February 2014

Introduction to Glamour - Round 2 - March 8th and 9th, 2014
February 13, 2014

Whew!

2014 is flying by… Hard to believe it’s already the middle of February and we’re only a few weeks away from “Springing Ahead!” 😉

And with Spring in the not so distant future, I’ve been working very hard with a number of local talents to put together an even bigger and better “Round 2” version of our Introduction to Glamour for Models and Photographers.

This time, we’ve partnered with transplanted Toronto veteran model Krystal Love – since Wendy Lee picked up and moved to Alberta on us 🙁 – and are you in for a treat. Check out her web site and blog right here.

Krystal has been published in a number of international magazines and catalogs, has starred in several videos and she also writes for Lion’s Den U blog. She is an accomplished glamour/fashion/fine art model and we are very happy to have Krystal on board with us for this workshop.

There will be group sessions and discussion on social media, shoot etiquette, contracts and releases, online safety and more.

We’ve brought back Bryana Doyscher (our licensed professional Make-up Artist) because she is just so awesome and everyone loved her from last time we just had to have her back to spend some time with the models teaching basic do-it-yourself photoshoot make-up techniques. Bryana will also be helping out with model coaching during the group sessions this time too, because, if you didn’t know, Bryana is a pretty talented model herself. 🙂

We’ve added master Stylist from Life Salon Spa, Cassandra Prince and added a new session on basic photoshoot hair tips for that TF shoot when you just can’t afford a master stylist. Cassandra and Bryana make an incredible team and we are tickled to have them both with us for Round 2.

We also have convinced Angela Campagnoni, owner of City Models and Lux Girls, to drop in for a chat about what an actual modeling agency is looking for when signing models and dealing with photographers.

There will also be a session for photographers on basics of studio lighting with a couple of sample setups and a bit of insight into my lighting style and on Sunday, while the models are learning about hair, the photographers will be taking a look at glamour retouching with Lightroom and Photoshop.

We’ve also added a bit of a “Celebrity” portfolio review that will take place on Sunday where myself, Krystal, Bryana, Angela, and extra special guest Brent McCombs will be dropping by for a quick appearance.

So we’ve had to expand the workshop into two full days this time because there is just too much awesomeness to fit into a single 8 hour day.

And to top it off, we are able to offer the full 2 day workshop – INCLUDING lunch – for the same early bird price as last years one day workshop regular rate. All this for only $149 including lunches and HST.

Photographer spaces have already sold out. There are only 7 model spaces left, so take advantage of our $49 downpayment and space the remaining fee into two manageable $50 payments spread out prior to the workshop.

Register today at http://mccarthyphotographic.com/glamour_intro2.html

See you soon!

Glamour-Workshop-2-Rev-1

Studio Time With PhotoGear.com and Briana Covey
February 13, 2014

I’ve been buying my printer ink from 123inkcartridges.ca for years now and have always found their prices to be the best around, shipping to be incredibly fast and customer service has been second to none. If you don’t use them for your non-OEM ink requirements, you should be. They are also Canadian. Could you ask for more? Don’t worry, there’s one more pleasant surprise yet to come. 😉

Well, I recently picked up a couple of Canon Pixma printers for onsite event printing and as always OEM ink costs more for me to fill up my printer than my truck at nearly $80 plus tax for a set of 5 cartridges. So… I looked at 123inkcartridges.ca and found that they could supply a non-OEM (also known as “compatible”) set of cartridges for as little as $20 plus taxes. Since I calibrate my printer the same as I calibrate my screen, it really makes little difference what ink I use as long as it’s consistent.

It’s consistent. I’ve cranked out over 100 8×10″ prints out of these babies since setting them up last November at HalCon and couldn’t have asked for a better printer for the money and with ink at nearly 80% less than OEM ink how could I go wrong.

So go ahead. Check them out. I’ll wait. 😉

Now that you’re going to switch your ink supplier to these guys I need to tell you about a new sister site that launched a few weeks ago called PhotoGear.com.

logo-01

I’ve been on the mailing list for 123inkcartridges.ca for many years and saw a recent newsletter talking about photogear.com so I just had to check it out.

