Thursday, June 24, 2010

AlienBees ABR 800 Ringflash - More versatile than I thought

AlienBees ABR800 Ringflash:


56" Moon Unit

My Review of it.

At 1st sight the ABR800 seems a bit cheap. Built mainly of plastic it looks almost disposable.

But for the value of $400 less than half the price of others in the market its a good draw for beginners or bargain hunters such as myself.

Paul C Buff definitely packs value into his products along with their legendary customer service.

Whats Included:
* 10-inch Ring Reflector
* Set of Eight 10-Watt, 24- Volt Modeling Lamps
* Two Half-Circle Flashtubes
* 15-foot Down-Angle Power Cord
* 12-inch Sync Cord
* Front Cover / Diffuser / Gel Holder
* Universal Camera Mounting Bracket
with adjustable camera platform, tripod and light stand mounting hardware
* Umbrella Adaptor
* Owner's Manual

56" moon unit and pink carrying case sold separately.

I'll start with the CONS since there are less of them.

1. Feels cheap and plasticky
2. The Locking mechanism to hold the reflector tight fails. 1st day of usage the lock became stuck and the plastic reflector fell off. Which cracked under its own weight. Luckily for me they sent a whole new unit within a week! Can't beat that.
3. The Tripod mount/ handhelf grip needs to be redesigned for hand holding its a bit heavy with the camera, lens, and light and the little handle isn't long enough to fit a larger hand.
4. The Moon unit attachment takes forever to figure out. My 1st time putting together the moon unit and the attachment that goes around the ring flash took about 1 hr. I was beyond frustrated. Turns out there were some plastic burs that wasnt completely shaven down which prevent me from locking it in place. I had to go in and shave it down with an exacto knife. It worked ok after that.

1. Beautiful halo light affect around your subject
2. Very Versatile
3. Cheap
4. Great Customer service
5. Can be used handheld or as a softbox

OK so I lied the pros and cons are about the same. The setup with 56" moon unit does take some time to setup but its well worth it. The quality of light and its versatility as a softbox has really won me over.

Next up will be the AlienBees Einstein.

Model: Krystal at Alki Tavern Bar

Samples with just the reflector and mounted Camera Canon 7D

Sample as an off Camera softbox positioned top right down.

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Coldwell Bankers More headshot fun!

Coldwell Bankers offices in Northgate Seattle, WA

Thanks to Tony for this awesome head shot. Great pose.



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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Stacy and Mark's Wedding @ the Pagoda in Seattle

Stacy and Mark's Wedding
May 15th, 2010
Pagoda in Seattle, WA


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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lynnette and Shawns Wedding Day! 6-19-10

Lynnette and Shawn's Wedding.
O'Dell Center in Kent, WA
June 19th, 2010


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Pike Place Market Seattle, WA - the Famous Gum Wall

Seattle is well known for lots of things, Space Needle, Coffee, Apples, Microsoft to name a few.

Few tourists and some locals actually do not know about our famous gum wall found in Post Alley in the Pike Place market area.

Decades of gum layered inches deep in all of its glory. Disgustingly beautiful. For me I love the colors and the history behind it. You could be swapping spit with Ken Griffey Jr for all you know. I'm not a huge gum chewer but each time I pass by I do my part to add a little bit of my history to it.

I hope they never clean it up. It's just one of those things that makes our City unique.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cutest Baby Ever Award goes to...

Taken with a 7D and canon 50mm F1.4 at Stacy and Mark's Wedding. This photo was snapped after the ceremony. She had the brightest blonde hair and the biggest blue eyes.

I couldn't resist! I snapped as many photos as I could!

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Oahu - New Technique for color and landscapes

Tropical Paradise!

I find it amazing how much color and vibrance can be found In tropical islands! It makes landscape photography easy.

It must be the combination of dense blue skies, green palm trees, vibrant sands, tons of sun, and the multitude of colors found on swimsuits, and surfboards that makes Hawaiian photographs look so colorful.

I've read that healthy Auras if seen are vibrant colors which envelopes the person. With so many happy folks on vacation it maybe their auras that lights each photograph.

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Thanh Phuong Child Portrait

Tacoma, WA
Canon 7D
50mm 1.4

Talk about personality! My little cousin was brimming with it. These photos were actually not planned. We were at Peter's engagement party when I saw the perfect opportunity to snap a few shots.

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Tori Whitten Child Portraits - Enumclaw, WA 6-06-10

We traveled out to Enumclaw, WA which is about an hour or more south of Seattle. To my surprise we were led to this huge mansion fully equipped with horses, long grand driveway and a very large walk in aviary.

Needless to say I was impressed. I was told that the mansion once belonged to the 700 club. But it's now empty and marketed for weddings and conferences.

There were many great spots within the house to take photos, but I had my eyes on doing the outdoor shots because of all the great scenery. Not a huge surprise, but the weather lived up to it's reputation, it was raining, well more of a sprinkle.

You can see in some of the outdoor photos the falling raindrops.

Tori is future country star in the making. An all American 13 yr old with a lot of potential. She was fantastic to work with and has a lovely family that supports her 100%

Good luck on your trip to Nashville!

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Head Shot Before and After - How I do it

How do they get those awesome headshots!?

Ok ok here you go. Lots of hard work + trial and error. =0)

Ok seriously, here's the recipe:

1 pinch of canon 580ex - with Gary Fong lightsphere - I mean tupper ware
1 dash Nikon SB-80Dx - with Beauty Dish
1 Cup of Alienbees ABR800 - with 59 inch moon unit
1 shake of a grey background
3 tripods
Canon 7D
Canon 50mm 1.4
1 Model
1 Photographer
Adobe bridge or lightroom
Photoshop CS4



1. Wrinkle around the eyes. 2. Saturation 3. Vignetting 4. Spots on the forehead 5. Grey Hair darkened. 6. Wrinkles on the chin from smiling

Pat was a great model! Very photogenic man, calm demeanor, and a smart look about him. I actually didn't have to do much in terms of retouching, I removed the wrinkles around the eyes which naturally occurs to everyone when smiling.

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Grace and Jamies Wedding - Paradise Cove 5-26-10

Grace and Jamie's big adventure Wedding in Oahu.

Mai and I's first destination wedding. I have to say that this photography gig is not a bad gig.

A bad day of photography beats a good day in the office that's for sure. I only say that because I once used to love to fish!

more to come...

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