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Table of Contents: We will make you laugh, we will make you cry... Masthead: The culprits of publication. Letter from the Editors: I ate too much. Letters to the Editors: You ate too much. Etiquette: Sick on Set. Use the bucket, not the apple box. Resource Guide to: Photo Blogs. Let your brains get blogged up. Industry Tale: A Sleight of Hand. Polaroid back brass knuckles are in. Tricks of the Trade: Sport Photographer. Camera, check. Lens, check Sports cup, check.
PHOTO 32 34 36 38 40 42
History: Kurt Cobain. Much more photographic than his girlfriend. Photo Deco-Page: SX70. It’s like sex in the 70s. Gallery: MoMA’s Henri Cartier-Bresson. The master of the decisive moment. Interview: Brakha Bunch. Moshe Brakha and his sons start an empire, and they’re striking back. Technique: Poby on Underwater Photography. You get wet when he shoots. That’s what he said. Mini Feature: Studio Share, The Community Solution. Just because you’re sharing doesn’t mean you’re getting sloppy seconds.
CREW How to: Add Audio to Motion Capture. If you shoot a video in the forest and no one is there to see it, does it make a sound? Mission: Giles Revell for Audi. Car components as objects d’art. Event: Three Stage. Hasselblad and Resource ask, “If an expo and a Resource party had a baby...?” Interview: Alison Attenborough, Food Stylist. You can shoot your cake and eat it too! Locations: Pools. If you pee in the pool, we’ll see you. Mini Feature: To Live and DIE in New York. Live by the sword, die by the camera—but you still need to return the camera; it’s a rental.
STUDIO/EQ 66 Dawn: Henry and His Camera. That would be Henry Froehlich and Konica. 68 Interview: Edge Grip. Meet Tyson, he’s lovable, wears a blazer, and runs a LA photo studio, psych! No actually... I meant it has a cyc. 70 Development: Shooting Kitchen. No, leave your Glock at home. We mean, shooting IN a kitchen. 72 Tech, EQ & Flow: The iPad. iPad, not iPeed, not iPood. Be serious people, this is high-tech shit. 74 Mini Feature: Calumet. cal·u·met n. A long-stemmed sacred or ceremonial tobacco pipe used by certain Native American peoples. And they sell cameras!
Photo by Sabrina Grasso
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L A N O I S S E F O R P AGENCY 78 Ad Rocks: Diesel’s “Be Stupid.” “Stupid is as Stupid does with a scientific caluculator.” 80 Interview: Jenny Read, Art Producer. This woman is your client. Not your friend.
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FEATURE ARTICLES 84 Product Guide: Just cause it doesn’t vibrate, doesn’t mean it’s not a toy. 94 Eye’Em A Photographer: My Weapon Is My Phone. If we’re not careful, we’ll be calling ourselves PHONETOGRAPHERS. 106 Victor, Victorious. Victor Skrebneski: Chicago legend—where everyone knows his name, and then named a street after him.
REVIEWS 118 Where to Take your Clients Out: Macao Trading Company and Employees Only. Same owners, same cool factor. 120 Films For Photographers: Rope and Elephant. Behold the power of the long take. 122 Book Review: Dorothea Lange, A Life Beyond Limits. Inspirational stuff. 124 Go-See: Sneakers: Get out of your Converse rut! 126 Directory: People we’ve used and re-used and used again. 136 End Page.
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Resource Magazine is a quarterly publication from REMAG Inc. 139 Norfolk Street #A - NY, NY 10002 email@example.com
Summer 2010 Issue EDITORS IN CHIEF Alexandra Niki, Aurelie Jezequel CREATIVE DIRECTORS Alexandra Niki, Aurelie Jezequel
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COPY EDITORS Rory Aledort, Kelly D’anna, Kate Hope, Anthony Rivas, Michael T. Wilcox, Ali Wisch
VERY SPECIAL THANKS TO: Sharon Gamss, our Art Director since the first issue who recently left and moved back to Israel. We wish her the very best!
DESIGN Chris Brody, Annie Chen, Harold Hull-Ambers, Katie Iberle, Rebecca Lewis, Katherine Lo, Maria Camila Pava, Emil Rivera, John Silva
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CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Koury Angelo, Nicolas Arcay, Michael Baranovic, Brian Buckley, Nathan Lee Bush, Francesco Cignini, Sam Cornwall, Nettie Edwards, James Ephraums, Nick Ferrari, Sarra Fleur, Tony Gale, Benedicte Guillon, Dominique Jost, Murray Hall, Santos Henarejos, Daniel Holland, Suzan Mikiel Kennedy, Galya Kovalyova, Francesca La Notte, Jason Parks, Benjamim Silva, Blake Sinclair, Christopher Starbody, Petrina Tinslay, Richard Twomey, Chris Williams
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CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Sophia Betz, Sam Cornwall, Kelly D’Anna, Charlie Fish, Maggie Flood, Marian Froehlich, Mark Gordon, Alec Kerr, Stephen Kosloff, Mark D. McKennon, Anthony Rivas, Jenny Kate Sherman, Adam Sherwin, Heather Simon, Blake Sinclair, Josh Steen, Feifei Sun, Joe Sutton, Kenny Ulloa, Lewis Van Arnam, Jacqueline Weissman, Ali Wisch, Sachi Yoshii CONTRIBUTING ILLUSTRATORS Katherine Lo, Claudia Madera, Emil Rivera PRODUCER Jeffrey Gray INTERNS Rory Aledort, Rosa Cantor, Kelly D’Anna, Sabrina Grasso, Anthony Rivas, Corin Trachtman, Ali Wisch PUBLISHER REMAG Inc.
Mark Gordon, founder of G10capture, has been developing and providing digital solutions for the photo industry since 1991. G10capture offers full-service digital capture support throughout the US and across the globe. Custom packages combine digital technicians, cameras, workstations, and post production services. www.g10capture.com
DISTRIBUTION firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING Alexandra Niki email@example.com Adam Sherwin firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Brody has been working the front lines at Resource for the past two years while he finished his studies at Parsons School of Design. Now, he has graduated and is moving on to art directing for the magazine, and whatever else may come next. www.chrisbrodydesign.com
Christopher Starbody grew up in a small Midwestern town. Studied photography and art history at Columbia and in France. Worked at The Yale University Art Gallery, and apprenticed with one of NY fashion’s top photographers. He currently works on portraits, fashion editorials and personal projects including short films. www.christopherstarbody.com
Katherine Lo is a motion graphic artist and graphic designer. Her goals are to work for VFX Studios all over the world. She just got back from an amazing study abroad experience in Bournemouth, England. Highly recommends traveling the world—especially if you can do it while studying. www.katsoupdesign.com
Brian Buckley’s camera-less Photograms, made from cameras broken with a hammer and arranged on Polaroid type 809 film, are a commentary on how the film camera and Polaroid film have been affected by the advent of digital photography. www.brianbuckleyphotoinc.com
Feifei Sun is a writer based in New York, currently working at Time Magazine. Previously, she was an editorial assistant at Vanity Fair.
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Whew, we made it out of that hole of a recession alive. Who would’ve thought? Now summer is here, and we are on to bigger and better things. Let’s start with some of our favorite things—things that actually have nothing to do with photography, and everything to do with summer: Love, in an ice cream form: We still haven’t been but need to go to Max and Mina’s in Queens, NY. Apparently they have phenomenal ice cream flavors that will send your palate to faraway lands. Such as beer, chocolate cupcake, white fish, and cola. (www.maxandminasicecream.com) Love, in a vain way: Ladies, a pedicure is needed. Flip-flops are calling you. And men, just get over it…you’re allowed to get pedicures too—even if we’ll make fun of you for it. Love, in a drink form: It’s summer. But it’s not like work stops. But then again, it’s summer. So have a glass of wine with lunch. Take ten extra minutes walking back home. We won’t tell. Love, in a lazy way: Take a vacation. Even if it’s just to Coney Island or Venice Beach, depending on what side of the country you live. Just go and sit on any beach for Christ’s sake! These summer pleasures will go along nicely with a dose of bigger and better things: Don’t be a sore winner: We all seem to be more on our game now, but don’t take this uprise of work for granted. Remember the tough times and the lessons you learned. Keep pushing yourself and your business, even if you are booked solid now. We know you’re great, but don’t let it get to your head. Come together: One of the best things that happened during the economic downturn was that we learned how important it was to stick together and get creative. Don’t let good fortune ruin community, creativity, and consideration for your peers. Money, it’s a bitch: If you’ve been doing well, don’t blow your money on fancy pants and water skis now. Use it to expand and improve your business. Consider how you are marketing yourself and keep thinking about new ways to do so. This is your vehicle. Take a ride. In all, drink water, stay cool, and have a great summer!
Alex and Aurélie
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LETTERS TO THE EDITORS:
You Ate Too Much Hi Resource,
It was great to meet you all at the Three Stages event. I think that whole thing came together very well, nice work! I like the whirlwind of energy you have stirred up around the magazine. It’s not so easy to create a movement like you have. Pretty impressive. Keep in touch, and I’ll keep my eyes open for ideas to explore. Talk soon.
I LOVE Resource Magazine. The articles and stories are always a nice break from the busy production world. It’s nice to be able to see that everyone is dealing with the same issues, and I like the sense of humor in the mag! Keep up the good work!
August Bradley www.augustbradley.com
Ben Rosenzweig www.benrosenzweig.com
Tell us what you think! Email us at email@example.com.
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Sick on Set By Kenny Ulloa I Illustration by Katherine Lo
nlike the carpet-idling office dwellers and Midtown salad-munchers, a phone call and a fake cough will get you nowhere in this industry. After years of partisan hackery and debate, the health care reform we have been waiting for has come to fruition. The stress of high premiums and denied coverage will cease to be. The rate of anxiety will plummet. Depression will be at an all time low. People will live longer and employers will appropriately foot the bill. Thanks to this change photo studios will be inundated with an assembly of healthy and happy workers.
Wait, are you a freelancer? Oh... and you live in [insert expensive metropolis]?... And you’re a single individual paying over thirty six percent of your income in housing expenses? Really? Congratulations! You will most likely be in the same position you are now for a very long time, so stock up on those meds, because not even your hippie friend’s neti pot can save you. What if you’re on set and your bodily fluids are conspiring against you and your mom isn’t answering her phone and your stuffy red nose is getting worse by the minute and you can’t stop sweating and... We are all a tummy ache away from losing the loyalty of our clients. Take a deep breath (step outside, skip the Marlboro Lights) and follow these tips:
Always Find your happy place: Apparently taking a shit is a secret, and if you’re famous its federal-government-conspiracy confidential. Locate the “celebrity bathrooms” in your studio. Here you can alleviate yourself comfortably and quietly without having to feel self-conscious about doing this visceral act that is totally normal and done by every living creature on Earth.
Take preventative measures: You may complain about how so and so studio has atrocious gear, but in reality you would be more disgusted if you could see the microscopic apocalypse that’s lingering on that metal. Bacteria lives on metal for longer periods than on any other surface. Add a slew of sweaty assistants and a damp environment and you’ve got yourself a hot mess.
Make use of the studio facilities: Try to eat a light lunch and make use of the studio juice bar. If none is available, go to the receptionist and ask for fresh OJ and painkillers. While consuming both items brag about other studios’ juice bar and friendly staff.
Take preventative measures. Seriously... New York / Los Angeles / Miami I love you, but you’re grossing me out. Wash your hands people.
Katherine Lo: www.katsoupdesign.com
Overeat in the morning: Maple sausage croissant egg sandwiches, crispy bacon and scrambled eggs, strawberry filled French toasts, whip cream muffins. Keep it simple: grab a fruit cup and some yogurt. Don’t just do it for the skinnyjeans. A healthy breakfast will keep you awake and alert for longer periods. Go for that after-work drink: You’re never going to have just one drink. Scientists are still investigating this, but there is mounting evidence that well dressed fashionistas are physically incapable of stopping at one drink. There’s something about wearing a nice outfit and being in uncrowded weekday bars that make people want to drink in excess, even when they are slightly under the weather. Do your best and avoid alcohol. It depletes your body as well as your wallet (save your money for the health insurance bills). Tell the client you’re sick: This may sound like horrible advice, but in reality sharing your symptoms shows a sign of weakness like no other. You don’t want to freak out your client if you have a runny nose, so pay up for that top shelf OTC and save yourself from losing that precious day rate.
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Take advice from cab drivers named Maria / patchouli-smelling-hippie friend / old wise janitor / wholesome midwestern reception girl: “Take a fresh lemon, slice it in half and place it in a microwave for five minutes, then place it in a boiling pot of water with parsley and honey. Stir until it has a syrupy consistency. Pour it out into five shot glasses and take one shot every four minutes while the Footloose soundtrack plays in the background at the highest volume your speakers can accommodate. This will totally cure your sore throat, I promise.” Everyone has over-the-top home remedies that in fact do nothing for actual bacterial infections. If you don’t have health insurance, call Grandma and ask her to spare those antibiotics. *Disclaimer: Do not actually contact family members for prescription medicine, but definitely give Grandma a call. She misses you and wants to hear about your crazy tales from “the big city.” Oh, and go see a doctor!
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RESOURCE GUIDE TO:
Photo Blogs By Sam Cornwall
s blogs mature and become an important part of media coverage and consumption, worthwhile photo blogs are creeping up everywhere. Need some info about an upcoming event? Check a photo blog. A solid gear review, perhaps written by a real photographer? Read a photo blog. Or better yet, some good old-fashioned industry gossip? Browse a photo blog. And, of course, everyone always needs to view new and inspirational work. Where do you turn? Photo blogs. A variety of high quality, regularly updated, interesting, thought-provoking dialogues and images can be found all across the web, brought to you by your peers. Some blogs inspire through the beautiful images they post. Others cover the latest trends and breaking news of the business side of the biz. Whether it’s looking up behind-the-scenes accounts and lighting diagrams, reading about various bidding processes, or getting inspired to shoot new work, photo blogs have become an indispensable resource for any working photographer. It may seem that everyone and their mother has a photo blog—but, how many of them are truly worth your time? An élite few—and the following list covers some of the best of the best. The next fifty-four blogs have been handpicked from the millions of blogs out there by yours truly and the Resource staff. These are our favorites. They are roughly listed under Information and Inspiration, depending on what you are looking for. I hope you enjoy them, and constantly check them for updates, as much as we do.
n o i t a m r o Inf
1000 WORD PHOTOGRAPHY www.1000wordsphotographymagazine.blogspot.com Blog from UK-based 1000 Words Photography Magazine. Event postings for shows and workshops. Reviews of books and exhibits. Interviews with various industry professionals and write-ups about shooters. Covers mostly fine art and UK/ European events.
A PHOTO EDITOR www.aphotoeditor.com A must-read. Inside industry info. Fantastic interviews with shooters, agents, producers, art buyers and other industry types. Interesting industry quotes pulled from around the Web. Lots of posts about bidding and the business side of the industry. The weekly “Ask Anything” feature with former Art Buyers and current photography consultants Amanda Sosa Stone and Suzanne Sease is excellent. The blog has a good reference list and links, and usually interesting commentary and debates. One of the best photo-industry/production blogs out there.
A PHOTO STUDENT www.aphotostudent.com NYC-based James Pomerantz writes about his current experiences in a photo MFA program and includes info that’s helpful and interesting to photo students or struggling artists. Lots of posts about his classes so it’s a good resource for those considering MFA programs. A comprehensive list of worthy blogs, museums, galleries, and various MFA programs.
BOB KRIST www.bobkrist.com/blog Award-winning travel photographer posts daily updates about his shoots and trips. Includes industry commentary.
APERTURE EXPOSURES www.aperture.org/exposures Aperture Magazine’s blog. Fine art based. A good source for fine art photo event info with lots of postings about openings, shows, artist talks, wrap-ups, panels, seminars. Mostly, but not limited to, NYC.
1001 NOISY CAMERAS www.1001noisycameras.com 1001 Noisy Cameras is an extensive camera review and discussion site. Updated constantly with new reviews, tips and industry info. A good place to stop before purchasing your next camera.
A PHOTO ASSISTANT www.aphotoassistant.com Midwest-based. A good resource for upcoming photo assistants. Interviews with shooters and photo assistants alike. A list of links for those new to the biz.
BRONIMAGING http://blog.bronimaging.com Bron Imaging’s blog features interviews with top photographers, tutorials, tips, event wrap-ups, BTS videos and recaps. While it’s heavy on BronImaging products, a large number of the photographers swear by them; so, read those interviews carefully, we can all learn from elite shooters.
DAN CARR www.dancarrphotography.com/blog Ski/snowboard photographer, Dan Carr, posts lots of in-depth gear reviews, methods, techniques and trip reports. Geared towards action and adventure shooters.
JOE MCNALLY’S BLOG
DODGE & BURN www.dodgeburn.blogspot.com Interviews, events, contests and competitions info. Focused on minority photographers and subjects (photographers of African, Asian, Latino, Native American, Pacific Islander and Aleutian heritage; women photographers; and works about these and other indigenous communities of the world).
www.joemcnally.com/blog Joe McNally, the photographer, writer, teacher and undisputed Speedlite king, posts a lot of BTS coverage, seminar wrap-ups and enough tech-talk to keep you reading to figure out your next on-the-fly lighting situation. Joe excels at creating great light in short amount of time and, lucky for us, he loves to give out his secrets.
LUMINOUS LANDSCAPE www.luminous-landscape.com This open forum has a wealth of information about software, hardware, camera gear, lighting gear, shooting and lighting techniques. Of course, if you can’t find your question already answered, ask and you’ll get some solid responses.
MARKETING PHOTOS WITH MARY VIRGINIA SWANSON www.marketingphotos.wordpress.com Events listing, openings, competitions, seminars, and lectures mostly on the subject of marketing or industry business.
HOT SHOE BLOG www.hotshoeblog.wordpress.com Blog for HotShoe, a leading European photo magazine. General industry news, interviews, festival and competition info, galleries shows.
PHOTOCINE NEWS www.photocinenews.com All about HDSLR, all the time. News, tech tips, product reviews and announcements, event coverage (i.e. NAB), comprehensive HDSLR blogs and sites list. A wealth of HDSLR info with news, gear and software reviews and tips.
HEATHER MORTON ART BUYER www.heathermorton.ca/blog Respected Art Buyer blogs about the business of the industry. Lots of in-depth interviews with shooters, producers, buyers and other industry pros. The “Ask an Art Buyer” feature is really interesting and informative. Has a weekly column called “A Year in the Life”, in which she follows two emerging shooters throughout a year. “The Whole 9 Yards” covers any topics that emerge as potential rifts between photographers, assistants, producers, MUAs, and stylists. The blog also includes lots of beautiful work posted along the interviews.
http://content.photojojo.com Home of all things quirky, yet useful to your photo endeavors. The blog is a combination of new products and DIY suggestions and ideas. And for the prolific shooter and Flickr user, check out the Time Capsule. Photojojo will email you the most “interesting” of your photos from a year ago. The old is new again.
POP PHOTO: STATE OF THE ART http://stateoftheart.popphoto.com American Photo’s blog. Sparsely updated with nothing in particular: interviews, portfolios, single photos, essays, new products, and general industry chatter.
PIX FEED LA www.pixfeedla.com News and events for the LA photo community. Gallery and museum shows, seminars, workshops, classes, lectures and parties are listed.
X-RITE PHOTO BLOG
www.resourcemagonline.com/blog Focused on industry events and happenings around NYC and nationally (shows, events, contests).
www.blog.xritephoto.com This blog is loaded with all the information and tips you need to get the most out of your color management software and the tricky color workflow between your camera, computer and printer. Very helpful for printing your colors exactly how you want them.
SHARPEN NEW YORK www.sharpernewyork.blogspot.com Stella Kramer is a respected freelance editor and consultant living in NYC. Her blog covers local photo events listings (shows, seminars, workshops, parties) and wrap-ups. Includes some commentary on current industry news.
/ d n a n o i nI forimnsaptiration CHASE JARVIS
www.blog.chasejarvis.com/blog Chase is a photographer and posts a lot, managing a steady combination of inspirational and behind-the-scenes info. Lots of BTS videos, interviewing the crew on set and explaining what goes into his or other people’s shoots. He has a good following, with 30,000 people on Twitter and 20,000 on Facebook. The Best Camera App and bestcamera.com community that he created are intertwined with the blog.
www.asmp.org/strictlybusiness ASMP’s blog is exactly as the title suggests, strictly business. Every post is to help you, the working photographer, navigate the wild world of commercial photography. Marketing suggestions, brief tutorials, industry news, copyright tips and other posts covering all of the indispensable info you get from the ASMP.
http://blog.indurogear.com The Induro Blog features a large amount of interviews with a variety of shooters (portrait, lifestyle, wedding, nature, landscape and fine-art).
www.thephotoletariat.com Business advice, tech info, reviews, tips, and industry news.
www.pocketwizard.wordpress.com The PocketWizard Blog, as they tell us, shares the enthusiasm of all the PocketWizard shooters around the world by featuring their work and interviewing them about their creative process.
TIM KEMPLE www.kemplemedia.com/blog Tim Kemple is an adventure and action sports shooter who writes about his work and global travels. Features BTS video and pics, industry commentary and news.
VINCENT LAFORET’S BLOG http://blog.vincentlaforet.com Features cutting-edge HDSLR info, gear reviews, BTS videos/wrap-ups, and industry commentary focused on the growing world of HDSLR video.
WHAT’S THE JACKANORY www.whatsthejackanory.com An award winning blog by NYC-based Andrew Hetherington, an editorial and commercial shooter. Features lots of local events, BTS stories, shoot wrap-ups and interviews.
