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Photographing with the Panasonic GH4

I had the opportunity to shoot a wedding in Ripe, England with the Panasonic GH4.  This camera is a compact, light-weight camera with lenses so small you can fit them in the pocket of your jacket.  I have always carried around a little Canon point and shoot that takes RAW images, but no point and shoot can match the experience of a SLR style, through the lens viewfinder experience.  So the GH4 made for the perfect traveling companion.   I kept it with me throughout the wedding, and as I traveled throughout the country before and after the job.  While I shot, I has little experiments in mind, like latitude experiments and macro experiments, low light and motion experiments.  I have posted the results here in the blog.  The incredible thing about this little camera is that it also captures 4k video as well, but we will stick with the still photos for this post.

In this image of the pipe organ in St. John the Baptist church, where the couple was married, I was able to truly test the Panasonic GH4's exposure latitude capabilities. The church was quite dark inside and yet, I was able to capture full detail inside and outside.

In this image of the pipe organ in St. John the Baptist church, where the couple was married, I was able to truly test the Panasonic GH4’s exposure latitude capabilities. The church was quite dark inside and yet, I was able to capture full detail inside and outside.  I fully expected that I would not be able to maintain any detail in the exterior exposure, but I was pleasantly surprised by the latitude on this little camera.

The wedding couple took a walk along the southern coast of England before the wedding.

The wedding couple took a walk along the southern coast of England before the wedding.  Carrying a heavy SLR and its heavier lenses on a long walk is not all that much fun.  In fact carting equipment around makes me wonder why I chose to be a photographer in the first place.  But with a camera as small and light as the GH4 and its sharp little lenses that weigh almost nothing and fit almost anywhere, I was carrying three lenses and camera and I hardly knew I had anything with me.  At times I had to double check to make sure I had a camera.  Typically a light, compact camera means poor photos, but the GH4 breaks that rule.

It was a leisurely stroll and yes, we stopped to admire the flowers.

It was a leisurely stroll and yes, we stopped to admire the flowers and I tested my need for macro!  The GH4 was perfect, in fact, the digital view finder allowed me to see exactly what my depth of field looked like while taking the shot.  That something that a traditional SLR won’t do for you.

The white cliffs made for a stunning coastline.

The white cliffs made for a stunning coastline.  Here again, I was battling a latitude challenge with the bright sun peeking through the clouds, but the GH4 held the detail in the brightest spots of the clouds and even in the shimmer on the water behind the couple walking near the cliff.

Silence at a wedding is golden, especially in an old stone church. The GH4 has a completely silent mode that makes me as a photographer invisible to everyone at the wedding.

Silence at a wedding is golden, especially in an old stone church. The GH4 has a completely silent mode that makes me as a photographer invisible to everyone at the wedding and since my greatest wish is to be invisible at a wedding, this was a perfect camera for the job.  While I was shooting the wedding with both my Canon and the GH4, I found myself choosing the GH4 for all of the close shots as I crept down the isle.  They may have seen me there, but I can guarantee you, no one heard me.

Wedding in Ripe England

Not only could the GH4 give me great back and white images from the church, but it provided excellent color in a dark church. Not only could the GH4 give me great back and white images from the church, but it provided excellent color in a dark church. Smaller chips often yield more noise, so I tested the GH4 for noise and found that the color noise was extremely low and the grain structure feels ver natural. I am a sucker for a beautiful grain structure. I know… its nerdy.

 

Wedding in Ripe England

Not only could the GH4 give me great back and white images from the church, but it provided excellent color in a dark church. Not only could the GH4 give me great back and white images from the church, but it provided excellent color in a dark church. Smaller chips often yield more noise, so I tested the GH4 for noise and found that the color noise was extremely low and the grain structure feels ver natural. I am a sucker for a beautiful grain structure. I know… its nerdy.

 

Wedding in Ripe England

This little angel was my subject for a few days. The grooms niece and I chased each other around the grounds of the church for a little while as the bride and groom chatted with heir guests. The articulating screen on the camera allowed me to follow her around at a long angle and grab shots of her as we ran. Ordinarily, I would be taking shots like this completely blind, wasting 20 shots to get one that was in focus and composed correctly. But because I could see her in the articulating screen at all times and the GH4’s auto focus was tracking her face, I never missed a shot. It’s always nice to have a lot of images to choose from.

Wedding in Ripe England

Like many churches in England, the cemetery surrounds the church, so when the little girls play on the church grounds, they play amid the tombstones of their ancestors. The groom’s Godfather rests in this cemetery. Was was fascinated by the casual and playful attitude of the children amongst the stones. They see them as just that, stones. I couldn’t present this image in color. It needed to be a black and white. It just deserved it. The GH4 makes exquisite black and white images from its RAW files.

