Monday, September 29, 2014

Savage Pure White Seamless Paper Review

Since moving to my new place I've had the luxury of having a dedicated studio space. Due to having the space, I decided to pick up a large backdrop setup including stands and seamless paper. The stands and cross bar were purchased on Amazon relatively inexpensive on sale for $60. I knew I wanted a white seamless paper for my first backdrop due to its versatility.  After doing some research I opted for the Savage Pure White Seamless Paper. Priced at $65 from Amazon it was a good deal considering its huge 107"x36' dimensions. One thing I will say upon arrival, this thing is massive and  will likely require some help setting this bad boy up. Once you slip the roll onto the crossbar, simply adjust the stands to your desired height. My main purpose for buying such a large backdrop came down to a few reasons. I have a lot of space, high ceilings, and enjoy shooting full length portraits with the ability to pull back the perspective a bit. Viewing work from shooters such as Gregorio, Van Styles, Ohrangutang, Max Thompson, and Larsen Sotelo has encouraged me to push my own limits and comfort zone to get different photos. While a white backdrop may seem boring and plain to some, with various lighting methods and beautiful people to work with, sometimes thats all you need. Overall I'm very satisfied with my decision to invest in such a setup. The quality of the savage seamless paper is excellent and arrived in a timely manner. At this point I'm simply enjoying shooting on it and exploring the possibilities such a blank canvas allows. Until next time

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sigma 10-20mm F/4-5.6 Lens Review

Every now and then a product comes along your path that's different, unconventional, and breaks certain rules. Recently I had the opportunity to borrow the Sigma 10-20mm F/4-5.6 lens. It is an ultra wide zoom lens that gives an interesting perspective. Normally these types of specialty lens are for specialty purposes, they tend to excel in a particular area and that's about it. That's possibly why I was so surprised at the versatility of such a lens in real world shooting. I say this with a grain of salt because it's truly not a spectacular piece that deserves universal praise like say the Canon 85mm F/1.2L. The main thing about this lens is fun factor, it's just a blast to use. The ability to get close to subjects while still keeping them in the frame is unique. The level of distortion can be a bit too much at 10mm when standing directly in front of something/someone. Not particularly ideal for portraits, but that doesn't mean it can't be done. The distortion can also be fixed in post process with a lens correction in Photoshop so it's not entirely unusable. Over the course of my time with the lens I shot the following: portraits, landscape, astrophotography, and even BTS video. That's very impressive for a "speciality" lens. Similar to most lens, it performs it's best when stopped down to about F/8. Autofocus was surprisingly quick, although when the entire frame is in focus, that helps. There was a few times when I was able to get close enough to a subject at 10mm, while being able to blur the background slightly at F/4.  One interesting shot I was able to get was a long exposure portrait of a model in five poses in front of a sunset. Hillary performed a pose, a flash from the strobe would light her, and onto the next pose, she did this five times. The flash was fired at each pose to freeze and burn that into the image. It was a pretty trick shot to nail but after some trial and error we came away with one we both liked. Overall, I had a great time using the Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 lens. I would definitely recommend it to anyone lookin for something unique as a reasonable price. Until next time

BTS video of Fio's studio shoot filmed with Canon T2i body and Sigma 10-20mm F/4-5.6 lens:


"Black like my soul"
Table Dance

Custom Chao Couture Gold Heels


16mm,  1/30s,  F/5.0,  ISO 200
Long exposure portrait of Hillary

10mm,  30s,  F/22,  ISO 100

Mt. Graham

Sunset over Roper Lake

10mm,  3.2s,  F/22,  ISO 100

Star Gazing

10mm,  30s,  F/4,  ISO 1600