I went out for a walk today and stumbled across a small town making some video on our pedestrian bridge.
So, how many people does it take to run an Arriflex Alexa camera?
Maybe seven? I can actually run a Sony RX10ii by myself.
Even in 4K...(smiley face icon implied).
Something interesting is always happening somewhere in the vicinity of downtown Austin. Today I was out walking my newest camera and lens, trying to figure out why some people believe the lens to be unsharp, when I started to cross the bridge from South Austin to Downtown. It's a beautiful pedestrian walkway but today it was covered with signs asking people not to walk through while film cameras were rolling. Austin off-duty police were at either end of the bridge to help control foot traffic. As I walked across the bridge (after waiting patiently for "Cut!") I started counting crew. If you considered the craft service people (on site kitchen) the production was close to 50 people.
One of the side streets was lined with production trucks, air conditioned rest room trucks, and a dining tent that had seats for at least 50, and so much more. At first I thought "movie" but it didn't have the movie vibe. Turns out (at least I was told as much) that it was all for a commercial. Wow.
There were cases of $30,000 zoom lenses sitting on carts, while one truck (swear!) was filled with folding director's chairs. Jeez. These people know how to do a production with style. I thought about it for the rest of the morning as I put the finishing touches on my two person video production proposal for a client. Not sure my working budget would have covered this crew's sandbag budget...
But it looked earnest. Really, really earnest. And they sure had a beautiful day to shoot on.
Full frame shot. Jpeg. Standard.
Long story shortened. Bought a lens after reading and researching widely. The reviews were mixed. Actual users on Amazon.com loved it (for the most part). Metrics driven DXOMark gave it two thumbs up. The denizens of the web, and the signal repeaters crapped all over it and let me know (gently, of course) that I was a moron for even considering a lens that was "incapable" of sharpness, and that was "so soft in the corners I could use it for toilet paper..."
The truth was not somewhere in the middle. It was out there just waiting to be discovered by anyone ready to spend $4400 on the lens and the right body on which to test it. So, after days and days of rain we finally got a classic, Austin Spring day. Lots of sunshine and its friend, high humidity.
Well, I had been writing proposals and doing post processing (and writing too many blog posts) so I splurged and spent some time walking around this morning with the A7R2 and its friend, the Zeiss 24-70mm f4.0G ZA zoom lens. I must have gotten a defective one because it looks sharp as a tack everywhere I look, and at every focal length. I shot mostly at f5.6 and I tried to find crappy-ness but have been largely unsuccessful. Plus, I think the color in the straight out of the camera, medium res Jpegs is just super deluxe. If you click on the images you'll be able to see them bigger.
The quality of a lens is about more than just pinpoint sharpness everywhere. It'a also about color, contrast, saturation and a personality. I think I'll be just fine with the new wide angle to short telephoto zoom lens. I think most people will be happy with it, provided they put it on the right body...
A central crop of the frame above.
My process for getting portraits selected and delivered to our clients. Let's run through the steps.
©2009 Kirk Tuck.
Regardless of what gear I select for making portraits the portrait session or "sitting" is just part of the overall assignment equation which includes: editing down the number of images, making a global color and tone correction of the first round of selections and then delivering a gallery from which the client(s) will choose their final "keeper." The smoothness of this process, in the eyes of the client, is a critical part of our customer service.
When I write about my photography business I've alluded to the fact that I am a promiscuous shooter and come home with buckets of images; more than a client might have the time or inclination to wade through. So, I thought this rainy April morning would be a good time to discuss process.
Let's start at the very beginning. We need to get invited to the party. Then we need to let the client know what the process will be and how much money it will cost them. We have different rates or costs for portraits done in the