And a new start with some new gear
So My last Blog was around the new year and talk about resolutions and parental leave. It feels like a lot have happened since then, both in the world ( Obviously!) but also in my own life and also when it comes to my photography.
The world when it comes to the strange reality we find ourselves in at this time, with the virus and the quarantine and all the problems that have come with them.
If i would have thought something like this would happen before Christmas or someone would have told me id have laughed it off thinking it was a trip of some sort. But here it is and we all try and adjust the best way we can both with life in general but also with our work( for those lucky to still have one). You really get perspective and like in similar situations in life where you are put through difficulties you think about what’s important and revaluate things around you, for good and for bad.
Before this mess i just got back from a great time with my son Julius, and had not been working for 3 months. I followed him and his development and loved every second of it.
I wanted to document as much as i could along the way and managed to get a lot of nice memories for the future. Especially now with everything going on, having those images and memories feels extra special. Whatever happens he and i will have those to share in better times ahead. I was also at some sort of new stage in my life when it came to my Photography where i had hit a wall( in good way) and realized what i loved to shoot and with what gear i wanted to shoot with.
A lot of Nikon Photographers were ”upgrading” to the mirrorless Z -system with the Z6 or Z7, but i never felt any allure when it came to those cameras. Not only do i think they are ugly( yes its true!) but i did not like the idea of an adapter to use all my great lenses with the Z cameras. Also i love the 2 camera bodies i have now, and the only ”upgrade” for me would be to get something similar to what i have or i will just keep shooting with them until they break down. I currently use a D4 and a Df body with all the lenses i really need. As a day to day camera i use my Leica Q-P and it goes with me everywhere i go.
So finally arriving at a point where i felt absolutely no GAS any longer ( i won’t go as far as to say its totally cured….but for now), and being very happy with what i had i started to spend more time planning what to actually shoot rather than gear to use for what i wanted to shoot. Felt great.
My focus started to shift towards my lighting equipment. I had used my Nikon Speedlights on location for years, and always felt somewhat limited but at the same time scared of taking the plunge into something more serious. For what i did the stuff i had was mostly sufficient. But i now felt to take my lighting to a higher level i needed to get something more powerful but still portable. I had heard so many great things about Godox and their system and i finally got around to starting to build my kit in that Ecosystem.
I think i might 2/3 on the way on that new journey but so far i am very happy i decided to make the change. I still have some of my Nikon Flashes as a backup, but my main flashes include the Ad400 and Ad200 and another smaller speed light in the V860ii. For those i have found the Aputure Lightdome mark 2 soft boxes which are great in every regard, great soft light and so very quick and easy to setup! Love them. I will try and make some reviews in the future as i sometimes do when i have used something for a long while and still think its great.
I have only used the Godox kit for about a month or so now and have not really got to test it out properly. I have taken some test shots together with my son and daughter in my small home studio and outside at one point.
I have found some new inspiration to learn new setup with lights and being more creative and will try and do some new projects ahead. if its something this quarantine brings its time to experiment with that among other things around the house. So not all bad!
Im lucky to have a full-time job besides my Photography and that makes me able to choose what i really like and not be stressed out when i miss out on assignments. A few of my booked weddings and other work has been canceled but at same time i have had requests of other more fun projects as well. So will try and post some of that in my blogg in the near future.
Also Spring is here soon, the light is better and the times ahead if health allows will hopefully be full of great fun photography outside.
Stay safe and keep shooting.
/Over and out..
I recently got this new photographic toy in the mailbox and wanted to test it out.
I gathered my willing subjects Yasmine and Linnea and started to make a temporary studio in my hallway using a few Nikon SB flashes and a lastolite background.
I have actually never used a ring flash of any sort in the past so this was my first shot at testing one. I decided upon the ”Roundflash” after reading a lot of positive things about it. Especially for the price it seemed like avery good choice. I read about the Orbis and some other cheaper alternatives but i thought the Roundflash got better reviews overall than the others.
I read several users claiming it could be a pain to set up so was preparing myself for a bit of a hassle there, but to be honest it was quite nice and easy to put up.
