Monday, November 25, 2013

Studio Fashion Shoot with Vanessa

Some of you may remember I shot with Vanessa in the summer.  I wanted to shoot some studio fashion images and got in touch with her to model for me.  She was quite keen as she would like to have more fashion images for her portfolio.  Hair and makeup was provided by Robyn Skinner.  She is a MUA I worked with many times before.  We had exchanges of mood board and makeup ideas between us.  By the time we got to the studio, we had a good idea of what we are doing.

For lighting, I used two lights.  Key light was provided by a Strobeam DL4 with a grided 175x75cm softbox.  I had a Yongnuo YN565EX in a silver reflective umbrella from behind to provide rim light.  I did have a background light at the beginning, but I felt a slightly darker background worked better than a high key look.  I stuck with this lighting throughout the shoot.

Like most photo shoots, hair and makeup took most of the time.  Robyn did an amazing job providing two different looks within the time of the shoot.

I have a behind the scene video on Vimeo about this shoot.

Studio Fashion Shoot - Behind The Scene from Yat Tang on Vimeo.

Model: Vanessa Sicre
Hair and makeup: Robyn Skinner

Monday, October 7, 2013

London Apartment with Charlotte

After travelling for two months, it was good to get back shooting again.  The shoot with the lovely Charlotte was organised during my travel.  I had the pleasure of shooting with her a few times before.  The theme was boudoir and lingerie.  We started the shoot with a fashion images with a few different outfits.  I could not help with playing with gel.  I used red gel with these couple of images.

The apartment has a opaque glass brick dividing wall.  Once I saw that, I knew I was going to back light the wall with colour gel and it will look amazing.  All I had to do was to choose the colour.  This time I used green and I really like the effect of the green back light.  In post, I increased the saturation of the colour green to add more impact.

At the beginning Charlotte was only wearing her lingerie, which looks great, but maybe just too revealing.  she had a cardigan with her which completed the look and I think it is much better.

We then moved into the bedroom to take some boudoir images.  When you have a great model with lovely figure, it is hard to take a bad image.  Charlotte was a pleasure to work with and I thoroughly enjoyed the shoot.  We did not have a MUA for this shoot, but Charlotte did wonder with her makeup and hair to make them fresh and different for every set.

When I plan a photo shoot, I always do research and have a good idea of the type of images and what they will look like before hand.  The images I got from this shoot are far better than I have planned.

Model: Charlotte Molly Louise
Photos: Yat Tang

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Quick Portrait Sessions

In the last couple of months, I’ve been very busy in my personal life and business.  It resulted in me traveling around the work non-stop with only one week spent at home.  It was very difficult for me to organise any meaningful photo shoots.  One thing that is lacking in my portfolio are natural looking portraits.  To kill two birds with one stone I placed a casting call on Model Mayhem for models who wants portraits images.  The idea is to bring the minimum gear and only post process in Lightroom and no Photoshop.

The first shoot was with Joana from Lisbon Portugual.  She is an actress who happens to be in London for an acting workshop.  She replied to my casting call and we met up in a park in Holborn London.

I was also able to arrange another portrait sessions with Angela, a dancer who wants more up to date images for her dance portfolio.  We met up at Greenwich Park to take these photos.

At one point we did get some questions asked from security around Greenwich, but we did enough to convince them it was not a commercial shoot and he left us alone.

I really like the results I got from these two quick shoots and would like to do it more.  It just shows you do not need a lot of equipment to get great results.  All the photos were taken with my Canon 50mm F1.8 lens with a single bare flash.  Only Lightroom was used on raw files.

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

London Fashion Weekend - Canon DSLR Vs Olympus MFT

I shot at The London Fashion Weekend today.  After the positive result I got from The Redbull Soapbox Race, I was keen to test out the continues focus performance of my Olympus E-PM2 again.  This time I borrowed a Panasonic 35-100mm F2.8 lens for the fashion show.  As a comparison, I wanted to compare it to my Canon EOS 650D with the 24-105mm F4 IS.

