ERNST HAAS – HIS 100TH BIRTHDAY

Ernst Haas, the pioneer of color photographic essays, would have been 100 years old today.

He created the first magazine color photo-essay in LIFE in 1962. He became the first color photographer to have his own exhibit at MOMA shortly thereafter. He made this photo of a fall leaf in 1964.

A very good friend of mine, and a fellow student of Haas, Arthur Meyerson, posted this on Facebook today. I was there at the Ernst Haas Worksop in Japan with Arthur in 1984. I couldn’t have said it better.

Arthur Meyerson’s tribute to Ernst Haas

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RAW AND HONEST

There’s always more stuff to acquire. So, how much is enough?

Very few people ask this question of themselves.

Van Life folks do it every day. Check out the film Nomadland!

Long before Instagram, my wife and I lived that mobile dream for awhile. It was a good time camping on and off the road for eight years. My Steinbeck’s America book project resulted from that experience:

Steinbeck’s America

PHOTOGRAPHY EQUIPMENT

As a full-time pro for 30 years, the gear I take on assignment depends on what is needed. Contrary to what it might look like, I prefer to work with the minimum amount of equipment.
Being familiar with the gear is most important to me. To that end, I’ve always carried some form of Canon or Leica in my kit. With their cameras and lenses, I don’t have to think. I just do. When Leica discontinued their 35mm SLR “R” system, I switched to autofocus Canon EOS 35mm full-frame SLRs.

Around the same time, I also switched from Kodachrome 25 to Fujichrome Velvia 50 slide film. When digital camera image quality evolved to a more than satisfactory level, I transitioned to Canon’s digital camera bodies and their latest lenses for my editorial and commercial work. I’ve stayed with Canon’s latest offerings since, along with Leica’s Q and M cameras and lenses.

For flash, the Profoto B1X portable lighting system has proven ideal for moving subjects both outdoors and indoors. A pair of these are always added to my kit and used as needed. Apple’s latest Macbook Pro and iMac, with Lacie external hard drives, remain essential on the road.

Photography equipment is simply a tool. Seeing and having something to say are MUCH more important. That said, I look for gear that is of the highest quality, easy to use, and has characterful rendering.

Note: The following list is constantly being updated.

PHOTOGRAPHY EQUIPMENT

As a full-time pro for 30 years, the gear I take on assignment depends on what is needed. Contrary to what it might look like, I prefer to work with the minimum amount of equipment.
Being familiar with the gear is most important to me. To that end, I’ve always carried some form of Canon or Leica in my kit. With their cameras and lenses, I don’t have to think. I just do. When Leica discontinued their 35mm SLR “R” system, I switched to autofocus Canon EOS 35mm full-frame SLRs.

Around the same time, I also switched from Kodachrome 25 to Fujichrome Velvia 50 slide film. When digital camera image quality evolved to a more than satisfactory level, I transitioned to Canon’s digital camera bodies and their latest lenses for my editorial and commercial work. I’ve stayed with Canon’s latest offerings since, along with Leica’s Q and M cameras and lenses.

For flash, the Profoto B1X portable lighting system has proven ideal for moving subjects both outdoors and indoors. A pair of these are always added to my kit and used as needed. Apple’s latest Macbook Pro and iMac, with Lacie external hard drives, remain essential on the road.

Photography equipment is simply a tool. Seeing and having something to say are MUCH more important. That said, I look for gear that is of the highest quality, easy to use, and has characterful rendering.

Note: The following list is constantly being updated.

**

I. MAIN KIT Carry On #1 – VIDEO (Randy – DP):

Canon EOS R5 Full-frame 8K Cinema EOS System Camera
Canon 5D Mk IV Full-frame 4K EOS System Camera

Canon EOS EF 35mm f/2 IS lens

Canon EOS EF 50mm f/1.4 lens
Canon EOS EF 16-35mm f/4 L IS lens

Canon EOS EF 70-200mm f/4 L II lens
Canon Control Ring Mount Adapters – EF to R
Variable ND and Polarizing filters
Canon Tele-Extender EOS EF 1.4X III and 12mm extension tube
Canon 250D close-up lens
Rode on-camera microphones – stereo and shotgun types
Additional lenses as needed 
Spare batteries and cards, remote releases, sensor cleaning kit, chamois, small reflector, plastic covers for everything

