Working for a marketing company has its perks, especially when making house calls to restaurants. McBride's, a wonderful restaurant in Joliet Illinois, is no different. Whether it was the beautiful bartop, the hospitality from the management and staff, or the food. The shoot for this client was a pleasure.
The series of Understanding Exposure trucks on with this installment: Aperture.Read More
In the sleepy town of Woodstock, Illinois is a farm. In this quaint farm resides a pig. This pig however isn't just a normal pig, this is a heritage Kunekune pig. This kunekune pig is a boar named "Pig Newton" and he is the patriarch of all the kunekune pigs at HillBunker Farms. He is a very friendly boar, unlike other breeds of pigs where boars can be hostile, and enjoys snacks. Newton and all the other animals had a lot of visitors they day I showed up as the farm was having an open house. Guest could stop by and pet the baby pigs, lambs, chickens, and shop at the store within the farm for all their farm needs (honey, wool dryer balls, candles, deodorant, eggs, meat, and lotions).
If you are visiting the NW suburbs of Chicago, or live in the area, ask nicely first and visit Pig Newton. While you're at it support HillBunker Farms and their wonderful animals by buying some product at the farm.
…WHERE this was should ring some bells for those who’ve followed me for a while now as it was a return to a beautiful garden just a hop, skip, and jump from where I live…Read More
The first upload for project 116*3 brings us back to Anderson Japanese Gardens, the site of C M Y K's (M)agenta Forest. This time standing in front of the iconic waterfall my Mother and Father - In - Law. On Orthodox Easter no less, this happy couple was celebrating 40 years of marital bliss. I don't say that lightly, because after spending a decade plus around them through highs and lows, deaths and births, good times and bad ones these two have had each other's back...when they aren't at each others neck. I can only wish to have a marriage as long and well planted as theirs with my wife. Congrats to the both of you!
The digital equivalent to the film rolls of the analog days can offer more confusion than simplicity. What was a simple ISO, ASA, or DIN rating on the film to tell you what the limitations were of the film, are now rife with so many symbols and numbers. It’s enough to just pick one at random and see if it fits your workflow. Let’s take the guesswork out and make some sense of all these symbols and hieroglyphics.Read More
I started photography 10 and a half years ago. While there’s still technical knowledge I lack, and I’m always learning, however photography isn’t just something you learn photography can also teach. What photography has taught me in life is numerous. How so ever if there’s just 5 things I can relay to you all, whether it’s common knowledge or just life affirming, it would be this…Read More
I want to start with the absolute basics for those of you reading with no prior or any knowledge of photography. Sit right down there and hopefully (if I explain things correctly and thoroughly enough) by the end of “Understanding Exposure”, an off and on series, you’ll understand exposure and the key components that go into exposure thus creating a photo. By extension, with no guarantee, you will most likely take better photos knowing these components.; at the very least experiment more thus creating more engaging photos. So, let’s get into the basics!
Exposure has three key components to it; Aperture, Shutter Speed, and Film Speed. All three components factor light coming in; the aperture for the amount through the lens, shutter speed for how long the light comes into the camera, and the film speed (going forward it will be called ISO) which measures the sensitivity of that specific film or sensitivity of the sensor at that measured setting. So let’s use this idea in practice, and many of you may not have a camera on had but you don’t need one for this example, you just need to understand you own eye.
If you shine a bright light at an eye, though I don’t suggest doing this to a random person’s eye, you’ll notice how the pupil contracts limiting the newly added amount of light in. If our eyes didn’t contract, the amount of light would blind us by bathing the entire vision in whiteness.
Our eye can and do compensate however and so our pupil contracts and the vision isn’t whited out very long. The same can be said for the opposite, when wondering around in the dark with no or low lighting our eyes will compensate for the lack of light and let in as much light as possible to create a visible scene. If our eyes didn’t adjust ever we would, for example, walk into a dark theater from the lobby or outside and constantly bump into things it would be too dark to give vision.
The camera’s lens functions the exact same way. Sure it has some advantages and hurdles when dealing with a wide or narrow aperture but dealing with the amount of light and having the lens control it is the same as the involuntary action of the pupil. You can even know what happens if the aperture is too narrow or wide, given the shutter speed and ISO are all set properly. Too wide? Then the exposure will be too light. Is the image too dark? then the aperture is too narrow. All these are, again, if the shutter speed and ISO are set properly. The shutter speed simply is the blinking of the “camera’s eye”. The faster the camera “blinks” the darker the image is, and the longer the cameras blink stay open, the brighter the image will be. Like the Aperture the shutter speed is dependent in the Aperture and the ISO. I’ll get more into the ISO in the blog entry for “Film Speed” but for understanding purposes of the human eye and understanding exposure, think of the ISO as the retina in the back of the eye. It is a light sensitive sensor that needs the eyelids for “shutter Speed” and the pupils for the “Aperture” to best make a visible image. I’ll get more into each topic, trust me I couldn’t scratch the surface in one blog if I tried, but for now you have a better understanding of why an image would be to dark/light. Keep in mind it’s sometimes just one of the three factors but a general dark image is a combo of all three. So join me in future posts as we dive into these subjects, and you too can learn photography…
Now on to another topic.
