Intro by Skip Cohen
Long before Bob Coates became a Panasonic LUMIX Luminary, we were good buddies. We've hung out together a lot over the years and with each new project/subject I'm amazed at his diversity.
This new Luminary Corner post hits on another feature of many of the LUMIX cameras - the ability to control everything from your iPad or iPhone. In fact, as the industry's low-tech poster child, even I have it mastered. For Shutter Magazine, each month I've been doing my video for the online edition with a LUMIX FZ1000 and using the Panasonic Image App Bob mentions in his post.
Diversity isn't just one of Bob's qualities as an artist, but the entire Luminary team. Visit the LUMIX Lounge and get to know each one of them, their work and their teaching schedules. There's no such thing as having too many of them in your network!
Also, take the time to check out Bob's blog, Successful-Photographer. It's loaded with great content, all meant to help you raise the bar on your skill set, marketing and business.
By Bob Coates
This hotel has had an eight million dollar remodel and I’ve been photographing it over the past six months or so...
Being able to control the camera from the IPad (or the IPhone after dropping the Ipad in the middle of the shoot!) using the Lumix GH4 using its built in WIFI and the Panasonic Image APP (free download) has made shooting much easier. You can see exactly what the camera sees as you move around the room.
A bonus in operating and controlling the camera from the IPad (or IPhone or Android device) is when making multiple exposures to handle lighting situations with bracketing, the camera is not touched. This allows for exact registration for blending various exposures using Adobe’s Photoshop Layers and Masks.
Another bonus to shooting from a remote system is being able to ‘paint the room’ with multiple pops of a flash and see the results as you go. These images are blended into the final scene adding light where necessary to fill shadows or creativity for esthetic reasons to add interest. I used a Paul C Buff light with a strip light box attached and a Vagabond battery pack to stay mobile. The Buff wireless triggers complete the remote set-up.
I’ve found the ability to ‘light my images’ with multiple exposures has made my shooting more efficient giving a better quality image to my clients. I spend more time in post production, but my client’s time is not wasted and I’m able to get the property's rooms back online so there is little revenue loss when I photograph.
First Byte: Earlier in the year I started experimenting with a sound byte to go with blog posts now and then. Last week I had a chance to catch up to Charles Maring and talk about some new techniques he's using with the LUMIX GH4 and Profoto's off-camera flash system at weddings. Technology is constantly changing and Charles and Jennifer Maring are making sure their work stays cutting edge all the time!
Note: One correction. Charles sent me a quick note this morning - Skip... It was fun speaking with you and sharing in the Podcast. I want to point out that I mis-spoke in talking about lenses. There is no 40mm 1.7 for Lumix. Rather it's a 20mm 1.7, which would be a 40mm on a full frame. Math sometimes gets in the way with us creative types:)
It's a Trifecta! There's a little of everything in today's post, with the podcast above, a video and still images. Charles does a terrific job in the podcast talking about technology and the importance of making your work look different from your competitors. I've worked a lot with Charles and Jennifer over the years, and one thing that's always a standard is making sure the client comes first. When they put together the final wedding album they want consistency and quality in every aspect of the story their clients expect to see.
Remember, a wedding album isn't just a book of photographs, but the first family heirloom telling the story of a brand new family. It deserves nothing but the very best images!
Charles and Jennifer wrote an outstanding blog post about photographing weddings with the LUMIX GH4. Here's a short excerpt:
The Lumix GH4 may look like a DSLR, but it isn't. Rather, it's a mirrorless camera with an EVF, (Electronic Viewfinder.) For all practical purposes it just may be the ultimate wedding camera for the style of photography that we do. Our style is a blend of real moments captured unobtrusively, photojournalism if you will, and beautifully lit portraits. We have a very high end clientele that adores high quality, and well lit, photography. If we put it in film terms, our work is more like Gatsby in that it is well lit, as opposed to an independent film which relies on budget lighting and high ISO's. There is nothing wrong with either approach, in fact we come from a PJ style background shooting with high ISO's ourselves. However, we see that is what our clients seem to be drawn to a more professional quality, which makes sense because it's different to what the large majority of photographers do. They want to look good in the photographs we take, and they want the photography to be consistent from cover to cover in their final wedding albums. Off camera flash helps us to achieve that quality and consistency.
