Yearly Archives: 2012

This Week In Photography Books – Paul Graham

- - Photography Books

by Jonathan Blaustein

My wife loves to watch “House Hunters International” on television. The premise is rather straightforward: strangers shop for houses or apartments around the world. The camera follows, showing the details of each prospective home. You root for your favorite choice, like a satellite-beamed horse race. (House porn and travel porn in one tidy package.)

I admit, I watch it sometimes too. It’s oddly addictive, like greek yogurt. Writing about it makes me feel silly, but no more so than watching. Often, as the images flicker on screen, I wonder, “Why am I looking at someone’s kitchen in Bulgaria? I could just skip a step and stare at my own microwave.” Why this obsession with the the talking box, rather than the light fixtures, or the electrical outlets, or the mountains out the window?

Our lives are complicated. In the 21st Century, the barrage of responsibility is more daunting than Paul Ryan’s ego. Insurance, mortgages, rent, taxes, bills, keeping the car full of gas, taking the kids to school and activities, checking in on social media, making photographs, chatting with friends and family, holding the door for strangers, doing your job. The list could go on.

Art, literature, and other such things ultimately function as a distraction. Look here, bestow your attention, and I’ll take your mind off your problems for a little while. That is the basis of the transaction. Idealistically, we hope what we peruse will replace our thoughts with new ones, grand and eloquent, but really, how often does that happen?

As photographers, we’ve all been seduced by the present. The camera serves as shaman, shocking us into appreciation for that which we see before us. Photography morphs the present into its own form of entertainment, offering a respite from the norm. The time we spend shooting grounds us in the now. Makes it thrilling. As it should be.

Normally, when I review a book, I look it over thoroughly, think for a few minutes, go for a walk, and then sit down to write. Exercise gets the blood flowing, and creates a 30 minute window of increased creativity. It’s been proven. This week, though, I eschewed the routine.

I first picked up Paul Graham’s “The Present” a few weeks ago. Another of the fantastic MACK publications, this book got inside my head and demanded further contemplation. The artist’s vision wormed itself into my brain, a bit further each day, like that nasty earwig from the first Star Trek movie.

It took some time to appreciate what was going on here. Nominally, the book is about New York City. As I’ve written about that subject many times before, (and likely will again,) I was a bit apprehensive about reviewing this one. Really, how much can I say about the Big Apple that hasn’t been said?

But, inch by inch, I realized that the book’s locale is strictly allegorical. It could have been London, or Barcelona, or San Francisco, or almost any city on Earth. The title of the book is not “NYC,” it’s “The Present.” Mr. Graham is asking us to take him at his word, and look beyond the obvious.

The book is basically a series of images broken down into diptychs and triptychs. Sometimes, they occupy the same page, in a vertical orientation. More often, the images are consecutive, or separated by a page. You turn, you fold, you refold, you try not to mess things up. (It will have little re-sale value if you bend or crinkle.) The book, therefore, demands a patient and experiential approach, setting the tone for the images themselves.

Each set of photographs focuses, literally, on a moment or place in time. Mr. Graham finds a location, a little patch of momentary drama, and then shoots, often shifting the depth of field from one character to another. It heightens one’s awareness of the nature of the photographic medium, highlighting the manner in which technique impacts the way we absorb information. Or, less often, he creates a connection between the two random people who occupy the same space.

The photographs luxuriate in the perfection and absurdity of a vast herd of humans, tromping back and forth across concrete and asphalt. Every moment of every day, people, with their attendant worries and woes, are walking, talking, pushing strollers, crying, laughing, ad nauseum. The urban experience is one great mega-drama. Here we see bits, there we see pieces.

The story opens, as a good film would, with an establishment shot. A Heineken truck blocks an intersection, with a policeman standing, his back turned. Next, truck gone, we see a view uptown towards the Empire State Building. Our entire experience of space shifts; closed to open. The following spread features a young Asian girl wearing an I heart NYC T-shirt. (In case anyone missed the initial cue.) In its companion, the focus has shifted to another young Asian girl in the background. The first girl moves along; an afterthought.

Onward weaves the narrative. We see someone who looks interesting, and then we forget. There are a few relationships that raise a quirky hand and say, hey, viewer, there are patterns out there if you choose to look. An African-American man, dressed for a corporate job, crosses an intersection. Part 2, and it’s a stooped over African-American homeless dude. Elsewhere, a man walks down the street with a yarmulke on his head, or was it another in a turban?

