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June 16th, 2016

Don’t Miss Another Travel Photo Opportunity! (Sponsored)

Photo by Nicholas La (with a Sony a7SII camera).

Photo by Nicholas La (with a Sony a7SII camera).

(Sponsored by Borrowlenses)

Interested in shooting high quality images and footage without the effort of lugging around a heavy DSLR? We suggest treating yourself to a mirrorless Sony A7 rental from BorrowLenses.com to see what all the hype is about.

Sony completely changed the scene with this powerful and portable camera. Here are a few compelling reasons why you should give it a test drive.

The role of photographer and videographer has never been more blurred. Sony has met the demands of creatives by combining 4K video with a high megapixel full frame sensor, all inside a lightweight form factor. With extremely sensitive ISO and vast dynamic range, the a7 is currently unmatched in meeting the exposure needs of still and motion shooters.

Interchangeable lenses continue to be a priority for Sony. They were smart to maintain the E mount format (designated as “FE” to denote the new full frame system). Users are able to attach a wide range of existing E mount lenses as well as take advantage of new FE glass. Even better, a7 users can switch their cameras into “crop mode” to accommodate lenses designed for smaller sensors and popular brands, like Zeiss, now boast a7-compatible inventory.

Don’t just follow a trend blindly, though. If you’re considering a conversion, take the a7 out for a spin. You can rent all a7 models over at BorrowLenses.com where they make photographic and cinematic dreams come true with thousands of rental lenses, cameras, lighting, and all the tools of the trade for hobbyists and pros alike.

May 24th, 2016

Get sporty with the new Backpack Adapter on Kickstarter! (Sponsored)

Courtesy of SpiderHolster, this little beauty extends the functionality of the Black Widow Holster so you can carry your mirrorless camera on any cushioned vertical backpack strap or messenger bag strap.

A quick snap-in connection securely fastens our Black Widow Holster to your bag’s strap with an ergonomic shape designed to work with the body’s natural contours.

Check out the Kickstarter campaign here!

Spider-1

May 23rd, 2016

Ultimate Mobility, Power, and Control with the Siros L (Sponsored)

(by Erik Valind)

As a location photographer, there’s few things in life that I enjoy more then shooting at an amazing location, and then facing the unpredictable conditions that come with it. Due to the unpredictability of working outdoors, I’ve become a big lighting guy mostly out of necessity. Whether I’m dealing with scrims and reflectors, small flash, or large strobes, I’m always looking for ways to control the quality and direction of the light to flatter my subjects, and to enhance an image. When I first got my hands on the new Broncolor Siros L, I immediately recognized the possibilities that this new flash would open for me. Some of the most important qualities I look for in a strobe is mobility, power and control. To put the Siros L to the test I partnered up with Sierra – an incredible model and athlete with Wilhelmina Fitness in NYC, and we took off for Central Park to create some killer images!

Lights and Mobility

With the blossoming bright trees in the distant background, we had found our first location on a sun-lit patch of grass. I started with the sun as my key light, letting it doing most of the work to illuminate both the model and the background. With the sun doing the heavy lifting, a single strobe would be sufficient to perfect this initial setup. To further sculpt the model and to make her look more 3-Dimensional, I added a rim light behind her.

Before and After
The battery-powered monolight is VERY mobile. I attached a Broncolor 30 x 120 cm Stripbox to a single Siros L 800 unit, and my assistant was able to hand-hold it the entire time. With one hand on the unit, and the other hand firmly on the built in handle, my assistant was able to track the model’s movement from pose to pose. Being able to work this quickly on location is invaluable, and at the same time can save you from having to pull expensive shooting permits in some major cities.

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Lights and Power

One obvious reason for shooting outdoors vs. inside in the studio is the sun! The sun did a great job front-lighting the previous images, but what I really enjoy is the sun flare aesthetic. To achieve that backlit glowing light and streaming sun flare in your camera lens, you need to specifically place the sun behind the model, and just out of the frame. Unfortunately the resulting placement usually leaves your subject in the dark or as a partial silhouette.

To illuminate the model and achieve the look I wanted, I needed to fill in those shadows with some light. Here is where I put the power of the Siros L to the test. Two units were used for this setup. I chose the Siros 800 L again because it has a maximum 800ws, which is plenty of power to compete with the bright afternoon sun.

