Archive for 'Editorial Photography':
I’m currently on a 22 hour layover in Paris. I’m on my way home from Istanbul. I was sent there by FujiFilm to give the new x100s a run for its money. I am working on a full review of the camera but until I have that up I’ll be making a few posts with photos.
I was having a beer at a pub a few nights ago and I heard an explosion of chants and cheers from around the corner. I had already been on the streets for about 10 hours that day and I was just trying to steal a moment of solitude and rest in the pint glass of a Guinness. The sounds I heard though made me grab my stuff (including said pint) and run to see what the deal was. The “deal” was football.
Galatasaray (Turkey) beat Schalke (Germany) that night and advanced to the quarter finals. What that means to non sports people like myself is that sh!t went crazy.
As all the fans poured out of every bar they were singing, and chanting, and lighting flares. I was caught in a mob of thousands of people and not once… not for a single frame… did I wish I had another camera with me. Not once did I curse my little x100s. It did what I needed it to do. In the middle of all of this it clicked in my brain.
Fuji is the new Leica.
I’ll talk more about that in the upcoming full review of the camera.
I’m on my first day of a five day trip with the brand new Fuji x100s.
It’s no secret that I fell in love with the first edition of this camera. I called it the greatest digital camera ever made. It has it’s “quirks” for sure but I love that camera dearly no matter how much of a pain in the ass it can be.
The new one? The S? Well… I can’t give a full review yet because I’m still putting it through hell on the streets but let me say this…
They did it. It’s the greatest camera I’ve ever owned. No. Freaking. Joke. It’s perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing.
More to come when I get home.
Fuji X100s :: 2.8 @ 60th ISO 200
You may have heard me mention the Quiet Hounds before. That’s because they are one of my new favorite bands. I’m fortunate enough to know these five fine fellows and I recently tagged along on a video shoot of their’s to shoot some stills. So these aren’t quite “behind” the scenes. More to the side of the scenes. 7am call times suck but then you see the light and it makes it worth while.
Funny story. I was shooting that early morning light (as seen in the first photo of this post) and had to grab it quickly as the video crew was needing to get their shot. Just before I ran out of the way I snapped a shot with my iPhone to put on Instagr.am. The band liked that shot so much I thought they had used it for this cover. Upon further inspection this evening I can see where they actually used part of one image shot with my IQ140 and part of my image shot with my iPhone. That… is funny. There will be another post at some point featuring a full shoot with Quiet Hounds. For now, check out their new song “Beacon Sun” and see the video on their site. Also, if you are in ATL on November 17th be sure to catch them live at the Goat Farm. Their live show is amazing.
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.
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’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.
CNN’s photos blog just picked up my #de_VICE series and ran it today. You can check it out here. It’s a good feeling to see a personal project see the light of day outside of my own feed. Big thanks to Jeremy Cowart for introducing my project to photo editor Elizabeth Johnson at CNN.
I started this project last year about people lost in their devices. It started on a trip to New York right after I bought the Fuji x100 camera. I was walking the streets shooting your garden variety street stuff and took a photo of a girl engrossed in her phone. She was wearing a white dress and standing by a black wall. I liked the composition so I snapped off a frame.
I turned from her to see another person lost in their phone and took a shot of them. I turned once more to see another person on their phone. In a movie the camera would pan out and I would be standing on a street corner surrounded by people staring into their phone screens.
I photographed a few more people for a few more blocks. Then a few more. I decided that I’d spend the day photographing people staring at their phone. Then I spent the next day doing it. Then it became a thing I was constantly looking for.
I have found that we get so focused on the screen in front of us we’re oblivious to the world going on around us. Instead of shooting this project with a 200mm lens from across the street, I like the 23mm lens on the Fuji because it forces me to be close to the subjects I’m photographing and 9 times out of 10 I can be a few feet from someone on their phone and they never knew I took their photo.
As I work this project I’m looking for layers of devices. It’s really not difficult to find which seems to be becoming a disturbing trend. They’re everywhere and we’re stuck to them and oblivious to everything around us.
This is one of my favorites of the series so far…
I was hired by Harvard Business Review to photograph Muhtar Kent who is the CEO of The Coca-Cola company . I thought I’d post about the process of an editorial shoot from start to finish instead of just showing the photos.
