Saturday, 22 January 2011

Unit 205 Accessories

In this blog entry i will be discussing the selection and reasons for choice of my equipment and materials, their function and operational knowledge, with consideration of alternatives.

To enable crystal clear shake free shots, it is always best to use some method of steadying your camera, there are a few ways of doing this, hand holding whilst leaning against something and holding your breathe, resting your camera on something, using a fast shutter speed, a monopod.... the best way is the tripod....  have two tripods a Silk travel tripod and a Manfrotto heavy duty tripod.

My Silk tripod is really useful when  am traveling light it is a compact tripod of only 655mm (just over 1/2 a meter) whilst being able to extend to a full height of 1,550 mm and a low weight of 2.6 kg or a bag of sugar, a three way head and I have a ball head as well which I can change with an Allen Key. the flip side of light weight is it not being as robust and solid and steady as a bigger model , in saying that this tripod does a very good job the section on the legs do not flex with rubber feet with a spike in the centre which can be screwed out. the center column can be reversed and separated to enable the multi adjustable legs to flatten out for low level shooting.
My other tripod a  055XPROB with the famous Manfrotto-patented horizontal centre column feature, this is even easier to use than the previous models. You do this by extending the column to its highest vertical position, it can be swung round to horizontal without removing the head or disassembling the column itself, so switching between framing and positioning setups is more convenient than ever. The leg has an angle release mechanism and quick action leg locks which allows the legs to fully flatten out.
As with all higher specification tripods they do not come with any heads, so I purchased an  808RC4, this is a 3-way head to fit on the tripod legs. There are two balance springs in the vertical tilt (forward/backward) and horizontal tilt (left/right) movements. These springs enable you to more comfortably handle heavier camera loads (such as very long lenses) with minimal effort. Both springs can be turned off in case normal head operation is required. The head is comprised of aluminium and designed in a manner to support up to 8kg yet lightweight and small enough to pack in any camera kit. The standard quick release system is used to accommodate larger camera platforms which incorporates dual axis bubble levels to achieve level shots.

I will be using the heavier, steadier more robust Manfrotto tripod to shoot my images obviously because it will ensure total reliability and dependability of use.

Lighting Stands 
I use Interfit Lighting stands which came with my lights, they are well build with air damping so they don't suddenly drop down when the clamps are released. I have used various other type of stands and they are all basically of the same design of three legs which fold out from a centre column which is segmented parts which enable the top section to be raised and lowered.

 These are the soft boxes I currently use with my light, basically they do what it says on the tin they are boxes that soften the light. inside these boxes there are are two diffusion layers of translucent cloth which scatter the light, softening it
A flash though umbrella , similar to the one I used on the car shoot this works differently to a soft box, whilst still diffusing the light it creates more contrast and shadows at the light is more direct, there are a few other options with umbrellas such as reflector or bounce umbrellas, these types have a white (soft) or silver (hard) lining which reflect the light from the strobe.

This is what they call a beauty dish, this gives a similar effect to a ringflash, a shaddowless fill light, you can see in some fashion shots a circular light reflected in the models eyes this is from a beauty dish, there are adaptors which you can fit to these dishes to modify the light such a diffusion panels and honeycomb grids which channel the light.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Unit 310 Twenty Images Preview

Here are my final selected images in a preview format:



All of these images I have selected and adjusted to epitomize the opulence of the prestige cars and the fashion style, I also slightly over saturated the images and underexpose the background, again to boost the theme of rich colours and settings.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Unit 310 Final layout and proofs

I have decided to use Bob Books to supply my calendars, the main reason for this is because of the flexibility of their software giving me the option to fine tune images and the frame and position within the layout.

I have decided to have three images to one page one main image with two additional back images that compliment the main image. the main image on the first 10 pages are of my selected car images and the last two page have my fashion / editorial / lifestyle images as the main image, all the other additional images are made up of my selected fashion images.

I will also be producing one page from this set and will be printing them via the college printer to enable me to fully complete the criteria of calibration etc of local printers.

Here are my finished proofs:

This is a screen shot of the software in action that I used to produce the layouts.
On the left hand side of the window is where all the selection windows are located with the option to personalize your layout in every way possible and if your are still not happy you can freely rearrange the layout further (as I did) by clicking on each picture and adjusting as you wish.

The first thing you need to do when first opening the software is to got to the first selection area on the left hand selection area (as right) and select what size of product you require, in this case I decided on A3 because this was the optimum size for viewing the final product, and Mr Steve our lecturer wanted the images as big as possible. Because my product was a calendar I had to decide what month the calendar would start (I could have been making an academic calendar which would have started in August) and of course what year I wanted (you can select a few years in front if you are planning ahead). the price is also displayed just so you know exactly how much you are paying. you will have the option to request your quantities when you go to the order basket.

There is a window on the left hand side with three tabs at the top of the winndow, these are to tiggle between the design sections of the lay out options

Tab one is for the selection of the images to be used, I will be discussing this section later on in this blog.

Tab two is for the design background layout selection, again this will be discussed later.

Tab three is for the layout of the product you are wanting to use. there are many option to look at for the layout, you can select from 1 image on you page up to 5 images automatically, if you really want to got to town you can also add further image boxes at your discretion. there are even option to place your calendar section anywhere. Of course these options are not fixed and if your want can move them around as you want.

Tab one is where you firstly locate your images you want to use either an online source through to your PC hard drive or even an external drive. 
You will notice that the some of the images have a green tick on them this is to indicate that you have already used this image in your layout, this helps you in not duplicating any images in you products (unless you want to of course)

The last option on tab two is to select your background layouts, everything from clip art to full solid colours or even wallpapers

As well a all these design options, you have the further possibilities of customising still further by using the masks to overlay frames or blend them with the backgrounds.

Throughout the process you have the option to view you finished product by using this toolbar and clicking the two opposing diagonal arrows, this then take it to a new full screen (this is the screen I used to screen grab my proofs which can be sent to the client)

Further editing can be done at any time by selecting any image and using the tool bar to select your editing tool, there is again every option from simple cropping and to brightness and contrast to colour adjustments (which by the way you can select to be an automatic option, which I choose not do do as I want full control). Other options that you can use are border and drop shadow selection, flipping of images in every way possible. you can add text in multiple font sizes and variations (as per my title page text)

Prior to ordering I made a final check of the selected imaages making sure everything is as it should be no blemishes or missing feet or just plain baddly composed or not level. Once this all done you add to the basket and pay for it, wait one week for it to be delivered.