DP Review Discussion Forums Suck

Yes, DP Review discussion forums suck. It’s not really surprising in and of itself because most online forums suck; it’s just the nature of the internet I suppose. The reason most online forums suck is because of crappy moderation.

But this is a photography blog, what gives with this disrespect for online forums? Well, as you probably know, DP Review is digital photography gear news and review site. It generally has pretty good information. Their online forums, like all online forums, are mostly crap, but there can be some very useful information to be had in some of them. The most useful for me were the forums on lighting, retouching, and portraiture. Each one of those forums has a small number of regular participants that are truly experts in their given field, and they demonstrated it often by example.

But somewhere along the line DP Review apparently took it upon themselves to crack down on uncivil behavior; perhaps they passed word down to their mods, who knows. Combined with huge page long rules for each forum along with mods who may or may not have reasonable notions of what “civil” is and it’s pretty much guaranteed that DP Review’s discussion forums are going to fall into a deep suck hole.

Anyway, the DP Review discussion forums have now largely lost their appeal and usefulness.

In my opinion here’s how DP Review (and all online forums) can become tolerable, and more importantly more useful . It’s very simple, really. Outside of stalking, doxxing, personal threats, and off topic responses, anything should pretty much go.

In other words, treat people like adults and don’t try to police civility. Just let people easily block those they don’t want to interact with. That way, the system will take care of itself.

Really, it would.

A Behind The Scenes Glamor Session In A Small Home Studio

This is a look at a behind the scenes glamor session in a small home studio.

I’ve been wanting to do some kind of full on glamor stuff for a while, now, but I haven’t really had the means to do it. When I say means I’m talking about the talent needed beyond any skills I may have as a photographer. If you’re having trouble wrapping your head around what I’m talking about, I’m talking about a good hair stylist and a good makeup artist. For the kinds of shots I had in mind I felt that I could get away without a wardrobe person, but as far as hair and makeup, no way. Not if I wanted to do it right. Not to mention a good model or models.

I have a friend, Kasey, from a martial arts gym that I frequent who I knew does hair and makeup professionally, and I’ve been talking with her over the past few months about what I was wanting to do. She was on board, but it just seemed that I could never get a model lined up. I have a couple of really good model friends, but it was just hard to get them nailed down.

One day at the martial arts gym I met Angie who was a new student. Right away I thought she would make a great subject for my 100 Strangers Project, so I hit her up about it. She was really open to the idea, but she went on to say that she was a model that was represented by an agency.

Go figure.

We got to talking and I showed her some of my work and she flat out said that she would like to do something with me. I then told her about my idea and Kasey the HMUA who was also a member of the gym, and it all just started falling into place.

Side note: Don’t be afraid to approach people you want to photograph.

Anyway, we created a shared Pintrist board for ideas and went from there.

Over the next few days I worked it out with Kasey the HMUA and she said she had a friend who was a great hair stylist who she thought would like to get in on it as well.

Hell, yeah. So, we set up a date with Angie the model, Kasey the MUA, and Paul the hair stylist.

I had already set the notion that I really wanted to do a full on head and shoulders glam type of thing as a priority and then do something else as a secondary thing; a couple different looks, one standard glam and one using a masquerade type of mask. Angie was really on board with that and had shown me a bunch of ideas on the Pintrist board.

On a Sunday morning Angie stopped by the house with a suitcase full of clothes and a couple of cool looking masks. After a cup of coffee, Paul and Kasey showed up and they started working on Angie in my kitchen (yeah, home studio guy here).

Hairstylist Paul Chance and Angie Tani

After Paul got done doing his thing Kasey went to work.

Makeup artist, Kasey Kasai

After we got everything down it to the studio. I don’t have a large studio, but I’ve managed to make it work.

My plan from the beginning was to use a pretty simple light setup; an on axis 38 inch deep parabolic fairly close and at about a 45 degree downward angle with a reflector about chest high to bounce a little fill.

Equipment:

  • 1 Flashpoint XPLOR 600PRO
  • 38″ Glow EZ Lock Deep Parabolic Softbox
  • 1 Lastolite 30″ reflector

I used gray seemless paper as a backdrop and flagged either side with a couple of black V-flats to contain the light as much as possible. It resulted in a kind of nook. It worked pretty well.

Here are some of the resulting shots:

Angie Head and Shoulders. ISO 100, 85mm, f11, 1/200
Glamor shot of Angie with the mask
Angie With Mask ISO 100, 85mm, f11, 1/200

Kasey got in on the mask action, too. On this shot no bottom reflector, just the softbox nearly on axis.

Kasey with the mask
Kasey With Mask ISO 100, 50mm, f11, 1/200

And finally this other one of Angie. Like the above shot, this too without a bottom reflector and just the softbox nearly on axis.

Angie Cool ISO 100, 50mm, f11, 1/200

All in all I’m pretty happy with these shots. I got a lot of good ones and Angie got a couple of ones that she handed off to her agency for their website.

At the end of the day it was a great experience. We all had a lot of fun and I learned a ton. Angie and I have already started working on some ideas for the summer; editorial style fashion experiments, and a little project I’ve been wanting to do for some time.

And, of course, the obligatory goofing around selfie!

The crew!
The crew after a good day’s work.