II. MAIN KIT #2 – STILLS (Asst.)

Canon 5D SR Full-frame 50MP EOS System Camera #1

Canon 5D SR Full-frame 50MP EOS System Camera #2

Canon 1DX Camera
All lenses and accessories above

CASES:

#1. MAIN KIT #1 in Rolling Pelican Case


#2. DP Carry On Back Pack – Backpack or Small Filson Dry Bag:

Leica Q with 28mm f/1.7 lens, Mac Book Pro and external hard drives, Spare LiOn batteries for flash and drone, headphones, music, sunscreen, eye drops, passport, cellphone, wallet, money, papers, snacks, water bottle, change of clothes, and small dopp kit

#3. MAIN KIT #2 in Rolling Pelican Case


#4. Asst.Carry On Backpack:
Canon 5D Mk III camera and Canon EOS 24-105 f/4 EF-L IS lens, Zacuto Z-finder, Rode on-camera microphone, Go Pro camera, knee pads, passports, money, another backed-up external hard drive, cellphone, wallets, snacks, water bottle, change of clothes and dopp kit

#5. Checked Bag – Large Rolling Pelican Case:
DJI RSC-2 stabilizers, video monitors, headphones
Monfrotto and Bogen fluid heads, Rhino slider 

Tascam 4-channel recorder, Headphones

Gitzo 320 tripod w/ Micro-D ball head, C Stand

#6. Checked Bag – Large Rolling Pelican Case or Samsonite Oyster:
Profoto B1X kit (X2) with Pocket Wizards, Soft box, reflectors, Car-to-car harness, walkie talkies, Bogen Super Clamp and extended camera release

#7. Checked Bag – Medium Rolling Pelican Case:
DJI Phantom 4 Pro Version 2.0 + drone, and/or DJI Mini Pro 3 drone and controllers, binoculars, goggles, ND filters, spare batteries, and chargers, chamois, Go Pro camera and accessories

III. LARGER PRODUCTIONS:

#8 Checked Bag – Back Up Kit (2nd Assistant)

Everything from the main kit not in #1 or #2 Case – plus Profoto B1 (#2), Pocket Wizards, flash adaptor rings, Canon 24mm f/1.4 EF-L II lens and 500mm f/4 EF-L IS lens, walkie talkies, extension cord, external hard drive, Tenba or backpack shoot bag, more clothes, including rain jacket and pants

#9. Checked Bag – Large Rolling Pelican Case:


Canon EOS 5D MK II camera with 17-35mm f/2.8 EF lens (my disposable camera mount DSLR), Gitzo 226 tripod w/ Leica ball head and small fluid head with Super Clamp and flash stud, Wescott Ice light and charger, extra flash tube. More GoPro kits and mounts, right angle finder, bean bag, extension tube, ND Filters, more storage cards and batteries, gaffer tape

#10. Checked Bag – Rolling Cooler:

Bogen fluid head, GoPros w/ bac pac batteries and viewer backs plus mounts (2-7 units), Leitz table tripod, Super Clamps, and Leitz all head, Filson Dry Duffel Bag

#11. Checked Bag – Super Large Rolling Pelican Case (Optional):


Complete video rig (see additional below), Canon 15mm f/2.8 EF lens, shoulder mount, Marshall monitor with sun shield, Rode Blimp with Sennheiser shotgun microphone, etc.
Budget

IV. BIGGER PRODUCTIONS – MORE CASES:


Stills: As needed. All of the above, plus another assistant or two.
Godox 600 portable lighting kit, Mathews suction cups and Manfrotto Super Clamp 

More: Marshall monitor, cables, Soft boxes for ProFoto, A/C Flash, Tungsten Lighting: Lowell Tota-light kit 
Daylight Lighting: LED lights, Westcott 150W Ice Light
Portable Studio: Overhead Silk, Backdrops and free-standing support stands, Manfrotto Avenger C stands, Super Clamps, sand bags, ladder, camera car, harness, broom, leaf blower, smoke machine, and air purifier. 
Budget!

