Monday, February 11, 2013

Super Bowl Party Photo Booth

So Erin and I decided to have a photo booth at our super bowl party. We went to a friend's wedding in December, and the booth there seemed like it went over really well.

I also recently acquired a flash (Canon 430EX II) and some supporting equipment. So it seemed like a great opportunity to put them to use.

The setup will probably sound more complicated than it actually was. It was pretty quick to get going, and I think it worked pretty well. I had the camera facing a plain off-white wall, with the focal length set as wide as I could and still only have plain wall in the background. I set the flash up at about a 45 degree angle from the center of the frame at camera right. The flash is shooting slightly downward, and into a shoot-through umbrella to soften and diffuse the light. The flash is connected to the camera via the cable and PC sync adapters from the Strobist kit linked above. The camera was triggered using a Vello Wireless Shutterboss Timer remote. I ended up setting the flash to 1/2 power output, and the camera was set to f/9 and ISO400 with a 1/200 shutter speed. The camera exposure was low enough that it took black frames without the flash, so that I didn't have to worry about getting white balance right with ambient lighting. We also wrote some quick instructions, though those weren't really necessary for such a small party.

On the support side, I ended up tethering the camera to a laptop running Canon's EOS Utility. I used the Remote Shooting mode, which has a Quick Preview window that shows the last shot taken so that photos could be reviewed immediately. I also set the laptop screensaver to come on after a couple of minutes and cycle through the directory where the photos were being stored.

The photo booth wasn't as popular as I had hoped. I think the Super Bowl was too much of a focal point. I certainly enjoyed myself with it. Here are a few of my favorites that came out of it.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Photo Class 4/30

Zoomed in shot. Seemed relevant for a focal length lesson
Lesson 4.  This one's all about focal length.  The objective is to see the differences in focal length, as well as demonstrating "zooming with your feet".  Following are 18mm, 25mm, 33mm, 43mm, the previous 18mm cropped, and 55mm shots from the same spot.  They are all on a tripod.  The last picture is a 18mm shot, framed similarly to the 55mm shot.





18mm, cropped to a similar field of view as 55mm


18mm, "zoomed with my feet" to try to frame it similarly to the 55mm shot above
I made the pictures extra large to try to make comparison easier.  First step is comparing the 55mm shot with the 18mm shot that I "zoomed with my feet" to take.  Very obvious are the different reflections in the mirror and the fireplace marble.  That shows very clearly that the pictures were taken from different locations.  The light is also showing through a different part of the vase.  Finally, the way the plant overlaps the vase and the owl overlaps the candle is different.

Second was supposed to be to reduce the 55mm shot's size and overlay it on the 18mm shot.  Instead I cropped the 18mm shot.  Comparing them, the only difference I see is that they were exposed differently.

As far as perspective distortion, I recommend reading this.  Focal length doesn't affect it.  I think the 18mm cropped vs 55mm photo shows this pretty clearly.  That's it for lesson 4.  Lesson 5 to come someday...