RETV www.resourcetelevision.com Brought to you by the Resource crew, RETV is Resource in an easy to read video format. Interviews, demos, event coverage and more!
SHOWSTUDIO www.showstudio.com Nick Knight, fashion-shooter extraordinaire, founded this forwardthinking site way back in 2000. It has become a preeminent fashion site for shooters and fashionistas alike, hosting fashion videos, interviews, live runway coverage, extensive BTS videos and posts that cover projects from their infancy to their completion.
STROBIST www.strobist.blogspot.com The Strobist blog is run by David Hobby, a twenty plus year newspaper shooter. It is all about off-camera lighting techniques. Posts include BTS video, lighting diagrams, detailed lighting scenarios, BTS shoot wrap-ups, detailed gear reviews, archived lighting tutorials and interviews. The site and its flickr group (with over 70,000 ‘Strobists’ and 370,000 posted images) have become a vibrant community with Strobist meet-ups, workshops and seminars happening internationally. Aimed at beginners, hobbyists, and emerging professionals.
TOP: THE ONLINE PHOTOGRAPHER
FILMWASTERS www.filmwasters.tumblr.com Five friends started this to post their own work. The blog now covers whatever work they like. All work is on film. Also has audio and video podcasts, active forums, portfolios and galleries.
FLAK PHOTO www.flakphoto.com A new featured photo or photographer everyday. The blog covers new series, book projects and gallery shows from contributed work to the site.
www.theonlinephotographer.com Features camera reviews, in-depth interviews, discussions and focuses on classic photography.
nI spiration BURN MAGAZINE www.burnmagazine.org David Alan Harvey, a Magnum photographer, created this project as a space for showing and supporting emerging photographers. Posts three new photo essays a week and hosts an annual competition for the Emerging Photographer Grant.
FOTO8 www.foto8.com Website, online community, and blog for 8 Magazine, a photojournalism/ documentary publication based in London. Interviews, photo essays, stories, book releases/reviews, and some events listings.
FOLIO HUNT www.foliohunt.com “Folio Hunt is a leading online showcase of work from among the world’s best photographers—encompassing the commercial, fine art, fashion, editorial/lifestyle, photojournalism and non-traditional portrait genres. The site is designed as a destination for both photographers (new and seasoned) and photography buyers (photo editors, art buyers, collectors, etc).”
I HEART PHOTOGRAPH BAG NEWS
www.iheartphotograph.blogspot.com Three photos from a new artist are posted every day.
www.bagnewsnotes.com In their words, “BagNews is a progressive site dedicated to visual politics and the analysis of news images.” Covers photojournalism in an in-depth manner. Commentary and discussion of daily news photos. Original photo essays, stories, and coverage of major events.
www.lens.blogs.nytimes.com New York Times’ photojournalism blog. Daily photos and some video from breaking or ongoing stories around the world. Posts also include recent work from photojournalists and documentary shooters.
LIVEBOOKS BLOG: RESOLVE
www.chicagophotobloggers.org A community of photobloggers in the greater-Chicago area. Interviews with members, meet-ups info, event listings, and some gear and technique posts.
www.blog.livebooks.com Current industry news. In-depth and lengthy interviews with photographers and other industry players discussing new work, books, shows, and current developments.
www.jmcolberg.com/weblog Contemporary fine-art photography coverage: interviews, reviews, photo essays, portfolios, and book reviews. The blog even has an “Extended” section with additional and expanded articles and guest bloggers. Very in-depth and engaging fine art coverage.
http://blog.mamiya.com Images and interviews with shooters who use the Mamiya system.
TOO MUCH CHOCOLATE
www.shanelavalette.com/journal Primarily about contemporary photography. By featuring individual photographers, books, exhibitions, as well as exclusive interviews with artists, the blog is both an archive of the author’s personal interests and a platform for critical discourse. Lavalette is also the Publisher and Editor of Lay Flat, a limited edition photo publishing company (www.layflat.org).
www.toomuchchocolate.org “Too Much Chocolate is an online blogazine run by Jake Stangel that aims to serve and connect emerging editorial, fine art, and commercial photographers all over the Internet. The site focuses on dialogue, support, and exposure within the online photo community, with hope that it transfers into real world relationships and photographic growth for its readers.” Features two weekly photo essays, one interview, and a members-only forum just for emerging shooters. And an annual grant, in which the ten winners receive film from Kodak for their new or ongoing personal project.
PROFOTO BLOG www.blog.profoto-usa.com Focused on in-depth interviews with shooters whose unique lighting styles and techniques warrant a second look. A few videos are snuck in there, too, but it’s mostly worthwhile interviews.
VEWD www.vewd.org/index.php/photo A documentary photography community featuring new and unseen essays and stories.
THE PHOTO BRIGADE www.thephotobrigade.com An online community started by Robert Caplin, where freelancers and students can showcase their work.
THE YEAR IN PICTURES www.pictureyear.blogspot.com New work of high caliber in both photo and video. Event listings and some commentary.
TINY VICES www.tinyvices.com “An online gallery and image archive founded by Tim Barber in 2005.” They accept submissions of new work. A large archive of all work is posted on the site. Info on current book releases from featured artists.
WOMEN IN PHOTOGRAPHY www.wipnyc.org An online exhibition that rotates bimonthly featuring work from international female photographers.
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A Sleight of Hand As told to and written by Maggie Flood I Illustration by Claudia Madera
he industry is changing. Hell, it’s always changing: new technology, new ideas, new faces, and a general turnover rate that would make your head spin.
Harry Houdini, famous escapist and skeptic, never revealed his secrets, but suggested that the audience is easier to fool when it’s distracted. This is what can happen when a rapid change in technology sets the stage for confusion and ignorance, and when greed and opportunity meet at the right place and time—a perfect moment for a slip of the wrist and a pick of the pocket. This story takes place during such a perfect moment, at the dawn of the digital age. The job was slated to be a big production: big hours, big client, and big money. It was also a big time in the industry. Photographers were beginning to experiment with digital, and we’d entered into that phase where everyone held their breath in excitement. The new technology was poised at the onset of an inevitable digital takeover. Due to general low quality, its use was purely experimental, and film was still regarded as the standard, better-quality medium. I had been working for this photographer for a while, operating as his full time assistant while
paving the path for my own career. We had a massive crew involved with a slew of additional assistants to work on the month-long trip—not to mention all the extra equipment needed for this particular production: scanner, printer, cameras, and cases upon cases of film. At the request of the client, we were to shoot each set with film, get it processed, sent back overnight, scan it, retouch it, make print proofs, and give them a disc of hi-res images. The first excruciating day went as planned. The art director sat five feet away with his laptop as we first set up a digital camera for a little showing off. We lined up the shot, snapped an image and sent it via Bluetooth to the art director to be placed immediately into the layout on his computer. Since this had rarely been seen before, everyone was thrilled, especially the art director. It was new, impressive, cutting edge stuff. Upon approval of the digital test shot, the digital camera was removed and we proceeded to place the 4x5 camera on the tripod. Then came the headache of finding the exact same angle that we had with the digital camera. This required Polaroids, and lots of them. Once we finally got a match, in went the film. Five, maybe six sheets went into a shot before it was sent in for processing. When we got the film back from the first shoot day, I scanned the images for retouching. By now, I had accumulated dual files of all the shots:
Claudia Madera: www.claudiamadera.blogspot.com
The photographer pulled the crew aside. “We’re not shooting with film anymore,”he said. His eyes flashed with thoughts of scheme, “but we’re still going to charge them for it.”
one film, one digital. Setting the two files of the same image up against each other, I began to experiment. With some meticulous correcting and editing, I printed both files of the same image and showed them to the rest of the crew. The conclusion was unanimous: the retouching was so well done that no one could tell the difference between the film and the retouched digital images
and couriers... rendering upwards of $40,000 in spoils. The job was murder. After having pulled many twenty-four hour shifts on retouching alone, my invoice as a digital tech was called into question by the producer. "What is this?" she asked, her voice thick with skepticism. "You're an assistant. Assistants get paid $250 per day. And what's with the overtime? Assistants don't get overtime."
On the second day of the shoot, the photographer pulled the crew aside. "We're not shooting with film anymore," he said. His eyes flashed with thoughts of scheme, "but we're still going to charge them for it."
I called the photographer to explain my loss. "Don't worry about that, I'll reimburse you," he assured me. "We can't let them know how much time you put in anyway, it will seem suspicious..."
In the following three weeks we became paid actors. From that point on, we didn't use a single piece of film. Once the digital shot was in place, the Polaroids were taken for show. Next, we were sent to the dark tent. "How many sheets? Five? No problem," and we pretended to load film that was never used. At the end of the day, we filled out FedEx forms for empty boxes that would never get shipped. The scanner was never touched, and the mass of unused film was shipped back to the photographer's studio for future use in personal projects. Every image that the client used was taken digitally, retouched, and passed off as film. When the production was over, our invoice covered every possible product and service that was never utilized: shipping, film, at least two scans per image, processing
Untrue to his word, I lost about $12,000 on that job. The whole process was shameful to participate in, but I was threatened with implied job loss. At that time, I was just an assistant. Having said anything would not only embarrass and ruin the careers of others, including the deceived art director and producer, but it would have also compromised my own future in the industry. Now things are changing again. We are working to adapt to the idea of capturing stills in a moving image. The photo industry is constantly in a state of flux as technology continues to change, making it difficult to keep up. However, in these fleeting times, when things are at the brink of a turning point, the timing is just right for a sleight of hand.
TRICKS OF THE TRADE:
Sport Photographer By Feifei Sun | Photo by Christopher Starbody
ike many lensmen before him, Brett Beyer didnâ€™t set out to become a photographer. The Brooklyn-based artist studied sculpture and installation at Bard College, where he worked mostly with metal as a welder. Without easy access to such supplies after graduation, Beyer shifted his focus to other fine art disciplines that would allow him to manipulate form and motion. First dabbling with light paintings, he eventually moved to music photography. For the past two years, he has worked as an urban sports photographer, capturing New Yorkâ€™s Parkour community for websites such as National Geographic Adventure. Here, Beyer shares his tips on shooting athletes, and expanding your brand.
Brett Beyer: www.brettbeyer.com / www.mercurysyndicate.net
Christopher Starbody: www.christopherstarbody.com
Think Outside the Tripod. When Beyer was assigned to shoot a group of longboard skaters for Concrete Wave magazine, he had to get creative to capture the athletes as they sped across the Williamsburg Bridge. Hooking his Canon EOS 5D Mark II onto his bike with a Magic Arm, Beyer turned the camera backward and pedaled in front of the skaters to get the shots he needed. Get in the Inner Circle. Approaching athletes at a park or on the street is initially hard, but you only get better with practice. “Take a day to go to the park and force yourself to talk to ten people,” Beyer advises. “As a photographer, you need to have that skill. The camera can be intimidating for people, especially in the sport culture. It’s about being comfortable around them and not being all up in their face. Access is pretty key when you’re photographing athletes. Getting to know them [with your camera in tow] helps them be comfortable around you and makes for better photos.” Remember There is No “Perfect” Shot. “There are millions of photos of action sports where the jump is perfect or the surfer is in the perfect wave. Look for new ways and vantage points to tell the story of what’s happening.” Beyer is influenced by rock photography and studies the work of artists like Jim Marshall and Elliott Landy. “I love their photos of musicians backstage. Athletes have a lot in common with performers, and showing their unguarded moments can really make for good portraiture.”
Master the SLR Camera. “They have a setting called ‘burst’ mode where the camera can take multiple photos in succession so you can capture someone midair or running through the frame,” Beyer explains. “You will then have five to ten photos of the motion to pick from when you’re done.” Get the Shutter Speed Right, Too. “A longer shutter speed introduces blur, which can suggest motion,” Beyer says. “Low angles are good to play with because they make jumps or distances look bigger. Thinking about unique or interesting ways to take a photo of action is key.” Photography is Fine Art Mixed with… Gadgets. “Using a flash that you can trigger remotely from your camera allows you to freeze action or do lots of interesting things with a scene or event,” Beyer says. “PocketWizards are the best things to trigger lights remotely. You can get a Nikon SB-28 Flash on eBay for around $150. You put a PocketWizard on your camera and another one on the flash, and you have off-camera lighting. Put an umbrella bracket adaptor on the flash and then attach it to a super clamp, magic arm or a light stand. With these things you can put the flash almost anywhere.” Beyer also recommends the blog “Strobist” for other lighting tips. Branch Out Beyer and a few of his friends from the industry recently launched Mercury Syndicate, a production team that can produce music videos, photo essays, voiceovers, and other platforms for the new media age. “The iPad is really changing the way we present work, and we’re aligning ourselves so that we can offer a magazine or ad agency a one-stop shop.”
Kurt Cobain By Mark Seliger, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1993
Words by Charlie Fish
“You have these moments where you have the opportunity to create a strong, lasting image. It’s partly the way you do it, and partly who you’re shooting.”
Mark Seliger: www.seligerstudio.com
Charlie Fish: www.charliefish.info
n January of 1994, Nirvana appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone donning very dapper suits and seemingly channeling their inner business moguls. It was an ironic follow up to their first appearance on the same magazine two years earlier, wherein frontman Kurt Cobain’s verbiage tee read “Corporate Magazines Still Suck.” Both covers captured Cobain’s continuing struggle with stardom and the unyielding limelight, but did so in a confrontational, yet easy, manner. But from the suit-and-tie session came a Polaroid test that would become one of the most widely recognized and iconic images of Kurt Cobain, an image that would symbolize not only his suicide but also the impact superstardom had on the cultural icon. The portrait, captured in October 1993 just before a big concert in Michigan, is both serene and distrustful, and plays a telling medium between the covers’ more outlandish tone. Resource Magazine caught up with Mark Seliger— who we have to thank for both Nirvana cover sessions, as well as all of Rolling Stone’s most memorable images from 1992 to 2002—to hear what he had to say about the shot.
The Polaroid Negative: The assignment was to shoot Nirvana, the whole band, for the cover of Rolling Stone. It was their second cover with Nirvana. I shot the portraits separately. This image was from a Polaroid negative. We shot some film afterward, probably with a large format, but we used the Polaroid negative because it seemed to be the one that had the most expression and emotion to it. Kurt Cobain: It was an exceptional time for music. It was a kind of changing of the guard moment: Nirvana was the biggest band of that new genre, the grunge movement. Kurt was going through a lot, but this was also a time when he seemed in good spirits and in recovery. He was very quiet and nice. I think he was reluctant to be in magazines, but he was easy to work with. Capturing an Iconic Image: That’s definitely part of the journey, as a portrait photographer. You’re going to have moments when you’re photographing people who are iconic and legendary and your image becomes part of the history. It’s a wonderful thing. It’s not something that I am necessarily itching to connect to, but
it’s something I’m aware of. It’s always like that for new work: I try to take a picture that stands on its own.
photograph the President at the White House. So the levity and the variety were pretty terrific.
What Makes a Great Portrait? I think it can be lots of different things. It’s all about connecting with the person that you’re photographing and then translating that so whoever is viewing the image can feel attached or involved with it. It’s all about that relationship.
In Retrospect: With this image, what’s nice is that the conversation about it—the straightforwardness of it, and the honesty of it—is what it’s about. It’s not about any kind of great story. It’s about figuring out what I wanted to do before I did it, setting it up and then having a little window to work with somebody who fit that frame perfectly. All the stars aligned. You have these moments where you have the opportunity to create a strong, lasting image. It’s partly the way you do it, and partly who you’re shooting.
On Rolling Stone: I was their chief photographer for ten years, and was basically on retainer for five years prior to that. It was incredible; it was where I got my legs. Working with them during the onset of my career allowed me to define who I was as a photographer. It was a great process. There were a lot of assignments I did for them that were enjoyable and I’d say probably helped to shape my work. The thing about Rolling Stone is that there was a great variety to the subject matter. One day I was on my way to Las Vegas to shoot Johnny Cash—who was amazing—and we shot in a hotel room and then went out to the dessert. It was a dream come true assignment. And then the next day I’m photographing Seinfeld. Then I’m off to
The Day He Died: It was very shocking that he died. I don’t think anybody was expecting that, even though I’m sure it was in the air that he was somewhat self-destructive. We were shooting Adam Duritz and [Counting Crows] in Europe and we had to postpone the shoot. The entire world was grieving. It was a monumental moment in the history of music, but also for pop culture and culture in general.
SX-70 Polaroids Photos and Words by Blake Sinclair
This project started out as a purely technical endeavor. I wanted to mesh two dying processes into one project. Polaroid has threatened closure many times in the past so I knew the end was near. I stocked up on TimeZero and began shooting with my SX-70 camera. The different environments effected the chemicals in the Polaroid, cracking and melting the emulsion in unexpected ways. In Costa Rica the weather was very humid, which made the emulsion smear and stick. In the salt flats of the eastern Sierras, the air was cold and dry. The emulsion cracked much like the patterns formed in the mud itself. I washed the Polaroids off with tap water, wherever I was, and hung them to dry. When I got back to the lab, I printed them as Cibachromes.
Blake Sinclair: www.bsinclair.com
MoMA’s “Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century” By Sophia Betz | Photos courtesy of MoMA
he top floor of of the Museum of Modern Art in New York is marked by its dramatically high ceilings and art lovers abuzz with excitement at the special exhibitions it houses. This spring, MoMA took on the challenge of showing a retrospective of arguably one of the greatest, most influential photographers in modern history— Henri CartierBresson. Leading into the gallery space that displayed his work were several dizzying, storytall maps showing Cartier-Bresson’s multitudinous voyages by sea, air, and land. This comprehensive, labyrinthine presentation of his photojournalistic journeys mirrored the almost inconceivable expansiveness of his travels.
Hyères, France. 1932 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase © Henri Cartier-Bresson / Magnum Photos, courtesy Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson New York City. 1946 Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris © Henri Cartier-Bresson / Magnum Photos, courtesy Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson
Cartier-Bresson began his career in the 1930s—a changing age for photography, and for the art world in general. Surrealism was on the rise, and newfound advancements in camera technology enabled photographers to be more mobile and spontaneous in their work. What we know as modern photojournalism evolved during this time, and CartierBresson is often heralded as its father. From the start of his career, Cartier-Bresson was able to combine the subjective artfulness of surrealism with the candid, human spirit of everyday life to communicate an indelible moment. Even early on, he achieved what many photographers struggle to do—creating an image all his own while allowing its subject to speak for itself. Working Cartier-Bresson’s extensive oeuvre into an intelligible retrospective couldn’t have been an easy task, and MoMA’s Chief Curator of Photography, Peter Galassi, was thoughtful in his selection, organization, and commentary. Much of the exhibit moved chronologically through Cartier-Bresson’s photographs so the viewer could see the evolution of his style over time. Hyeres, France —an early image— is a wonderful example of what Galassi calls the “magic and mystery” of Cartier-Bresson’s younger works. The winding, steady lines of the staircase happily diverge from the blur of a cyclist to create a romantic, evocative portrait of France in the early 30s. The image’s flawless composition shows his light-hearted but studied gaze into the ephemeral theatricality of everyday life. Cartier-Bresson was a master of capturing the essence and spirit of a place through its details. He allowed his subjects to speak through his work, communicating a striking humanity unperturbed— nay, aided—by his near-perfect compositions. Simply put, he was a master of using the tangible to communicate the intangible. While many people are familiar with CartierBresson’s more whimsical early works, his later images deal with more difficult material. During and after the Second World War, he delved into news photography as the world changed around him. Cartier-Bresson helped define a new photojournalism through the “decisive moment”—a phrase coined and made famous by his 1952 book of the same title. Though he took on tougher themes, his style, in essence, remained the same; these later images often depict suffering and hardship, but they are never without an intense energy— the constant push forward of the human spirit.
Cartier-Bresson’s “decisive moment” goes beyond the precise, fleeting moments he was able to capture over and over again. Even his near-motionless images show an energy and an intimacy that forge a strong emotional connection with the viewer. The photo entitled Dessau, Germany shows a woman doubled over in grief on what remains of a collapsed building. Visually, this image is masterful; the woman practically blends into the bricks and rubble in her misery. While her physical collapse speaks to the near-destruction of the city in 1945, Cartier-Bresson adeptly refuses to allow this comparison to trivialize the woman’s despair. Her personal grief makes the larger tragedy of Dessau only more real. CartierBresson himself suffered as a POW during the war and his post war images show the unrelenting human desire for self-preservation. Cartier-Bresson’s ability to consistently show the struggle of people through the detail of one person’s life is uncanny. New York City, taken in 1946, shows a mother and son, embracing just after a boat carrying European refugees met land. The emotion is palpable. The focus is on the pair, but the motion of surrounding crowd— blurry in the background—shows that the sorrow and joy of the subjects represent a larger moment in time. This is Cartier-Bresson at his best—bringing into focus one story that, in its specificity, makes the whole more palatable.
Through his distinguished career, CartierBresson shaped the way we think about documentary photography. He brought to life the severity and hope inherent in the human condition and helped bring a new consciousness to cultural issues around the globe. His series on China’s Great Leap Forward subtly communicates the drama and hardship imposed by the Chinese government on its citizens, this, despite having had government officials looking suspiciously over his shoulder while he worked. Cartier-Bresson was present when Gandhi was assassinated and his images of the ensuing funeral and mourners traveled far and wide. The last section of MoMA’s retrospective showed selections from Cartier-Bresson’s extensive portrait library. This was a powerful way to end the show. After taking in a chronological account of Cartier-Bresson’s oeuvre, one could more fully appreciate these images that straddled the length of his career. The visual energy that emerges from his framing imbues even these stills with an underlying sense of the momentum of history and its effect on the individual. In these and in all of Cartier-Bresson’s photographs, the divisions between the personal and the global, between struggle and hope, are blurred and made clear all at once.
