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03-14-2007, 05:55 AM   #1
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Another "Diva" withe the K10D

Here is another image from "DIVA" with the K10D...


Last edited by benjikan; 04-03-2007 at 04:15 AM.
03-14-2007, 06:06 AM   #2
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Thank you for another picture I can learn from.
Branimir
03-14-2007, 06:17 AM   #3
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Hi Ben,
I suppose your whole conversion to Pentax underscores the point I'm about to make, but these shots could have been made by any competent camera. Your artistry is in setting up the shot, setting up the lighting, getting the model, and (from what I've seen of your work) the real magic happens after the shot in Photoshop.
My point is that while Pentax the brand is as capable as Canon or Nikon (I say better than, but I'm biased) I'd bet you could have made just as nice a layout with a high-end p&s. It is nice that we see working Pentax pros busting the myth that only Canon or Nikon gear can work, though.

Just my 2 cents.

--Sean
03-14-2007, 07:15 AM   #4
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Point and Shoot

QuoteOriginally posted by carpents Quote
Hi Ben,
I suppose your whole conversion to Pentax underscores the point I'm about to make, but these shots could have been made by any competent camera. Your artistry is in setting up the shot, setting up the lighting, getting the model, and (from what I've seen of your work) the real magic happens after the shot in Photoshop.
My point is that while Pentax the brand is as capable as Canon or Nikon (I say better than, but I'm biased) I'd bet you could have made just as nice a layout with a high-end p&s. It is nice that we see working Pentax pros busting the myth that only Canon or Nikon gear can work, though.

Just my 2 cents.

--Sean
Thanks Sean..But I think a point and shoot for this particular application might have been stretching it. Well maybe not...I did however do a shoot once with the Canon G5 and it did work out pretty well with it's dated 2002+3 technology. But what it did have was a hot shoe and manual control, which allowed me the luxury of using exactly the same type of lighting that I would use on any other shoot. It only had 5 mega pixels but I shot in RAW and it was published. It started as a personal work that was picked up..

Here is a sample shot with what is considered an advanced P&S camera using a four year old Canon G5. Shot in 2003.


Last edited by benjikan; 04-10-2007 at 08:38 AM.
03-14-2007, 07:19 AM   #5
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Ask Me...

QuoteOriginally posted by Branimir Quote
Thank you for another picture I can learn from.
Branimir
Thanks, but is there something in particular you wish to ask me in regards to the image and how it was executed?
03-14-2007, 07:55 AM   #6
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Well, I am still a newbie in photography, so for a long time there will be no questions about how some image was executed.
Currently I am experimenting with composition (and learning) - basics and more.
I am trying to understand connection between composition and mood.
I must say that a lot of scenery pictures I saw usually transmit 1 or 2 types of mood. Portraits and documentary pictures of human life, I believe, are themes that can transmit moods better, and is easier to learn from them.
Recently I saw exhibition of late Werner Bischof and those simple B&W pictures made incredible impression on me.
Well, I am incoherent currently - it's the end of my work hours...Maybe afterwards I'll be able to write something that will make more sense.
There is a question I'd like to ask you. Do you know what moods you want to evoke before you shoot, or are model and styling what inspires you. Maybe the job description you get from your agent?
03-14-2007, 09:00 AM   #7
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Themes..

QuoteOriginally posted by Branimir Quote
Well, I am still a newbie in photography, so for a long time there will be no questions about how some image was executed.
Currently I am experimenting with composition (and learning) - basics and more.
I am trying to understand connection between composition and mood.
I must say that a lot of scenery pictures I saw usually transmit 1 or 2 types of mood. Portraits and documentary pictures of human life, I believe, are themes that can transmit moods better, and is easier to learn from them.
Recently I saw exhibition of late Werner Bischof and those simple B&W pictures made incredible impression on me.
Well, I am incoherent currently - it's the end of my work hours...Maybe afterwards I'll be able to write something that will make more sense.
There is a question I'd like to ask you. Do you know what moods you want to evoke before you shoot, or are model and styling what inspires you. Maybe the job description you get from your agent?
Hello;

Generally before a project there is a discussion of possible themes that might be rendered for a photo shoot. Once the theme is established, I discuss it with a fashion stylist-editor who finds the appropriate clothes and accessories to realize the theme and eventually it is discussed with the hair and make-up artist and digital re-touch artist. All of my work except a few shots is all done on set and is not done in PS. The retouching is generally for skin and colour correction etc. Unless I plan on adding a building or an object to the image that is how I work. I guess you could call me a classic artisan-al photographer.

