Bel Motivo Jewelry Fashion/Product Shoot

Shoot Details:
The other day I had an amazing opportunity to work with Bel Motivo Designs to photograph some of her new jewelry pieces.  We photographed in a beautiful barn/furniture consignment shop , and inside Karisma‘s shop.  Karisma provided the clothing for the shoot and has a phenomenal shop.  I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to use it as a location for the shoot.  The inside of the furniture consignment store was equally fascinating, old rustic wooden floors, a beautiful antique piano, and all the hard wood furniture we could use!  The barn is owned and rented out by Mark Skipper who also owns Mustard Seed, a landscaping & garden center on a neighboring property.  Also a beautiful location I hope to use in future shoots!

Each location we used had its own stylized light setup, so I won’t go into detail on each and every one. Most of the setups were 75% lit by strobes and large soft boxes I brought and 15% ambient light, with the exception of one window location where I used the soft natural light from the sun and filled with a reflector. I wanted to experiment with some different lenses, so I rented a 60mm micro and a 45mm PC (tilt-shift) from Borrow Lenses.  The micro was great for detail shots of the jewelry pieces Elizabeth put together.  The PC was surprisingly great at close up detail shots!  I had no idea its minimum focus distance was so close.  We had fun with the crazy blur the PC lens gives you when you tilt it the opposite direction from your subject.  Due to the tell tale effects a PC lens has on an image I decided not to use it very much because its becoming overused in the industry.  It was fun playing with though.  I doubt I will use one again, unless I’m going to be doing an architectural shoot where I would like the perspective control.

 

Brendan Elmore from WABA Productions joined us for a little bit at the barn to shoot some bts footage of us in action.

Gear Used:

* Some equipment I use is no longer available, so I linked the closest item available currently from B&H, where about half of my gear comes from.  The other half I like to purchase at local stores like Jacks in Muncie, or Roberts in Carmel or Indy.

Leave a comment and let me know what you would like me to talk from my photo shoots!

 

 

Tethering to iPad

Yowza, Eye-FI released an amazing update to their mobile app! (A while ago now, it was recent when I wrote this…)

A while back I read a blog post by Lee Morris of FStoppers about tethering your camera straight to your camera via the Eye-Fi memory card and the jailbroken app MyWi. I joined the club. It was amazing. I love the flexibility I now had with my photography! I didn’t have to chimp at the lcd screen when taking self portraits (not that I do it…) and better yet, no showing clients the back of my camera! They had the leisure to flick through all the images on their own, not distracting me from shooting to check on the results. The problem with this method is it requires a jailbreak and almost $30 in apps.. Which to me isn’t a big deal, but to others it is. It also required the most expensive card Eye-Fi produced at the time, the ProX2. Long explanation short, MyWi lets the iPad/iPhone create a wireless network the card can see and link to, but its not a traditional network, and the ProX2 is the only card that is able to see and connect to this type of network (The ProX2 is also the only card that will transfer RAW images). The use of ShutterSnitch gathers the images from the Eye-Fi card and displays them in its gallery.

But no longer!! Now with Eye-Fi’s iPad app and (I believe) any X2 card that supports direct mode, you can tether straight to your iPhone/iPad! They introduced a new feature called Direct Mode, which enables your Eye-Fi card to generate its own wireless network that the iPad can see and connect to, which previously it could not. Images are gathered inside the Eye-Fi app in a fairly simple gallery. So no more jailbreaking, MyWi or ShutterSnitch!

I definitely recommend this for several reasons:
– The larger screen on the iPad helps when shooting with low depth of fields to make sure you nailed your focus
– If your camera only has one memory card slot vs 2 (Hooray Nikon!! Sorry Canon..) you now have the ability to save a copy of your image in another location if you are unfortunate to have a card go corrupt on you before you copy it.
– If you find yourself being slowed down by pesky clients who want to chimp every other photograph.
– It reduces the risk of a camera drop if you are the trusting kind and hand over your camera to your clients to flip through! I’m dreading the day I make an insurance claim against my camera..

(Although MyWi is a fantastic app for the iPhone still, I use it to share your cell data plan with my laptop & iPad, even my wife’s iPhone which has a smaller data cap, *wink* )

*Please note I am not affiliated with any of the above (Eye-Fi, Intelliborn, or Fstoppers), I just love what they do! Please do your own research as well, there are so many solutions out there! Find one that works for you and run with it!

Away from home

How many times have we all been stuck away from our computer? Countless. And its even worse for us with no laptops.. So what do you do? Write little reminders of things we could be doing, play Angry Birds, or simply zone out and listen to your favorite music (currently for me its We Are Augustines, Matt & Kim, and Susan Enan. Hows that for eclectic?).

No more, its time to become productive.

Introduce LogMeIn.

I’ve been trying out several different free remote control software apps from itunes. Nothing I found seemed to be reliable enough, user friendly, or secure. These apps require you open their app on the computer you wish to remote control, and most of the time, log in, before you can control. These apps on your desktop take a considerable about of memory to keep open and running. I found myself in several situations where I would go to use the app on my phone while away from my office and realize I forgot to open the app on my iMac.. Useless..

I decided to drop a few bones on LogMeIn Ignition. With a simple background app running on your computer you have 100% access to absolutely anything! LogMeIn running on my iMac doesn’t seem to be taking much memory to run and once you install it you never have to log in again, and it activates at once after you turn your computer on.

Why I prefer this app over the others:

Security:
LogMeIn Ignition forces you to log into the app, as well as log into the computer with the username & password that is personally in use on the specific computer. The app offers to remember the passwords if you would like, but I suggest you tell it not to for security (especially if you are controlling someone else’s computer!).

User Friendly:
Beautiful interface, simple to navigate the computer you are controlling, and I’ve never experienced a crash! This is while I’m running Photoshop on my iMac, from my iPad in another state! Users can use the LogMeIn software from anywhere there is internet. You can choose to run the software from your smartphone, iPad, or any internet browser, pretty much as flexible as you could possibly get! Plus you aren’t forced to open any software on your computer, its already running.

Power Saver:
Most of the other apps I tried won’t let you wake your computer up from sleep mode, LogMeIn will! Keep your electricity bill lower and extend the life of your computer while still retaining the ability to remote access your system from anywhere!

Downsides:
One con is the iPhone/iPad app cost $30. But you do get it for both, so if you have and use both its like $15 a piece. (I have used it on both! Not as easy on the phones smaller screen, but it works!) The basic desktop software, however, is free to install. There is a pro version you can purchase and use with a yearly fee, but this is way more than I will ever need. (File sharing desktop to desktop, specialized software for your computer, really nothing to do with the LogMeIn Ignition app)
Like all other remote control apps, it doesn’t do well with any type of movement. Think about it though, you are streaming quite a bit of data over the internet. (Cell internet at that!) So don’t’ expect to be able to run Hulu or any of your iTunes movies from it..

*Note I do not work for LogMeIn, I’m just a huge fan of what they offer! There may be cheaper or better software out there, but for what I do and what I’ve compared it to this works best for me. I encourage you to do your own research and find what app works best for you and your budget!

Enjoy!