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  • in reply to: Camera where Weight a Problem #27991


    To be honest I’ve always just shoved everything in my cabin bag and hoped they don’t check the weight. I do tend to offload everything else into my pockets (phone, kindle, headphones, etc.) so that the cabin baggage is clearly just a camera case

    What I will say is that I’ve tried various bridge or small camera combos over the years and none of them have ever really lived up to the promises. The image quality always takes too much of a knock for me. They always end up getting left at home after one or two unsatisfactory outings.

    Nowadays I always just go with my primary A7 R II or III and economise on the lens choice according to what weight limits you have. I find even the relatively cheap and cheerful Sony 24-240 mm superzoom, paired with the high resolution of the A7RII, gives significantly better results over a wide focal length range without being over-heavy.

    This is the combination I ended up using a lot of the time for mountain photography, where weight is also at a premium especially when lugging a tent up a mountain as well as camera and tripod.

    780 g lens + 625 g camera (probably plus battery) = pretty much OK for a 5 kg weight limit.

    Or the 24-105mm f/4 which is a shade lighter, and probably better optically. (I very much wanted the longer focal lengths for mountains myself).

    If you need to get even lighter and don’t need the extreme focal lengths (eg for more street photography) most mount systems will do you a pancake lens; the Sony/Samyang 35mm f/2.8 options come in around 120g (Sony) or 85g (Samyang). I’ve got the Samyang and it works just fine- cheap and cheerful and about the lightest option there is. The Sony 28mm f/2 which is my choice for really lightweight situations is only 200g and is a really cracking lens, especially for the price.

    If A doesn’t like Sony, there are similar options for Canon/Nikon/etc of course.

    So my advice is use your regular camera body and get a lightweight lens for the occasion. Or take the opportunity to get a lightweight spare body if your main camera is a hulking great pro dSLR- a 6D Mark II is only 765 g. A 80D or second-hand 70D is even lighter, and the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 is a great option for regular shooting at only 645g for a 28-90ish equivalent.

    An RX10 IV is 1095 g and honestly I don’t think the weight saving on these sorts of cameras is worth taking the hit on smaller sensor.

    The only reason I’d maybe change my mind is if I were primarily going to be shooting wildlife, in which case the reach of a 600mm equivalent lens is hard to beat.

    But even in that case I’d be very tempted by a Sony 100-400mm lens plus the 35mm Samyang or 28mm Sony f/2 for everything else out and about. Total weight 2.3 kg including battery, which again should be doable in a 5 kg allowance.

    There are just so many more ways to make a flexible shooting kit. I often take the 24-240mm plus one specialist lens- say a 12mm fisheye or 14mm f/2.8 for astrophotography as on a trip to Norway last year.

    So I’d say standard SLR/CSC body, one lens for general use, one lens for whatever specialist subject you think you are most likely to be shooting.

    Cheers, Hywel

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  Hywel.
    in reply to: August 2018 previews #27935


    I think she’s retired, sorry! Would have loved to have shot with her again though.

    in reply to: Cinefoil (aka Blackwrap) #27885


    I use it as a light shaper, mostly to stop light falling on bits of the scene I don’t want to. It’s basically like flexible, reshapable barn doors. Actually I just ran out, I should buy another roll- the last one lasted me at least a decade. I like that it is possible to attach it to almost any light fitting with a bit of bending and pushing or at most a clothes-peg or a bit of gaffer tape.

    You can also cut holes in it and put it over the front a hard light to cast interesting shadows, that’s not really my lighting style but it works well with something like a Fresnel spotlight or a reflector on a flash head if you want to have some streaks of light across a background or something. (You need to be a bit careful of heat buildup with continuous tungsten lights but it is fine for LED and flash).

    Cheers, Hywel

    in reply to: ChloeToy DungeonCandlelight #27872



    That’s a very popular set, I’m putting it back up for you tomorrow.

    Sorry I didn’t reply sooner, Ariel and I were away on vacation for the last couple of weeks.

    Cheers, Hywel

    in reply to: April 2018 previews #27798


    Hi Sablesword!

    I still have the table, I’ll bring it downstairs and use it in some forthcoming shoots.