Best Wishes
Ben
03-14-2007, 09:21 AM   #8
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Ben you really are an astounding photographer/artist/helpful person lol. These shots you put on this forum are always of such amazing caliber and just makes me want to try and venture into shooting with a model everytime. I have a question if you don't mind and it's in regards to the lens used because I'm in the process of purchasing a few lenses and would love to get such crisp and clear results as yours and would love a basis for my search. Sorry if this isn't thread related by the way .

Thank you again oh and I do have an interesting tidbit to add where you actually came up in a heated arguement with a very ignorant person I met at my place of work which I'd love to share since I have nothing better to do lol. I do a lot of photography for bars/nightclubs here in town (used to be with my pentax Dl but just had to get the K10 w/ vertical grip which has made a major improvement in what I try to do) and as I was walking around when a gentlemen stopped me and asked to see my camera (the K10d) and was happy to let him see it and the next thing I hear is, "Pentax, why would you use this piece of junk" and proceeds to hand the camera back to me with an evil smirk across his face. Normally I'd smack someone for being so rude, but I chose to ask him why he felt the way he did and all that came from it was he was a some other brand fanatic and proposed that no professional photographer uses Pentax. Knowing that I could use my "piece of junk" to bash him over the head I just told him to look you up and see what a real photographer does with junk. Hopefully you get a few more picture views of of this exciting ordeal lol. Well thought that was a funny thing looking back now and just had to share it with you.

03-14-2007, 08:22 PM   #9
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Hi Benjamin

I've been enjoying the pics and useful photography tips you post. Thank you very much for sharing.


A question about metering...

Since the model is wearing a shiny outfit, how did you compensate for the extra light reflected off her dress? Is there any rule of thumb?

We hit this situation many times in the field - backlight photography, beach/snow photography or for that matter even sun set/rise photography. Is there any specific technique that can be followed?

Perhaps, it'd be a better idea to post the reply in the "Photography Tips" forum.

Thanks.
03-15-2007, 01:13 AM   #10
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Funny Story..LOL

QuoteOriginally posted by codiac2600 Quote
Ben you really are an astounding photographer/artist/helpful person lol. These shots you put on this forum are always of such amazing caliber and just makes me want to try and venture into shooting with a model everytime. I have a question if you don't mind and it's in regards to the lens used because I'm in the process of purchasing a few lenses and would love to get such crisp and clear results as yours and would love a basis for my search. Sorry if this isn't thread related by the way .

Thank you again oh and I do have an interesting tidbit to add where you actually came up in a heated arguement with a very ignorant person I met at my place of work which I'd love to share since I have nothing better to do lol. I do a lot of photography for bars/nightclubs here in town (used to be with my pentax Dl but just had to get the K10 w/ vertical grip which has made a major improvement in what I try to do) and as I was walking around when a gentlemen stopped me and asked to see my camera (the K10d) and was happy to let him see it and the next thing I hear is, "Pentax, why would you use this piece of junk" and proceeds to hand the camera back to me with an evil smirk across his face. Normally I'd smack someone for being so rude, but I chose to ask him why he felt the way he did and all that came from it was he was a some other brand fanatic and proposed that no professional photographer uses Pentax. Knowing that I could use my "piece of junk" to bash him over the head I just told him to look you up and see what a real photographer does with junk. Hopefully you get a few more picture views of of this exciting ordeal lol. Well thought that was a funny thing looking back now and just had to share it with you.
First off..I am very proud of you for not "Bashing him in the Head" with your Pentax. Can you imagine the damage you might have done to the lens? Not the body off course, it is too well built.

As to your queries. What I wish to identify here are several points that come together as a composite to finally realize the final single image. Each element is as important as the next and if just one of those elements are too weak, the whole image will fall apart and fail to work.

What you are seeing when you look at an image I am posting, is not just my photo. It is a team of individuals providing their talent (which in general is of the highest calibre in the industry) and expertise to the final outcome. All of these individuals from the Model, Hair and Make-Up artist, Fashion Stylist and PP Retouch (for skin generally..Never my lighting) are essential in getting the "Film Finished" so to speak. Being that I am based in Paris considered one of the three major centers in the world for my metier, I can draw on this exceptional source of talent. These people gravitate to these centers, just as Hollywood attracts actors and actresses, film directors, producers etc.