And, about the B1 and B2, "Game-Changers", they wrote:
The Profoto B1 is the most reliable flash system we've ever used for weddings. One battery lasts pretty much the entire day. Occasionally we need a second for overly long weddings. At first thought you may think that studio strobes would be annoying at a wedding with big bright flashes. On the contrary, because the B1 and B2 have remarkably short flash durations so the flash is actually less bright in appearance to the eye than an on camera flash in most cases. We are only looking to get f/4 at ISO 400 on the dance floor at most and as the couple moves throughout the reception we can adjust Aperture and ISO to control exposure and work from long distances. The B1 also recycles brilliantly fast and most certainly faster than an on camera system. This means we can be trigger happy if we want, and never miss a moment.
Combine the power of the Profoto B1 or B2 with a Panasonic Lumix GH4 and you are not only working lighter than ever, you are working more consistently as well. We stumbled upon this combination by accident at a wedding, and it really made a difference in our ability to nail important moments with an even higher quality look. This is how we shoot the modern wedding, and our clients adore the quality and consistent results this combination allows us to produce.
This is an incredibly exciting time to be a professional photographer. You've got more creative tools than at any time in the history of photography. You owe it to yourself and your clients to make sure you're taking advantage of everything new technology has to offer.
Images copyright Maring Visuals. All rights reserved.
On the Beach With the FZ1000
When I write about technology, I always like to remind you I don't proclaim to be a professional photographer. I've worked and even shot with some of the finest artists in our industry, but my passion is the business and marketing side of imaging. However, that doesn't mean I don't have an appreciation for all of you who are working so hard to keep raising the bar on your skill set. I also have a huge respect for new technology and especially what Panasonic keeps bringing to the party!
Saturday night we were on Marco Island, just south of Naples, Florida. We had an amazing sunset and I spent a lot of time playing with a LUMIX FZ1000. I'm blown away by this camera's capabilities, especially in low light situations. With a 25-400mm fixed zoom lens, it's one of the most fun cameras I've ever traveled with. Click on the camera on the left if you'd like to find out more.
The image above is full wide angle, just to give you a feel for the total scene. I was on the balcony of our room on the 6th floor. The red arrow is the where the people on the beach are walking. I didn't have a tripod with me, but pushed the ISO and rested the camera as best I could on the railing.
Florida sunsets this time a year are pretty spectacular. I know it's pretty tough to screw up a shot. Still, technology is a kick and with the FZ1000 it's even more fun to be out there clicking the shutter!
Intro by Skip Cohen
It's no secret Panasonic's LUMIX line has completely recharged my battery for shooting again. Remember, my focus is on helping you raise the bar on your marketing and business skills. I'm not a full-time photographer, although, after all these years of working with some pretty amazing artists, I know more than I let on. LUMIX has given me so many new creative tools, which I've written about in several posts over the last couple of years.
It's time for you to meet Lauren Hefferon. She's another person with a passion for photography but a different career focus. She's the founder of Ciclismo Classico and Travel Vision Journeys and is traveling with tours all over Europe and South America.
Luminary Corner started as a section strictly for guest posts by each Panasonic Luminary. However, Lauren recently took a LUMIX LX100 with her for a few weeks of tours in Europe, and I'm convinced it's the perfect camera for traveling.
The camera went everywhere with her, and as she points out in her review, there are some incredible advantages, including its light weight, terrific optics and having access to a great camera everywhere she was cycling!
Images copyright Lauren Hefferon. All rights reserved.
by Lauren Hefferon
Over the many years of taking travel photographs for pleasure and for Ciclismo Classico's web site and brochure, I have tried many compact and lightweight travel cameras that allow me to pedal and pull over to quickly capture a landscape, our cycling guests and the delightful cultures I am rolling through.
Over the past years, I had settled on the camera combination of my IPHONE (while riding my bike) and my heavy NIKON D600 (for when the day was over and I wanted to get some nicer shots). The problem with the IPHONE is that I have little control over the magnificent light, interesting action shots or the high quality video that I needed to take to record our tours.
The Panasonic LUMIX LX100 is the perfect super mobile high travel camera and has eliminated my need to bring my heavy NIKON while traveling. While I cycle I have my LUMIX slung across my back and my IPHONE in my back pocket—both are ready to capture the shot or video I need. The LX100's easy-to-use dials allows me to quickly play with the ISO, exposure compensation, apertures and shutter speeds to get much more interesting shots. It is compact, light and non-intrusive so I can bring it anywhere and know I can get images I like.