    I know what you mean about the dungeon. When I did me “expired at least two years ago” check for the archives it was a shock to see stuff already coming up that we shot in the new house. Four years in May, time flies!

    Cheers, Hywel

    in reply to: March 2018 Previews #27776


    I DO! Some of the sets of Pling got misfiled. I did a general backups-and-organisation of my older stuff and found a folder of unprocessed sets, mostly stuff which needed some serious repair work due to technical cockups. There’s another four or five to come, and a handful of other really old sets which never got processed for similar reasons.



    in reply to: Focal Lengths and Zoom Lenses #27771


    Shot 07049 – 38 mm full length, not particularly tilted up or down, flat on lighting as you say.
    Not as flattering as I’d maybe like in an ideal world- it’s not the most flattering on her thighs,
    but conversely she’s not posing either, it’s a test/behind the scenes shot. In an ideal world I’d
    have moved backwards and shot on my face 85mm focal length, but as you know in the dungeon
    there’s walls and doors and so forth in the way, so sometimes one compromises.

    Shot 07074 – 24 mm full length. There’s definitely some distortion to my eyes in that shot, her bum
    looks a bit big, her legs a bit short. It’s on the borderlines of what I’d consider acceptable myself, but
    there’s no absolute criterion I’m afraid. 07079 has definitely got big head small feet distortion going on,
    and is only borderline acceptable for my personal tastes. I probably left them in because:

    A) the whole set is quite stylised with the blue lighting etc. so isn’t meant to have a particularly natural or
    neutral rendition.

    B) I tend to accept more distortion with the dungeon because of the physical constraints of the space.

    C) It wasn’t bad enough for me to throw the photo away at first glance, and I learned years ago that
    being over-selective on photos for full photosets can end up short-changing customers who are
    place different emphasis on what’s OK and what’s not. When I did an experiment a very long time
    ago with a full set of 36 images (from a roll of slide film) and with just the 20 or so I’d selected.
    pretty much everybody preferred seeing all 36 images, even if some were to my eyes less than optimal.
    That even applied to focus being in places which I don’t like – if I’ve accidentally focussed on fingernails
    where I was aiming for eyes or cuffs, I leave the shot in because the fingernail fans might love it beyond
    all others in the set. So I only throw stuff away if there’s a gross error – nothing sharp, or nothing on the girl
    or the bondage sharp, or excessive camera shake, flash didn’t fire, gross over or under exposure etc..

    D) There’s a sense in which I guess I intend my photos to be seen as sets, rather than as
    individual shots too, so I’ll keep stuff in if it tells a story or is the only shot of a certain angle or
    style in the set (eg the only landscape shot or the only closeup of something).

    E) By the looks of it, later on in the set I’ve decided to embrace it and go for weird angles,
    probably emboldened by standing in places I don’t usually stand in in the dungeon. For example
    DSC07151 has big old head small feet distortion made deliberately more stylised by the cock-eyed
    composition. I personally accept the distortions more easily in that sort of shot than in a
    “normally composed” shot which looks like it is trying to be more lifestyley/naturalistic. I may
    even have decided “oh, I can shoot from inside the dungeon with this lens, I wonder how that
    looks?” (My memory is in no way up to recalling what I was actually thinking BTW, so this
    is all pure post-hoc figuring out the process by reverse engineering looking at the shots I took).

    F) If I need to keep the number of photos in the set up and I’ve cocked up and need to
    keep as many shots as possible (doubt it was the case here).

    G) It was a mistake – I was doing exactly what I warn people about using a zoom at its
    widest setting, and I should have removed the shots but didn’t for some reason. I do tend
    to process and leave shots in and learn my lessons for the next set, rather than be too
    cruel on culling a set with errors. See C) and recall that none of this actually goes through my
    mind in a cold blooded way when I shoot- I evolved the “focal lengths from hell” rule through
    trial and error, making mistakes and figuring out ways to avoid making them without noticing
    in future, like only using prime lenses and never going below 35mm if I could possibly help it!

    Sensibilities are different I guess when aiming for single shots, especially if the shots are to be
    submitted to individual comment or judging. I guess because we all recognise that photographs can
    have whacky distortion, everybody is probably different in what sorts of distortion they find
    aesthetically pleasing and what sorts or what amounts they dislike? I’ve not thought about
    it particularly deeply before, beyond my own rule of thumb which I sometimes break when
    I feel like it or the physical situation seems to call for it.

