ing maque­ttes and then I have to let them sit because I am not sure in what direc­tion to go into.‚ This one I know I left actu­ally for about two months.‚ I just really did not know what to do with it.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Yeah.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ When I started to weed out the ones that did not work and decided this is the one direc­tion I would go in, then it would be about I guess four solid work­ing days of mak­ing the image, but also bro­ken down, not four days in a row because again I will get up to a cer­tain point and not know what to do with it any­more.‚ So, I have worked on the face area and then the back­ground and I do not know what to do with it, so I am just going to let it sit maybe do a lit­tle print­out and hang it on my wall, walk by it for a few days and then sit down at it again and work it again.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Quite the cre­ative jour­ney.‚ If peo­ple were think­ing that it was just like a snap, they are absolutely wrong.‚ Maybe you set it up in a three– or four-hour ses­sion, took a snap and then they are com­pletely wrong.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Yeah.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ There was like sev­eral days of work in this.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Well, what is funny is that in the begin­ning when I would be show­ing the images, peo­ple would have their reac­tions and com­ment on it and thinks that it is one pic­ture.‚ My reac­tion was always, “Peo­ple, I’m work­ing so hard on this one pic­ture.“
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Yeah.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ That is not obvi­ous at all.‚ How­ever, now, I guess I see that that is a com­pli­ment if seen as a one shot.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ I think it is a com­pli­ment.‚ It is a tes­ta­ment to the good blend­ing and post­pro­duc­tion skills that you have def­i­nitely.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Some­thing like that.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Def­i­nitely.‚ The image at least from my per­spec­tive is so strong and so unusual tech­ni­cally because the eyes are sharp and the hands are sharp as well, which for some­one more in the know will just obvi­ate the fact that it is more than one image, but for some­one less in the know or some­one just pass­ing it by quickly to see and feel that it is one image taken on the spot, I guess it really is a great com­pli­ment to the work that you did to it.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ I think in par­tic­u­lar with this image as well, it has a lot of spir­i­tual sug­ges­tion.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Def­i­nitely.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Not that even that was my inten­tion in the begin­ning although incense I think for every­one has some sort of a spir­i­tual asso­ci­a­tion.‚ This woman in par­tic­u­lar, she is from the States, but her fam­ily comes from Bangladesh area.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Okay.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ The incense bowls were a gift to me from a friend of mine who went to India about five years ago on a big long trip and he had got­ten me these incense lit­tle burn­ers from Agra from a cre­ma­tory.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Wow!
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Brought back four of them for me and I had always thought that they would be so won­der­ful to use in a shoot, but I never what or how and I had just kept them think­ing that one day I am going to pho­to­graph some­one with incense, with them, so it just kind of came together when I met Soma and after I found my smoky lady.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ It def­i­nitely, def­i­nitely worked out.‚
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Thank you.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Okay.‚ So, mov­ing on.‚ I know a lot of our lis­ten­ers, they are also fine art pho­tog­ra­phers and they kind of like to pro­duce art and some of the ques­tions for peo­ple that are just start­ing is “Can I live off my art?‚ Is this some­thing that is going to sus­tain me?”‚ You are def­i­nitely a fine art pho­tog­ra­pher your­self, so I guess we would like to ask you‚¦
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Yeah.‚ Do I ask myself the same ques­tion?
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Do you ask your­self the same ques­tion?
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Every­day.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Yeah.‚ Yeah.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Every­day.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ How dif­fi­cult is it to let us say sell fine art pho­tog­ra­phy and make a liv­ing from sell­ing your art­work?
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Well, I sup­pose it is dif­fer­ent in North Amer­ica than it would be in other places in the world.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Such as places in Europe per­haps?
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Europe def­i­nitely embraces their artists more, not that I have any first hand knowl­edge, but I do have other artist friends who have said that to me, but also I do come from East­ern Europe and I would have thought it would have been eas­ier here to go that route, but I do not even think it is so much geo­graph­i­cal.‚ I just find that peo­ple in gen­eral are not very sup­ported to do art in a very sort of a life career kind of way.‚ I know very few, for instance, friends whose fam­i­lies have sup­ported them in that route.‚ There is always this pro­jected fear of not being able to sur­vive in it.‚ So, already in want­ing to go into art, we have that pro­jected fear on us which we project on our­selves and on to oth­ers as well.‚ That def­i­nitely does not help peo­ple mak­ing the deci­sion to go into art­work.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Yeah.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ That is some­thing that I prob­a­bly still do strug­gle with on some level in my life, but there did come a point where I just could not do all the other stuff that I did not want to be doing in life and I knew that this is what I wanted to be doing now.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Right.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ So, I find that hav­ing made that deci­sion, the rest — it is really just mak­ing that one deci­sion.‚ The momen­tum after that one deci­sion starts to go for­ward and things start to come to you once you have made that deci­sion, but being in a inde­ci­sive place does not‚¦
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ It does not now.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Offer oppor­tu­ni­ties for you to go there and do that.‚ So, back to your ques­tion.‚ It is dif­fi­cult to sur­vive in this.‚ See, I think that it is not, but it has been made to be that way.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Right.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ I find that it is a lit­tle bit eas­ier now than it was two or three years ago for myself.‚ That is also in the early stages of you doing art.‚ Your art is not worth as much as it would be in the future.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ For sure.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ That is a part of it.‚ Peo­ple are buy­ing it just because they like it for them­selves or as gifts for other peo­ple.‚ There is no fur­ther com­mer­cial value unit in that.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Right.‚ Right.‚ Are you find­ing you are able to sell more pieces as months go on, as peo­ple see your work?
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Absolutely.‚ Absolutely.‚ Maybe that is the thing that has sur­prised me.‚ I know that that is how it would work, but again, hav­ing the fears‚¦
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Right.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ That we can­not sur­vive.‚ How are you going to live?‚ When it does hap­pen, I am always sur­prise that some­body would want to pay for it.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Right.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Then I am not sur­prise.‚ Yeah, of course, that is why I have been work­ing‚¦
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Right.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ So hard on that and on other things.‚ So, it makes sense to me.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Well, it is def­i­nitely nice to hear and I sus­pect that a lot of our lis­ten­ers will be happy to hear that as well.‚ I think you are absolutely right.‚ It is a mat­ter of pas­sion really in say­ing, “This is what I want to do.‚ This is what I’m going to do.‚ Let me go full force at it.”‚ I guess some­one can try it and fail.‚ Every­one does fail occa­sion­ally, but if you do not give it your all and you do not give it a shot, then you will never know.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Sure.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Espe­cially when you have kind of devel­oped a cer­tain style for your­self and you really appre­ci­ate that style and you explore it, I guess if you put your heart and soul into it, it is going to work.‚ Just do not quit.‚ If you quit, it is def­i­nitely going to fail.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ I think the other thing is the moti­va­tion behind doing our work.‚ I have met peo­ple who are moti­vated to do it for fame and money.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Right.‚ Right.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Or even let us just say fame or recog­ni­tion or to leave some kind of a legacy behind.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Yeah.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ I find that when­ever that has been my motive, it never works out.‚ In fact, when the motive is sim­ply to express that thing that you have to express inside, that is when things hap­pen.‚ Yeah, in the art mak­ing process and also in what you get out of it in return.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ So, back to our orig­i­nal ques­tion.‚ Do you do any other pho­to­graphic work as well or is it always work­ing on your art­work?
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ No.‚ I am doing a lit­tle bit of com­mer­cial pho­tog­ra­phy.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Yeah.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ I would say very lit­tle.‚ I never look for it, so only when I get called to do some­thing and then it has to sort of fit in with what I am doing in gen­eral then I would do it like let us say pri­vate por­traits for peo­ple.‚ I pretty much do not do any kind of adver­tis­ing work at all.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Yeah.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Yeah, so it is pretty much pri­vate, pri­vate por­trai­ture.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Another impor­tant ques­tion that we like to ask.‚ I always get this by e-mail.‚ What equip­ment do you use?‚ So, for all the gear­heads out there who are dying to ask you this ques­tion, what gear do you use, Dita?
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Sure.‚ What­ever I can keep my hands on.‚
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Are you shoot­ing mostly tra­di­tional pho­tog­ra­phy?‚ Are you shoot­ing more dig­i­tal pho­tog­ra­phy at the out­set before pro­cess­ing it?
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ No.‚ Every­thing is shot on film.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Okay.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ In fact, I find myself to be very for­tu­nate that I am still from the old school photo world.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Yeah.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ So, every­thing is wet lab.‚ I process my own black and white at home, send the color out, but basi­cally I do shoot on almost any­thing I can.‚ The series that the image of Soma came from was shot on 35 with F90x Nikon cam­era.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ I would like to say I have that cam­era and it is amaz­ing.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Yeah.‚ It is pretty good.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ We did not dis­cuss this in advance, but I love that cam­era.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Yeah.‚ I really do as well and I came upon it because it was actu­ally one of the cam­eras they used on a film set as a prop.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Okay.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ They have pur­chased 10 of them and then they were sell­ing them off, so I really came in to a very good deal and that is why I bought it.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Excel­lent.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ It is also a cam­era that for instance I let one of my other pho­tog­ra­phy friends use, so she is work­ing with it all the time.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Yeah.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ I am very much into lend­ing and help­ing each other out in that sense.‚ So, this series was also shot on Agfa, Agfa film.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Yeah.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ For me, I had wanted to do some­thing like this for about six years.‚ I have applied for grants, always got rejected and I took it per­son­ally at first and then I just thought, “Well, that’s ridicu­lous.‚ I’m not gonna let some­thing like that get in the way of me work­ing on a project.”‚ So, I decided that I would fund it myself.‚ So, what is the cheap­est way that I could do it?‚ What is the cheap­est film I could buy?‚ What is the cheap­est way I could process it, scan it and work on it?
