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I’ve been a big fan of these fine folks for some time. This is Lok, Kai, and Alamby who make up the DigitalRev team. It’s hard to describe exactly what they do but suffice it to say that they are the Top Gear of photography. Or should I say, Top Gear is the DigitalRev of cars. Kai (in the center) is the mastermind behind the most subscribed to photography channel on YouTube. He’s irreverent, hysterical, and completely brilliant. Lok and Alamby are perfect and grounded compliments to Kai’s insanity. They are my favorite photography personalities ever. It’s the understatement of the year to say that I was honored to get to meet them and take part in their ongoing “Pro Photographer. Cheap Camera.” series.
I met up with the trio in the Mong Kok area of Hong Kong this week to find out what my challenge would be and what cheap P.O.S. camera I would be armed with to meet their challenge. Kai showed up with an old Kodak C142 point and shoot and an old Nikon flash. My challenge was to shoot people on the street but I had to use the flash. The first challenge was figuring out if I could get the flash to sync with the camera. Once we found a way to get that going then I had to find subjects in low light areas so the flash on the camera would fire. I could not force it to fire at all times. There was zero exposure control on that crap ass camera and zero control as to where it would focus. It was the kind of camera that makes you wonder how point and shoots ever progressed and was a good example of why Kodak failed in the Point and Miss category of cameras.
So here is the result of my challenge. It was so much fun. I sort of went all fan boy on them when I saw them! A selection of images follows the video.
More images after jump…
This week Complex Magazine named me as one of the top 50 street photographers right now. I’m part honored and part embarrassed by this. Part of it has confirmed something inside of me. Part of this has depressed the hell out of me. On one hand I feel empowered to go deeper and on the other hand I feel I owe a lot of street photographers an apology. If I had a third hand I owe some photographers a big thank you. Let’s see. Can I be more random? How about this. This post is best read late at night while listening to “Last Confession” by Hilltop Hoods.
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…
Our new studio is officially open! We had a great opening party this past weekend. Big thanks to everyone who came out. Was Cousin Dan not the most amazing show you’ve seen this year? Thanks to Ben Helfin as well for spinning his amazing collection of vinyl.
Now that we are officially open I wanted to let you know that we’ll be having regular events here in the new space.
The first event will be a live critique night February 18th at 7pm. Bring a chair, a beer, a box of tissues, and your work. We’ll have everyone throw their web site / flickr page / thumb drive / etc in a hat and Meg and I will randomly start pulling them out for live critique. We will be screen capturing this for the blog. It’s going to be a good time. We promise not to leave you hanging. I think doing this live instead of at our dining room table will bring the level of critique and conversation up. Critique nights will be a BYoB and BYoChair kind of event as there’s no telling how many will show up. Think of it like a night at the Laser Show at Stone Mountain just completely different.
In addition to critique nights we’ll be having a series of events with guest photographers and shooting/lighting hands on demos. I’ve moved to the Phase One system and I’ve talked to them and the good folks at Capture Integration about doing a medium format night of shooting here at the studio. We’ll set up lights, cameras, subjects, etc and you’re welcome to join us for a night of pitchers and pictures.
All events will be announced via Twitter / Facebook / G+ and our mailing list. Sign up on our mailing list here. Expect to see something happening here every four to six weeks as the schedule allows. All events will be open to the general public and will be free of charge to attend. If you have an idea for an event you’d like to see or a guest you’d like to hear drop it in the comments below.
Upcoming blog posts – Why I had to move to a bigger space (with more photos) and why I moved to medium format.
I just want to add my saddened voice to the others out there today mourning the loss of Steve Jobs.
Yes… I’m an Apple fan boy. Proud to be so. I’ve been so for 15 years. I can never imagine using any other type of computer. Us photographers like to gather ’round the water coolers and talk about vision, branding, client experience, etc. Who did it better than Steve? What company can come close to Apple when you talk about vision, branding, and client experience? Steve was a leader and you can look around at a lot of things that are just trying to catch up.
Steve did a lot with his life. What are we doing with ours?
God’s speed Steve.
I found this fitting tribute image via twitter. It’s from a 19 year old designer named Jonathan Mak.
The OneLight Field Guide is finally out! It only took 11 months and that many redesigns but it was worth it. Looking at the state of the guide now compared to where it started I’m glad that it’s late. It’s better than the first few editions.
