Sunday, October 26, 2008

Hallowe'en is coming!

Is there something special about this time of year? Strange things go on in spooky places. Check this out:



Now there was something happening here. Kate was looking at her camera and the world gave a shake. Some presence was there. It seemed to emanate from a gravestone:



So I turned around and noticed a strange light emanating from the ground at the left, illuminating a gravestone. I took a picture of it and then, when I opened it on the computer later, I found this on the image:



Is that Suzannah? Is it exactly 100 years since she died?

Then there are these photos, of people who normally don't look like this...




PS: Darlene said I could use the picture here. She said "have fun with it." Iris doesn't know I put hers up here but she's a good sport.



FacZen Photography Tips

The Gary Fong Diffuser

Robert Fowler sent an email to the Richmond Hill Camera Club list with a link to a site that discussed the Gary Fong Diffuser. For those who don't know what that it, it's a tupperware like cup that fits over your flash and softens the light. There are those who swear by it and think it's the best photographic accessory invented since chocolate (I was going to say "sliced bread" but chocolate is definitely head and shoulders above bread).

I use one, and have for several weeks. It's not bad -- and it works well under certain conditions. Very well. But when it's used as the only source of light (the recommended application), I find it boring. Yes it gives soft light, but it doesn't compare with creative lighting tools. Here's an example:


These two photos were taken a couple of months apart, the one on the left with a studio strobe and umbrella, plus a reflector disk on her left. The one on the right, with the Gary Fong diffuser as the only light, on-camera. The background wallpaper is closer to the one on the left, although less saturated.



This image was taken with available light outdoors, backlit with the Gary Fong diffuser on the flash and about 1 stop underexposed flash compensation. The flash lit the face quite nicely, without appearing too harsh.

In summary, I find the GF diffuser useful for quick-and-dirty ID shots but other lighting is required to make the picture more interesting. It's an awful lot better than a naked flash, though.