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ When they were finally printed, were they printed via inkjet, from a lab, what is the final result?
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Yeah.‚ They are inkjet prints using the most archival inks that are out there and also printed on archival paper.‚ That would be the lim­ited series edi­tion that I have.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Okay.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ I have really decided to go that route and limit the pro­duc­tion of it.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ For those that are think­ing of pos­si­bly doing some­thing sim­i­lar with their own projects, would you be able to sug­gest what paper you are using?
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ You know what?‚ I would not because every­one likes some­thing else and I have gone through it like for instance I bought the most expen­sive paper you can pos­si­bly buy on earth.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Okay.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ After start­ing to print, I really did not like it.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Okay.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Which other peo­ple swear by that paper, so it is not for me, but it works for other peo­ple and I am now still in the process of find­ing some­thing that I really want to stay with.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ So, the papers that you use vary from image to image?
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Well, they vary not too much.‚ They vary a lit­tle bit because I am still in the process of try­ing to find the best route for me, but that is also talk­ing about black and white images.‚ I really like a paper that has a very pure white in it.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Yeah.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ I find that a lot of dig­i­tal papers out there are a lit­tle bit creamy.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Okay.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Which low­ers the con­trast of your image and for me, I need to have my whites to be white.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Okay.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ So, that would be the per­fec­tion­ist in me that does not like the most expen­sive paper on earth.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Okay.‚ I guess we have taken a lot of your time.‚ I do not want to con­tinue too much longer.‚ So, I guess I just like to ask you at the end, are you hav­ing any upcom­ing exhi­bi­tions or besides Phudge.ca, where else could peo­ple see some more of your work?
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Well, at the present moment, I had just fin­ished an exhi­bi­tion in Novem­ber and I packed it up and I am now look­ing for other places to exhibit in.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Okay.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ This would be the series, the Rec­ol­lec­tion.‚ So, I am at the place now where I am send­ing out my dossier to other artists and gal­leries and what-nots and start­ing my new series.‚ So, at the moment, I do not have it up any­where.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Okay.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ I am look­ing and as soon as I find a place, I will have it up on my web­site.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Excel­lent.‚ Excel­lent.‚ If you send me a link once you do have it done maybe I will be able to put that in the show notes as well.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Okay.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ A lit­tle bit of a sneak peek maybe.‚ Are we able to?‚ What will the next set of work be ded­i­cated to?
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Actu­ally, I think that it is going to be — there are two things that I am very inter­ested to work on and one will be a con­tin­u­a­tion of this project.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Okay.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ But in color.‚ I am sure it is what that has to tell me.‚ The other one is I am look­ing to go travel, to get out of town for a lit­tle bit and to con­tinue a lit­tle bit of a sort of a series of squares that I have been work­ing on that actu­ally are very abstract and has new peo­ple in them and are just sort of almost abstract col­ors, hori­zons, that kind of thing.‚ So, I am curi­ous.‚ That one I have not really worked out very much.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Excel­lent.‚ Excel­lent.‚ Well, we will look for­ward to it def­i­nitely.‚ So, I guess I would like to take this moment to thank you, Dita, for agree­ing to do this pod­cast with us.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Thank you very much, Marko.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ It was totally a plea­sure and I know a lot of our vis­i­tors are going to get a lot out of it.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Thank you very much.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ So, thanks again and we do hope that you will send us an update as well.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ I will.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Thanks, Dita.
Dita Kubin:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ Thank you.
Marko Kulik:‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚‚ So, that was our inter­view with Mon­treal fine art pho­tog­ra­pher, Dita Kubin.‚ I cer­tainly hope you enjoyed that inter­view.‚ I hope you learned a few inter­est­ing things.‚ I know I did.‚ We intend to do more inter­views in the new year.‚ I would like to take this oppor­tu­nity once again to wish every­one Happy hol­i­days and Happy New Year.‚ I hope every­one is healthy and well and gets what­ever they want.‚ Please, as always, leave some com­ments in the blog or on the bul­letin board or you can shoot me e-mails at photography.ca@gmail.com.‚ It is my plea­sure to hear from you.‚ So, take care every­one.‚ Be well and we will be putting more stuff out in 2007.‚ Bye for now.
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Photography transcript 6 — Exposure in photography — Photography.ca

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Please note that this is an audio tran­scrip­tion. Gram­mer and punc­tu­a­tion will not be per­fect.Hi there every­one and wel­come to the Pho­tog­ra­phy Pod­cast on Photography.ca.‚ My name Marko and we are com­ing to you from Mon­real, Que­bec, Canada, and today is Decem­ber 8, 2006.
For today’s show, we are going to talk about expo­sure.‚ Although a lot of peo­ple know about expo­sure, a lot of peo­ple do not.‚ Some­one on the bul­letin board men­tioned that they like to know a lit­tle bit more about get­ting good expo­sure, so I thought I talk about that today.‚ Even if you know about it, I guess you can hear about it again and we all learn from each other’s tech­niques.‚ It is a good thing to do.
Expo­sure refers to the quan­tity of light hit­ting the film or dig­i­tal sen­sor, in terms of a dig­i­tal cam­era, to cor­rectly take the shot.‚ This quan­tity of light, it needs to be pre­cise.‚ If too much light hits the film or sen­sor, the shot will be over­ex­posed or too light.‚ If not enough light hits the dig­i­tal sen­sor or film, then the shot will be too dark and it will be under exposed.‚ It really needs some pre­ci­sion.‚ The good news is, is that in today’s mod­ern cam­eras either tra­di­tional cam­eras or dig­i­tal cam­eras, the sen­sor in that cam­era is very sophis­ti­cated.‚ Gen­er­ally, that sen­sor will give you good results most of the time.‚ Under nor­mal cir­cum­stances when there is good mix­ture of tones in the scene, your shot will be cor­rectly exposed because basi­cally what the cam­era sen­sor is try­ing to do, it is try­ing to give an aver­age read­ing of all the tones in the scene.‚ If you have a lot of dark tones and a lot of light tones and some mixed tones, well, then your cam­era will gen­er­ally give you very good expo­sure and that is all you need to do.‚ The prob­lems hap­pen when there is too much of one tone or too much of another tone.‚ Specif­i­cally, if there is too many light tones or too many dark tones, what the cam­era is going to try and do and say, “Hey look at those light tones com­ing to the cam­era.‚ In order for me to make this aver­age, I need to close down a bit.”‚ What is going to hap­pen is your shot is going to look grayer or not as light as it should.‚ These are sit­u­a­tions where you need to be care­ful.‚ There are other tech­niques that you can use that will help solve these sit­u­a­tions.
The clas­sic exam­ple, of course, is some­one stand­ing in front of beach or in front of a win­dow and then another per­son tries to take a pho­to­graph of that.‚ When that cam­era is look­ing at the scene, it is say­ing, “Oh my good­ness, look at all the light com­ing into the cam­era.‚ Again, I need to shut down.”‚ What hap­pens is the per­son in front of the beach or the win­dow ends up look­ing too dark because the cam­era under­ex­posed the sub­ject because so much light was com­ing into the cam­era.‚ These are the sit­u­a­tions where you have to be care­ful.‚ When you see extreme amounts of light com­ing into the cam­era or on the oppo­site end, if you are tak­ing a pic­ture of, let us say, some­one wear­ing dark clothes against the dark wall, the cam­era is going to say, “Oh my god, this scene is so dark.‚ I need to aver­age it out.‚ I need to open up a lot.‚ I need to give the shot more expo­sure.”‚ What hap­pens is the black per­son in the black suit against the black wall ends up turn­ing out mushy and not black because the cam­era did not cor­rectly expose for those tones.‚ Like I said, again, to recap, in nor­mal scenes where there is a vari­ety of tones, there is really no prob­lem and you will gen­er­ally get good expo­sure.‚ The trick is being able to notice when the scene is not nor­mal.‚ That only comes with expe­ri­ence.‚ Of course, if you have a dig­i­tal cam­era, you could just look at the results and adjust expose accord­ingly and hope­fully learn from it or if you are with a con­ven­tional cam­era, take notes if you are learn­ing and then when you get back the results you can also see what went right and what went wrong.
Now, the cam­era sen­sor in your cam­era, that is a reflec­tive sen­sor.‚ That is reflec­tive meter.‚ It is called reflec­tive meter because it mea­sures the light that is hit­ting your sub­ject and com­ing back to the cam­era, the light that is being reflected back to the cam­era.‚ These are gen­er­ally excel­lent in qual­ity as we men­tioned before espe­cially in mod­ern cam­eras.‚ Again, you just have to be aware of the sit­u­a­tion where the light­ing is not nor­mal because that cam­era meter will be fooled.‚ What these reflec­tive meters do when they are in cam­era is they aver­age out the whole scene within the cam­era.‚ It looks at the whole scene and the cam­era mea­sures the whole scene.