The guide showcases more than 50 images ranging from bands to models to brides. Mostly bands and models. For the first half of the guide I explain the gear and the settings used to create the image. For the second half I showcase images using the same gear and approximate settings. You’ll find tips and tricks throughout the guide that go beyond the scope of apertures, shutter speeds, and modifiers. I walk you through single light sources and then introduce you to multiple lights and how to deal with that. It’s made for folks who would like to keep a cookbook of scenarios on hand while out shooting.
Everything is straightforward and easy to grasp. It is made to complement the OneLight DVD and/or workshop so it isn’t supposed to be a step by step by step guide on how to use flash. That’s covered at length in the DVD and workshop. If you are comfortable with the basic principles of off camera lighting, but you have not been to a OneLight workshop or have not seen the OneLight DVD, then you will still enjoy this guide.
I developed this guide for people who came to the 2010 OneLight workshops. Enough folks heard about it and asked if I would release it for sale. I went back and forth on that for awhile and was not going to do it because I felt the cost of doing so wasn’t worth it. Then I started reworking it through MagCloud and I was able to get the cost of the guide under $30. If you were a participant at a OneLight this year then you should have gotten an email from Meg already. If you did not, check the email address that you signed up for the workshop with or check your spam filter. You have to reply to her through that email address to get this shipped to you at no charge. For those that have replied, your order has been placed and will be shipped to the address you provided.
I know what many of you are going to ask… Why in print? Why not a PDF download for $5 or something? I’ve gone back and forth about that a number of times and I will most likely revisit my thoughts on this at some point… but for now… it is in print and print only.
We shoot with digital cameras. We look at our images on a computer. We read blogs. We look at more digital photos than we can count. For this project, and the next, I wanted it to be in print. Something you can hold on to that doesn’t also check email. To be very honest with you, it would be MUCH easier to just release this as a PDF. It would also be more profitable to sell. It costs me more and makes me less to make it available in print but it has more value in print so I’m going with that right now.
Plus… This is a dry run for a new project that has been kicking around in my head for over a year. I’ve been wanting to launch a photography magazine for awhile now and this is the “first issue” of that magazine. Now, the magazine in my head looks completely different than this field guide. The field guide is just a taste. A scratch on the surface of what I’m planning. DEDPXL is the name and it will be a semi-annual to quarterly magazine launching in January. It will be print on demand like this guide and it will be an organic publication that starts with people I know who have a lot to offer.
It will be independent as f#*%. Meaning, we will not be accepting advertising or sponsorships for this magazine. You can not buy advertising space. You just can’t. There won’t be gear reviews so don’t send your stuff. It will be a showcase of emerging work, insights into the running of a business and the photo industry as a whole, how to’s on the technical, and a sounding board for a number of voices in the industry… both positive and negative. Business & Craft.
I will not be taking submissions for articles right now. It is a “don’t call us, we’ll call you” kind of a thing and my list is already full for 2 or 3 issues. (Not that I’ve gotten in touch with all of you on that list.) There will be a call for certain things here and there. You’ll see. I think it’s going to be pretty awesome and there isn’t anything quite like it on the shelves today.
Lastly, I’m not doing this as a new business venture. It’s a personal project. I can’t wait to get it off the ground. Since I can’t find a hobby, I’m going to start a photography magazine.
Until then, have a look at the OneLight Field Guide. I hope you enjoy it. It is available on MagCloud for $28 + shipping.
We all live in a big a$$ yellow bus. We are on the road with our OneLight Family Tour!
We are currently in Asheville, NC. As soon as we wrap up the OneLight here tonight we drive all night to DC. With the exception of Pittsburgh we are having mixers in each city and we would love for you to come out and catch some live music, win gift cards from B&H, OneLight DVDs, and network within your local photographic community. The mixers are free and open to the public. Here is where we will be…
7/1 :: Washington DC
7/6 :: Cincinnati, OH
7/8 :: Indianapolis, IN
7/11 :: Chicago, IL
7/13 :: Saint Louis, MO
7/15 :: Nashville, TN
I really did start my studio on the streets. As seen in the photo above.
Update – Thank you one and all for those who worked so hard behind the scenes and those thousands and thousands of you who tuned into the live event! More to come!
As we get closer to this weekend’s creativeLIVE studio class I wanted to go ahead and share the rough time frame and course material for the weekend.
There are a lot of things I want to cover in this class and I know I’m going to run out of time at some point. That’s why we have spread this out over a weekend. As far as subjects we will be photographing go we are going to be working with emerging models, musicians, and regular folks off the street.
