Saturday, May 21, 2011

Seattle Erotic Arts Festival 2011 Day 1

The 2011 Seattle Erotic Arts Festival opened yesterday (Friday, May 20) at Fremont Studios in Seattle. In addition to the juried art show there was a performance piece put together by Armitage Shanks and a number of local performers. I'm a staff photographer for the festival and would like to share a few images from opening night. More to come...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Channeling My Inner Penny

As fate/luck would have it, a few days after being involved in the Penny De Los Santos weekend workshop at CreativeLIVE I got a call from Peter Glick, saying that he was opening a new restaurant and could I stop by to take some photos before opening and at the soft opening.

In the past, I'd start thinking about how to light it. But I decided to head in with a camera and lens, no lights. Work with the space. I also would usually work with longer lenses (85-135mm). But this time went in with a 24, 35, and 50, so I could come in closer and interact with people in the photos.

It was tough to start. Well, the empty restaurant shots weren't so tough. But getting in peoples' faces, especially strangers, is something I still work on. Here are some of my photos from the evening. Hope that my "Inner Penny" came through in these photos of the Back Door at Roxy's in Fremont (Seattle, WA). Official opening is May 25 and it is located behind Roxy's Diner in the old Rain City Video rental space (though you probably won't recognize it as the same space!).

Looking forward to their Sunday "all you can eat" pork rib dinners!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Penny, Day 3. Just time for a few photos

I'll try to write up some views of this past weekend with Penny De Los Santos at CreativeLIVE over the next few days. Need sleep tonight (not to mention some time with family). Just let me say that it was a wonderful weekend. Lots of emotions in there with Penny and the students. I think it really came through in the last 2 hours of the class.

If you don't know about CreativeLIVE yet, you need to. I've met some amazing people there, and have seen some lives really changed.

And the photos from today...

wrapping up class after the cameras were off 
Jim (Jenna?) and Susan
Class Photo

Breaking Bread


More Oysters!

Get the detail shots!

Working in close in the Skillet trailer

Oyster bake

Plates in the rain

Special Delivery

How the day started out. Sweet Seattle Sunshine!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Penny De Los Santos at Creative Live day 2

Had a great/busy day assisting Penny De Los Santos on day two of a three day photography, food blogging, and culture workshop at CreativeLIVE.

Today we did a half-dozen or so studio food setups, citrus ingredients, lamb kabobs, noodles, mussles, and more. Everything went smoothly with tethering Penny's (and some of the students') cameras to Lightroom. Penny was a joy to work with. As I was assisting on the set, I only had a few opportunities to take some photos with the iPhone. Here are some behind the scenes images from today...



Repititions for Craig

Tools for making reflectors and flags

Penny & Celeste go over the schedule for the next day

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

When does 8-and-1/2 equal 9.5?

View camera lens set to f/8+1/2
I've noticed some confusion amongst photographers when talking about aperture settings. It usually happens when a new photographer is talking with an "old timer" about studio settings and using a flash meter. The discussion often goes something like this...

OT: Set the camera to 8-and-1/2
NB: (thinking to self) Hmm, my options are f/8, f/9, f/10, and f/11 (1/3 stop increments). I'll set it to f/9.
OT: Looks like we're slightly overerexposed. Are you really at 8-and-1/2?
NB: I don't see an 8.5, should I be at f/8 or f/9?
OT: 9? Where did that come from? I want it set halfway between 8 and 11.
NB: OK, I can set the camera to give me 1/2 stop increments. But then I'm at F/9.5. Is that what you want?
OT: Yes
NB: Then why did you ask for 8.5?
OT: I didn't ask for 8.5, I asked for 8-and-1/2
NB: Isn't 8-and-1/2 equal to 8.5?
OT: No, 8-and-1/2 is equal to 9.5.

And they go back and forth for an hour or so.

Canon FD lens set to f/8+1/2
The confusion stems from old film cameras where we had full stop markings on the lens. And on many lenses you could kind of cheat the aperture ring to sit somewhere between two stop markings*. So you could have 1.4, 2.0, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22. And in between them you had 1.4-and-a-half,2-and-a-half, 4-and-a-half, 5.6-and-1/2, 8-and-a-1/2, etc. Few photographers knew the actual numbers. 1.4-and-a-half is 1.7, 4-and-a-half is 4.8 (four-and-a-third is 4.5), 8-and-a-half is 9.5.

Canon EOS camera set to f/8+1/2
And there you have it--8-and-1/2 (half way between f/8 and f/11) = f/9.5. When spoken out loud you are saying that 8-1/2 equals 9.5. 8-and-1/2 is not the same as 8.5 (which doesn't exist as a specific stop on any cameras that I can think of). Similarly, 11-and-1/2 is 13.5, which is darker than 12.5. Confused? The progression goes 11, 12.5, 13.5 (11-and-1/2), 14, 16. 12.5 and 14 are 1/3 stop increments. 13.5 is a half stop between 11 and 16.

Here are three charts of aperture values:
Full stops:
1.4, 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22, 32

Half stops:
1.7, 2.46, 3.4, 4.8, 6.7, 9.5, 13.5, 19.6, 27

Third stops:
1.6, 1.8, 2.2, 2.5, 3.2, 3.5, 4.5, 5, 6.3, 7, 9, 10, 12.5, 14, 18, 20, 25, 28

In "old timer terms" the progression in half-stops is:
1.4, 1.4+1/2, 2, 2+1/2, 2.8, 2.8+1/2, 4, 4+1/2, 5.6, 5.6+1/2, 8, 8+1/2, 11, 11+1/2, 16, 16+1/2, 22

Newer photographers using electronic cameras (film or digital) might refer to the same progression as:
1.4, 1.7, 2, 2.46, 2.8, 3.4, 4, 4.8, 5.6, 6.7, 8, 9.5, 11, 13.5, 16, 19.6, 22

You need to know which "language" each is speaking in when telling one another to set an aperture on a lens.

Another place this comes into play is in using hand-held meters. My old Minolta Flash Meter III read in 1/10th stops. So, in the same scenario as above, the flash meter might read f/8-and-5/10s which you could read out as f/8+1/2, but which translates to f/9.5. 8-and-7/10s would translate to f/10.

With most cameras now allowing you to set your aperture via a dial on the body instead of on the lens this may seem a bit pedantic. But with the resurgence in interest in film cameras or in modifying lens mounts to allow old lenses to be mounted on a digital camera so you have to set the aperture on the lens itself, it is worth knowing about.

More about aperture numbers in an earlier blog post.

*many older lenses had 1/2 stop indents so that you could set the lens between two full stop settings. And some camera repair shops could modify lenses to have 1/3 stop detents.