There is another type of reflec­tive meter called the spot meter.‚ It is exactly the same in prin­ci­ple except that it only mea­sures a smaller area of the pho­to­graph.‚ Usu­ally, you will see like a cir­cle in the mid­dle of the cam­era when you are look­ing through it. ‚In the cen­ter of that cir­cle, there will be smaller cir­cle or a smaller square.‚ If you have spot meter­ing avail­able on the cam­era, it will mea­sure exactly what is in that teeny spot.‚ It is really handy when you are more advanced and you want your expo­sure to be based on a par­tic­u­lar area of the shot, but for most peo­ple the type of meter­ing that is non-spot that eval­u­ates the whole scene or the whole frame of what you are shoot­ing gives really good results.
A great tool that can help with expo­sure, espe­cially if you are just learn­ing or you want to per­fect your meter­ing tech­nique or you want to assure your­self of good results, is a gray card.‚ What the gray card does is the gray card is the exact mea­sure­ment that the cam­era is try­ing to achieve.‚ The cam­era is try­ing to make all the tones mid­dle gray.‚ Although this may sound weird for color pho­tog­ra­phy, again, it is try­ing to achieve a mid­dle color so that the expo­sure will always be aver­age and thereby cor­rect.‚ You can buy this gray card at any photo store and it is a great, great handy tool when you are learn­ing.‚ If you do come across a sit­u­a­tion where you are just not quite sure of expo­sure, espe­cially if you are with a non-digital cam­era and you can­not see result right away, what you could do is, let us say you are tak­ing a pic­ture an object or a per­son, well, you have that per­son hold the gray card or you use some type of device to hold the gray card in place and you approach the sub­ject and you take the meter read­ing off the gray card.‚ You approach the gray card and you have the gray card fill the frame of the cam­era.‚ You note the expo­sure on the cam­era and you plug that expo­sure in when you back up.‚ That will give you a very accu­rate result.‚ You should also be aware that the actual expo­sure is depen­dent on three vari­ables, which is the film speed, the aper­ture, and the shut­ter speed.‚ These three vari­ables, they change.‚ They are not con­stant.‚ Although you may use cer­tain a film or your cam­era may tell you that it is using a cer­tain film sen­si­tiv­ity, it is not always bang on.‚ As you approach in expe­ri­ence or as you approach bet­ter pho­to­graphic tech­nique, you may want to make smaller adjust­ments in order to achieve bet­ter results.‚ In using the gray card, you could really find out the dif­fer­ence between the camera’s expo­sure and what the actual neu­tral expo­sure really is.‚ I rec­om­mend using the gray card when you get like a new cam­era or a new lens or you want to really per­fect your expo­sure.‚ Just take a shot, put the gray card in the scene, approach the gray card, take the meter read­ing from the gray card and your cam­era, then keep that meter read­ing back up and take the shot as you nor­mally would.‚ A good thing to do as always would be to take the shot accord­ing to what the cam­era read­ing was giv­ing you from your posi­tion as opposed to what it gave you when you approach the gray card in the scene.‚ Again, it is a great, great learn­ing tool and expe­ri­ence.‚ The meter­ing we just talked about, this reflec­tive meter, it comes with the cam­era and it is great tool to use.‚ You can also have an exter­nal spot meter if your cam­era does not have one.‚ They are pretty expen­sive, but they are great tools to have as well.‚ What it does is to kind of looks a lit­tle bit like a gun, let us say, and from your posi­tion you aim it at the sub­ject and you can get an expo­sure read­ing that is very, very pre­cise from a small area on an exter­nal reflec­tive spot meter.‚ Very use­ful device for those that are more advanced who really want to per­fect their expo­sure.
Another type of meter that is very use­ful to have and most pros have one, or even advanced ama­teurs they have one, is called an inci­dent meter.‚ What the inci­dent meter does is it mea­sures the amount of light falling on the sub­ject.‚ It does not have to do with the reflec­tion back to your cam­era.‚ It is the actual amount of light that is falling on your sub­ject.‚ You approach the sub­ject phys­i­cally.‚ It does not mat­ter if it is a per­son or an object, but it is def­i­nitely some­thing that you can approach.‚ You would not use it for a moun­tain or a land­scape.‚ I guess you are good — if you want to get a lot of exer­cise, approach the moun­tain and then go back to your posi­tion and shoot, but it is really for por­trai­ture or still objects.‚ The ambi­ent meter or the inci­dent meter will mea­sure the light falling on the sub­ject.‚ The results you get from this meter are very accu­rate because it actu­ally mea­sures the amount of light falling on the sub­ject.‚ You can get into tricky sit­u­a­tions with the inci­dent light meter as well if dif­fer­ent mixed lights is falling on your sub­ject, but in gen­eral just play with it a lit­tle bit.‚ Again, check out the results either on screen on a dig­i­tal cam­era or when you get your film back and you will see that it is just an absolutely fan­tas­tic, fan­tas­tic device.
Usu­ally, when we use the inci­dent meter, espe­cially in tra­di­tional pho­tog­ra­phy, we are going to mea­sure for the shad­ows.‚ We are going to expose for the shad­ows.‚ If there is a mixed light within the scene, we are going to try and posi­tion the inci­dent meter and we are going to point it at the light source or toward the light source, but in the darker area of the scene if that makes any sense at all.‚ If there is like a bright ray of light shin­ing on the sub­ject at his chest level, you may want to mea­sure the scene below the chest level so that it does not totally blow out the scene.‚ You want to expose for the shad­ows in gen­eral and develop for the high­lights if we are talk­ing tra­di­tional pho­tog­ra­phy.‚ If we are talk­ing dig­i­tal pho­tog­ra­phy, just inci­dent record the scene.‚ Take the metered mea­sure­ment, plug it into your cam­era, shoot, and see what you get.‚ See what you are doing right or wrong.‚ That is really the beau­ti­ful aspect of the dig­i­tal cam­era; you can see the results right away.‚ Again, for any­one that is seri­ously into pho­tog­ra­phy, I highly rec­om­mend get­ting an inci­dent light meter.‚ It is so prac­ti­cal and such a great learn­ing tool and such a great use­ful tool, espe­cially if you are being paid to shoot.‚ Now, again, these inci­dent meters are a cou­ple of hun­dred dol­lars.‚ They are between $200 and $300 to buy them new, but you can often find them used on eBay or you can look in your local paper or go to a local photo store and you will find these meters used as well.
The only other thing I really wanted to men­tion about expo­sure is the dif­fer­ence basi­cally between tra­di­tional cam­eras and dig­i­tal cam­eras.‚ Although the tech­nique of mea­sur­ing the scene will be the same, again, you are going to want to make some small adjust­ments with regard to the meter read­ings that you are get­ting espe­cially if you see that your results are con­sis­tently off.‚ Film man­u­fac­tur­ers and the camera’s speeds, you need to adjust them.‚ They are going to be really good for most appli­ca­tions, but you are going to find that occa­sion­ally the meter read­ing is off and you are going to won­der why.‚ It is because they are not all bang on, you need to adjust them slightly by increas­ing the expo­sure either through expo­sure com­pen­sa­tion in the cam­era or expo­sure com­pen­sa­tion in the meter.‚ You really need to adjust the indi­vid­ual meters if you want to get the best result.‚ You also need to know that when you are doing your tests that although your eye can see the dif­fer­ence in lat­i­tude between the dark­est parts of the scene and the light­est parts of the scene, the cam­era can­not.‚ If there is a really huge dif­fer­ence, the cam­era will not be able to record it prop­erly regard­less of how you are meter­ing it.‚ Now, that is a whole other topic and we can go on and on and on about the fine points of expo­sure, but you need to be aware that if the scene is too bright, your cam­era will not be able to record it regard­less of the meter read­ing that you put in.‚ These types of sit­u­a­tions really only occur with expe­ri­ence.‚ After you have shot many, many pho­tographs, you will be able to real­ize, “Oh my good­ness, this scene is just way too bright.‚ I either can’t shoot this scene and record both sides of the spec­trum, the dark tones and the light tones cor­rectly, or I have to reduce the con­trast of the scene some­how.”‚ Some­times that always will not be pos­si­ble.‚ You need to give it up unless you have such a bud­get whereby you are able to really con­trol the scene with all kinds of equip­ment, then if the scene is too strange in terms of its bright­ness vari­ety, you just have to wait for another time or real­ize it is just not going to work or live with the results you get.
That basi­cally cov­ers our show for today.‚ As always, we appre­ci­ate com­ments in the blog and we also appre­ci­ate com­ments in the forum.‚ We are chang­ing around the blog a lit­tle bit.‚ I hope you like the changes.‚ You can sub­scribe, as always, for free in iTunes.‚ Just do a search for pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast or Photography.ca Pod­cast and you will find our pod­cast.‚ We are going to have some direct links put up in the blog so that if you just click those links you will be sub­scribed in iTunes, which is a great pod­catch­ing soft­ware to have, so I rec­om­mend you down­load it if you do not already have it down­loaded, but a lot of you prob­a­bly do have it down­loaded.‚ That is it for the today.‚ Thanks so much.‚ We are going to do another pod­cast really quickly.‚ Once every two weeks I am find­ing is bit long, so I intend to actu­ally shorten that period in the very near future, maybe once every 10 days or even once a week.‚ Hope you keep on lis­ten­ing.‚ If you have any ques­tions, shoot them my way.‚ It is my plea­sure to answer them, either via email, via the blog, post­ing in the forum.‚ Always my plea­sure, love talk­ing to new­bies, love talk­ing to pro­fes­sion­als through email or directly.‚ Again, thanks every­one for lis­ten­ing.‚ Have a great day and keep on shoot­ing.‚ Bye for now.