    So I’d rather guess that there isn’t any rule which can guide you, beyond the general
    rules of thumb. Shoot for oneself and if it doesn’t bother you well why should one care
    what other people think about it, really? One can learn technique from others of course,
    and emulate artistic works we like and find out how they were created, but technique
    segues into artistic choice pretty quickly when you start digging deeper.

    I’ve been very lucky that my personal bondage artistic vision appeals to enough people that I can
    make a living from it, but I didn’t start doing it to appeal to others. (Parenthetically,
    it looks like my landcape photography does not appeal to others enough for me to
    make a living from it, at least not with my (utter lack of) salesmanship and woeful
    marketing ability,

    It’s nice when it does appeal to others but I don’t really care when it doesn’t.
    I’m going to keep doing landscape photography for my own pleasure, like I have been
    since I was a teenager.

    The sort of photos that do the rounds at local photography club competitions
    usually send me right to sleep. There’s nothing wrong with them. The judges are
    usually all very correct and nit—picking and to my personal tastes utterly fail
    to spot a work of art with an ability to provoke an emotional response in me.
    But maybe they get the same thrill from a well-turned macro shot of a screw
    focus stacked to get a completely sharp photo of something completely boring
    that I get from a mountain sunset or a girl in barefoot bondage. I dunno. It seems
    to appeal to plenty of people, and if they are having fun, fantastic! I’m probably just projecting
    my hatred of competitions in general and hatred of closed group art competitions in particular.

    I don’t mean to diss photography groups, they’re just not my thing. I managed a single
    meeting of the local Welshpool group. I was more patient in my younger days when Kate
    dragged me to a few in the early days at Paul’s group in Reading, back in 2001 or something like that,
    but she lasted a lot longer there than I did.

    Cheers, Hywel

    in reply to: Focal Lengths and Zoom Lenses #27769


    Posting for tfandrew:

    Thank you both for replying, but I regret, Hywel, your responses did not take me very far. My apologies if I was not clear enough.

    I appreciate the point that “distortion” is reduced if the distance between the parts of the model is small as a proportion of the overall distance to the camera. It was a point I raised in the original post and I am grateful for the confirmation. I can understand general theories of geometry, optics and perspective. My problem is that I have disabilities that include a severe visual impairment. I was hoping for help with the things I can’t work out with the general theories: what do fully sighted people actually see when you look at the pictures.

    I think I can see deliberate “distortion” when it gets extreme, as you mention in foot fetish shots, or in pictures like this:-

    Ariel and Tillie

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I didn’t think there was anything like that in “The White Stocking Dungeon Blues”.

    My problem is where there is more subtle “distortion”. How, if at all, can someone like me make use of the good and avoid the bad. Without going to extremes, some people like to lengthen a leg or enlarge some other part of the model’s body. Conversely, some observers seem sensitive to perceived distortion. I was once asked to produce shots I admired for a local photography group. One of the shots I offered was one of Hywel’s (pre-bondage) of a model sitting on a chair. The group leader immediately dismissed it, saying the legs and feet were distorted large. I hadn’t been aware of this and the incident was somewhat upsetting. I know I will never see things as fully sighted people do but I hope it will help to look at examples in real pictures and to hear what fully sighted people see and think.

    I therefore hoped someone would offer comments on the set of “The White Stocking Dungeon Blues”. I did not want to comment on pictures in my original post because my whole point was that I distrusted my eyesight. Hywel, are you saying there is no visible distortion in the set? My first thought was that DSC07049 was one of Sablesword’s “whole room” shots and the background may be distorted but Rachelle is standing sufficiently upright that no part of her body is significantly closer than any other and the lighting is sufficiently straight on to her to tend to flatten her face. But there are later shots – with shorter focal lengths – where she is pushing part of her body towards the camera (DSC07074 to DSC07078). These are the sort of shots I would avoid based on the tutorial advice I described in my original post. Should I be seeing anything out of proportion? Do others see it? If so, do others like it?

    Thank you and hoping things are more clear now.

