Sunday, April 22, 2012

On Location

I recently took students from my Portrait Photography class to the sculpture studios at SCAD Atlanta. We did three shots in a little over two hours and had a great time. Susan Krause and Steve Jarvis were kind enough to let us take over their facility, as well as pose for us. We did three shots- one with four lights, one with two, and one with only one that also incorporated the available light. My Elinchroms worked perfectly and had plenty of juice to light such a large space. And the Skyports once again were flawless, both triggering and adjusting the strobes remotely.

If you'd like to see what it looked like, you can see a web gallery here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Jonathan Saunders

I recently came across the work of Jonathan Saunders. His still work is very good. Solid editorial portraits for the usual suspects like People, Time, and The LA Times Magazine. But it's his video/multimedia work that really got my attention. It's beautiful, touching, disturbing, and baffling by turns. They're odd and tricky and straight forward and remarkable. Well worth the time spent viewing.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Metz Shoe Mount Flash

The back-up strobe in my backpack was the Metz 58 AF-2 for Canon. I really like this flash. Metz makes them compatible with both systems that I use- Nikon and Canon. (They also make versions for Pentax, Sony, and Olympus) I'll admit, I'm not a power user of small flashes- I don't so complex system set-ups, or high speed sync, or commander/slave uses, but the Metz does do all that stuff. I use these things as an off camera and manual lighting source most of the time. In the backpack system, this means using it as a light somewhere in the background (there's one on low power in the shot above) and knowing that if the batteries on my Elinchroms died, I could still light a portrait. I've also used them as a direct handheld flash. They've performed perfectly in all these situations. And the best part? They cost about $100 less than the comparable Canon 580 or Nikon SB strobes. Nice.

I added the Metz P76 battery to power the 58, too. This is similar to the Quantum batteries a lot of people use. It's high capacity and high voltage, so you don't have to rely on AA's. I actually hate using this kind of flash with AA's. The recycle time is too long and they wear out way too quickly. You plug the 58 into the P76 and you can shoot hundreds of pictures and have the flash recycle much much faster than it does with AA's. And by using the Metz battery, you don't have to worry about compatibility and warranty issues that sometimes arise with Quantums.

In a week or two, I'll be posting a full review of the Elinchrom Ranger Quadra that is the centerpiece of my "Studio in a Backpack".

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Nice Quote from Consulting

A little over a year ago, I was contacted by Jonathan Zufi who was trying to create a web site called The Shrine of Apple. I was gratified to read what he wrote about our experience together:

"When I started planning for my web site, "The Shrine of Apple", I knew I wanted photographs of my collection of Apple products that had a similar look and the same high quality of those on the official Apple site. I struggled and failed to do that for almost a year before I was referred to Forest. We spent one session planning the equipment I needed and another with Forest training me how to use it and now the photography is perfect. I wish I had found him a year earlier- it would have saved me a lot of frustration! His knowledge of photographic technique, equipment, and software is amazing. We continue to work together as needed."

Thanks, Jonathan!