The one piece of high drama, a woman walking, and then she’s collapsed, is done tactfully. No blood, no vomit, no explanation. The real meat here is how the artist, and the camera, with its mastery of voyeurism, make us crave what we so often choose to ignore. Here, we escape to that which we normally flee: the present.

As far as books go, I can’t imagine many people not liking this one. If you look to me for recommendations, this one comes wholehearted. The pictures below, whether you like them or not, do not tell the story here. The experience of the book is fluid, more video than still. But, so often, this column is about more than just book reviews. So, for once, I’ll end elsewhere.

Life is short. Tragically, absurdly short. We will be gone for far longer than we were here. (Infinity.) We, lovers of the photographic medium, know the thrill of seeing something before our eyes that raises the blood pressure, drops the adrenaline. The rush of discovery. The joy of now. Let’s all endeavor to wean off of the most powerful drug, Entertainment, and spend more time with plain old reality. Myself included.

Bottom Line: A fantastic project from a major artist, in his prime

To purchase “The Present” visit Photo-Eye

Full Disclosure: Books are provided by Photo-Eye in exchange for links back for purchase.

Books are found in the bookstore and submissions are not accepted.

 

The Daily Edit – Friday
8.17.12

- - The Daily Edit

click images to make bigger)

Travel+Leisure

Design Director: Sandra Garcia
Deputy Art Director: John Sheppard
Photo Editor: Whitney Lawson
Deputy Photo Editor: David Alexander Arnold

Photographer: Dagmar Schwelle

Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted

The Daily Edit – Thursday
8.16.12

- - The Daily Edit

(click images to make bigger)

More

Creative Director: Debra Bishop
Photo Director: Natasha Lunn
Design Director: Kevin Brainard
Associate Photo Editor: Jennifer Dessinger

Photographer: Craig Cutler

Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted

Jeff Lipsky Interview

- - Photographers

By Chris Orwig, Faculty at Brooks Institute

APE Ed Note: I’ve worked with Jeff quite a bit in the past, so when I heard about the inspiring lecture he gave at Chris Orwig’s class I asked if he would conduct an interview for us. He’s an amazing person to work with, so I know you will enjoy his perspective on the industry.

Learning photography is easy – there are so many articles, books, blogs, videos, workshops, and schools. Yet, becoming a photographer is a completely different story; it’s a journey that doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a pursuit that requires a mixture of knowledge and experience. And one of the best ways to bolster your own skills is to spend time with those whose have forged their own path.

At the photography school where I teach, we take this concept seriously and therefore work hard to bring in photographers of all stripes to give guest lectures and presentations in order to inform and inspire. The guest lecture roster for our school includes a huge range of legendary photographers from people like Yousuf Karsh to Steve McCurry – you get the idea. One of the more enlivening of these lectures was recently given by Jeff Lipsky. Jeff is a highly accomplished photographer, and his images are authentic, down-to-earth, and full of life. A few of the students who heard Jeff speak said it was life changing. So after the talk, I decided to spend a few minutes with Jeff and asked him the questions below in order to try to capture a bit of what he shared.

CO – Take us back to the days of living in the mountains in Colorado, fly-fishing and snowboarding. How did you go from there to here?

It all started with a road trip. After graduating from college (Boston University), I strapped my skis on top of the car and didn’t stop until I reached Telluride. I wanted to ski for a season but ended up staying for 10 years. It was one of the best times of my life. Snowboarding had just been opened up on the mountains, so there were all these amazing ascents that hadn’t been snowboarded before. I snowboarded 200 days a year, and my biggest worry was whether to wear goggles or sunglasses. I was a free rider, and I wanted to float in the trees. The camaraderie and friendships were amazing. Along the way, I picked up fly-fishing, and became a guide met some fascinating people and became exposed to photography.

In the later years of my time in Telluride, I became more and more interested in photography. I was shooting landscapes and some portraits. I was inspired by a bunch of photographers; one was Ace Kvale. One day, Ace gave me his F4, which opened some new doors. I started spending 8-9 hours in the darkroom. I became obsessed. I decided that I wanted to become a photographer, which led me to working for the Telluride newspaper for a year where I became acquainted with the environmental portrait. I loved it. Then I made the leap and decided to move to Los Angeles.