The Brakha Bunch By Charlie Fish I Photo by Brakha x2 What was the decision-making process behind joining forces to create Brakha x2? Moshe Brakha: It started with a dream that became a reality. Eddie always wanted to do commercials and be on the creative side. When he graduated, he was assisting me doing commercials and photo shoots, day in and day out. He blossomed and he discovered himself and I discovered him as well. Buddy Joe Brakha: It really started out as an apprenticeship, but from the first day it was with the intention of graduating to the status he’s at now. Eddie Brakha: It’s a complete collaboration on everything we do; we walk hand-in-hand. Your studio and production house are very prolific, from Martini ads to MTV-owned show promos. And you’ve worked with everyone who’s anyone in Hollywood. When brands approach Commercial Head Films, what is it they’re looking for? EB: We really hone in on a world that we establish, that we sincerely believe in. It really becomes something tangible that people see when they come to us and it comes across every aspect of the work. We get caught up in living in the world and creating that world for people. That’s what we believe in—to have people walk in that world with us.
oshe Brakha arrived in Hollywood from Israel in 1969 and spent the next three decades photographing rock‘n’ roll legends and Hollywood A-listers. After launching Commercial Head Films in 1985, he shot and directed his way through countless commercials and print ads for top-tier clients like Motorola, Best Buy, Toyota, and became infamous for his work on Skyy Vokda and Martini & Rossi. In 2002 the production house and studio became a family affair, with sons Buddy Joe and Eddie joining the ranks. First, Buddy came in 2002 as an Executive Producer. Then Eddie stepped in to become Co-Creative Director a year later, eventually teaming up with Moshe to photograph under the Brakha x2 label. Their work is sexy, flashy, colorful and always arresting, much like their Hollywood influences. Over a recent conference call, the Brakhas chatted with Resource about their hometown, the importance of publicity, and the thinking behind “Silent Pictures,” a series of still life images with a social critique agenda.
Being a father-and-sons team, how do the three of you collaborate? BJB: I serve as Executive Producer. We get a call from an agency or a client, and I’ll gauge Moshe and Eddie’s interest in the project. They’ll listen to the creative and go back to the lab and spend a couple days, literally 50/50 collaborating on how they would treat the project. MB: It’s the love affair of creating. We’ve been doing this project, a series of still life shots, for a few years titled “Silent Pictures,” that’s really laid the foundation, brick after brick, on how we do the rest of our work. EB: That was our playground, if you will. Soon after we did the first few pieces, we understood what we were trying to go after. When you look at the past, at the old social criticisms, commentaries, cartoons, and things that would poke at people—you got to today’s age and you lost that. I think with “Silent Pictures” what we really want to come across is the silent truth in people, in emotions. You look at it, it may take a second, you may laugh, you may not get it, you may love it, but there’s a silent truth to all of it. “Silent Pictures” is about sincerity. There’s no B.S. about it. We only speak from what we know. What was the inspiration behind some of the Silent Picture images? EB: Moshe is the original punk and he’ll tell you that for himself. I looked through old pictures he had from back in the day and looked at the lifestyle they lived. They wore their emotions on their sleeves. You just looked at their faces, the culture, the people, and everything screamed at you. They gave this aura about themselves that transcended the still picture. MB: There was no BS, so to speak. EB: The idea of the series is you don’t have a single person in the shot. Theoretically, when you’re shooting it, there’s no one around. You have no publicists, no managers, no responses, no one’s talking back to you. But when the image is finally done, it’s screaming at you.
BJB: “Silent Pictures” was Moshe and Eddie’s opportunity to shoot something without the input of the publicists, of the models, of the celebrity, and just do their art. They can do whatever they want to do. MB: That was the idea behind the ‘Fuck Cheese’ image. I didn’t have to tell anybody to cheese out, or say or do anything. It’s a celebration of our freedom, in other words. For myself, being around for some many years, I just wanted to do what I wanted to do and be proud of it. I used to say working in advertising is like being a hooker, but don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy being a hooker! Moshe, how’d your celebrity portraiture series “Occupation Dreamer” come about? Did it begin as a series? MB: The title existed from day one. [My subjects] were dreamers and I was a dreamer. Everybody lives in one big dream. Day in and day out, it was a celebration of being a punk and self-expression. I always compare myself to musicians; music is a big driving force, culture-wise.
Charlie Fish: charliefish.info
When did you realize you were no longer a dreamer and that you had become successful? MB: I was always successful. I never saw it as less than successful. There was happiness from day one. I came to America and was reborn here. Eddie, on the other hand, was born into this. I was reborn into this lifestyle. Moshe, you likely have a very different view of Hollywood than Eddie has, who was born into it. How have your differing views shown up in your work and your art? MB: I say Eddie is Eddie ‘Hollywood’ Brakha and I’m Moshe ‘Hollywood’ Brakha. EB: Our work is always inspired by Hollywood. Hollywood is always ever-present. MB: Everything comes from this life, living the Hollywood life. Eddie, how is Hollywood different now than when you were growing up in it? EB: As much as Hollywood has changed, it still has that aura about it, that persona that it will always have. When people come here, it’s for that dream that everyone’s chasing. There’s something cultural about this place. When we think of the culture here and how much it has inspired our work, we go beyond the image
and aspire to make cultural images. That’s what Hollywood is; it’s all culture. As much as people want to talk about the beauty and the B.S. that surrounds it, Hollywood is the epicenter of culture—people feed off it. What are you building towards? EB: Smiles on people’s faces. We sign everything, “Smile and Style.” We want people, from day one, to live in our world. We want people to come with us; we don’t want to meet them halfway. We want them to run in our world, dream in our world, and you can’t do that unless you build them the fantasy, build them the dream. Work or no work, there’s no such thing. When we walk around, grab lunch, do just about anything, we’re still living the dream. You still are your vision: twenty-four hours a day, however many days a week you want— you are your dream. With all of your years of experience combined, is there anything you wish you’d known before hand, in terms of starting up the company? EB: You enter into the world of entertainment, and you find out that the product or the art aren’t paramount. It’s more about the network, the publicity and so forth. You have this game aspect, but you take everything for what it is. Never hate on it, appreciate it. You just have to work within the confines. That’s something you can never prepare yourself for. Your art has to be everything: it has to be the publicity, it has to be the network. That transcends everything. BJB: The one weakness that collectively we’ve had, and Moshe’s had for a long time, is we’re very quiet, very to ourselves, and never do a big run of publicity on big projects. That’s something that in this day and age you can’t miss out on. We really are starting to make a concerted effort to make sure people know about the work we are doing, to put the spotlight back on these guys, make sure their work is really appreciated. We never wanted to push ourselves publicly, but now it’s a necessity. MB: I’m my own hooker now. All this feels like a celebration of my life’s work. I didn’t give a fuck about it before. What made you change your mind? MB: It’s the new energy. A new wave, a new tsunami. P.R. and all of this becomes part of it. It’s no less than making the art; it’s putting it upfront.
Obviously, retouching is a big part of today’s art and commercial work, Commercial Head Films included. Any thoughts on the art of retouching? MB: One word: Huge. To me, retouched means finished. EB: It’s more horsepower. You can make the picture crazier and crazier; like going from a Model T to a Lamborghini. MB: And there’s no end to it. You can make things better and better. Do you think it will, in the future, affect or diminish the value of the artwork? MB: That’s irrelevant. That’s how people today want to do it. That’s an art in itself. EB: The technical side of it only brings you closer to getting your emotion across. But the strength of the work has to come from the concept. One of your pieces from the “Silent Pictures” series is called ‘Fix it in post.’ Is this satire or propaganda? EB: ‘Fix it in post’ is a phrase we hear thrown around all the time. Where is it going to stop? People are going to try to bring it to their life, maybe? If you have a broken heart, you can fix it in post. MB: It’s about plastic surgery. The terminology comes from everyday terms we hear: make the logo bigger, move the head over, fix it in post. It’s an industry joke. But, really, the image touches on plastic surgery. With the move from stills to motion, and seeing how Commercial Head already works with motion, do you prepare or work differently when dealing with one medium over the other? EB: A frame’s a frame. Coming from the photographic world and going into the motion picture world, it just makes you realize how important each frame is and you take advantage of each. MB: Photo & motion are the same pair of shoes.
Poby on Underwater Photography By Sam Cornwall I Photo courtesy of Poby Where are you from? Both of my parents are Russian and stayed in Germany after WWII, where I was born. I learned photography as a sports photographer. A sports photography agency would send me to Olympic games, soccer World Cups, skiing competitions and all that. I went to graphic and arts school to understand how advertising works. Not so much for photography, but more for layouts and design. What brought you to New York? I’ve always wanted to live in New York and work here as a photographer. New York is the place to be.
How did you start in underwater photography? I played water polo on the German team as a pro athlete and I still play here a bit. I know lots of people who are good in water, like synchronized swimmers for example. Nowadays I can simply see who is good and who is not good, who is faking but just can’t be underwater. I simply have a lot of experience after all these years. OK, Dentyne. I take it they wanted a new concept. How did that happen? The concept is that the gum is so fresh that you feel like being underwater. The ad agency approached me and asked, “How we can do that?” I got a big production company and a casting director involved. We did a video casting underwater, which is very important as I need to see how the models react in that environment. Sometimes somebody is absolutely beautiful
and gorgeous above water, but underwater they might panic or not feel comfortable. And it shows on the face. You have to feel really comfortable and be really calm. How long did the casting process take? A week or so. The two key elements on these shoots are to have the right pool and get the right people to go underwater. That’s the difﬁcult part of the shoot. That takes most of the time. What about the pool? You said it’s hard to pick the right pool. You don’t have a pool you go to every time? No, that wouldn’t work as some clients are not in New York. And you sometimes need an indoor pool, and sometimes an outdoor pool. Generally, what you need is a very clear pool and to be able to have the whole place to yourselves. You have to shut down the location and that’s difﬁcult. Pools in high schools or colleges, or public pools, cannot close for a long time. They might give you two hours, but not two days.
Poby: www.poby.net - Represented by Pam Katz @ CPi: www.cpi-reps.com
Sam Cornwall: www.samcornwall.com
Where did you shoot the Dentyne ad? We went to an indoor pool because we had to control the light. The clients were very precise on what they needed. When you need to control the lighting the best is to use an indoor pool.
Which camera did you use? Most of the pictures were shot with a Nikon D3x and D3. One picture had to be blown up to go on a huge truck: that was shot with a Hasselblad H3DII.
Let’s talk about the lighting a bit. Did you use hot lights or strobes? They are strobes and they are both above and in the water, if necessary. I have a cable going to the underwater housing and from there I trigger. We basically create an underwater studio.
Once you’re underwater does the scene light like it normally would in studio or are there different nuances to take into account? Well, you can light it any way, that depends on you. What we wanted to accomplish here is a fresh, light feeling emanating from the people. The background had to be lit too and not just get dark. We wanted the talents to be able to move. They had to kiss and go down and up, down and up—which is very difﬁcult because they need to hold their breath, and I do too.
That sounds like a process. (laughs) That is a process, yeah. We have scuba divers and gaffers who mount all the stuff. There are many people involved, probably twenty to twenty-eight people. Oh wow! Are the strobes and cables specially designed to be used underwater? You have underwater housing and then you have specialized cables that get attached to it. You can get most stuff from scuba diving gear readily available on the market. The only thing which is custom-made is the housing for the camera.
You’re not in scuba gear? No, I only have goggles on. It doesn’t make sense to have scuba gear on because you’re then too un-ﬂexible, too heavy, and air bubbles are in your way and you can’t communicate with you models. Could you run us through the process? Do you give direction above water and then you all go underwater? And then take a few shots and then come back up? Yup, that’s what it is. We talk about what we did, and then I correct it and then we go down again. I don’t tell the models, “Stay underwater longer,” because they have to feel comfortable. But most of the ones who are good can hold their breath very long. Synchronized swimmers have better lungs than I have. What about the two in the Dentyne shot? How did they do? She wasn’t a synchronized swimmer but a very good underwater model I had worked with a lot already. The guy was a swimmer. They all have to feel at home while being underwater. It’s really about how comfortable you feel because otherwise it will show. Your face will cramp or you will panic. What about the rest of your crew? Are your lighting assistants in scuba gear? We sometimes have to put in a background, which has to be mounted in the pool. That’s when we have scuba divers. Otherwise, I need three camera assistants. It’s very important they are very, very quick and they know what they’re doing. When I go out of the water, I can’t change the cards or get dry in a minute, so, we have a whole crew up there. We also have a crew just for the lights, so we are able to switch
or change anything as fast as possible. Then I have my post-producer with me on set with the whole computer set-up. The client can see what we do. Was it two days at the pool or one day? It was actually one day at the pool. We went out very early in the morning to set up. Because we are such an experienced crew and have been working together for so long, and because we have so many people on set, we are able to set up the lighting in just three to four hours. The models were in the water for eight hours, on and off. All they did for eight hours was kissing. (laughs) What about water temperature? Regular pool temperature. I’m not quite sure, it’s 26 degrees Celsius, I guess. How exhausting is the process? It’s really a demanding shoot. I need time to recover afterwards. When I go in the water in the morning, I can hold my breath for thirty seconds. By the end of the shoot day, it might be 2.5 minutes because I adjusted. But when you hold your breath several times for so long, you get exhausted. I also have a weight belt and a wetsuit on to sink faster than the models [and carrying that weight is tiring]. It’s very exhausting, but it’s fun. It’s a very calm, quiet world underwater. It’s a unique challenge. Well, it’s a big process. It takes a lot of learning by doing to get comfortable. First of all, you have to be very good in the water. Don’t even go there if you’re not comfortable being in the water for a long time, especially holding your breath. Once you’re comfortable, you have to practice and practice and practice. Positioning the camera underwater is a lot more complicated than working in a studio environment. Do you do much underwater work outside of swimming pools? Not so much. I sometimes go to a lake or ocean but I’m not a deep water diver. I’m not interested in that. It gets too complicated and too dark down there. For me it’s about beauty, about the people in the water ﬂoating and feeling very comfortable. Very intimate. Underwater photography is certainly fun. It’s different. I’m very calm underwater. Nobody talks to me. It’s such a different workﬂow there. The outcome is beautiful too, so I just love to do that.
STUDIO SHARE by
THE COMMUNITY SOLUTION
t is a common problem these days. Encountered by everyone, from beach house owners during quiet winter months, to young New Yorkers leaving the city for summer internships, or any start-up band in need of a place to practice. Space is valuable窶馬ow more than ever as the population grows, and more than anything in an industry with specific space needs.
Just like time, space is money. And for studio owners, space is work. Luckily for all of you out there, Andreas Randow wants to help you get work.
THE PLAN Andreas, with co-founder Paul Friedman, created StudioShare.org in early 2008 as the solution to a problem he’d often encountered during his twenty years as a commercial photographer and studio owner. As usual, it was the economy, stupid—but here, the economy of space. Studio rentals were simultaneously expensive and underutilized. The supply outreached the demand, yet rates remained sky-high.
All of the team members are rooted somehow in the photography community, and they made good use of their networks when creating the site. “We talked to hundreds of photographers before we started the platform,” Andreas explained. “People gave us a lot of input on what they wanted to see on their property pages.” That input helped the team tweak the site so the layout and process were as rational and clear as possible.
The solution was something that Andreas likes—really likes—to call “community-owned photo rental.” Despite the implications of the site’s name, StudioShare.org offers more than just studio space. Need a Gigapan Epic 100 panorama system to use with your Canon IXUS 70? Got Lensalign? The site allows users to rent any equipment owned by a fellow user in the same area, at a rate determined by the owner of each piece of equipment. A team of eight runs the business. Andreas’ wife Marin, the director of marketing and a dancer who “spends more time in front of cameras than behind them,” and Paul Friedman, the company’s co-founder and COO and its resident corporate crossover, are two who have been involved from the start.
THE FEATURES The dirty secret behind StudioShare.org is that Andreas is not only a photographer, but also a scientist—a computer scientist. He likes to keep this on the down-low because artists can get spooked when interacting with left-brain people. They think, “If you’re an academic you don’t ‘get it’,” Andreas confided. But his programming expertise is in fact an asset. Andreas “built [the site] from the ground up,” and his skill and innovation as a software architect are what make the site clean and user-friendly. One benefit is the site’s financial statement feature. When members book a collaborator, space, or piece of equipment, the fee they are charged will automatically appear on their personalized online statement. The same goes for payments registering each time their own equipment is rented. Members can check their statement any time online, and at the end of each quarter they receive a PDF copy by email. Andreas knew this feature was necessary because, when it comes to finances, “we need something to help people with bookkeeping.” Don’t take it personally though; he has simply observed from his past experience in business that, in general, “people are not so good at it.” In order to keep finances straight for StudioShare members, “we want to do everything for them as a back office service,” explained Andreas.
Another feature facilitates insurance issues. The team “initially wanted to provide more than we found we legally could,” Marin said, but while members must handle their insurance needs individually, the site platform still aims to “give them options to really take control of their own security.” Members can upload proof of insurance to their profile page, and equipment owners have the option to require collateral on rentals. But the insurance question has turned out to be largely irrelevant. “People tend to treat other peoples’ gear and space with more respect than their own,” Marin observed. One member even left a gift of chocolates for Andreas after renting his studio—not knowing that he was dealing with the company’s head honcho. (“I’m not the kind of person who looks like a business owner,” Andreas admitted.) StudioShare’s capacity to listen to its members became apparent when I inquired about the four levels of membership described in a recent press release. (These ‘levels’— Studio Owner Membership, Pro Collaborator Membership, Collaborator Membership, and StudioShare Membership— also served to describe each user’s relationship to the photography industry.) “We initially had all these levels,” Andreas said, but, “we then simplified it to just two.” Selfassessment is another thing that spooks artists, apparently—deciding between the four different identities was a very unpopular exercise among potential members. There is now only one distinction: the Studio Owner Account costs seventy-nine dollars a year and is for—you guessed it—studio owners. The Member Account, at fortynine dollars, is for everyone else. It’s the responsibility of each member to “decide which role you want to play on the platform,” Andreas said. “Go ahead, go crazy.” For StudioShare’s customers, this direction “works a lot better.”
THE COMPETITION With any mention of an online community of goods and services, a few existing sites spring to mind. They share a common ancestor—Grandpa Craigslist—but in the photo family go by names like Workbook and Le Book. I wondered aloud to Marin and Andreas whether StudioShare felt competition from those sites. In a word, no. Marin explained that StudioShare is in a different league because it offers “so much more than listings.” Instead, the site and its team “really take care of the whole process of scheduling, invoicing, payment processing—the whole workflow portion of it, as well as organizational tools.” The duo is similarly unperturbed by the existence of other commercial sites devoted to equipment rentals. Sites like lensrentals.com and borrowlenses.com are “just dealing with lenses and camera bodies,” whereas “we are all about local communities.”
Regarding StudioShare’s competitive edge, Andreas’ focus is on the site’s specificity. He explained that over time he has seen “a lot of online sharing resources, which all failed for one major reason: the more you generalize it, the less interesting it becomes for people.” To Marin, the most important difference is quality control. The lack of anonymity on StudioShare translates to a higher level of accountability on the part of users. A user rating system that is in the works will eventually formalize this accountability for performance. The team also plans to develop a recommendation system similar to that used by Netflix, suggesting items based on users’ past rentals and specifications.
For quality control on the provider’s end, StudioShare’s COO Paul Friedman “has a whole team of people doing nothing else than answering the phone” to provide customer service and answer general inquiries. Friedman has even had “his customers write him hand-written notes about how fantastic the service is,” Marin recalled. StudioShare is like all of those other sites put together, plus a personal assistant. So will StudioShare’s ambitious model phase the others out? “We were just talking about this,” Marin said. “We think eventually it could.” But if it doesn’t, the team is not worried. “There’s nothing wrong with competition.” Andreas said. “This is, after all, a business platform. In fact, another element unique to StudioShare is that the users set their own prices. Even they are competing internally. “We want competition within the platform,” Andreas and Marin concurred.
THE COMMUNITY In an early press release, Andreas emphasized that StudioShare. org is “a community, not just a business relationship.” When asked how the team planned to nurture the community aspect of the business—in an age when online networks often foster the illusion of genuine communication while creating in fact more distance and detachment than traditional relationships—Andreas explained that StudioShare.org is “not an online business. It’s a real business, in the real world, that happens to be online.” The site requires that members use their actual names and identities, in part to protect that ‘realness.’ “There’s no hiding behind a user name,” Andreas explained. Online forums and a “complete integrated wiki” also serve to build the community; users are encouraged to post questions and advice on everything from technique to equipment. Such forums are very helpful in a diverse community of professionals and novices. After all, Andreas said, “a lot of people don’t [even] know about black tin foil!” I felt it was unnecessary at the time to admit that I had personally never heard of black tin foil, but for that reason alone, this is where I humbly hand my readers the reigns. Go forth, dear readers, to StudioShare.com. Discuss black tin foil; use extremely specialized equipment you could never afford to buy; get access to great studios; in short, “go crazy.”
“STUDIO SHARE IS A COMMUNITY, NOT JUST A BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP.” - co-founder Andreas Randow
HOW TO :
Add Audio to Motion Capture By Joshua Steen, Dir. of Digital Services of ROOT Capture
y now, we are all well aware of the convergence of still and motion capture. Advances in sensor technology have finally made it possible for photographers to create in a medium that was only a few years ago both foreign and out of reach. Now clients are requesting more complex audio from interviews and full commercial content in order to take advantage of the tablet and online multimedia. Shooting simple B-Roll and Behind the Scenes isn’t enough anymore.
