Nikon Starts the Summer Going Wet & Wide

It’s official! Summertime has begun.
Nikon has introduced an update to their excellent outdoor camera, newly named COOLPIX W300.

It’s waterproof, shockproof, dustproof. Oh yeah, and freeze proof for your wintry excursions.
16 megapixels, and 4K UHD video.
With Wi-Fi, it’s a pretty easy share to your phone, via an app, and posting all over the dang place.
Basically, when you don’t want to put your smart phone in danger, and the go-pro menus still infuriate you, this is their perfect catchall, do everything you need camera, in a nice small package.
Continue Reading »

Magnum 70th Anniversary Events All Over NYC

If you have ever seriously looked at humanity through a lens, you no doubt have known about Magnum.
“Magnum is a community of thought, a shared human quality, a curiosity about what is going on in the world, a respect for what is going on and a desire to transcribe it visually.”
Henri Cartier-Bresson

© Rene Burri. USA. NYC. June 27, 2010. Magnum photographers at the Annual General Meeting.

As the organization turns 70 this year, there are events all over the place, sharing, celebrating, illuminating the work created by some of the best photographers on the planet.
Here are just a few events coming up in NYC: Continue Reading »

Maybe The Best Photojournalist Traveling Bag!

I’m definitely a problem v. solution person. Need starts the search for the right gear solution.
And like many of us (all of us?) have a plethora of camera bags. the most fickle of gear options.
So, when my well planned flight from an event, went awry and I couldn’t put my ThinkTank Airport International in the overhead, and had to give it to the Flight Attendants who assured me that the bag would be in the hold and awaiting me at the gate. It wasn’t, then did, but that is another story.
Point being that the experience made me change things up. I needed a hard case, just in case I have to check my camera bag.
First solution was a Pelican 1510, with Trek Pak dividers, and then a ThinkTank backpack in my luggage, empty, then transfer once I got to a hotel/location. A bit funky, but it worked.
After 4 travelling shoots, I am ready to share this perfect solution from SKB.
They combined a great hard case, with a ThinkTank backpack, designed to fit perfectly inside the case!
Now, this is what it looks like:

I have packed it with a few different configurations-A mirrorless system with 2 bodies, and a plethora of lenses,& another with a mirrorless camera and a 4K video camera, broadcast handheld mic, lav, mic, etc. (this photo is just a sample image from SKB. Mine is all covered in stickers from events and cities)

It all depends on what the event will be.
An extra added beauty to this rig, is that there is enough space around the bag to add my many, many, many, lithium batteries. Seems we should be carrying them in the cabin now, and not checked. Thanks, exploding hoverboards and Samsung phones! I do keep them in mesh Muji bags so they are not flopping around. these have 2 compartments so I put used, and fresh batts in appropriate sides.

Plus, I always put a few TSA approved locks in that space, in case I do have to check the bag
The SKB outer case has a red button for raising and lowering the external handle, and is nicely places on one side of the top of the handle. This way you won’t accidentally lower it as you are rolling in with your hand in the middle of the grip.

The combination of a hard, waterproof case, with a ThinkTank quality backpack, has been a perfect combo.
Yes, the size is the same as a Pelican 1510, so you know what will fit.
Diving into the backpack a bit, you have a the adjustable dividers, and zippered see though compartments on the lid.

You can add a laptop or table to the outside, and the compartments for cards, easy to reach cables, pens, etc, are right where you need them.
One things.
There is a side pocket that I add a Gitzo traveler tripod into, secured by ThinkTank straps from some other bags. The tripod does get packed into my luggage. I could put a monopod with a ball head into the case, but I packed that into luggage as well.

What’s the downside? The only design flaw I saw was a zipper on the bag that had a tendency to catch on the weather resistance zipper cover. They are looking into that.

So. will it work with DSLR rigs? Of course it will! 2 bodies, the holy trinity of lenses (15-25, 24-70, 70-200 all f/2.8) tighter and heavier.

Cost is about $290 .Definite recco for purchase!
Yes, I have added another bag with some extra gear onto the handle. Full transparency, I brought my Nikon DSLR and lenses in addition to the mirrorless rig, to SXSW, in the additional bag. Yep, was still not sure the mirrorless could handle the speed of shooting live music.
And if you order via this link, you will get a bonus gift!

OK, here is what mine actually looks like, with the 4K Canon video cam, and Fuji X-T2 in there:

Nikon Gets Ready to Intro New D7500 DSLR : Legacy Tech, Lighter Weight

You’ve been looking for that upgrade from the phone, and not sure if mirrorless is the way you want to go?
Nikon is bringing out a new DX format DSLR this summer, that could make your wallet smile.
With an incredible range of ISO 100 up to 1.64 million (yep, that’s right), your low light concerns may go away. Now with any camera using that high of a range, the files get a bit “grainy”, shall we say.
The bigger news for me is the eliminated low pass filter, so you’ll now get better clarity, and sharpness. It seems to be the trend as companies are realizing that the possibility of moire happening on your photos, is way less of a worry, then better looking files. Good call/
And for the families looking to capture the families extracurricular activities, sports, fast-moving kid, you can shoot a burst of 8 frames a sec, with a 50 RAW shot buffer.
Spray and pray with confidence on this affordable unit.
Articulated LCD, touchscreen controls, and lighter weight than the D500 (16% lighter), and all of the legacy tech that was developed and perfected with the D5 and D500, this is one for serious consideration.

