GE-TIC-T: lachen, gieren en brullen!

February 20, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Een nieuw stukje theater, deze keer van "De Gemaskerde Hand", een ander toneelgezelschap in Deinze.

Ze voerden "GE-TIC-T" op.  

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Het verhaal speelt zich af in de wachtkamer van een psychiater. Eén voor één druppelen zijn patiënten binnen. Eén ding hebben ze allemaal gemeenschappelijk: een tic. De één heeft het syndroom van Gilles de la Tourette en vloekt als een ketter. De ander heeft smetvrees, nog iemand telt letterlijk alles, het bedeesde meisje zegt alles twee keer, en Bob kan niet over lijnen lopen.

De dokter blijkt uren vertraging te hebben, en dus besluiten zijn patiënten dan maar een spelletje te spelen en daarna elkaar therapie te gaan geven.

Het publiek was en bleef geboeid, en de lachsalvo's waren niet van de lucht.

Klik op een foto om naar de fotoreeks te kijken.


Fashion and portrait photography with Godox gear

February 06, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

The Shoot

PhaedraPhaedraFashion / portrait shoot of Phaedra using the Godox AD360II and the Godox V860II PhaedraPhaedraFashion / portrait shoot of Phaedra using the Godox AD360II and the Godox V860II PhaedraPhaedraFashion / portrait shoot of Phaedra using the Godox AD360II and the Godox V860II

So I planned a fashion/portrait shoot with a girl I'm doing regular shoots with, and who has a blog: www.thatstresvogue.com. It gave me the chance to test my decision to switch from studio flashes that need electricity, to strobist gear. It took me a while to decide what brand I would go with, and in the end I chose for Godox

Click on any of the images above to go to the complete gallery.

The gear

I shot with my trusty Canon 6D and a 70-200 lens. But what it really is about, is the lighting I used, which was just two flash units. One with an umbrella and the other one to create rim light or background light. Mind you: it was a rainy day, but we needed to create sunshine. And so we did.

Godox V860II

V860IIV860II

This is a Canon compatible standard flash with E-TTLII and a built-in 2.4 Ghz radio receiver. I opted to pair it with the Godox X-1 transmitter, which allows me to modify the parameters of the flash unit remotely. With this transmitter and flash, you can work in full TTL and HSS. The flash unit is powered by an internal battery, giving you 300 full-power flashes on one charge.  Since with this shoot I wanted the ambient light to be darker, I did have to use full power most of the time. And there's the first drawback of this unit: the recycle time at a certain point becomes 5 seconds or even more. The unit will extend its recycle time in order to prevent overheating. I needed to use this unit as my main unit for some time though, as I used colored filters on it. More about that later. If you want more information on this flash unit, click on the image above and it will take you to the related product page on their website.

Godox Witstro AD360II

Godox_AD360II_C__57dfa3c5b0be9Godox AD360II Now here's about the most versatile flash unit I've ever seen. It's a flash unit with an external battery unit that will give your the power of 4 to 5 normal flash units. 360Ws to be precise. And there are lots of affordable yet sturdy accessories you can buy for it.  You can use it on-camera, which makes it all a bit heavy, since this unit is slightly bulkier than other normal on-camera units. But it's possible! It comes with the same built-in 2.4 Ghz radio receiver, allowing remote manipulation of the settings, and the external battery is simply impossible to empty in one day. This is a strobist solution with the power of a studio flash. I LOVE this piece of equipment.  Also, if you don't need to use full power, the recycle time is nearly instant, which makes working a lot easier for both model and photographer. Once I started using this as the main light, I used the V860II to color the background, and that makes it an ideal combination. All have remote TTL and HSS, which makes this an incredibly versatile setup.

Just for completeness: there's also a Godox Witstro 600. I'm pretty sure I will get this one as well, as it's about 7-8 times more powerful than a normal on-camera flash. Even if you don't need the power: the recycle time is so fast it's as if you're in the studio.

Recently, Godox has announced the Godox Witstro 200, with a feature that is amazing again: you can choose whether you want to work with the bare bulb head or with a normal flash head. Versatility people!

