Archive for 'Misc. Photos':

A-Town Hold It Down :: Street Portraits


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.





Dubai :: Day 07

March 11, 2012 | Misc. Photos

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.


Bobbi Lane, Gregory Heisler, Claire Rosen, and a bunch of dudes I don’t have links for.


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.



Dubai :: Day 06

March 8, 2012 | Misc. Photos

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.




Dubai :: Day 05

March 8, 2012 | Misc. Photos

Worked the stairs again.


The available light shot. Meh.


I heart grids. ——– I’m not sure either. It’s something traditional I’m told.


David Burnett has no fear. He’ll cover major news events with Holgas and 4×5’s. Here he talks about how big his balls are for doing so. :-)

Looking forward to the location class that starts today. I’ll have more to show tomorrow.



Dubai :: Day 04

March 7, 2012 | Misc. Photos

Late on my blog… Taught a studio lighting class today (yesterday). That reflective stuff on the floor is portable tile board that’s about to hit the market by our main man Peter Hurley. Stuff is awesome. I’ll let you know when he starts shipping it.


X-Pro1 works like a champ with a Pocket Wizard attached. I use a mini on it. A Plus II is as big as the camera. (almost)


This was sniped just using the modeling lights of the softbox as a student was shooting.


The set up…


The shot.


It was a fun class. Again, that stuff Hurley is making is awesome. You can see it all bokeh’ed out there in the background.


If you’re sitting there thinking how lucky I am to be able to sit around a group of people like this every night this week you are 110% correct. I can not even begin to express how young and inexperienced I find myself to be when I hear the stories of these masters. I’m just a kid at the table still staring at the starting line. If you look up to me or if you think I’m “up there” in the industry, let me virtually put my arm around your shoulder and point to some of these guys and let you know how absolutely far of a journey you and I have still have to go.

Sitting there last night, completely sleep deprived, yet hanging on the words of those around me… I started thinking of the cult of personality in our industry. We place these young blog stars on a pedestal as the apex of success. I understand that I can be placed in that realm. I was thinking of this last night and realized what a sham it all is. THE masters of our craft that are still creating work in this world are names you probably haven’t heard of. They aren’t even on twitter or they have a fraction of followers some of us have. No one reads or comments on their blogs. They are so far up the damn mountain they don’t have a signal back to the rest of us. Their stories, their work, their experience, the philosophy transcends all of us.

This is in contrast to yet another revolution some photographer is trying to start. A number of you have DM’ed me the link to that video. OMG. You sit with guys like Heisler, Hobby, McNally, and Burnett and then watch this dumb ass “new revolution in photography” and realize what a farce that idea is.

I woke up this morning to the sad news that we lost Paula Lerner to breast cancer. Paula has done more for this industry then a whole panel of “blog stars” have. I had the pleasure of meeting her while I was still in school. She was one of the founding members of EP. On the subject of day rates and contracts she taught me the theory of “If you’re going to get screwed on a job AT LEAST KNOW you are getting screwed on that job.” She provided us a very strong set of shoulders that we now stand upon. RIP Paula.

You know why these folks are masters? Because they’ve put everything into it and kept their eyes on the goal even when in complete darkness in their life. They weren’t trying to start a revolution. They were, and are, chasing the light. The image. That one fleeting fraction of a second for that one image that brings them joy and brings them the next job.

You want to start a “revolution” in photography, yeah. Whatever. You’re not. None of us are. Shut up and go shoot pictures.

I’m still sleep deprived. I’m pointing my finger out to the horizon. The goal we all have is somewhere beyond that.



PS – All X-Pro1 shots.

Dubai :: Day 03

March 6, 2012 | Misc. Photos

Taught the OneLight workshop today. There are these stairs that I try to do something different with each year.


So I try different angles. Different view points.


My assistant for the week, Kinan, is an awesome guy who stood in more than once for a subject for the workshop.


I was asked how the Fuji X-Pro1 does with flash. So… here you go.