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Photography transcript 5 — Nikon D80 VS Canon 30D — Photography.ca

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Please note that this is an audio tran­scrip­tion. Gram­mer and punc­tu­a­tion will not be perfect.

Hi there every­one and wel­come to the Photography.ca pod­cast #5.‚ My name is Marko and we are com­ing to you from fan­tas­tic Mon­treal, Que­bec, Canada, on this 22nd of Novem­ber 2006.
So, for today’s show, we are going to go through a lit­tle bit of the jour­ney that I just went through.‚ I was just in the mar­ket for a cam­era and it took me months and months and months and months to decide which cam­era I was going to get.‚ There were a lot of con­sid­er­a­tions for the cam­era and money being one of them, qual­ity being another one, am I just ready to go com­pletely dig­i­tal at this point, all these fac­tors just weigh­ing on my mind day after day, month after month, but after squir­rel­ing away some peanuts for many months I decided to take the plunge and buy a cam­era.‚ So the ques­tion was, which one to buy?‚ That is really what we are going to talk about today, which cam­era did Marko buy?‚ Actu­ally, the two choices were the D80 by Nikon and the Canon 30D.
Before we start, I should tell you that this is just my sub­jec­tive opin­ion on it all.‚ There is no tech­ni­cal test.‚ I did not really mea­sure any­thing.‚ All I did was com­pare the two cam­eras and used my eye to make the best deci­sion pos­si­ble.‚ It was a pretty dif­fi­cult deci­sion for me because I am a Nikon per­son.‚ I have always been a Nikon per­son and I have three lenses that are Nikon so part of the thing was, you can­not use your Nikon lenses in any effec­tive way what­so­ever with the Canon sys­tem and vice versa.‚ Nat­u­rally, my first instinct was to go with the D80.‚ It was in my price range.‚ I was look­ing at about 1100 to 1200 Cana­dian dol­lars and although that is a lot for a cam­era, for sure that is a lot, for some­thing approach­ing pro­fes­sional grade or pro­sumer, those are just what the prices are and after squir­rel­ing away for months I was pre­pared to plunk down the cash.‚ I got to tell you, I bought that cam­era a few weeks ago and I really like that cam­era.‚ It really did it for me.‚ It was really easy to use.‚ It was very intu­itive, espe­cially since I am totally used to the Nikon sys­tem.‚ I love, love the auto focus on it.‚ I love the body.‚ I love the way the con­trol works and I love the way that it worked until ISO 400.‚ I must con­fess that I am extremely, extremely crit­i­cal and at the end of the day it was all about what was going to give me the best bang for my buck at the time I am going to buy it.‚ Obvi­ously, in two months from now or three months from now things will change, but I know a lot of you are prob­a­bly going through a sim­i­lar dilemma, which one to buy, which one to buy.‚ If you want to learn from the ben­e­fit of my expe­ri­ence or take what­ever I have to say with a grain of salt, yahoo.
Back to the Nikon D80, I really, really like this cam­era and I liked it until ISO 400.‚ I did some tests and I did these tests with a good friend of mine, Dominic Fuiz­zotto, who is an excel­lent pho­tog­ra­pher as well and he is kind of a gad­get guy, even more so than I, and we com­pared every­thing at his place using his fan­tas­tic sys­tem, despite my own decent sys­tem, his is bet­ter, what can I say?‚ Any­way, we did it at his place and the D80 was absolutely fan­tas­tic until about 400.‚ Now, when I say absolutely fan­tas­tic until about 400, I am talk­ing about enlarge­ments.‚ What I am talk­ing about is, tak­ing a shot, print­ing the actual result at 8 x 10 or larger.‚ That was really the cri­te­ria for me.‚ If you are going to print at 4 x 5 or you are going to use it for your com­puter, there is no dif­fer­ence between the cam­eras, really.‚ You are going to get great results.‚ Both the Canon and the Nikon, the D80 and the 30D, are amaz­ing, amaz­ing, amaz­ing at 4 x 5 or less.‚ You will never see grain, noise and grain, all these reviews that peo­ple are talk­ing about.‚ You really will not notice it until you blow it up.‚ I really loved the cam­era until ISO 400 because even at 8 x 10 when I made my results and I printed my results, they were fab.‚ They were superb and they were great.‚ How­ever, when I went to 800, I started to notice more noise than my eyes are com­fort­able see­ing and I am a bit of a noise freak and I am a bit of a por­trait freak, so I do por­traits.‚ As I have men­tioned before on the blog, I always focus on the eyes, I get the eyes tack, tack sharp and I love to see detail in the eye­brows, on the eye itself, in the eye­lashes, and I must say that when I was mak­ing my enlarge­ments at 800, ISO 800 or greater, I started to lose detail in the eye­lashes, eye­brows and the eye and I started to see a lot of noise.‚ For those that do not know, noise are those lit­tle pix­i­la­tion effects that you see and to any­one but a trained pho­tog­ra­pher, they will prob­a­bly never notice, but once you get more into any­thing, when you get more into any­thing and you get more fuzzy.‚ So, at ISO 800 and plus at 8 x 10 enlarge­ments, I found that the D80 was not accept­able to my crazy picky eye.
Other advan­tage that the Nikon has over the Canon is it is qui­eter.‚ I really like the fact that it was quiet, whis­per quiet when you click the shut­ter.‚ Another lit­tle thing that I also liked about it, I liked the fact that it kind of had built in mul­ti­ple expo­sure.‚ I do a lot of play­ing and some­what cre­ative pho­tog­ra­phy and it is always just to play with a gad­get from time to time.‚ I do not do it that often.‚ I shoot almost always on man­ual or aper­ture pri­or­ity, but I was kind of into play­ing with the mul­ti­ple expo­sure but­ton just to see what kind of cool effects you can get.‚ The Canon does not have that fea­ture.‚ Of course, you can do any­thing you want in Pho­to­shop so it is not the hugest deal, but it is nice to do stuff in cam­era.‚ Okay, now on to the Canon D30.‚ The Canon D30 is — as you have prob­a­bly guessed that the cam­era I ended up buy­ing and although the motor is not as quiet as the Nikon and although the auto focus is not as amaz­ing as the Nikon, I ulti­mately went with that cam­era because of the noise fac­tor.‚ Once you hit ISO 800 or once you hit ISO 1600 and you com­pare the results side by side — and I am going to put up some pho­tos on the blog so you could com­pare them your­self.‚ These are my pho­tos.‚ Feel free to rip them apart.‚ Feel free to tell me that my tests were inac­cu­rate, but at the end of the day when I com­pare the two side by side to my eye, I found there was con­sid­er­ably less noise in the Canon than the Nikon.‚ Again, this is at 8 x 10 enlarge­ments only.‚ If you are at 4 x 5 or smaller, did not see the dif­fer­ence, both very pleas­ing, both very fine, but at 8 x 10 enlarge­ments and greater, the Canon 30D wins out over the D80 in terms of noise.‚ At the end of the day, again, for me it is all about the sharpest, best pic­ture I can make and the best por­trait that I can pro­duce and for the extra 100 dol­lars or 150 dol­lars — Canon is offer­ing a superb rebate right now, but it still came out to be 100 or 150 dol­lars more for the Canon — I went with the Canon because I am a por­trait freak and when I look at eyes I like them to have all the detail as pos­si­ble.
That was my basic expe­ri­ence, actu­ally.‚ One of the fac­tors that made the expe­ri­ence a bit harder is, again, the Nikon glass.‚ If you are not going to make big enlarge­ments, really, at 4 x 5, every­thing is equal.‚ There is really no need to go buy oppo­site the make that you already have.‚ Sure, I have Nikon lenses and now it is going to cost me a few extra bucks in Canon lenses, but it is because I am crazy picky and it is because of the enlarge­ments.‚ Most peo­ple are not going to make enlarge­ments.‚ Most even pro­sumers are going to keep their images small.‚ They are going to keep them for com­puter, for email, for their web­sites, in which case it just does not mat­ter which cam­era you get because the results are going to be superb.‚ So, I would go with what the other review­ers are say­ing at dpreview.com.‚ They have an absolute, absolute, really thor­ough com­par­i­son on both cam­eras them­selves and then between those cam­eras and other cam­eras.‚ That review is superbly tech­ni­cal and it was one of the sources I went to before I made my deci­sion, but again it is only really about the enlarge­ments as far as my expe­ri­ence tells me.‚ If you have glass from Canon or Nikon, stick with that sys­tem.‚ Do not cross over unless you are a lit­tle bit freak­ishly obsessed.
