Knowledge

STEP-UP - WEDDING PORTRAITURE AND OUTDOOR SHOOT WORKSHOP by Karthik Rajagopal

சென்னை, 04 ஆகஸ்ட் 2019 ஆம் தேதி TRN ஸ்டுடியோவில் “ஸ்டெப்அப்” என்ற திருமண புகைப்படம் எடுத்தல் மற்றும் லைட்டிங் பயிற்சி பட்டறை நடத்தப்பட்டது . திருமண புகைப்படக் கலைஞர்களான திரு. கிரண் குமார் (@03rdeyestudios), திரு. ராஜ்குமார் (@clickbugsphotography) மற்றும் திரு. கார்த்திக் ராஜகோபால் (@tryanglephotography ) இந்த பட்டறையை நடத்தினர்.

இந்த பட்டறைக்கு உலகின் முன்னணி புகைப்பட ஒளி பிராண்டான Profoto மற்றும் சிருஷ்டி டிஜி லைப் (Event Sponsor), Lighting ஆதரவு அளித்தனர். சோனி இந்தியாவும், திரு. ரஞ்சித் குமார் (ADNT ரத்னா) அவர்களும் எங்களுக்கு  ஆதரவு அளித்து சிறப்பித்தனர். தொழில்முறை மாடல்களான சந்தியா, பிரியா மற்றும் ராக்கி பட்டறைக்கு வந்த பங்கேற்பாளர்களுக்கு மணமக்களாக போஸ் கொடுத்தனர். மாடல்களுக்கான அலங்காரம், பிங்கி (@pinkyvismaya) மற்றும் அனுராதா கிரண் (@agam.artistry) போன்ற பிரபல ஒப்பனை கலைஞர்களால் செய்யப்பட்டது. மேடை அலங்காரம் வெட்டிங் சக்ராவால் செய்யப்பட்டது.

பல புகைப்பட பட்டறைகள், அடிப்படை முதல் முன்னேற்ற நிலை வரை நடத்தப்பட்டாலும், இறுக்கமான சூழ்நிலைகளிலும் குறுகிய நேரத்திலும் செயல்படும் திருமண புகைப்படக்காரர்களின் லைட்டிங் தேவைகளை நிவர்த்தி செய்ய ஒரு லைட்டிங் பட்டறையை நடத்தவேண்டும் என்று நினைத்தோம். எனவே ஒரு திருமண புகைப்படக் கலைஞரின் லைட்டிங் மற்றும் உருவப்படத் தேவைகளை நிவர்த்தி செய்வதற்கான படிநிலைகளை நாங்கள் நிர்வகித்தோம்.

இந்த பட்டறை, லைட்டிங் குறித்த தொழில்நுட்ப வகுப்புடன் கார்த்திக் ராஜகோபால் அவர்களால் ஆரம்பிக்கப்பட்டது. லைட்டிங் முறைகள் மற்றும் அதன் விளைவுகள் பற்றிய நேரடி செயல் விளக்கம் அளிக்கப்பட்டது  HSS போன்ற நுட்பங்களைப் எவ்வாறு திருமணங்களில் பயன்படுத்துவது என்று விளக்கம் அளிக்கப்பட்டது. இதைத் தொடந்து கிரண் குமார் ஒரு சிறிய இடைவெளியில் 15 சிறந்த மணமகள் புகைப்பட தொகுப்பை எவ்வாறு ஷூட்  செய்வது என்று செயல் முறை விளக்கம் அளித்தார். பங்கேற்பாளர்களும் ஷூட் செய்தார்கள். ஒருங்கிணைப்பாளர்கள் உடனுக்குடன் பங்கேற்பாளராகளுக்கு feedback அளித்தனர். இதைத் தொடர்ந்து ராஜ் குமார் ஒரு விரிவான திருமண தொகுப்பில் 3 புள்ளி விளக்குகளைப் ( 3 point லைட்டிங்) பயன்படுத்தி மணமகளின் உருவப்படத்தை எவ்வாறு ஷூட்  செய்யவது என்று தொழில்முறை விளக்கம் அளித்தார். Profoto B10, B10 plus , B1X என்று தொழில்முறையில் சிறந்த லைட்டுகள் பயன்படுத்தப்பட்டது. 

மதிய உணவுக்குப் பிறகு, பி.வி.சுப்பிரமணியன் (நிறுவனர் - www.kitkarma.com மற்றும்  Profoto & Ilford mentor), கார்த்திக் யாதவ் (Yadhu Photography) மற்றும் ஸ்ரீராம் ரகு (Signatures) ஆகிய தொழில்முறை நிபுணர்கள் திருமண புகைப்பட எடுத்தல் பற்றி அவர்கள் கருத்துக்களை பகிர்ந்துகொண்டனர்.

