RIP Dave Heath – Friend, Mentor, Teacher: 1931-2016

One of the most influential photographers in my life has passed.
dave heath010
I went to a particular school,Ryerson in Toronto, just to make sure I could learn from him.
We became friends, and what he taught me, is deeply ingrained in my visual thought process.
Here is the obit from NYT.

The following is an article I wrote about his last book, which was an amazing retrospective of his life and work, and the photobook of the year, last year, in my opinion.

When I left LA, there were 95 boxes of photo books that went into storage.
Since moving into a city where space is at a premium, my book purchases have taken a nose dive, and only a very select few make it through the front door. Yes, I’m talking about the printed books, not the ones that live on my iPad.
Today one of the finest books I’ve seen in a long while, showed up in the mail.
Multitude, Solitude The Photographs of Dave Heath51jbvWomarL
Have to call this my choice for Photo Book of the Year. Rare do you find a combination of salient text, along with a full collection of a master photographers work, brilliantly printed, and the book itself, a tightly crafted item.
The size of the book is right, and no images run in the gutter, a pet peeve.
In the front of the tome, you get a history of Dave Heath that helps give you insight into the man. After a full, rich, collection of photographs, including the out of print book, “Dialogue With Solitude” you also get a an insight into the man as a photographer and artist.
And also maquettes (mocked up layouts) of book he made along the way
Do not pass this up before it goes out of print. I have only done one pass with it, and know that many more are ahead. Michael Torosian has been a maker of fine books for years, and his involvement in the is one, assured quality. It does not disappoint. If you care about photography, and want to make a discovery, buy this book.

Sure, I’ll admit that he was one of my teachers. It was after seeing him do a talk, that I decided on my college.
In looking back at his work I can see why we also connected. His vision speaks to me, and I’ll bet it speaks to you as well.
Even as just a solid book, this is a masterpiece. $52? A fantastic deal!

Light Em Up!! Photographing Fireworks Guide

(This is a previously published article, but the fireworks haven’t changed, so it should all still hold true.)

Living in A Powder Keg and Giving Off Sparks!

Continue Reading »

Adobe CC Updates: Next Level Additions!

If you are not using the Creative Cloud By Adobe, I just don’t know what to say.
For $119 a year, you get the best tools for your photographic life, designed by a company whose base level DNA is digital imaging.
They have a new round of updates, and some things you can’t live without, and some thing you may want to just check out.
First up is a fix for something that we all have done, and now made simple.
Have you ever skewed the horizon line on a fave photo, adjusted in LR so things lined up, but you then cropped out key parts of the image?
Yep, we all have.
There is a new tool called Content Aware Crop that will fill in the missing parts and restore your faith in photographic humanity. Like magic.

Cool, right?

OK, next up is a new Liquify tool that allows you to make fun of anyone you want to.
Make them a caricature, if you want.
Fine, a great use would be to open eyes on a portrait, of increase a smile. Just don’t get too creepy, ok?
Portrait of smiling young man with beard

Yeah, I’ve wanted that for a while. Add in some texture, and you could be doing portraits in Time Square from your laptop, and sending files to customers. Just kidding. (or am I?)

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 9.55.08 PM
We are all looking for the perfect online portfolio, amirite? Now included in you Adobe CC package is a portfolio option.
You can do better, right?
I haven’t tried it yet so I’ll hold off til I do. Direct posting from PS to a site sounds pretty cool. Let’s see how the designs progress. But it does have a sales option built-in.
I’m due for a change, and will report back.

The stock market (photo-wise I mean) has been in a downward spiral. There is just not the same kinda money in it that there once was. Heck, if you’ve ever looked for images for a project, you know that it’s not that expensive.
If you’d like to try that shoe on the other foot, Adobe CC makes it easier for you with tagging, posting and tracking software for you, baked in.

And there are more improvements, like better masking, so good, the hairs on your head will not only stand up, but be even more easily separated from the background.

You see, this is what I love about Adobe:They make the best digital imaging software, and that’s what they do.
No hardware or gizmos.
And they listen to you, the end-user, to find out what would make your imaging life better. Then do it.