That sums up my review.‚ I hope it is help­ful to peo­ple.‚ Again, take a look at the pho­tos.‚ Com­pare them side by side, but the best test is going to be your own eye.‚ Buy it from a store that you can return it.‚ Test it first or buy some cards and go to the store and do some tests by your­self.‚ Take one shot with the Canon.‚ Take one shot with the Nikon.‚ Com­pare for your­self.‚ Everyone’s eye is dif­fer­ent.‚ Every­one has dif­fer­ent sub­ject mat­ter.‚ You really need to just com­pare for your­self to get the best test pos­si­ble.
As always, we love to hear com­ments about this pod­cast or stuff you would like to hear in future pod­casts.‚ I got a very nice com­ment on the bul­letin board from a new mem­ber.‚ I think I may have my first groupie.‚ She loves the pod­cast.‚ She just wants me talk about more basic ele­ments, which I am absolutely pre­pared to do in my very next pod­cast.‚ It is just I am so in the thick of this com­par­i­son right now, I wanted to make this com­par­i­son about the cam­era that I ulti­mately ended up choos­ing.‚ The next one will be for my new “groupie,” we will get back to some basics and do a show about more basic pho­tog­ra­phy.
That is it for today, every­one.‚ Thanks very much for lis­ten­ing to the show.‚ As always, please leave com­ments on the blog or inside the bul­letin board on Photography.ca and I will be more than happy to answer those com­ments.‚ Please post some pic­tures at the bul­letin board or you can even post pic­tures as com­ments on the blog and I will be happy to review them as well.‚ Have a nice day, every­one.‚ Keep shoot­ing and we will see you all again or hear you all again or speak to you all again in around two weeks.‚ Thanks every­one.‚ Bye now.
[Cam­era clicks]

Photography transcript 4 — Fill flash — Photography.ca

[Cam­era clicks]

Please note that this is an audio tran­scrip­tion. Gram­mer and punc­tu­a­tion will not be perfect.

Hi there every­one and wel­come to the Pho­tog­ra­phy Pod­cast on Photography.ca.‚ My name is Marko and we are com­ing to you from Mon­treal, Que­bec, Canada, on this Novem­ber 2, 2006.
It is a beau­ti­ful sunny day in Mon­treal, albeit cold, and sunny days are a great time to talk about fill flash.‚ This whole pod­cast is actu­ally inspired by a new mem­ber that posted some pretty inter­est­ing pic­tures on the Photography.ca bul­letin board.‚ I quite like those pic­tures, but I thought that those pic­tures could be even bet­ter if they would have just used a lit­tle bit of fill flash.‚ In a nut­shell, what fill flash is, is it fills the shad­ows of scenes and it is par­tic­u­larly use­ful in por­trai­ture.‚ So even on a sunny day, which may seem counter-intuitive, a great thing to do is use a bit of fill flash. ‚What hap­pens is the sun, espe­cially when it is high above, will hit the subject’s head and cast like a shadow in their eyes and on their nose and it is not attrac­tive at all.‚ So, you have this per­son with dark cir­cles under their eyes and it is really not so flat­ter­ing and some­times it is really dis­tract­ing.‚ What is a really good thing to use is fill flash.
Now, most mod­ern SLRs and dig­i­tal SLRs have the abil­ity to use fill flash.‚ Some­times you can use fill flash on the lit­tle flash that comes with the cam­era or if you have an actual cam­era that you mount on your flash via the hot shoe, you can def­i­nitely use fill flash there.‚ It is such a sim­ple pro­ce­dure.‚ All you have to do is turn on the flash and fire the cam­era and there you go, you have fill flash.‚ You should know what set­tings you are on.‚ You could be on a man­ual set­ting, you could be on a more auto­matic set­ting, but even in the sun, take a pic­ture of a per­son and use the flash.‚ What is going to hap­pen is that flash is going to fire at the per­son and it is going to fill their face with a bit of light and gen­er­ally it will make the pic­ture more attrac­tive.‚ Actu­ally, for this pod­cast, we are going to put up a cou­ple of shots on the blog with and with­out fill flash and you can kind of see the dif­fer­ences.‚ Now the inter­est­ing thing about fill flash is that you can vary the amount of the fill flash.‚ What most peo­ple will do is they will put it on an auto­matic — they will put their cam­era rather on an auto­matic set­ting, turn on the flash and just shoot and although gen­er­ally that is bet­ter than not using any fill flash at all, espe­cially on a bright sunny day, it is not the best thing pos­si­ble.‚ It has been my expe­ri­ence that the best shots or gen­er­ally very good shots that use fill flash have the fill flash used at a strength that is less strong than the ambi­ent light.‚ That is to say, the light that is light­ing the sub­ject, the nat­ural light, let us say, well, the fill flash should be less strong than that light.‚ What hap­pens is if the fill flash is at the same strength as the light that is nat­u­rally light­ing the sub­ject or the ambi­ent light, it does not quite look as flat­ter­ing as it could.‚ If the fill flash is stronger than the sub­ject, well, then it is not even called fill flash any­more.‚ That is really the main light for the sub­ject and that makes the sub­ject.‚ Unless you are look­ing for a spe­cific effect, it makes it look less pleas­ing than nor­mal.
That said, for that spe­cial effect, I mean you will see this all the time in fash­ion or fash­ion mag­a­zines where the model is just blasted with light.‚ She is flaw­less gen­er­ally and they will retouch her for hours after­wards and she will look good, but it is not gen­er­ally the most nat­ural look for gen­eral pho­tog­ra­phy I would say.‚ A good thing to do is read the cam­era man­ual and fig­ure out how to adjust the flash.‚ It is usu­ally under some­thing called flash com­pen­sa­tion or fill flash, but it is gen­er­ally really easy to do and what you want to do, again, is let us say you are using the lit­tle flash on the cam­era, you just want to lower that by one or two or three stops even and what that will do is it will just add a touch of light to your sub­ject and light them in a very pleas­ing way.‚ If you were to use, let us say, minus one stop of light from the flash, what the flash is doing is it is cal­cu­lat­ing the amount of light in the scene that is nat­u­rally there and then it is giv­ing you one stop less, minus two gives you two stops less, minus three gives you three stops less.‚ These flashes can work in dif­fer­ent fash­ions, it could work by stops or other incre­ments but what looks very nat­ural or more pleas­ing, let us say, is when there is less light com­ing from the flash than the actual light that is light­ing the sub­ject.
Per­son­ally, when I use fill flash, I almost always choose, let us say, minus one and a half or minus two stops of light, so I am just giv­ing the sub­ject a lit­tle bit of light, but I am not accen­tu­at­ing the light from the flash so it tends to look more nat­ural.‚ If you have a hot shoe mounted flash or a more pro­fes­sional flash that you mount on the cam­era, it will usu­ally be really, really easy to fig­ure out how to give less fill flash or neg­a­tive flash, let us say.‚ There are some arrows or there is some but­ton that allows you to do plus a third of a stop, plus two thirds of a stop, plus one stop, or minus a third, minus two thirds, minus one, minus two, minus three, etc., and you could just play with those and see the effect that you are going to get.‚ In fact, I highly rec­om­mend, espe­cially if you are not so famil­iar with fill flash, is to just go ahead and exper­i­ment, as always.‚ Take a shot with the reg­u­lar flash set­ting, just turn it on and shoot, see what you get.‚ Minus it by one stop of light, shoot it, see what you get.‚ Minus it by two stops of light shoot it, see what you get.‚ Com­pare all three and see which one is most pleas­ing for you.‚ It would be my guess that those shots that are minus one to minus two, they might well be the most pleas­ing shots, they cer­tainly are to me, but every­one is dif­fer­ent.‚ Of course, if you are going for the exact oppo­site effect, you could choose what­ever you want, but then I would sug­gest to you it is not called fill flash at all.‚ If you go plus one or plus two stops of light from the flash, you are doing the oppo­site, you are get­ting a cool effect if that is what you want, but then it is not called fill flash.‚ That is your main light and the main light is light­ing the sub­ject and the ambi­ent light is actu­ally act­ing as a sec­ondary light.‚ It is no longer the main light.‚ You can also, of course, use fill flash from sec­ondary sources of light by either hav­ing a sec­ondary flash some­where or a sec­ondary light some­where, but if you are already at that level, then you pretty much already know what you are doing.‚ I guess this par­tic­u­lar pod­cast is geared for just using your cam­era to add some extra light to the faces of some­one.‚ We are talk­ing in par­tic­u­lar about por­traits because it is really hard to fill flash or to use fill flash on a land­scape scene.‚ Flash typ­i­cally has a very short range or rea­son­ably short range and if you are tak­ing pic­ture of a moun­tain or any­thing like that, well, your flash will just never hit the moun­tain, it will never make a dif­fer­ence.‚ That is why it is par­tic­u­larly use­ful for por­trai­ture or even close up pho­tog­ra­phy, but pho­tog­ra­phy that is rel­a­tively close to the cam­era as opposed to land­scape or scenic pho­tog­ra­phy.