Keep a few things in mind… This is live Internet we are dealing with so all sorts of things can go astray but rest assured there is a full pro crew behind the scenes ready for anything the internet can throw at them. The times listed below are approximate aside from start times. Keep an eye on my Twitter account as the weekend goes on. We will be updating events there. IE : “Going to start shooting the band in 30 minutes.” “Almost done with lunch. Going live in 10.” “Talking about grip right now.” You get the idea. I have a basic outline in my head of what I want to do but I’ll be working in a new space and may change things here and there as I go but always teaching why I’m changing things and what’s going through my head as I try something different.
All start times are PDT (or -8 GMT)
Friday June 11th – 1:30pm – 4:30pm’ish / 5:30pm’ish • My personal philosophy of having a studio space • Considerations for getting a space of your own or turning a space you have into a studio space. • The basics of exposure when using flash in studio. We will be using hotshoe flashes and strobes. • Working with multiple lights and working with different lighting ratios • Using a light meter and how to figure it out on the fly without a meter • Overview of the modifiers we will be using over the weekend. Those include… ••• Straight flash ••• Umbrellas ••• Softboxes ••• Octabanks ••• Beauty dish ••• Ring flash ••• Grids ••• Flags/Silks/Reflectors ••• DIY modifiers • Q&A
Saturday June 12th :: 10am – 1pm’ish • The many uses of white seamless. I’ll be walking you through the entire process of shooting on a white seamless and getting the most out of one simple background • Post production on the white seamless • Q&A • (lunch break somewhere between 1pm and 2pm.) • Building a set. It will already be in place. I’ll just talk about the basic modular set pieces that went into making it. • Grip equipment. How to put stuff together and do stuff with that stuff. • Slowly moving away from the seamless and onto other background choices. IE: Fabric/Walls/Sets • Working with subjects. Interaction and Posing. (I’ve had a lot of questions about this so I’m spending a lot of time on it.) • Musicians. Duo and Trio. Group shots plus individuals. White seamless and other backgrounds + a simple set. • Q&A • In order to conclude in time to rebroadcast over night we can only teach for 10 hours a day. So the latest this day will run is 8pm. Don’t know if it will go that long or not.
Sunday June 13th :: 10am • Quick recap of previous day and previous information about exposure. Not going to spend a lot of time on this but just a quick recap for those just joining. • If I don’t cover the grip equipment on Saturday I’ll most likely do that Sunday morning. • Art Direction! I will be pulling people from the live audience and giving them assignments to see what problems they run into and guide them through the process. • More shooting. Different modifiers. Improv. • Q&A • (lunch break somewhere between 1pm and 2pm.) • Working with a four piece band. Individuals and group shot. • More shooting. Whatever we decide to do making sure I’ve used all the modifiers from the list above. • Q&A
I will be online live with Chase Jarvis tomorrow, June 9th, from 1:30pm till 3pm for a live Q&A leading up to the weekend. If I haven’t covered something in the notes above then hit me here in the comment section or tune in here tomorrow and ask while we are online.
You can sign up for the class here and see all the swag we have to give away during the weekend! We have stuff from B&H, x•rite, Pocket Wizard, Westcott, and Sekonic in addition to several copies of the OneLight DVD. Big thanks to B&H, The MAC Group, and Westcott for really bringing the goods. No t-shirts or ball caps in this prize closet. Also a big thank you goes to Affix Music for providing us with some licensed and cleared tunes to listen to while we work this weekend.
Questions about the class or something you might want to see covered? Drop them in the comments.
We are a week away from the creativeLIVE studio class!
I typically do not like promoting my stuff over and over and over but I am honestly and truly excited about this class and I love the fact that this is being set up so you can see it live… for free.
We are still working on the final schedule for next Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Look for that to be posted on the blog sometime this weekend. I’m in the middle of a Photo 101 right now and Meg is having ear surgery as I type, so we have just a few things on our plate but save the date for next weekend. It’s going to be awesome.
If you can’t attend the class live you can pre-purchase the class for download for an amazing $79. It will be $129 after the class. A blog reader here felt that was a bit like a used car salesman pitch and I get that. In fact I get it so much I made the video above! But I will tell you this… I am putting everything I have into this and I promise it will be worth it. Even at $129 it’s going to be over delivered and under priced. This isn’t going to be a fluff and no stuff kind of workshop. We will be working with small flashes, studio strobes, several kinds of modifiers, and we will be working with individuals and groups. We are also going to have a lot of time set aside for Q&A during the live session. Not just five minutes here and there.
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