CO – How did a ski bum from Telluride break into the LA photo scene?

I went to LA knowing that it was how I was going to learn photography. Instead of going to school, I worked in a grip room at Smashbox Studios. There, I was able to be a fly on the wall and see how it all worked. I saw how some photographers shot a huge campaign with a truck full of lights, while others didn’t use any lights at all. Eventually, I started assisting. At first, I didn’t know what roll film was, and the first photographer I assisted gave me his camera and said, ”Learn how to load it.” I was hooked.

I started assisting for all of these amazing photographers, working on everything from editorial to fashion. But I was also constantly shooting pictures. I’d ask for the left-over film after a shoot and then ask the assistant stylist and assistant makeup artist if they would help out. I photographed everyone I knew and friends of friends. I tested almost every girl and boy on the Ford model agency board at one time. I paid my dues testing so many models. I was crazy. Once, Ford sent me to Chicago and got me an apartment, and I tested 4-5 people a day for a week. I rocked it out. I tested nonstop. I was always shooting. I was trying to take photos that I like to look at. I was always trying to find my vision.

CO – How did you eventually find or clarify your vision?

As I progressed, I discovered that my vision was tied to who I am. What I mean is that I always wanted to do darker, moodier portraits like Paolo Roversi or Nadav Kander, but that’s not who I am. I like my photos to have more of an upbeat feeling… Something organic, natural and maybe whimsical. But at first, I didn’t have the words for it. Then I put together my first book and shared it with a few people. Someone told me what my style was before I knew what it was. Sometimes it takes an outsider to say it like it is.

CO- With that in mind, what is it that you’re striving for in your pictures?

I like to portray people in the best way for who they are, and I’m always searching for the real moment. I like people to be really laughing at a real joke. I like real emotion. Sometimes it doesn’t happen. Like recently, I wasn’t connecting with the subject until her boyfriend walked in and her eyes lit up! I had the boyfriend come next to me and talk to his girlfriend. If I don’t get it, I find other people to help out. Often, finding the real moments means looking for the break in between the frames when the subject isn’t staring into the camera but has emotion coming through. I keep shooting until I see that moment. Then I move on.

CO – Let’s get back to how you started out. After all that assisting and shooting, what was your first big break?

While I was assisting on a shoot, I happened to be talking with a magazine editor and we realized that we had a mutual friend. She said, β€œIf you’re ever in New York, come by. I’d love to see your work.” I had to beg, borrow and steal, but that next week I went to New York and β€œhappened to be there.” I called her up, and she graciously looked through my book and said it was good. She also said to feel free to send her my work. I sent them a package every week. Eventually, this connection led to a few others, which led to the big break.

Premiere magazine asked me to do their Sundance portfolio. Man, that was it! I went go to Sundance and found an abandoned office. In that space, I built a makeshift studio with floors and walls. There was a big window, and I had a few light sources. Then the talent came through, and I got to spend 15 minutes with each. It was unrealβ€” Francis Ford Coppola, Jessica Lange, Bob Dylan, Al Pacino and so many others. From that point on, I was established. I began shooting more commercial and editorial work.

CO – For who?
For commercial, I worked for clients like Eddie Bauer, Haagen Daz Showtime, JBrand, 20th Century Fox. On the editorial side, I picked up work for magazines like Men’s Journal, Outside, Esquire, Glamour, Woman’s Health and Vogue. It’s been a pretty good ride.

CO – At our school, our students often discuss the business/money in shooting editorial versus commercial. What are your thoughts?

First, you should never be in photography for the money. Be in it for the passion of shooting. And sometimes the less money you have, the better it is. It gives you more drive when every shot you take has meaning to it. It makes you strive and set goals.

For me, editorial is my driving force, my lifeblood. I love the creative freedom of shooting editorially. It is an amazing outlet for creativity, and it helps me hone my advertising skills.

When you take something down to the bare minimum, it is better. In commercial work, there can be so much production. And in those situations, you have to shelter the subject from all of that. They don’t need to know that there are 5 trucks full of lights. If I’m shooting a big celebrity, a lot goes into making them comfortable. I’ll shoot at a beach house, even though I don’t need the beach. It’s the setting that helps to get them unguarded. Editorial shooting helps you to learn how to do that.

