WIM WENDERS FILM ON SALGADO OPENS

“The Salt of The Earth”, which debuted at Cannes last fall and was nominated for an Acadamy Award, will be opening in New York and Los Angeles on Friday. Theaters nationwide will follow in April and May. Directors Wim Wenders and Juliano Salgado made this documentary film about renowned photojournalist Sebastian Salgado. Continue reading “”

REFLECTIONS ON ERNST HAAS

“There are almost too many possibilities. Photography is in direct proportion with our time: multiple, faster, instant. Because it is so easy, it will be more difficult.” – Ernst Haas

“Living in a time of the increasing struggle of the mechanization of man, photography has become another example of this paradoxical problem of how to humanize, how to overcome a machine on which we are thoroughly dependent… the camera…” – Ernst Haas

“The camera doesn’t make a bit of difference. All of them can record what you are seeing. But, you have to SEE.” – Ernst Haas

Continue reading “”

I BROKE ALL THE RULES

“NEVER shoot a car on a parking lot with stripes.”
“NEVER shoot a car in hard light.”
“NEVER shoot a car with just a rangefinder camera.”

Yup, I broke all the rules and still got published. Excellence Magazine #225 will arrive this month featuring a story I wrote and photographed on a DIY Porsche 912 project. Jason Thrupp is the owner, a New Zealander who relocated to Santa Barbara – two of my favorite destinations. Continue reading “”

TROUBLE FOCUSING A LEICA RANGEFINDER?

Some great advice here on zone focusing:

“Leica’s aren’t meant to be shot wide open in street photography. You can’t constantly nail f1.4 shots of people moving. Furthermore bokeh shots in street photography tend to be cliche, and you lose context of the background and environment. To be frank, very few great photos in history were shot wide open.” Continue reading “”

BELLEVUE CAR STUDIO GETS A MAKEOVER

The car studio space I moved into near Seattle has recently undergone a major upgrade. In addition to adding the option of either a black or white background, a 30 foot square white silk fabric has been mounted to the ceiling to reduce any unwanted reflections.

With seamless on the floor and 4000 watts of light either bounced off or through the silk, a uniform presentation has been created. The results are beautiful and will continue to just get better, making it one of the best auto salons in Washington state. Continue reading “”

30 YEARS AGO

It was thirty years ago that I traveled to Tokyo to participate in a photo workshop taught by Ernst Haas. I knew nobody when I arrived and gained two life-long friends by the time I returned home two weeks later. One is Len Krueger, as gifted a visual artist as anyone I’ve met.

Today I spoke with that second talented friend of mine, the legendary photographer Arthur Meyerson. His recent book The Color of Light reveals his influences, including Haas and Jay Maisel. Check it out before it goes out of print. Haas would say it’s amazing. Continue reading “”

LEICA T

Here’s a Leica back up body that some digital M users have been waiting for. $1850 will give you a 16 MP sensor with a 1.5X APS-C crop factor. It has a new T mount that will accept Leica M lenses with an adaptor (for an additional $400) and EVF viewing with another adapter (about $600). That’s more than the cost of a used 10.3 megapixel Leica M8.2 APS-C body. Comparatively, the T doesn’t need an IR filter, it’s smaller, and half the weight. There’s no rangefinder and no focus peaking or image stabilization. But it has AF with the two rather expensive Japanese made T lenses introduced so far. Continue reading “”

FOCAL LENGTH

OK, let’s talk focal length (FL) on a full-frame 35mm camera.

14 and 15mm: The widest angle FL has traditionally been a 14mm lens. This exotic optic is available in a rectilinear design so it can reproduce straight lines as straight, yet it “stretches” the subject. It is limited in it’s usefulness but can be indispensable for certain situations. 15mm is the next widest FL and commonly designed as a fisheye (non-rectilinear) lens. Again, very limited in its use, with much more barrel distortion (think ‘60s pop art). Continue reading “”

AN OBSERVATION

“We live in a world that values easy solutions to complex problems. And buying [photographic] gear on specifications is such a solution. Further, instant pop culture has destroyed the ability of most people to appreciate nuance, delicacy and detail, values which require dedication and emotional commitment, and which are only revealed over time.” Continue reading “”