And what's good about this: you can use all those different units in one setup, and even combine them with your own Canon flashes that are E-TTLII capable.

The X-1 transmitter allows you to put all that power into five different groups, each of which you can set to TTL or manual and modify the parameters on-camera. Tell me that's not convenient!

Oh yes: all those units will also be triggered by flash light. No transmitter? No problem: use any flash on camera, and they will work as well. First or second flash instance, as you wish.

The only thing that bothers me a bit: look at the standard reflector with diffuser filter in the image above. Well, you can only get four additional filters: red, blue, yellow and green. No orange! Which is more widely used than any other color, right? I guess you could combine two filters, but that will take a lot of power away.

Again, click on the image to go to the product page on Godox's website.

Magmod color filter system

magmod basicmagmod basic

I guess this is something lots of strobists have.  it's a rubber magnetic holder that you put on your flash head. you have adapters that will magnetically stick to it. An adapter that holds one of the many color filters that come with the basic kit, and a grid, to concentrate your light. Awesome stuff, really, and so easy to use. Click on the image to go to the product page.

Conclusion

It's simple: Godox is so innovative I love everything they put in the market.  And best of all: this is not your average cheaply built material. It's sturdy at about one-third of the price of the branded stuff, and it has more features and possibilities! That's what I call getting bang for your buck, and I will build my setup around their gear. No second thoughts!


Augustus: Oklahoma: de zoveelste klepper van Theatergroep Vooruit

February 05, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Ik voel me zo bevoorrecht om gewoonweg alle fotografie van deze geweldige theatergroep te mogen doen!

Met Augustus: Oklahoma hebben ze weer een prestatie van formaat neergezet.

Het is een theaterstuk uit 2007 dat in 2008 de Pullitzer-prijs voor drama won, het is meer dan 600 keer op Broadway opgevoerd en het is daarna ook nog verfilmd. Geen klein bier dus.  
Ik heb me laten vertellen dat het origineel vier uur duurt.  Vooruit heeft het tot zowat twee uur en dertig minuten weten te herleiden.
Alhoewel het een zwarte komedie is, en het dus potentieel zwaar op de maag kan liggen als het zo lang duurt, was dat hier niet het geval. Genoeg humor tussen de zwartgalligheid door hield het geheel verteerbaar en boeiend. Zo boeiend, dat het voorbij was voor we het goed en wel door hadden.

Augustus: OklahomaBeverly is dood!Beverly's dochter, schoonzoon en kleindochter vernemen van de sheriff dat Beverly dood is. Augustus: OklahomaEn alles stort inHet laatste geheim komt uit, en alle familiebanden zijn daarmee doorgesneden.

Ook nu is de fotoreeks weer helemaal geslaagd, dankzij het uitmuntende acteerwerk van de cast. Zonder expressie krijg je namelijk geen sprekende foto's, al is de compositie en afwerking nog zo goed.

Dus nog maar eens bedankt aan Theatergroep Vooruit voor hun blijvend enthousiasme en vertrouwen in hun huisfotograaf!

Klik op de foto's of hier om naar de gallerij te gaan.

Heel binnenkort een nieuw verslag van een nieuw theaterstuk, maar van een ander gezelschap.


De Naamloze Mens - Herman Brusselmans

December 20, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Onlangs heb ik de theatershoot mogen doen van een nieuw stuk, opgevoerd door wat voor mij een nieuw theatergezelschap is.

Velen kennen Herman Brusselmans, maar weinigen weten dat hij ook toneelstukken heeft geschreven.  "De Naamloze Mens" werd geschreven in opdracht van Gentse Theaterplatform in 2005.

Het verhaal speelt in een donkerbruin café, gevuld met stamgasten. Oscar, de eeuwige student, de Schrijver met zijn boeken, Ludwig met zijn drumstel en zijn nieuw lief, Carlito, de Italiaanse pizzabezorger, Emiliènne de cafébazin met haar slechte rug, Sonja, met haar dochter Marijke, die weldra ook haar nieuw lief aan iedereen zal komen voorstellen. Er wordt behoorlijk wat afgezaagd. Alleen de door en door verbitterde Oscar kan met niemand overweg, heeft op iedereen negatieve commentaar te leveren... Puur volkstheater, van het zuiverste soort.

