soulstice photog

First Time Second Shooter.

Like many photogs out there im looking for opportunity to build on my skills as well as showcase them. I out of town photographer was hired to shoot a wedding in my area and they made a Facebook post looking for a second shooter. This is pretty common tho, I rarely throw my name in the hat with the rest of the horde of people trying to be selected for a gig. 

Welp, I just moved to a new city and I thought its time to put myself out there and try new things. I tossed a couple of links to my work in the post and wouldn't you know it...they picked me! The photographer and I shot a few dm's back and fourth and next thing I know im second shooting a wedding in a couple of weeks. 

I was tasked with shooting the groom and groomsmen as they traveled from the hotel to the ceremony venue. I have to tell you, shooting in a moving stretched hummer limousine is not easy.  

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Catholic weddings differ from traditional weddings. A Catholic wedding is first and foremost a liturgy—that is, the public prayer of the whole Church, not just a private ceremony for those present. Cameras and equipment aren't allowed to be placed where they will disturb the liturgy. 

The weddings location was Mission Conception. I scouted the location prior to the ceremony so I knew it was dimly lit. Thankfully we were allowed to use on-camera flash. Our movement was heavily restricted I shot from one side of the room and the primary photog had the opposite side. If you find yourself shooting a Catholic wedding be sure to ask someone in charge about the rules, they vary from place to place. 

Senior Portraits

I ventured to my hometown for high school senior portraits this past weekend. My first location was a beautiful sprawling property. I have to say, it would be hard not to get amazing shots here. It had a pond, a pine tree orchard, some of the most beautiful oak trees and a tire swing. Special thanks to both property owners for allowing us to shoot and being so welcoming. And thank you Kimberly and Sharonda for assisting. 

I will be posting both shoots soon so check back! 

 

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My second location wasn't too far from the first and was just as impressive. The oaks on this property were covered with Spanish moss. My brain was spinning with shoot ideas for this place.

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Gear Used

Camera

I shot everything with my D800...Its a 36mp picture grabbing BEAST! I'm still happy with it, I haven't even looked at replacing or upgrading to anything else.

Lenses

I used a few lenses for both shoots. I forced myself to do this because I have a tendency to show love to my favorite...So, 70-200m 2.8vr1, 85m 1.8d and my 50m 1.8afs were deployed for this mission. They all performed well, no complaints.

Lighting

My flashpoint Xplor 600 was my key light it was paired with the westcott XXL 48in softbox double diffused. I did use a 38in a glow parapop and the extension head for walking shots. It's a bit lighter and was more controllable for my assistant. I also used a flashpoint zoom for hair light. Everything was triggered with the R2 controller. The Xplor performed flawlessly!  

 

 

 

Flashpoint Zoom Lithium Ion TTL

I've always owned Nikon brand speedlights. I've owned a few sb600s, 800s and I briefly owned a sb900 and for the most part, I never had much to complain about. They worked without issues as long as I shot within their capabilities. 

When I decided to sell my lighting setup (Alienbees) I initially planned on keeping my Nikon speedlights. After researching the Flashpoint system and purchasing the Flashpoint Xplor 600 I decided to try the Flashpoint zoom to see how it stacked up. After playing around with it and seeing how easy it worked with its big cousin the Xplor I sold my Nikons and picked up a second. 

D700 50mm afs

Here are a few things I like about the Zoom Li-On.

1. The Lithium Ion battery! This is a God send No more charging and keeping track of double a batteries. Flashpoint claims its capable of 650 full power flashes per charge and its recycle times are faster. IMO every brand of speedlight needs this. 

2. This is a bit of a combo bonus. Its high speed sync ready. Meaning there's no need for any additional adapters, it will sync to 1/8000 of a second and its capable of being a master to other flashpoint lights via 2.4 GHz. I've tested this, it will trigger a slave from a different room, through walls I event went outside and it triggered through brick.

3. It works as an optical slave. I was able to trigger it via Cls from my Nikon cameras, tho the max sync speed is limited to 320 of a second. 

4. Last but not least the price. Adorama sells them new for $179.00. This is a noticeable difference vs brand name gear. The Adorama used section is worthy of a look. They can be found slightly cheaper there.

D700 50mm afs @ 1250iso <-I love this camera

Now for the things I don't like. 

The menu and setups can be a little confusing. One of my lights didn't come with an instruction book and the other one came with the wrong book. After toying around with them I got more familiar. In the pic above you'll notice the color difference in the lcd. The green indicates master mode and the orange represents slave...isn't that cool? 

The build quality seems pretty solid. I was initially surprised how sturdy they felt. I won't be doing any drop test with mine so, ill have to update this post if anything happens. 

D700 50mm afs

The Verdict! 

The pros definitely outweigh the cons when it comes to the R2/Flashpoint Zoom. I'm happy with my purchase and if you're looking to join the Flashpoint family I highly recommend them.

 

 

The Snowmageddon that wasn't 2 of 52

Atlanta is an interesting place to live when a winter storm has been announced. Schools will be closed, some won't have to work, you'll be warned not to not drive and most important you may want buy meat and bread as soon as possible before the shelves are emptied.

My preparation for Snowpocalypse was different. I charged my batteries and planned on getting out as soon as the sun came up to capture unbothered snow. I hoped to get a shot of either a totally empty interstate or a roadway full of cars abandoned by their owners in order to save their lives. (We can be a little overdramatic when it comes to snow) 

The end result was NOTHING like meteorologist predicted at least in my area it wasn't. I woke up to find the ground barely covered. I mean you cant even call it a dusting. Hours later I went outside and I saw a good opportunity for my photo project. I give you Week 2 of 52. 

 

D700/50mm Afs

My cant do 365/52 week project post 1

Here she is pic 1 of 52. I will admit after deciding to do this my mind was spinning on what to shoot first! Should I shoot at 1.8 and show big beautiful bokeh? Should I go black & white for a dramatic look? Naaaaa, I was about to sabotage this project before it really begun. I then went and picked up my D700 which I haven't used in months(notice the durrty sensor). I went outside and simply took a shot. I ended up taking 3, my camera was set to bracket shots.

D700 Tamron 17-35 @ 17mm f/13 Manual 3 shots merged.