A photographer I followed for the first couple years of learning photography wrote in a website she made about the first camera she ever owned:
”I spent almost a year shooting exclusively with the 50mm f/1.4. I couldn’t afford another lens, so I just had to make do with what I had. I think this forced me to learn the basics of photography (exposure, light & composition) and really know how to use my camera.” - Lisa “Mostly Lisa” Bettany
It made me think about the constant influx of gear I’ve had come and go with little work to speak of other than the work I brought it for (this was before the popular rise of lens rental sites"). I needed a way to celebrate what gear I bought and why I loved these specific lenses or cameras. So, project 116 ( 1 camera, 1 lens, 6 months) started with my first lens I ever bought “50mm f/1.8”. Now in this third installment I have decided to go with another zoom lens (116/2 was the 17-40mm Super Wide Zoom lens) the “Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 USM L” lens. What better way to celebrate this than with a camera fresh from the Canon repair wing, the EOS 5D mk II. Now I know for a fact that I won’t be using the 5D mk II won’t be brought on my trip in a month, so while Project 116 has been very flexible, with the one exception, I want to be a little more strict with just the 1 camera. Previous installments bounced the same lens on two to three different bodies, but this time will be a little different, and I’m excited to show you all next Flickr Friday the inaugural post. this will go on once a week every Friday for the next 6 months, so see you all then. Until next Thursday, thanks for swinging by!
Comin’ at you on a beautiful Thursday…..I mean Sunday—UPDATE——— SCRATCH ALL THAT WE BACK ON THURSDAYS NOW——— (because my hay fever/sinus infection got the better of me). I want to reveal some of my tricks over time and in this edition of the Bendersama Blog I want to focus on some websites I personally still use or value greatly. These site started me on my photography path, but moreover they are great tools to use in tandem with your learning from experience, workshops, or schooling. Let’s crank these out, however I’ll state this now; while they are/were useful to me, results may vary for you.
Photography Social Social Media Sites
Some will tell you that this site WAS a great source of fellow photographers talking shop about gear, tech issues, clients, and composition. the same would tell you that this site is dead and should be written off. I’ll tell you now that with the recent Flickr buyout by SmugMug, and the Verizon buyout of Yahoo, no long will statements like:
"There's really no such thing as professional photographers anymore." - Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer 2013
..will no longer be tolerated. Make no bones about it, as this site was crashing and burning to knowingly subpar photographers and Second Life fursonas (don’t ask…), 500px picked up where Flickr dropped the ball. How so ever why I will never back a site like 500px, despite the pretty little site’s polish, is because of the privacy issues I’ve had in the past to stalkers and harassers. I’ll tolerate harsh criticism, but in the past I’ve had a couple people knowingly imitate, fervently follow, and unapologetically go over many personal lines. To that end I’ve had a back and forth with admins of 500px and their response is “Sorry, nothing we can do.”. Not even a block button coded for a profile; but over on Flickr you can not only do everything with a community of users and if you ever have a problem with one of them you CAN block them.
Now I said this before, but it bears worth repeating, I stand by Flick and the new wave of REAL PHOTOGRAPHERS that come in hungry to share and socialize. It will take time, but when Flickr returns to greatness I’ll still be there, and I suggest you to go there, post your work, and make some friends.
Informative Equipment Reviews
When I started out I looked at sites like fredmiranda.com and thought the users smugness towards a lens being slightly soft or heavier than they cared for. That was when I didn’t know that weight over time would be an issue, or the fact that a certain zoom lens extended and how this would cause issues. It find it now that FREDMIRANDA.COM is a valuable resource of boards in a time and place photography boards of “quality” are in short supply. One that I did and still do respect and admire is DPREVIW.COM. It has grown exponentially, but it still keeps up with their “lens data” review which is my bread and butter. Every lens has a “sweet spot” and DPReview’s lens data helps illustrate it in cool graphs and colors easy to understand. For example (popping out in a new window) you can see that the “lens data” on Canon’s 40mm pancake lens, on a Canon EOS 7D body, will show that while the vignette on the lens @ f/2.8 on the corners is a little soft, it goes away at f/4 and beyond. Also, the optimal sharpness of the lens tends to side on f/8 and anything under, while useable, tends to be soft under f/8. That would leads someone to understand the optimal setting for the 40mm f/2.8 pancake lens is f/8 (which is kinda rough as on average sweet spots tend to be one stop under the fastest setting). Beyond me explaining this you can see it on the graphs and come to that conclusion yourself, which is why I’m so big on dpreview.com! Another great site is Photons to Photos! This site is new to my bookmarks but it’s really rising up the charts as a data reviewer. The niche behind this site, beyond auditing the next site I’ll mention, is to offering a clear representation of the data gathered on each camera’s dynamic range at any specific film speed (ISO). The line graph shows points where the dynamic range also falls off at a specific ISO. This offers you the best range to use your camera, and where to expect the IQ (image quality) dip at higher ISOs. Of course you can compare cameras’ dynamic range when deciding on upgrades or brand transition. The site that this needs to audit occasionally is DXOMark. Now I would have kinder things to say about the site, but with the rating system, their slow-to-lab-review new lenses and camera bodies, and their disconnect from solid photographer gear to cell phone sensors MAY be ahead of the times, but does nothing for me as a resource.