Photographer David Burnett had an opening of his Bob Marley work to kick off the GPP event. If you’re not familiar with him give yourself 10 lashings. You should know his work.


There was live music. It was an amazing evening.


Speaking of David, to get to sit at dinner each night and listen to him, Joe, Greg, and others swap stories is the best education I could wish for.


I’ve seen people bitching and moaning and complaining about the Fuji X-Pro1 on photography forums. They have no idea what they are talking about.

It’s 4am. I crashed last night after dinner without making this post. Woke up at 3am. Thought I had gotten over the jet lag hump. Nope. Off to teach a studio class today and then the X-Pro1 Middle East launch tonight.





Dubai :: Day 02

March 4, 2012 | Misc. Photos

Location scouting with Joe McNally.


Gregory Heisler fat boothing Joe.


Marble factory in Dubai. One of our locations for this week’s location class.


One of the workers at the marble factory.



Hopped on an Iranian boat.


You know… Like ya do.


One for my Dubai in Contrast series.

I love this town.



Dubai :: Day 01

March 3, 2012 | Misc. Photos

I love Dubai. The people are amazing. The food is amazing. The cars are ridiculous. I saw a yacht today that had two helicopters on it. This place is unreal. This is the fourth year that Gulf Photo Plus has brought me out to teach at this week long event. It is hands down one of the best photography events I’ve ever seen. I always have mixed emotions about teaching here because as I look at each year’s roster I really wish I was a student instead of one of the teachers.

This year I am doubly honored and excited because I am participating in the Fuji X-Pro1 launch here. I’ve had the camera in my hand for about a week and I am loving it more each day. I’ll have a full post about that soon enough. Since I’m speaking at the event I figured I better get out in the real world and take some photos with it.




I’ll be doing a post each day I’m here. I leave Dubai on the 12th and head to India for three days of adventure with the X-Pro1. Color me stoked.




Two Weeks On The Road Ends In Montana

September 3, 2011 | Editorial Photography Misc. Photos

I’ve been on the road for two solid weeks now and I can’t tell you how much I want to get home but what a great trip this has been. I’ve been teaching up here in the beautiful Northwest of our country. It started in Portland…

Had a great meeting at W+K in Portland and then I went to Seattle. (I just realized those photos are on a hard drive in my hotel room so here’s a photo that I’m not entirely sure what was going on at the time. It feels like I shot this a year ago right now but it was just last week.)

I had a day in off in Seattle and walked through the hallowed doors of the Wexley School for Girls. If I die and come back as something, I hope I’m an art director so I can work in an agency. They always have the greatest work spaces. Played credit card roulette at lunch with the Chase-ster. He lost. I won. Met Mark Wallace for the first time as he was getting ready for his creativeLIVE weekend. Super great guy and I watched his class off and on that weekend and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Hopped on the Mosquito Express wing-n-a-prayer prop plane and flew to Missoula, Montana after that to teach for a week at RMSP. Spent six days with sixteen students from all over the country. It was a long exhausting week that finished today. Yesterday we were out on a ranch.



The image above was shot with the Canon 135 f2. That lens is reason enough to switch to Canon. Oh Em Gee. Love that lens.

Traveling is a weird beast. It calls you. It’s sexy. It’s the goal of many and then you get into it and it becomes a beast. It takes you from those you love the most. Meg and I have a hard enough time when I’m on the road for five days. Two weeks apart has left us both frazzled. If you read this blog you’ll know I’m not putting two complete sentences together all that well. :)

RMSP is a jewel in big sky country. I’ll be coming back next year to light it up once again. Thanks for all the new friendships everyone.