    (End of tfandrew post)

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by  Hywel.
    in reply to: Focal Lengths and Zoom Lenses #27764


    Yes, totally! My knees tell me about the need to keep doing this when I’ve done several shoot days in a row, but there’s just no getting around the fact that shooting from waist height causes less geometrical distortion and therefore looks better, most of the time. Knee height looks good too (it makes people look heroic, and Hollywood uses it all the time for that reason).

    Annoyingly, the photographer on-the-floor distortion (bigger feet, smaller head) looks quite nice as long as it isn’t too overdone, which is a literal pain in the neck to shoot. But does nice things to long legs 🙂

    One other time I reach for the 28 mm lens is shooting overhead stuff, where the length of my arms may be the limiting factor. This produces something of the big head small feet distortion, but also I think tends to make the model look big-eyed and anime-waif-like, so usually works for BDSM. Love shooting in spaces where it is possible to get proper overhead shots with an 85mm lens, but there aren’t many of them around!

    The other main time I reach for 28 mm is shooting video on a handheld gimbal. Much though I’d like to be able to use a 55mm lens, it’s just too hard to get the framing right when grabbing unrehearsed shots of a moving model with a lens that tight and get focus something like right too. The 28mm gives more forgiving depth of field and wider field of view whilst allowing one to get close enough to produce some separation from the background (a bit from boken, but more from parallax as the camera moves).

    Interesting discussion chaps, thanks. Have decided on next shoot to practice using the funkier focal lengths in my lens case for 20 shots at the end of each set, to see what I can come up with using stuff like a 14mm f/2.8, 300 mm f/5.6 catadioptric or 180mm macro lens.

    Cheers, Hywel

    in reply to: Focal Lengths and Zoom Lenses #27759



    As with all photographic “rules”, the “no wider than 35mm on full frame” rule is just a pointer to pay attention. The critical part is not actually the focal length of the lens. It is where you are standing.

    RULE REFRAMED: If her nose is significantly closer to the camera than her eyes are, as a fraction of the distance from camera to subject, it’s going to produce perspective, geometrical distortion which risks appearing unflattering. (The same effect can produce really ugly looking photos of other parts of the body, too.)

    So generally it looks bad having some parts of the model’s body significantly closer to the camera than other parts by accident. If she’s deliberately reaching out to camera that’s a different matter- sometimes you’ll want to exaggerate that for effect, but even then I find a 35mm lens produces a more natural-seeming effect.

    My “avoid the focal lengths from hell” rule is a rule of thumb derived from that based on observation of what combination of factors most commonly leads photographers on tutorials to provoke this distortion: zooming out and walking in.

    As Sablesword says, if you’re shooting the entire room with the model relatively small in the frame, a wider angle lens will not only be fine, but very possibly be required in smaller UK shooting spaces.

    Think about the geometric effect of standing close to the model, especially in cases where parts of the model’s body are significantly closer to the camera than other parts. This produces the “big foot tiny head” distortion effect one can see in some foot fetish photos- giant feet filling the frame, with a tiny head much smaller in pixels on the image than the feet, because the camera was 30 cm from the feet, the model was on a sofa, and her head was about 180 cm away from the camera- six times as far as the feet. So naturally the feet look big in frame, the head comparatively tiny.

    In my experience, this effect is not very disruptive to the viewer because it is obvious. The brain fills in “oh, feet are close, head is far”. Therefore it’s not unflattering, because we recognise what has caused it. Get down there and shoot it on a 14 mm lens and it’ll look kinda funky, but not like the model is misshapen.

    Shoot an ordinary head-and-shoulders portrait with a 14 mm lens. Now you’re standing so close to the model that the tip of her nose is significantly closer to camera than her eyes are- and if it is a 3/4 shot, her eyes will be significantly different distances from the camera. One eye will look bigger than the other, the nose will seem oddly protuberant, ears will recede and look small. Again, with a 14mm lens (on full frame) the effect will be sufficiently exaggerated that most viewers will probably spot “aha, it’s a distorting lens, not an ugly model”.

    Shoot it on a 24 or 28 mm lens though and the result is naturalistic enough for the eye not to notice, and for most viewers to just think the model doesn’t look very good. In longer shots it can make thighs look fat, bodies look uneven, invoke asymmetry, appear to lengthen noses and just generally make the model wince when she sees the photos afterwards.

