David Douglas Duncan : My 20th Century

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We are lucky to have some of the photographic masters still with us. I say      that, because photography is still a relatively young medium, and it’s    prevalence in our lives came to be within the last century.
One if the finest photojournalists and war photographers is David Douglas  Duncan, and at age 99, has put together his final book, My 20th Century  Here is an interview with him, on the occasion of the publication.

While filled with his iconic images of World War II and Vietnam, most recently I was re-aquainted with his work with Picasso.

By knocking on this door, he forged a relationship with the artist and his companion, Jacqueline.

This past fall, there was an encompassing exhibit called  Picasso and Jacqueline at the PAce Gallery in NYC. TWhen you arrived , the first rooms walls were filled with the images of the couple , made by David Douglas Duncan.

That started a whole new appreciation of the photographer for me.

His intimacy and access with photojournalistic subjects during wartime, was played out in the apparent friendship, and record of a couples life and love for one another.

He now lives in the south of France.

Back to the book.

When I moved from California to NYC, I left about 90 boxes of books in storage, and have a real love for the well made photobook.

There is something happening in the world of photobooks these days, however.

I’m not sure if the advent of tablets and the possibility of looking at images on a retina screen is the way we are going.

What I do know is that I wish the current crop of photobooks were larger. Like this one.

It does give you a taste of this giants work. There are a few too many mages, full bleed, over 2 pages. My pet peeve is photographs that get spread over 2 pages, destroying the intent of the whole image. Either make the image smaller or the book bigger.

You see, this is why I think about the download of a photo book. No photos stuck in the gutter of a book. Better.

This is an important book, especially since it was overseen by the photographer himself. At a cost of $19 at Amazon you can’t go wrong. But I’d do a downloaded version, if available.

VR Is In The Beginning of the Beginning

444429-carl-zeiss-vr-oneVR-(virtual reality): This refers to content created in a 360º environment and viewed using special goggles.
As image makers, we should all be aware of the ways images can be made. This technology is young for acceptance into the culture, so consider this an early adopter look.
At SXSW interactive this year, I figured it would be the chatter and not the conversation. There were numerous panels and presentation on all aspects.
Some basic learning’s:
Continue Reading »

SXSW – This Is The Little Gear That Worked

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As we enter the season of music festivals, the shooter on the scene needs to be prepared.
Before we post about the holy trinity of lenses you need, the reason to use a DSLR or Mirrorless, or the best software to get your images out fast, let’s look at some of the other items that should be in you kit.
Simple things.
At SXSW in Austin, there is such a huge range of photo assignment types, that you’ll need to be ready for all: Major speakers in a convention center, bands in tiny dark clubs, red carpets for movie premieres, huge name bands on stages surrounded by dirt, street scenes with brands promoting their wares, and basically, a full range of assignments for any shooter, sans studio work.

So, what should be in your hotel room when you come back to download your full cards and recharge?

A lot of little gear. Small, but mighty.

Speaking of recharging, I took this unit with me for the first time:
The Watson dual charger lets you swap out plates for different cameras, shows percentage of charge, and has a USB input to charge up another item. Was able to charge both Nikon and Fuji in one charger with and easy plates change.

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One thing Ive learned in the pit, is that while shooting, using your phone to get that Instagram, posting fast and tagging right, get’s the flow started for your photos, still to come.
But you better be charged.
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This Photive has 6 ports that will charge your smartphone and tablet fast!and will know when your tech is full and stop sending current. It knows what kind of power you need ( 2.4 for iPhone, 1.2 for Android) and smart adjusts. Small, and lets you set it up in your room without taking up your USB ports on your computer situation.110-220v so good overseas.

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Always in the bag is the PNY 10400, with a cable for my iPhone. With a readout that shows percentages, this fast charger can fill up a phone 5 times! I have used this all over the world, charging off of any USB (see above). Small, powerful, and you can help a buddy out and still have enough juice for your full day and night.about $50.

Then let’s look at some lower tech goodies.
It’s dirty out there. And dusty. This trio of goods are used in daily maintenance of the camera and lenses.
Giottos air blowers, LensPen lens cleaner, and the secret weapon: a USB LED ring light with a magnifying lens. Cost about $8, and lets me see if my lens is really clean. Both sides.