The cherry on top of my trip was the shave and a haircut at a main street barber shop today. A guy named Steve took a razor to my neck and it was amazing. Guys, go to a barber shop and get a good ol’ fashioned shave. It’s better than a day at the spa. Off to find dinner. I’ll be at the Rhino by 9:00 tonight. Best bar in town! Is it the travel or all the nights at the Rhino this week? :)



Here Kitty Kitty :: New Street Photography

This month’s promotional mailer and the inspiration for a new gallery on my site is based on this poor lady I recently came across in Times Square. Evidently she did not have the proper permit to be posing for photos with tourists and a few of New York’s finest were telling her she needed to get lost. In those words. “Get lost lady.” I think she was already lost. My new street gallery can be found on the main page of this site. It’s called “Here kitty kitty.” (note: using your arrow keys is the easiest way to navigate the new galleries)

This work is a departure from my editorial and commercial portraiture work. It’s taking me back to the journalistic roots that I grew from when I started pursuing photography 15 years ago.

Street photography is a difficult way of shooting for me for a number of reasons. In my commercial work I am in control of every aspect of a photograph. I control the subjects, the environment, and most importantly, the light. Street shooting is the antithesis to this. I’m in control of nothing . I also struggle with the emotions that I am part voyeur and part thief. It is not uncommon for me to spot an interesting character on the street and start to trail them. I’ve followed some people for more than an hour all while stopping for brief seconds to put my lens on another subject along the way. I steal personal moments. There they are just going about their day and I show up, take a moment of it, and push it to tens of thousands of people through social media. It’s fascinating, exciting, and kind of pervy. I love my job. :)

If you would like to see more of my street work, miscellaneous personal photos, and partially completed projects then I invite you to check out my visual dumping ground over at 500px.



de_VICE :: Streets of NYC with the Fuji X100

In case you haven’t read my 1,000 something tweets about how much I love the new Fuji x100, then I need to let you know that I love the Fuji x100. I’m working on a full review of the thing right now. It will NOT be a pixel peeping, button counting, megapixel masturbation fest of flowers and cats. It will be more of a review about how it fits in the life of a working photographer and how to work around the number of “quirks” the thing has.

I’m in New York this week getting my book looked at and stuff. It’s a fantastic process and I’m meeting some fantastic people. The brand is done. The site is 98% complete. I’m having some issues with the portfolio PDF download. Working on it.

Here are a few more from the streets of NYC. It’s a little series I’m calling #de_VICE. We are tethered to our devices to the point they may be a vice. I know I struggle with it. Once you are in the iWorld it’s amazing how unaware you become of your surroundings. Like, some guy taking your picture of you doing whatever it is you are doing there on your device.

More images to come with the review. It’s an awesome camera and a total pain in the a** at the same time. I absolutely love it.


Oi! London!

Oi! Man, are we ever having a jolly good time in London right now! I love this city. Why have I never been here before?

This is Carl Spring. He was attending today’s OneLight. He’s an amazingly good dude.

Cheers, Zack

Working On My Portfolio :: Book 1 of 4 :: Dubai

As Lightroom churns through some images I’m working in PhotoMechanic on a few new portfolios for web and print. The one capturing my attention right now is the selection of images from my two trips to Dubai.

I’m still trying to figure out why I love Dubai so much. There’s something about that place and something about the people that has really caught hold of me and I can’t let go of it. I’m sure if I were to go there around this time of year it would change my ideas about the place.

More images and thoughts after the jump ::


Listener :: Finding Inspiration Outside The Craft

I get asked a lot about where I get my inspiration. That’s a hard question to answer because there are so many things and people in my life that inspire me. Let me tell you a story about a white guy from Arkansas that raps.

More after the jump ::.

Last night Meg and I were able to get a babysitter and go see our friend Dan Smith play a show. His project is called “Listener“.



Dan has a schtick. A persona. A presence on stage. He does this “thing” that is amazing. Dan does “talk music” and it is his own thing. Love him or hate him, when Dan takes the stage people get off their phones, stop chatting, and watch. His stage persona is mesmerizing. It never bleeds into background music. His music isn’t ever going to make the top ten on the billboard charts and I think that’s just all right for him. He’s not following. He’s not replicating. He’s not trying to find what is popular and pursue that.