Olympus E-PM2 with Panasonic 35-100mm F2.8

By shooting with both camera setup.  I can say the continues performance of the 650D with optical viewfinder is just superior to the Olympus E-PM2 with VF3 view finder.  It is not all bad, but the the C-AF+TR (continuous + Tracking) gets it wrong about 30% of the time while the Canon 650D hardly got the focus wrong.  Also the frame rate for the E-PM2 to continue to AF is very slow.  It is suppose to 5FPS, it was significantly slower, more like 3FPS.  If this was a paid job, I will shoot with a DSLR, no question.

Canon 650D with 24-105mm F4 IS

Light level was very consistent but not very bright, I had to shoot at 1/400s, F4 at ISO 800.  Colour temperature was about 4400K, very close to florescent.

Olympus E-PM2 with Panasonic 35-100mm F2.8

Overall, if I was to shoot another fashion show or anything that involve moving objects, Micro Four Third cameras will not be my first choice.  It is simply not consistently enough and unpredictable.  Especially if it is a paid job.  Unless Olympus and Panasonic sort out the continuous AF it will never never compete with DSLR.  I use M43 cameras because I like the small size and weight.

Canon 650D with 24-105mm F4 IS

Olympus E-PM2 with Panasonic 35-100mm F2.8

Comparing the two cameras, photo quality are very similar, and it is hard to separate them.  Canon have not produced a new sensor for the last 4 years.  Even the new 70D 20MP sensor is not much improvement to the 4 year old sensor.

Canon 650D with 24-105mm F4 IS

Canon 650D with 24-105mm F4 IS

After this event, there is no doubt the better system for continuous AF is a DSLR.  I will not use my Olympus M43 camera for any moving object.  For static objects, image quality is right there with my Canon 650D.  Shooting with two system was difficult and does not really help with such a fast pace event.  For vacations and events that do not require continuous AF I will still use my Olympus M43 camera.

Olympus E-PM2 with Panasonic 35-100mm F2.8

Canon 650D with 24-105mm F4 IS

I would like to thank WEX Photographic and Canon UK for the chance to shoot at London Fashion Weekend.  All images copyright Yat Tang.

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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Travel Time Lapse Videos

I’ve been very busy traveling for my family holiday and business.  There is no time to fit in any photo shoot.  I am hoping to rectify this very soon.  While I travel, I do try to document the places I’ve been.  In the past, I would take a lot of photos and post them online.  Now I try to shoot time lapse as it is more dynamic and with social media it is easy to share.

Three places I traveled to recently are: Hong Kong for family holiday, Porto Cesareo in Southern Italy and Granada in Spain for business.  These places are just so different in terms of people, culture and environment.  Hong Kong is hot and humid and very built up and crowded.

Porto Cesareo is hot, dusty, dry and only crowded on the beach during the day.  It is a very popular destination for Italians to go on holiday.  In the town centre, it can be difficult to get a table for the evening meal during peak times.  The Italians just love to walk around, look at people, have an ice cream or coffee after the meal.

Porto Cesareo August 2013 from Yat Tang on Vimeo.

Granada in Spain is next to the Sierra Navada mountain which has a popular ski resort in the winter.  In the summer, car companies takes over the mountain road for high altitude testing.  The city is beautiful and it is full of history.

My Two Weeks in Granada from Yat Tang on Vimeo.

I hope you enjoy watching these time lapse videos.  Any feedback are welcome.

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Epping Forest Shoot with Vanessa Sicre

Summer was late arriving in the UK and I am going way on holiday and various business trips over the summer.  This mean I will not be shooting much in August and September.  Before the trips, I wanted to do a shoot that reflects the hot summer.  Vanessa replied to my casting call I placed on  I already have a good idea of what I wanted from this shoot, but Vanessa also came in with a lot of her ideas.  We did quite a bit of email communication before the shoot.  She arrived at the shoot with sample images printed out as reference.