News, Creative, and Educational Sites
If you waltz away from this blog with anything, let it be STROBIST. Strobist is the BEST site on how to learn lighting, types of lighting, and lighting gear, and set-ups… to those new to photography the etymology of “Photo Graphy” is literally “Light Drawing” so learning light is paramount. Short of this site another fun site to visit is ThePhotoblogger. It’s articles on creative photography may be what you need to jog the creative juices. Another creative and newsworthy site is fStoppers. This site, in the beginning was the buzzfeed of photography sites (which I don’t rank personally very high). I’ve been back and forth over a few years and while there are a handful of millennial hipster authors, the quality has gotten better with time and should be, at its core an interesting readthrough. Lastly I want to touch on the rumor mill sites. Canon Rumors and Nikon Rumors really help give you a peak at what’s on the horizon for their respective company’s tech.
Now that should cover all my DIGITAL photography resources, my film adds a few more vintage lens reviewers, and the addition of 4chan’s /p/ board (if you can tread through the flamewars and smug), reddit’s r/photography and r/analog subbreddits. Sites like the ones just listed aren’t really MY recommendations as they don’t cater entirely to the new photographer or those not savvy with the ways of internet culture. I would finish this off by saying that a resources value is relative to the person using it, and while there is other sites and communities you could go with or mention, the ones I just listed will take you far if you delve and only if you delve into each site. Best of luck, and I hope these links help!
…but Bender…. I need a camera to snap photos.
Well then, let’s get you that SLR camera.Read More
I’ve prefaced some sage like advice, I’ve given you options on where to shop….
So, you wanna buy a mirrorless camera. Here are some suggestions.Read More
Now I answer the question “Which is better” by giving the answer “ That is dependent on what your preference is and your workflow”.Read More
I’ll let you decide in this series. We will take a look at first what this technology is, compare and contrast with dSLR (digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras, and finally give examples of both brands and certain makes of cameras to look for if you yourself are going to make the plunge. So let’s answer the first question:
What is a mirrorless camera?Read More
Mr. & Mrs. Krzywonos
Ending the busiest season Bendersama Photography has had, I thought it necessary to post my latest wedding shoot. These wonderful friends of the Bendersama Photography family were the first ones to hire me and kick off what would turn out to be a huge watershed moment for this business's year. The bride and groom had a blue theme, along with being fellow Chicagoland residents are big Blues Brothers fans! The below photos are just some of the ones captured during the event, and boy...what a great event!Read More
AUGUST 26, 2017
Here at Bendersama Photography, we try to be a jack-of-all-trades in photography. The concept to deny a potential client or genre of photography is foreign to the business because it's like leaving money on the table. So when offered an opportunity to photograph not just one but two separate weddings I had to step up to the plate, even if the last wedding was done in 2009.... Here's the first wedding, below is the wedding of Rahim and Samantha Dixon.Read More
How so ever I have to report on my trip that finished up the ninja project that snuck in before the site went live again. That project was a black and white photography set of black and white animals or otherwise called B/W-imals!Read More
Hey folks! I told a lot of you over the last few weeks that I had a questionnaire to help shape the site and I got a lot of input on where I should focus my efforts.Read More
Anybody who has been following me knows that I was gifted and refurbished a Hasselblad 500C. The 500C was the camera used for C M Y K (still available at the STORE until Winter), but few know that most recently I picked up a Canon AE-1, the camera that really started it all.Read More
So the wrap party for Meat You Maker wouldn't be complete without one of the most important and helpful ends to the project, the farms. I won't focus on all of them, just the one I locally get my eggs from, the farm that has a store next to it offering more than just eggs, a farm where most recently on my visit to shoot was recently blessed with several newborns. That farm is Hillbunker Farms.Read More
In this third and final installment I'm gonna go over "BLJCHEWNA" short for BLUE LONG JOHN CHEWNA.Read More