Apr 162014
 

Photography, Education, Exams

by Tim Hogendoorn

Documentary photography; one of those magical things in live I love.

My name is Tim Hogendoorn, 23 years old and living in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
From the year 2010 I have been studying photography in Rotterdam and this year in May, is my graduation.

From the beginning of my study I saw students following the same routine of photography as there has been for years on my school, and many other photography academies: studio portraits.
It is not in a way I felt the urge to be different, but I found myself not being able to express my feelings in that way.

I started experimenting with street photography but quickly wanted to tell stories with my photographs, searching for people who had extraordinarily jobs and telling their stories.

That is also what I did for my exam of my current photography education.
I stayed at a circus family for about a week. Taking photos of the shows, but especially when they were not working or preparing for work.

After being in this study for four years now, and photographing three of those years solely on film, this was my first digital series.
I gave digital a try a couple of times before, but not really feeling it untill now: I bought a really nice second hand 5d mark ii and am using my analog Nikon lenses on that body with just an adapter ring.
The look of the old Nikon Nikkor 35mm 2.0 AI on the 5d sensor is lovely…

The full series can be seen on my website. (like me on facebook and keep up to date with my work: http://tiny.cc/ng9eex )

I wanted to share my experience with the readers of stevehuffphoto because I am a daily reader myself, keep it up Brandon and Steve!
(recently I went on a photography trip to Chicago (my first time in the US: WOAW!), and I would love to be sharing that new series in the near future as well!)

All the best,

Tim Hogendoorn
www.timhogendoorn.nl

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Mar 242014
 

faces

The faces of Mysore India

by Neil Gandhi

Hey Steve,

Often times, images do not do justice to true experiences.

With photography, one must diligently spend time and live within the realm of their subject to establish the reason that makes them “click”. In that recognition, one discovers a sense of realization that is sometimes larger than life itself. Walking around a bustling Devaraja Market filled with beings just like me, I realized how different I was from them. Most of them had never left the city of Mysore in South India. Most of them probably never will. Initially, I felt a sense of sadness. Then I asked myself “Why would they?”. There is so much beauty that encapsulates them.

These images were captured during my trip in December 2013, where I visited one of my favorite photographers named Christine Hewitt to immerse myself in photography and learn from her experience. Mysore, birthplace of Ashtanga Yoga, draws yogis from all over the world who come to this city to grow their practice. It is a city of royal heritage, with an existing royal family and king, and features a beautiful palace, art galleries and some truly exquisite temples surrounding the city. Most importantly, it is the people who define this city and bring it to life. The joy and love in their faces, especially the children is heart-warming to experience. Street photography comes to life here, as you witness some interesting and extremely willing subjects. They live life with a quiet sense of confidence and content. They breathe because they choose to. These are their stories.

Gear: All images taken with a 5D MIII and a 50mm f1.4 or a 24-70 f4.0L. Post-processing in Lightroom 5.

About me: I am Neil Gandhi, an amateur photographer who pays for his camera gear and travel with a job in software marketing. Based out of Austin, TX. Connect with me on Instagram at: http://instagram.com/neiljpgandhi

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Feb 212014
 

Myanmar Traditional Boxing

By Nikko Karki  - www.nikkokarki.com - - http://blog.nikkokarki.com

 

Fighting once a month with nothing but wraps covering their hands, young Burmese men continue their country’s traditional sport, perhaps one of the most brutal in the world. In the olden days, there were no rounds, no points, the only way to win was by a total knockout or concession by the opponent. The men I met had no sort of ego or bravado. Their quiet disposition and positive outlook on training, fighting and life, is unlike a traditional mindset.

Training with broken hands or other seemingly debilitating injuries is not dismissed with any sense of martyrdom, but sincere dedication and selflessness. It was a privilege to witness their humble approach to life, living happily and compassionately as they dedicate themselves to their training.

 Canon 5D mk III - Carl Zeiss ZE 35mm f/1.4 Distagon - Carl Zeiss ZE 100mm f/2.0 Makro planar

Photographer’s note:

I made this film in a day and a half, after spending about a week training and getting to know the fighters. It was truly an honor and privilege to get to know them and I greatly look forward to returning to learn more about Lethwei, Myanmar traditional boxing.