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Going back for a second to the Instagrams: I always have some Olloclip lenses in my bag. Always. You need to go telephoto? Wide Angle or Fisheye? This is your secret weapon to post unique images.
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Here’s another one. You may think that business cards are old school, but I met more band managers and PR people shooting events, and a distinctive card will stick out in the pile that may have collected. I go for MOO cards. Lots of cool formats to choose from.
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If you are going to shoot music, you will need earplugs. Whether you carry the basic foam, shutting out 32db, or a higher quality set like Dubs. For $20, I just used these-Check out some EarLove plugs. And yes, that’s a flashlight– when it’s dark in the club, you want to know what’s in your bag.
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The basic workflow is this:
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MacBook Pro 13″ ( could be the last year. Squeezed 4 years out of it)
ToughTech Duo 2.5in RAID 750GB
G-Tech Mobile 1Tb drive
Lexar Card Reader – I took a couple of modules from the Workflow tower to cut down on weight and it worked fast.
USB 3.0 bus powered HUB – 4 inputs, and it is a life saver. No need to plug into a wall, since its bus powered.
It’s simple and it works.
Why all of the hard drives? back-up, Back-up, Back-up. Yes, 3x.

And you know what I’m using to take it to the event:ThinkTank Airport International
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And what I’m using AT the event:ThinkTank Shape Shifter
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Yes, the camera strap of choice is Black Rapid– either the single or the double. You need to get one of these.

I’ll get to the bigger stuff shortly.

Nikon updates: D7200, Cutting the Wires, And Going Long

After last months announcement about the D810A intended for the Astrophotogrpahy market, the latest news is looking at a more general market. With an update to the D7100, a super zoom point and shoot, and wireless mics, Nikon is listening closely to their audience.

First up is an update to the best selling D7100, surprisingly: D7200.
In the current trend of removing the low pass filter allowing for sharper images, the new DX 24.2 CMOS Sensor, gives you all that. Remember that you are more susceptible to moire with that filter gone.
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The D7200 brings you a better shooting experience with an 18 shot RAW buffer, 100 shot jpeg fine buffer,and 6 FPS.
The ISO range is interesting: 100-25,600, which is cool, and 2 higher ISO speeds 51,200-102,600 in BLACK & WHITE only!
Yep, they realized that at the extreme ranges, the grain is truly significant but with B&W, it’s mainly considered grain and acceptable.
Timelapse up to 9999 images, with exposure smoothing.
For videographers, you can now record uncompressed full HD in 1080/30p in this camera. You want that to give you a full size file to work with.That will give you the best opportunity to craft your specific look in a program of your choice (like Magic Bullet, perhaps). Think of it like getting a raw image file, and adding your creativity in the final. And, if you like, you can see your in-camera decisions in Live View, now. Or decide in post.
Built in Wi-Fi and NFC, it uses Dual SD ( time to get the fast cards, now!) And when available, it will sell for about @1200., body only.
Sure, there is a built in stereo mic, but I’d only use it to record a guide track.
Using built in mics is a rookie move on any DSLR, as you will be driven crazy in edit, trying to work around the sound of your hands adjusting the camera, and very likely, the sound of your breathing. Get yourself Plural Eyes, if you record with an external mic.And on that subject….
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So now, Nikon is also introducing a wireless mic, ME-W1, so you can mic up your subject, and record up to 164ft away. Takes AA batts, easy to find anywhere, and uses bluetooth. About $250.

Next up is a new super zoom.
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The P900 has a 24-2000mm optical zoom! a 16mm camera that may be the first compact that you would want to put on a tripod.
Seriously, when I first saw Nikon’s entries into this categories, I was blown away. Sitting in a booth at CES, they pointed the camera upward and shot one of the ceiling light in the Las Vegas Convention center.
You could read the writing on the light bulb, and this new version looks like it follows suit and then some.
16 megapixel CMOS with 7 frames a sec for getting all of the kids sports events.Go for the burst to guarantee capturing the moment.
The optical VR claims to have a 5 stop increase in shutter speed. when you have that long of a lens through and you have a small camera, you will get camera shake at some point. This camera seems to take every precaution to prevent that.
Sure it’s 2.9-6.8 f/stop, but that is sweet considering the focal length at the longest throw.
There is a birdwatching and MOON mode ( someone at Nikon design loves the stars!)
Variangle LCD screen and built in Wi-Fi, this P900 will run you about $600 when it’s released.
Seems like a perfect camera for the family that wants to get close enough to all the action and don’t want to bother with the hassle and expense of interchangeable lenses.

