Q&A: Ask me anything about photography

Mar 20

steyciepelizon said: Oi Kirk! Estou apaixonada por seu trabalho! Gostaria de saber quais as lentes que você usa, especialmente para fotografar rostos. FIco muito feliz em encontrar um fotógrafo como você, que expõe como trabalhar e nos ajuda. Obrigada desde já. (i'm Brazilian)

Obrigado! Estou tão feliz que você gosta do meu trabalho!

Eu uso uma Contax 645 com lente 80 milímetros f2 para muito do meu trabalho casamento.

Para minhas fotos digitais geralmente eu uso uma lente de 50mm 1.4 ou uma lente de 35mm 1.4.
Espero que ajude!

Eu amo o Brasil. Eu estava lá há quase quatro meses, quando eu estava na faculdade.

Mar 06

Anonymous said: I'm looking at purchasing a 645n w/75mm 2.8 off Craigslist. If I meet up with the guy to view the camera, what sorts of things do you recommend looking at to ensure the camera is in good condition other than the obvious physical wear and tear?

Other than physical things? I guess you could get someone to do an aura reading on the camera. JK!

Ummm…. test the shutter and see how it sounds and reacts with the back off so you can actually see the shutter operate.

Look through the lens separately with a flash light shining through it to check for fungus or seperation in the glass elements.

Good luck!

Anonymous said: Would you ever consider shooting an entire wedding with manual focus lenses? - Sean Cook, Chicago/Detroit

Without hesitation :)

All my engagements are shot with manual focus lenses, and during weddings I manually focus 90% of the time.

Feb 02

Anonymous said: Hi Kirk, I found you via Cama Beach Cafe 'helpful hints for weddings'. BEAUTIFUL photos! Would you be available for our wedding 16 November ~1 pm at Cama Beach State Park. We hope so! Take care, Jennifer & Matt (aliasjennifer, mattdonel at yahoodotcom), home 206.466.2913.

Hi Jennifer and Matt! Please contact me through my contact form at http://mastinstudio.com/contact/

I didn’t see this until now so I imagine you have already found a photographer :)

I have about 300 unanswered questions in my Tumblr and it could take me a month or more to see a new question.

Anonymous said: ACHIEVE HOW INTENSE AND TYPE PASTEL TONES IN WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTOSHOP WITH THANKS

USING ONLY PHOTOSHOP IS NOT POSSIBLE. MUST USE FUJI 400H FILM AND OVEREXPOSE. MASTINLAB.COM PRESETS HELP IF YOU DON’T SHOOT FILM.

Anonymous said: Kindly please include fujfilm X-series camera versions as well for the lightroom presets. Thx.

Woking on it!

besnokia said: Hello! What model of Fuji Frontier you? Tell me please, how long were choosing between Noritsu and Fuji Frontier?

I have the Fuji Frontier SP3000.

I’ve alway preferred the look of the Frontier as I find the Noritsu scans are very red in the shadows. And Noritsu scans are overall flatter looking to me..

rachelruffer said: I saw that your low cost film of choice (from back in April 2013) was Kodak Gold 200. I can only find 400 now on BH. If you shoot the 200 rated at 100, would you shoot the 400 rated at 200? I thought it might be good to start my film journey on some less expensive film before I move up to Fuji 400H and Kodak Portra 400 :)

I have not shot Kodak Gold 400 but I think I would probably try it at ISO200 and ISO320 and see how it looks. It could also look great at it’s native ISO400 but the only way to know is to do some film testing which I recommend everyone do, to see how you like your film.

Anonymous said: Hey Kirk! What would you recommend I do to achieve such sharp focus on tight headshots? Do you use any "Plus Filters" on your 105mm 2.4 lens?

With the Pentax 645 + 105mm 2.4 lens I do not use any filters.

Nor do I use any filters with the Contax 645 + 80mm f2 lens.

I don’t use filters at all ever. Although I may start to use Green, Yellow and Red filters for BW :)

80% of my portraits are done at or near the minimum focusing distance with the aperture wide open. I focus by rocking back and forth and looking for the catchlights in my subjects eyes to be sharp. Then I take the photo. That is it.

Jan 24

Anonymous said: What's going on kirk, I'm new to film photography. what does it mean to rate film?

What’s up!

To ‘rate’ film is to shoot it as though it were a different speed than what it says on the box. So I could ‘rate’ Fuji 400H at ISO100 and shoot it as though it were ISO100, effectively overexposing it on purpose in every shot by 2 stops.

fragileworksgallery said: Hey Kirk! I'm seriously considering taking a little bit of a photographic-pilgrimage-road-trip -- driving around desert southwest and shooting a few places I've never seen (Monument Valley, Death Valley, Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree). I want to shoot the entire thing on film. I haven't done too much landscape on film, so my question is, would I still want to overexpose the same as I do when shooting people (respective to the type of film I'm shooting)?

If you are shooting color negative film? Then yes, overexposure is not a bad thing. It gives you so much more room to play with the look of the photo during scanning.

Shoot:
Portra 400 at ISO320
Portra 160 at ISO100
Fuji400H at ISO100

Expired film? At least a 1/2-1 stop more of overexposure.

Have a great trip! I’m jealous!

Anonymous said: Hi Kirk, thanks for your time! In your portraits photos, you have really close ups, is it with the contax+80mm or do you crop them a lit bit? I think the 80 doesn t focus so close... Thanks!

I often focus at the minimum focus and rock back and forth until i see the catchlights in the subject’s eyes are in focus. Then I take the photo.

I do not crop my photos - except to level out a horizon on a wider shot, so none of my portraits are cropped :)

Jan 15

dylanjohnwestern said: Hi Kirk, Though I normally shoot solo I'm wondering how large a wedding needs to be to justify the use of a second photographer? I've landed a few weddings in the 250+ range lately and worried my coverage during the cocktail hour may suffer.

Only you can decide.

I work alone these days, unless the wedding is over 300 people. At that point I will *consider* whether to bring in a second shooter or assistant. Even at 300+ I won’t add a second person most of the time.

Ultimately, I found that a second shooter just adds unnecessary work with culling, editing. Most importantly, directing an assistant or second photographer during the wedding day (giving them tasks and things to shoot) makes it harder for me to stay in the flow and do my best work. My brain just does not do well multitasking that way when I am trying to be creative.

You have to run your business the way you want to run it, the way that feels right to you regardless of what anyone else is doing. I feel I provide my best work when I work alone and so that is what I do.

If a client is concerned about my solo work style, I have a huge gallery of complete weddings that they can look at to see my style and consistency. Most of the time clients don’t even bring it up. If they do, the galleries convince them. If the galleries don’t convince them, then they are not a good match for me and we all move on :)

Anonymous said: Can you recommend a great film lab in the uk?

UK Film Lab!

irishsensai-san said: What are your prices like for weddings? Thank you, Lacey

I start at $6500 for basic coverage and go from there. Contact me through my website and I can send you the whole PDF brochure.