Saturday, 2 October 2010

Oxford Photographer - Kim Martin Photographic - Kim Martin

Kim Martin

Back in the late sixties and early seventies I had only the one camera and that was a 35 mm Practika which had a 50 mm lens. I didn't (like today) take a hundred shots in a session, that's because film cost money, and you had to pay to get it processed and printed as well, so I thought about each shot before squeezing the shutter.
I would get my Weston meter, do a incident light reading check my aperture to see if I was going to keep what I needed in focus and then see if I had enough speed left to hand hold the camera. If all things were OK then the shutter got squeezed, if not, my options were reduce, either I pushed the film but then I had to push the whole film or if the subjet was not moving I would put the camera on a tripod and use a slow speed. You also learnt very quickly how pan your shots if the subject was moving.
Things have changed. Not so long ago I stopped using my cameras and lenses because I just couldn't be bothered to carry all my gear around anymore, my equipment had grown to a point that my shoulders ached with the load, so I bought a compact and started enjoying my holidays again, soon I got a lovely little APS and thought I would never need my gear again. So I sold all my darkroom equipment and my cameras and lenses. and for a few years never looked back. Then along came the first digital cameras and of course I had to have one, it was a little Canon IXUS,
I have to say it was beautifully made and I produced a lot of good work with it. All of a sudden I stated to get that itch, you know the one. The one that starts you looking for quality again.
I went out and bought a Fuji S2Pro with a couple of zoom lenses which give me a total range of 24 to 300 mm. (digital), which equates to approximately 35mm to 450mm in the good old 35mm days,

What more could you want.(Apart from top of the line gear which was frankly way out of my financial league), so I was a happy chappy except - because I was older - carring the camera, batteries and two lenses plus flash and tripod put me back where I had started, aching shoulders, I had to find a solution.

So I bought a new Camera and a single lens - thinking that this was it - one camera one lens, I can manage that. I bought a Nikon D300 and the wonderful all singing all dancing 18 - 200mm Nikkor VR lens which is approximately 27mm - 300mm in 35mm. So you would think that that was it, no need for any more equipment, well apart from the Studio Lights the Pockets Wizards and a new Heavy Duty Tripod which I had to have of course.

So that's it, that's what is in my bag now. Well not quite, my new 50mm prime lens arrived today  -you may ask why would I need one- well that's the question my wife keeps asking, especially as my all singing all dancing 18-200mm (which was the only lens I will ever need) has 50mm sitting nicely in the middle. Well you know how it is, I really need a good razor sharp portrait lens and the 50mm which is aproximately 80mm (35mm) is for me the perfect 3/4 and full length portrait lens, it is quite fast as well at 1.8.
So at the moment I'm sorted. Well--- watch this space !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

19th September 2010

I have just finished a commercial shoot for Michael and Company .

Where most of the shooting was done with the Salons own lights, which meant 4 second shutter speeds, I did however need some flash on a couple of shots and got to use the Pocket Wizards properly for the first time, they were great, I was able to set up the lights, even around corners and behind walls and they fired every time, which makes them worth every penny I spent on them. I didn't use the new 50mm lens because of the type of shots requiring as wide as I had which was 18mm, I am very glad I had the 18 - 200mm lens.
I am about to start a new commercial shoot soon where I have up to 30 shops and offices to shoot for a giant Billboard.

30th September 2010

 That was an interesting shoot, I have just done a portrait shoot of two hands which is not what I am usually asked for. The hands had to convey emotion, loss, careing and confidence. A lot to ask of two hands. You might ask what am I talking about, the hands are for a new logo for a Funeral business, they wanted to convey thier caring service through the hands. One of an older woman and the other of the caring Funeral Director. It was more difficult than I expected, not the lighting as I had already had that set up, but trying to get emotion into hands.

 Well the images are off the the Company and we will see what transpires.

2nd October 2010
 I thought I would just share the reasoning why I bought the Pocket Wizards, I was just reading an article where the writer stated that he didn't use Pocket wizards, not that he used another make or used some other device but "personally, I don't use Pocket Wizards". So why did I spend nearly £400.00 on 3 of them. Well you would need to go back a few weeks when I had a Family shoot of 9 Adults and Kids. At the time I had only leads to connect both flash units on their stands to my camera. I had just travelled some 40 miles the day before to buy another umbrella for one of the stands which I had broken when it blew over. I set up the lights and cabled them up to the camera, went to get the Family and when I got back my lights were on the ground. not because of the wind this time, I had taken care of that and pegged the legs firmly into the ground. The lights had fallen over because of the cables that connected the two light together. To get them high enough so they were above the camera I had used a long plank to lift up the wires, and that was what brought down my lights and breaking my brand new umbrella. I swore then I swore again that I would never use cables again, so that is why I bought the Pocket Wizards ( other makes are available) just don't waste your money on cheap ones which is something I have done, they are most unreliable. Now even my small studio is wire free so I don't have a trip hazard - Health and Safety would love me -

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