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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

2011 Vancouver Men's Fashion Week

All of these images are screen caps from the video I captured.

I got an invitation to shoot at the Vancouver Men's Fashion Week (v.MFW), held at the Post Modern.

See the full set at my Flickr! All of the photos seen here are screen caps from the video footage I took for House of Leo Productions for coverage of this event.

The main event took place on October 1st, 2011.  This event was formulated by Ramos & Fortier as the first fashion show of its kind in Vancouver, in an effort to give up & coming men's wear designers a venue where they can be recognized and brought together.

This was an excellent show featuring many local and international designers and brought many talents together.

Here's a list of Designers:
Dodjie Batu
Brittany-Anne Fisher
Frederick Fung
Nico Agustin
Anthony McRae
Steve Samson
Franz Patrick Albana
Desiree Mark
Ashli Soto
Sweat Collection
Theresa Chen
Bia Boro Apparel
Teodora Wong
Tomita Fenton Yasuhiro
 She was hosting, wasn't actually one of the models.
 Owen Chau performing Wu Shu

See the full set at my Flickr!

Technical Information Below:

Turn back if you have no interest in photography.

Nerd Camera Stuff, Where I talk about gear, problems, and solutions:

This was another House of Leo Productions commission for video event coverage.

For this event, I brought the Canon 7D, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II, Tokina 11-16mm, Sigma 30mm 1.4, Canon 580EXII, and manfrotto 546B with HD519 head.

Again, the 5D sits this one out.  7D is better for low light hand held video.  If you think you're good enough to manually pull focus on moving subjects at full frame f/1.4 normal or f/2.8 tele by eye, either you're kidding your self or you're so good you probably do a lot more high profile things than this.

Now I've never been to the Post Modern before (weird, I've been to everywhere else).  Once I arrived at the venue, I thought: I feel bad for the photographers.

There were several problems for a photographer to overcome.  Low light (which is normal), use of flash allowed (which can be a problem), short distances, limited space (couldn't even use a tripod), and awkward model path.

The low light is mitigated by the use of flash, but in this situation, to have a nice picture, you'll need to illuminate the background by the use of shutter drag, otherwise you'll have heavy contrast against the background which looks very unpleasant (read nightclub photography articles).  BUT if you drag the shutter, the photo will become exposed multiple times because everyone else will be using flash, creating trails and multiple exposure "ghost" artefacts.

The best way to solve this would be to use a fast prime with fast shutter speed (1/250 or more maybe), with high iso to bring out the background (suck it up and take the noise).  Since the use of the Runway King (70-200) isn't possible, you'll have to use a short wide-zoom or a fast prime.  I'd go with a fast wide canon USM prime (on a 5D) like the 24mm 1.4 or the 35mm 1.4, the 24-70mm's autofocus is way too slow, and in the inconsistent lighting, probably won't give you the amount of sharp images you'd like.

Another issue was the short range.  Normally at fashion shows, you'd get plenty of space to use your tele lens to get those full body shots.  In this venue, to get the nice runway shots (full body), you'd need to use a wide angle lens, which causes all sorts of unflattering distortions.  Best way to deal with this is to get a low angle:  it's MEN's fashion week, and you can definitely grab upshots of men without issue, and this would reduce wide angle distortion (i.e. big head) problems.

I had no problems with this because I was shooting video:  I could use a fast normal prime for a medium close up shot and just pan up and down for each model to show the outfit.  High iso and softness from wide aperture wasn't a problem either since my images are only 1920x1080.

Only real problem I had was with the flash (which I can do nothing about), and the changing white balance and exposure from mixed lighting.  I basically exposed and white balanced for the end position when they briefly pause before turning around.  This means most of the footage will come out cold (the key point is a very small section of the runway), but it fits the night club look.

Camera settings:

Sigma 30mm 1.4: f/1.4, 1/50s, iso 320, Picture setting: Neutral 0/-4/-2/0

Tokina 11-16mm 2.8: f/2.8, 1/50s, iso 1250, Picture setting: Neutral 0/-4/-2/0

I didn't even pull out the 70-200 for the runway.

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