Dork and Numnuts in one place? It’s a duo so unbearable we had to ship it overseas to avoid riots.
Seriously. I’m going to Asia with Joe McNally. No pressure. No pressure. No pressure. Seriously? I don’t believe this either but it’s true. It’s such an honor. Like bowing my head low and walking out of the room backwards while mumbling “I’m not worthy” kind of an honor. Louis Pang is bringing both of us in for Creative Asia where we will be speaking, judging, and hanging out at this amazing conference. We then head to Malaysia where we will each be teaching a three day intensive workshop.
Of all the people I know in this industry no one does it better than Joe McNally. No one. He teaches. He shoots. He helps. He gets published. He’s been doing it since I took my first steps. He’s seen it all. He’s lost it all. He’s rebuilt it. He’s a “personality” in this industry but not one of the overnight flame outs. He’s the real deal. No one can refute that. Thanks Joe and Louis.
Hong Kong :: July 16-20 :: Creative Asia Conference (speaking, judging, hanging out)
Kuala Lumpur :: July 24 – 26 :: Three day advanced workshop
Kuala Lumpur :: July 29th :: OneLight vs. ManyLights
Get all the information about it here. Hope to see y’all there! Can. Not. Wait.
Yesterday was an amazing day. It was the kind of day that I got to do everything that I love to do. First, I got to shoot a new artist named K-B. I love working with emerging artists of all genres but hip hop is one of my favorite genres to work in right now. I’m really immersed in hip hop these days. I can’t release the cover images we were working on but here are a few press shots.
While this was all going on I had a camera trained on me. I had the honor of having Jonathan Lees from Complex Magazine come down from NYC to do a profile on me. Jonathan said he wanted to do a bit of an interview and then hit the town for some street photography. I was hoping we could show a New Yorker that shooting on the streets of Atlanta can be an adventure. Atlanta did not let us down.
First we got hassled by some GSU police officers who claimed they had jurisdiction off campus. We were just walking around shooting some photos and video and we were told we were loitering. We were not loitering but the cop was persistant. So we were persistant. He said we could tell it to a judge. I asked if he had jurisdiction there. He put his hand on his cuffs and gave me the “do you really want to find out if I have jurisdiction here or not” kind of look. We moved along.
This is Unknown. He told me to check out his music at unknown.com. That web site is lacking raps. He was quite the character. He may or may not have been just a bit under the influence of a controlled substance.
I went on down the street and came across this lady and her three adorable kids. As I was trying to find my frame on them, this guy comes running up on us and starts screaming that I’m trying to take pictures of the lady’s backside. Well, I mean, I was technically but that was not the subject of the photograph. This dude was pissed and got in my face. Quivering lips and clinched fists in my face. Jonathan dropped his camera and flanked him to the left, Dan was at his back, and he was right in my face. I held my ground and he finally went on his way. Here’s the family.
Then I started to find my frame and was just waiting for the girl to peek back at me. Just a move to the right and a bit of a left dutch and I could have framed her between that white line and the curb, got her sleeping brother, and balanced her with the fire hydrant… Oh well. From the guy’s perspective I’m sure I looked like I was up to something naughty.
Didn’t get my shot. But I also didn’t get shot. So you take the good with the bad I suppose. Moved on down the street and interacted with some great people. I’ll save those for the Complex video. Here’s a detail I like. Zone 3 is a local police precinct.
Loved all the colors going on here. I just had a thing for shooting backsides yesterday I guess.
I demonstrated how to act like you’re taking a photo of one thing when you’re actually taking a shot of something entirely different.
I see people. But more than that, I see stories. What are all the stories to be told here? When I was shooting this I was drawn to the gentleman in the overalls. But now I’m fascinated by the man in the brown shirt. What’s the story? I want to know but I like the mystery. See how his face is looking in the opposite direction his feet are? I love it. I’m going to take a cue from this for posing portrait subjects. It’s an odd tension that I’m drawn to.
Did all that and was home in time for dinner and our nightly bed time ritual. Can you believe that Hawke Danger just turned three this week?
I got to do what I love and pay the rent. I got to do what I love for the sheer love of it. I got to share what I love to do. I got it all done and still made it to dinner. There’s never been a more perfect day. And Jonathan… thanks so much. It was such a pleasure to work with you. Between our time on the street, and Dan and Erik taking you to the Clermont, I hope your trip to the A was a memorable one! Thanks for having my back. New York would be proud.