On the other hand, commercial work is more of collaboration. It’s important to be able to get the creative task done efficiently and in a way that the client is happy, that I’m happy and that some beautiful work has been created. So in a sense, for me commercial and editorial work go hand in hand. And there has to be some sort of balance. If you only shoot commercial work your work looks too commercial – same thing with editorial. The two balance each other out.
You also have to diversify within commercial and editorial. If your just one type of photography you’ll die. I do music, food, travel, celebrity, lifestyle… and in doing a lot you still have to keep your style. That’s one of the most important things you can do.

CO β€” What are you working on now?

I’m always working on something – that’s what keeps in interesting. I just shot an ESPN cover of Sharon Stone, which was really cool. And I just finished a great a great portrait series for an outdoor client of famous mountaineering families. It was with some of the most inspiring people you could ever meet – people who have been on top of Everest 5 or 6 times with out oxygen.

CO β€” It seems like you shoot such an interesting mix of things, what else have you been doing?

Well, a few weeks back, I finished up some album packaging for Lady Antellebum and Keith Irving. And I’ve done some recent covers for Outside Magazine, a few covers for Woman’s Health. I created portraits of Ohau North Shore Lifeguards for Men’s Health. And most recently, I just finished up shooting the cast of the Real L Word for Showtime. Next week I’m off to Mexico for another shoot. It is an interesting mix and that is one of the things that keeps me motivated and inspired.

CO – Any last advice advice to the aspiring student?

Target who you want to work for and go out and meet people in person. It is the single most important thing for getting work. And use every resource that you can to learn. Assist for as many other photographers as you can as a way to learn the business. And constantly shooting while you are assisting. I’ve always felt that it boils down to timing, tenacity and talent. You have to be at the right place in the right time. There’s a reason why I moved to Los Angeles. You need to be where it is happening. Tenacity – constantly produce work and get it in front of the right people. If someone doesn’t like your work, that’s ok. Have the self-confidence in what you do and press on. Talent – it comes from learning from your own mistakes. Go to photo editors and other photographers and ask them for input. Listen to their advice, yet stay true to what you want.

 

 

 

 

The Daily Edit – Wednesday
8.15.12

- - The Daily Edit

(click images to make bigger)

Red Bulletin

Chief Photo Editor: Fritz Schuster
Creative Photo Director: Susie Forman
Creative Director: Erik Turek
Art Director: Kasimir Reimann

Photographer: Lauren Dukoff

Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted

The Daily Edit – Tuesday
8.14.12

- - The Daily Edit

(click images to make bigger)

GQ

Design Director: Fred Woodward
Creative Director: Jim Moore
Director of Photography: Dora Somosi
Senior Photo Editor: Krista Prestek
Art Director: Chelsea Cardinal

Photographer: Levi Brown

Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted

Studio Visit with Evan Kafka

- - Studio Visit

A Conversation with Evan Kafka, a Photographer.
by James Worrell

Recently I had the idea of interviewing some of my colleagues, photographer to photographer, to gain some insights and see how they do what they do. I started with someone I know well and whose career has somewhat mirrored my own. Although Evan shoots portraits and babies, and I shoot still life, he has long been one of my technical go-to people and a good friend. He is one of those photographers who is not only creative but also knows how everything works. I have always loved talking to him and I hope you will find our exchange interesting and informative. In order to focus the conversation I chose some recent ads Evan has shot for Huggies Wipes.

Evan owns and operates a small rental studio in NYC’s flower district called Some Studio; it is here that we sat down for a conversation.


(There are 3 other ads in this series, here is the one we talk about)

Worrell: Hi Evan, I am here to talk with you about your work but my first question is: why a rental studio? It seems like a lot of work on top of being a photographer, how is that working out for you?

Kafka: Hey James, thanks for stopping by. Yeah, I like having the rental studio. It helps keep me from being isolated like a lot of photographers are. It’s fun to meet new people and have people around all of the time but you are right, it is a lot of work. I used to have an office in my apartment but my daughter was born and she kicked me out (laughs). No seriously, I wasn’t looking for a studio but i needed an office, and a friend of mine was leaving this space. I saw it as an opportunity. The rental income offsets the cost of the space but as you said before, it is a lot of work with upkeep, marketing, etc.

