Parallax Art Show

Flo Dron modelling in a fashion photo by Marc Rogoff

I will be showing a series of images at the Parallax Art Fair on the 13 and 14th February. There are an interesting selection of artists showing there so if you can make it along it will be a worthwhile event. Do come along. Also if you get a chance to sign to sign up to my mailing list then please click here to do so – there is a 5% discount on unframed prints for anyone who does so.

 

Kontinent Award Winner (Advertising Category)

1406311358515

I just found out that the image below of the mercurially beautiful Flo Dron just won an award in the prestigious Kontinent Awards 2014. This was a real team effort and wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for Flo Dron (Select Models) and the rest of the very talented team made up of Emma Winter (Set Design), Felix Elizabetta Forma (Styling), Michelle Web (Hair and Makeup), Anne Marie Lawson (Hair and Makeup Assistance) and Michael Furlonger Photographic Assistance.

Kontinent-ratio

My personal review of the Sigma 50mm 1.4 DG Art lens vs Nikon 1.4G

Sigma 1.4 DG1Sigma 1.4 DG2 Sigma 1.4 DG3

I have just purchased the new Sigma 50mm 1.4 DG art lens to replace my Nikon 50mm 1.4G. I did this because whilst the Nikon is a perfectly good lens it tends to be a bit slow focussing and it was always a bit soft towards the edges of the frame (not ideal for portraits as eyes end up out of focus if you are shooting quite open).

After initially putting the lens on the camera I couldn’t get focus on anything I pointed it at. I then decided to calibrate both lenses and did some rough and ready tests by locking off the camera and shooting my very exciting bookcase. Note: I had to make much bigger adjustments on the Sigma which was effectively unusable straight out of the box. Sigma – if you are listening then please make sure you calibrate your lenses properly before selling them… 🙂

A few comments on the aesthetics and functionality of the Sigma. The lens is a chunky hunk of glass. It is a heavy and large lens but it feels well balanced on the D800 and is pleasing to look at with a modernistic and minimalist look. It feels like quality and is beautifully made. The AF/MF switch is solid and the hood fits solidly – in all it feels like a pro lens although it is not weather resistant. This lens focusses a lot faster than the Nikon. It locks on quickly and seems to be as good in terms of accuracy as the Nikon.

As far as the differences that I was able to observe in sharpness and quality….the Sigma is not quite as sharp as the Nikon in the centre at 1.4 and the Nikon displays more chromatic aberration. As soon as you go to F2 everything changes right across the frame and its the same story as you move down the apertures. The Sigma outperforms in every department. The bokeh on the Sigma is buttery smooth and although the Nikon is no slouch its highlights are a bit crunchy by comparison.

As far as the cost/benefit is concerned…if you shoot professionally and you need critical sharpness then there is no comparison – Sigma have hit a home run with this lens. If you are on a budget then the Nikon is perfectly good for everyday work and in most cases you probably won’t be wanting. Shooting Fashion means that I am often shooting in portrait mode and I am a bit anal about sharpness throughout the frame.

I am not posting the full size files here but these are screenshots at 100% of various apertures to give you an idea of the quality and a few random shots I took to give an idea of the look out of camera – without adjustments. Sadly I didn’t have a real model to shoot when I wrote this so the Playboy Doll had to do….(dont ask how it came to be in my possession).

Random Shot (below)screen-capture-26

Random Shot (below)screen-capture-25

Bokeh Comparison Sigma on Left (look at the highlights)screen-capture-24

Sigma is on the left (below)screen-capture-23 screen-capture-22 screen-capture-21

 

My thoughts on Motion Image Capture

bambi-3

 

Apologies for taking so long to follow up to my post on what I feel about motion stills and its implications for photography. Well, I have had a bit of time to digest the idea and whilst it would seem on the surface to have the potential to radically affect photography I am now not sure it will have quite as dramatic an effect. I am sure that there will be people that will find it useful and I am not discounting using myself for appropriate jobs. It is a bit of a creativity stifler in the sense that part of the creative vision of a photographer is the pre-visualisation of a shoot and I feel that this would encourage a hit and miss and a “…lets see what we get” approach (which may be good for some but not for me). This series of photographs (http://marcrogoff.com/recent-/thumbs/) for Bambi Magazine I did recently is a good example of pre-visualising and is probably as close as I have ever got to accomplishing what I had seen in my minds eye before a shoot. If I had shot this series with a motion capture camera I am sure it would have come out completely differently. Sometimes having too much choice is a dangerous thing!
Notwithstanding the creative limitations there are of course lots of technical issues that would stifle the result. Lighting scenes like the ones above would have been extremely difficult with hot lights and probably impossible in the space we were occupying. The size and heat of the lights required and the fact that we were bleeding ambient into the shots would have meant blurry images and very high iso’s. Controlling depth of field is another issue that is a creativity killer. The other thing is the cost of storing vast amounts of moving images and the time required to go throughout them is another impracticality that personally I can do without. The are many more technical reasons why I would choose stills and strobe over hot lights and moving images and I am sure if you give it some thought you will come up with a few yourself?
So, the bottom line for me at least is that I can’t see myself being impacted by this technology to any great degree. I can see its uses for Wedding photographers or for News editorial photographers who are tasked with documenting an event or for some forms of portraiture but for Fashion work it has its limitations. I will be sticking to stills and the flexibility that strobe lights offer for the time being.

Very happy to hear back from anyone who has different thoughts on the subject so please feel free to comment, disagree or email me if you dont want to comment below.