After the wedding, I took a drive to Stratford Upon Avon to catch a little Shakespeare. Before the show, I took in the character of the old english buildings.

After the wedding, I took a drive to Stratford Upon Avon to catch a little Shakespeare. Before the show, I took in the character of the old english buildings.  It handled the latitude and the saturation issues on the chimneys very well.

After the show, I tested the higher ISO settings on the GH4 and at 3200 ISO, the camera produces a very nice grain structure with low color noise. I was completely happy with its extremely low light capabilities.

After the show, I tested the higher ISO settings on the GH4 and at 3200 ISO, the camera produces a very nice grain structure with low color noise. I was completely happy with its extremely low light capabilities.  I couldn’t have asked for a better image in that light.

My total experience with the Panasonic GH4 was wonderful. It’s small and lightweight body and lenses make it the perfect camera for hiking, and traveling. The quality is quite good and when compared to any small sensor camera, is absolutely fantastic. One could use the camera as their only camera and carry four times the lenses in half the space. Using it in conjunction with my smart phone was helpful as well. Rather than taking decent photos on my iPhone to post on social media, I was able to take superior images on the GH4 and send them to my phone for social media purposes.

The only draw back on the camera is the increase in depth of field due to the chip size and lens lengths. But that is a standard issue with micro four-thirds cameras. For those of us who like to live on the edge of focus, it feels like a limitation. But you get used to the feeling of having all your photos in focus and after a while, it stops feeling like a limitation and starts feeling like a blessing.

Panasonic is making exciting things for photo enthusiasts and pros alike. My good friend and photographer, Isaac Bailey, shoots with a Panasonic micro four-thirds camera and here’s what he has to say about it:

“I love my Panasonic mirrorless camera. It has opened a new realm of fun in personal photography for me. Using the control I get from my big DSLR with tiny size and weight, I can really go anywhere with this baby and make great shots” -Isaac Bailey Photographer Phoenix

Traveling with a camera is the only thing I know. I have never been able to go anywhere without needing a camera with me, but there is always a battle between high quality and compact size. The micro four-thirds market has opened up a new world of possibilities for compact PLUS quality and Panasonic is leading the charge. Heavy cameras may be a thing of the past in the not too distant future. Hurray for that!

Join Me at Photoshop Week on creativeLIVE

Photoshop Week 2015

 Don’t miss me on Photoshop Week at creativeLIVE.com on February 23 and 24.  Then keep watching all week long.  There is no better place to get a great education from the greatest instructors.  I will be teaching and hosting five segments there:

Lightroom Mobile

Making Books in Lightroom

Lightroom Develop Module

Lightroom Local Adjustments

Photoshop This

Don’t miss this week of incredible instruction and a lot of fun.  See you there!

Heading Out into a New Year

Photo of England countryside by Jared Platt

 I am looking out into the new year and looking at my travel and lecture schedule which gets more and more complicated and crowded every day and I wonder what things I will see and who I will meet this year.  And more importantly I hope I will be able to able to be a force for change in people’s lives.  I love hearing from people who say their lives have changed as a result of the things they have learned from me.  That is why I teach.  I love to unlock doors for people.

Follow my schedule on the right hand side of my blog here and find a lecture or a workshop near you and come join me.  If you can’t make it to a workshop or a convention like WPPI or Imaging USA, join me online at creativeLIVE.com.

For those of you interested in an adventure… join me in Krakow, Poland in August: www.poland.mzed.com

I wish you all the very best this year.

Merry Christmas To Everyone!

child life portrait by Jared Platt

Merry Christmas.  I will be sitting in front of my Christmas tree a lot for the next two days.  I love Christmas lights!

Brad and Jennifer’s Wedding in Phoenix, Arizona

 

Jennifer and Brad were married in the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Phoenix, Arizona and their reception was held at the Paradise Valley Country Club in Paradise Valley, Arizona.  There were a lot of bride’s maids and groomsmen and all of them were lively and fun.  The wedding was great fun.  Here are a few of my favorite images from the day.

One of the bride’s maids was taking little Polaroid shots during the day.  I thought they were cool, so I made my own, but the bride’s maid can pretend she took this Polaroid too.  I won’t tell anyone.

 

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (1)

This shot was taken by my second shooter, Ray who was following the groom and groom’s men around during the day.  I love the composition on this shot.

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (2)

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (3)

I love mirrors, moms and that connection of sweet pride.  That has got to be one of the most grand moments in a mother’s life.

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (4)

Everyone learned how to tie a real bow tie.  A skill all men should have.  Loose the fake bow ties, always go real!

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (5)

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (6)

Jennifer, the bride, looked like a million bucks.  The dress was perfect, her hair was done just right… what a beautiful sight for Brad at their first look before the wedding.

