Friday, April 6, 2012

POV: What Worked What Didn't. The Oracles of Kerala Photo Expedition-Workshop

Photos © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

As a prelude to what equipment worked for me and what didn't on The Oracles of Kerala Photo Expedition-Workshop, I thought I'd put up two photographs of the musical gear used by the traditional puppeteers. One was made with the Canon 5D Mark II and the other with a Leica M9. These are both jpegs out of the cameras with no post processing except for the same amount of sharpening.

So what's your vote?

UPDATE: For The Correct Answer, Check It Out On My FB Page.

Here's what worked for me on The Oracles of Kerala Photo Expedition-Workshop and what didn't. The list of my equipment was as follows:

A Canon 5D Mark II, a Canon 7D, and a bunch of lenses (28-70mm f2.8, 70-200mm f2.8, 17-40mm f4, and a 24mm f1.4), along with a Canon flash 580ex. A Leica m9 with a Leica 28mm f/2.8 Elmarit, and a 40mm f1.4 Voigtlander lens.

For audio, I had a Tascam DR-40 Recorder, an Audio-Technica ATR6250 Stereo Condenser Video/Recording Microphone and Sony headphones.

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy - All Rights Reserved
What worked for me and what didn't on this trip:

1) Both the Canon 5D Mark II and the 7D were used 90% of the time, especially during the festivals when capturing the action, sometimes in less than ideal lighting conditions, was needed.

2) As for lenses, I used the 17-40mm f4 (as in the above photograph) on the full-frame Canon 5D Mark II around 60% of the time, while the 28-70mm f2.8 was used for most of the rest. The 70-200mm f2.8 was used no more than on a couple of special occasions. If I hadn't brought it along, I wouldn't have missed it.

This is part of my evolution as a photographer. I started out (as some do) by using the 70-200 mm as my primary lens wherever I went. Eventually, my lenses got shorter, and my current favorite is the 17-40mm. At some point, I'll probably get the 16-35mm f2.8mm which is a great lens.

3) The M9, and its 2 lenses, was used whenever I sought to make environmental portraits, or when I had the time to compose and focus properly. In low light, it would have been close to useless, and during the frenetic action of the festivals (especially of the Oracles), I might have missed many shots had I used it.

4) I didn't use the prime 24mm f1.4 at all on this trip, and used the flash for only a few shots of the Peacock dance. Other than that, it stayed in my room.

5) I liked my new Tascam DR-40 Recorder. It performed well and the quality of it recordings were satisfactory. That said, I really needed a "dead cat" to reduce wind noise, especially when I was recording on the beaches of Kerala where there was wind.

6) Both Audacity and Soundslides were used during classwork, and both worked flawlessly as they should. 

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