Gear Notes :: Press photo shot with the Phase One IQ140 and Schneider 55mm LS. Lit with an Einstein and a 50″ Westcott strip box with egg crate grid. Second press photo shot with the same strip box and two Nikon lights on the side for just a hair of fill. The mirror leaning on the apple box was not there by K-B’s request. It was there as a reflector. I don’t want anyone to think he has a vanity complex! The one stop scrim flying in front of the overhead light was there to reduce part of the exposure on the top frame of the photograph I was taking without cutting light in the bottom of the frame. The mirror was kicking light back in from that overhead light. Two Nikon strobes zoomed to 105mm on the side for rim light. The white B400 had a 10º grid for his face. 30º grid on the overhead Einstein. Set filled with smoke for the final shot. Street stuff shot with the Fuji XPro-1 and the 35mm 1.4 and 18mm 2.0. “Stories” shot with the 60mm 2.4.
Zeke, from Spectral Instruments, builds some amazing cameras for space and scientific uses. I’ve always heard about these cameras and have wondered what it would be like to shoot with one in a studio or on location. Evidently Zeke has been wondering about that as well and is wondering if there is enough public interest in having them build one of these cameras for use on the ground instead of in space. I was shocked when he added my name to people he’d like to see use one if they build it. Yes please! There’s large format photography then there’s MASSIVE format photography. If you’re keen to see one of these cameras put into use by several different photographers let him know in the comments below!
Oh, if Zeke looks familiar to you maybe you’ll remember this shot I made of him in Dubai…
He’s a trooper. We were shooting at a marble factory and he fully immersed himself into the location. It was the kind of place I doubt we could take the $100,000 camera.
I had the great opportunity to photograph ATL hip hop legend, Killer Mike for Design Bureau Magazine. It’s my goal to photograph all the ATL hip hop legends. I’m just missing Luda, Cee Lo, and André 3000 right now.
I love this quote by Mike…
“I dont accept the term ‘political rapper’ because I dont give a damn about either political party. I give a damn about the people.”
The story was about his series of neighborhood barber shops he’s opening. I wouldn’t call them a “chain” because each one will be individually suited to the neighborhood it’s in. I sat in on the interview and he’s a deep well of a man. Funny. Insightful. Brilliant. The man is an art scholar. It was fascinating listening to him talk about his view on art. If you ever get a chance to sit and chat with the man you’ll be better off for it.
Thanks for looking. I’m going to be spending the summer blogging 99% more of the time with photos than with words, reviews, or rants. I have one rant left in me. I’m trying to let it die. I really am. We’ll see if I can let it slide.
Gear Notes – Photographed with a Phase One IQ140 with an 80mm Schneider LS (first shot) and 55mm Schneider LS lens. Lit with one Einstein with 22″ white beauty dish for each shot.
I wanted to find the perfect Mother’s Day card for my awesome wife Meghan but nothing really jumped out at me this year. I’m usually the guy who goes for the humorous cards but I needed to let her know how seriously I appreciate her being a mom to our pack of boys. The serious cards though didn’t really say what I wanted to say. I thought of making a card but if you have ever seen the handmade cards that Meg makes, well, let’s just say mine would look like a Kindergarten class project gone wrong.
When Meg hitched her wagon up to mine she was a touring musician and a mom of one. Within a year of our marriage she was a stay at home mom of four. Four. Boys. Plus me. Her life changed immensely as my life seemed to propel forward even more. This change happened because I brought kids and she brought fuel and inspiration and, from time to time, a crack of a whip.
Meg pushes me. She inspires me. She keeps me in line and moving forward and has done so at the cost of her own creative endeavors and, at times, sanity. My work takes me to some far flung places and many of you comment on my blog or hit me up on twitter about how lucky I am, or how jealous you are, or congratulating me for this or that because most of you know the bottom of the barrel from which I come from. But what I want you to realize is that while I’m here or there doing this or that Meg is at home.
She’s getting Joshua to the soccer practice that she made sure he was signed up for. She’s doing truckloads of laundry that no child has ever thanked her for doing. She’s making sure Hawke is getting his ears checked and scheduling his doctor’s appointments. She’s taking Caleb to the ER when his arm goes through the glass of the front door. Phoenix is getting to band practice by 7:30am. I get 100 replies on Twitter because of something I’m doing and she get’s yet another dirty diaper and silence from the rest of the world.
You see, Meg has the hard job. Meg left her career behind to support mine. That support has lifted me and enabled me to pursue opportunities I’ve never had before. It allows me to go here and go there and do this and do that. But it cost her dearly. Yes, there is great joy in the job of raising children but when the piano has an inch of dust on it (metaphorically of course, cause this house stays pretty clean as well) then there’s a part of who Meghan is that isn’t growing. It isn’t growing because she’s too busy being a kick ass mom.
Cupcakes for the soccer team. Mystery reading for the Kindergarten class. Appointments for the dentist. Scheduling 100 activities in half as many days. Laundry. Cooking. Cleaning. Watching my sky miles account grow. All without the accolades, the paychecks, and so forth. If you ever feel compelled to say “Thanks Zack for this or that…” You ultimately need to be thanking Meghan.