To modify the Siros, I used a Broncolor 75 cm Octabox on the models face, then I used a Broncolor 30 x 120 cm Stripbox to enhance the backlight wrapping around the model’s side. With the available power in this monolight, I didn’t have to turn the flash power up to maximum, which gave me fast recycle times for quick shooting. The extra power and fast recycling times allowed me to get more shots than usual, and this allowed the model to work quickly while not tiring herself out while holding difficult poses.

Lights and Control

The sun began to set, and we decided to try for one last setup before dark. With no more direct sunlight to utilize, I brought out the third Siros L in my kit for a total of three flash units. With this many flashes combined, the ability to precisely modify and control each of them becomes paramount. I started out with a rim light placed behind the model on either side. These were each modified with a Broncolor 30 x 120 cm Stripbox to soften and control the direction of the light. The design of the Siros L with its exposed flash tube is amazing in how it is designed for use with every existing Broncolor lighting modifier.

160401_ESV0753-Edit160401_ESV0731-Edit160401_ESV0747-EditTo save myself the hassle of running back and forth between all of the lights to get the exposure dialed in, I just turned on the Wi-Fi function on each Siros. This allowed me to easily control them from my shooting position while using the BronControl app on my iPhone. This saved me time and energy as we were racing the clock against the sun. Once the rim lights were correct I added the final Siros L with the super portable Broncolor Beauty Box for a punch of even contrasty light on the front of the model’s body.

Once my lights were in place and the lighting ratio perfect I began shooting. As I changed my aperture for creative control of my Depth of Field throughout the shoot I needed to adjust the power of all of the flashes accordingly. This was made even easier with the Broncolor RFS Transmitter on top of my camera, which gave me the ability to control all three lights as a group – maintaining the lighting ratio – while powering them up and down very precisely in 1/10th stop increments.

It was incredible how quickly we got everything setup, fine tuned and adjusted on the fly using the intuitive control of the BronControl App and RFS Transmitter.

That was a wrap on my first shoot with the Siros L! As we piled into the cab on the way back to the studio, I replayed in my mind all the many lighting setups we had just run through. I’m happy to say that the Siros L has passed all my tests, leaving me with a glowing first impression. The Siros L is an amazing kit for any photographer who enjoys shooting on location as much as I do! For more information on the Siros L, click here…

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(All photos (c) Erik Valind)

May 6th, 2016

Sponsored: Kickstarter Deadline is Near! New SoftPanels LED Lights that Offer a Color Meter Built into Every Light

Hollywood, California – May 6th, 2016  – Time is running short for backing SoftPanels innovative new LED lights with a color meter built into every light. Their highly successful Kickstarter campaign, which is offering their breakthrough lights at a fraction of the price of traditional LED lights, will end at 1pm PST on Sunday, May 8.

SoftPanels™ are a completely new approach to LED lighting utilizing a built-in color meter and intelligent color management technology in every light, thereby providing unprecedented color precision and control over the emitted light. By utilizing the built-in integrated color meter along with proprietary Autocolor technology, these new innovative fixtures instantly read the current ambient color conditions, and then exactly color-balance their LED color output to match the scene’s ambient conditions.

SoftPanels

Following an award-garnering public debut of these breakthrough professional lighting fixtures at the recent National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention in Las Vegas, SoftPanels became the most successful professional lighting Kickstarter crowdsourcing ever. With an initial goal of $30,000, as of midday Friday May 6th, SoftPanels was already over a quarter of a million dollars pledged, with 150 individual backers.

At NAB, “Best of Show” awards were given to the Softpanels LED lights.  The judges were impressed with the innovative inclusion of a built-in color meter and intelligent color management technology in every light. This provides unprecedented color precision and smart control over the emitted light. These Softpanels fixtures can instantly read the current ambient color conditions and exactly color-balance their LED color output to match that of the scene’s ambient conditions.