First, a couple of pics of me training with the guys:

NIKKO AND THE GUYS

NIKKO TRAINING

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Nikko Karki © 2013 Lethwei 1

Nikko Karki © 2013 Lethwei 2

Nikko Karki © 2013 Lethwei 3

Nikko Karki © 2013 Lethwei 4

Nikko Karki © 2013 Lethwei 5

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Nikko Karki © 2013 Lethwei 7

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Nikko Karki © 2013 Lethwei 18

Nikko Karki © 2013 Lethwei 19

Nikko Karki © 2013 Lethwei 20

Oct 262012
 

Hello from Greenland! I want to give a little introduction to strobe photography using battery power pack strobes. I made this article in a brand specific example using the Profoto 7B 1200w power pack because I find it to be the easiest way to introduce strobe photography. Battery power packs of other brands are very similar in usage.

I am not an expert or even experienced strobe photographer but I want to give my contribution this wonderful website that have given me so many great articles ever since I started to follow Steve Huff right after the M9 was announced. I always want photography to be challenging and strobe photography seemed like the next exciting photographic venture into the unknown.

I’ve never previously been interested in strobe photography or portraiture for that matter. I’ve always done everything I could to avoid top mounted camera flashes, I hate the look, and to some extent I still do. I have always chosen depth of field with fast lenses to make the images “pop” or in other words using fast lenses to make the images appear 3D in a 2D medium. The same effect can be achieved using light instead of depth of field. I eventually became more interested in strobe photography after seeing a lot of great professional photographers work and I also enjoyed a lot of the images posted in flicker group “strobist”.

I found it quite difficult to find a starting point, all I knew was I wanted something powerful and battery powered strobe to take outdoors. I quickly came down to two battery power packs brands that I found interesting(out of a lot of great brands). Poul C. Buff “Zeus” series a great value for the money or the expensive and renowned brand Profoto and their “7B 1200w” battery power pack. I called my danish dealer that had the profoto 7B on sale and decided to jump at the offer, sell my beloved Leica Noctilux 0.95, and lay down a total of 9.000 USD for a hole package to get started in strobe photograph which included:

Profoto 7B 1200w battery power pack

By the master control knob (14) you control the total power/level of light out of the two lamp sockets(12,13). This power pack allows asymmetrical and symmetrical power distribution out of the two flash head (12). This basically means there is a button to either halving the power of the second lamp (asymmetrical) or identical power(symmetrical). This can come in handy if you have your main light on your subject and use the second lamp to creatively enhance the subject, for example from the back or above the subject. I done most of my portraits with a single light and use the sun as my “second light”. To give you an idea of power of this battery pack, a top mounted camera flash with AA batteries output about 60-90w (anybody correct me if Im wrong) compared to this battery pack that outputs 1200w which means it out powers the sun for a tiny brief moment. I would love to read peoples opinion and remarks about other brands in the comments field below.

- Two pro B flash heads (includes 4 meter cable each to connect to the powerpack)

- Two stands, Manfrotto flash head stand model 1004BAC

- One additional 5m flash head cable

- Pocket wizard

Receiver and transceiver for wirelessly triggering the power pack from the camera (connects to 7 on the power pack)

- A Light meter

The light meter is where all the key information is. I use my light meter connected to the power pack with a cable to trigger the flash and adjust the power to my ideal setting. You can buy light meters with build in wireless triggering that is compatible with pocket wizard and get rid of the cable.

- Light modifier

Now I needed a light modifier to soften the harsh light from the bare bulbs. I choose one 2×3(60x90cm) softbox that mounts on the flash head to start off with. All Profoto’s light modifiers claps easily directly on the flash head.

Keeping things simple

Its easy to overcomplicate things and make a advanced setup. You can indeed make a spectacular looking portraits using multiple lights sources but I prefer to use one light and the sun. For me that is complicated enough. Using strobes in the outdoors two factors needs to be acceptable: low wind and no rain.

