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Monday, July 18, 2016

Jessica On A Sunny Late Afternoon

It was a beautiful sunny summer day in the late afternoon. Warm golden light from the setting sun was streaming in from behind my model, what a lovely day it was! And such a beautiful model! Well, the model was beautiful but the day was dreary and hot. Nothing like what I had planned in my head.



I originally planned a shoot where I intended to use the late afternoon sun as a backlight for my subject and a speedlight in a beauty dish or soft box as my main light. I wanted to capture some delightful warm toned images, and perhaps play around with lens flare. But alas Mother Nature had a different day planned for me. Luckily I’m the flexible type and I come prepared to my portrait sessions.



A wedding photographer, whose name I can not recall at the moment, once wrote in a photography article "I use only available light. I bring my flash units, so they are always available to me." A hearty LOL from this photography nerd for that one, but it is a sentiment that is pretty much shared by any photographer proficient in the art of lighting.



I used to not be amongst those photographers, along with many others simply because lighting is difficult to learn. I would either be a slave to whatever the natural light was, or at use on camera fill with some advanced bouncing/softening techniques or a reflector. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with using natural light alone or with fill. But it can be limiting. And as a photographer, I don’t like feeling limited. So for the past few months I had been honing my lighting skills. And on this overcast day, I tapped into my newly learned lighting skills.



I started the session off using just available light. Because the day was overcast, the light was nice and even and the photos were lovely. But they just didn’t have the drama I was looking for.


Adding one speedlight in a beauty dish, the effect was getting more dramatic and more suitable to my photographic style.


A little bit of edge darkening in postwork finished the images off to match my creative vision as planned during the shoot. 


But I just couldn’t let go of that late afternoon sunlight theme that I had originally planned for this session, so I decided to add low angle light afternoon sunlight myself. I broke out another speedlight, and added an amber gel. That made that late afternoon glow available!



BTW: If you are a photographer, you don’t need a fancy and expensive kit to create images like these. All you need is a creative mind and an attractive model. My simple equipment consisted of my Olympus E-M5 with a 14-54mm lens with MM2 adapter, Olympus FL50 & FL40 speedlight flashes (used on manual setting, no ttl), simple & cheap radio flash triggers from China, a couple of inexpensive light stands, and the beauty dish & amber gels from the Neewer K9 Speedlight accessory kit which I purchased off ebay. If you are new to photographic lighting, I recommend spending some time learning via a schol/workshop, books, and/or you tube. I particularly love the books & videos by Frank Doorhof, Miss Aniela, Lindsay Adler, Lara Jade, and too many others to list.



You can see more from this session here:
Jessica On A Sunny Late Afternoon


And if you are in need of a photographer and are interested in my work, you can view my portfolio online and book me via my web site:
Dorothy Lee Fashion Portraiture

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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Fotasy Lens Adapter


Ok, so this is my first blog post of the year even though it may not be in my typical style. I don’t normally post equipment reviews but I wanted to share my experience with this product.

A few weeks ago I ordered up one of those cheap Fotasy lens adapters from Rainbow Imaging. I have a neat little Nikkor F Mount 50mm F1.4 lens that I’ve been wanting to try out with my Olympus. I knew going in that this was a cheap Chinese made accessory, with some quality control issues. I read about the various problems associated with the product, but since most of the reviews were favorable I decided to give it a shot.



My first impression was that it seemed heavier and sturdier than expected. It’s made of metal and felt pretty sturdy. On the body end of things, it’s a perfect fit with no issues attaching it or dismounting. But on the lens end of things, that’s where the issues were.

My particular copy was too tight, I couldn’t get the lens to attach fully to the adapter. It would only turn ¾ of the way, I just couldn’t get it past the point where it needed to go for the locking pin to engage. That meant that although it would stay on the adapter if the F-stop or focus ring weren’t touched. But as soon as I tried to focus or change the aperture, the lens would fall off. Ugh, frustrating. But I just wouldn’t give up.



I really have to thank the wonderful people that post their helpful tips on the internet because after an hour of unsuccessfully trying to get the lens mounted completely, I finally went on an internet search. My favorite photo forum site, dpreview.com, let me down in the search. Too many posts came up to sort through – ugh, my eyes! I hate reading online. But the link I am sharing here was the first one that popped up in the google search when searching for Fotasy loose adapter. Now my problem was the opposite, the lens adapter was too tight with the lens not fully attaching (rather than attaching easily but being loose once fully mounted.) So my solution was the opposite of the one recommended, I had to take a pair of pliers to lessen the gap in the "slits" as shown in the photos. I have shared the link at the end of this post, there you will find the instructions and many helpful photographs.



So now my neat little Nikkor is attached firmly. It works perfectly, I took a few photos and I was very happy. It does exactly what it is supposed to do, and the problem was easily fixed. One of the other problems I have heard is that the lever to release the locking pin can be easily broken, resulting in a lens that is permanently attached to the adapter. Not a problem I feel like experiencing, so I’ll just be leaving mine on it permanently. The only other Nikkor lens I own is a 50mm F1.8, cheaper build than my 1.4 and not as "bokehlicious." Also, as clearly noted in the item descriptions for this adapter, there is NO automatic diaphragm or autofocus. This adapter is for F mount lenses and you will need to change the aperture yourself and shoot in either Aperture priority or manual modes (shutter priority and full auto are not available.)



Conclusion:

For $10.99 including free shipping, I feel it was a worthwhile purchase. If I had more Nikon lenses that I would want to switch between, going for one of the pricier options may be the way to go ($45 to $400, that’s quite a range of pricier options.) The reviews that I read about the locking pin switch getting broken concern me. While handling the one that I just bought, I believe as long as you are not rough with it that it should be problem free. But in truth, I would not be willing to risk any pricey lenses on that assumption. And I did attempt to remove the lens after I attached it, and I have to say it’s hard to release the locking pin and it makes a clicking sound that doesn’t inspire confidence in the product. I won’t try to remove it again, I have no reason to.



I hope this quickie review helps you in making a purchase decision. I have no affiliation with Fotasy or Rainbow Imaging, or beomagi. I just wanted to share my experience with this product.



The post that saved me from wasting a couple of more hours figuring out a solution on my own:
http://beomagi.blogspot.com/2015/02/fix-loose-lens-adapter.html




Rainbow Imaging On Ebay (they also sell on Amazon, but I got mine from ebay because it was a little cheaper. But if you want to read the reviews you’ll need to go to Amazon.) I was pleased with their super fast service, and would not hesitate to order from them in the future.

Rainbow Imaging



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