The G9 as a location scouting tool

Did some location scouting yesterday, and I figured I’d share one of my little tips for scouting for shoots.

Now, normally when scouting, you go around and when you find a potentially good spot for a shot you fire off some frames

However, I like to use my G9 for scouting – not only because it is light and compact (I toss the g9, a sync cord and strobe in a little shoulderbag, and it weighs a few oz.) but for the *movie mode*

In addition to my reference shots when I find a good spot, I will flip it into video mode, and pan around the area – recording all the angles/light in the area – as well as speaking some “notes” about my ideas for the shoot. That way when I get home, I not only have my still images of the locations, but a bunch of little video clips showing all the angles, with narration along the lines of “corner of x street… light coming from the west… will place model in front of the tree/car/whatever… with a reflector to the left and single strobe to the right”

or something like that 🙂

This way I remember *excatly* what I was thinking at the time for the shot/setup.

Anyway, hope it’s a useful tip – it doesn’t have to be with the G9 either, any pocket cam with a video mode will make a nice companion to your SLR when scouting locations! (though with the G9, I find I hardly need the SLR backup)

The sigma dp-1. Still coming. Maybe.

I have to say, I wasn’t blown out of the water by the announcements at PMA.  Some nice new stuff, but nothing earthshaking or market-changing. 

One announcement that stuck out though was by Sigma that, yes, the dp-1 is not here yet, but still coming.  Hopefully soon.  (they actually released some pre-production sample photos, which is a good sign!)

For those who aren’t familiar, the DP-1 has been that ever elusive vaporware- tantalizing the legions of pros and pro-ams who have been clamoring for a pocket camera with a slr sensor. (as a backup/travel camera).  Personally I couldn’t wait for the DP-1, so I went with the G9, and love it.  But for those who hold out, the DP-1 promises quite a bit – aps-c sized foveon sensor in a G9 sized package.  Juicy!  Of couse it has some downsides, the fixed 28mm f/4 lens is somewhat limiting, especially with the max iso of 800 (although that will likely be a *usable* 800, not like
other pocket cams).

But hey – this camera is definitely billing itself toward the “rangefinder” niche (compact, unobtrusive street photography) so just pretend you are Gary Winogrand – he did 99.9% of his work with a 28mm lens IIRC!

Price will also be an issue.  Nevertheless, it is an extremely intriguing piece of kit, a niche camera to be sure – but if the g9 success is any indication it is a pretty big niche.

G9 panorama mode

I never did much in the way of panoramas, but the G9’s little panoramic mode makes it so easy it’s hard not to.  you simply put it in pano mode, and it provides guidelines to line up your shot as you pan from side to side.   Click off the number of shots you want, matching them up as closely as possible using the LCD.  I did a quick 3 shot pano of the view off our balcony in St. John.  Opened them in photoshop, and stitched together, preserving perspective.  The results were quite nice, I think I will definitely be using the pano mode more.

Just another reason the G9 rocks my face.

(click for larger image – note: even scaled down it’s a pretty big image)