SoftPanels units come in three familiar soft box sizes: 3x4ft (90x120cm), 2x3ft (60x90cm) and 1x2ft (30x60cm). They have a ultra-thin slimline 5 in. (130mm) form-factor, allowing them to fit easily on a set as well as in storage. All SoftPanels panels come with a honeycomb grid, gel frame, and soft case, and can be mounted either vertically or horizontally.

For more information, visit Softpanels’ Kickstarter campaign at www.Innovation-Kickstarter.com or videolights.com

May 5th, 2016

Introducing ExoLens® with Optics by ZEISS (Sponsored)

ZEISS, one of the world’s leading companies in the fields of optics and optoelectronics, and the Fellowes’ ExoLens® brand, an American innovator in mobile photography accessories, announced their collaboration in the design and development of three accessory lenses for mobile phones – wide-angle, telephoto and macro.

Zeiss Lens family

The wide-angle and telephoto lenses offer excellent image performance with outstanding edge-to-edge contrast.  Dramatic perspectives, exceptional angles or portraits in which the main subject is to be clearly isolated from the background are the specialties of these lenses.

 

The macro lens enables unparalleled close-up photography with a mobile phone camera and is the only accessory lens to offer a continuous zoom function.  An optionally attachable, semi-transparent diffuser allows light to shine evenly on the object being photographed and enables convenient focusing, even with a short object distance and shallow depth of field.

ExoLensZEISSBracket

The ExoLens® with Optics by ZEISS lenses are characterized by leading-edge design featuring smooth surfaces made of black anodized aluminum with laser engraved labeling. This is a systematic continuation of the distinctive, innovative product design that typifies current families of ZEISS camera lenses.  The new lenses can be used on the Apple® iPhone® 6, 6s, 6 Plus, 6s Plus with customized mounting brackets.

For more information, please visit http://lenspire.zeiss.com/en/zeiss-and-fellowes-brands-launch/

March 2nd, 2016

Photographers: Demo a Phase One XF100 (Sponsored)

XF-100MP-camera-systemweb-350x200Photographers – Are you ready for the Phase One IQ3 XF100 Camera System?

Join Phase One and Dodd Camera at our open house events in Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati. Be one of the first photographers to experience the first 100MP Full Frame Medium Format CMOS sensor camera on the market. You will have the opportunity to test the new IQ3 100MP.

Introducing the New XF 100MP Camera System – The Ultimate Image Quality
100MP Camera System Highlights:

100MP Full Frame Medium Format CMOS Perfection

  • 16 bit Analogue Feel
  • 15 stops of dynamic range
  • Clean ISO from 50-12800
  • HDMI, Live View, and 30 fps
  • Precision lenses
  • An unprecedented warranty in our industry

There will be plenty of hands-on shooting!

Remember to bring your CF card to walk away with your own images.  There will be swag and Capture One Pro Software Raffles. Must be present to win!  Come see what the 100MP can do for you.

Cleveland, OH
March 7, 2016: 1pm-6pm
2077 East 30th St.
Cleveland, OH 44115
216-361-6805

Columbus, OH
March 8, 2016: 1pm – 6pm
1301 Cameron Avenue
Lewis Center, OH 43035
614-547-7096

Cincinnati, OH
March 10, 2016: 1pm – 6pm
6475 East Galbraith
Cincinnati, OH 45236
513-791-3333

Register here now! 

 

February 8th, 2016

Sponsored Video: Spider Holster NEW Spiderlight Hand Strap

Our friends at Spider Holster are releasing their groundbreaking and NEW SpiderLight Hand Strap for mirrorless cameras through Kickstarter this March 2016!

The SpiderLight Hand Strap brings all of the great features of their pro hand strap to the world of mirrorless and other smaller lightweight cameras.  A few things you should know about our new hand strap for lightweight cams:

  • hand in and out easily and quickly
  • will work with any tripod
  • s-curve shape puts your hand in a perfect shooting position
  • easy access to your camera controls
  • super quick to get on and off your camera
  • nice and sturdy
  • includes adapters for compatibility with all leading mirrorless cameras
  • feels great and looks beautiful

Learn more about the SpiderLight Hand Strap at: http://spiderholster.com/kickstarter

November 19th, 2015

Sponsored: Thomas Roma: In the Vale of Cashmere

Steven Kasher Gallery is proud to present Thomas Roma: In the Vale of Cashmere. This exhibition of Roma’s most recent project consists of an intricate sequence of 75 black and white portraits and landscapes photographed in a secluded section of Prospect Park where black gay men cruise for sexual partners. This is Roma’s first major New York exhibition of new photographs since his acclaimed solo exhibition Come Sunday at the Museum of Modern Art in 1996. The book In the Vale of Cashmere will be published by powerHouse Books in conjunction with the exhibition.

