Digging “Deeper”……

Over this last few days, I’ve been finding myself needing to “divert” mentally from job hunting.  Market is a tough one in my space at this time (I’m a Business Analyst in IT) and so I’m spending a lot of time looking for work.  Part of this, of course includes netwo rking.  Yesterday, I attended a networking event that will hopefully yield more interviews Smile 

A bit of background on job hunting and why it’s getting more involved for me.  I do have a solid resume, and I’m very methodical in the process of job hunting, but this time around, I wasn’t getting the interviews compared to the number of applications.   Fewer interviews, means each one has to count, etc….  In this day and age, what the heck does that mean?  Well, I was getting missed, so I basically started from the ground up and started taking some online courses to see if I could get more hints to get noticed out there.

Anyway…. my work (when I’m working…) tends to be very brain intensive and job hunting is the same way.  It’s one of those things where a couple hours can go by in a heart beat.  Networking events suck up a couple or three hours. My webinars take another hour out of the day.  THEN you’ve got to customize your resume to fit…. and on and on…..

The other day, I got thinking about my light box.  I needed a diversion – my head hurt…. I started to build one a while ago and it was nice but I simply didn’t get around to refining it too much.  I needed to make some changes to it after the first pass.  It’s not like other ones out there – my space is a little more limited, so I actually had to go out and build a frame for it.  Not as deep as most.  I’m still doing refinements, of course,  One of the problems I’ve been facing is getting better light diffusion.  I simply don’t have the space to put my lights outside and shine it thru diffusers.  It’s simply too tight to do that.  Could I change locations?  Yes, but not without a lot of hassle.  I kinda wanted this more permanent, and until I can break more space loose, not gonna happen.

One of the bigger issues here was setting up a decent backdrop or a way to be able to handle back drops better.  Got that figured out.  From a lighting perspective, I’m using 3 lamps.  Because I’m not using a diffuser type system, I needed something that would give me a flatter light.  I ended up using daylight balanced florescent bulbs and there’s an ever so slight blue there, but all things considered, not so bad for an initial pass.

canon sx270

The big concern here was getting the base lighting correct.  Color correction will be an upcoming lessonSmile

So this falls into the area of product/still photography under controlled conditions.    This particular shot was simply a test for an inventory item for insurance purposes.

For me, in this area (reference photos) it’s not so much about the “perfect” photo, per se.  Sure I want that, but remember – it’s a referene shot.   So what does that mean from a light box standpoint?  I need good detail and good representation of color.  I have a lot of things I need to catalog, so getting the light right is more critical than color.  I’m depending a lot here on the camera’s auto white balance to do most of the work.  Because of the sheer number of items, the most I’m going to be doing will be some cropping. 

Other stills/products – when I get into this space, I definitely do get pickier Smile  Though I’m not a pro here, I’ve done a lot of this from my 35mm days.  I did have a full fledged studio for both product and portrait work back then.  A little different today though.  For the type of things I’m doing here, I’m looking for not only good lighting (note I said good lighting, not controlled lighting – not always possible), but something very similar to say flowers – you get that soft blurred background with those razor sharp objects. Bokeh, is the term I’ve seen.  You can control the lighting to a certain extent and sometimes you can fit whatever into your light box, but not always.  Depending on the type of shot, here, one does want everything to set up correctly.  Things like flowers maybe even a painting – correct color now comes into play.

Equipment.  Now THIS is a bit of a controversial thing for me.  Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not against DSLR’s – I simply don’t own one, and right for the moment, don’t really care to.  I do own a compact system camera – two systems actually, my primary being the Panasonic GX1 and also a Nikon 1 J1 – both systems have two zooms.  No primes you say?  No, not really.  In reality, so far anyway, I really haven’t needed them or even seen the need.  I’ve been able to manage fine without them.  Sure, I could get them, and sure I could easily afford a pretty comprehensive DSLR system, but for the moment, I’m not entirely convinced that I would gain that much for the money.  I’ve already got more than enough invested and the equipment so far is doing fine.  AND I do have a lot of cameras that can cover off a lot of different things.  You see, and I’ve mentioned this before, I’ve done everything based around mobility.  I DON’T want to carry a lot of gear.  I do, however, want a pretty high quality pic, like everyone else, just want the ability to catch that photo at any time.  DSLR’s are not something that I carry with me all the time.  A good pointy shooty or travel camera?  I usually have one or more of those with me all the time.  I also have another “layer” in there – A Fuji X10 and Panasonic Lx7.  These, I use for my low light shots – the Panasonic is a little better but it’s also smaller, so gets the job of being in my daypack.  The X10 is my weekend  camera.  Depending on the situation, things do get switched around, but for the most part, each camera has it’s place and more important, I have one close pretty well all the time.

So what I’m getting at here, is that yes, I want a good pic, but at the same time, I want to be able to get that shot whenever it shows up.  For me, a DSLR doesn’t do that well enough.  Sure, it will ultimately deliver a higher quality photo, but you need to get that photo first Smile  I see reviews all the time about this camera or that camera being a good “second” to their primary DSLR.  They are obviously talking about that group of people who DO carry their DSLR’s all the time, maybe.  OR maybe, that group of people who needs to do image manipulation and so needs to get that super high quality image in the first place.  I don’t have that much “serious” experience in photography – maybe 10 years or so with an SLR but from what I’ve found during that time, was that some of the best shot opportunities showed up when I DIDN’T have my camera with me Smile  That why, this time around, I went with a mobile baseline.  I’m not missing those shots anymore Smile 

Will I get a DSLR – eventually.  I’m still thinking that thru and probably next year.  It will depend a lot on the direction I take and whether or not I get even more serious than I am now.  For the things I’m currently doing, I’m pretty happy with what I’ve got and the things I’m doing.  My GX1 has a Micro Four Thirds sensor, and J1 has an equivalent one.  Do I see a difference in photo quality from my other cameras?  Well – it depends Smile  IF I need to crop like crazy, yes, the GX1/J1/X10 and LX7 with their larger sensors show their merit.  For the average shot, it really doesn’t show that big of a difference.  All my units take more than adequate pics for what I’m doing.



About gkamitomo
IT Busines Analyst

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