The Camera Setup that San Francisco Society Reporter Catherine Bigelow Needs

That Catherine Bigelow, you know, she’s Everywhere You Want To Be. But she is probably taking photos for Social City using one of them stylish little digicams with the flash just above and to the side of the lens. That leads to red-eye, which needs to get fixed, as here (unless I’m mistaken and this fellow just naturally has coal-black, Simpsons cartoon eyes), and there are other issues as well.  

Let’s get started, credit card at the ready:

Canon digital SLR – any type, it doesn’t matter. How about a Rebel XS (aka 1000D) for $449? Take off the kit lens and sell it on the craigslist or throw it at somebody you don’t like – just get rid of it.  

Canon 35mm 2.0 lens – $320. (I paid $100 for mine, but it was used.) 

Canon 580EX flash – $399

It will all look like this:

Then here’s what you do:

Put the camera in Manual Mode and leave it that way forever.

Set it for 1/100th of  second exposure at f/2.5 with ISO sensitivity of 800, something like that.

Carry the camera and flash separately and then put them together at the event, making sure to lift up the white card thing on top of the flash.

Get your people together, hold the camera horizontally and press the shutter button – it will focus (with a gentle red light assist, if necessary) and take three shots, all within a second or two.

Then when you’re done, just take the flash off of the camera and they’ll both turn themselves off, ready to wake up as soon as you couple them again.

So yes, this approach is going to cost four figures and use stuff that’s a lot bigger and heavier than a $200 digicam. But it will produce images that complement the subjects and it will produce images that look good all the time, as opposed to just some of the time.

The primary benefit is having a soft flash coming from above the lens, as opposed to a sometimes-harsh flash coming from right next to the lens.

That’s my two cents.

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One Response to “The Camera Setup that San Francisco Society Reporter Catherine Bigelow Needs”

  1. AndrewTF says:

    She could also pick up the Canon EX II 50mm f1.8 lens for around $90. Not as wide angle as the 35mm (obviously), and it looks like it was made by Mattel, but it takes awesome photos and you can’t beat the price.