The good news is Meg is back in the studio. Not my studio but a recording studio. In the last few months the dry well of music has found a new spring to feed from. New songs have been written. A producer she loves and trusts has been found. Fellow musicians are joining the project. New work is being produced and I’m so very honored that I get to take the back seat. Picking kids up from school. Doing laundry.
Cooking Ordering dinner. Changing diapers.
Thanks Meg. I’d like to say you’re the wind beneath my wings but that would be cheesy so I wont say that you’re the wind beneath my wings even though you are.
So here’s to all the Mom’s doing the hard job. Here’s to the support team of one that makes the world go ’round. Happy Mother’s Day to all you Moms.
PS – Meg, the Mother’s Day frames in the hall will be updated this week. I have two down and two to go. Just letting you know I haven’t forgotten… like, um, last year.
I’ve had my hands on the new FujiFilm X-Pro1 for a little over a month now and I have put it through the paces in three countries and on various jobs. If you are a frequent reader of this blog you know the deal. If you are a new reader of my blog let me explain the deal. I don’t pixel peep, shoot side by side comparisons, show images of color checkers and resolution charts, or talk about the new technology packed into whatever camera. Heck, I really don’t do “reviews” that often.
This review is more of a “how-does-this-thing-work-in-the-real-world-and-is-it-something-that-excites-me-or-does-it-just-become-a-photographic-appliance?” kind of review. Also, let me state for the record that I was hired by FujiFilm Middle East, and was paid in camera gear and cash to take this machine for a joy ride. The first thing I said before taking this gig, though, was if I was going to blog about it they needed to understand that I would say whatever I wanted to about it. The good folks at Fuji said they expected nothing less. Especially after my x-100 review. It was that review that put me on their radar in the first place and it was the good folks at Gulf Photo Plus that convinced them they should send me to India. I’ll be doing some stuff with Fuji North America as well. So, full disclosure now aside, let’s get into it after the jump…
I’m currently in India on assignment for Fuji to shoot promotional photos with their new X-Pro1 camera system. Hey, why not? It’s a good gig if you can get it right? Hell yes it is. I arrived in Mumbai/Bombay already exhausted after the Dubai trip and this city amplified my senses to eleven plus one. I’ve always had a bit of a smug pride about not being intimidated by places until the hour long drive from the airport to my hotel. I hit the bed the other night afraid that I may very well have met my match. I found the place that scares the sh*t out of me. It’s completely insane here and that makes it awesome.
It’s the kids on the streets that really break my heart into one million pieces. I mean really break me down. I want to earn a billion dollars and grab them all and make a life for them.
Straight from camera.
The X-Pro1 is a Fuji X camera so I’ve said my fair share of curse words using it but then the effing @#&*!@ camera locks on and O. M. G. In the chaos that is this city I can’t even begin to explain how using this camera makes my life 500% easier because they can just about fit in a pocket and rival my 5d Mk II in image quality. Twelve hours out shooting with my x100 and X-Pro1 and I don’t even feel it at the end of the day. I can play the tourist card with these cameras and get in and get out without even thinking about my gear.
Internet is dodgy here at the hotel. If this blog post publishes I’ll be surprised. More when I can. Full post about the camera after this trip and after a three day job I head to immediately following this trip.
PS – The contrast of subjects I’m photographing on this trip does not escape me.
Day 07 in Dubai was PhotoFriday at GPP. Gave a few talks and headed to Kushti wrestling. The Fuji 35mm 1.4 is the lens to have for the X-Pro1 IMHO.
x100. As much as I love the X-Pro1, the x100 is still my baby. I’ll never part with it.
David Burnett is a bad ass photographer. cc: Dan Depew, Cary Norton, Michael Sebastian, and Jon Canlas. That’s an f2 lens on that SpeedGraphic. #NoPolaroid #Ninja
One more day of teaching stuff to post then off to India for the rest of the week. I’ll be in Mumbai then heading home. I miss Meg and the kids so much. As excited as I am about going to India for the first time I’d really love to be jumping on a plane right now to head home. It feels like I’ve been gone for a month already.
I’ll have a full X-Pro1 run down on my blog after India.
On location at a tile factory today.
The image above is Zeke. He’s a great guy who traveled out here from Tucson to attened GPP. The place where we were shooting had us all covered head to toe in dust.
Fellow GPP’er, David Nightingale, and I were having drinks tonight and I asked him what he would do to some of my photos I shot today since he’s a master of post production. He blows me away with what he does in Photoshop and he makes it look so easy. He did the post on these images.
All shot with a new X-Pro1 that I got this morning. I was able to trade the pre-production model I had in on a new production body with the new firmware. It’s event better. I’ll blog about the camera after my India trip next week. We were out all afternoon on location and I did not once pull my Canon out of the bag. Shot everything with the X-Pro1.
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