Archive for the Studio Portraiture Category

Trying to stay ‘low key’….thanks, Libby.

Posted in Photography, Studio Portraiture on March 8, 2013 by William Hooks
Nikon D600, 70-200mm f/2.8 Nikkor, 1/160 f/11; Lightroom 4

Nikon D600, 70-200mm f/2.8 Nikkor, 1/160 f/11; Lightroom 4

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More thoughts about the Nikon D600 FX camera

Posted in Photography, Photojournalism, Reviews, Studio Portraiture, Video on February 1, 2013 by William Hooks

After several months of intensive use, these are some of my comments about the D600:

It continues to impress me with its overall versatility, good build quality, audio and video features and (actually) more resolution than I often need. One of the times when I find the 24MP files especially useful, though, is when required to crop heavily for print formats. I find that in most of these cases, the shoots cannot be rescheduled. Although I don’t have power aperture as on the D800/D4, it can be approximated by using a lens with an aperture ring.

While in a -15deg F snow camp in December, I was happy to observe that the battery functioned normally (!)

My experience with the camera has led me to use the battery grip moderately often, but in the field the ability to take a much lighter body and not sacrifice FX and feature set has been a huge advantage. Among the features I seem to be using most are in-camera HDR, timelapse, bracketing, and rapid switching between DX and FX format without the need to change lenses. Almost anything that avoids lens changes in the field is seen as a benefit for me- less to get inside the camera, faster operation, being able to push ISO and other attributes of the body to make the most use of each lens.

The menus have become even more intuitive with practice, and I have very few complaints regarding them. The control layout seems excellent to me…..

In search of reliable tethering software for the Nikon D600 camera

Posted in Photography, Photojournalism, Studio Portraiture, Travel, Video on November 5, 2012 by William Hooks

Please call or write if you know of such a program? To my knowledge neither ControlMyNikon nor Camera Control Pro2.x, nor any other commercially available programs seem to support the D600 as of this note…… I would be very grateful for any insights!

Thanks in advance-

More about the Nikon D600

Posted in Photography, Photojournalism, Reviews, Studio Portraiture, Video on September 26, 2012 by William Hooks

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I’m happy to report that this camera has some useful, practical features I don’t find much advertised.

First: Looped HDMI out. This means that one can retain the camera’s monitor image while sending it simultaneously to a second monitor- allowing a DP or other director to evaluate files, at the same time or after they’re shot by the camera operator. I’ve made the adjustments on my Marshall 5″ monitors so that the displays match those on the camera.

Second: The amount of additional image detail in video attainable with uncompressed HDMI on an Atomos Ninja is significant! (I can’t fork out the $1K for one yet)

Third: A major side benefit to headphone monitoring of sound on-camera is the ease with which you can assign optimal microphone settings, especially for ENG.

Fourth: The beep function has been expanded greatly since D7000, allowing audio cues for self-timer countdown and remote control actuation among other items.

Fifth: Adding the lock for the left top function wheel is much appreciated. This greatly reduces settings errors in actual use of the camera. I do miss the absense of exposure setting lock which has not been around since the D3s…..PLEASE put these in a firmware update if possible??

Lowe Pro 250 AW DSLR Video backpack and Manfrotto 502A video tripod/head

Posted in Photography, Photojournalism, Reviews, Studio Portraiture, Travel, Video on September 26, 2012 by William Hooks

These will help me when doing ENG/location interviews and studio/location cinema rig work, respectively.

The backpack is optimal for traveling with a D600 and up to 70-200 VR, compact microphone set, ZOom H4N audio recorder, shoulder rig, cables, SB-700 flash, headphones and some small lenses. The all-weather cover WILL be used!

The Manfrotto is designed to hold my RedRock cinema rig with provision to directly attach short monitor arms, freeing up the hot shoe on the camera for a light or other accessory. It’s very stable especially for its size and weight, and allows for Dutch angles by actually tilting the rig on it.
There’s a pan lock; I like the large size of the quick-release plate and that it can’t accidentally fall off- it attaches with 2 screws to the rig base, so there is no torque on the rig. The XY, pan/tilt friction controls are excellent. It’s a good fit with my smooth floor dolly which is mostly used indoors.

This way, I’ll use my smaller Weifeng 718 tripod/head for a camera with no rig (such as tutorial videos) or for a B camera.

First day working with the Nikon D600 system, Rode Stereo Videomic Pro microphone

Posted in Photography, Photojournalism, Reviews, Studio Portraiture, Travel, Video on September 24, 2012 by William Hooks

I’m very impressed with the capability of the D600 and of the Stereo VMP, after setting them up for defaults in video and still work…. MUCH more to come as I gain more experience with them.

Unfortunately, I had to sell my coveted 200 mm f/2 VR Nikkor in the process. Maybe some day I’ll rent or obtain another if the need arises, but I hope that the low-ISO ability of this camera helps obviate that need since I still use a 70-200 f/2.8.

It is wonderful to be able to closely monitor audio directly from the camera with headphones!!! This should be a boon for remote field videography and run-gun interviews.

Stella Adler Acting Studio, Hollywood- meeting to provide short dramatic films

Posted in Captain's Personal Log, Photography, Studio Portraiture, Video on June 30, 2012 by William Hooks

We plan to soon begin shooting on-set and on location, to create short films such as actors’ reels for their program.

Meanwhile, plans continue to generate our presentation calendar for THE RIDDLE OF MONZONITE at several southern CA REI stores.