That cov­ers it for today’s show.‚ It was a really short show.‚ I will be putting up some pho­tographs on the blog that go along with the show notes and you could really see the dif­fer­ence by using minus one and minus two as opposed to the nor­mal shot and as opposed to no flash at all.‚ I am going to put those up so peo­ple can see the dif­fer­ences and hope­fully learn from them.‚ As always, if you are able to com­ment or choose to com­ment it is so appre­ci­ated and if you are inter­ested in hav­ing your pho­tographs cri­tiqued, well, just join the bul­letin board on Photography.ca, upload a cou­ple of pic­tures and it is absolutely my plea­sure to cri­tique them.‚ In fact, I would like more mem­bers to cri­tique them as well, but each and every shot that gets uploaded that peo­ple want cri­tiqued, it gets cri­tiqued by me.‚ I have a lit­tle bit of expe­ri­ence so I hope the tips that I have given other peo­ple thus far have been use­ful and appre­ci­ated.‚ Well, that is it for us again.‚ This was our fourth pod­cast on Photography.ca.‚ We hope you enjoyed it.‚ As always, you can leave com­ments on the blog or through the bul­letin board and we will be back in two weeks’ time to do another pod­cast.‚ Thanks so much for lis­ten­ing every­one and happy shoot­ing!
[Cam­era clicks]

Photography transcript 3 — Traditional photography versus digital photography — Photography.ca

Please note that this is an audio tran­scrip­tion. Gram­mer and punc­tu­a­tion will not be perfect.

Hi there every­one and wel­come to the Pho­tog­ra­phy Pod­cast on Photography.ca.‚ My name is Marko.‚ We are com­ing to you from Mon­treal, Que­bec, Canada, and today is Octo­ber 12, 2006.‚ For today’s show, this is going to be really an opin­ion piece.‚ I am going to give you my opin­ion on one of the most com­mon emails I get and that email is, “Which is bet­ter, tra­di­tional pho­tog­ra­phy or dig­i­tal pho­tog­ra­phy?”‚ I am going to give you my opin­ion.‚ I am going to give it to you straight up.‚ I am going to give it to you not like the neu­tral Cana­dian that so many peo­ple think we are.‚ I am going to give you my hon­est opin­ion on it and I am going to get into it now.
The ques­tion that comes to me directly is, “Is dig­i­tal pho­tog­ra­phy bet­ter than tra­di­tional pho­tog­ra­phy?” and my answer flat out is no.‚ Dig­i­tal pho­tog­ra­phy is not bet­ter than tra­di­tional pho­tog­ra­phy, period.‚ So, then the ques­tion comes, “Should you switch to dig­i­tal pho­tog­ra­phy?”‚ My answer on that one is yes prob­a­bly you should unless you are a fine art pho­tog­ra­pher.‚ If you are a fine art pho­tog­ra­pher and you love the process, you love work­ing in the dark, you love print­ing your own pic­tures espe­cially, you love the dark room, you love the red light, you love the smell of fixer, well then, do not switch, then stay tra­di­tional, then get into you dark room and work your magic.‚ In that case, it is really about the process.‚ It is really about the craft.‚ It is really about print­ing by hand and you know what, in that case, there is noth­ing like the magic of shin­ing that light through the enlarger on to the paper, you take that paper, you run it through the liq­uids and the image starts to mag­i­cally appear.‚ It is magic.‚ It is magic.‚ You know what it is going to look like.‚ You know when you are get­ting a good print.‚ You run it through the rest of the liq­uids.‚ You take it out­side and see the result.‚ It is pure magic.‚ It is pure craft.‚ You know what, in that respect, dig­i­tal pho­tog­ra­phy can never touch tra­di­tional pho­tog­ra­phy.‚ There is more of a jour­ney from the sil­ver located on the film to the end result.‚ It is not so quick.‚ It is not so easy.‚ It is harder.‚ It is more like your baby, your child, your mas­ter­piece and in that respect, again, tra­di­tional wins.‚ You can­not com­pare.‚ Tra­di­tional wins.
I would also like to sug­gest that just from a busi­ness per­spec­tive, if some­one is try­ing to sell their prints and it is tak­ing them hours and hours and hours to make 10 selec­tive prints, I would sug­gest to you that if that is all that they are doing, that those prints are going to be worth more.‚ This is just my opin­ion again, but it took them longer to make those prints.‚ Maybe those prints are num­bered, but they did not have to press a but­ton, they worked like crazy to get each print.‚ I guess the argu­ment can be made that, yes, you are also work­ing in front of your com­puter.‚ It takes time.‚ I agree that, yes, it takes time, but once you have your mas­ter­piece print, once you have color cor­rected it and Pho­to­shop it to the nth degree, you can make as many copies as you want and those copies can be beau­ti­ful.‚ Do not get me wrong, I have made beau­ti­ful prints.‚ I love to see beau­ti­ful prints.‚ At the end of the day, a beau­ti­ful print is a beau­ti­ful print, but there is just some­thing more mag­i­cal when you did it actu­ally by hand in the dark room.‚ That is just my opin­ion.‚ Feel free to tell me I am wrong.
Okay, but what if then you are a pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­pher or a seri­ous ama­teur pho­tog­ra­pher?‚ You might be into fine art, but not nec­es­sar­ily.‚ You are more into cap­tur­ing the feel, you are more into tak­ing sou­venir pho­tos, you are more into doing a job with the pho­tos, mak­ing money from the pho­tos, well then, my best sug­ges­tion is go dig­i­tal.‚ Dig­i­tal is just so much eas­ier in that respect.‚ With dig­i­tal, you could take as much time as you want.‚ You could take as many shots as you want plus one of the most, most desir­able aspects of dig­i­tal pho­tog­ra­phy is the fact that you can see the results right away, which makes it a superb learn­ing tool.‚ Let us say you are tak­ing a pic­ture of a White man in a white suit on a white wall, well, your cam­era is designed to ren­der that pic­ture, to ren­der that scene as a medium tone.‚ It aver­ages out the scene.‚ So, your cam­era more likely than not, is going to give you a gray­ish result.‚ It is not going to give you that white result.‚ When you see that image after you have taken it, right away you see that it is gray­ish and that just makes it a great learn­ing tool. ‚You take a shot, you do not like what you see and then you won­der why it did not turn out prop­erly.‚ There is noth­ing like the instant feed­back of dig­i­tal in that regard.‚ If you are a pro already and you know what you are doing, well then, you just cap­ture the scene.‚ You have got it on your card or what­ever media you recorded it on.‚ You can manip­u­late it, you can send it wher­ever it needs to go and it is done, it is a done deal.‚ If you are lucky enough to have some­one work­ing for you, you just give them the card and let them deal with it.‚ It is just so much eas­ier in that respect.‚ Is it faster?‚ Is it always faster?‚ Well, is it faster?‚ The answer is some­times yes, some­times no.‚ Okay, I am hedg­ing.‚ I am hedg­ing.‚ I am not giv­ing you the clear answer.‚ Let us say you are a wed­ding pho­tog­ra­pher and you are still shoot­ing tra­di­tion­ally, you are shoot­ing on film, well, after the end of the day, you take your shots, you give them to the lab and it is done.‚ There is noth­ing you need to do.‚ You get that proofs.‚ If you are a dig­i­tal wed­ding pho­tog­ra­pher, well then, that is def­i­nitely not the end of it because you have all these dif­fer­ent scenes shot under dif­fer­ent lights and then you have to bal­ance them all.‚ Hope­fully, you are not going to be print­ing your­self.‚ You are still going to give them to the lab, but you have to bal­ance them some­what before you give them to the lab.‚ It is not done.‚ There is still work to be done.‚ So, in that respect, in terms of speed, it really depends on what you are using, what job you are doing and where you are going with it, then some­times, yes, it is faster and some­times not.‚ Surely if you are a fine art pho­tog­ra­pher and you are shoot­ing in black and white or color and you are print­ing them your­self, then there is no way it is going to be faster, but in that case again, it is more about the jour­ney than about effi­ciency.
I guess another rea­son why you would want to switch is, unfor­tu­nately, the sad truth is film is on its way out.‚ Tra­di­tional pho­tog­ra­phy, unfor­tu­nately, is on its way out.‚ It is still going to be around for a cou­ple of years, but more and more film man­u­fac­tur­ers are stop­ping to make their clas­sic films.‚ There are plenty of good exam­ples.‚ I do not want to start get­ting all weepy, but there are loads of films that are not being pro­duced any­more and that num­ber is just going to dimin­ish and dimin­ish as dig­i­tal takes hold of the minds of peo­ple.‚ It is sad to say that even though for some appli­ca­tions, tra­di­tional pho­tog­ra­phy is bet­ter.‚ When you are talk­ing about low light sit­u­a­tions, the newer cam­eras, the newer Nikons, the newer Canons, they do not nec­es­sar­ily han­dle low light all that well.‚ You get all kinds of noise in your pic­ture when you do not want it.‚ It is harder to deal with.‚ Low light in tra­di­tional pho­tog­ra­phy is bet­ter, but on a whole, if the film stock is on its way out and every­body is chang­ing, you kind of have to go with the times unless you are that fine art pho­tog­ra­pher again.‚ Beta was bet­ter than VHS.‚ There is a strong argu­ment that Ogg Vor­bis is bet­ter then MP3, but MP3 is every­where now and VHS, okay, we can­not deal with VHS, but you could not be one of the few peo­ple that like Beta, that stuck with Beta‚¦‚ Oh, my God.‚ Am I show­ing my age now?‚ The point being is tra­di­tional is on its way out, so you really should not be spend­ing money on tra­di­tional cam­eras unless you are just like learn­ing.‚ You can buy an inex­pen­sive cam­era, you are learn­ing pho­tog­ra­phy, but for the big bucks, when you are really ready to spend money on gear, I guess I would rec­om­mend going dig­i­tal.
