Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Fashion Editor's Choice: Canon & Metz Photoshoot Essentials

Fashion Editor's Workhorses: Canon EOS Rebel, Metz Speedlite and Mountainsmith Swift FX camera bag.
New York, NY When I was looking to upgrade my photography equipment, I researched which cameras were being used by some of the industry's top fashion editors and bloggers. The Canon EOS Rebel kept coming up and as I've found, for good reason. This DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) is compact and loaded with features as an entry level pro-sumer camera. Offering a crisp 12.2 mega pixel resolution, it's not space hog when uploading images to your laptop.

My Canon EOS Rebel from came with everything you see here!
Canon EOS Rebel 1100D
One thing I feared, (read "dreaded"), was to get a camera that was so complicated that my photos would actually turn out worse as a result.  I'm moderately tech savvy still I don't have a lot of free time to take photography classes. Thankfully this wasn't the case. My Canon EOS Rebel Package from QVC, came with a 4 GB card and beautiful little camera bag. Really after only charging up the battery, I began taking gorgeous photos! I am using the Auto, Macro and Portrait settings but also expanding into the CA or Creative Auto zone.

What was in the box? 
EOS Rebel T3 body, EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS type II lens, gadget bag, 4GB SDHC card, battery pack, battery charger, wide strap, eyecup, USB interface cable, A/V cable, EOS Digital Solution software, and manual.

Canon Camera Bag photo taken with the Canon EOS Rebel

Accessories Count
What pleased me is that everything was included. All of my other cameras required that I first purchase a separate SDHC card before I could even use it. Not with this package! Also a sweet camera bag like this will set you back between $40-$50 but you need it to safely store and carry your accessories and extra lenses to an on location shoot.

External Flash Units
My camera set came with a booklet called Flash Classroom and showcased several Canon Speedlites. I purchased the Canon 430 EX II and fitted it with a Sto-Fen Omni-Bounce for a softened flash. This combination, (especially the Gold Filter) is great for portrait shots and photography where you do not want harsh shadows. You can also more effectively bounce the light off the ceiling or wall with a more diffused result. The easiest way to use the Canon 430 EX II flash is by inserting it into the hotshoe on top of your camera. Pop on an Omni-Bounce flash diffuser and shoot. It then will work in sync with your zoom features. See all the flash filters available to fit your remote Speedlite from Sto-fen Online.

Canon 430 EX II Speedlite with Sto-Fen Gold Omni-Bounce filter installed.

Metz Meca blitz Speedlite 52AF-1 is also made for the Canon EOS digital models and is the world's only external flash with a touch screen. This can be set up on the camera itself and will work with the automatic zoom features. The Metz Meca blitz is such an incredible Speedlite, it's extra power and rapid recharge rate makes it perfect for fashion photography.

The Metz Meca blitz Speedlite touch screen in ETTL mode works automatically with your Canon digital camera.
It can also be positioned remotely within a softbox and triggered by another flash unit. I've just started using it but having an external flash like the German made Metz will take your photography to a whole new level. The 90 degree adjustable flash head can be swiveled to a 45 degree angle to bounce off a white ceiling or screen for soft, shadowless illumination. Here is a before and after example of this technique:

Bouncing the Metz flash yields a better illuminated yet shadow free second image.
The Metz Meca blitz can likewise be used remotely to fire as a "slave" meaning it is triggered by the initial flash or command of a "master". I haven't gotten into that yet but that's what the little stand is for or you can attach the Speedlite to a camera tripod. See this incredible remote flash and more for your camera at the Metz Website. 

Mountainsmith's Swift FX Camera Bag is perfect for outdoor and on location photoshoots.
NEW for 2014 Mountainsmith's Swift FX Camera Bag
You'll definitely want to get this camera bag if you are like me and shoot outdoors and on location. This inside is well padded to protect your camera and lenses. As for me, I use it to carry my Speedlites and extra flash accessories like the Sto-Fen lenses. However, if you need to hike in, the Swift FX combines camera bag with front pack versatility, allowing you to access your gear quickly while on location. Water resistant and rugged, check out all of the new 2014 travel-ready Mountainsmith Camera Bags online.

Mountainsmith's Swift FX Camera Bag can easily hold a camera body and lens.

Camera & Speedlite c/o and Metz respectively
Camera Bag and Flash Filers c/o Mountainsmith & Sto-fen respectively


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