மாலை 4 மணிக்கு நாங்கள் அனைவரும் வெளிப்புற படப்பிடிப்புக்காக அருகிலுள்ள தனியார் கடற்கரைக்கு சென்றோம். திருமணத் தம்பதிகளுக்கு எல்லையற்ற பிரதிபலிப்பு (Infinite Reflection ) காட்சிகளை உருவாக்கும் முறையை கண்ணாடியைப் பயன்படுத்தி தொழில்முறை விளக்கம் அளிக்கப்பட்டது. மழை பெய்தாலும், பங்கேற்பாளர்கள், ஸ்பான்சர்கள் மற்றும் அமைப்பாளர்கள் உற்சாகம் குறையாமல்  பங்கேற்றனர். மேலும் ஸ்டுடியோவுக்கு திரும்புவதற்கான எந்த அறிகுறிகளையும் காட்டவில்லை. மழை தணிந்தபோது, இயற்கை அன்னை வானவில்லோடு ஆசீர்வதித்தார். அனைத்து பங்கேற்பாளர்களும் HSS பயன்முறையில் Profoto பி10 பிளஸின் சக்தியை பயன்படுத்தி படம் எடுத்தார்கள்.

பட்டறையின் போது, பங்கேற்பாளர்கள் பல்வேறு தொழில்முறை மாற்றிகளுடன் ( Lighting Modifiers ) A1, B10, B10 + மற்றும் B1X போன்ற Profoto விளக்குகளைப் பயன்படுத்தினர் . Profoto விளக்குகள் எவ்வளவு நம்பகமானவை என்பதையும், அதிக வேகத்தில் தொடர்ந்து படமெடுக்கும் போது கூட இந்த விளக்குகள் ஆற்றல் மற்றும் வண்ண வெப்பநிலையின் மாறுபாடு இல்லாமல் ஒளியை எவ்வாறு வீசுகின்றன என்பதையும் நாங்கள் பிரதிபலித்தோம்.

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பட்டறையின் போது பல்வேறு வேலைகளுக்கு எங்களை ஆதரித்த முகேஷ், இஸ்மாயில் மற்றும் யஷ் ஆகியோருக்கும், பங்கேற்பாளர்களுக்கும் மற்றும் ஸ்பான்சர்களுக்கும் எங்களது  நன்றிகளை தெரிவித்துக்கொள்கிறோம்.

Step-Up - Wedding Portraiture and Outdoor Shoot Workshop by Karthik Rajagopal

“Step-Up” a wedding photography portraiture & lighting workshop named was conducted in Chennai on 04th August 2019 at TRN Studio. This workshop was organized by three wedding photographers Mr. Kiran Kumar ( @03rdeyestudios ), Mr. Rajkumar Jeevaraj ( @clickbugsphotography) & Mr. Karthik Rajagopal ( @tryanglephotography) along with Mr. Ranjith of ADNT Rathna for gear support. The workshop was sponsored by Profoto, a leading photography light brand in the world, Srishti Digi Life and supported by Sony India. We had professional models Sandhya, Priya and Rocky who were decorated by eminent makeup artists like Pinky (@pinkyvismaya) and Anuradha Kiran (@agam.artistry). Stage decorations were done by Wedding Chakra.

While many photography workshops are conducted from basic to advance level, we could not find a lighting workshop which  addresses the lighting needs of wedding photographers who operate in tight situations and time. Hence we curated Step-up to address the lighting and portraiture needs of a wedding photographer. 

The session started with a technical session from Karthik Rajagopal on lighting with live demonstration of types of lighting, methods and its effects. This was continued by Kiran who demonstrated the workflow to shoot a set of 15 best bridal shots within a span of 15 minutes with speedlights using techniques like HSS and value adding lighting props in a wedding scenario. This was followed by Raj who demonstrated bridal shoot using 2 point lighting in an elaborate wedding set.

After lunch, we had expert talks from PV Subramanian (Founder - www.kitkarma.com, Profoto & Ilford mentor), Karthik Yadhav (Yadhu Photography) and Sriram Raghu (Signatures) to share their experiences and business insights with our participants.

At 4 pm we all moved to a nearby private beach for outdoor couple shoot. We used mirrors and showed participants on ways to compose infinite reflection shots for pre-wedding couples. Although it was raining, both the participants, sponsors and organizers were enthusiastic and did not show any signs of returning to the studio. When the rain subsided, mother nature blessed our workshop participants with rainbow as a prop. All participants explored the power of Profoto B10 Plus in HSS mode.

During the course of the workshop, participants were able to use Profoto lights like A1, B10, B10+ and B1X with a variety of professional modifiers. We also demonstrated how reliable Profoto lights were and how these lights throw light without variation of energy and colour temperature even while shooting continuously at high speed.