All right, so the next ques­tion goes, “Okay, Marko, you are rec­om­mend­ing that most peo­ple go dig­i­tal.‚ Which dig­i­tal cam­era should I get?”‚ Ah, this one is clear.‚ This one is def­i­nitely clear.‚ You want to get a dig­i­tal SLR.‚ You do not want to get a point and shoot.‚ You want to get an SLR, some­thing where you can adjust the focus, you can adjust the aper­ture, you can change lenses, you can adjust the shut­ter.‚ These cam­eras are just far more ver­sa­tile.‚ You can do what­ever you need with them.‚ My rec­om­men­da­tion is do not go all out at first.‚ Buy a cheaper one.‚ Get a used one, go to a cam­era shop, go on eBay.‚ Get a used one first until you know what you are doing.‚ Do not spend the big bucks yet.‚ Good dig­i­tal cam­eras on a pro­sumer level, they can cost you $1500, $2000, or more when you start adding good lenses and flashes.‚ Do not spend that money at the begin­ning.‚ Get some­thing much cheaper.‚ Get some­thing used at the begin­ning, learn with it and then your next cam­era, that is when you can spend the bucks if you are still into it.‚ So many peo­ple buy cam­eras with all the bells and whis­tles and they are not into it, they still do not know if they like it, they still do not know if they need it.‚ So, why spend the cash at that point?‚ Just buy what you need.‚ Buy some­thing not too expen­sive and grow after that.‚ You can still sell that cam­era as well or use it as a backup.
So, I guess that cov­ers it.‚ I guess I just wanted to basi­cally respond to the e-mails that I keep get­ting, “Which is bet­ter, tra­di­tional or dig­i­tal?”‚ Put it to bed once and for all.‚ I guess this is just in terms of my opin­ion.‚ It is not the offi­cial answer.‚ It is not gospel.‚ I do not even know if I am right, but it is my opin­ion and I am enti­tled to it, darn it.‚ That is it for today’s show.‚ As usual, please we love it if you will leave some com­ments.‚ That would be so much appre­ci­ated.‚ This time, we have our own ded­i­cated blogs, so you could leave the com­ments on the blog.‚ The link is at Photography.ca and it is my plea­sure as always to get com­ments on any­thing on this show or other shows or if you have any ideas for future shows as well.‚ So, thanks for lis­ten­ing every­one.‚ We will see you again in approx­i­mately two weeks.‚ My name is Marko.‚ We hope you enjoyed the show and happy shoot­ing.‚ Bye everyone.

Photography podcast transcript 2 — Depth of field — Photography.ca

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Please note that this is an audio tran­scrip­tion. Gram­mer and punc­tu­a­tion will not be perfect.

Hi there every­one and wel­come to the Photography.ca pod­cast #2.‚ My name is Marko and I am you host.‚ Today is August 24, 2006, and we are com­ing to you from Mon­treal, Que­bec, Canada.
First off, thanks so much to those few peo­ple that left some com­ments on our bul­letin board about the first pod­cast that we did.‚ I would encour­age more peo­ple to leave com­ments as that is really the best way to make the show as good as pos­si­ble.‚ For those peo­ple that may have stum­bled upon this pod­cast by acci­dent, really, there is not that much that you need to know.‚ You just go to the bul­letin board on Photography.ca.‚ It is com­pletely free to join.‚ You nav­i­gate your way to the pod­cast forum and you can post some feed­back, any sug­ges­tions, what would you like to learn, what would you like to know, what would you like me to research for you.‚ It is absolutely free to join the bul­letin board and while you are there, you could post one of your own pic­tures and get some cri­tiques from me and per­haps from other peo­ple as well.‚ You can always give cri­tiques for those pho­tos that are already there.‚ The forum could use a lit­tle bit more actions so it would be really appre­ci­ated if peo­ple could leave more com­ments and post more pic­tures.‚ In that way, it will become an even bet­ter forum.‚ The forum as a whole is really ded­i­cated to more alter­na­tive tech­niques in pho­tog­ra­phy, not pic­tures that are so straight up.‚ There is a lot of fun we can have post­ing dif­fer­ent pic­tures.‚ So, again, please post them.‚ Please leave com­ments about the pod­cast.
Today, I would actu­ally like to talk about depth of field and chang­ing it up when we are shoot­ing in dif­fer­ent types of sit­u­a­tions.‚ Because Photography.ca is all about exper­i­ment­ing, well, it is nice to exper­i­ment.‚ In nor­mal sit­u­a­tions where you would choose a small depth of field or a large depth of field, well, I encour­age you to change it up a bit and see the results that you get.‚ For those who do not really know that much about depth of field, there is a pretty good basic arti­cle on Photography.ca.‚ Just click the arti­cles link and you can find it, but to recap in a nut­shell, depth of field sim­ply refers to the degree of sharp­ness between the fore­ground and back­ground of your scene and sub­se­quently your pho­to­graph.‚ You can con­trol depth of field by two main ways by either mak­ing the aper­ture larger or smaller or by choos­ing dif­fer­ent lenses.‚ If we talk about aper­ture, well, the smaller num­bers on the bar­rel refers to a larger hole or aper­ture and the larger hole or aper­ture makes the fore­ground sub­ject sharp but the back­ground blurry.‚ If we choose the larger num­bers around the bar­rel, well, that makes the entire scene from fore­ground to back­ground fairly sharp.‚ The num­bers in between will give you some­thing in between.‚ In terms of choos­ing lenses, well, wide angle lenses tend to give you sharper depth of field than longer lenses.‚ So, wide angle lenses, 24 mm, etc., 20 mm, even 35 mm, that is going to give you a much sharper image from fore­ground to back­ground than, let us say, a zoom lens of 200 mm.
Tra­di­tion­ally, when we shoot land­scapes, we want to make the fore­ground to back­ground the sharpest pos­si­ble, so what peo­ple do is they will put it on a really small aper­ture like f/16, f/22, f/32, or even f/45 depend­ing on what cam­era they are using.‚ They will often stick it on a tri­pod and they will get a sharp, sharp fore­ground to back­ground shot.‚ Now, that can be extremely inter­est­ing and it is beau­ti­ful and it is the clas­sic way to shoot land­scapes.‚ What I would sug­gest doing is doing the exact oppo­site.‚ Choose a really large aper­ture, some­thing where just the fore­ground is going to be sharp and the back­ground is going to be blurry and exper­i­ment with what you are going to get.‚ Maybe focus on a rock or a tree or some small ele­ment in the scene and focus on that ele­ment and let the back­ground go soft or blurry.‚ Shoot it at f/2.8 or f/4, see what hap­pens.‚ Take a shot at f/5.6 instead of f/32 and see the dif­fer­ence.
On the other side of the coin, if you are shoot­ing a por­trait, let us say, well, a lot of peo­ple are going to choose a larger depth of field, which means a smaller num­ber on the bar­rel and that will iso­late the sub­ject from the back­ground.‚ It gives a really beau­ti­ful effect, but why not mix it up a bit?‚ Stick it on the tri­pod, try to get your per­son to stand as still as pos­si­ble and shoot at f/32 or f/22.‚ Make sure you get some fast film when you are doing this, but see what hap­pens.‚ Take a pic­ture of their whole face in per­fect sharp­ness, mix it up, change the angles.‚ That is really what it is all about.‚ That is the best way to exper­i­ment.
Play with your lens choices as well.‚ If you have more than one lens, try doing dif­fer­ent things.‚ Use a wide angle lens and try and use the largest aper­ture pos­si­ble.‚ See what hap­pens.‚ See what you get.‚ Put a zoom lens on and try and use the small­est aper­ture pos­si­ble.‚ See what you get.‚ Exper­i­ment, try both ends.‚ Record, record, record.‚ See the results.‚ Com­pare one from the other.‚ Find your own style.‚ Depth of field, it is one of the key things about pho­tog­ra­phy.‚ It is one of the main choices to deter­mine how you want your pic­ture to look.‚ It is really up to you and exper­i­ment­ing is really the best way to make your pho­tog­ra­phy even more inter­est­ing.‚ Of course, that is what we want.‚ We want inter­est­ing pho­tog­ra­phy.‚ We do not always want the same old shots, the same old per­son in the mid­dle of the photo.‚ We want to change it up.‚ We want to make it excit­ing.‚ Along those same lines, choose dif­fer­ent angles, choose dif­fer­ent heights.‚ If you are shoot­ing a per­son, get on the ground and angle your cam­era up at that per­son, make them look large like a tree or get up on a table and shoot down at the per­son and give them a weird angle on their face.‚ Exper­i­ment and see what you get.‚ We are all about exper­i­men­ta­tion around here and we could not encour­age it more.‚ If you want to really change it up, use a com­bi­na­tion of the tech­niques we just talked about.‚ Shoot a por­trait or shoot a land­scape bet­ter.‚ Yeah, shoot a land­scape with a really wide open aper­ture and get on a crazy angle.‚ Take a pic­ture of the tree from the ground using zoom lens instead of a wide angle lens.‚ Do some­thing uncon­ven­tional.