Setting up

The Camera

Even though I love Leica M I find a DSLR with a zoom lens to fit my needs best for strobe photography. An important aspect of shooting in sun with strobes is “x sync” which is a given cameras ability to synchronize with a strobe. The faster the shutter speed a camera can synchronize the better. I use Canon 5D mark III that has a highest synchronization of 1/200th of a second. If I use a higher shutter speed with a strobe, a big black ugly line starts to appear on the button of the image and heres why. A strobe fires at around 1/3000th of a second and in that super short moment the WHOLE censor in the camera needs to be totally open. The shutter mechanism of the Canon 5D mark III stops to expose the whole censor beyond 1/200th of a second hence the black line visible in image.

I do most of my strobe photography in midday bright sunny conditions. I know It doesn’t seem necessary with strobes but I enjoy the look. After I have found a person willing to be photographed and a location, I set up the gear. I then meter the sun. A sunny bright summer midday in Greenland I often measure to ISO 100, 1/200th, F/11. I want my strobe light to offer one F stop faster light:

Typical Day light ISO 100, Shutter 1/200th of a second and F/11

Strobe Light I dial in to ISO 100, shutter 1/200th of a second and F/16. One stop faster. This darkens everything accept the subject and gives a dramatic image and deep blue sky. I don’t always choose this approach as it depends on the location, weather and the subject I photograph. I like to set up the softbox close to the subject, preferable within 1 meter when I do head shots. I don´t like to put up “rules” about how the light should be but many put out up the main light in a 20 degree angle and 1-2 feet higher than the subjects head. This way I like how the light “travels” across the face when I put up the light in a angled position, highlighting one side of the face and shadowing the other side. That way you get a sense of depth and “see” the subjects unique conjures instead of a “mug shot” kind of portrait where the main light points directly at the face. You can control the light fall off with F stops. The higher the F stop, the higher the light fall off and that way you control how dramatic you want the difference between light and shadow but keep defraction in mind when using small apertures. Remember to keep metering the strobe light. When I measure I put the light meter directly under the chin. If the person moves a little make sure your exposure is correct by remeasuring and adjust your light accordingly.

So what is challenging about strobe photography?

I see strobe photography as one part technical, one part creative and one part coincidental. When I set up the light I always have a vision about the image and how the subject is lit. After I have taken the images I had preplanned I try unexpected/unusual angles to shot or sometimes the subject somehow seems better lit another way than I had planned. The point is I always keep a open mind to creative impulse as I shoot. Sometime it leads to mistakes which is also welcome because I learn from mistakes. Even though I have limited experience I hope I have given the reader some sort of insight and I hope more experienced strobe shooters can ad or correct some of the info I have given in the comment field below. I also welcome other online resources about strobe photography in the comment field.

Regards

Per Nicolaisen

Husky. Canon 5D Mark II. canon 16-35mm II. 
One softbox on the right. Strobe 1,5 stops faster than sun light(if I remember correctly). It was a little difficult to measure the light “under the chin” as it wanted to bite my hand but I managed :-) 

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My dad. Canon 5D Mark II. canon 16-35mm II
Softbox on the upper left, very near the face. Strobe light one stop faster than sun light.

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Soccer kids. Canon 5D mark III. Canon 16-35mm II
I loaded my SUV with strobe and photo gear and decided to drive around my home town, Tasiiaq, to see if I could find any people willing to be photographed with strobes, when I saw these youngsters playing soccer. Two lights with standard zooms on the upper right.

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Mr. Karl Pivat. Canon 5D mark III. Canon 16-35mm II
Softbox to the upper left, quite close to Mr. Pivat.

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Susanne & Hendriks wedding day. Canon 5D mark III. Canon 16-35mm II
Softbox to the upper right. 

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My Son and daughter. Malik & Niviaq among “river beauty” flowers <3
Canon 5D mark III. Canon 24-105MM
Softbox to the upper right.

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Paakkannaq. 
Canon 5D mark III. Canon 24-105MM
softbox to the upper right and one light with standard zoom behind the ship to the right pointing towards the hull of the ship to the left… Light one stop faster than sun light. 