    Back off to a full-length shot and the effect is diminished, because the model’s nose is no longer significantly closer to the camera. Remember: significant difference between distance to eyes and nose, as a fraction of the distance from camera to subject. Nose is maybe 5 cm in front of eyes. If shot from 30 cm away this is a big difference (1 part in 6), if shot from 2 m away this is trivial (1 part in 40) and from 4 m away negligible (1 part in 80). That’s why a model small in the frame with a 28 mm lens looks fine- you are standing in the same place you’d be standing to shoot a head-and-shoulders shot with a 50 mm lens.

    It’s actually nothing to do with the lens. This geometrical distortion is purely an effect of perspective, of where you are standing. Standing in the same place, you see the exact same view. A 24 mm lens will fit a wider slice of that view onto the camera sensor than a 50 mm lens will, but the perspective effect will be identical- zoom in to the 24mm image to match the field of view of the 50 mm lens, and the views will be (*nearly) identical, if you were standing in the same place.

    (* Nearly identical, because there are other sources of distortion, from the lens optics, which will likely be more severe from the 24 mm lens).

    So the reason for choosing a 35 mm lens is that it allows you to shoot full-length shots in a average size room whilst forcing you to standing far enough away from the model to avoid excessive perspective distortion. When I have a big enough space, I like to shoot everything on an 85mm lens, because IMO it’s the most flattering- it makes me stand far away to get the compositions I like.

    But you can definitely use lenses like 28mm, 24mm so long as you are conscious of the need to remain far away from the model. One needs to resist the temptation to step in to get a tighter shot- that’s when one really needs to change focal length instead.

    Hope that helps?

    Cheers, Hywel

    • This reply was modified 10 months ago by  Hywel.
    • This reply was modified 10 months ago by  Hywel.
    • This reply was modified 10 months ago by  Hywel.
    in reply to: Bondage Gear #27755


    I can recommend top-to-bottom, the ones I have have lasted a good 15 years so far, they are tough and really comfortable. They also size them more for girls than for large men, if that is a consideration- I’ve found a lot of products online tend to be too large, and Fetters in particular traditionally catered more to the gay male market and therefore everything was very chunky and too large for RE models.

    Gags and blindfolds I will have to defer to Ariel’s expertise on, although the blackout contact lenses worked pretty well.

    Cheers, Hywel

    in reply to: Oriental Studies #27700


    I am happy to modify my language in response to changes in acceptable usage, generally. I don’t want to be an arse or insulting to anyone.

    But I’m not going to do so when a term is perfectly acceptable in polite usage where I live, but is going out of fashion in acceptable usage in another place where I don’t 🙂

    Cheers, Hywel

    in reply to: Un-renewable R.E Account #27699



    I think I’ve replied directly via Email to the first question, but in case I haven’t… your forum membership is independent of your website members’ area membership. You can stay and post and read stuff here on the forum regardless of whether you are current an RE member or not. The usernames are independent.

    Unfortunately, there’s no new material of Belle- she retired about 10 years ago!

    Cheers, Hywel Phillips

    in reply to: the true debates #27698


    Thank you, glad you are enjoying them!

    in reply to: Photo Set ID's #27696


    The AL sets were shot for me by Alexander Lightspear in Sibera (under my direction of course, and I do all the post-production too).

    There’s no plan to go back and assign RE or AL numbers to older sets.

    It’s actually my filing system for sets straight from shoots, which I’ve been using since about 2013. I finally got a bit confused with my old filing system names for sets on the members’ area, so decided to switch to using my previously-private filing system ID’s for sets as they go up on the site.

    It was done originally to make it easy for me to keep track of sets as they were shot, in chronological order. That’s the most relevant thing for my backups and processing.

    Videos have a reference number as well, starting VID. Silk Soles sets start with SS. Old sets unprocessed at the time I made the switchover were given an OLD reference number. Customs have CUS reference, Femme Domme Monologues an FDM reference, bastinado a BAST reference, etc.

    The digits are not unique- there will be an RE0234_set and an AL0234_set and a VID0234_video, and these will be unrelated.