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (7)

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (8)

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (9)

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (10)

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (12)

I don’t recall what was so funny, but not everyone was amused, which is why love the shot so much.

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (13)

While you are in a long wedding ceremony, or church even, smart phones with data packages have made anything entertaining.  There were a lot of football fans at this wedding.  In fact, I recall announcements on scores being issued at the reception.

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (11)

The is one of my favorite shots from a recessional in a long time.

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (14)

The from door on the church was perfect for a photograph and the sun was on its way down, so we had a perfect moment of light (for about 2 minutes), then it was gone.  If you are the tech type, this was taken with a slow shutter speed to burn in a darkening sky.  The couple is in complete ambient darkness and lit by a Profoto B1 off camera flash with a soft box.

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (15)

Jennifer makes the dress look great!

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (16)

One of my favorite parts of the day is the reception and particularly the toasts.  Most of the time, a toast looks best in black and white.

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (17)

The other side of the toast!

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (18)

The bride loved the doors at the Paradise Valley country club.  So we set up a shot at the main entrance.  It was pretty dark out there, but two Profoto B1 lights did the trick.  One was lighting them and the other was filling in a general bounce to give us detail in the shadows.

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (19)

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (20)

This next series was a lot of fun.  They had a cigar box for anyone who wanted to have one.  So all the guys gathered on the back patio of the country club, and we shot away.

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (21)

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (22)

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (23)

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (24)

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (25)

I have to thank Megan, from M.C. Weddings and Events for all of her work on this wedding.  Having a coordinator on a wedding changes everything.

Wedding Photography: Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Wedding Videography: Serendipity

Wedding Location: Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Phoenix, Arizona

Wedding Reception Location: Paradise Valley Country Club, Paradise Valley, Arizona

Little Angels: a A Child Life Portrait

I photographed two absolute angels this month.  It was a perfect Saturday morning in the most beautiful little grove of trees in Gilbert, Arizona.  The trees had lost a few leaves which had turned a wonderful orange-yellow.  The weather was perfect and the girls were as cute as they could be.  The slide show presents the photos in full color, but I thought I would show my favorite images from this portrait shoot in a muted film style.  I was inspired to present them in this style by the first image in the series.  It just begged to be shown this way, so who am I to argue with an image’s wishes.

Princess dresses, magic wands and pink cowboy boots.  You can’t ask for a better morning than this…

Autumn Children's portrait in grove of trees in Gilbert Arizona (1)

The girls had a lot of fun playing in the leaves and running back and forth in their little princess dresses.  There is a lot of joy in those little girls.

Autumn Children's portrait in grove of trees in Gilbert Arizona (2)

Autumn Children's portrait in grove of trees in Gilbert Arizona (3)

Autumn Children's portrait in grove of trees in Gilbert Arizona (4)

This is the moment we live for.

Autumn Children's portrait in grove of trees in Gilbert Arizona (5)

One of my absolute favorites in the entire set.  I think it is absolutely beautiful and so peaceful.

Autumn Children's portrait in grove of trees in Gilbert Arizona (6)

 But while her sister was falling to sleep, big sister was full of life and energy.  I think princess outfits are like sugar to a little girl.  Put them on and they become full of life and energy.

Autumn Children's portrait in grove of trees in Gilbert Arizona (7)

Family Portrait Location: Gilbert Arizona

Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Slideshow music by Mindy Gledhill, courtesy of Triple Scoop Music

The Miller Family Portrait

 

We shot the Miller’s family portraits in and around my new studio space in Chandler, Arizona.  The downtown area is full of great locations for photos and my studio is a great space for both working, meeting clients and shooting.  Come check it out sometime.  I’ll post a blog about it soon.

There is not a lot that needs to be said about these photos.  They are just super cute and were a lot of fun to take.  One thing that I was talking about with my client was the tendency for parents to think that “we got nothing” from that shoot because the kids are being too fidgety or too rambunctious.  But in the end, parents are always surprised by how many great images we got out of the shoot…  Here are just a few of my favorites.  There are a ton of them.

The slide show above is an uncommon one for me, because I typically don’t show a lot of multiple images from the same vantage point and situation back to back.  But this shoot was full of hilarious iterations on a theme.  So I went with it.

This first one starts the ball rolling right.

 

 

Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography.

Slideshow music by Mindy Gledhill, courtesy of Triple Scoop Music.

Family portrait location: Chandler, Arizona

Mindy Gledhill is in Town – Sat Nov 15

Mindy Gledhill is in town this weekend.  She is playing at the Mountain View High School Theater.  I will be there…

Saturday, November 15, 2014 (7:00 – 9:00)  Mountain View High School 2700 East Brown Road, Mesa, AZ 85213

GET YOUR TICKETS HERE!!!