May 282010
 

It’s about time for another travel article and who better to give it to us thank Ashwin Rao? This time he takes us on his “American Southwest” vacation, in words and images. Thanks Ashwin!


Traveling Through The Four Corners and American Southwest – Camera in Hand…

By Ashwin Rao

Hi again, fellow Steve Huffites! It’s Ashwin, coming to you with another travel journal. Today, I bring you a setting a bit closer to my home, but seemingly a million miles away from everywhere else. The Four Corners is the intersection of 4 states: Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. I have had the good fortune to visit this magical area multiple times already, and I already have plans to explore it further in the months and years to come. I first spent 5 days traveling through northern Arizona on my own with my first serious SLR, the Canon 5D, in 2006. It was there that I felt first swept away by the inspiring beauty of this land, which as cliché as it may sound, is lost in time…I have since been back several times, primarily to New Mexico and Navajo country but also through a large part of Southern Utah and Colorado. The area is beautiful, but also impoverished, and the culture that remains is often eroded by poverty, rampant alcoholism, and disease. So in some ways, I was happy to travel to the land of the proud Navaho, if only to contribute to their economy through my tourism.

Regardless, I wanted to bring you pictures of the region and encourage you to visit this magical place. It is rich in tradition, and brings you a slice of Americana that you’d never find anywhere else. I will bring you pictures that I have taken with my Leicas as well as other cameras, such as the Canon 5D. It really doesn’t matter what camera you bring. The beauty here is so vast, so inescapable, that even a point and shoot can easily be used to make wonderful captures. So without further adieu….. The Four Corners and American Southwest.

Beginning the Journey

There are many places where you can start your journey into this beautiful place, situated upon the Great Colorado Plateau in the heart of America’s Southwest. I have started travels into the region from Albuquerque, NM, Phoenix, AZ, and Salt Lake City, UT on different occasions. There is no immediate access, as whichever port of entry you chose, there will be several hours of travel to get to the heart of this country. For all of this travel, you will be duly rewarded with images that will last a lifetime! So buckle up, and let me take you for a ride.

Utah

Utah is typically known for its numerous national parks, and I have had the good chance to see many of these places. On my travels through the south of Utah, I have been able to see Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands and Arches National Park, and so many sites in between. Here is the heart of the Colorado Uplift Zone, which used to be the bed of giant sea that is slowly being elevated by time and the collision of tectonic plates. Let me break my travels there by site visited, though truth be told, there’s as much to see between the national parks as within them.

Bryce Canyon

All that I can say is that Bryce is epic. It is the one place in the entire region that you must see. Time, wind, and the elements have carves a sea of majestic spires in the hillside of this Southern Utah monument, which I consider to be the most beautiful natural spectacle that I have ever seen. While there, remember to wake up early and watch the sunrise light up the Canyon. All that I can say is: Heaven On Earth.

Arches National Park

Arches National Park is one of the most famous of all of America’s national park, famous for the delicate stone arches for which it takes its name. It was here that Edward Abbey, the famous conservationist, gained an appreciation for the majesty of this land and its delicate balance and preservation. Arches serves as a wonderful introduction to the region, and it is close to the uber-cool city of Moab (land of many mountain bikes) as well as Canyonlands National Park. Here are some images taken from the region:

Canon 5D- Delicate arch, taken with a 400 mm f/5.6 with 1.4x and 2x extenders attached. Seriously this image was taken from ½ mile (over 1 KM) away….

Canon 5D- Double Arch

Canon 5D- Sheets of Walls at Arches NP

Canon 5D- Sunset at Arches and Balancing Rock

Canyon lands National Park

This AMAZING national park is often forgotten as it sits aside its more famous neighbor, Arches National Park. Canyonlands is known for its famous viewpoint at Mesa Arch. At sunrise, this arch glows bright read, casting a daunting spectacle upon the scene beyond. While at Canyonlands, I camped literally at a site on the edge of a Canyon, while eagles nested in a dead tree above me. At night, it is so dark here that you can see the arms of the Milky Way spread above you. If you are into Astrophotography, this may be THE place for ya! To be honest, Canyonlands is probably my favorite of all national parks in the region. It is so vast, so overpowering, that it is hard to escape the beauty of the region here. I just felt like taking deep breaths of clean air, keep my eyes open, and take everything in.