Het werd opgevoerd door theatergezelschap Kartoesj uit Beveren-Leie, met veel vuur en passie, en geregisseerd door John Lammertijn, voorzitter, regisseur én acteur bij Theatergroep Vooruit in Deinze.

Enkele voorbeelden vind je hieronder, en de rest van de vrij uitgebreide shoot staat hier.

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Lightroom workflow best practices

December 13, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Why this post? Because it's the time for it

Regularly people ask me about my Lightroom workflow, and a lot of searches are done on my website in order to find information about this.  So that's why I decided to answer the questions in a blog post.  

Before you can develop a standardized workflow, you need to know what your style is. If you hop from one style to another and back, it's hard to determine what your workflow should be.  It will grow with time.

Step 1: determine your own style

If you are an amateur photographer, time is often not of the essence. If you are a professional photographer, then you want to optimize your processing workflow to be as short as possible in order to maximize your profit. In order to optimize your workflow, you will have to build in some standards. It's part of any optimization. It means that you have to have your style that you will respect, no matter what.  

For most photographers, it takes a long time to have their own, stable style that they like and are comfortable with.  I have a cinematographic style. I rarely work with long lenses. Mostly I work with primes, more specifically 24mm, 35mm and 50mm. I also need to have people in my scenes. Those two things combined means I'm often right on top of my subjects, and it will be no surprise that my specialties are theatre, performing arts, children, families... anything that has people in it.

Step 2: after the shoot: Lightroom

Depending on the style of the theatre play, I have a few processing styles that I will always start from.  And that's where building efficiency in Lightroom comes in. A play may require hard contrast and faded colour, or maybe bright colours and dard backgrounds.  For every different play I shoot, I make a style and save it in a Lightroom preset for later use.  I will process one representative image from the whole series, make sure it's the way I want it to be, and then I apply it to all shots in the series.  Then all you need to do is tweak each individual shot, and that's it.

Just as important as creating presets that you use during processing, you should create a preset that does all the things that you do to all of your pictures.  In my case for instance, I always use auto tone, I crank up clarity and apply standard contrast.  You can create a preset that does all of these things and save it as a preset to use during import.  Then, when you import your pictures, it applies everything you have saved in that preset. It's a big time saver

The benefit of applying a preset to all images of a shoot will make sure the style is consistent throughout the whole series. I used to apply colour to some, black-and-white to others and sometimes even something else for some.  Looking back, I realize it's not a good thing to do.  My photo series are often used to create the booklet for the play, and a consistent style is much more appealing than different and mixed styles. And... it takes less work in the end.

Sometimes it takes a while to find the perfect look, but once you have it, you better make sure you save it in a preset. It will save you tons of time later on. That's the main message.

To end the Lightroom step, here's a great tip to get you started: go back to the images you have processed, take the ones that are representative for your style and save those settings as a preset. It will already save you a lot of work when you are processing your next shoot.

Step 3: ask for help, learn from others

As a photographer, I am constantly searching for ways to shorten my Lightroom workflow.  If you have questions, or you want to achieve some kind of look for your pictures and you don't know how, then drop me a line at [email protected], or send me a message on Facebook and I'll see if I can help you.

Never hesitate to ask a fellow photographer for insight in his or her work. Most of them will be happy to answer your questions. I ask others for advice or insight on a regular basis. It will give you new angles on existing situations. There's always someone who can help you make your workflow more efficient, no matter how experienced you may be.

Finally, you will find some examples below of theatre plays I have photographed that each have their own style that I can instantly replicate by having them saved in Lightroom presets.

Any questions or remarks? Drop me a line, and who knows, maybe it'll spark some interesting conversations.

 

20161018-Mijn Blackie-717320161018-Mijn Blackie-7173 Den TrouwDen TrouwTheaterstuk geschreven en geregisseerd door John Lammertijn. Het won het Landjuweel in 2015 en werd opgevoerd door Theatergroep Vooruit in Deinze.
In 2016 wordt het eveneens opgevoerd door andere gezelschappen
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