I have had this discussion with so many very talented photographers who become so frustrated with their work because they cannot produce the images they imagine for lack of the talent needed to do so. They ask, "Ben, why do my images lack something that I can't quite define?" And I brutally have to answer.."They smack of being Provincial..." Anyone who has done this God forsaken business as long as I have can smell it the minute they see the image. Everything from So So model, bad poorly done make-up, abysmal hair, no fashion styling at all or perhaps at best borrowed from a local clothing store and totally out dated by my "Snobbishly Arrogant" standards and really badly overdone or incompetent retouching.

If anyone wishes to do what I do, it is really quite simple. Gain a vocabulary. Go out and look at or buy, Italian Vogue, French Vogue, Citizen K International, Numero, Surface, Issue One, Oyster, Soon, V, etc etc etc..Not the S--Ty mainstream crap. Absorb it, look, observe, look, observe. You must attain a base for even knowing HOW TO OBSERVE and what to look for. DO NOT YET STUDY THE TECHNIQUE!!!That will come later. Look at everything that is happening. Look at the hair the make-up the clothes the model the theme the ambience. Keep doing this over and over and over until you learn how to be "Discerning". To become discerning you need the vocabulary.

Once you've done that and come to the realization that I might want to try this, you can choose a high end provincial market or "THE MARKET"...I started with Toronto, stayed one year, moved to LA to NY to Milan and eventually Paris. You can get some pretty good talent in Chicago, LA as upper echelon almost there markets and get away with it. You can get the good models in Chicago when they come in to do the shows. Chicago have some good model agencies.

Never do a test without all of the "support team" I mentioned. Hair, Make-Up and Fashion-Accessory stylist and of course the Model. "IF YOU DON'T HAVE THIS TEAM YOU WILL BE WASTING YOUR PRECIOUS TIME."

We can talk about how you can and will get a relatively good serious working model and support team for your shoots and what to say to get them. A model agency will know immediately by the questions you ask if you are a novice or advanced shooter. Ask the wrong question and BYE BYE..You'll smack of...OH, just wanna meet models, forget it buddy! Never F--K around with Model agencies. Always be as forthright as you can with them. They can screw your career when it is just starting with just two or three phone calls. When you get to my level, it is the inverse.

Oh yeah...What lenses...Ah I don't give a S--T what I use as long as it gives me what I want to do. But for you I'll recommend these. Depending on your funds I would suggest the 12-24 for wide angle shooting, which I love, stopped down one stop at least. A 28-75 Tamron f2.8, brutally sharp. If you can afford the 40L and 70L lens get it and the 100 Macro by Pentax. I love zoom lenses and 90 percent of my magazine stuff up until Pentax was shot with the 17-40 L by Canon.

Speak Soon
Ben

Last edited by benjikan; 04-15-2007 at 05:24 PM.
03-15-2007, 01:16 AM   #11
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Good Question

QuoteOriginally posted by pathy Quote
Hi Benjamin

I've been enjoying the pics and useful photography tips you post. Thank you very much for sharing.


A question about metering...

Since the model is wearing a shiny outfit, how did you compensate for the extra light reflected off her dress? Is there any rule of thumb?

We hit this situation many times in the field - backlight photography, beach/snow photography or for that matter even sun set/rise photography. Is there any specific technique that can be followed?

Perhaps, it'd be a better idea to post the reply in the "Photography Tips" forum.

Thanks.
As I always use a hand held Light/Flash meter I generally read the highlights and shadows and average them out knowing the latitude of the camera I am using unless I want to use high or low key lighting. If that is the case I place the bulb of the light meter accordingly. I check my viewfinder and see if it is OK, which in general it is. I guess you can do the same using the spot meter and shooting in manual mode reading the highlights and shadows and averaging them out.

Did this help at all?

Ben
03-15-2007, 03:18 AM   #12
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Ben,

We have not conversed before.

Just had to comment how delightful it is to see you passing on some of your experience in these forums.

With the busy life you must lead this is no small task and I am impressed.

BTW - it was so sad to see your enthusiasm shut out of DPReview - idiocy, absolute!! Ah well, history now and this is a better location anyway.

Rod
03-15-2007, 03:38 AM   #13
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Busy...is Relative

QuoteOriginally posted by RodConn Quote
Ben,

We have not conversed before.

Just had to comment how delightful it is to see you passing on some of your experience in these forums.

With the busy life you must lead this is no small task and I am impressed.