I was blown away with some of the prices and although the gear was mostly Made in China and possibly not the good kind of cheap, I decided to reach out to the company and have been emailing with one of the business partners for a little while now. I’m happy to say that Photogear.com has joined with us as one of the main sponsors of the upcoming Introduction to Glamour – Round 2 workshop that is coming up in March and as part of that sponsorship sent me a few treats for door prizes.

The one that intrigued me the most was a 40x190cm – that’s 16″x70″ or HUGE for our American friends 😉 – stripbox. This beast is double baffled, comes with an easily removable egg crate grid *and* a Bowens/Calumet compatible speedring. All for an unbelievable price of $82 plus tax.

JINBEI - 40X180cm Softbox

Now, I’ve always avoided ordering light modifiers from the web since my initial experience with Amvona several years ago. The gear was inexpensive, but the shipping was atrocious. Why would I spend $100 for a softbox and then $149 for shipping, duty, handling and taxes into Canada, right?

Did I mention these guys are Canadian? And based in Montreal? Oh… And you get free shipping on orders over $49 CDN? Yeah, you heard me correctly. Free Shipping. No fine print that says “US residents only” on this puppy. 🙂

So even though I was skeptical about the *really* low prices – and have always been a firm believer in “you get what you pay for” I have to say – when I started assembling the stripbank I was very impressed.

The packaging is rudimentary and the whole kit comes in a zip up pouch. The Chinese-English translated instruction sheet makes for some entertaining reading but honestly isn’t really required. The unit was assembled in a matter of a minute or two and goes together just like every other unit I’ve ever assembled. No surprises.

Except one. The unit is very light *and* the construction is solid. I don’t think I’d want to assemble and disassemble it on a daily basis but that’s got more to do with the size. I also own softboxes that I paid a lot more for and they fell apart after only assembling them a handful of times. So now I just don’t do that anymore. Lesson learned. 😉

Once assembled and the speedright was adjusted, the unit snapped smartly onto my Bowens Gemini 400RX monolight and rotates freely. There are two thumbscrews to adjust tension rather than the typical one. SO you do have to adjust it a tiny little more but once set up I found the movement very smooth.

So I set up the light and took a few readings with my light meter. For such a large – and very shallow – strip box I was pleasantly surprised that there was only about a 1 to 1-1/3 stop difference from the center to the extreme ends of the strip bank. This baby is nearly 6 feet long and only about a foot deep, so not bad, although Id have been happier with 1/2 stop or so.

Here’s a sample from the eventual setup with our model.

Briana waits for me to get on with the photo shoot

As you can see, the light spread and falloff is very good.

I like strip banks. Always have.

I’ve never been able to justify the price for a large one like this however. After doing a little comparison shopping on-line, I was able to find a Wescott stripbank that didn’t include a speedring and it was 5 times the price. I’ve got other Wescott gear and there is nothing about it that makes me want to spend $400 plus a speedring when I can get this JinBei stripbank from Photogear.com for only $82 *including* the speedring, which is $60 by itself at your local retailer.

Conclusion

Overall, I really like this unit and it is *absolutely* worth the asking price. Did I mention free shipping over $49? Yeah. I think I did. I’d rate this particular unit, the JinBei 40x180cm Strip Box softbox (available for purchase right here: ) a 5/5 for value and 4/5 for quality and that’s *only* because I’d have liked to see less fall off at the extreme edges even though it is very functional and solid otherwise.

So I’d like to thank the guys at Photogear.com for joining McCarthy Photographic as a major sponsor for our upcoming workshop and I realy look forward to playing with more of their toys over the next few months.

Last Word

I know… I’m also a huge “Buy Local” supporter, and I will spend my money at local suppliers as much as I possibly can, however the value I see here just cannot be passed up. Yes, the gear is from China, but the reseller is, at the very least, in Canada. So although I know I’ll hear about this from some people, most of you, like me, only have so much money to go around and saving a couple of hundred here and there is no small feat.

So, with a little Photoshop, here’s the final edited image featuring our lovely and incredibly talented model, Briana Covey. 🙂

Before - SOOC Image

Before – SOOC Image

After - Final Image

After – Final Image

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