We thank Mukesh, Ismail and Yash for supporting us with various activities during the workshop.

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Use of Off-camera Flash for Natural Light Portraits by Karthik Rajagopal

Most documentary photographers, street photographers and some of the candid wedding photographers consider it a sin to use flash for natural light portraiture. Is it because they really want to keep the pictures close to reality? Let’s take a reality check at the real reason.

After talking with a few portrait photographers who have only shot in natural light on why they do not use an external flash for their portraiture I narrowed down the reason to two points.

  1. Most photographers had a horrible experience with the use of on camera flash.

  2. Many of them who hate flash don't make an effort to learn about flash photography.

As photographers it easier explained with pictures than typing paragraphs of text. Here is a particular portrait of a tea-estate worker I shot in Kothagiri during the course of a post-wedding outdoor couple shoot. It was a compulsive shot for me as I saw a women dressed in scarlet saree in a green background with beautiful warm backlight from setting sun.

Shot without Flash   |   Camera Sony A7R II with Zeiss Batis 85 mm f/1.8

Shot without Flash   |   Camera Sony A7R II with Zeiss Batis 85 mm f/1.8

The first shot is one I did without a fill flash. I could have recovered shadows and with face mask I could have almost brightened her face. But, if the shadows were a little more darker recovering would have certainly produced losses.

Filled with Light from Godox AD200 with 60 cm soft box| Sony A7R II with Zeiss Batis 85 mm f/1.8

Filled with Light from Godox AD200 with 60 cm soft box| Sony A7R II with Zeiss Batis 85 mm f/1.8

Fortunately this time my friend Praveen was waiting with a Godox AD200 with a 60 cm softbox equipped with a boompole. As soon as he saw me shooting he was at the spot for the next shot to light her. In such a situation it is quite difficult to judge the flash intensity you need to get a good fill. I trusted on TTL with a -1 dialed in to retain some of the shadows. This is almost like holding a white reflector to reflect the sunlight onto her face. While using a reflector is not possible in all situations, a portable flash comes handy.

I trust I did not kill this picture with a flash. I did not do any exposure changes on this image in the raw processor to represent the pictures as shot for better understanding.

The idea of writing this blog was just to get people who never tried off camera portable flash for lighting natural light portraits. Please feel free to comment and write to me. Based on your inputs I 'll probably throw more light on using off-camera flash.

 

I am a Beginner. Which camera and lens should I buy? by Karthik Rajagopal

I get this question from several people at least twice in a week and I have been giving different answers depending on their needs. The truth is that you can start with any camera and lens. Your passion will eventually make you find the right stuff you need. Depending how strong your intention to learn is and how much time you can devote towards photography, you will learn. In early 2000's there was little resources online and internet bandwidth was a luxury. Today with the abundance of knowledge available on the web, esp the youtube videos, there is no dearth for knowledge. So you just need to set your mind and start with any equipment available to you.

For those people who do not have any camera to start with, you need to buy one. Most beginners ask this question. "I need a camera which I can use for all purposes and it should also be one with all manual controls to learn photography. And it should be within INR 30k to 50k budget." I am a kind of person who buys something if I really need it irrespective of how expensive it it. If I have the money, I just go ahead and buy it. But this is not something I am going to advice to people who ask me for a suggestion.

Nikon FE2 with 24 mm f/2.8 AIS Manual Lens along with Mint Hot Chocolate ;) Shot on my mobile phone.

Nikon FE2 with 24 mm f/2.8 AIS Manual Lens along with Mint Hot Chocolate ;) Shot on my mobile phone.

Yes, I would love to recommend the above camera for learning. Film and resources for developing is rare. While starting to learn, if availability is itself a problem, where will you even learn. So, I am going to suggest digital photography. But, film cameras and lenses cost a fraction of the price of what a professional modern cameras and lenses cost. And I recommend learning photography with a good choice of lenses from a focal length of 28 mm to 135 mm to start with and preferably with open apertures in the range of f/1.4 to f/2.8. This will help you understand the nuances of DOF (Depth of Field) and help you understand how to choose lenses.

Sony A6000 mirrorless camera with 16 - 50 mm Kitlens (Approx Rs 35,000 ). (Internet Image)

Sony A6000 mirrorless camera with 16 - 50 mm Kitlens (Approx Rs 35,000 ). (Internet Image)

I would recommend a digital mirror-less camera against a DSLR and specifically Sony A6000 for people who are on tight budget. This camera with Kitlens is available for Rs 35,000 and the image quality is at par with even cameras costing a lakh and over. You may also buy good mirror-less offering from Fujifilm, Olympus and Panasonic depending on how much budget you have. I am not against learning photography with a DSLR which are available at a similar price point. But there are certain advantages with a mirror-less camera esp when you are on budget and want to explore a variety of lenses.