    Indeed, it is possible that somewhere I might have made a cock-up and have sets with the same initial ID: it’s possible that I got the file name wrong on location and failed to spot it or fix it before the sets got into the processing/backup/off-site backup pipeline.

    But the whole set name with RE_number_model_setdescription will definitely be unique.

    The longer file names might actually be causing some problems with the site voting scripts- we’re investigating this at the moment. Fix one problem, create another… 🙂

    Cheers, Hywel

    • This reply was modified 11 months, 1 week ago by  Hywel.
    in reply to: A Restrained Elegance 2018 Calendar #27695


    Glad you’re having fun with them! I made calendars years and years ago and it took me ages to select the shots for them 🙂

    Cheers, Hywel

    in reply to: White leather Cock Gag/Cuff set #27694



    They were from


    But they don’t do them in those colours as standard. They kindly made them for me as a custom order years ago!

    Cheers, Hywel

    in reply to: Becky Perry in Party Girl… #27417


    Thank you! That means a lot 🙂

    Cheers, Hywel

    in reply to: New Archive request #27325


    Hi Viktor,

    I just scheduled this for 1st April (which is the 16th birthday of RestrainedElegance.com)

    Cheers, hywel

    in reply to: Lauren Louise by Candlelight #27317


    P.S. all of which reminds me I should probably start taking wide shots of the whole room for behind the scenes so we can see what lights are where- useful for me and hopefully interesting for others! Will try to remember to do that from now on as a matter of principle actually… Not always possible to do 100% (the dungeon will defeat me for example) but worth aiming for.

    in reply to: Lauren Louise by Candlelight #27316


    HI Andrew,

    Glad you liked the set! I’ll try to reconstruct from memory… IIRC this one required quite a bit of fiddling around to get the lighting right, so I’ll have to try to distinguish between what I remember setting up first and what I finally ended up with!

    I had warm fill from LED panels down on the floor, and a cooler light coming in from over Lauren’s shoulder to camera right (her left). I wanted the candles to register and I wanted the light to stay looking very warm, so I set the white balance to daylight. That’s why the bedside lamps have gone very yellow (they are warm white LED’s- about the same colour temperature as Tungsten, but with a green spike which means they register as yellow rather than orange, intensified by the yellow lightshades).

    I shot wide open with f/1.4 lenses for the shallow depth of field, at ISO100 to keep a silky smooth look without grain or noise in the shadows. That required a shutter speed of 1/40th of a second which would normally be out of my ability to hand-hold… but the lens and sensor stabilisation of the Sony A7RII and 85mm/35mm lenses dealt with that fine.

    I *think* this was before my new Arri lights arrived, so I probably used the old Kelvin tile LED panels. Probably two together to give the warm fill. And I think I used a flash as the “white” key light off camera right, which will have encouraged me to be brave with 1/40th shutter as it would at least freeze some detail. For the later shots I turned the flash off, turned the ISO up, and the shutter speed a bit shorter because I couldn’t rely on that flash to freeze any detail.

    To answer your specific questions:
    1) Nope, no tripod. I hate them. They are necessary for astrophotography, I barely tolerate them for landscape photography, and I totally cannot be doing with them for people photography. They slow me down too much and slow the photo taking down as well, which is in general a bad thing when the clock is running with a tied up model. I probably should have used one for the later shots without flash.

    In the days of film the rule of thumb was shutter=1/focal length, so with a 50mm lens you can hand hold at 1/50th of a second. In theory one can do much better with modern image stabilisation systems, but that’s counteracted by the MUCH higher detail recorded by a 42 megapixel sensor compared with fuzzy, grainy, forgiving film. So I try to stick to 1/125th where I can or even 1/200th in the ideal case. But the IS is really good on the 85MM GM 1.4 so I felt brave and it seems to have worked OK, especially with the bit of flash to freeze some crisp detail. One still needs really good technique to hand hold, and you have to beware of subject movement as well.

    2) Autofocus was OK-ish. Fast lens and reasonable amount of light from the LED panels. It would lock on reasonably well, but not always lock on to the correct thing- one flaw of the Sony (and in all honesty all camera systems I’ve tried except the latest Canons with dual pixel focussing in live view) is that if the camera does pick the wrong thing to focus on, it’s very difficult to override.