I met Dan about six years ago when he was more of a hip hop artist than folksy/indie/something/talk music artist. I was introduced to him through this cat in Nashville named KC Jones. KC said to me, “You gotta hear the Listener. He’s a white dude from Arkansas that raps.” That introduction was enough to pique my interest. :)

The first song I heard was Train Song (mp3 download).  “It’s my habits that make my fingers weak…” Listen closely to the story. Pretty amazing.

Decadence (mp3 download) is one of my favorite tracks from his more hip hop centric era. It also features Manchild who has a flow like no other. Yes, I do have permission to link to these files.



It’s been interesting to watch him change. To watch him find who he is. To start at one place and end up somewhere else and to see he’s not “there” yet. Dan has always been Dan, yet with each new part of his project he is becoming more true to his core. He’s walking through the shit of life and stripping off the non essentials and building back from there. It’s really an amazing process to watch from the outside.

I need to sit down with him sometime and see what it’s like from his perspective because I know for a fact it will be much different than my perspective. Maybe I’m wrong about how I see Dan. Maybe Dan is wrong about how he sees himself. Sometimes people on the outside see the real you. The “you” you can’t see. And sometimes people from the outside have the wrong idea about who you are. Hmmmm. This reminds me of something Meg is working on but that’s not for this post. (Dan, next time you’re back in Atlanta let’s talk it out)

If you listen to his older music you can hear the framework of his newer work. Meaning, you can look back and see the progression but you never see it when you are moving forward. The same thing goes for photography. It’s called personal style and it takes years to develop and you can’t really see your style until you have some years under your belt and can look back.



Dan is a huge source of inspiration for me. That inspiration doesn’t change how I look through my viewfinder but it changes how I look through the eye in my brain if that makes any sense at all… Which it doesn’t. I went to public school so trying to flowchart how inspiration works for me is a bit difficult. My brain eyes connect to my face eyes which connect to my viewfinder so maybe he does inspire how I see the world. How “inspiration” like this works for me is the music gets in my head. I listen to the stories in the lyrics. I connect the dots from the songs to the dots of my own life and those thoughts sort of lead me down a path of more thoughts that eventually lead to actions with my camera and with my business. Inspiration for me isn’t seeing one person do something and then I go do something similar to that. I think that’s more like plagiarism than inspiration.



Dan’s magic really comes through his show. He’s brave. He’s full on. He doesn’t hold back. He doesn’t care what he looks like. He just lets the f#ck go and pours it all out. I’ve seen him perform to a packed venue and to 8 people in a living room and he brings everything he has to the stage with every performance.

You can find his new album here. Be sure to give “Wooden Heart” a listen. Buy a copy and support an artist. Don’t you want someone to give you some support in your endeavors? Pay it forward.

You can stream his new album. Sorry iPhone/iPad users. These are flash embeds.

This is his last album. It’s called “Return To Struggleville” and it’s about a traveling knife salesman and it’s brilliant.

His songs are stories. They are pulled out of his head and out of his experience. He’s living his story. Are you? Are you aware that you’re walking out your story? Are you keeping your eyes far out ahead and busting your ass to get there or are you sitting around on said ass looking backwards? How’s that working for you? I saw a great quote on Twitter yesterday…

“Don’t ask God to guide your footsteps if you aren’t willing to move your feet.”

Dan’s played more than 800 shows and he has 800 more to go. He’s doing it. He’s sharing his life. He’s changing. Growing. He’s moving his feet. Stripping it down to the essentials. He’s inspiring thousands. He’s just a white dude from Arkansas that raps and he is a really important character in my own story. Fun trivia – His 800th show was at a Mexican Restaurant. 800th show.

Where are you getting your inspiration from outside the photography world?


Are you moving your feet or sittin’ on your ass? I’d rather have sores on my feet than on my ass. There’s a t-shirt.

Cheers, Zack

Personal Tests ::

Nothing much to say. Just sharing some recent work.

Hair by Max Sanchez from DragonFly Makeup by Jennifer Bennett & Lani Martz Talent from SSP

Cheers, Zack

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