Ep 44: Viva Las Vegas: Gina’s rat pack shoots

Episode artwork for ep 44

When Gina recently had 48 hours in Vegas, she didn’t waste a second. Despite Gina’s mantra that “What goes on in Vegas, stays in Vegas”, Valerie manages to quiz her about everything from location scouting to securing talent. She also reveals her secrets to shooting her signature “rat pack” shots right in the heart of Sin City and confesses all about why she got no sleep. Importantly, Vegas is all about the capturing the characters AND the lights so Gina spills about the challenges you face when shooting in low light – and how to overcome them. With behind the scenes stories and images, this is a great adventure into the heart of Vegas.

#ginachallenge #lowlight

Click play to listen to the podcast or find it on iTunes here. If you don’t use iTunes you can get the feed here, or listen to us on Stitcher radio.

Show notes

“Bright light city gonna set my soul / Gonna set my soul on fire” – Elvis Presley, “Viva Las Vegas”

Interesting Link 

(thanks to Brian Becnel)

When things got hard for Bob Carey after wife Linda was diagnosed with breast cancer, he grabbed his camera and went out and started taking photographs. “That’s what I do.”

Except these were photographs with a difference – pictures of tubby-middle aged Bob in a pink tutu in the most unlikely places – in snow, up a palm tree, at the Lincoln Memorial, and the Grand Canyon.

Sounds wacky, but the photographs are imaginative, stunning and witty. Even better they achieved their primary purpose – to make Linda laugh during her cancer treatment and to raise awareness.

image set of a guy in a tutu in various landscapes

The Tutu Project’s Story Told in Germany by Deutsche Telekom (Long Version)

Listener comment from Joe – thanks Joe!

“I recently started listening to you podcast, after finding and devouring you Posing book. I’ve got the technical camera and lighting down, but then found out it doesn’t matter if I can’t pose well.

I just caught up to real time in the podcast, which sucks. As I was listening to a few a week.

On your Cuba podcast, you mentioned radio waves discharging you flash batteries. I use the Yongnuo 560tx on camera and yn560 iii flashes. What I’ve found is the yn560 will discharge my eneloops in 2-3 weeks. So I store charged cells in holders and only out them in flashes when setting up lighting. I’ve never had that happen with my Nikon speedlights, but I bought the whole 4 strobe and remote system for the cost of one brand name one, and I’ll deal with a little inconvenience.

Looking forward to seeing what the new book is about. Thanks for taking the effort to pass on your knowledge.”

Listener photo

Brilliant photo by Bradley Clout inspired by Gina’s shot of Lachy Hulme in the hit TV series Beaconsfield.

beaconsfield inspired shot

Story board for Vegas shoot

vegas story board

Shooting in low light: the basics

Behind the scenes shooting in Old Vegas
Behind the scenes shooting in Old Vegas

1. Gear list:

  • Lastolite Joe McNally Ezybox Softbox 54cm Hotshoe (White) 2462JM
  • Yongnuo 560 Speedlite YN560 Flash for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus
  • Cameras
  • 2x pocket wizards
  • Canon 24-105mm F4 L series
  • 5D Mk111
  • Tripod
  • Light pole
  • Assistant Ken Proto

Ken Proto Professional Assistant Las Vegas
Ken Proto on Facebook

When you’re shooting in lowlight, with crowds around you…

  • It’s dark and difficult to see
  • Keep your gear close
  • Travel light
  • Set everything before you get to a busy location
  • Use a tripod
  • Crank up the ISO (ISO controls how sensitive to light the camera is overall)
Focusing in low light can be very tricky. I’ve used an iphone screen to have something bright for the camera to lock onto.
Focusing in low light can be very tricky. I’ve used an iPhone screen to have something bright for the camera to lock onto.

2. Gear choice

In Melbourne I shoot portraits almost exclusively on my Canon lens 70-200 IS L series 11.

I made a conscious choice to travel with only 1 lens and Canon 5D MK111.

I did notice a BIG difference in this combos ability to focus in very low light.

Did get my shot but also missed focus on many frames which was very frustrating.

1/25th sec @ F4 400ISO 105mm focal length
1/25th sec @ F4 400ISO 105mm focal length

 

1/25th sec @F16 ISO 400 105mm focal length
1/25th sec @F16 ISO 400 105mm focal length

3. Shutter speed controls ambient light

How do you want your background to look?

  • Blurry shoot wide open
  • Sharp pick a smaller aperture (higher number)

I can control how bright or dark I want my background by changing shutter speed.

1/200th sec F4 1600 ISO 50mm focal length
1/200th sec F4 1600 ISO 50mm focal length

 

Douglas Lewis ISO 1600 F4 @ 1/200th sec 50mm focal length
Douglas Lewis ISO 1600 F4 @ 1/200th sec 50mm focal length

 

ISO 1600 F4 @ 1/200th sec 50mm focal length
ISO 1600 F4 @ 1/200th sec 50mm focal length

 

ISO 1600 F4 @ 1/200th sec 50mm focal length
ISO 1600 F4 @ 1/200th sec 50mm focal length

 

The morning after, pulled over to capture this starburst.
The morning after, pulled over to capture this starburst.
0 Response
  1. Thanks for this episode! I often shoot in low light, both indoors and out. I have cheap (f/3.5) lenses and tend to shy away from high ISO, so I’ll definitely try raising ISO above 1600 next time I’m in this situation. I also have my eye on an f/1.4 25mm prime for my GH4 (i.e. 50mm equiv). Listening to you describe your experiences and how you think through them is ALWAYS an education for me. THANK you.

Leave a Reply

SIGN UP TO GINA’S NEWSLETTER

Get your copy of Gina’s guide “The Shot” FREE when you sign up to her newsletter. You’ll also receive FREE Lightroom presets every month.

How to direct and pose like a pro

Mentoring

Want Gina Milicia as your mentor?

About Gina

About Gina

Gina Milicia is one of the most widely known and respected photographers in Australia. She is the master of capturing that ‘magical moment’... READ MORE

instagram Instagram
×

GET A FREE COPY OF "THE SHOT" - SIGN UP TO GINA'S NEWSLETTER YES PLEASE!