BTW - it was so sad to see your enthusiasm shut out of DPReview - idiocy, absolute!! Ah well, history now and this is a better location anyway.

Rod
My profession affords me the time to spend here being that this business is quite erratic. I really enjoy the interaction here as well. It is a synergetic experience. I learn you learn. What I do is not a 9:00 to 5:00 job. I might shoot two to four times a month sometimes more sometimes less. The daily rates are high which compensates for the minimal time working. I won't get in to what I make per day for advertising. Will just say that it is kind of like winning a mini lottery every time I do so...
03-15-2007, 06:45 AM   #14
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You are being a little modest...

QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote

What you are seeing when you look at an image I am posting, is not just my photo. It is a team of individuals providing their talent (which in general is of the highest calibre in the industry) and expertise to the final outcome. All of these individuals from the Model, Hair and Make-Up artist, Fashion Stylist and PP Retouch (for skin generally..Never my lighting) are essential in getting the "Film Finished" so to speak. Being that I am based in Paris considered one of the three major centers in the world for my metier, I can draw on this exceptional source of talent. These people gravitate to these centers, just as Hollywood attracts actors and actresses, film directors, producers etc.

If anyone wishes to do what I do, it is really quite simple. Gain a vocabulary. Go out and look at or buy, Italian Vogue, French Vogue, Citizen K International, Numero, Surface, Issue One, Oyster, Soon, V, etc etc etc..Not the S--Ty mainstream crap. Absorb it, look, observe, look, observe. You must attain a base for even knowing HOW TO OBSERVE and what to look for. DO NOT YET STUDY THE TECHNIQUE!!!That will come later. Look at everything that is happening. Look at the hair the make-up the clothes the model the theme the ambience. Keep doing this over and over and over until you learn how to be "Discerning". To become discerning you need the vocabulary.

Oh yeah...What lenses...Ah I don't give a S--T what I use as long as it gives me what I want to do. But for you I'll recommend these. Depending on your funds I would suggest the 12-24 for wide angle shooting, which I love, stopped down one stop at least. A 28-75 Tamron f2.8, brutally sharp. If you can afford the 40L and 70L lens get it and the 100 Macro by Pentax. I love zoom lenses and 90 percent of my magazine stuff up until Pentax was shot with the 17-40 L by Canon.
Ben
You clearly have reached the pinnacle of a serious market but there is a lot of imagination and creativity in you work - sure you are influenced by previous greats as everyone is - but there is a lot more to success than just knowledge. There is self-belief, the ability to deal with agencies, the ability to lead a team and direct a set. All of these also assume you know how to use a camera too.

Anyone who thinks its only technique is very naive, but the technique is obviously important too - far more so than the gear (as long as it has decent optics, manual mode and a hotshoe I suspect).

I also prefer to use zooms simply because it saves a lot of time and does not interrupt the flow of a shoot. I only shoot promotional pics of some contacts in the music bus - for flyers, covers etc. Heres the first attempt with a new studio in London and an old friend. I struggled a bit with setup as I never used the studio before, and she cant afford a bunch of assistants, but she was quite pleased with the set eventually.

http://i.pbase.com/o6/89/257389/1/75690244.GAMfToth.IMGP0424small.jpg
03-15-2007, 07:38 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
QuoteQuote:
First off..I am very proud of you for not "Bashing him in the Head" with your Pentax. Can you imagine the damage you might have done to the lens? Not the body off course, it is too well built.
QuoteQuote:
Oh yeah...What lenses...Ah I don't give a S--T what I use as long as it gives me what I want to do. But for you I'll recommend these. Depending on your funds I would suggest the 12-24 for wide angle shooting, which I love, stopped down one stop at least. A 28-75 Tamron f2.8, brutally sharp. If you can afford the 40L and 70L lens get it and the 100 Macro by Pentax. I love zoom lenses and 90 percent of my magazine stuff up until Pentax was shot with the 17-40 L by Canon.

Hey Ben you know whats crazy is that just the other day I was at the local camera shop and strapped on the tamron 28-75, fell in love with it, and told the guys I was going to come back for that lens one day. Advice taken I will definately go back next week and put some money down on one and my next purchase will be the 100mm macro by Pentax after I pay off the Tamron. Thank you very much sir for all the help here because I know I need a good walkaround lens and that Tamron will be perfect especially for the bar/nightclub pictures I do (the kit lens is kelling the fun of bar shooting )
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