Setting images in motion is the first hurdle we’ve helped photographers overcome, by breaking down the principles they’ve used on their still shoots and applying them to motion capture. With audio, it’s important to integrate a streamlined workflow that allows them to focus on their newest role as Director. Still, an understanding of the basics is vital to pull off the transition toward adding quality audio to your shoot. These are a few basic points we cover when planning audio capture: Audio Source – This is where it really starts. It’s not always possible to record your subject on a sound stage, but you can optimize the quality and consistency with mic placement and taking a “Room Tone” (or ambient sound recording) to use later in post to neutralize unwanted, sometimes barely audible noises caused by air conditioners or fluorescent bulbs. Sync – A slate is used to label footage and create a marker to synchronize the audio and visual elements in post. A “smart slate” doesn’t just depend on the sharp snap sound but also generates LED time-codes to create digital cues, essential elements for editors to visually match sound and movement for multiple cameras shoot.
Communication – Audio is only as strong as its weakest link. By using the correct cabling and interfaces, you’ll be able to ensure that there is no sound degradation from capture to recording. It’s important to use XLR to create a balanced or grounded line to reduce any electric “hum.” Postproduction – Once in the editing suite, use Final Cut Pro to sync the audio to the image but optimize the sound in Sound Track Pro or Pro Tools by reducing unwanted noises and enhancing the subject audio. In the end, it’s important to remember that quality audio may not always be appreciated but poor quality audio will always be noticed. Integrating audio capture into your workflow shouldn’t be taken for granted. Audio offers a valuable tool that will give your story momentum and create an emotional attachment in the viewer.
• Always test the equipment and cables before hand. • Decide placement and type of mic for optimum capture. • Confirm recording and levels through playback. • Create a distinct audio/visual cue with a slate. • Record “Room Tone” (ten seconds of ambient sound) in each setting. • Listen for ambient noise contamination with headphones throughout the shoot. • Import your footage and audio track into the software, and use you slate cue to synch up. • Use the Room Tone to clean up background noise or insert into dead spots.
Microphone – Although cameras are equipped with an onboard microphone, these won’t be powerful enough to give you crisp, clear audio in most settings. Using a shotgun mic for directional sound capture and a wireless lavaliere (lapel) for moving subjects improves quality and flexibility. Adding external mic sources will allow you to move the camera independently of the audio recording device, keeping the distance from the mic consistent while maintaining levels.
Photo by August Bradley PHOTO BY AUGUST BRADLEY
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Giles Revell for Audi By Sam Cornwall I Artwork courtesy of Giles Revell
ISSION: Create car elements in CGI.
I’m told both CGI and CAD were used in the Audi campaign. The ad agency initially wanted to build these elements, but they are so specific in detail, building huge models at that kind of scale wouldn’t be convincing. In the end, we decided generating them would be a better way to go—which, I guess, is a fairly standard approach these days. All the rendering and 3-D was done by collaborator Richard Green. How did the creative process for this series begin? The agency came up with the idea to show these elements in a really stark, clean, gallery-type environment. The sort of environment you would imagine sculptures to be placed in. Is this the same location on all three shots? We wanted all three shots to look like they were in a similar environment. The location was Louise Blouin Foundation, a lovely gallery in West London that hosts a lot of sculpture shows and high-end events. It has beautiful light. It almost looks like a model in itself, doesn’t it? It’s so clean. Finding the right gallery took ages. It’s hard to find really high-end galleries that don’t have exhibitions going on all the time. So you started with just an interior shot of the gallery? Yes. You had to be really considerate of the viewpoint because we wanted those objects to look heroic. We shot at a slightly low angle. With a lot of CGI work, the main issue is the reflective qualities of the objects sitting in environments. You can get the effect from producing HDR images of spaces—when you create 360-degree images that can be reflected into your object. You effectively put the environment and product in a sphere, and create the lighting and reflection from the environment that you shot in. It’s a fusion between photography and CGI. This 360-degree viewpoint is really two fish-eye images put together, creating a sphere around the object. Then in the 3D program your luminance channel will illuminate that sphere, and the object will see all of the refraction in the right places. So, you don’t have to take lots and lots of pictures [of the environment]. Were the pieces photographed and touched-up in CGI or created entirely in CGI? They are all CGI. They were all worked out before. We went in with a plan. You record the gallery, define your viewpoint, and work out the lens you’re going to shoot with and how you’re going to light. Then, the CAD data for the sculptures was used. We did the 360-degree photography [while shooting the location], and then the CGI process started. We worked on the scale with the agency, defining how big the elements needed to be. If you tried to model-make something like that, it would obviously look handmade. In this instance, as it’s for a company that’s dealing with very sophisticated pieces of engineering, CGI obviously felt like a good route to go down. Images of cars, plastic products, or hard-edged objects suit themselves incredibly well to the CGI process.
It seems more and more product and car photography is done in CGI. In some ways that’s good and interesting, but CGI is a very, very long process. You don’t have immediacy and it can get a bit boring. You can end up looking at an image saying, “Is it real or is it CGI?” But when you say, “Who cares?” you can then start focusing on making sure your ideas are good. CGI is a fantastic tool—it stands up on its own as a way of solving problems and making things happen. At the moment, it’s still judged on whether it’s a good replica of photography. But the way it allows you to create whatever you can imagine is amazing. I think that we’ll eventually get a bit freer with it—there probably will be a reaction to it though.
Sam Cornwall: www.samcornwall.com
How closely did you work with Richard to achieve these results? It’s an intense process. The render times for anything quite sophisticated in CGI are incredibly long. You need to be absolutely sure that your product is sitting properly and is oriented correctly. Even if you can move objects around and make them go wherever you want them to, you need to nail those positions first because it’s very difficult to go back and re-render. CGI’s a wonderful thing, but it does leave you open to indecision as well. Every art director wants to push it as far as they possibly can. But when do you let go? Richard rendered those images, each one, for maybe three or four days. Clients are releasing more 3-D CAD data nowadays, which makes the CGI artists’ job a little bit easier. Some of the pressures they face are that they don’t get all the dimensions and information they need. Sometimes you just get a few photographs. I noticed on your website, you do a wide variety of work. How did Audi tap you for this project? Have you worked with CGI a lot in the past? I just work with what’s right for the job. In my own work, I follow what interests me. I did take six months off just to look at CGI to see its potential and have some sort of understanding of it. If you don’t understand its limitations and strengths, you’re not really in a position to commission people who have dedicated their work and lives to it. I think it’s important to research the potential of this new medium. A little bit about your background: how did you get into photography? I’ve always done it, but I actually studied geology. You would always log stuff, through drawing or photography. Steadily, photography started to take over. I like the fact that geology is some form of forensics; you look at something and it tells you a story. Some of these stories are absolutely fantastic. I think the analysis I have to do in geology carried through in photography. My degree taught me how to think and question things. And that’s why I’m grateful I took that course.
I see the scientific background show through in the technical precision of your work. I’m interested in looking at simple things in a very different way—and sometimes the simpler, the better. I hope the commercial world starts to notice the potential that is out there. CGI isn’t just about making stuff up. One of the fantastic things about the present moment are the different and new ways of viewing things thanks to digital. There are amazing things in the science world, with nano-cameras and all that sort of stuff. And still photographers now face the necessity to master the moving image. I think that is a very different discipline. Moving images are about storytelling to me. I like the idea of using the moving image as a crossover between graphics and photography—for title sequences and that kind of thing—but it takes an awfully long time to get good at. What is your photography education background? I was twenty-four and I didn’t want to continue college. At that time, everybody had a full-time assistant—that was the way it was then, it’s not like that now. So, I just went and worked for a few different photographers for about three years, which was great. Those guys taught me a lot. Then I decided to go on my own. It’s a lot harder for people coming up to make unique work. There’s a real tendency for everything to be location-based. One of the reasons may be that the younger guys don’t have studios to work out of, so they have to make do. As an assistant, you got paid no money—or very little money—but then you got the run of the studio whenever it was free. There are not that many younger guys who get that luxury anymore. I think still life photography is not properly understood, sometimes, in terms of commissioning. It isn’t especially revered at the moment, but, you know, that will change. Unless, every manufacturer decides it’d be cheaper to produce CGI images—but I think we’ll get bored of looking at them. Yes, sometimes CGI imagery is too clean. Yes, it is. Sometimes that’s what is needed, like with the slightly stark nature of those Audi shots. And that’s why CGI is so suited to the automobile industry—that kind of images works well within that arena. Ad Agency: Jim Hilson and Adam Tucker, art directors at BBH London www.bartleboglehegarty.com Photographer: Giles Revell - www.vh-artists.com CGI: Richard Green - please contact VH Artists for contact info: www.vh-artists.com Softwares used for the CGI elements: Cinema 4D and Maxwell Renderer
Three Stage By Charlie Fish I Photos by Tony Gale, Nathan Lee Bush, Francesca La Notte, Sam Cornwall
f you haven’t already noticed, Hasselblad has been making rather large strides in its efforts to market their legendary, top-of-the-line gear to a wider range of emerging photographers. Although Hasselblad has a reputation for being a high-end camera with a big ticket price, advancements in technology and the continued popularity of the brand have made the Hasselblad line accessible to a more diverse customer base with smaller budgets that still want to use a medium format digital camera. Based on Hasselblad’s recent partnerships with youth-driven organizations like Humber College in Toronto and Milk Group’s Formula division, I’m guessing the Rolls Royce of cameras isn’t as interested in converting new recruits right away as they are in whetting the appetites for high-end equipment, software and gear for years to come. Case in point, the Three Stage National Tour. The series of events, a partnership between Resource and Hasselblad, first made stops in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. Called “Three Stage” because of the three different spaces where three different photographers would demo the gear from, the tours brought hands-on experience with various equipment to established and emerging photographers alike. Equal parts inspiration and aspiration, the tour hinged on the photo industry’s increasing sense of community, further fueled by social networking initiatives (catch clips from the tour on Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo). After each event, a cocktail party preceded the official launch of that city’s Hassy Community. Essentially an online community, Hassy Community aims to create a space where its members can share their images, comment on others’ photos and get a chance to test the new H4D-40 for thirty days. New York City was the first stop for the Three Stage tour. Held on March 25th at Milk Studios, over 2,000 attendees mingled, shot with the H4D and partied alongside industry bigwigs (Broncolor, SanDisk, Dripbook, ASMP and APA were all in attendance). Photographers William Abranowicz, Alex Cao and Spencer Jones represented three distinct spaces and fields of photography: lifestyle, beauty and still life. And one very lucky winner received a free H4D-40—no thirty days limit here.
FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS TO BREAK NEW BOUNDARIES AND CARVE OUT A LIVING, THE TIME FOR INSPIRATION— AND ASPIRATION— IS NOW. Weeks later, on April 8th, photographers August Bradley, Joseph Cultice and Matthew Welch were on hand at Milk LA to introduce West Coast shooters to the H4D line and to launch Hassy LA. Similar to the first event, the tour continued to draw large numbers throughout the day. A “Masters Wall” featured prints from the Hasselblad Masters exhibit, while models posed for the Hassy novices.
Charlie Fish: www.charliefish.info
In the Chicago stop, Verser Engelhard, Stephen Hamilton and Brian Wetzstein set up demos at Prairie Production Studios. Attendees were encouraged to go hands-on with the Hasselblad gear, which included Phocus 2.5, the official Hassy imaging software, while reps were on standby to answer questions about the equipment. Clearly, Hasselblad is keenly aware of the importance of reaching out to the photo industry’s future stars, as well as understanding the role community plays in photographers’ lives. Resource, too, understands that, for photographers to break new boundaries and carve out a living, the time for inspiration—and aspiration—is now. You may not yet be in the market for a Hassy product, but something tells us they’re betting you soon will want to be. To test-drive the camera, head to hassyusa.com.
Alison Attenborough, Food Stylist By Jenny Kate Sherman I Photo by Petrina Tinslay
pon entering Alison Attenborough’s studio, one becomes instantly aware that they are in the office of a Food Stylist. A table is covered with organic foods, unsalted nuts and dried fruits. Bookshelves are packed with cookbooks and recipes, while stacks of pots and pans are crowding the corner of the room. As we sit down on the plush couch, Alison offers me some water or a cupcake. Before speaking with Alison, I was completely unaware of the wild world of food styling. A world seemingly filled with food diva chefs, Thanksgiving dinners in July, and cardigans that permanently smell like fried food. However, those are just a few of the cons to what sounds like an amazingly fun and entertaining job.
How would you describe the job of a Food Stylist? You are usually hired by either an art director, a magazine, an advertising agency or a photographer. They hire you to make the food from scratch and arrange it in a beautiful way that makes it ready for the camera. What is the difference between food that you create to eat and food that you create specifically for the camera? When a chef creates food for a restaurant, it is created for an overhead view. When I set up a plate, I think of the angle that the camera will be taking the photo from.
What about different ingredients? The main tools I use are a brush to paint on extra oils as well as a spritzer to spray water in order to make lettuce or other vegetables look extra fresh. We use a lot of Karo syrup, a sugar syrup that makes foods look extra glossy. I really enjoy styling salads and Asian food. Why salads and Asian food in particular? Salads are a challenge because they wilt, especially under hot lights, in hot weather or when covered with heavy salad dressings. I usually hold them in ice cold water to keep them crisp and dry them off at the last minute. Once the plate is on set, I then pour pools of dressing. I find Asian cuisine quite easy to style as it’s very graphic and beautiful to begin with. It’s also my favorite cuisine to eat! I love styling beautiful and unusual veggies, shopping at the farmers’ market in the summer—it’s always great to pick up beautiful, fresh ingredients. In reference to styling, it’s just like if you were eating the food—the fresher, the better and the more beautiful to eat and look at. Roast poultry is a hard thing to style because if it sits too long, the skin starts to shrivel as the bird cools down. A/C is the enemy of most meat; it chills it down fast and makes it look cold and congeals the fat. Ice cream can be challenging too since it obviously melts so fast. Did you start off as an assistant, or did you go straight into food styling? I did start out as an assistant. I worked for a man named Norman Stuart in Los Angeles. He did a lot of the “Got Milk” advertisements. What was your path, from point A to point Z? I originally studied home economics and nutrition in Britain, and then got interested in fashion and the way things looked laid out. I worked at a hotel called Giddly Park Hotel, where I helped the owner Kay Henderson and the chef cook all different types of foods. It was all about nouvelle cuisine then. I also worked at The Time Life Good Cook, a food magazine. I worked in the kitchen assisting Richard Olney and Jean Reynolds. I learned there about styling, the freshness of food, and some incredible recipes. At this point in London, it was hard to even get a camera-worthy carrot! I would have to go to the wholesale vegetable market at 4am before they started trimming down the vegetables. We even had to ship food from France.
Petrina Tinslay: www.petrinatinslayphotography.com.au Alison Attenborough: alisonattenborough.com
How long have you been in the United States? About twenty years; I moved here in November 1989. I was in Martha’s Vineyard on vacation, and I ended up cooking for a friend’s father. It was there that I really learned about great seasonal ingredients and shopping directly from Morning Glory Farm. I met a neighbor who offered to sponsor me for a Green Card if I moved to LA to cook for her and her daughter. There I cooked casual home dishes as well as for parties. I also had a small catering company that I ran from their house. I cooked for lots of fun clients, including Barry Diller, Robert Redford, and the cast of Friends. LA was very inspiring as there was such a great bounty of local food there. The back garden had fig, citrus and plum trees, not to mention wild strawberries. I used to wander in the huge garden for inspiration. If the fruit wasn’t in season, I would just use leaves and branches to decorate the table. What is the worst part about being a Food Stylist? The worst part is cooking a Thanksgiving dinner in the summer when it’s really hot. You know everyone else is out at the beach and you are stuck prepping in a kitchen for hours in the blazing heat. Sometimes the worst part is how awful you smell after a shoot, especially if you are cooking fried food—the stench really lingers on you. The constant grime under your nails, or standing on your feet on concrete floors for hours upon hours, is bad. There is also the occasional diva chef who will drive you mad. What is the best part? I have the opportunity to do a lot of traveling, which I love. I often go to San Francisco when I work with Häagen Dazs. I also get to meet a lot of amazing chefs. I learn about different kinds of foods and different cultures from every job I do. Do you get to eat the food after you finish a shoot? Of course!
tomer in Cus e Ser vic
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By Mark McKennon I Photos by Galya Kovalyova
ools in New York City make up a unique category of film and photography locations, covering a medley of form and function, from leisure to fitness and competition; private to public spaces; sleek modern interiors or serviceable outdoor playgrounds. Be it a sports club, residence, or a neighborhood haven from urban summer, all pools share the same bright colors, gleaming surfaces, meager Speedos, and the aroma of chlorine. The lens will capture an activity that’s less regular, or more alien, than walking and running. It’s a slippery environment, surrounded by water, yet enclosed in concrete.
Pools require a lot of space, hardware, and maintenance dollars, and are somewhat exotic in New York City—like a Ferrari or a garden. Typical, old-structure city roofs and narrow interiors were never designed for the weight, dimensions and luxury of a very large bathtub; this eliminates a great deal of real estate. Rooftop pools at SoHo House, the Gansevoort Hotel, or the Holiday Inn on W. 57th St. for example, are rare jewels. Pools in all venues are guarded closely: by sports clubs for members, hotels for guests, and schools for students. Condos, coops and private homeowners tend to not tout that they have one. So where to turn? Location scouts have to follow the fitness money, and go to The Grace Hotel, Manhattan Plaza Health Club, Chelsea Piers, or local YMCAs. Wherever the pool, scouts and photographers are certain to see a very different New York City reflected in the water.
Parker Meridien Gravity Club 119 W 56th St. - New York, NY 10019 212.708.7342 www.starwoodhotels.com
Grace Hotel 125 W 45th St - New York, NY 10036 212.354.2323 www.room-matehotels.com
Chelsea Piers 60 Chelsea Piers - New York, NY 10011 212.336.6780 www.chelseapiers.com
NY Health and Raquet Club 270 Park Avenue South - New York, NY 10010Â 212.245.6917 www.nyhrc.com
Galya Kovalyova: www.galyaphoto.com Mark McKennon: www.scoutman.com
Manhattan Plaza Health Club 482 W 43rd St. - New York, NY 10036 212.563.7001 www.mhpc.com
IVE AND DIE
ORK By Ali Wisch I Photos by Wesley Mann
hen thinking about twenty-four hour availability the first things that come to mind are some shitty convenience stores, strip clubs, and dingy diners. It’s pretty clear that “top of the line” and “available twenty-four hours a day” don’t run in the same circles—until now. Drive-In Studios is the forerunner of the “twentyfour hour” concept, offering services like Drive In Equipment (D.I.E.), the only rental place in New York that not only carries the newest equipment, but more importantly, makes it accessible whenever, wherever. Because really, what good is the best gear in the industry if you can’t get your hands on it when you need it the most? While, like New York City, D.I.E. is up late, this is par for the course from a company that will do anything and everything for its clients and won’t turn away from a challenge. This is the kind of service that you will only find when working with people who live for their work—and very well might die without it. It takes a noteworthy amount of grace to maintain D.I.E’s guru-like ability to offer the information and means crucial to a successful project, while also keenly returning library books and fetching Advil for clients at two in the morning (true story). The D.I.E. crew simply sees this as stepping up to the plate. “When someone asks us if we can help with something we haven’t dealt with before, our first inclination is to imagine new possibilities,” said Kip McQueen. In this day and age, innovation is key, and D.I.E. has their hands on the steering wheel.
PJ Spaniol III Equipment Director (worldwide)
Where are you from? Saint James, Strong Island NY How long have you been in NY? 30 years, born and raised How long have you worked here? 3 1/2 years Hours worked weekly? 50-65 (plus 24 hour phone support) Nickname? Tray, Hurricane, Pidge, P Jizzle, Just Jack, P Favorite food? Disco fries What are you passionate about? Love, graffiti, lighting, skateboarding & Kip McQueen (sensai) What’s next for you? Bringing this industry to the next level, DI24 for life! And the PGA Tour
Chiaki Hara Location Equipment
Where are you from? Osaka Japan How long have you been in NY? 3 years How long have you worked here? 3 years Hours worked weekly? Over 50 Nickname? Jackie, Chi Burger, Chi Chi Favorite food? Cheeseburger What are you passionate about? Fashion/ Fine Art, Playing the Piano What’s next for you? Finish my book and start my career
Dan Perrone Location Equipment
Where are you from? Jersey How long have you been in NY? 9 years How long have you worked here? 3 years Hours worked weekly? Most Nickname? Overkill Favorite food? Tacos or cereal What are you passionate about? My art What’s next for you? Disappearing in the pacific northwest (NOTE: took him hours longer to answer the questions than everyone else)
Jame s Chan g Night Equipment
Where are you from? NYC How long have you been in NY? My whole life How long have you worked here? 9 months Hours worked weekly? 40-80 Nickname? Korea, Jimes, Jimmy Jazz, Chang Bang, Golden Boy Favorite food? Cheeseburgers and tacos What are you passionate about? Fun What’s next for you? Taco / grip truck
John Mil denb er g Studio Equipment
Where are you from? Massachusetts How long have you been in NY? 6 years How long have you worked here? 3.5 years Hours worked weekly? 50 Nickname? N/A Favorite food? Peanut butter What are you passionate about? N/A What’s next for you? Continue sculpting whenever I can
K ip Mc Q ue en
Managing Director, DRIVEIN24, Root (BK), Trec Where are you from? NY How long have you been in NY? Always How long have you worked here? I think almost 7 years Hours worked weekly? I don’t work at Drive In when I’m sleeping Nickname? Kippers, Kippy Favorite food? Anything in a wrap, burritos dumplings... Also fried chicken! What are you passionate about? Organizing chaos, happiness What’s next for you? Cambodia?
