Meet our new Studio Apprentice!

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Meet our new Studio Apprentice!

Hey there!

I’m Jamie Thompson, the newest addition to the Macbeth Studio team.

I’m an Orlando native that loves light and capturing moments. I graduated from UCF with a Studio Art degree in 2014 and moved to Atlanta six months later for a major contract job. I was fortunate enough to be paid to work and travel across the country, even into Alaska and Canada. After my year contract in Atlanta was up, I decided to move back home and be close to my family and friends. Orlando is something special and I guess it took me leaving to realize that.

As the Studio Apprentice, I’m given the opportunity to truly be a jill-of-all-trades.

 

I’m excited to dive into multiple areas around the studio, learn new things and have a good time while doing so. It’s a small team and I am grateful for the chance to grow and work alongside some of Orlando’s best.

When I’m not working or being cozy at home with my family, East End Market is to me what Central Perk was to Friends. You can often find me there working on my own personal projects, or just catching up with pals. I love traveling, creating photo magazines, and connecting with the other creatives in this city. It's good to be a part of a team that is so loved by so many and I'm excited to see where the Macbeth road will take me. Thanks for reading a little bit about me, maybe I'll meet you along the way!

Best,

Jamie

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Add Some Sparkle To A Party

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Add Some Sparkle To A Party

Late this past summer, Macbeth Studio was invited to provide a photo booth at The Dinner Party Project's 2-year anniversary party (our booth was sponsored by Yelp Orlando).  The venue was a gorgeous event space on West Church Street, with a ton of natural light. 

 Processed with VSCO with f2 preset Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

The venue had this great wooden wall already in place, the TDPP team provided the plants/balloons, and we set up our gear for shooting and live-posting.

Dana Marie Roquemore, the owner and operator of TDPP, asked us if we could use some sparklers in our photos. This adds a whole lot of fun for the party-goers, and also a whole lot of complexity for the photographers.

So of course we said yes, and that we'd make it work.

All that natural light in the venue presented a problem, so we waited until after the sun set to break out the sparklers. Then we got to control all the variables, which studio photographers love. The trick is to keep the ambient light to an absolute minimum, so motion-blur isn't too much of a problem. 

The strobe fires, freezing the faces and background, then the shutter stays open (in the dark) for as long as needed to capture the fire-trails. A tripod keeps everything still during the long exposure.

Once we got the camera settings dialed in (see bottom of post for tech details), it was a matter of giving each group a quick how-to lesson on sparkler photography, which we did with mixed results, as you will see.

The ground rules we explained to each group were as follows:

  • Hold all your sparklers together, touching at the tip, so we can get them all lighted at the same time (these were the small ones that only burn for about 30 seconds, or long enough for about 2 photos).
  • Once your sparklers are lit, get into position, and I'll give you a countdown to the start of the shot. The strobe will fire, and that's how you will look for the photo (so smile at the beginning).
  • After the strobe fires, you'll have 5 seconds to draw in the air, which we will count down. At this point, you don't have to keep smiling, as only the sparkler is registering on the sensor.

  • Don't put the sparkler between your face and the camera, or you will be blocked by a shower of sparks.
  • Keep the sparkler moving, or you'll get a white-hot dot
  • If you want to write words in the air, remember that you have to write in reverse, so think about how the letters would look in a mirror.
Don't put the sparklers in front of your face, unless you want to remain anonymous.

Don't put the sparklers in front of your face, unless you want to remain anonymous.

Timing counts... If you're going to write "MOM," you need to plan enough time for all the M's. Fortunately, MOM reads the same way in the mirror.

Timing counts... If you're going to write "MOM," you need to plan enough time for all the M's. Fortunately, MOM reads the same way in the mirror.

It's easy to get carried away... 

It's easy to get carried away... 

"We want to make a triangle."

"We want to make a triangle."

Again, don't put the sparklers between your face and the camera.

Again, don't put the sparklers between your face and the camera.

It's difficult to stress this enough.

It's difficult to stress this enough.

It's ok to move them around a little... just not in front of your face.

It's ok to move them around a little... just not in front of your face.

Writing backwards in the air is hard, even when the letters look the same both ways. 

Writing backwards in the air is hard, even when the letters look the same both ways. 

It doesn't have to make sense to anyone but you.

It doesn't have to make sense to anyone but you.