Oh yes, the 4K UHD can be saved UNCOMPRESSED via HDMI to an outboard hard drive.
But all of that is probably not for the enthusiast, unless you are full on conversant in video. You can just save videos to the media card!
With stabilization, zebra focusing help, and the ability to save files as MOV or MP4, you just saved the need for a separate video camera on vacation!

A bit more than entry level, but with all the bells an whistles you would ask for, at a great price and Nikon build quality, could be the enthusiasts go-to. You;’ll have to wait till the summer to see it in your hands, though. A little pre-news.

And now, the official word: Continue Reading »

It’s Time For Citizen Journalism To Grow!

And that means you!
As an image maker and communicator, you have the skills to capture, and share the information to the world.
No better time than the present. With the amount of events going on cross-country, the time to share real news, not fake news, nor alternative facts has never been more important.
It’s not about what side you are on. It’s about being a voice. Plus giving others that voice.
It’s a daily discussion. Sure, you may get political fatigue, but be part of the process. It’s a needed service, and your talents can make you a citizen journalist.
Remember to identify yourself with credentials, and laminates if you are affiliated. Having a tablet with a release is also good to get after an interview.

To that end, I’d like to recommend some gear to help you get going.

DSLR’s are great, and the best can capture 4K video as well, but you may want to be a bit smaller and move easily in and out of situations.
Capturing quality audio, of course, is a also a big concern.
I have a couple of reccos on hand-held mics that you can attach directly to your camera. Great for interviews on the move.
Audio technica 2005 for an inexpensive and quality interview mic.(around $80)
Move up in the ranks, and the Electrovoice EV50B or EV 50N/D-B ( a little hotter output for DSLRS) will give you pro quality sound, and minimal handling noise. ($180)

What’s handling noise? When you are holding a mic, or an interviewee is, the movement of hands on the shaft of the mic can be heard.
The EV50B has minimized that to the best degree I’ve found. And look at any of your local news broadcasts, and that’s the mic they are using.
When using a handheld mic, you may want to consider designing a mic flag, with your logo, or company name.This adds to your branding and making a more polished looking video at the end of the day.
Have time to mic up someone with a lav? I have 2 suggestions, at 2 price points. Both of these are being held between my fingers so you get an idea on the size

TRAM-50, on the right, and the flatter of the 2 has been my go to for years (about $310), and have now started in with Sanken COS 11d. Almost twice the price, but can hear the diff.(about $380.)
Both omnidirectional, but physical shape is different, and the Sanken is a bit easier to hide.
Many ways to hide either of these mics, and plenty of accessories to help you do that.
For going wireless, which is a good idea, I am actually still using some Sennheiser G2 evolution receivers and transmitters.The link takes you to full set incl. lav, but I’d go used or EBAY, and skip the lav. They rec/trans both look the same, so I’m only showing one of them..

When I was first hitting the trade show floors there weren’t so many of us and the frequency on the trans/rec was easy to keep standard. The beauty of these is that you can scan and adjust to get your mics on their own frequency.
Going back to the handheld mics, add in the plug in transmitter, ( also called the butt plug, sorry) with XLR jack, and completes your handheld interview package. Easy to find used on EBAY, and I’ve had good luck with that. You see it on the EV50 above. Good to add a cover.

And yes, might as well get a well designed logo, on a mic flag for a finishing touch.

After 5 years, I’ve upgraded the video camera. Yep, I like a dedicated video camera for live action.
The Canon XC-15 is my camera of choice:

4K, up to 305 MPS, broadcast quality, in a small, unassuming package. Not intimidating at all, and may help you get the interviews, without imposing on subjects.
With an articulating screen, you can grab that high angle shot in the crowd, and the autofocus is amazing fast and good.
One zoom lens only, so there is that. Sorry but I’m cool not changing lenses and being more nimble.
Using CFast cards for the 4K, and SD cards for the HD, you can get started with what you have, but need to make that painful purchase on new CFast media cards.

Lighting wise, I am using the Fotodiox ring light, as it gives good front fill, and leaves the cold shoe on top free for anything. (under $50) Sometimes, I just add a Rode shotgun mic to the shoe and gather what I can. Plus it comes with a bunch of adaptor rings so you can use it on your other lenses/camera as well
Admittedly, the XC-15 has a separate audio module used in Canon’s bigger pro line C series vid cameras, but i only use those for set-up situations, when I have more time.
Have your social feeds add more than promotion, and selfies. I’ll try to do the same.
There are no rules, except be respectful of those you approach to be on camera and give their thoughts.
Oh, and don’t break any laws!


Upcoming Events

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

Current Exhibitions

  • Getty Center
  • In Focus: Expressions
  • Oct. 7th, 2018
  • 1200 Getty Center Drive
  • Los Angeles, CA. 90049
  • Tel: 310-440-7300
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • Stephen Shore
  • November 19, 2017–May 28, 2018
  • 11 West 53 Street
  • New York,NY 10001
  • Tel:212-708-9400
  • Yossi Milo Gallery
  • Sanle Sory
  • Through June 23rdst, 2018
  • 245 Tenth Avenue
  • New York,NY 10001
  • Tel: 212-414-0370
  • Howard Greenberg Gallery
  • Through May 5th, 2018
  • 41 East 57th Street, Suite 1406
  • New York,NY 10022
  • Tel: 212-334-0100
  • Peter Fetterman Gallery
  • JEFFREY CONLEY Reverence
  • Through June 9th, 2018
  • 2525 Michigan Avenue Gallery A1
  • Santa Monica, CA
  • 90404
  • Phone: 310.453.6463

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

Like what we’re posting?
Join us on Flickr.