Pe ter Jhon G or don Night Equipment
Where are you from? Jamaica How long have you been in NY? 5 years How long have you worked here? 3 years Hours worked weekly? 40-80 Nickname? PJ, Jamaica Favorite food? Jerk chicken What are you passionate about? Living freely What’s next for you? On the road in a van with my girlfriend
D erek A men gal Digital Coordinator Prodction Specialist
Where are you from? MA How long have you been in NY? Intermittently, most of my life How long have you worked here? 1 year Hours worked weekly? 50 and up Nickname? D Rock, as everyone here tends to call me Favorite food? Steak and cheese What are you passionate about? Photo, mopeds, adventure What’s next for you? The rest of my life
R y an G all ow ay Digital Coordinator Production Assistant
Where are you from? Oklahoma City How long have you been in NY? 7 years How long have you worked here? 6 months Hours worked weekly? 50ish Nickname? Rhino Favorite food? Sushi What are you passionate about? Photography, my new wife What’s next for you? More shooting!
Josh Ste en Director of Digital
Where are you from? St Louis, MO How long have you been in NY? 6 years How long have you worked here? 1 year Hours worked weekly? 60+ Nickname? Colorado Favorite food? Dessert What are you passionate about? New York What’s next for you? Tomorrow
Where are you from? Mexico How long have you been in NY? 25 years How long have you worked at ......? 1 1/2 years Hours worked weekly? 50 Nickname? Beto Favorite food? All Mexican Food! What are you passionate about? Basketball, favorite team is the Chicago Bulls! What’s next for you? Keep working hard so I can provide a better education for my Kids
Where are you from? Colombia How long have you been in NY? 29 years How long have you worked at ......? 2 years Hours worked weekly? 45 Nickname? Gio Favorite food? Chicharrones con arroz y frijoles What are you passionate about? My Son What’s next for you? Get a nice house so I can be able to pass it down to my son one day
Wesley Mann: www.wesleymann.com
Giov anni Mar in
A n telmo G onz a ga
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Dawn OF THE INDUSTRY:
Henry and his Camera A brief biography by Marian Froehlich
n 1950, when Henry and I were newlyweds, we became business partners as well. It was a time when 35mm film ruled the growing amateur camera market.
A gift of a Kodak Brownie camera when Henry was a child in Germany generated his interest in photography. Later, he took lovely potraits of his family before both his father and older brother died in a concentration camp in 1938. In 1940, Henry, his mother and younger brother, Max, landed in the USA and reunited in Philadelphia, PA. At seventeen, Henry had few possessions and no money or formal education—the Nazis had forced him out of school. After WWII Henry became an entrepreneur, forming an import-export business, Rayelle Foreign Trade Service, with his mother and brother working with him. Through a contact at the US Department of Commerce, Henry met Henry Corra, who lived in Hong Kong and worked as a photo importer of Bell & Howell and Polaroid in Asia. When he came to the US, Corra brought a bag of Japanese-made cameras and lenses. Germany had then a lock on US imports, covering about ninety-nine percent of the market. Henry saw a chance to compete with the Germans. A meeting was set up in New York for dealers and magazine photo editors, including Look and Life, to see the Japanese products. At that time (before they zoomed with big budgets), early models of Nikon, Canon and others were mere imitations of German designs, but Konica had a unique rangefinder, fine lens and design, which Henry liked. He contacted the Japanese manufacturer in 1950. An immediate rapport between the factory vice-president and his export manager led to a simple two-page agreement. Konica Camera Company was born. With a reasonable product price (Japanese cheap labor undercut Germans’ high manufacturing cost), a first small order plus a Konica representative arrived to our office. Henry and I filed for trademark protection. Having a commercial art background, I hand lettered the five ink drawings on Bristol board required by the Patent Office while Henry completed the paperwork. We didn’t consider a lawyer, which we could ill afford then, yet our registration was accepted and we were protected from the gray market for thirty years. How did Henry, only twenty-seven years old and under-capitalized, get the Konica USA franchise? At that time, established distributors laughed at the notion of “quality” Japanese products—then called “Jap Crap” based on a pre-WWII image. To overcome prejudice, an advertising agency suggested a slogan: “KONICA from NEW Japan.” Another slogan, “Fine Performance,” ran with a photo of Tocanini conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra. It brought an angry phone call from the photographer, Adrian Siegel. He said we needed his permission to use his image, which the orchestra management had supplied. Not only did Henry smooth everything out, he also managed to convert Adrian to Konica! Our most famous advertising slogan, “The lens alone is worth the price,” resulted from an outside lab using rigid lens testing to prove superb performance. Slowly, dealers were moving Konicas off the shelves. The Korean War brought photojournalists to the Far East. They praised the Japanese photo equipment. Sales picked up. We hired a national sales force and were able to afford a house. Then we suffered a big setback as workers in the newly democratic Japan went on strike. No shipments were made for what seemed a very long time. Office help went on part time. The salesmen couldn’t get commissions. By then we had two children. We dug into savings. Henry said if we got through it, and if anyone ever offered to buy us out, I should remind him of this anxious time.
The strike ended. We were solvent again. Around 1960, at the International Photo Exposition (Photokina) in Cologne, Germany, Henry networked with a fellow refugee, Paul Klingenstein, who imported prestigious German photo products in a division of Berkey Photo Co. He introduced Henry to Ben Berkey who was looking to add a Japanese line. Thus, I reminded Henry of his desire for security. Joining Berkey (a large New York Stock Exchange firm) meant that I no longer would be part of the business. We moved to New York. With Henry still running Konica, engineers made more sophisticated models including high-resolution interchangeable lenses. It was a great time for the photo industry. Japanese products had overtaken ninety per cent of the US import market; Japanese cameras also saturated Europe, and even Germany. But soon point and shoot cameras offered lighter, pocket-size designs, and Henry studied the new trends. He said film was on the way out. Manufacturers like Sony and Fuji hinted replacing film with chip technology. No film—unthinkable! It was time to move on. When Japanese photo manufacturers set up their own US locations, we returned the Konica trademark. And in 1980, Henry left Berkey to become an entrepreneur again. With the children now grown, Henry and I founded Froehlich Fotovideo. I designed the logo. We took the equipment that transferred prints, movies and film to videotape for a second opinion to a friendly dealer, Marvin Lederman. Though few
Henry studied the new trends. He said film was on the way out. Manufacturers like Sony and Fuji hinted replacing film with chip technology. No film—unthinkable! It was time to move on. people knew what a VCR was then, Marvin thought the idea good enough to suggest that we hire his two sons to develop and sell the systems. Our daughter Carol joined in (a family business again), and soon customers wanted their old photos preserved, transferred and shown on TV. The market got saturated in five years. Jan Lederman became Henry’s protégé. Attending another Photokina, Henry felt the need to shift to the professional field. He connected with Mamiya, a manufacturer of medium format cameras, then added Toyo large format. To set up a new marketing company, Henry brought Paul Klingenstein out of retirement and included Jan Lederman. The new company, Mamiya America, opened a plant in Elmsford, NY. The company expanded and changed its name to the MAC Group—servicing many amazing photographers, who also became friends. Henry planned to retire and slowly turned over management to Jan. Then, suddenly in January 2008, Henry died of cardiac arrest at age eighty-five—leaving Jan to carry on, and Henry Froehlich to be remembered as a pioneer of the photo industry.
Tyson Smyer, Edge Grip By Jacqueline Weissman I Photos by Koury Angelo
hhhh. Quiet. I’m about to reveal in this exclusive interview one of LA’s best-kept grip and lighting secrets. In my plot to expose this company to the public, I’ve maneuvered a key individual into speaking with me about this elusive crew cooking up studio productions with a touch of customer satisfaction on a daily basis.
So pinky promise? It’s called Edge Grip. Located in West Los Angeles, it has been described as a one-stop shop, where photographers can find high quality customer service; two studios; and all the grip, lighting and digital equipment they could ever want. And like a good friend, the Edge Grip crew is available eight days a week, 3am to 5am, even when they’re on the phone with their mother.
Tyson Smyer, fellow cohort and General Manager at Edge Grip, revealed that the company has been in existence for approximately three years already. However, after hearing his plans for expanding their services (and clientele), I must conclude this best-kept secret isn’t going to stay a secret much longer. The company is on a mission to reach the forefront of the LA photo scene, so pass it on.
Edge: www.theedgegrip.com Koury Angelo: www.kouryangelo.com
What do you do at Edge Grip? I’m the General Manager. I came into the company in the middle of January after attending Brooks Institute and working as a photo assistant for two years. I assist make final decisons on the equipment that’s needed, put the orders together, and work on billing and staff scheduling. I’ve also been helping bring in new clients and take the company to the next level. What is Edge Grip? We provide everything—studio space, we have a grip truck, we handle photo shoots, production, digital, pretty much anything in the industry. Do you know where the name came from? I think part of the origin of the name ‘Edge’ is from us wondering, “Where do we want to take this, where can we go?” And we were like, “Well, let’s go to the edge. Let’s take ourselves to an area that’s not really being offered in terms of customer service.” We’re willing to go to the edge for our clients. How did the company get started? It started as Plugged-In Digital. We were the first to really enter the digital scene in LA and offer equipment, techs, and everything else needed. When we decided to expand, we got a top of the line grip truck and needed to fill it with equipment—and then finally decided to go where we’re headed now. For plans on expansion, where do you want the company to go? We don’t have a limit set on where our plans are to go. Our focus is customer service; and with that, we feel like the sky is the limit. We would like to potentially push the company to grow to the level of, say, Smashbox. I saw on your website you offer packages and the pricing is up-front. Is this a more affordable way for photographers who are not, you know, Craig McDean? Absolutely. Our prices are more a guideline to give our clients an idea of what we have and what’s available. Working with a budget is definitely something we’re geared to do.
As far as clients, are you targeting more the independent photographer or are you looking for everyone? We are here for the professional photographer everywhere. We can work with any productions needs or budgets. But we also want to cater to the young, the starting out, people who have smaller budgets, because we don’t feel like those people should be forgotten or left behind in any sense. Who is your favorite photographer? Oh, I have two. Is that a fair answer? It would be Greg Gorman and Craig McDean. And a lot of it is based on the fact that I have had the amazing opportunity to work with both in the last two years. Why should people go to Edge Grip? I think really the reason people should come here is our unique and very personal service. Have a question about equipment? Just call us— and yes, we will answer your questions even if you didn’t rent from us. We want you to know we are here for you. When you’re here, you are the number one person. No waiting in line. Just drive up and we’ll help you load. As far as you are concerned, there are not four other productions going on and three hundred other clients calling. Everything is there for you at a moment’s call. Is there anything that I haven’t touched on that you think our readers would need and want to know about your company? One of the funny things that I’ve heard is that it seems like we are LA’s favorite little secret. You know, I feel like that’s kind of where we’re at now—we’re moving from being LA’s best-kept grip and lighting secret to getting to the forefront. I’d really like to highlight the huge success we’ve had so far, and that we’re coming and we’re coming fast.
Shooting Kitchen By Heather Simon I Photo by Sam Cornwall
The four-burner 15,000 BTU gas top stove rests atop the 6.5’ by 3.5’ center-island, beaming under an industrial gable skylight. It’s the focal point of Shooting Kitchen. It’s where Big Macs are made, lima beans receive the royal treatment, star chefs sharpen their knives, and Rachel Ray poses next to an organic zucchini. With over 2,500 square feet to work with, Alex designed the studio as a blank canvas and playground. Cabinets pop off and can be replaced, furniture and props range from traditional to modern, and everything can be moved or swapped. Even the gas stove on the center island can be wheeled out with a nod. The kitchen is readily equipped with highend stainless steel pots and pans, non-stick pots and pans, a cast iron grill plate, glasses,
The space itself is open and vibrant. Ceiling heights range from twelve to sixteen feet. There are two 12 by 8 foot industrial gable skylights and six 4 by 8 foot single-pane windows offering Northern and Eastern exposures. Natural light floods the kitchen from various angles, unobstructed yet self-contained, inspiringly so. A perfect set for zeroing in on that tight shot. And no, Alex is not going to charge you for that espresso. The reason Shooting Kitchen stays so cool in temperament is because the studio is completely devoted to food and kitchen culture. Let’s face it—people in the food industry tend to be more down to earth than those in fashion. While there are high maintenance chef-lebrities and fussy food stylists, it’s usually the habanero peppers that bear the grunt of the pain. During some shoots, over a thousand articles of food get tossed aside, discarded because of some minute imperfection. Probably the biggest misconception in food photography is that fake food, or inedible food, is used. Sure, a little schlack is applied to a tomato on occasion. But for the most part, the food shot in Shooting
Kitchen is unadulterated, not to mention organic, delicious, and ends sometimes in Alex’s fridge! Studio equipment is kept to the necessities— basic grip, including c-stands, high rollers, auto poles, clamps, apple boxes, carts, and extension cords. Photographers are invited to use any of Alex’s equipment (even tape) free of charge. If there is something a client needs that he doesn’t have, he will outsource his friends at rental companies and other respective gigs. In-house services are mostly in Alex’s creative niche, such as web design, art direction, and set design. Clients are free to use a 27” iMac, complete with Photoshop and Capture One for preview, and a smaller iMac for surfing the web and listening to music. Additional amenities are more along the lines of dark chocolate and English muffins, but if you need something, just ask! A self-proclaimed “good cook,” Alex has been doing web design for foodie sites such as www.PoetryofFood.com prior to opening Shooting Kitchen. A credit to the space and Alex’s networking skills, the studio has quickly become a regular backdrop in Bon Appétit, Food and Wine, and Men’s Health. It even has the famed Marcus Nilsson coming back for thirds. Still in its first year, the space has predominantly been used for editorial and advertising print shoots. However, it’s quickly gaining leverage as a set for web-videos and commercial jobs. As Alex begins to host events such as art shows and dinner parties, Shooting Kitchen is likely to make a name for itself as more than just a top production studio, but also a chill place to unwind, eat, and be inspired.
Sam Cornwall: www.samcornwall.com
Coffee? Alex Bonamarte jumps up from his computer, hyped on rich espresso and creative juices. The sun pours through the windows, light bouncing kindly off the white walls. It’s 4pm, but it feels like morning. You follow him to the kitchen where Jackie, the studio manager, is on her hands and knees holding a rag drenched in rubbing alcohol, scrubbing bright green something off the side of the Wolf stove.
dishes, bowls—not to mention a second Wolf stove (this one commercial range, with six burners and 25,0000 BTU!). Tucked inside drawers are cutlery sets of various aesthetics. Behind the cabinets is every bit of kitchen geek gadgetry imaginable—from whisks to zesters, and Cuisinarts, blenders, toasters, strainers, colanders, and so on. Now bear in mind not all these tools are used as advertised. Alex has perfected burger grill marks with his signature branding iron, and wardrobe steamers have been converted by food stylists to melt cheese.
trip to Shooting Kitchen feels a bit like visiting your friend Alex, in his sweet Tribeca loft. Take the shifty elevator to the sixth floor, pull on the heavy freezer door latcth, and show yourself into the lounge.
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By Mark Gordon from g10capture I Photo by Matthew Cylinder
hotographers are faced with the evolving unknowns that the digital revolution is continually presenting. As much as the evolution of the medium has helped improve workflow and expedite the creation of content, it is also challenging the decisive moment. Ironically, the intrinsic Darwinism of technology has recently brought an unprecedented unknown—the iPad.
With economic distress and the decline of print publishing hovering above, enters Apple’s newest device. With its 9.7” stage at 132 px/inch, the iPad may be the latest solution to increase demand of advertising and editorial content. The publishing industry is being challenged to create applications for the publication of digital content via this new medium. Publishers and advertising agencies are following the trend toward digital publishing on the iPad format; which would be an exciting enterprise as it will allow for the creation of more diverse and better products, raising the demand for photographers to produce high quality content.
The role of photography may not be determined until digital publishers decide how—and to what extent—they are going to utilize this new frontier. However, there’s an overwhelming optimism that photographers will be able to redefine the production of imagery and change how people view it. This is the prime time to create and market unique yet viable publishing solutions for this new format. The iPad has the potential for users to explore a dimension that was not possible in print and online media. It is revolutionizing the experience readers have, as its technology becomes more interactive. With the introduction of digital cameras capable of capturing high definition video and stills, it has become apparent that the way in which this digital content can be utilized is also evolving. The iPad is the perfect vehicle to integrate moving pictures into content, creating different avenues of image capture to explore. Images are no longer restricted by reproduction limitations and are given depth thanks to the high-resolution display. It creates a platform to integrate still capture with HD video and, unlike the Web, it offers better scaling for different display sizes. There’s a lot yet to be realized about this dynamic component and how the iPad may revolutionize the relationship between still and video.
The opportunities the iPad opens are not limited to photographers, but reach really anyone involved with digital media—especially those providing digital technical support. Digital techs are now presented with an opportunity to expand their services, bridging the gap between digital photography and digital delivery for this new format. They have to be aware of what the different needs of photographers are, based on what they are delivering. If the trend is moving toward content on the iPad, we need to offer technical support for the creation of content and its delivery in that particular format—for example, managing still capture and post services in an HD workflow. Will the iPad be a viable solution for the delivery of digital media, or is it just technology for technology’s sake? Several critics have taken a “What is this good for?” approach. The iPad has the potential to transform digital publishing in the same way the iPod altered the music industry, and the iPhone transformed cell phones and the portable Web browsing experience. If it follows Apple’s success trend, it may just be the next step in the evolution of digital media and the start of a new age in digital photography.
Matthew Cylinder: www.matthewcylinder.net
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By Anthony Rivas I Photos courtesy of Calumet
Hidden within the vast expanse of Manhattan, among the specialty photography stores, photo equipment stores, and plain old electronics stores, there is a gem for the professional photographer. On 22nd Street, just off of Fifth Avenue, Calumet, a photo store that has established a global presence unlike any other store in the area, might appear at first like your typical generic chain. But take a look inside, and you will see that it is anything but. For seventy years Calumet has been a staple worldwide for quality photography equipment. The company was founded in 1939 in the nearsouthside of Chicago, Illinois, by Ken Becker as a sporting goods store that, strangely, sold cameras too. Selling products with virtually no similarity worked for them though. In their baby years, Calumet traded one of those cameras, a Deardorff, for a light sheet-metal hand brake, which they used to manufacture their own, Calumet brand, stainless steel developing trays, mixing tanks, and sinks for photo labs. That small transaction was the start of an intimate relationship between the company, professional photographers, and the Calumet-brand products that connect them. Calumet incorporated these three elements into a business model where they offered periodical catalogs, product sheets, and newsletters emphasizing the know-how of the consumer and quality of their product. They knew that by selling their own brand, they would cut out the middleman, thereby allowing consumers to save considerably. They also took advantage of this direct-sales approach by learning about consumers’ needs and acting upon them. Calumet is focused on “empowering the full spectrum of image makers with thoughtful, personal service, exceptional products and comprehensive knowledge,” Chris Harlocker, Director of Brand Development said. “That is our philosophy, whether they are professionals, enthusiasts, or students in photography and video.” As time passed and technology evolved, Calumet’s success continued with the introduction of their revolutionary Automatic Nitrogen Burst Processors for black and white process and the newly developed color processes of the 1950s (E-1, E-2, Kodacolor films, and Type C prints). Around the same time, based on customer feedback, they decided to manufacture their own durable and affordable cameras. With the success of their Calumet 8x10 Universal View camera, the company went forth and ultimately gained the rights to the Kodak Master View 4x5 Camera in 1955. Under Calumet’s name, it became the world’s most popular, inexpensive view camera. Calumet had found its place in the large format camera market and their growing recognition among photographers encouraged them to develop a new line of lenses in 1966 under the name Caltar—as well as studio accessories, and darkroom products.
Over the next few years, their name became synonymous with more than just the aforementioned. Calumet acquired the famed film holder companies Fidelity and Lisco, and the Dutch large format camera manufacturer Cambo. Calumet rounded out its arsenal of top-quality products with their first line of flash systems, which eventually became one of the most popular and dependable studio strobes of its time. In 1980, Calumet made a massive distributional decision. Competitive, specialized companies were catching up in popularity and customers wanted those products just as much as they wanted Calumet’s. The decision was to sell more than what they manufactured and distributed exclusively, and to begin selling a full line of professional photographic products. Calumet retained its educate, manufacture, and innovate perspective. With the full line of products on display, they published The Photographers Catalog, which sold just about every piece of equipment—it covered 35mm, medium and large format camera systems, lighting, tripods, filters, and whatever else you can possibly think of—and included tidbits of information that a photographer could reference when using the equipment. Over the next twenty years, Calumet expanded globally, coming first to New York in 1985. In the 90s and early 2000s they opened four stores in California, two more on the East Coast and one in Oak Brook, Illinois— as well as nineteen locations across Europe. Even with their expansion, they were able to maintain their focus on innovation and an educated customer experience. When Kathleen Norris Cook, a customer from LA, was making her entrance into the digital photography world, Calumet’s service impressed her so much that she felt compelled to write a letter. “In particular, I am writing about Christy Jewell who works at your Hollywood store,” her letter read. “When it came time for me to switch from medium-format film to digital, Christy was my go-to person for advice and service. I have recently purchased a new Canon EOS 5D Mark II and several lenses based on her recommendation. When I had a quality control problem with the new equipment, Christy addressed my concerns and resolved them in a smooth and timely way.” Cook along with many others have gone to Calumet for equipment because they appreciate the extensive knowledge and dedicated mentality they find there. Drew Graham, a customer support representative recalled an instance when a customer lost the images on his memory card and, even though it was already late in the day, a Calumet representative was able to help him get the recovery software by the next day and restore his lost images. It is service like this that, as Cook said, “doesn’t always happen these days.”