It just shows you can never be sure of the final outcomes of the photo shoot.  While I planned a swimwear shoot, my favourite image from this shoot was a fashion image of Vanessa sitting on a large tree branch in the forest.  The branch is at head height and it was difficult for Vanessa to climb up there.  Once on the branch she had to be very careful not to fall off.  However, I was bitten by thousands of mosquitos in the forest.

We ended the shoot with a quirky image of Vanessa wearing a T shirt with a bow tie sewed on.  This was shot against a bright red metal door in bright sun light.  The contrast of the bright colour made the image pop.  Again a totally unexpected image from this shoot.

It was only a short photo shoot, but I enjoyed working with Vanessa and would like to plan something in the future with her.

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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Belt Craft Studio Shoot with Alexandra

This was a shoot I did a little while ago, but only got round to write about it.  The inspiration for it same from a set of images I saw of Keira Knightley in Marie Claire magazine.  I kept a set of those images in my file for future shoots.  All I need was a location that resembles that of those photos.  When I saw photos of Belt Craft Studio, I just knew that was place.

I contacted Alexandra, a model I shot with before, because she would be perfect for this.  Fortunately, she was keen to do it as well.  Crystal Edwards completed the team to do makeup and hair.  On the day, it all come together and we got a great set of images.

This behind the scene time lapse video sums up the day shooting.

Photo Shoot at Belt Craft Studio - Behind the Scene from Yat Tang on Vimeo.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Flower Theme Beauty Shoot with Donna and Jade

I did a fruit theme beauty shoot earlier this year which was inspired by images I saw of Rankin.  This was a follow on from the original theme, except this time I wanted to shoot with flowers and plants.  Before I selected the models and studio, I asked Robyn Skinner if she would like to do the hair and makeup.  She is a MUA I’ve worked with before and very happy with her work.  She was very enthusiastic came up with a number of options for the makeup and hair.  Once Robyn was on board this project, I asked Donna and Jade, a couple of models I’ve worked with before and they were also keen to do this.

I shot all the images as Dock Road Studio, in Brentford London.  With beauty shoot, lighting is so important, shooting in a studio I can precisely control the lights.  The key light was a large beauty dish, a snoot for the background and a softbox/gridded beauty dish was used for hair light from behind.  Nothing fancy but precisely controlled.  It would be difficult to do on location.

This is a short time lapse video showing the makeup and lighting set up for Donna.

With beauty shoots, when you have models that can give you the looks you want, most of the work is actually done by the makeup artist and hair stylist.  In this case, Robyn did a great job with both hair and make for Donna and Jade.

This is a short time lapse video showing the makeup and lighting for Jade.

Beauty Shoot with Jade Time Lapse from Yat Tang on Vimeo.

Like all photo shoots, more time was spent in planning and post processing than the actual shooting the images.  It really helps when you work with professional people who can deliver during a shoot.  I really like the results I achieved with this beauty shoot and want to do more.  All I need is a little more time and a theme.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Continuous Focus Performance of Olympus E-PM2

Personally, I always thought the continuous focus of the micro four thirds cameras to be poor and have not use it at all.  At the weekend I attended the Red Bull Soapbox Race in London.  For the first time I used the continuous focus on moving objects.  The soapboxes were travelling reasonably fast, and they were coming towards me.  I shot at Sequential Low at 3.5 FPS so the camera can focus between shots.  The focus mode I used was C-AF+TR (continuous auto focus with tracking) and to my surprise, it got more photos in focus than out of focus.  All images were shot with the Olympus 40-150mm IIR MSC lens.

Rather than talking about it, here are a few sequences.  The first sequence shows a VW camper van which is in focus through out.

This sequence was slightly less successful, but most of the images were in focus.  A couple of frames were under exposed.

Slightly out of focus

Much better but ever slightly out of focus

All good from here

Totally out of focus here

Out of focus and under exposed

Then it is good from here

Finally, here is another sequence that is in focus and well exposed.  This soapbox was travelling very fast towards me.

I was delighted to capture these sequences of images from this event.  The focus system exceeded my expectation and will be using my camera in more sports events in future.