Are you going the way of video? At some point you will, if you haven’t yet.
Well, Adobe Premiere has taken over where Final Cut was. Yeah, I was a Final Cut guy, and it’s all about the Adobe Premiere now. CC as well if you want to add it one.

Messenger Bag Roundup Part 2 : Peak Design 13″ Messenger

Ok, you saw the value proposition, now let’s have a look at the higher priced spread:
The Peak Design 13″ Messenger Bag
Coming on the heels of a very successful launch of the 15″ messenger bag, the public asked for a smaller more manageable version, and the company listened.
This is a beautiful, well made, bag. The fit and finish of all parts will do you well in any kind of circumstance. Formal or casual.

Even the interior stitching is pretty deluxe.

Let’s get down with some of the features:
The top design feature for me, are the origami-like inserts.
412pUyepfAL._SL1000_ (2)
With the pre-indented areas, you can fold and maneuver these to solidly hold whatever camera/lens configuration you need. Personally, I went with a Fuji X-T1, 56mm on the body, on one side, with a 14mm in the center, then a Fuji 100T, on the other side.
Another unique design feature is the ability to hold a traveling tripod, easily secured on the case.One leg goes through the top flap, and the legs are help together with a rubber band type strap. I put my Gitzo traveller there with ease, and the weight distribution worked well. So you can carry you tripod, but honestly, I only carry it specific shoots.
There is an outside pocket for a laptop/tablet, and a front set of pockets to fit your essentials.
A key point is the top zipper, allowing you to get at your camera without opening the front flap. Very useful, and, coincidentally, available on another bag we are reviewing.

A good idea, is a good idea.

Now, the bag is a bit stiff. The main section has side flaps to allow you to pack a bit more, and the front flap has 4 different settings to adjust to the packed load.
Great perhaps, for protection, but could be more pliable for your goods, so you’ll have to pack specifically, especially in the front pockets
The strap adjusts very easily, and you can go from a messenger sling to sit on your back, or as a shoulder strap.You can tell a lot of thought went into that part. Like all of the parts.The machined metal parts are all well crafted and have a sleek finish.

I do wish it had some outside side pockets for a water bottle, or a fast holder for a phone or sunglasses. This bag does stay true to its design mantra, and eschews the net pocket with elastic, with slim pockets, that meld beautifully into the bag.
However,they should have some kind of closure as I wouldn’t put a phone in there and sling it on my back for fear that it could fall.

The good: well designed, great build, origami foam dividers, upscale look for any situation.
Wish it had: better side pockets, more pliability, less weight.

So if you are up for the spend, about $220, this is a great choice, not only as a walk-around camera bag, but as an everyday bag to take to your work, or client meetings.

And here is what it can hold:
Screen Shot 2016-06-18 at 11.32.10 PM

2 more bags to go……

Messenger Bag Round-Up : Part 1 – The 24/7 Traffic Collection

247tcm-1I know, I know.
Photographers have soooo many bags, why do we need another?
Because you just do. The right bag for the right assignment. There is no one perfect camera bag.
And why a new bag? Well, depending on your assignment, you may not want to show up at the gig with a nasty beat up old bag, especially if your clients are all in business attire, or formal wear.
Living in New York City, messenger bags are the primary order of the day, for most people.
Before I start getting into the different bags, I would like to point out that a messenger, cross slinging bag, isn’t right for everyone. Many woman find them uncomfortable.
I’ll be talking about 4 bags in total. All bags have been used on the street for 2 days, minimum.
OK, here we go:
First up is a bag called the 24/7, sold by Adorama and Amazon.

With a design made for slinging to the back, the bag has a back, zipped pocket, the full depth of the bag, mirrored with an internal padded laptop pocket.
The flap is secured by a pretty standard clip system, velcro free.
Under the flap there is a very convenient pocket, where I put my ever present battery for charging the phone. Perfect placement. On the top of that section are some easy to get to pockets for pens, biz cards, cleaning cloths, etc.. They do give you a little card holder case deal, pictured, but I never used it.

That whole thing zips up, to give you some more security, especially if you are riding a bike, or just slinging it back.