Calumet’s employees feel rewarded when they see that customers appreciate their work. Mahlon K. Miller, the store manager in San Diego, takes pride in working with “professionals who care about what they do” and he finds it particularly rewarding when “customers who start out with a simple point and shoot camera get very involved in photography and move up to a DSLR and take their images to the next level where they are shooting professionally or making money off photographs that they have taken while on vacation or on a photo trek.” Calumet continues to add to their customer service with an array of services like seminars, product demonstrations, rentals, workshops, weekly e-mail newsletters, direct mail communications, and a one-on-one help line. “The landscape of photography has evolved over the last fifteen years,” Harlocker said. “We’ve gone through the evolution of the digital-format camera. Calumet saw that as an opportunity to educate consumers as time passed, by helping them understand how digital will help them change their business model, how it works in terms of pixel count, and how that translates to the cost and the evolution of the equipment and what’s necessary.” For Calumet’s own brand products, the company painstakingly works to locate the best quality materials. Their softboxes and LPS & disc reflectors are manufactured in China, but the fabrics are not from China—they are from Taiwan and Korea—because they found that Chinese fabrics would shrink, warp, and delaminate with excessive use. Their latest Quick Grip Ball head, made of magnesium-alloy as opposed to cast aluminum, is one of the most rugged and lightweight products in the market right now. Using carbon fiber to construct their tripods and monopods, and designing them from the ground up, Calumet was able to create specific gear that is everything that could be expected of a quality stand—they are strong, light, and have a very much-reduced lateral movement at their full extension. For a company of self-proclaimed innovators, Calumet has become very successful at claiming a place in the professional photography market. They acknowledge that there is a lot of competition and that with competition original ideas don’t stay original for long. “They’ve grabbed the low hanging fruit while we’ve taken a lot of time to hone our development process,” Harlocker said about competitors. “We’ve taken experiences from our staff and we’ve done a lot of testing and modifying—months of modification. We don’t just make something and slap our name on it. We want to bring the best value to our consumer. We stand behind our gear 100%.” Calumet’s place in the photo industry really looks like it is on the up and up. Professionals know about them and depend on them for accessibility and reliability. In return, Calumet passes, with every effort, the knowledge and the tools to survive in an ever-changing world of photography.
Diesel’s “Be Stupid” By Joe Sutton I Images courtesy of Anomaly and Chris Buck
“Stupid is trial and error,” a Diesel ad on the subway platform reads. “Mostly error.” Mostly, yes—but if you try hard enough, being stupid might get you to stumble upon something rather brilliant.
Chris Buck: www.brianbuckleyphotoinc.com
t shouldn’t be a surprise that Anomaly, an agency whose main philosophy is that “the [traditional] models are all broken,” came upon the seemingly confounding and mystifying philosophy that clothing shoppers should be stupid. In fact, anyone should be “stupid” in all aspects of life—ready to take risks and act, rather than sit passively: smart wants what stupid gets.
Anomaly’s creative team, led by Mike Byrne, spent three months brainstorming, writing and editing the headlines used in Diesel’s “Be Stupid” ad campaign. The team put together a manifesto of headlines advocating stupidity and dismissing smartness, and presented it to the jeans company, who fell in love with the idea. “[Diesel] couldn’t wait to see how the manifesto would live as something with images,” said Chris Whalley, Head of Operations at Anomaly. While the headlines can verge on the absurd (“Smart may have the brains, but stupid has the balls”), some carry a surprising sense of wisdom that epitomizes the campaign. “If we didn’t have stupid thoughts,” says one, “we’d have no interesting thoughts at all.” After conceptualizing the campaign’s idea, Anomaly contacted photographers Chris Buck, Melodie McDaniel and Kristen Vicari, presenting them with boards of images, which were to be used as ideas and inspiration for the type of images Anomaly wanted for the campaign. “Be Stupid,” which aggressively hits you with bold statements and perplexing imagery, seemed a natural fit for Buck, whom we spoke to, a photographer with a panache for absurd, yet authentic portraiture. Buck described the campaign as “almost juvenile in the idea, yet delivered in a way that can be quite sophisticated visually.” Buck spent three hours on a treatment of ideas
he wanted to shoot, though the photography was different than what he typically practices. “The interesting angle on Diesel was it was essentially a fashion shoot—and I’m not a fashion shooter.” But because of the campaign’s bewildering philosophy it sought to promote, Buck found no trouble adapting his own trademark peculiar style to the brand. “[I delivered] more the ‘Chris Buck’ part of it, the awkwardness and the visual aspect.” One of Buck’s favorite photos from the series is one taken under an overpass. A bench, a phone booth and a trash bin lay sideways upon the sidewalk on which models sit, pressed against a wall; also on the wall are coffee cups and litter, creating the illusion that we are looking at the image sideways when, in fact, it’s everything in the picture that’s on its side. Because of the baffling viewpoint, the shot posed a challenge for Buck. “We actually shot that one for a long time,” Buck said. As shooting went on, the models “looked too posy,” and the crew began to over-think the shoot. The problem was they were being smart, and not “stupid” enough. During the editing process, an earlier, more relaxed photo ended up being selected. Much of the conceptualizing was done on the spot during the photo shoots, drawing “inspiration from the set, our fantastic props guy, Chime Day Serra, and the willingness of the entire crew and client,” Whalley said. This is not Anomaly’s usual approach to shooting, but for the scenario-based shots, the process worked. “When we were shooting, those were long, difficult days,” Buck said, “but they were fun.” After selecting eighty images from the original one hundred and fifty shots, Anomaly began pairing the headlines with the photos. Picking
which words would sit alongside which image was an intuitive process. “[The images and copy] just worked,” said Whalley, “probably because by that stage, we were living the images and words.” And there you have it: for Anomaly, putting yourself in the stupid mindset did have a payoff. The campaign is not without controversy. One ad, showing a woman on a ladder exposing her breasts to a security camera, prompted angry mothers to flock to the Internet in order to voice their concerns about the campaign’s message. “I’m busily trying to raise a daughter who respects herself and makes smart decisions, not ‘stupid’ shock factor ones,” wrote Lori Ziganto on the Right Wing News blog. Whalley hasn’t felt the need to defend the campaign. “People either love it or hate it, with a passion!” he said. “We love it, Diesel has embraced it with such enthusiasm—it’s their new mantra.” Hopping on Diesel’s website, the store will invite you to “check out how stupid Diesel is.” The campaign’s attitude certainly fits, being “young, provocative, smart, [and] challenging” Buck said, citing that Diesel’s audience was all of these. Telling consumers to be stupid sounds far from smart. Diesel, calling itself stupid, in fact could seem stupid. The on-the-fly style in which Anomaly did their photo shoots may be stupid, too. And when first looking at the ads during rush hour, bleary eyed and still half-asleep, one might think, “Those ads are stupid.” But then again, there’s something brilliant in Anomaly and Diesel’s challenge of the norm. During these times in which we all look forward to change, to trying new things, we could all benefit by having a stupid overzealousness. That is, if you can tell what’s stupid or not; now, there’s a lot of smart in stupid.
Jenny Read, Art Producer By Lewis Van Arnam I Photo by Sarra Fleur at LVA+
enny Read is a veteran Art Producer at kirshenbaum bond senecal + partners. kbs+p is a known creative hot-spot, and Jenny’s role keeps her directly in the middle of the action. In her 13+ years as an art buyer, Jenny has worked on accounts in almost every category, ranging from major beauty campaigns to pharma and ad council. Presently she works on John Frieda, Biore, Curel and Vanguard. Madison Avenue of yester-year is now Soho-based, and tomorrow’s vision is living today at kbs+p. I’m extremely pleased for this opportunity to share Jenny’s point of view. I have a fascination with how people end up in this business. There’s usually an interesting, unexpected path. What’s your story? Seems funny now but I had never even heard of the term “art buying,” let alone of the profession. Growing up in New York City I dreamed of being many things... an actress, or a dancer… an agent, Italian teacher, pool player, seminary student (yes, seminary), author, psychologist, married and wealthy… Anything but a nine-to-five job. Ultimately I ended up in the social work arena. As fulfilling as it was to work with autistic children and child protective services, I quickly found myself totally burned out, and needing a change. I made a conscious decision to find a job that was less heart wrenching, perhaps even slightly shallow, and offered a much-needed creative component. Hence was the start of my adventure in advertising. I landed a position at Maybelline/Garnier where, without knowing it at the time, I began my art buying career. I had the extreme good fortune of working with freelance Art Buyer Merilee Hestefer, who taught me the foundations and was an incredible mentor to me during and after my time at Maybelline. The job was incredibly exciting because I was able to meet photographers, cast models, and handle productions from conception to completion. The first moment I stepped onto a set, I knew I was doing exactly what fit me best. It was exhilarating to see the entire process come to life, and know I was instrumental in making it happen. And please add to the equation that I’m a total control freak, can be demanding, usually very direct (some might invoke the “B” word here), a perfectionist, aware of when to speak up and when to shut up, loyal, personable, and have developed incredible business resources, and relationships, to call on when help is needed. There has been recent controversy over extreme retouching. Some legal issues are arising. Do you feel this responsibility? Much of my experience is with beauty campaigns. We all know that the image that ends up on TV, or in magazines, varies from what was shot on set. It has come to light recently that some beauty campaigns have tried to crack down on extreme retouching, but the ultimate revelation is that those ads were retouched too. My company has strict rules about truth in advertising, and we all work hard to enforce them.
Are you working with Computer Generated Imagery? The emergence of CGI is transforming the universe of options in photography. Whether you like it or not, it’s hard to deny its benefits in terms of economy and production schedules. For example, I was recently on set in Spain, shooting for twelve days, with a seemingly impossible release date upon return. Back in New York, a CGI virtual shoot for the product was taking place, simultaneously, without any of us needing to be present. This effectively maximized our production time, and saved our client money by not producing an additional shoot. As an added bonus, the generated images can be used for both print and TV. We met our deadlines and it was a win-win, all around.
producer can talk to the prop guy. The agency creative team has to talk to me, I talk to the line producer, who talks to the director, who asks the assistant director to tell the extra not to walk so fast. It makes me a little kooky! But ultimately I understand the unions were created to protect crew and talent, and it’s still early in my broadcast career, so interview me again in a couple of years and I’m sure I will have more insights on the benefit of having so many layers and rules on a shoot. We are entering a new phase of art production with integrated executions covering print, TV and online advertising. Elaborate on the evolution of your role, and what’s beyond. Much has changed in the last year and a half due to the economy and the rapid pace of technology. As a result, producers are required to wear many hats. kbs+p, one of the first truly integrated creative shops, was ahead of the curve going digital too, so we have an integrated content production department that produces print, TV, radio and web under one umbrella. So here I am, a senior Art Buyer in a sea of broadcast and web producers. I’m very fortunate to be in a department, and have a boss, that has established a mutual support system to quickly adapt to the learning curve we have been faced with. This is the challenge, and benefit, of being on the cusp of change. I am able to learn a new craft, at my level, without suffering any embarrassment because basically we’re all in the same boat. At kbs+p we do integrated shoots that combine print and TV executions to stay true to our mission of maximizing ROI for clients. For these kinds of shoots I choose either directors who have shot print, or photographers who have experience with video. Unfortunately, in my opinion, one medium is bound to suffer a little bit. Photographers, I believe (and I am admittedly a little biased), have the advantage of mastering both, though the challenges are many. Consider how photographers direct talent, create their own lighting, and create an image to tell an entire story that cannot pass the viewer by in seconds. The streamlined nature of the print crew, and creative expectations, offers an opportunity for spontaneous direction that is unlikely to occur in the process-heavy film environment. This is a major demarcation between print and film. This division is evident from the very beginning. In print there is no requirement for a treatment, so photographers usually just need to have a chemistry call with the agency creative team, and possibly supply additional images, to get the gig. In contrast, a lot more is needed from a director to understand his, or her, vision in creating a thirty-second spot. The director’s work begins as soon as they become a potential fit for the job; developing the treatment and defining their vision can take a few weeks. Their constant involvement is necessary to make the project a success. It’s my hope that photographers will bring a fresh approach to the process. It won’t be easy, though.
Sarra Fleur: www.lvaplus.com/sarrafleur
I have met with many photographers who I have encouraged to start getting a reel together. I think any person who can excel in both mediums will be unstoppable in today’s market. But they need to be prepared to give it everything they’ve got to create a formula that crosses over. Because I have a strong background in model negotiations for both print and TV, I have a head start in understanding another major difference between the two mediums… unions. Whereas print contracts, and usage agreements, are negotiated in good faith, (or “as the market will bear”), TV has very stringent rules and regulations. Of course there are advantages, but here is an example of what’s difficult for me: a TV shoot has the prop guy, then the guy who puts the prop on a cart, then the guy who pushes the cart, then the guy who takes the prop and puts it on set, then the guy who moves the prop from point A to point B, etc…(I may be exaggerating, but not too far off!). My point is that these strict guidelines create challenges. You can’t talk to the prop guy because only the line
Do you book photographers from their website presentation, or do you need to have a portfolio in hand? Tactile presentations are still necessary, but becoming less imperative because of the Internet. I start my search online (extensive bookmarks bar!!) and forward links to my creative team. I love to look at books, though. When a photographer comes in to see me, I prefer they bring a book as opposed to a laptop slideshow. I can do that on my own time. If we are considering a photographer, I will share their physical portfolio with my Creative Director for final approval. The ritual of feeling the pages as they turn, looking closely at the details of the images, and connecting with the work, in my experience, happens more profoundly when the book is in the CD’s face. Clients on the other hand are based in many different parts of the country, so we usually put together a PDF of select images for them to view. Come to think of it, even if the client is across the street, we prefer sending a PDF. Fashion and beauty portfolios are built with editorial presence, which allows tremendous creative freedom. Yet, advertisers want a more controlled environment and (almost) pre-determined results. How do you reconcile this? During any production, it’s very important to remember why you hired the photographer you chose. We look at a photographer’s experience, their level of creativity and how they differ from the other options in terms of fitting our creative brief. A photographer needs time to get comfortable, and into a flow. We have them begin by applying their style to the layouts, and (hopefully) tweak things accordingly to client commentary. But once everyone is at ease, and the trust between the client, agency and crew has been established, an environment for the magic to happen can take place. I try to push for this whenever possible. In other words, shoot the board and then have fun, if time allows. Are you predicting a decline of still photography? Not at all! Photography will always remain even if the printed image does not. A world without imagery isn’t even possible. Content needs images. CGI may have moved onto the still life world, but I don’t ever see CGI taking over for a fashion, beauty, lifestyle or portrait shoot. Pictures will always live and be needed. Where they live is another matter. I see the next generation of photographers faced with many challenges. Foremost is this rough economy in which budgets are being looked at very, very carefully. My advice? Be flexible. Be current. Be willing to listen. Be available….collaborative. Art Directors love their photographers. They want to team up with them, and when the chemistry is right, amazing work can ensue. Competition is fierce. Embrace the attributes I mention and you will have a good chance at repeat business. Also, do spec work to learn how to shoot TV and video. I can almost guarantee your market value will skyrocket. Do you apply these wise words to your own career? Yes, absolutely. Integration will continue to evolve and I believe we all need to expand our roles. My advice to myself, and all my fellow art producers, is to learn all you can, however you can. Take a class, ask questions, do your research. Don’t allow yourself to become irrelevant. Find the cutting edge because the more you know, the more valuable you are. Finally, embrace change because it is the only thing you can absolutely count on.
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PRODUCT GUIDE 2010 Resource Magazine is proud to present its 2010 Product Guide. Through more bells and whistles than at a Gay Pride Parade, we rummaged through the vast amounts of technological advancements in the photo industry and separated the men from the boys. Technology moves fast and changes even faster. Resource wants to ensure that youâ€™re up to date on the hardware and software that matter. Youâ€™ll find in the following pages some of our top picks for cameras, accessories, and software to build an arsenal of gear even the most geeked-out gear head could be proud of.
By Adam Sherwin I Photos by Brian Buckley
PRODUCT GUIDE 2010
HARDWARE 1. Hasselblad H4D-40 Hasselblad’s newest addition to their medium format DSLR line up has a sensor almost 2x the size of any 35mm DSLR. With improved AF through Hassy’s new True Focus technology, exposure times of up to 4 minutes and capture rates of 1.1/sec. The H4D-40 boasts of RAW files at 50MB. $20G’s gets you a 80mm lens, body and back. MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price): $19,995 www.hasselbladusa.com
2. DM33, DM40 and DM56 Mamiya has produced three new professional digital cameras: the DM33, DM40 and DM56. Featuring 33, 40 and 56 megapixel sensors precision-matched with the world’s greatest optics results in exquisitely detailed image files, even when harshly cropped. The large sensors (up to 56mm) coupled with a lush 16 bit/channel color palette, provide exceptional color accuracy and rich high dynamic range photographs in just a single capture. The heart of the DM33, DM40 and DM56 systems is Mamiya’s new “DF” camera-core technology, featuring two userselectable shutter systems–leaf or focal plane, with full flash-sync speeds up to 1/1600 second.
MSRP starts at $19,990. www.mamiya.com
3. Mamiya DM22 and DM28
Mamiya delivers what has previously been considered unattainable–a true professional digital camera system at exceptionally affordable prices. The Mamiya DM22 and DM28 offer many of the features of their more expensive siblings, allowing almost any photographer affordable access to a truly professional digital camera system. Mamiya, known as the brand of the working pro, has recognized photographers’ desire to own true pro-level digital photography equipment in order to deliver exceptional quality photographs, along with an impression of professionalism that a DSLR cannot exude. Featuring 16 bit/channel files, and including both Capture One and Leaf Capture software. MSRP starts at $9,995. www.mamiya.com
4. PhaseOne 645DF The Phase One 645DF camera features the fastest medium format auto focus in the market. The system includes exposures with speeds from 1/4000s to 60 minutes for unique control of your photography. Together with the range of Phase One digital backs and lenses, the 645DF camera offers flash sync speeds of up to 1/1600s (P 40+ and P 65+). The Phase One camera with LS lenses offers sync speed, up to 60.5 megapixel, full-frame medium format captures and includes the unique Sensor+ technology for high ISO and higher speed captures on a range of their products. A complete Phase One camera system includes body, lens and back. MSRP: $18,990 www.phaseone.com
5. Leaf Aptus II 10R Leaf Aptus II 5 and 6 digital backs, ranging from 22 to 28 megapixel, are the natural step when moving from DSLR into higher quality medium format shooting. Leaf Aptus II 5, 6, 7, 8 and 10 (22, 28, 33, 40 and 56 megapixels), deliver the best results, and combined with the Phase One 645DF camera this is the ultimate choice when shooting in studio or on location. The new and innovative, high-end digital back, Leaf AptusII 10R is the only back with an internal rotating sensor and is geared to the practical needs of photographers who often need to change camera orientation. Packages are available for a Leaf Aptus II, 80MM and Phase One 645DF camera. MSRP starts at $9, 995. www.leaf-photography.com
PRODUCT GUIDE 2010 6. Nikon D3s Following in the footsteps of the D3, Nikon takes its FX format to another level. With standard ISO’s from 200 to 12800, the D3s can be expanded to Lo1 (ISO100) or Hi3 (ISO102400), making a huge difference in low light situations. The D3s also incorporates HD quality with its D-Movie function that includes high ISO performance in High Sensitivity mode, external stereo microphone compatibility, and in-camera editing capabilities. At 9FPS in X mode, 11FPS DX mode and a buffer 2x the size of the D3, photographers are ensured fast response times. With an amazing array of Nikkor lenses and other Nikon accessories, Nikon is getting back to its roots and has produced a camera system that will appeal to many of today’s working professionals.
MSRP: $5,199.95 www.nikonusa.com
7. Canon 1D MKV The flagship camera from a digital photography leader. 16MP CMOS Sensor, 10fps, and the widest ISO range of any Canon camera to date. It has standard ISO settings from 100 to 12 800, a “Lo” setting of 50 ISO and three “Hi” ISO settings–25,600, 51,200 and 102,400. The MKV also produces full 1080p HD video with selectable frame rates. Canon’s High ISO Noise reduction feature makes capturing video at ISO 12,800 a reality, not just a possibility. It also includes an incredible 45 point AF system with 39 highly precise cross-type focusing points that’s effective at 10fps, a huge asset when shooting sports or wildlife. Rugged, durable, the Canon 1D MKV is a top choice for photographers and videographers.
MSRP: $4,199 www.canonusa.com
8. Kobold HMI’s Broncolor has stormed in to the continuous lighting world with these totally weatherproof (IP 54 rated!) beauties. Rugged, lightweight, and reliable, true instant hot strike capable, the Kobold is available in 200W, 400W, and 800W sizes. With dozens of light modifiers that attach through an easy-to-use bayonet system, these lights could be the answer to both studio and location work. MSRP starts in the $2,000 range for the 200 units and the $7,000 range for the 800s. www.bronimaging.com
9. San Disk Extreme Pro Compact Flash Whether you’re doing video or stills, these CF cards keep you shooting continuously for longer periods of time. Cards are available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB sizes. The simplified redesign has added to the durability and reliability of this product. With a read/write speed of up to 90MB/s, the Extreme Pro is the card of choice for any professional.