    Tips: only use f/1.4 if you want a headache and are willing to shoot more than you need and throw shots away. The eye focus feature of the A7RII works well when it works at all- I have it set up for the “AF/MF” button on the back of the camera. I use AF-C rather than AF-S in really challenging situations too as it shows you exactly which PDAF point on the sensor it is using to focus. Overall though I’d say my number one complaint with the A7RII is the difficulty of nailing focus when shooting wide open.

    3) The colour was adjusted afterwards because I shot in RAW as I always do. I will have dragged the colour temperature slider around to get a nice warm look without losing the “Correct” white of the flash- which I know from memory is around 5000K. Then I will have set the tone curve to a more S-shaped curve to lighten highlights and darken blacks, probably upped the constrast a bit too. Perceptually that will increase apparent saturation but I probably dialled in a bit more saturation and possibly vibrancy. I always do a little dance between colour temp, saturation, tone curve, and vibrancy to get it where I want it.

    But I committed to the very warm look deliberately at shoot time, choosing very warm light (probably 2800K or so) for the fill panels, plus the candles, and really the post-processing was just applying my usual “stock look” and fine tuning it- it wasn’t anything unusual, most of the look was right there in the in-camera JPEGs. I find it useful to shoot RAW + JPEG with the Sony as it gives me a starting point for the look and reminds me what I was thinking of when I shot it originally.

    The one tip I have for colour on the Sony is that red tone curve greatly benefits from pulling up the reds in the mid-tones just a little. I usually add a point in the middle of the curve and drag it up a few percent. That just seems to give nicer skin tones to me with my default RAW processing software (Aperture). Other RAW processors will have different default renditions, but I like to pull the red mid tones up a bit in Capture One on the Sony too.

    So basically I built the look on set, fine tuning the light using the JPEGs on the back of the camera at the time, and just fine tuned it in post.

    Hope that’s of interest!

    Cheers, Hywel

    in reply to: Dying from pride… #27286


    Hi Alex,

    Of course you are welcome to post Flickr and Fetlife links!

    Cheers, Hywel

    in reply to: Spankado #27284


    Consider them a teaser 🙂


    in reply to: Site download #27281


    As far as I know, most downloaders should work OK with RE. But I’ve not actually tried it recently myself- I’d be interested to know what people are using and what your experiences are.

    Cheers, Hywel

    in reply to: Metal Bondage Safety Video #27262


    Absolutely agree, very good advice!

    We bulk-bought padlocks which use the same key. Doesn’t help with the sundry metal bondage gear which comes with built-in-locks but is a brilliant simplification and safety measure for everything else. Should have done it years sooner than I did.

    Cheers, Hywel

    in reply to: Collecting Fluff about a new DSLR #27099


    Argh, slip in the mental arithmetic. At those pixel pitches it should be fine- as I said the A7RII doesn’t seem to have a regular problem but the Hasselblad does with (looks it up carefully this time to be sure!) 6.8 micron pitch. Of course, that explains why Nikon have left AA filters off the latest range of APS-C 20+ megapixel cameras. And why no-one is talking about it as an issue on 100 megapixel backs.

    Serves me right for opening my mouth on a thread about Nikons when I know damn all about them, and not bothering to check my quick division in my head! Apologies!

    It was interesting to think what I would buy/have stuck with if this was still my hobby rather than my job. The answer came surprisingly easy: a 5D Mark II, which I’d now be thinking of upgrading to a 5D Mark IV. To my mind you just can’t beat the versatility and bang for the buck of those mid-range dSLRs as all-rounders. I’m sure the Nikon equivalents have that same great value proposition.

    The only reason I don’t own one is that my professional needs cover little bits of that capability a little better than the 5DII/IV. The Hasselblad is a sharper, higher resolution, better studio/sunlight camera, the A7RII is a better low-light camera and light-weight camera for the mountains, and the RED and Panasonic GH4 are a bit better at video. But a general purpose middle of the range dSLR can do all of those things very capably. I probably ought to pick up a lightly-used 5DII or 5DIII as owners are probably switching to the IV, and I have a sack of Canon lenses!