On the other side of it, instead of tak­ing a pic­ture of a per­son with a wider open aper­ture for a more shal­low depth of field, stop down a bit, go to f/8, f/11, use some faster film, stick a flash on there, choose a dif­fer­ent angle, mix it up.‚ Choose a lens that you nor­mally would not use, mix it up.
I guess that is really the theme of today’s show, mix­ing it up by using dif­fer­ent depths of field that you nor­mally would not use, but in order to learn it is really impor­tant to record and remem­ber what you did.‚ Take some notes while you are doing it.‚ If you are lucky enough to have a dig­i­tal cam­era, the notes will be there as well.‚ They will be on the EXIF data.‚ Just learn, just record and learn.
That basi­cally cov­ers it.‚ It is a really short episode today.‚ Next time, we will make one a lit­tle longer.‚ Again, I encour­age every­one to leave some com­ments about this pod­cast, what did you like, what did you not like.‚ Please go to the forum and post your com­ments.‚ You can always send me an email at‚photography.ca@gmail.com and I will be sure to reply just as soon as I can.‚ I absolutely appre­ci­ate emails and I absolutely appre­ci­ate feed­back.‚ So, thanks again for lis­ten­ing every­one and we should be back in about two weeks with a brand new tip and a lit­tle bit more of advice.‚ Until then, every­one.‚ Take care and happy shoot­ing.
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Photography podcast transcript 1 — Photography.ca

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‚Please note that this is an audio tran­scrip­tion. Gram­mer and punc­tu­a­tion will not be per­fect. ‚
‚Hi there and wel­come to the very first Photography.ca pod­cast com­ing to you from Mon­treal, Que­bec, Canada.‚ My name is Marko and I am the admin and owner of Photography.ca.‚ For this, our very first pod­cast, it is going to be a lit­tle dif­fer­ent than future pod­casts.‚ I am just going to tell you a lit­tle bit about my expe­ri­ence and I am also going to shoot a lit­tle tip your way in order to hope­fully make your pho­tog­ra­phy a bit bet­ter.
So, first, a lit­tle bit about me.‚ I have a BA in Psy­chol­ogy as so many peo­ple do and many pho­tog­ra­phers your­selves.‚ I have also stud­ied pho­tog­ra­phy for two and a half years at the Daw­son Insti­tute of Pho­tog­ra­phy here in Mon­treal.‚ Once I grad­u­ated, I started doing a lot of free­lance, so I do have really a fair amount of pho­tog­ra­phy expe­ri­ence.‚ I have shot many, many dif­fer­ent types of pho­tog­ra­phy, but my main love is really por­traits.‚ I love a good por­trait and I have shot them in many dif­fer­ent ways.‚ I have shot wed­dings, I have shot preg­nan­cies, I have shot cats and dogs.‚ As long as it has a face, I am all over it with my cam­era, that is.‚ Aside from that, I also have a pretty good feel for alter­na­tive photo tech­niques espe­cially when it involves por­trai­ture from hand col­or­ing, which is also known as hand paint­ing, to infrared to SX-70 manip­u­la­tion, though I am not even sure if they are mak­ing that film any­more, though you can still do so many of these tech­niques in a dig­i­tal way, but even if we are going the dig­i­tal way, most of us, all the basic pho­tog­ra­phy rules still apply.‚ So, enough about me and on to some­thing a lit­tle more inter­est­ing.
Today, I just wanted to talk about the back­ground and by back­ground I do not mean the actual back­ground that a pho­tog­ra­pher rolls on a stand and places a model behind, although that could apply, but in this case I am really talk­ing about what is going on in the back­ground when you take a pic­ture.‚ I have actu­ally writ­ten an arti­cle on Photography.ca about what is going on in the back­ground and try­ing to be aware of what is going on in the back­ground.‚ If you go to the site, Photography.ca that is, and you click on the arti­cles, tips and links link, you will find that arti­cle there called Back­grounds, but for right now and for those who are not really inter­ested in doing any surf­ing and they are only inter­ested in lis­ten­ing, you really have to pay atten­tion to what is going on in the back­ground.‚ Most novices just do not look what is going on in the back­ground and even advanced ama­teurs and some­times pros, they spend all their time focus­ing on what is going on in the fore­ground with­out ever really look­ing what is going on in the back­ground and that is really a huge mis­take.‚ Please excuse the lit­tle bit of snif­fling as it is allergy that I must suf­fer, but I will try to do my best to con­trol it.‚ Okay, back to the back­grounds.‚ You really have to notice what is going because you could be tak­ing a really beau­ti­ful pic­ture, a por­trait or a land­scape or any­thing, but if you are not aware of what is going on behind it, you can really wreck the photo.‚ You really want to make sure that the fore­ground sub­ject is not being marred by what is going on in the back­ground and the only way to do this is to really pay atten­tion.
So, for instance, if you are tak­ing a por­trait of some­one and in the back­ground, there is like a light fix­ture.‚ They are in the house, you are tak­ing a por­trait of them and there is a light fix­ture right behind their head, well, we see the world in 3D, right, but a photo is actu­ally 2D.‚ So, what hap­pens when it gets com­pressed, the 2D, when you get it back from the lab or print your­self is that the fix­ture is going to look like a hat if it is over his head or her head, that is.‚ What you want to do is you do not want to put a fix­ture, a light fix­ture or some­thing hang­ing from the wall right behind their head.‚ You want to move them, so that that ele­ment is not dis­tract­ing.‚ Like­wise out­doors, if you are shoot­ing some­one, when you see some trash or tele­phone wires or tele­phone poles, you do not want to put those ele­ments right behind them if pos­si­ble.‚ Now, some peo­ple might say right away, “Oh, but what if that’s part of my image?”‚ Well, if that is part of your image and you thought about it and it is an envi­ron­men­tal por­trait and you want to shoot a punk rocker, let us say, in a really messed up or dirty look­ing or grungy envi­ron­ment, then yes, by all means.‚ Not that it does not mat­ter, but it mat­ters less what is going on because the back­ground will add to the shot, but if we are doing just a reg­u­lar shot and we do not want the back­ground to dis­tract from what we are shoot­ing, well then we really have to be aware of that.
A good tech­nique on how to be aware of it is to really look through your viewfinder and pic­ture the whole viewfinder as a clock.‚ Check what is going on at 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, etc.‚ What is going on there?‚ What ele­ments do you see that are detract­ing from the main sub­ject and can you repo­si­tion that main sub­ject so that it is less intru­sive, less dis­tract­ing?‚ Usu­ally, the answer is yes and when you do have that abil­ity, I highly encour­age you to do so.‚ Some­times just mov­ing the sub­ject or mak­ing them move two or three inches to the right or left or you, as the pho­tog­ra­pher, just chang­ing your angle slightly, some­times that really makes a huge dif­fer­ence in the impact of the shot and these days since so many of us are shoot­ing dig­i­tal any­way.‚ Let us say you do hap­pen to cap­ture some­thing in the back­ground, well then using Pho­to­shop or any other imag­ing soft­ware, it might just be a smart thing to remove that ele­ment from the back­ground.‚ Oh, I could see the purists going bananas now say­ing, “Oh, but it’s not a real photo,” and you know what, that is a whole other con­ver­sa­tion for another time and maybe we will do a pod­cast on that as well.‚ For now, I guess I just wanted to put into your mind that you really have to be aware of what is going on in the back­ground and remove dis­tract­ing ele­ment.
Another way to really limit the dis­tract­ing ele­ments that go on in the back­ground is often through use of depth of field.‚ I do not want this pod­cast to be about depth of field and there is quite a bit of info on it already on Photography.ca and many other web­sites, so if you just want to go to the arti­cle sec­tion or tips and links sec­tion on this site, you could prob­a­bly read up on depth of field and that will really help you.‚ It is up to the pho­tog­ra­pher to choose what depth of field they want to use per shot and very sim­ply, depth of field means or refers to how sharp the fore­ground is rel­a­tive to the back­ground.‚ Large depths of field will make the back­ground more blurry and smaller depths of field will make the back­ground more sharp.‚ For por­traits, I usu­ally choose a larger depth of field because that allows me to iso­late my sub­ject, my main sub­ject from the back­ground and by hav­ing the back­ground slightly blurred, it becomes less dis­tract­ing.‚ This is really a good tech­nique to use, so I highly rec­om­mend it.‚ So, again, I really do not want to get into exactly what depth of field is because we could do just a whole pod­cast on depth of field eas­ily, but just read up on it a lit­tle bit and know that it can be con­trolled and it can be used to solve a lot of these com­mon prob­lems.
You know what, that about does it for our first pod­cast.‚ I thank you so much for com­ing and lis­ten­ing.‚ I really hope you do give input.‚ There is going to be a new sec­tion in the bul­letin board on Photography.ca and if you are a mem­ber, you could just join and give com­ments, which would be so use­ful.‚ I will also post some show notes and things of that nature on the bul­letin board on Photography.ca.‚ So, if you are not already a mem­ber, please come and join our bul­letin board.‚ You can post some of your pho­tos for cri­tiques and of course you can give cri­tiques on this pod­cast as well.‚ So, thanks again for lis­ten­ing every­one and we will be sure and put up a new pod­cast shortly.‚ Bye for now and happy shoot­ing.
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