MSRP ranges from $375 to $800. www.sandisk.com
10. Voltaic Solar Power Bags Save the world and look cool. Made from recycled pop bottles with durable waterproof solar panels, these bags are a great way to charge a small digital camera or cell phone on a location, adding hours to your mobile devices. If you need to charge a laptop, the “Generator Bag” will add 24 minutes of runtime to your 17” Unibody MacBook Pro every 60 minutes in the sun. Voltaic is also releasing their pro photo bag later this year, which will include pockets for a laptop and camera with lens. MSRP ranges from $200 to $500. www.voltaicsystems.com
11. Induro 5-Way Panheads, PHQ1 and 3 Induro’s new series of Panheads provide photographers with freedom for camera positioning never before available in a single product. This latest development utilizes a patent pending Quintaxial concept. Offering dual tilt, base and top plate rotation and an Arca-Swiss style quick release system, these Panheads allow photographers to have full repeatable indexing on five axes for maximum control and flexibility. Another patent pending first is the set of unique folding control handles which simplifies packing and transport.
MSRP ranges from $315 to $395. www.indurogear.com
12a. MiniTT1-Canon The smallest PocketWizard radio ever, the MiniTT1 Transmitter locks onto the camera’s hot shoe supporting an on-camera flash with its own hot shoe while working with remote PocketWizard units. Remotes can be one or more PocketWizard FlexTT5 Transceivers connected to Canon E-TTL II flashes, or any PocketWizard Receiver for triggering flash or remote cameras. MSRP: $199 www.pocketwizard.com
PRODUCT GUIDE 2010 12b
12b. FlexTT5-Canon The dedicated FlexTT5 Transceiver, with its built in hot-shoe and ControlTL firmware, is the perfect addition to Canon E-TTL II flash systems. The FlexTT5 takes the existing benefits of Canon wireless systems beyond the boundaries of infrared technology. When paired with the Mini TT1 Transmitter or another FlexTT5 Transceiver, a whole new world of wireless flash freedom opens up. The FlexTT5 is also the perfect Transceiver for your manual triggering needs and works with all MultiMAX channels and many of the MultiMAX advanced functions. MSRP: $229 www.pocketwizard.com
13. ColorMunki Photo Designed specifically for wedding, portrait and event photographers— or any passionate advocate—X-Rite ColorMunki Photo is a completely integrated color control solution to calibrate your displays, projectors and printers. You get accurate screen to print color matching, every time. Combined with ColorMunki Photo’s included creation and communication tools you’ll have unparalleled control, so you can bring your vision to life… and share it with the world! MSRP: $449 www.colormunki.com
14. Lite Panels Micro Pro Hybrid
The world’s first Continuous LED light combined with a “Flash” feature. This 9W fixture is the perfect complement for the motion-enabled DSLR cameras that are becoming increasingly popular. Use the “Continuous Mode” for the camera’s video capability and get beautiful wrap-around soft light. Or choose the “Flash” feature to produce a 400% brighter burst—just the ticket for a variety of still images. Litepanels popular MicroPro Hybrid runs off 6 standard AA batteries. These daylight oncamera lighting fixtures harness the company’s proprietary LED technology in a lightweight, compact design. The MicroPro Hybrid offers luminous, soft, directional lighting with the same warmth and great color characteristics that make Litepanels an integral part of television, broadcast news, motion picture and still photo shoots worldwide. MSRP: $450 www.litepanels.com
15. RedRock Micro Focus Controller Remote 15
Thinking of hanging up your first-gen iPhone? Not so fast, you might be able to prolong its lifespan as display for the RedRock Micro”focus control system.” The microRemote looks just like a focus ring detached from the DSLR it controls. It can operate independently from the on camera rig, but the sweet feature here is adding an iPhone or iPod touch to monitor your focus settings. You get aperture, zoom, and some focusing assists on the display, and then make your selection using
some familiar twirling action on the knob to the side. Although not yet available, the microRemote is expected to be around $1,000 and should be released during Summer 2010. MSRP: Not yet released www. redrockmicro.com
16. Schneider Cine Xenar and Zeiss CP2 Lenses If you’re shooting HDSLR video, nothing is going to improve your image quality like a nice piece of glass. Two of the photo industry’s leading lens manufacturers are now producing cine quality lenses for Canon and Nikon DSLRs that shoot video. Zeiss’ Compact Prime CP.2 lenses cover a full-frame 24 x 36 image format without vignetting. They are available from 18MM to 85MM in size with interchangeable mounts when changing between systems. Comparably, the Schneider Cine-Xenar Lenses are available in Nikon and Canon mounts. One of its standout features is that the lenses all have the same dimensions, and all focus and iris gears are in the same position. Changing lenses has never been easier as the lens motors can stay in the same position. The Cine-Xenar lenses are available in the 18MM to 95MM range. Adding any one of these lenses is going to take your DSLR video production to the next level. MSRP ranges from $4,000 to $5,000 for individual lenses. www.schneideroptics.com or www.zeiss.com/cine
17. IDX CW-5HD Cam Wave HD Wireless Transmitter / Receiver System
IDX’s CW-5HD is the new generation of HD wireless transmission systems that provide a smooth, easy way to send HD or SDI video/audio signals across short distances with no delay or latency. Works with multiple formats of video with two channels of SDI embedded audio. Uncompressed wireless system for both HD-SDI and SD-SDI video. The transmission range is up to 100 feet (30m) through walls and up to 150 feet (50m) in line-of-sight conditions. Use in actual production may vary. It weighs just 1.5 pounds, and has no visible antenna. Perfect for DSLR shooting. MSRP: $5,249 www.idxtek.com
PRODUCT GUIDE 2010 18. Small HD DP-SLR 18
Described as the worldâ€™s smallest HD monitor, this 4x6x1 HD monitor has an amazing 1280x800 resolution. At 270PPI the DP-SLR is approaching photo like quality for viewing. It also features an intuitive interface including custom scaling, 1:1, backlight adjustment, image flip, battery voltage meter and the ability to program in user presets. The DP-SLR has an impressive range of inputs, including HDMI, component and an optional 3G/HD/SDI. This is an affordable option for an HD field monitor. MSRP: $899 or for the 3G/HD/SDI Model $1,199. www.smallhd.com
19. ikan V5600 HDSLR monitor Recognized as the affordable option for HD field monitors, the ikan V5600 was specifically designed to have great resolution, be extremely lightweight and cost effective so everyone can access this essential piece of camera equipment. The V5600 monitor has 1024x600 resolution and weighs under a pound without an external battery. Speaking of external battery, this is one of the options that makes the V5600 a great monitor for location work. Ikan has achieved its goal of creating a quality monitor that HDSLR filmmakers can afford and take video production to another level.
MSRP: $699 www.ikancorp.com
20. Samsung SP-H03 mini projector While itâ€™s no match for home video projection, this palm-sized projector is a great solution for travel and location. The SP-H03 features a bright, high resolution LED output of up to 80 inches and an integrated multimedia player. Features a 2 hour rechargeable battery and 1GB of internal memory allowing users to load content directly to the device and have un-tethered projecting capabilities. Users can expand this through a SD card or a USB storage device. The projector weighs 6oz and can playback just about any file type you can load. The Samsung mini projector SP-H03 will be available through Samsung authorized retailers, including Best Buy, beginning in June 2010. MSRP: $299.99 www.samsung.com/us
SOFTWARE 1. TinEye
is a reverse image search engine. You can submit an image to TinEye to find out where it came from, how it is being used, if modified versions of the image exist, or to find higher resolution versions. TinEye is the first image search engine on the web to use image identification technology rather than keywords, metadata or watermarks. TinEye is free to use for non-commercial searching and regularly crawls the web for new images. The system also accepts contributions of complete online image collections. To date, TinEye has indexed 1,517,005,698 images from the web to help you find what you’re looking for. Free service www.tineye.com
– Finally, a software that allows you to simultaneously build ads in both HTML5 and Flash. With Steve Jobs and Apple’s disdain for Flash, advertisers and developers have been left holding the bag when trying to efficiently design and launch on line advertising. Today, the platform has launched as a private beta to advertisers that requires application. Sprout’s ad builder uses drag-and-drop, WYSIWYG tools that don’t require any coding. Although simple in theory and application, it offers a high level of customization, and allows advertisers to build and integrate their own ad components. One of the greatest attributes of the Sprout platform is that even after deploying an ad, you can modify it and the changes will be reflected immediately in the wild on both HTML5 and Flash versions of the ad.
Free service www.sproutinc.com/html5beta
Brian Buckley: www.brianbuckleyphotoinc.com
is a technology company pioneering a new approach to image search, with an innovative search offering which combines new images published on the web with its Semantic index, ultimately delivering the most recent and relevant results for popular search queries. NachoFoto’s patent pending technology uses semantic text-analysis to calculate the Recency Factor and Image Density of a webpage, determining the relevancy of an image for specific search terms. The search engine goes beyond today’s image search technique of indexing images based on their file names to analyze the context of the web page and associate them with images embedded within.
Adam Sherwin: www.adamsherwin.com
4. Sprout Inc. Engage Ads
Free service www.nachofoto.com
– Focusing on interactivity, performance and maximizing the impact of digital content and marketing campaigns across media and devices, the Creative Suite 5 product line brings exciting full version upgrades of flagship creative tools while delivering significant workflow enhancements to designers and developers. Featuring integration with online content, digital marketing measurement and optimization capabilities for the first time, Creative Suite 5 includes access to signature Omniture technologies, to capture, store and analyze information generated by websites and other sources. Additionally, a brand new component, Adobe Flash Catalyst, joins the Creative Suite, ushering in the ability to design interactive content without writing code and improve the collaborative process between designer and developer. The Adobe CS5 product family also enables the creation of content and applications for the much anticipated releases of Flash Player 10.1 and Adobe AIR 2, which are optimized for high performance on mobile screens and designed to take advantage of native device capabilities for a richer, more immersive user experience. MSRP: Adobe CS5 Design Suite Standard $1299.00 Upgrade from $499.00 MSRP: Adobe CS5 Mater Collection $2,599 – Upgrade from $899 www.adobe.com
5. Aperture 3
– Apple introduces Aperture 3, the next major release of its powerful photo editing and management software, with over 200 new features, including Faces, Places and Brushes. Aperture 3 allows you to organize large photo libraries with even more flexibility. “Faces” uses face detection and recognition to find and organize your photos by the people in them. The new “Brushes” feature allows you to add professional touches to your photos by simply painting effects onto the image. Aperture 3 includes 15 Quick Brushes that perform the most popular tasks like Dodge, Burn, Polarize and Blur, without the complexity of layers or masks. Aperture 3 makes it easy to share your work with stunning slideshows that weave together photos, audio, text and HD video. MSRP: $199 - Upgrade is $99 www.apple.com/aperture
– Reduce your image processing time and improve quality control in your Raw workflow by combining the powerful color capabilities of the ColorChecker Passport and Adobe Imaging solutions. The ColorChecker Passport allows you to quickly and easily capture accurate color, instantly enhance portraits & landscapes, and maintain color control & consistency from capture to edit. MSRP: $99 www.xrite.com
“Three minutes after taking a photo in New York, it’s hanging in a gallery in Berlin.” —Florian Meissner, EYE’EM founder In the day and life of a photographer, inspiration is lurking around every corner. One may never know where the next great photo opportunity will present itself, whether it will be on the way to get coffee in the morning, or on the subway commute home from work. Like an artist who carries a sketchbook in their back pocket, or a reporter who keeps a notebook at hand, the cellphone is the camera that never leaves a photographer’s side. While photography is about what and how the artists sees the world, mobile phones offer a simple and quick way to capture moments—all these beautiful and unique occurrences that may have gone unshared otherwise. With the rise of mobile photography comes a competition which supports this up and coming art form. The EYE’EM Mobile Photography Award is dedicated to the uniqueness of mobile photography and aims to bring this new and individual medium to a wider audience. EYE’EM is comprised of a young international team of creatives, designers, developers and thinkers located in Berlin, Germany. They include found ers Florian Meissner, Gen Sadakane, Lorenz Aschoff and Ramzi Rizk. EYE’EM started as a blog about mobile photography and launched the EYE’EM Award in March 2010. Meissner’s interest in mobile photography was born when
his camera was stolen upon arriving in New York last summer. He had to resort to taking photos with his cell phone. He quickly discovered that huge crowds shared his new found passion. “We are determined to create a platform for the mobile photography movement and share our passion with like-minded people around the world. EYE’EM bridges the entire photography spectrum. It’s a democratic, user-driven online gallery that serves as the first step in a complete ecosystem centered around mobile photography. The EYE’EM Award is just the beginning. Right after the awards ceremony, we will be launching a mobile photo sharing site on eyeem.com,” Meissner said. Any mobile photographer was welcome to submit a maximum of five images. The results were judged by an international jury, including some of the world’s leading mobile photographers, academics and designers, with Sion Fullana (pioneer of the mobile photography movement in New York), Alexandra Niki (founder of Resource Magazine), Alex Rank (professional photographer from Berlin), Mark Skorj (professional photographer in Tokyo), and Bassam Lahoud (professor of architecture and photography at the Lebanese American University in Beirut and president of ESCWA Arts Council at the United Nations). The First Prize Winner will have his images displayed at an exclusive exhibition at the Schlechtriem Brothers Gallery in Berlin. The show will then move to Barcelona and then London, while the top two hundred winning entries will be featured on EYE’EM website.
WINNERS First Place: Nicolas Arcay Roddy Laroche Samsonoff Santos Henarejos Michael Baranovic Benjamim Silva Daniel Holland Chris Williams Greg Schmigel Sushil Sharma Nipuna Kuruppu Jason Parks Benedicte Guillon Axel Tischer Edoardo Di Pisa Suzan Mikiel Kennedy Francesco Cignini Dominique Jost James Ephraums Allard Schager Morgan Miranda Richard Twomey Jaco Pieper Oliver Lang Nettie Edwards Jenni Callard Daniel MacDonald Giovanni Savino Matt Beechan Richard Schofield Greg Schmigel
MY WEAPON IS
FIRST PLACE WINNER: Alone by Nicolas Arcay Berlin 2009
Umbrellas by Benjamin Silva After many days of rain the Sun came just for a while.
On the Beach by James Ephraums Selsey Bill, UK. iPhone, Camerabag app.
A Boys Own Story by Nettie Edwards
The Woman in the Bowler by Jason Parks
iPhone collage. Two photos taken at a railway museum: mannequin dummy of boy in a train carriage; vintage photo inside a â€œWhat the Butler Sawâ€? machine. Images later repurposed and blended with textures to suggest a new narrative.
I loved this photo from the moment I took. This woman had style. Very Hepburn.
Sometimes I call him Daddy by Suzan Mikiel Kennedy On the 7 train, a serious father stoically sits as his well behaved toddler quietly marvels at the world outside the window and occasionally invites her father to take a look.
Untitled by Santos Henarejos
Coming Back to Life by Chris Williams Single tree in a field, Clarksdale, Mississippi. iPhone image processed with Tiffenâ€™s filter app.
Sunday Morning Walk by Benedicte Guillon Paris - Mars 2010
Got.Your.Back by Dominique Jost (RIGHT) Location: Langenthal, Switzerland
002 by Michael Baranovic (TOP) Underpass - Flinders St Station
Untitled by Daniel Holland (BOTTOM)
Filling Station by Richard Twomey (TOP) Taken after a night out in a local night club. A group of people milling around a 24 hour filling station in the snow. December 2009
Looking At by Francesco Cignini (BOTTOM) A day at the sea.
By Charlie Fish I Photos courtesy of Victor Skrebneski
e shot for Glamour, Esquire and Town and Country. He photographed—and held longstanding friendships with— subjects like Audrey Hepburn and Bette Davis. He cites Hubert de Givenchy (founder of The House of Givenchy) as a life-long friend and collaborator. He’s been credited for changing the face of fashion with his photographs of models Willow Bay and Paulina Porizkova, as well as having launched Cindy Crawford’s supermodel career. He was also the exclusive photographer for Estée Lauder for nearly three decades, and was shooting campaigns for Marshall Field and Company by the time he was twenty-three. Clearly, Skrebneski’s name is as relevant to photography as Scavullo’s or Avedon’s, even if it has been at times overshadowed by the latter.
To hear him tell it, you’d almost think it was destiny how a young Victor Skrebneski chanced upon the camera. Every night, after his father got off from work, he would take his kids to a nearby park. One day, Victor found a little black box on a park bench and brought it into the clubhouse to turn it in. The lady behind the desk told the young boy that if nobody claimed it, the box would be his. “After two weeks they gave me this little black box,” he recalled, “which turned out to be a camera.” The job of showing him how to use it fell on longtime family friend Ms. Bates. “She showed me how to use the camera but she forgot to tell me you are not supposed to move the camera,” he said of the woman, who was an actress and an artist. “No one told me I shouldn’t move it. So that’s how my photographs came out; they were all blurry and moved,
and I loved the way they looked,” he said. Blurring became a common element in his later and more personal work, but it was his idyllic and beautiful fashion images that put Skrebneski on the map. Skrebneski always sought out the beautiful, turning to his sister, Jennifer, to be his first model. “She was the only one I could get at that time and she was willing to do it,” he said, adding, “I only had one light and I would move it close to her and farther away to see what effect it would have. It would get very warm, especially in summer months. I’d apologize all the time for it.” His appreciation for beauty grew with his art school training, and Skrebneski developed strong affinities to artists like Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud. Now a frequent art collector (Sotheby’s and Christie’s do come up in the conversation), the photographer is not shy about admitting past influences.
“Any artist that I have been influenced by becomes an homage,” he said, before referencing Roman sculptures and Bacon’s triptychs. He stated, “Picasso is most inspirational because he was constantly changing,” calling to mind that motto again, that creative drive: “Next!” The fact that the city of Chicago named a street after Skrebneski is a telling sign of its enduring love for the photographer. But another chance meeting, with photography master Harry Callahan while at the Institute of Design in Illinois, almost led Skrebneski to permanently
relocate to the Big Apple. Skrebneski had been working at a drug store while enrolled at the design institute. “We’d send out my roll of film and they’d send back little square photographs,” he said of the job perks. “I would crop those photographs. The image would probably be two inches square when I got through cropping them; then I would mount them.” When he showed these to Callahan, he was encouraged to try his luck in New York. At first, Skrebneski came and tested the waters, working for Charm and Esquire. But upon returning to Chicago—a move, he stated, intended to get the rest of his belongings and go back to New York for good—he was contacted by Marshall Field for a gig. “I did my first published fashion photograph for them in 1952. They liked it and kept giving me more work, so I stayed in Chicago and stayed with Marshall Field.” It was a move that demonstrated Skrebneski’s devotion to both his work and his hometown. Another city that holds the photographer’s heart, however, is Paris. Post-war Paris, for an emerging artist, was almost a rite of passage, and Skrebneski happily obliged. “It was wonderful watching Paris change right after the war,” he recalled. “The hotels weren’t even organized. Everything was a mess!” But it was during this first trip that the twenty-two-year-old met and befriended Hubert de Givenchy, of whom Skrebneski noted, “He was an incredible man, a gentle man.” Skrebneski’s relationship with Paris, and with the House of Givenchy, continued for many years and led to some of his most innovative work. In one of his better-known images for Paris Vogue, a black couture dress flies in the air. Skrebneski explained, “One night I found that I was out of money and I couldn’t hire any more models. The only thing to do was to photograph the clothes by themselves. It was good that I shot couture because couture is made so strong it can walk by itself. So I had my assistant throw the clothes up in the air and I’d shoot them at the time that I felt was right.” After his first trip to Paris, Skrebneski returned to Chicago in 1953 to open up his studio. Wanting to paint the space white, he moved all of his work into a nearby garage. One day, he discovered that two young kids had set fire to the place. He lost nearly everything: negatives, prints and equipment. “After the firemen came and put out the fire, I went in to see what was salvageable. There wasn’t anything except a few photographs, and one was of my sister, which was my first photograph,” Skrebneski remembered. “It was all cracked and crushed, but I liked the look of it, so I kept it,” he said. “Starting over again was good. When you’re young nothing is that serious. I still don’t take everything seriously because you never know what is going to happen,” Skrebneski offered. So he started over again, continuing the work he had been doing, but also delving into celebrity portraiture while working for Warner Brothers. One assignment, to shoot Orson Welles, led to one of Skrebneski’s most recognizable works: the black turtleneck series. Far from a premeditated, conceptualized idea, the series arose because of sheer happenstance—much like chancing upon that camera, or receiving that last minute phone call, or running out of budget and literally throwing caution (and
couture) to the wind. “What I do a lot in my life,” Skrebneski began, “is wait. You’re constantly waiting for everybody. So I waited for Orson Welles to appear in the studio for an hour and forty-five minutes. I started packing up my stuff to leave because I didn’t think he was coming. The minute I started packing, the door swung open, and there he was. He walked in, apologized for being late, looked around and then he took his coat off. He had on a black turtleneck, so he asked if he should remove it,” he explained. “I said, no I like it, keep it. And he said OK, maestro, begin. We shot it in fifteen minutes because I was in a hurry. I was tired of waiting.” And just like that, one of the most iconic images of Welles was created. The second image in this series was of Bette Davis. So impressed with the photograph was Davis that she wrote a letter describing her reaction to the image. Skrebneski, who shared several stories about his friendship with the screen star, read aloud parts from this letter:
“[It] pegs me perfectly and that frightened me when I first saw it. I felt in control that day during that sitting, but I could also recall feeling tired of being aware of trying to maintain control, and of course that came through in the photo. Skrebneski didn’t exhaust me but I was exhausted that day and being the good Yankee girl, the Puritan clock puncher, I was going to give him the best goddamn Bette Davis he could imagine. So you see the fierceness in the pose, the angle of the cigarette, the hand that has touched and pushed so much, but you can also feel the darkness of the muscles underneath and that giving in, that giving away. It’s an acting exercise, if you will, but one in which I’ve been caught. I’m playing movie star and doing it damn well. Most would fall for it, but the focus of an artist, an artist who knows how to wield that unforgiving eye of the camera, has found me out. So now I can relax. The world has learned that a human heart beats within the armor of Mother Goddamn.”
