Sunday, April 05, 2009

Judy Cabbages
(This post has some technical details about cameras and stuff, so you can just look at the pictures, Alex)


On saturday I met up with Edinburgh photographer extraordinaire, Judy Cabbages, whose blog I mentioned recently. JC was heading for the National Portrait Gallery, because last weekend was the last possible chance to get in before they shut down for two solid years of renovations. So if you didn't go, you've missed out. Anyway, they'll need every day of the next two years to clear up after we got finished in there.

Some off-camera flash, using a Nikon SB-600 via the supremely nifty commander mode on a Nikon D80. In fact, this applies to all the snaps below.

JC was incredibly good enough to bring along a spare camera and pro-spec lens for me to try out, in conjunction with Nikon's sweet Creative Lighting System - which basically lets you fire off camera flash(es) while controlling them from the camera. This is all a far cry from my current system, which relies on cheap flash triggers from eBay and lots of swearing when the flash shuts down after 90 seconds of inactivity.

This meant that when one of Judy's groupies came storming down the Royal Mile shrieking like an injured harpie, I was able to fire off the above shot without even thinking about it, which is basically how I like to take photos... without even thinking about it. Incidentally, Judy usually has to adopt an elaborate disguise when out and about in the town, otherwise he spends most of his time fending off the attentions of his fan club...

Ever patient, JC posed for photo after photo - even though he is more used to collaring random passers by and sweet talking them into posing for him. I suspect that if I tried that approach I'd get a smashed lens and possibly nose, but JC is adamant that this won't happen. All I need to do, therefore, is take the step of asking total strangers if they'd fancy posing for some photos and remember not to back away hurriedly in case they lash out.


On the one hand, approaching strangers would mean that I could work on my behind-camera banter (at the moment this mainly consists of me saying "Try to look like you're bloody enjoying it" or "Smile. Smile. SMILE you bugger!"), which can only be a good thing. On the other hand, my preferred approach to taking portraits is to cornering my subject into posing and then spending upwards of an hour saying "Nearly there...just one more...smile...smile..." etc. You can only really do this with friends though.


Anyway, in the meantime I'm wondering how JC will take it if I flog his lens on eBay so that I can buy a Canon EF 24-70mm L lens. Probably not very well...

3 comments:

Chris said...

Yup he's a great guy. Nice shots btw :)

Craig said...

Thanks, Chris! He is a great guy, which is partly (I suspect) how he gets away with snapping total strangers...

alex_sotheran said...

I looked at the pictures, did I do right?

 
ENOUGH