Nikon 24 mm f/2.8 AIS Manual focus lens mounted on Nikon FE2 . 

Nikon 24 mm f/2.8 AIS Manual focus lens mounted on Nikon FE2 . 

For the last wedding shoot I did with FE2 with film, I had borrowed a Nikon-F to Sony-E adapter for using Zeiss Milvus lens on my Sony A7R ii from www.kitkarma.com. As the adaptor was still lying with me, I just thought I 'd try shooting pictures with that lens on my Sony A7R II. Here are a few pictures I shot in my room with tube-light as the only light source.

Shot on Sony A7R II with Nikon 24 mm f/2.8 AIS lens and Fotodiox Adaptor. (f/2.8). Shot as JPG on camera

Shot on Sony A7R II with Nikon 24 mm f/2.8 AIS lens and Fotodiox Adaptor. (f/2.8). Shot as JPG on camera

Shot on Sony A7R II with Nikon 24 mm f/2.8 AIS lens and Fotodiox Adaptor.  (f/4). Shot as JPG on camera.

Shot on Sony A7R II with Nikon 24 mm f/2.8 AIS lens and Fotodiox Adaptor.  (f/4). Shot as JPG on camera.

Once I downloaded the pictures from the camera to my mobile, I was pleased to see the results this Rs 5000 lens could give. While the pictures were not as sharp and perfect as the modern Sony and Zeiss lenses that I have bought, it was definitely good. I am sure it is near impossible to find that I shot with a Rs 5000 lens on manual focus. This is one best thing about mirror-less cameras. As long as you have a focus ring and a way to control the aperture, you can mount any lens on a mirror-less camera. Focusing is extremely easy with the peaking feature. A manual 50 mm f/1.8 lens is avilable for as cheap as Rs 2000. Pick one to experience excitement.

Nikon 24mm f/2.8 AIS lens mounted on Sony A7R II with Fotodiox Nik(G) to NEX adaptor

Nikon 24mm f/2.8 AIS lens mounted on Sony A7R II with Fotodiox Nik(G) to NEX adaptor

The cost of these old manual lenses from brands like Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, Zeiss, Contax, Helios, Meyer Optix, Zenith, Vivitar, Canon a hots of M42 lenses are in the range of Rs 2000 to 5000. You can get it from ebay, keh.com & usedphotopro.com. You can try with local dealers who sell these lenses too. If you do not know how to check these lenses take the help of an experience photographer who could help you. I am sure you could build a good set of four prime lenses with open apertures from 28mm to 135 mm for about INR 16,000 or USD 250.

As I was writing this blog it was 05.45 pm and its sunset time. They time every photographer gets excited about. Moreover, I still had an hour before my wife would give me a call to pick her up from her office. Now, I decided to think like a photography beginner. I quickly mounted that old Nikon 24mm f/2.8 AIS lens (Introduced in 1977, even before I was born) on my Sony A7R II with the help of a fotodiox adaptor I borrowed from my friend Vivek through www.kitkarma.com (peer to peer photographic equipment sharing platform). Like a child I walked out of my home towards the riverside and started shooting random shots without any thoughts. Here are some of the pictures striaght out of the camera without any processing. (Now I am a learner, so I assumed I dint have access to Capture One/ LR / PS :D )

These are images from one 24 mm wide angle lens, with another 35 mm, 50 mm, 85 mm it will give you million possibilities. I will soon share images shot with some vintage lenses. 

I trust I have given you an affordable solution under 50k for learning photography. Creative images are made by the photographer and I have always felt lack of budget should not prevent one from shooting beautiful images. Throw that MTF and other pixel peeping measures into the dustbin and concentrate on the art. You will enjoy and share that joy with others around.

I recommend the same for budding filmmakers as well. Get A6300 as A6300 cannot be used with external mic.

Why I do not recommend a DSLR:

Flange Focal Distance. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flange_focal_distance

Flange Focal Distance. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flange_focal_distance

I do not recommend DSLR for old lenses as you cannot use any lens with a flange to film distance less the one in your current DSLR. With mirror-less the flange to sensor distance is really short and this does not become a limitation. Moreover all mirror-less cameras give focus peaking which is easier to confirm focus during manual focusing. Today's DSLR lack split prisms on focusing screens.

PS: By no means I am preventing people from buying advanced equipment which is many times a need for professional photography. This blog is written for beginner and hobbyist on budget who sill like to complete explore photography beyond the confines of a Kit Lens. I have seen people buying a camera worth a lakh and one kit lens which handicaps their creativity. Variety of good open prime lenses are more important than an expensive camera to come up with creative images. Comments and critics are welcome.