Blast from the past: My lighting diagrams

I pretty much spent first four years of my photographic life studying light, playing with it and trying to master different aspects of it’s creations- windows, strobes, speed lights, led panels and such. all done the most cheapo way in belief that this will help me to create a decent career in photography.

In 2014 I created these diagrams for some educating purposes and later publish them via server where they won my first prize in some contest (it was a sony RX100M3 which I immediately turned into some sweet $).

Couple days ago I got asked question about some of my lighting on twitter (blast from a past! I haven’t talked about light for years at this point) and noticed that server is down so I decided to take my diagrams from drawer and re-publish here on my blog, in (yet another) try to make it little less dead&crappy.

They go from simple reflector to multiple gelled strobes. Some personal some commercial stuff. Some Canon some Fuji. I’m not currently using artificial light in my photography (I mean, I haven’t modified any speedlite in quite a while, I’m of course still heavily in love with light itself) but I hope they still be useful for someone out there on the wide world of internet! Damn, seeing those photos brings back some memories to me. Hell, maybe I should've spent more time playing outside than sitting in books and studying light .

Take care all you strobists out there!


Mount Teide

Mt. Teide on Tenerife is with it’s 3718 meters above the sea levelthe overall highest mountain of spain. And damn beautiful as well:  prominent volcano that you can see basically from any point on the island. In my head I see it sort of as a poor man’s Killimajaro.

I think it’s a bummer that it’s ruined by that cable car that goes almost to the top.

Look,maybe this will sound little cunty, but I’ll risk it: I think a cable car going to a top of the mountain is bullshit. In my head, getting to the top should not be that easy: you can get a lot from those peaks, but you have to give something back, smaller or bigger amount of effort. that’s the way I see it. I saw it with my own eyes: the sea of fat, flip-flop wearing morons getting off the cable car at 3500 meters. Probably woke up at the sea level couple hours earlier. Goodluck with the headache from elevation gain. And to balance the amount of bullshit, authorities decided that to get to the actual top of the mountain you need a permit, which they issues around 100 per day. Oh boy. But damn, the mountain was so appealing to me that I knew there must be a way how to summit it right. With dignity, or whatever.

If you’re tiny bit like me, and you like to do things differently than all the other people, just know that there’s a way how to do a great multi-day trek to the summit and the ascent can be a really powerful experience.

If you’re reading this, I’ll assume that you’re not interested to get step-by-step thing by some random moron on the internet, so just a few practical hints that I tried and wished to find on the web, but couldn’t

1 The lack of random water found by wandering around is generally a problem on both gran canaria and tenerife but hiking from La Orotava there’s some water to be found, then there’s water around 2000 at El Portillo restaurant and finally, on the bathrooms in the cable car station (well, it’s good for something after all)
2 you need the permit during the day, but the guards are leaving the station with the last car down so then you can summit as you wish and enjoy the peace. (and those awesome volcanic sulphur farts) 
3 if you don’t want to sleep at refugio, there are couple of places to pitch a tent around 3500meters, I haven’t got a particularly great night sleep there (it was my first experience with sleeping in altitude) but they are there. It’s prohibited of course, so you don’t have it from me, okay?

4 we did it as a 6 day trek between resupplies at La Orotava and Vilaflor, but we are slow travellers

Ok, That’s all I can think of right now. Hope this helps to give both you and Teide the ascent that it really deserves. Shadow of the pyramid is worth it. 

Let me know if you have any questions. 

Good luck.


PS: If you like any of those photos, they are for licensing at Stocksy (I think you can use code PAULS20 and get yourself some sweet discount) . Also, If you want to follow me on instagram, that would be pretty cool.

TCL-X100 alternative: Third party teleconverters

Ok, obviously I love the Fuji X100 cameras, like we probably all do. And I don’t know if you have it the same, but sometimes (mostly trying to shoot tight portraits/headshots) I’m like “man, I wish the lens would be a little longer” ((trying really hard no to say “that’s what she said” right now)) but I don’t wish it often enough to justify spending 350$ on Fuji’s original TCL-X100 teleconverter. And last week it hit me:

"what if I just mount whatever other piece of glass in front of the lens to see what happens?”

And I went to the webs and found this Panasonic VW-LT2E for 5$. That’s if I have my math right 70x cheaper than original glass.

With this particular deal I was extra lucky not just because of the price tag, but also because it has same 49mm filter size as a camera and even the appropriate form factor/weight to match the X100.

So okay, 70x cheaper glass. Is it 70x worse than original?

You bet it isn’t . However it’s not perfect (and I’ve heard that the original TCL-X100 is) : you pretty much don’t loose sharpness or brightness (or maybe you are, but it’s really small amount) but, in a some situations you can see this "submarine window effect" around the corners. I shot couple of flat textures to demonstrate the worst case optical scenario:

The way I see it, there are three options with this glass:

1) crop the corners
2)live with it/use it for your advantage
3)go spent 350$ for the original one.

I have this glass for a couple days and I was so excited to share this one with you guys (because I couldn’t really find anything about this cause on the web) that I really only have a few pictures (I’ll edit this later when I’d have more), but I think (hope) they are enough to demonstrate the idea that maybe the world (eBay) is flooded with glasses like this one that can be used to modify the lens of this great camera for a significantly small price .

That’s sort of my point here.

This glass, even if it would cost 50$ I would still grab it a be happy as hell about it and man, I believe that there are even longer converters out there (X100 with 100mm lens? how cool would it be?) or wide ones, that are just waiting to be found.

Hope this helps, I know I would be (I am) totally excited reading about this. To me it means that I would really not be needing any other camera for a long time.

Take care

"The cheapass" Paul

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