Canon 5D- Canonlands Viewpoint

Canon 5D- Mesa Arch

Canon 5D- Indian Ruins in Canyonlands National Park

Canon 5D- Sunset on The Canyonlands

Dead Horse State Park

This is one of those surprising detours that came upon our exit from Canyonlands National park. This beautiful vista is another ideal place to watch a sunrise. While there, my friend and I ran into this older gentleman shooting a large format Horseman Camera. He said that he came here once a month, just to shoot and remember what a joy it was to be alive. I agree:

On the Road Between National Parks

On the road, you will see many sites that you wish you could stop for. After a while, things seem to blur, but as I was traveling with a friend with equal photographic passion to match mine, We got to stop a lot ; ). Here are just a few images taken along the way:

Layers of Colors

Canon 5D: Gnarled Tree

Canon 5D – Going to Dust

New Mexico & Far Eastern Arizona – A Journey with the Leica M8

New Mexico is a quiet land of sleeping ghosts, a place where you can palpably feel the Wild West. I swear, I could hear Clint Eastwood’s footsteps in the distance, but that’s how New Mexico is…a land of subtle grandeur and timeless aging.

I have been to New Mexico now twice, the last time with the Leica M8, some CV and Leica glass, and a week-end to capture life there. Along the way, we visited many sites, including Sky City (America’s longest continuously-inhabited dwelling) and Canyon De Chelly. For those of you who like shooting ruins, both new and old, New Mexico is the place for you. I am lucky to have close friends in the region, and plan to visit again, to see the many sites that I have missed in times past. Here are a few places that I didn’t miss

Leica M8 and Summilux 35 mm asph- Canyon De Chelly

Leica M8- Ruins of Whitehouse Rock

Leica M8- High above

Leica M8- Canon de Chelly from Above

Leica M8- Friends Resting

Leica M8- Dramatic New Mexico Clouds / Abandoned Settlement

Leica M8: Sky City Ruins

Leica M8 – Dog on “leash”

Leica M8 – Needle of Rock

Arizona:

So Much to see, so much to do in Arizona, but inevitably, when you think Arizona, you think “GRAND CANYON”….the Grand Canyon National Park consists of 2 rims, to the south and to the north, and is a place of the grandest majesty present on this planet. This is the landscape photographer’s dream. I came here and last shot the Grand Canyon when I was first getting interested in photography, so some of the images presented to you are my earliest work in my current push…so excuse the oversaturated colors and hyped up contrast. I have always made a point to shoot and process how I feel as I see these images, and here, in the teeth of the Grand Canyon, I wanted to convey the scope and splendor of the place. The easiest access point to the Grand Canyon is probably via Phoenix, followed by a several hour drive north. It’s a pleasant and beautiful drive, and you can stop by the volcanic fields near Flagstaff, divert to Meteor Crater, and other natural beauties on your way there. Make sure to bring warm cloths and some hand protection, as sunrise and sunset can get quite cold.

Canon 5D- Sunrise in the Grand Canyon, North Rim:

Canon 5D- Horseshoe Bend

Canon 5D- Me at Meteor Crater, in the Heart of Navajo Country

Colorado:

During my time in the Four Corners, my time in Colorado was limited. For me, it was maily a pass through from Southern Utah back to New Mexico on the return arm of our trip. However, Colorado should not be discounted as a stop worthy of time spent. Durango is a charming town, and much of the region is taken up by the San Juan Mountain Range, with its old mining towns and snowcapped peaks.

Canon 5D – Storm clouds Gather In the midst- San Juan Mountains

Hopefully, I haven’t bored you with these images. My photography tends to be centered about the busy streets of our cities and my hometown. However, traveling to the Southwest offers a different photographic experience, and I hope that I have nudged you closer to a trip to this wonderful area. Thanks for taking this trip with me!

I am always traveling. You can view some of my travel sets HERE.

My blog is HERE!

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