If you have not heard the music from her new album, you absolutely must hear it!  I spent a weekend in the studio with her as she was finishing up the vocals, here are a few of my favorite images from the studio.

Importing iPhoto and Aperture Libraries into Lightroom

Office Hours LR Aperture Import from Jared Platt on Vimeo. Finally, there is a way to take your entire iPhoto or Aperture library and import it into Lightroom.  This video will show you how to accomplish this task.  Now you can take all those photos that have been held hostage by Apple’s ridiculously bad photo software and get them into a system that makes sense.  You will need to download the latest version of Lightroom 5 and Adobe’s Aperture Importer plugin for Lightroom, which I show you how to do on this video.

Story Telling: an Interview with Jared by Blurb Books

This interview with me from Blurb Books just ran via PDN. I thought you might be interested in the content of the interview as well as the great discount for blurb books. Enjoy the interview…

Jared PlattBlurb
Photographer
Spotlight:

Jared Platt

Jared Platt is a commercial photographer, portraitist, and educator based in Arizona who regularly runs workshops and webinars for Profoto and CreativeLive. He’s also an Adobe® Lightroom® devotee and a strong believer in the power of photography to tell stories. When he recently appeared on a CreativeLive segment, he impressed us with his thoughts on music, rhythm, and the photographic story arc.

Why is storytelling so important to you as a photographer?
Photography is storytelling. Some people tell a story in one image, which is always awe-inspiring, and some people tell stories over a series of photographs. But, all photographs have the aim of telling a story. Whenever I am taking a photograph, whether it is at a wedding, on the street, on a commercial shoot, or of a child, I am always looking for the story I want to tell in that one image—or series of images. I have an intense need to tell these stories that I see to everyone who will see my images, because I believe those stories will touch them, matter to them, and make some kind of an impression on them.

How does Lightroom help you with that aspect of your work?
Lightroom is essential to the process of selecting and editing the extreme volume of work I have in front of me constantly. A photo historian, the late Bill Jay, used to remind me that a project (no matter how perfect it was) was of no value until it was completed and available for people to experience. Lightroom helps me get superior work completed efficiently, so I can share it with the world and get busy telling the next story. Companies like Blurb, who connect with Lightroom, have made the process of sharing stories with the world even easier. Producing a masterful photo book is within any photographer’s reach.

How do you use books in your professional life?
As a photographer in the digital age, I transmit images via Facebook, blogs, websites, iPads, and FTP servers. But there is something extremely special about quality paper, printing, and binding. My clients receive physical proof books made by Blurb, which I create directly in Lightroom. I never tire of hearing the exclamations from my clients about how beautiful their books are and how much they love them. Books are also essential in selling my services to future clients. Photo books and magazines are so comfortable and accessible to the client who is relaxing in the studio showroom, and as the client is looking through the book, the book is selling them on my vision and educating them on my style.


Learn More
Whatever your passion—whether you chose it, or it chose you—turn it into a book with Blurb.

Take 20% off any print book order. Use the code PDN11 at checkout.*


And naturally this is related to storytelling…
Making a book takes the opportunity for storytelling to a whole new level. With multiple images spread over days, months, or years, it can come together to make extremely poignant statements. Add titles and graphics and text to the mix and you have limitless opportunities to connect with people and help them see what you see. I think when people say, “This is beautiful,” they are really saying, “I see what you see, and what you see is beautiful.”

How does your personal work differ from your client work?
There is no difference between my personal work and the work I do for my clients. I let one inform and alter the other, so, as my personal work shifts and expands, so does my commercial work. I am simply a visual storyteller. I tell stories about my clients’ lives, products, and events, and I tell stories about my life. I hope they are all interesting to the viewer. If they aren’t, I need to improve.

If money and time were no object, what project would you most want to take on?
I find creative people fascinating. Money and time are always an object and yet I am still on a quest to photograph and interview creative people of all types, from all genres of creativity, to experience their energy, understand their methods, and tell their story. So if money were no object, I would continue full steam ahead telling the story of the creative mind. In a creative way, of course…

At Blurb, we celebrate creativity in all of its myriad expressions. Photographers like Jared embody the creative freedom that our self-publishing platform enables.


Child Life | Jared Platt

Learn more about Jared Platt

> Jared’s website
> Jared’s Child Life book

Photography by Jared Platt


Tell your story with photography in a beautiful book and save

Take 20% off any print book order. Use the promo code PDN11 at checkout.*

Learn More

*Offer valid through December 31, 2014 (11:59 p.m. local time). Valid for printed books only. A 20% discount is applied to your print book product total with no minimum purchase required. Maximum discount is USD $100, AUD $100, CAD $100, EUR €100, or GBP £100 off product total. This offer is good for one-time use, and cannot be combined with volume discounts, other promotional codes, gift cards, or used for adjustments on previous orders.