Once inside, the orange interior gives you a better view of what may be hidden. Enough additional pockets for perhaps a portable drive, media card wallet, pen slots, card reader, etc.
Then we go to the bulk of the interior space. Designed to sit flat on the ground, it’s a pretty open area.
But wait, there’s more.

You get a sweet handled pouch, with zipper, and some simple foam dividers. A great way to pre-pack your cameras.
Plus there is a cable, or whatever extras you like, pouch.

The flap of the bag is made is some kind of rubberized, or waterproof material.
I found out just how waterproof it was, as I was shooting Cage The Elephant (incredible band) in the pit during fleet week, and the crowd was well lubricated and sloshing their free rum drinks, all the way into the pit. (Photos below)

The flap was closed on the bag, an my loose lenses were well protected.

My gear on this jaunt was 2 mirrorless bodies, 3 lenses, card wallets, plenty o’ camera batteries, tablet, large phone battery, cables, snacks, biz cards, lens pen, .

Admittedly, I was a little bit dubious about the weight, and how it would sit on may back.
That was the first clue that 24/7 had a sweet design: walking 15 NYC blocks from my apt to the venue, the bag was comfortable and secure on my back. And day 2, when I shot at the Intrepid for Memorial Day, with the same set-up, another comfortable shoot.

By slinging the bag to the front, I was able to get to the gear quickly, and actually, kinda tossed the changed lenses in the gear pouch, and felt that it would protect the glass. And it did. Could use some work on the access, but got it sorted for this gig.

What I like:
Great price, simple, well made, waterproof flap (also comes with a rain cover), flat bottom.
What I didn’t like:
A bit too deep, no outside pocket for water, needs more versatility on the strap to use easily as a shoulder bag, top of bag access would be helpful.

Overall: a great value proposition($80), perfect for a mirrorless system, and if you ride a bike, a secure, comfortable way to get your gear to the gig, or use for everyday use.
Although isn’t have a camera with you an everyday use?

and even a video!

Shots from the gigs:

Fleet Week

Cage The Elephant

Fleet Week

Cage The Elephant

Fleet Week

Memorial Day at The Intrepid

Fleet Week

Norman Reedus


Upcoming Events

  • PhotoPlus Expo
  • Oct. 19th -22nd, 2016
  • Jacob Javits Convention Center, New York City
  • Lucie Awards
  • Oct. 23rd, 2016
  • Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, New York City

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

Current Exhibitions

  • Met Breuer
  • Diane Arbus-In The Beginning
  • July 12th – November 27th, 2016
  • 945 Madison Avenue
  • New York, NY 10021
  • Phone: 212.731.1675
  • Whitney Museum
  • APR 27, 2016–FEB 12, 2017
  • 99 Gansevoort Street
  • New York, NY 10014
  • Tel: 212.570.3600
  • Getty Center
  • Richard Learoyd: In the Studio
  • August 30 – November 27, 2016
  • 1200 Getty Center Drive
  • Los Angeles, CA. 90049
  • Tel: 310-440-7300
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • Nan Goldin
  • May 26 – Feb 12, 2017
  • 11 West 53 Street
  • New York,NY 10001
  • Tel:212-708-9400
  • Yossi Milo Gallery
  • Simen Johan
  • May 26–August 10, 2016
  • 245 Tenth Avenue
  • New York,NY 10001
  • Tel: 212-414-0370
  • Howard Greenberg Gallery
  • JULY 6 – SEPTEMBER 2, 2016
  • 41 East 57th Street, Suite 1406
  • New York,NY 10022
  • Tel: 212-334-0100
  • KlompChing Gallery
  • FRESH 2016
  • July 13–August 6, 2016
  • 89 Water Street
  • Brooklyn, NY
  • 11201
  • Phone:212.796.2070
  • Peter Fetterman Gallery
  • Neil Leifer
  • June 4 – September 3, 2016
  • 2525 Michigan Avenue Gallery A1
  • Santa Monica, CA
  • 90404
  • Phone: 310.453.6463
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Crime Stories: Photography and Foul Play
  • Through July 31st, 2016
  • 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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