Think I need to get one of these in my hands and try it out. Nikon? What do you think?

Leggo My Miggo! Camera Strap Gives Great Gear Protection

The mirrorless mindset has come home to me as a 2 part phenomenon:
A. Less weight in the bag
B. Using more primes
It’s true. When I shoot an event, the Nikon Full Frame DSLR’s still come out and the trinity of lenses (14-24, 24-70,70-200) are at the ready. They travel protected in a ThinkTank bag, and are built like tanks.
On the street, I was looking for a smaller, high quality rig, that I could carry easily in any bag.
Leica is out of my range, and the Fuji X-T1 system is just right (full review coming soon) Still not an inexpensive alternative, but built well. And I want to keep the gear in mint condition.
I am prone to use a messenger bag for easier access to the camera on the street. The Thinktank CityWalker is my bag of choice, and i remove the insert to reduce bulk.
When I fly, though, more gear ends up in the carry on bags, both roller and “personal bag”. Needed protection.
Miggo has had a neoprene camera wrap, designed as a camera strap as well. I’ve liked it as a camera protector, and the wrap design protects your DSLR from bumps and scrapes, although you are either putting primes or smaller zooms on the body. Admittedly, I use it only for transport and protection, not as a camera strap.
They also have a wrist strap version for mirrorless, called the Grip & Wrap, and it fits my Fuji X-T1, even with a 56mm 1.2, perfectly.
This is how it works:

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You can secure your camera with a the 1/4-20 tripod connector, and it is a safe, non marring, rubberized piece.
The wrist strap on this model actually fits great and is surprisingly comfortable while shooting. You can unwrap, shoot, rewrap quickly, and toss back into your bag. It is still a bit more material than I want on my hand while shooting on the street, but in other slower situations should work well. The tripod disk allow the whole unit to be put onto a monopod or tripod with ease.
OR… you can forget about the tripod connection and just have a great wrap for your camera.

That is my main use; Well made, fitted, protection. Here is my Fuji X-T1 with 56mm lens, wrapped up safe in the Miggo.

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And opened up. The lens shade was not extended, but was reversed on the lens, ready to go.
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Using your regular daybag or backpack, wrap up the camera and toss it in the bag,

When you have a combo of about $2000. investing in a camera lens combo, $40 is a small price to protect that investment. Order one (or two) right here.

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Upcoming Events

  • Photoshopworld
  • August 10-13, 2015
  • Mandalay Bay Hotel
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • N1-800-201-7323

Is there an event we should know about?
Let us know on twitter.

Current Exhibitions

  • Clampart
  • Lindsay Morris | You Are You
  • Through Aug. 21st 20th, 2015
  • 531 W 25th St
  • New York,NY 10001
  • Tel: 212-414-0370
  • Getty Center
  • Light, Paper, Process: Reinventing Photography
  • April 14th – September 6th, 2015
  • 1200 Getty Center Drive
  • Los Angeles, CA. 90049
  • Tel: 310-440-7300
  • Yossi Milo Gallery
  • Jacob Aue Sobol
    Arrivals and Departures
  • July 16–August 28, 2015
  • 245 Tenth Avenue
  • New York,NY 10001
  • Tel: 212-414-0370
  • Howard Greenberg Gallery
  • Land Lines
  • Through September 4th, 2015
  • 41 East 57th Street, Suite 1406
  • New York,NY 10022
  • Tel: 212-334-0100
  • Staley-Wise Gallery
  • BERT STERN: FROM THE ARCHIVES OF BERT STERN: Part II
  • Through Auguts 28th, 2015
  • 560 Broadway
  • New York,NY
  • 10012
  • Phone: 1-212-966-6223
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • From Bauhaus to Buenos Aires: Grete Stern and Horacio Coppola
  • Through Oct. 4th,, 2015
  • 11 West 53rd Street
  • NYC,NY
  • 10019-5497
  • (212) 708-9400
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Fatal Attraction
    Piotr Uklański Photographs
  • Through August 16th, 2015
  • 1000 Fifth Avenue (at 82nd Street)
  • New York, NY 10028
  • Phone: 212-535-7710

Is there an exhibition we’re missing? Let us know on twitter.

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