I DO agree on that folding it tp put it away was a bit more tricky, but that is the case with most things in my opinion, like tents and umbrellas and all sorts of things you have to fold. its always easier to set it up. I never seem to be able to put it back like i got it out of the box the first time 😉
My subjects choose their wardrobe for this one themselves and that was sort of the deal for them to be the willing subjects today. The themes seemed to be either very ”dressy” or martial arts in style!
Once i started shooting everything went quite smooth. I do have to say the Roundflash is quite easy to shoot with. It gives quite nice results and much like i had in mind when i bought it.
That was a minor problem though but a little annoying from time to time.
I must say that i like those pictures the most myself of the lot i shot and together with the ring flash it gives a nice effect in my opinion.
Overall I’m very satisfied with the job the Roundflash did. Its easy to use, very light and quite easy to fold and bring along.
I can say i recommend it if you want something that give you good results for a good price.
/Over and out..
So thursday evening and some time to kill made me think through what my next gear review should be. I am going to try to be consistent with only reviewing things i have actually used for a while, and actually like using. I will always try to review if from my angle, because the way i see it people having the same style or liking the way i shoot will be mostly helped from these reviews. I will not post a lot of technical details but rather give my impressions of the lens and what i feel are the pros and cons of it.
After reviewing the D700 and also the X-T1 which were both two pieces of equippment that i loved using, i feel that my next gear review will naturally be one of my favorite lenses.
Lets just state the obvious for people that knows the qualities of this lens that it is definitely not for everyone. First of all the price itself will put people off. I was REALLY lucky finding this on an auction and getting it for a price you normally would not find it for anywhere. Then if you actually do find it to a reasonable price there is the very specialized quality of the lens. Originally it was a lens for nighttime photography, and the way it renders lightsources like citylights or stars etc are very unique. It is also the fastest lens out there so it is a joy to use in lowlight in general.
Also the odd 58mm might be something to put people off, it is not a ”normal” length to shoot at, slightly short for portraits and alittle too long for street or architecture etc.
Still it has reached a sort of legendary status as a unicorn of lenses that is rare to find and very good to use. I read so much before i had the chance to shoot with it and knowing its characteristics in beforehand i jumped on the opportunity to try it when i at last got it.
Shooting mainly portraits i was dreaming about how the Bokeh would look on the Noct. And after shooting with it a few times i could right away it had something special none of my other lenses have. The way it renders the background when opened wide is just incredible. I know some people out there does not like the ”swirly” bokeh it gives. I love it. Also the character of the pictures that it produce is also so unique. It is a joy to use.
The look and feel of it is also like no other lens i have. The build is great, heavy and solid like an old tank!
Paired with my Nikon DF it feels like it was made for that lens alone. The pairing is perfect.
Balanced perfectly, and blend very well together, i actually have the black DF so it is not my DF on the picture above.
So what are the cons then you ask?
Well, it is manual of course being an old lens. So if you want something fast or modern it is not for you. Also it is a heavy lens for its size, that is actually a plus for me because i preferr the solid built to the new plasticky things they sell nowadays.
Also i use it strictly for portaiture. And if i need to shoot something else i leave it at home.
Or like a street/portrait lens. I sometimes take only that when leaving for a trip to town for example, the 58 lend itself to being quite versatile since its close to a normal. I would not say its the best architecture lens or the best tele lens or even the best normal lens though, as its very best characteristics comes out when you take portraits and make use of the Bokeh which is spectacular.
Also if you do not like the ”swirly” look of the Bokeh you might not like the lens either.
So why do i love to shoot with this lens?
Like with so many other things you just feel right away if it suits your needs. I can see why many think it is a fluke or a pretty quirky thing to get since of its pricetag and its very special use.
For me it really makes me want to shoot with it. I love using it, which for me in itself is a incredibly important thing. Also since of that very special look it makes the picrures very personal and stand out, and not many tools out there does that now in my opinion. So for that alone it earns a very special place in my photography heart.
If you have a chance to try it out, do it if you think it might be for you.
/Over and out.