Thomas Roma Untitled (from the series In The Vale of Cashmere), 2011 Gelatin silver print, printed ca. 2011 11 x 14 in Edition of 4; Signed and dated by photographer verso

Photo by Thomas Roma – Untitled (from the series In The Vale of Cashmere), 2011
Gelatin silver print, printed ca. 2011
11 x 14 in, Edition of 4; Signed and dated by photographer verso

Roma is one of the most critically acclaimed photographers of our times. A Bard of Brooklyn, Roma is a poet-photographer who has been making profound images about the people and places of his native city since 1969. Fourteen books of his photographs have been published, almost all of them taken in Brooklyn. With In the Vale of Cashmere, Roma brings us into a little known Eden, one that has been quietly thriving for decades. Roma’s portraits of men set in an uncanny urban wooded landscape carry a history of New York and Brooklyn that predates and parallels the gay rights and civil rights movements. Roma brings us into a secret world, giving us the opportunity to consider the individual with sensitivity and respect while also engaging in a larger discussion of race, gender, sexuality, and class in an increasingly gentrified New York.

In 2008, Roma decided to bring his camera to the Vale of Cashmere, a section of Prospect Park he had frequented decades ago. Over the course of years of weekly visits, he approached the men there, introducing himself and explaining why he was taking pictures. Nine out of ten times Roma’s request to make a portrait was declined; it was from that tenth ask that the intense portraits in this exhibition come. In the Vale of Cashmere was created as a memoriam to Carl Spinella, one of Roma’s closest friends, who died in Tom’s arms of AIDS in 1992.

"Untitled" (from the series In The Vale of Cashmere), 2009 Gelatin silver print, printed ca. 2009 11 x 14 in Edition of 4; Signed and dated by photographer verso

“Untitled” (from the series In The Vale of Cashmere), 2009 Gelatin silver print, printed ca. 2009, 11 x 14 in Edition of 4; Signed and dated by photographer verso

Roma first met Spinella in 1974; a year later they were roommates living on Dean Street in Brooklyn. Spinella had been instrumental in bringing Roma to his native Sicily in 1978 so that Roma could discover his ancestral roots.  (These images were later published as the book Sicilian Passage.)  Their bond was so close that Tom often would drive Spinella to the Vale of Cashmere and sometimes pick him up at the drop-off site, an act of faith in a time before cell phones, when who knows what could happen in the woods.   It was to those woods that Roma returned alone in 1996. Tom’s son Giancarlo (named after Spinella) was a baseball player who played up to 120 games a year, many at the Parade Grounds in Prospect Park right across the street from the Vale of Cashmere. Roma noticed his son sometimes played better when his father was not around, and started taking walks in the Vale in memory of Spinella. Eventually his photography began there.

Thomas Roma: In the Vale of Cashmere will be on view from October 29th – December 19th, 2015.

Steven Kasher Gallery is located at 515 W. 26th St., New York, NY 10001. For more information visit: http://www.stevenkasher.com/exhibitions/thomas-roma-the-vale-of-cashmere

 

 

February 27th, 2014

Sponsored Post: A Look at the Qualities of Light

The understanding of light is the most fundamental skill in cinematography. Watch and learn about the two basic types of light used in filmmaking and photography; hard and soft. Let’s break down these concepts and show you how to harness their power to improve your lighting.

 

Film Lighting Tutorial: Qualities of Light from Zacuto on Vimeo.