    Cheers, Hywel

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by  Hywel.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by  Hywel.
    in reply to: Collecting Fluff about a new DSLR #27097


    I noticed the change going from the 13 megapixels of the Canon 5D mark I up to the 31 megapixel Hasselblad, as you’d damn well expect from a system that cost that much.

    The step up to the Canon 7D at 18 megapixels was much less marked, especially as those pixels were smaller and so the noise performance wasn’t so great.

    The difference between the 5DI (13 megapixels) and 5DII (21 megapixels) was very noticeable. The difference between the 7D (18) and 5DIi (21) was negligible so long as you had enough light and decent lenses.

    So to be honest I doubt you’d notice the difference between 21 and 24 megapixels. My guess is that you’re more likely to start noticing the limitations of the lenses and the rest of the system rather than the pure pixel count. The D500 is very well-regarded as far as I can see (although I admit my ignorance to matters Nikon is almost total, it’s well-spoken of).

    I’d be wary of camera with no AA filter (which I believe the D7200 lacks, is that right?). I find it a bit of a pain with the Hasselblad- it gives bad Moire on some fabrics. It’s not such an issue on the Sony because of the slightly higher resolution (and the fact that I often shoot the Sony with shallower depth of field, which limits the Moire just to those bits of fabric which happen to be in focus). People I know with higher res medium format say it’s largely a non-problem for them. So I think there may be a particular “sour spot” around 31 megapixels MF, which is quite close to the pixel pitch of the D7200.

    I’d take 21 sharply-focussed megapixels from a camera with good ergoonmics over a 24 megapixel image from a camera with lesser focussing and ergonomic niceness, myself.

    Of course I’m incapable of actually making that choice when there’s 42 megapixel IBIS monsters like the A7RII around (despite atrocious ergonomics). But of course this is my business- I’d probably make very different choices if it was still my hobby.

    Cheers, Hywel

    in reply to: Kardashian Robbery #27096


    P.S. Sablesword I am with you on the “celebrity/politician” fiction. I’m not a big fan even of slash fic with someone else’s famous character put into a sexual story. I know Kirk-Spocking has a long an honourable history, but some years ago I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t happy doing this to other authors’ creations.

    Which is why I stopped doing things like the Star Trek and Tomb Raider inspired sets we used to shoot in the early days. Pragmatically, I don’t want to get sued, but more importantly I don’t think it is fair to the original authors/actors/etc. to presume to cast their creations in stories which might horrify them.

    So I’m trying to stick to original characters and original storylines (allowing for a dash of inspiration/Picasso-style creative stealing now and then).

    Cheers, Hywel

    in reply to: Kardashian Robbery #27095


    Don’t feel bad! It is undoubtedly true that what happened reads very like the storylines we shoot here on RE. It would be disingenuous to pretend there is no link between these things happening in reality and the storylines we write- clearly, the two are connected.

    One of the things Ariel and I have in common is that when we were growing up, we didn’t have access to any sort of BDSM erotica or even know that such things existed. We therefore fixated on scenes in mainstream media- including real-life events on the news.

    The very best thing about the internet for me is that it has made it unnecessary to do that. We can now access romantic fiction (whether written or visual or auditory) which lets us enjoy and even act out these fantasies without having to have the confusing and conflicting guilt about finding a story that we know intellectually was horrible for the real people involved kinda hot.

    It’s that that lies behind my determination to keep RE going even if the UK censors try to shut us down (they’re on to the next phase now BTW: mandatory age verification. Which sounds fine until you realise that that means handing over your identity every time you want to even browse something 18-rated. A government mandated list of all the porn everyone in the country has ever watched? What could possibly go wrong?)

    I don’t want to go back to the dark days of having to find stories like this hot, because there’s no longer a source of cheery, romantic bondage fantasies online.

    It’s an important point, I think, so don’t feel bad about having pointed it out!

    Cheers, Hywel

    in reply to: Kardashian Robbery #27089


    I’m afraid this crosses my line for fantasy vs. reality, sorry. Non-consensual is only OK in fantasy and I’m sure this was terrifying and horrible for the people involved. I’m glad no-one was seriously hurt. Whether or not the facts of the case are as reported, it’s not something we’ll be doing.

    Cheers, Hywel

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by  Hywel.
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