More for Production Video:
Canon C300 camera, Gitzo 404 or 504 tripod and large Bogen fluid head, KenLab Gyrostabilizer, DJI Ronin, Roxant Pro camera stabilizer for GoPro, Wimberly head, Canon 600EX-RT flash units, Interfit battery, Leica SF20 flash, More Zacuto eyepieces, Marshall monitors and hoods, Hasselblad Pro lens shades, filter adapters, Leitz table tripod with ball head, dolly roller, handgrip, roller table, light meter. 
Budget!

V. BIGGEST PRODUCTIONS


As needed, All of the above, plus two or more strong assistants:
More Gear for Stills (All Rented):
Medium format digital cameras and lenses (various), 
More portable ARRI and AC flash systems, 
More light stands, soft boxes, umbrellas and grids. Budget!

More Gear for Video (All Rented):
Canon C Video Cameras. Steady Cam and operator, Arri Mini, Alexa and/or Red Epic with Leica lens adapters, 
Bron Kobold or Joker Bug HMI, Marshall monitors, audio rigs, Various handgrips, rigs, sticks, sliders, rollers & dollies, more drones with operator, Chase Car 
Budget!

Analog: Leica M system, Leica SL/R system, Nikon F system, Nikons V and 28mm f/2.8, Canon EOS, Hasselblad V system.
More lenses for video (larger production with several assistants):

Leica R Lens Kit – adapted to Canon EF and RF: 
Leica 28mm f/2.8 II – R lens (one of the best R lenses made)
Leica 35 f/2 – II R lens (lovely depth of field)
Leica 50mm f/2 – II R lens (sharp, great contrast)
Leica 60mm f/2.8 Macro lens (3-D, lifelike)
Leica 80mm f/1.4 – R lens (one of the best rendering lenses ever)
Leica 180mm f/3.4 APO-R lens (still competitive, especially wide open)
Leica R-Extension tube
Leica R 2X APO Extender (makes the 180 into an excellent 360mm APO)

Nikon lenses – adapted to Canon EF and RF:
Nikkor UD 20mm f/3.5 AI
Nikkor 28mm f/2 AI
Nikkor 55mm f/1.2 AI
Nikon 55mm f/2.8 Macro AIS
Nikkor 105 f/2.5 Type 6 AI

P.S. My kit for vacationing and personal work is a digital Leica camera, usually the Q with its 28mm f/1.7 or an M digital rangefinder with a 50mm lens. This is for pure seeing, shooting slowly and deliberately. A small flash and Leica M-mount lenses of 18mm, 35mm, 90mm, 135mm and 400mm focal length are used as needed.


**
Note that there is back up redundancy throughout. After the shoot, the written-on digital cards stay in a secure holder inside a zippered vest pocket on my person. As soon as I return to my hotel, the RAW files are backed up on my computer, Dropbox, and at least one hard drive. All drives are kept in different locations, or one is FedExed home. I love what I do, but I’ve also learned not to assume anything.

FROM 50 MM TO 28 MM

It’s interesting when you think about it. In the 1950s and before that, people saw the world with what artists called a “normal” perspective. It resembled a 50 mm focal length composition on a full-frame 35 mm format camera.

You see that perspective when you travel to European cities. The streets and buildings are narrow and complement that field of view. Continue reading “”

IT’S ONLY A MATTER OF GOING

From this day forward, all images on this site will be 550 pixels or wider, so you can better see the differences in quality.

“Actions speak louder than words.”

I’ve always believed in that. Yet, in today’s world, more and more, made up images and words are often believed over actions that are actually true. Continue reading “”

HAPPY NEW YEAR & 10th ANNIVERSARY!

Today, this blog celebrates its tenth year on the endless wire – pre-Instagram. Thanks to all for visiting this site and letting me share my life with you.

With an average of one new blog post every 5 days and an Instagram site now flourishing (@cars.randywells), it’s been an extremely satisfying last couple of years. It certainly helps me to keep writing!

Now, I just gotta keep up those New Year’s resolutions… Personally, I can’t wait for the 2020s.

(Photo: Motor Press Guild Best Film Award – March, 2019)
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