Bonus points for penmanship.

Bonus points for penmanship.

Let us know how you think we — and our subjects — did, and if we can help you with your holiday party shenanigans.

Learn more about our bookable hand-painted and live-posted photo booths here: macbethstudio.com/book-a-booth

TECH DETAILS:  Canon 5DIII, Canon 24-105 f/4, 50mm, 5 seconds at f/16, ISO 400, strobe fires on first shutter curtain open.

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Paws for Peace

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Paws for Peace

Jim and Tommy the Dog took to the park to participate in the 6th Annual Paws for Peace Walk, put together by Harbor House of Central Florida. 

Harbor House is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to prevent and eliminate domestic abuse in Central Florida by providing critical life-saving services to survivors, implementing and advancing best practices, and educating and engaging the community in a united front. domestic violence in Central Florida.  They help to empower women and children in these situations by creating safety, security, and shelter.  87% of Harbor House fundraising goes directly to the victims of domestic abuse.

The Paws for Peace walk is an important fundraising event for Harbor House as well as the community because of its stride to raise awareness about domestic abuse and its effects on pets and their owners. 48% of survivors don’t leave their abusive situations because they are fearful that harm will be brought to their pet. The Paws for Peace event donates 100% of its proceeds to the survivors and their pets staying at the Harbor House.  

If you would like to learn more about Harbor House of Central Florida, or just want to know how to get involved with them, you can find all of their information at www.harborhousefl.com.

In the meantime, check out this dogumentary shot by Tommy. Jim strapped a camera (the Tommy Cam™)  to him to capture this adorable video. 

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[Tilt] Shifting Gears

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[Tilt] Shifting Gears

Architectural photography is a peculiar specialty niche. 

The gear is different, the subjects are different, the lighting is different from most other kinds of photography. We recently purchased a new piece of kit for our architectural photography: a Tilt-Shift lens.This is a magical tool that does not one, but two different tricks (tilting and shifting) that the average lens can't.  The shift trick is what I'm going to talk about today (I'll get into the tilting component another time).  'Shifting' refers to the lens moving up/down or left/right, while remaining in the same plane as the sensor.  

Canon 17mm TS-E f/4.0 L (photo credit: Canon.com)

Canon 17mm TS-E f/4.0 L (photo credit: Canon.com)

Antique bellows-style camera (photographer unknown)

Antique bellows-style camera (photographer unknown)

The origin of this strange behavior goes back to the early days of photography, when the lens was attached to the film holder (and light kept out) by a "bellows" -- kind of an accordian-shaped black flexible connector.  This allowed the front lens to move independently from the film-holder (but critically, in the same plane as the film).

The advantage of this shifting action becomes clear when you want to photograph a tall building from ground level.  As anyone who's wandered the streets of Manhattan knows, the only way to see (or shoot) the top of a tall building is to tilt your head (and your camera) back and look up. This perspective immediately creates the familiar converging-lines, making a tall, rectangular building look more like a pyramid.  

(Image: designyourway.net)

(Image: designyourway.net)

However, a shift lens allows you to slide the lens upward, parallel to the plane of the sensor, meaning that the camera is looking up without tilting up -- a little bit like how a periscope works.  This means that the vertical lines remain truly vertical and parallel, and don't converge.  You may recognize this iconic photo of the Flatiron Building (almost certainly shot with a bellows camera), which is an excellent example of this phenomenon.

(photographer unknown)

(photographer unknown)

We've only had our tilt-shift lens for a few weeks, and we haven't had many assignments yet that can take advantage of this powerful tool.  However, when I went to New York a couple of weeks ago, I had a couple of hours to play.  I was visiting a friend's office in midtown, so I shot a photo of her company's new building, which is across the street from the New York Public Library. 

Photo: ©MacbethStudio.com

Photo: ©MacbethStudio.com

I also had time to walk a few blocks to the iconic St. Patrick's Cathedral.  The scaffolding had recently come down after a multi-year, $175-million renovation project, so this was a good time to capture it.  I was all the way back against the buildings on the other side of the street to get this shot, and needed every bit of the 17mm wide-angle to get the tops of the spires in the shot. But you can see -- even though the spires come to a point -- how everything remains vertical and non-converging.

Photo: ©MacbethStudio.com

Photo: ©MacbethStudio.com

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