Victor Skrebneski: www.skrebneskiphotographs.com Charlie Fish: www.charliefish.info
For a photographer who’s constantly thinking “Next!” and has said several times during our interview that he doesn’t look back, but always forward, it’s touching for him to share this letter. “It makes me smile,” he said. “It makes me remember we were always in a good mood together. That kind of memory is strong for me.” Not everyone can share letters like that—or stories of Bette Davis answering the door dressed as a maid in order to fool him. The life Victor Skrebneski led has been a glamorous one, full of glitz and stars, but also full of long-lasting friendships and tender moments with subjectsturned-confidantes. It’s a life lived at a fast pace, always wondering what comes next, always determined to go forward. Along the way, Skrebneski affected and influenced fashion and culture through his artistically gorgeous, evocative imagery.
Now in his 80s, he still makes no mention of slowing down. With fourteen books published, he hints that he might have one more left in him. He’s remodeled and redesigned local Chicago magazine Today’s Chicago Woman. Inspired by Parisian gardens, he even designed a neighborhood park, much to the delight of the city Mayor. His city-planning projects even resulted in a photography gallery for the city, housed inside Chicago landmark, the Water Tower. And that’s all been in the last ten years. Makes you wonder, what if New York had snagged Victor Skrebneski all those years ago, right? But don’t get caught up on one moment. Everything has its place, and it’s best to always look forward.
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WHERE TO TAKE YOUR CLIENT OUT:
Employees Only / Macao Trading Company By Sachi Yoshii I Photos by Murray Hall
y ten o’clock, every barstool in the house is filled to the sound of rising laughter, clinking glasses and effusive conversation that will draw you inside. The staff at Employees Only is known for its warmth, love, and passion; with one look you can tell, quite literally, that they live and breathe the EO spirit. Many pass by the esoteric West Village awning and neon “Psychic” sign in the front window oblivious to the splendor that waits inside. Look for the EO “key,” enter straight through the front door, peel back the curtains and marvel at the unabashed Art Deco interior, complete with a curvilinear bar top, radiant ambiance, and a great selection of world music. The bartenders will raise a salute, their forearm typically emblazoned with the signature EO tattoo. If you’re a newbie, try a classic Manhattan ($14) with Rittenhouse Rye, vermouth, Orange Curacao and a dash of angostura bitters; or a Provençale ($14), a lavender-infused gin, stirred with Herbs de Provence, infused vermouth and Cointreau. “Provençale goes with oysters like a slap on a fool,” our bartender suggested with a wink, and he was absolutely right as we smacked our lips in delight. Cocktail enthusiasts rave about EO and are happy to hear its homemade blends of grenadine and lime cordial, rivaling the classic Rose’s, will be distributed later this year. A strong drink calls for a solid meal and Chef Julia Jaksic brings new life to bar food. EO is the best restaurant to go to for late-night gourmets, with the kitchen open until 3:30am every day of the week. The hand cut steak tartare ($15) is whipped up tableside with raw egg yolks, Worcestershire sauce, herbs, capers and spices, and served atop crispy toasted crostinis. Bone marrow poppers ($10)—unforgettable puff pastry shells filled with bone marrow and a rich Bordelaise sauce—and giant prawns ($15) are served in lucky threes. Be cautioned that the third sumptuous morsel, depending on your ability to resist the irresistible, might create some tension in your client relations.
Employees Only 510 Hudson Street New York, NY 10014 212.242.3021 www.employeesonlynyc.com
Price $$$ Drinks *** Food **** Ambiance***
Murray Hall: www.murrayhall.net
Price $$$ Drinks *** Food ** Ambiance***
Macao Trading Company 311 Church Street New York, NY 10013 212.431.8642 www.macaonyc.com
Just beyond the Western flank of Chinatown, a small Portuguese enclave has emerged. Named after the Chinese port town colonized by Portugal, Macao Trading Company boasts the unique flavor of traditional Portuguese and Cantonese cuisines infused with spices from along the Eastern trade routes. The restaurant is the latest addition from the folks who started the well-known Employees Only. Loyal customers frequent both, often following their favorite quirky owner from venue to venue. Macao’s Executive Chef, E. Chewy Cereceres, blends pan-Asian and fusion cuisines in a menu that ranges from Peking-style pork ribs and crab dumplings to lamb meatballs and paella. Begin with Manila clams, shrimp or meatballs, cooked either Chinese or Portuguese style ($10-11). Try the aromatic poached octopus with fennel and lemon zest ($14), or my favorite, Ants Climbing the Tree: sautéed glass noodles with minced pork, chilies, and just the right amount of spice and pluck ($14). Indulge yourself a little in the rich and tender grilled lamb chops, crusted with cumin and coriander served aside green mango slaw ($16). The bacalao fried rice—bacalao being the Portuguese standard dried and salted codfish—comes as a side and is one of the owner’s personal favorites: in his words, “Nothing glamorous but extremely tasty” ($9). Don’t skip out on the exotic desserts, like the fried milk and Portuguese egg tart to name just two ($7). While in a few cases the concept may seem more interesting than the actual dish, the unusual blends of spices and savory sauces will keep your fork circling back for more. With a host of antique curios overhead and red lighting, Macao captures the seedier Macanese backstreets once notorious for opium dens and prostitution. A downstairs lair, replete with dark wooden paneling, functions as a bar and lives true to the adage, “If it weren’t for the devil, bars would be out of business.” With cocktails that rival the best in the city, the bar at Macao is one of Tribeca’s best-kept secrets. Try the creamy Drunken Dragon’s Milk: green tea vodka with young coconut purée, Thai basil and homemade bitters ($14). For something fresh, sip on the Westside; a vodka spiked lemonade made with mint and fresh lemon juice; or the Kaffir Jimlet with its boldfaced gin, lime juice and agave nectar ($14). With such a large variety of cocktails, each one a new twist on an old favorite, you have every reason to come back again and again.
FILMS FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS:
Rope and Elephant By Alec Kerr I Illustration by Emil Rivera
“Cat and mouse, cat and mouse, tell me which is the cat and which is the mouse?” Phillip Morgan (Farley Granger), Rope. hese days, “ADD editing” is all the rage. It has become the default way to edit most films. In some cases it seems there’s a cut every five seconds. While this can be powerful, it would appear a lot of directors have forgotten the value and power of long takes. With 1948’s Rope, a film about a couple of college grads (John Dall and Farley Granger) who murder a friend and invite his family and friends to unknowingly feast off the chest the body is hid in, Alfred Hitchcock made a fascinating experiment. He wanted to approximate the experience of seeing a play and decided to film the whole action in one continuous shot. Technology at the time limited his concept as camera magazines could only hold up to ten minutes worth of film. To disguise the cuts, Hitchcock ends shots on a close up of a person’s back or, most effectively, the opening of the chest housing the body. There are a few intentional edits, most memorably a reaction shot by party guest James Stewart to a particularly suspicious action. Yet these cuts are fairly seamless as Hitchcock places them on natural beats.
Rope is anything but static. Throughout the movie, the camera moves fluidly around the soundstage set, a New York apartment with a city skyline that, in a brilliant bit of lighting design, changes as the evening progresses, going from dusk to night. In the best shot, the camera sits motionless as the maid clears off the chest. Banal banter is heard in the background, but the viewer’s attention is held on the chest and whether it will be accidentally opened. The outcome of the movie is apparent from the beginning, but the real time nature of the editing makes getting there a taut and playful experience. Fifty-five years later, Gus Van Sant experimented with long takes in Elephant, a film chronicling a day in the life of a high school that ends in a shooting spree. Even though Van Sant’s approach wasn’t to make a film in one takes, he utilized unusually long shots throughout the film. Most shots range from one to three minutes in length and were filmed with a steadycam. The camera follows various students, often from behind, as they walk around the school. You can feel the length and passage of time. The film’s longest shot follows a group of girls for over five minutes as they head into the cafeteria, sit down, eat and go to the bathroom. The next shot brings the nasty punch line: they’re there to purge. The fact that this all unfolds in real time—you know how quickly they went from eating to the bathroom—makes the point all the more stinging.
The film isn’t plot-driven. It could even be said that nothing really happens until the conclusion. The camera simply watches, follows and documents. The nature of the editing doesn’t add any commentary or perspective. There’s a coolness in this approach that is profoundly realistic and affecting. The simple act of say, developing film, is presented in the exact same manner as the shooting. When the violence in the final act occurs, the camera doesn’t linger on or glorify it. In fact, a gripping three-minute shot featuring one of the gunmen stalking two fellow students doesn’t show what happens when he finally catches up with them.
Rope and Elephant could have been shot in more traditional manners, but they would have been less effective. In both cases, Hitchcock and Van Sant’s approaches could be dismissed as mere gimmicks, but their unconventional usage of long takes enhances the material and acts as a reminder of the power of a sustained shot.
Rope Release date: August 28, 1948 Director: Alfred Hitchcock Writers: Patrick Hamilton (play), Hume Cronyn (adaptation), Arthur Laurents, Ben Hech (screenplay) Starring: John Dall, Farley Granger, James Stewart, Cedric Hardwicke Producers: Alfred Hitchcock, Sidney Bernstein Cinematography: Joseph A. Valentine, William V. Skall
Elephant Release date: August 29, 2003 Director: Gus Van Sant Writer: Gus Van Sant Starring: Alex Frost, Eric Deulen, John Robinson Producer: Dany Wolf Cinematography: Harris Savides
Emil Rivera: www.lariverola.com
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Releasing Q3 2010
Book review :
Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits Reviewed by Stephen Kosloff | Photo by Nick Ferrari
Dorothea Lange was born in Hoboken in 1895. Upon graduating from high school, when asked by her mother what she was going to do, Lange replied she wanted to be a photographer—a surprising twist given that Lange had not so much as held a camera at that point. After apprenticing with photographers in New York, Lange moved to San Francisco in 1918 and soon became its leading portrait photographer. When the Depression swept the country, she was compelled to take her camera into the streets to document the wreckage. Lange was atypical among documentary photographers in that she shot portraits, and she took ennobling yet complex pictures of the poor and ethnic minorities when such images were rare. This led to her work for the Farm Security Administration from 1935 to 1939, documenting agricultural laborers, and then a gig with the War Department from 1939 to 1945, photographing interned Japanese citizens. Gordon considers Lange’s work from this decade to be her best.
In terms of impact, Migrant Mother was Lange’s crowning achievement. She was driving home up the California coast in February 1936, after a grueling assignment. About two hours north of Santa Barbara she spotted a sign that said “PEA-PICKERS CAMP.” She drove another twenty miles before deciding to turn back, and the rest is American history. The subject, Florence Thompson, became the unwitting icon of Caucasian motherhood. She was in fact a full-blooded Cherokee Indian, which makes the photo both more and less of what it purports to be. While Thompson was displeased by her celebrity, articles about her later in her life prompted public donations to help defray her medical bills. She died near Modesto in 1983.
The book was not without problems, however. Occasionally Gordon gets bogged down in peripherals, as when she describes the décor of a friend’s house, or elaborates on quarrels in Lange’s extensive family.
Gordon’s descriptions of Lange’s life in early 20th century New York and San Francisco were superlative, despite a paucity of car chases and bikinis, as was her treatment of the Depression. Gordon draws Lange out through a relentless accumulation of details, facts, and comparisons with Lange’s peers, which underscores the singularity of her achievements.
Speaking of dubious criteria, my clock tells me it’s 3:18 a.m. These words that you’re reading, they are the words of a deeply fatigued book reviewer. Therefore, by way of summary, despite my gripes, which are primarily tactical in nature, I state that I enjoyed the crap out of this book. Good job Linda Gordon, BUT NEXT TIME MORE PRIDDY PIKSHERS OK? THANKS.
More troubling was the issue of photo curation. Many of Lange’s images featured in the book are unremarkable. Gordon addresses the difficulty of selecting images, based on the varied constraints she faced. Surveying the images, one can conclude either that Dorothea Lange—the sixth photographer to get a solo show at the MOMA—took very few good pictures, or that Gordon landed on a dubious set of criteria for selecting them.
Stephen Kosloff: www.stephenkosloffphotography.com Nick Ferrari: www.nferrari.com
he task before us is a consideration of Linda Gordon’s Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits, a fascinating yet somewhat wobbly book. Gordon’s credentials as a researcher are unassailable. She wrote Pitied But Not Entitled: Single Mothers and the History of Welfare for Christ’s sake (not to be confused with the 1975 classic How to Make Love to a Single Woman). Also working in Gordon’s favor is Lange’s incredible life, low-hanging fruit for a biographer. This was Gordon’s first biography, which was not an issue in itself, but the book’s flaws do perhaps reflect Gordon’s rookie status in the realm of photography.
PHOTOGRAPHY INDUSTRY T E LV I S I O N
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Sneakers By Ali Wisch I Photos by Nick Ferrari 1
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“I did not have three thousand pairs of shoes, I had one thousand and sixty.” Imelda Marcos, former first lady of the Philippines While we highly doubt that Imelda shares our taste in shoes, one thing is for certain, she sure shares our belief that you can never have too many. Photo industry folks love their fashion, but we can only say “beauty is pain” so many times and use up so many Band-Aids until we trade in our heels for slip-ons. Luckily, there is a fashionable alternative to platforms this summer, and no, it’s not Converse. Sneakers go from 80s glitter and colors to earthy granola. Looking hot never felt so good.
Nick Ferrari: www.nferrari.com
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Nova Catering + Events 820 10th Avenue New York, NY 10019 212.977.8900 Info@novacatering.com www.novacatering.com PHOTO EQUIPMENT RENTAL ARC* 42 W 18th St. - 6th Fl. New York, NY 10011 212.627.8487 email@example.com www.adoramarentals.com
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Primary Photographic* 195 Chrystie St. - North Store New York, NY 10002 212.529.5609 www.primaryphotographic.com PHOTO REP AGENCY LVA REPRESENTS/ Lewis Van Arnam 45 Main St - #515 Brooklyn NY 11201 347.599.0450 email@example.com www.lvarepresents.com PROP RENTALS Arenson Prop Center* 396 10th Ave. New York, NY 10001 212.564.8383 www.aof.com/props/index.html Eclectic Encore* 620 W 26th St. - 4th Fl. New York, NY 10001 212.645.8880 firstname.lastname@example.org www.eclecticprops.com Good Light Props* 450 W 31st St. - #9B New York, NY 10001 212.629.3326 email@example.com www.goodlightprops.com Props For Today*
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24 hrs / day 7 day / week $60 Flat Rate all nyc airports (trip, tolls tax & tip included)
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specializing in airport transportation for photo industry professionals
Above Studio* 23 E 31st St. at Madison Ave. New York, NY 10016 212.545.0550 ext. 3 firstname.lastname@example.org www.abovestudiorental.com
Daylight Studio* 450 W 31st St. - 8th-9th Fl. New York, NY 10001 212.967.2000 email@example.com www.daylightstudio.com
Go Studios* 245 W 29th St. New York, NY 10001 212.564.4084 firstname.lastname@example.org www.go-studios.com
NEW YORK, NY STUDIO RENTALS (CONT.)
Divine Studio* 21 E 4th St. - #605 New York, NY 10003 212.387.9655 email@example.com www.divinestudio.com
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450 W 31st St. - 10th Fl. New York, NY 10001 212.330.9900 firstname.lastname@example.org www.sunnyc.com NEW YORK, NY STUDIO RENTALS (CONT.) Taz Studios* 873 Broadway - #605 New York, NY 10003 212.533.4999 email@example.com www.tazstudio.com The Space* 425 W 15th St. - 6th Fl. New York, NY 10011 212.929.2442 firstname.lastname@example.org www.thespaceinc.com Tribeca Skyline Studios* 205 Hudson St. - #1201 New York, NY 10013 212.344.1999 email@example.com www.tribecaskylinestudios.com Zoom Studios* 20 Vandam St. - 4th Fl. New York, NY 10013 212.243.9663 firstname.lastname@example.org www.zoomstudios.net SET BUILDING Tribeca Set & Design 212.444.2230 email@example.com www.tribecaset.com SURFACE RENTALS Surface Studio* 242 W 30th St. - 12th Fl
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PHOTO EQUIPMENT Calumet* 1135 N. Highland Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90038 323.466.1238 email@example.com www.calumetphoto.com
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Castex Rentals* 1044 Cole Ave. Hollywood, CA 90038 323.462.1468 www.castexrentals.com
WEST COAST LOS ANGELES, CA PROP RENTALS House of Props* 1117 N. Gower St. Hollywood , CA 90038 323.463.3166 email@example.com www.houseofpropsinc.com PHOTO LABS A&I Photographic Digital* 933 N Highland Ave Hollywood, CA 90038 323.856.5280 mail@ aandi.com www.aandi.com The Icon* 5450 Wilshire Blvd
Pix* 217 South La Brea Los Angeles Ca. 90036 323.936.8488 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com www.pixcamera.com STYLISTS AGENCY Cloutier Agency* 1026 Montana Ave. Santa Monica, CA 90403 310.394.8813 www.cloutieragency.com STUDIO RENTALS 5th & Sunset* 12322 Exposition Blvd West Los Angeles, CA 90064 310.979.0212 firstname.lastname@example.org www.5thandsunsetla.com 8443 Studios* 8443 Warner Drive
Culver City, CA 90232 310.202.9044 email@example.com www.8443warner.com
Belle Varado Studio* 2107 Bellevue Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90026 213.413.9611 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bellevaradostudios.com Lightbox Studio* 7122 Beverly Blvd. - #G Los Angeles, CA 90036 323.933.2080 Info@lightboxstudio.com www.lightboxstudio.com Miauhaus* 1201 South La Brea Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90019 323.933.6180 email@example.com www.miauhaus.com Milk LA 855 N. Cahuenga Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90038 323.469.8900 www.milkstudios.com firstname.lastname@example.org Pier 59 Studio West* 2415 Michigan Ave. Santa Monica, CA 90404 310.829.5959 email@example.com www.pier59studios.com Siren Studios* 6063 W. Sunset Blvd Hollywood, CA 90028 323.467.3559 Monica@sirenstudios.com www.sirenstudios.com Smashbox Hollywood* 1011 N Fuller Ave.
THE RESOURCE NETWORKS.
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Hollywood, CA 90046 323.851.5030 firstname.lastname@example.org www.smashboxstudios.com
San Francisco, CA 94107 415.641.3017 email@example.com www.dogpatchstudios.com
PO Box 725146 Atlanta, GA 31139 800.272.6264 www.apanational.com
LOS ANGELES, CA STUDIO RENTALS (CONT.)
Left Space* 2055 Bryant St. San Francisco, CA 94110 415.285.5338 firstname.lastname@example.org www.leftspace.com
ASMP (American Society of Media Photographers) 150 North Second St Philadelphia, PA 19106 215.451.2767 www.asmp.org
LUX-SF* 2325 3rd St. #347 SF CA 94107 415.310.2263 email@example.com www.lux-sf.com
PHOTO EQUIPMENT Bron Imaging Group 800.456.0203 www.sinarbron.com
Smashbox Culver City* 8549 Higuera St. Culver City, CA 90232 323.851.5030 firstname.lastname@example.org www.smashboxstudios.com The LA Lofts* 6442 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90038 323.462.5880 email@example.com www.thelalofts.com The Studio* 6442 Santa Monica Blvd - #202 Los Angeles, CA 90038 323.791.7757 firstname.lastname@example.org www.thestudiola.com
SAN FRANCISCO, CA CAMERA EQUIPMENT Calumet* 2001 Bryant St. San Francisco, CA 94110 415.643.9275 email@example.com www.calumetphoto.com Pro Camera Rental & Supply* 1405 Minnesota St. San Francisco, CA 94107 415.282.6001 firstname.lastname@example.org www.procamerarental.com STUDIO RENTALS Dogpatch Studios* 991 Tennessee St.
Sintak Studio* 2779 16th St. San Francisco, CA 94103 415.255.7734 email@example.com www.sintak.net
Hasselblad 800.367.6434 firstname.lastname@example.org www.hasselbladusa.com Profoto 914.347.3300 www.profoto.com
PROP RENTALS The Prop Co-op* 80 Industrial Way Brisbane, CA 94005 415.468.7767 email@example.com www.propcoop.com
VIDEO SHARING WEBSITE Vimeo www.vimeo.com firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR LISTING OR ADVERTISING INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: email@example.com 212.677.0665
DIRECTORY PhotoCrew.com 310.855.0345 www.photocrew.com GRAPHIC MOTION SERVICES Space Junk 614.262.7665 firstname.lastname@example.org www.spacejunkmedia.com ORGANIZATIONS APA (Advertsing Photographers of America)
COMIN G SOON ... A SIMP LER WA TO SHO Y OT FOO D IN A RE NTstudio... A simpler way to shoot still life in a rental A L STUDIO . Six fully equipped digital still life studios. Each with lighting, grip, digital workstation, tools & supplies to provide a smooth workflow for a still life shoot.
All-inclusive flat rate packages. One price covers it all. Use everything in your studio and enjoy full access to the Noho equipment room. Itâ€™s all included in the flat rate, like an all-you-can-eat buffet.