Friday, June 22, 2018

First Las Vegas Photoshoot with Natasha Tyler

My apologies to those of you who actually take the time to read this blog.  I've been busy with other commitments and have not been able to keep up with the BTS postings of our shoots.  Have a bunch of them that I'm working on and I will get them up online as time permits.

Went to the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) trade show a while back and since both the Star Trek Experience is no longer there and I'm not into drinking or gambling, I had some free time to schedule a couple of photoshoots and make some new contacts in Las Vegas.  The first of our two shoots was with Natasha, a model I met through Model Mayhem.

For this shoot we were working out of a TINY hotel room, so it was a challenge to try to find angles that would look good. Decided to use mostly prime lenses and shoot wide open to throw the background out of focus as much as possible. This entire shoot was done with the Sony a6000 with 3 lenses - the 35mm f1.8 OSS, 50mm f1.8 OSS and the PZ18-105mm F4 G OSS lens.

Our first set was a simple headshot next to a window. We improvised a reflector by holding up a white shoot thru umbrella right next to the model's face just out of the right side of the camera frame.

Not only was the room tiny, the furnishings were so old that they still had an old tube style television instead of a newer flat screen LCD or LED.  In this shot of Natasha in a black evening dress we hid that by carefully positioning the camera angle so that we could hide it behind her.

The lighting for this shoot was mostly natural window light mixed with a Cheetahstand (Godox) CL360 with a white mushroom adapter firing into the ceiling next to the camera position.

A Cheetahstand (Godox)V850 in a Westcott Apollo Strip was used to add edge lighting to the model.

The same lighting setup was used in this shot of Natasha reclining on the bed in her second evening dress.

Natasha was as great model to work with.  Was even up for having some fun with a "geek glamour" type shot. Again we used the camera position to hide unwanted elements in the background.  Sometimes it came down to where if either she or the camera moved even an inch to either side, we'd see stuff in the background.  Lots of trial and error on this shoot.

To close this shoot, Natasha changed into a white mens shirt and we had her recline on the bed for a few implied shots.  Would have liked to have gotten a higher vantage point for the camera, but the low ceiling didn't give us enough clearance to frame her properly.

All in all it was a lot of fun for my first official photoshoot in Las Vegas. A big Mahalo to Natasha for being such a great subject to photograph!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Gear Review - Think Tank Photo Hubba Hubba Hiney v3.0

The Hubba Hubba Hiney is one of our favorite Think Tank Bags to use when shooting with a mirrorless setup. Think Tank Photo recently came out with a V3.0 of this bag and although they do have an introductory video on their website, we received a sample to review and go a little bit deeper into the changes they have made compared to the older version.

You can find the specs for this bag on Think Tank's product page.  Overall the size/weight is about the same.  Color-wise they've gone with all black this time around which I personally prefer.

The front pockets have been enlarged and now extend to the bottom edge of the bag.

The loops to connect the shoulder strap have been replaced by metal D-rings.

They've also changed the rain pouch. In the previous version, the rain pouch was completely removable and was hidden in a zippered section between the front pocket and the main compartment.

In the new version, the rain pouch is now a part of the bag, and is is stored underneath the bag instead of between the front pocket and main compartment. This means less bulk in the wall between the front pocket and the main compartment.

This is accessed from the bottom rear of the bag and is closed with velcro instead of a zipper - making it easier to quickly take out and cover the bag with one hand while you're holding your camera. This is a welcome change for me - since I shoot a lot of weddings at the beach, over time the salt air can cause metal zippers to jam when they're not used much.

Inside the main compartment has not changed much if at all.  Some minor cosmetic differences but that's about it.

There are a couple of big changes though. One of the most notable changes is to the back of the bag - the belt loops are still there, but the velcro and plastic tab have been removed.  

Meaning you can't just slip over and onto your Pro Speedbelt like the older model - now you'll have to thread the belt through the loops.  

If you keep your belt setup configured a certain way all the time, this isn't much of an issue.  For me it's a bit of a hassle, because I use different pouch configurations depending on if I'm shooting photo or video.

The other major change to this bag is the front pocket. One of the things I found really useful about the Hubba Hubba Hiney is the organization and key/Pixel Pocket Rocket tether clip that is in this pocket.

In version 3.0, the organizational pockets and the tether have been removed.

Overall, the Hubba Hubba Hiney v3.0 is still a very useful bag for mirrorless shooters.  I'm able to fit a Sony a6300, 10-18mm wide angle lens, 35mm and 50mm prime lenses stacked on top of each other, and a small flash in the main compartment. Although I like the change to the rain cover, I really wish they had kept the organizational features of the front pocket and also the velcro style belt loops on the back of the bag.

If you find this review useful, please consider using the links on this page to purchase your Think Tank gear.  A small portion of your purchase goes to helping us maintain this blog and allow us to continue doing gear reviews.