 

Hard light is a direct, often single, light source that hits its subject at a specific angle. The sun is a hard light, as is the flash on your camera.  This hard light creates bright spots of light on the subject with little to no gradation and a distinct, sharp shadow.  In the late 1800s and very early 1900s, filmmakers relied almost entirely on the hard light of the sun for lighting, along with real life practicals like street lamps or open flame. (Photographers were already exploring other options at this time, but for some reason no one asked them!) Movies were mainly shot outside or in studios made with glass roofs so sunlight could stream down upon the actors. Thomas Edison designed a special stage for the Black Maria studio that rotated, so it was at the right angle under the glass roof to catch the sun’s rays, no matter the time of day.

 

Thomas Edison's rotating Black Maria studio.

Thomas Edison’s rotating Black Maria studio.

 

Hard light is often described as harsh and severe (and maybe that’s the look you’re going for) but it can also be dramatic and seductive. Both classic and modern day filmmakers use the clean distinction between light and shadow offered by hard light to tell their story in the most ingenious of ways. Martin Scorsese’s earlier films, like The Godfather and Apocalypse Now, use hard light to great effect, using the sharp contrast between light and shadow to mirror the dark and light within the hearts of his lead characters.  The classic deep shadows and rich texture of Film Noir also come from a clever manipulation of hard light. The final scenes of George Clooney’s 2011 Ides of March are a textbook example of how hard light can be used as a dramatic tool.

 

Example of hard light. Publicity still for Ides of March, 2011.

Example of hard light. Publicity still for Ides of March, 2011.

 

Soft light wasn’t really used until the 1910’s when a sneaky filmmaker finally got the gumption to raid a photographer’s workshop and grabbed a diffuser. A diffuser is simply something that spreads or scatters and softens light. The first diffusers were most likely sheets of thin fabric hung over or in front of hard lights that broke up the direct beam creating a warmer, softer light that wraps around its subject. While the very fancy, official hanging sheets can be and are still used today, diffusers come in all shapes and sizes. Diffusers designed to attach to small camera mounted lights (as opposed to hung studio lights) are often made from curved, graduated or stippled glass or plastic. These curves diffuse the light creating a warm almost glowing look with a soft, graduated shadow. Some lights and bulbs are created specifically to give out a soft light or wash, like Fresnels, and as such are made with curves, graduation and stippling. Woody Allen is often noted for using mainly soft light. This gives his films a soft, romantic look, maybe a little hazy a times which fits the voice of his characters and films.

Most filmmakers use a mixture of hard and soft light to create a natural look that draws the viewer’s eye wherever the director wants it to be. There are, of course, notable exceptions and instances of hard light being used for dramatic effect, and then there’s the “classic” slightly terrifying sitcom where multiple cameras shoot simultaneously requiring an allover soft light with practically no shadows. What, no shadows?  Yes, it’s true. Peter Pan be damned!

We hope this overview has inspired you to look at hard and soft light as tools in your filmmaking tool kit. To learn more about light and shadow see Zacuto’s Emmy award winning film of the same name Light & Shadow and visit www.zacuto.com to see more original programming.

 

Peter-Pan

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ZACUTO, located in Chicago, IL, is known for their “Made in the USA” brand of high quality, originally designed camera accessories. Zacuto Films produces original programming with EMMY’s won in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 (Midwest region) Follow @Zacuto on Twitter.

November 25th, 2013

Sponsored Post: Interactive Portrait Studio Featuring Celebrity Photographer Mark Mann

Leica-Mark-Mann-Basel

Leica invites Art Basel attendees to be part of a living art exhibition on Thursday, December 5th. Celebrity photographer Mark Mann will be taking portraits of participants using the Leica S from 10am-4pm at Trendy Studios. The on-site printing of each image is supported by Image Pro International and print specialists Gady Alroy, of Art Media Studios, and Sean Black. The portraits will be printed on Hanhemühle FineArt photographic paper and displayed outdoors across the entire Trendy Studio space to create a living street art exhibit that will be in constant transformation as each new image is added. The exhibit will remain hanging for the duration of Art Basel, capturing a unique moment in time at this year’s Art Basel. All attendees who pose for a portrait will be given digital copies.

To sign-up please select an available window of time. Portraits will be shot on a first come first serve basis so in order to help us accomodate all guests please arrive during your designated time slot. Guests are invited to hang out and enjoy the event before and after their portraits have been shot.

*All guests posing for their portrait will be required to sign a model release.*

We look forward to seeing you there!