Worrell: I am glad you did, it’s a great space. How long have you been shooting, how long did you assist other photographers and where did you go to school?

Kafka: I went to RIT, came to New York in 1995 and assisted for about 5 or 6 months. I got shooting work really early, I was pretty lucky.

Worrell: Your work is very bold, simple and graphic, did the transition to digital affect your style or way of shooting?

Kafka: I don’t think it has that much. I look at pictures I took 10 years ago on film and printed C-prints of, and I am always amazed at how similar the lighting and composition is. Digital is really just another tool. Obviously I wasn’t doing the post-production that I am now, and that is a big part of my look, but part of that is just to get it back to how it looked in film. Another part if it is trying to get it to where I wanted it to be when I was shooting film but I didn’t know how to do it, how to get it there. There were people doing post production work back then of course but it wasn’t as common as it is now.

Worrell: I was looking at your work and was struck by the Huggies ads you did recently. I love the humor and simplicity but I know that it was anything but simple. How did you get the gig?

Kafka: It was my 3rd job for Ogilvy Chicago in the past 12 months or so. It’s hard to say exactly where it came from or specifically how they found me but it’s safe to say it was a group effort between me and my agent. I have spent years marketing myself with the help of my agency, Glasshouse Assignment, and have done a lot of baby promotions in recent years. I think a lot of people believe that if you get an agent, that alone is going to bring in the work. But for me it seems like I have to drive it, I have to bring it. My agent helps things go smoothly, negotiates and puts my work in front of the people who need to see it. But I have to give her something to sell. I had to get my work to the right place before we started getting work, that’s the bottom line.

Worrell: What was it like leading up to the job? Were the ideas collaborations or did they bring you everything sketched out?

Kafka: This particular art director, Vince Soliven, had these ideas and concepts sketched out, they were definitely his concepts, but I had ideas on how to execute them and together we worked that out. You mentioned that they looked like a lot of fun, and they were a lot fun, some clients and agents have a good sense of humor (laughs). It’s great when you can work on something that is supposed to be quirky and humorous. The traditional market for baby photography is more lifestyle oriented so it’s sometimes hard to get them to choose the funny pictures. Which is what I love about babies, just how spontaneous and ridiculous they can be. Ultimately, clients decide on the tone of the piece by their edit, luckily Ogilvy, and by extension Huggies, has a great sense of humor. I commend art directors and agencies for wanting to go for the full-on funny and if their clients have to pull them back, at least they went for it.

Worrell: How many shots did you do for this campaign? I see 3 tearsheets on your site–were there more?

Kafka: There are four ads total, one should be coming out in the near future. But we did five shots plus variations.

Worrell: Did you do it all in one day?

Kafka: No, it was two days, thank goodness (laughs). And it was a pretty intense couple of days.

Worrell: How much pre-production did they give you?

Kafka: Well, it was really hard because we bid on the job right before the Christmas holidays and the shoot was on January 2nd or 3rd, something like that. We had little time to prepare and we had to pull it together during that crazy time of year. We had one producer tell me that it couldn’t be done–luckily I found one that said sure, no problem.

Worrell: So how big was your crew? As you said you had a producer, someone who organizes and puts the whole thing together. But who else?

Kafka: This was a big one, in fact I have a crew photo on my blog which shows the 20 people directly involved with the shoot. So basically, we shot at Gary’s Loft, a location studio.

Worrell: So you didn’t use your own rental studio?

Kafka: No, quite often I need to rent a bigger studio, especially for advertising productions.

Back to the crew:

We had a producer, Jake Mills, and he had a production coordinator with a production assistant. The prop stylist, Peter Gargagliano, was also the set builder and he had four assistants. There was a wardrobe stylist, Ellen Silverstein, and she had an assistant. Nikki Wang who did hair and makeup. I had three photo assistants and a digital tech. Also, Huggies used Bambini Casting for the casting and wrangling of babies.

Worrell: That is an important point, a lot of people might not know about the baby wrangler.

Kafka: Yeah, you gotta have a baby wrangler. Bambini is run by Michele Avantario and she is the main wrangler but she has a team of usually two or three assistants who also help wrangle. A big part of what they do is manage the flow of babies (we both laugh).
It’s important because on a shoot like this, I think we had five babies for each ad, knowing that we were going to only use one in the end. It’s just a matter of who’s going to perform best when the time comes.