The art direction for the shoot was to photograph Mr. Kent at the headquarters building in Atlanta. The editor asked for two portraits. One was to show some architectural details of the building. “Maybe with a bank of windows or something in the background.” The other shot was to incorporate something with Coca-Cola branding. The name, the Coca-Cola red, a bottle, etc. After that I was free to grab anything else I had time to which, on a job like this, means anything I can grab with the extra thirty seconds I have to work with. An editorial shoot is usually a few hours of standing around and a few minutes of taking pictures. You’ll regularly spend more time emailing with the editor then you will clicking the shutter release of your camera. I was also instructed that while they wanted a mix of vertical and horizontal images, they used a lot of square crops as well so the images needed to work well 1:1. The full process after the jump.
Had another shoot for my faces and spaces project today. This is Jan and she’s adorable. She is a very talented artist working at her craft each and every day. She has more hustle then most artists I know who are still in their 20′s. That’s some of her work on the wall above. Her house is filled with art and she makes an amazing cup of green tea. Jan asked me several times to filter my lens to get rid of all her wrinkles but in my professional opinion she’s beautiful just the way she is. All of us could only hope we have so much grace as we move on through life as she does.
This is a personal portrait project focusing on subjects 70 and older. If you or someone you know lives in the Atlanta area and would like to be a subject for this project please email us at studio [@] zackarias [dot] com. Shoots typically take about thirty minutes and I’ll travel to you.
The reason I started this project is two fold. I was showing my portfolio last year in New York and some consistent feedback I received was I needed some more age diversity in my book. Most of my work for the past eight years has been working with musicians so the “age” of my book are subjects 30 and under. Second, two photography regrets I have is that I never got a great portrait of my grandfather nor my dad. If I close my eyes I can see the portraits I would shoot today if I could but unfortunately I’ll never have an opportunity to make those portraits. This project is sort of my way of giving families images of their elders that I wish I would have shot of my own family.
Lastly, some of y’all have asked how I shoot for this project. Here’s a quick shot of my set.
The set up here is an Einstein as the main light in a PCB 22″ white beauty dish. That’s hanging out on a 40″ C-Stand with an arm acting as a mini boom. That flys right over my camera and we put a 25lb sand bag on the stand just to make sure it doesn’t go over. The background is a large pop-up scrim/reflector that is A clamped to a stand. It’s lit with another Einstein with a PLM reflector on it. Both lights live in the 1/4 power range. The PLM reflector gives a nice wide coverage on the background without spilling onto the subject. That pops the background to white. For this project I wanted a consistent set up that had a small footprint. I can set this up in just a few square feet of space and it gives me a consistent look no matter what location I’m in. For the spaces shot above I took the dish and pointed it to the back of the room and ceiling. I typically shoot the spaces part with natural light but we just didn’t have enough here due to it being a very overcast day so this one had to be lit.
Walking through the door we have three cases. My ThinkTank Airport International bag with camera gear. A ThinkTank Logistics Manager with all the lights, cords, grip, and two small light stands. Finally the beauty dish has it’s own bag that also holds the pop-up reflector. The C-Stand is just on it’s own. It’s a beast.
You can see more of my Faces & Spaces images on my 500px portfolio. I use 500px as a holding area / dumping ground for images that either do not fit on my main site or for projects that aren’t completed enough to make it on my main portfolio page.
PS – The only thing stopping you for doing a personal project is … Oh yeah. There isn’t anything stopping you from doing a personal project.
Big thanks to Heather Hamilton for tweeting, “The overload of photography rants r getting on my nerves. While I agree with some , I just think our time can be better spent. Like shooting.” There’s been a flurry of new gear announcements lately and I’ve been guilty of talking about gear this week instead of using gear this week. Michael Friberg pretty much summed it up well. Heather was the voice (twoice?) I needed to hear today to fire the Internet, get off my ass, and go shoot. Isn’t that ultimately what it’s about? Thanks Heather.
I saw the gentleman above through the window and had to, had to, had to, get a portrait of him. Everyone was more than willing to let me photograph them today. No one turned me down. Must be that big ass camera. Today was a good day.
“I’m an inventor and I also can rap my ass off. I need a good manager. Danny East. Tell ‘em not to bury me!!!”
Hell yes. I love to see hustle in all shapes and forms.
These street portraits were all shot with the Phase One IQ140. I am still learning this camera and going out on the streets and working in various lighting conditions gives me a good idea of what it can and can not do. I do miss my x100 though. (It’s in the shop) [sticky aperture] poo.
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