As an avid bicycle and adventure travel photographer, here is a list of the top ten features I love about the Panasonic LUMIX LX100 compared to other compact cameras I have owned:
The LX100 extended and enhanced my ability to control the ever changing and myriad of travel photo situations; capture and then take a super high quality shot. Now that I am trying to improve my technical skills wherever I go, this camera gives me the option to play and experiment to my heart’s content or simply point and shoot!
Throughout this last trip Lauren sent me a typical table top shot every day of her perfect travel partner, the LX100 and the afternoon end-of-cylcing libation! Ciclsimo Classico's Beer Tour of Belgium won top honors last year in Epicure & Culture's "World Best Beer Bike Tours".
For more information on all of their tours and especially their Vision and Vine tour in Argentina, which is one of National Geographic Traveler's Top 50 Tours of a Lifetime for 2015, just visit Travel Vision Journeys.
A Tool I Never Knew I Needed...
Intro by Skip Cohen
Every day technology adds a few more creative tools for photographers. Giulio Sciorio has been doing a lot with 4K, and a does a great job in this guest post of a more in-depth explanation of how he's using it. There's been a lot of discussion about 4K and images that under normal circumstances would be difficult if not impossible to capture.
If you don't know Giulio, it's time he was on your radar. (Check out his headshot on his About page.) He's the epitome of an artist who's always pushing the creative envelope. He's testing virtually every imaging tool/application that comes along. His images below are all single frames from a 4K video shoot of a street performer. But, even better than the images is the way Giulio explains the process and why he's fallen in love with 4K.
Giulio is a Panasonic Luminary and part of a team of incredibly diverse artists. They represent some of the finest photographers, writers and educators in contemporary imaging. You find out more about Giulio and the Luminary team with a quick trip to the LUMIX Lounge.
by Giulio Scorio
When it comes to new features in cameras I always look to them with an open mind and explore if a feature is something I can use or not. I'm not really judgmental on features being gimmicks or tools. I think that's up to the person behind the camera whether or not their photography is based on gimmicks or art.
Sometimes a tool is introduced that once I start to wrap my right brain around it, I realize its something I never knew I needed until I had it. This is the case with 4K Photo. Although 4K Photo is delivered in a video wrapper, 4K Photo is definitely not video. If you were to open up a 4K Photo wrapper (that is the MP4) what you would see inside is a series of JPEGs and a audio file. Look at 4K Photo as 30 FPS mode and you'll have a much easier time of understanding it.
Not every type of photography can benefit from 4K Photo, just like you would not need to take 16 frames per second of your awesome breakfast burrito, you don't need 4K Photo for that either. For street shooting though I'm starting to discover that 4K Photo mode is a valuable tool.
I've missed so many killer shots while on the street because I simply cannot push the shutter release at the perfect time. With 4K Photo I'm capturing 30 frames per second so getting the perfect shot is easier than before.
These shots of a street performer would not have been possible without 4K Photo. She was moving too fast and asking her to hold an expression was not only unrealistic it would have killed the shot. With 4K Photo mode I captured 30 frames per second at 8 megapixels which was perfect for my needs. When I first started shooting editorial in 2005 magazines were happy with 5 megapixel images for cover shots. Crazy to think that with "video" each frame captured surpasses what is needed for a magazine cover.
While 4K Photo mode is a tool that I'll continue to explore, it's quickly becoming a tool that I never knew I needed until I had it.
Last week Panasonic's Luminary team got together for their annual meeting here in Sarasota. There are a few new members of the team: Maring Visuals, Kevin Gilbert and Dave Stock. Each new member brings a wealth of creativity and knowledge to the gourp. Over the next few weeks, I'm going to be profiling all of them. This is one of the most diverse groups of artists in imaging today. Each one has a different skill set, but the common denominator is their love for the industry and their unbridled approach to creativity and education!
Today it's time meet Maring Visuals, Charles and Jennifer Maring. They're no strangers to SCU and many of you. In fact, just a short time ago we did a Weekend Wisdom podcast that's loaded with great content and ideas to help you raise the bar on your work and especially your "style".
Charles and Jennifer are all about just that - style. Put that together with their diverse interests and you've got one of the strongest winning combinations in photography, not to mention couples! You're going to be hearing a lot more from Charles and Jennifer. Stay tuned for more terrific content and educational pieces to help you raise the bar on your skill set and the quality of your images.
Swing by the LUMIX Lounge and catch up to each Luminary. There's always something new they're sharing and a non-stop gallery of stunning images.
Welcome to Luminary Corner. Besides being a recognized member of the professional photographic community, each post author is a member of Panasonic's LUMIX Luminary team.