San Diego Photographer - David Moore
© David Moore

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SCPA at Old Speed VW

One of the ways I learned how to photograph models was going to group shoots though One of the more interesting groups on there is Southern California Photographers Association. What I love about the group is they shoot at places I am interested in shooting at, because Fred Blood, the guy that runs it, is into cars and racing! So we end up at much more interesting places than just studios (though Wonderland Studios where the group also meets up is a great, fun studio).

So this Sunday we met up at Old Speed, which is a VW repair/restoration/modification shop. They do some pretty awesome work and brought out great cars for us to shoot with. And Fred gathered up some great models, hair stylists, and makeup artists to place around all the cars and parts that we were allowed to shoot with.

Because we were going to be shooting cars and models, I brought out my new Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 so I could go wider to get a whole car in confined space, and to have 1.8 for shooting in a dark auto shop.

Yes 18mm even on a crop sensor will cause unwanted distortion if you put a model's head too close to a corner, but if you keep everything safely in the middle, or use the longer end of the zoom, it works fine I think. Throughout the day I found this lens to work very well with my 7D. I shot quite a few images wide open with no flash and it never had an issue hunting for focus in the dark shop areas I shot a few images in.

That's 1.8, which ofcourse when you are use to 1.4 on a FULL frame camera, the depth of field seems huge, but its really nice for a crop sensor and a zoom lens.

Of course I had lights to play with most of the time, and at the f stops I was using with the lights the lens is plenty sharp (f8-f11 I believe is where I bounced around). I need to get an adapter for my filters. As I am a Canon shooter, most of my lenses that are from Canon share a 77mm front filter size. But of course this is not a Canon lens, and the size of the front filter is 72mm. But luckily I can get an adapter that will stop down all my B+W 77mm filters to 72mm. We will see if there is any vingetting at 18mm, hopefully it won't happen!

So, here are a few images taken with the lights. I am particularly happy with the burnout photo, because I have always wanted to set up lights to shoot a burnout! Now I want to do it again!

Until next time!