Worrell: How much time do you get when you book a baby model?

Kafka: Typically you get two hours, we try to stagger them a bit so they are not all there at the same time. Another thing is that Huggies is very particular about having a separate baby holding studio. Gary’s loft is three floors, we had one floor for two days that was essentially the baby holding area. We had to pad the floor with foam padding and that area was just for the babies and the parents. We shot on the other two floors, one on the first day, the other on the second. But one of the rules is that the parents and families can’t be on the same floor as the shoot, or within earshot. So we really needed a big studio.

Huggies also used a diaper stylist named Heidi Samuda. Like Michele, Heidi Samuda is a freelance stylist and she also cuts the babies’ hair if needed. An important point is that we have her do that the day before the shoot so as not to aggravate the baby the day of the shoot.

Worrell: So was that the whole crew?
Kafka: No, there were three people from Kimberly-Clark/Huggies, three people from Ogilvy Chicago, and one from Ogilvy New York. So it was a lot, certainly one of the bigger ones for me.

Worrell: Wow, that is a lot but it’s a good thing to point out. I don’t think the average person knows how much goes on behind one of these ads.

(Above is a crew shot, and below are a bunch of behind the scenes shot by his photographer friend and assistant Joshua Freiwald.)

Worrell: Now let’s talk specifically about that one shot, the Spaghetti Challenge. First of all, was that sauce real or was it done a lot in post?

Kafka: It was real tomato sauce, with some pasta in it. So yes, it was real and Peter did the sauce the day of the shoot. It was a little scary because once it was laid down that was it. So what we did was we shot as much as we could without it. We shot a lot of plates, etc, then splattered it on the dad and then we gradually built it up on the floor and the wall. We also splattered some sauce in different shapes on a smaller piece of wall board and shot various angles so they would have different splatter options for the shots.

Worrell: So let’s talk about how you lit this shot.

Kafka: It was our second shot of that day so I tried to get it going before the other shot was finished. When I am doing a multiple set shoot like this I have my assistants set up a number of lights that I typically use and I start grabbing things. On this specific shot we had our main light, a small Photek Octabank coming from overhead and the left. It is similar to the Elinchrome mini Octabank.


So, I had this light up high overhead, pointed straight down which is what I tend to do. I tend to point my lights straight at the floor more often than at the subject. If you think about lights in nature, they are very seldom pointed right at somebody. It’s more of a gradual feather, where light sort of catches, where you sort of enter into the beam of light. It’s a better way to evenly illuminate somebody from top to bottom. If you point the light more at the floor it tends to rake across their body a little more evenly.

Worrell: That is interesting to hear you say that. It reminds me of the advice a lighting master once gave me during my assisting days where he said never point the lightbox directly at the subject, always off to the side to find the sweet spot.

Kafka: Yeah, it’s also an easier way to control the light falloff on the background. One thing I want to say is that my lighting tends to evolve throughout the shoot, I don’t get it perfect at first. It tends to change as we’re shooting. I would say typically I arrive at the lighting that works about 1/3 of the way into a shot, sometimes less. I have some standard things that I tend to do but I try not to start a shot with the same formula, especially when the shot is in an environment.

Worrell: Here is a lighting diagram that your assistant Richard did so everyone can see all the other lights and modifiers used:

(Diagram made by Evan’s Assistant, Richard Solinger, using a lighting diagram photoshop document @ www.kevinkertz.com)

And for all the gearheads out there, specifically what kind of lights and cameras do you use?

Kafka: I light with strobes or flash equipment. I own Profoto Acutes and when I rent I tend to use the Profoto 7A packs. So if I have a job with a decent budget I will rent the 7As because although they are bigger they have a much faster flash duration. And with babies, animals, even adults, you can get a bit of blur with the Acutes due to its slower flash duration. It really has little to do with camera sync and shutter speeds and more to do with flash duration.

Worrell: For those who may not know, what is flash duration exactly?

Kafka: It is essentially the length of the flash. When you increase the power of your flash you are actually just increasing the length of the burst; you’re not really increasing the strength of the burst. So when you use high powered lighting it tends to have a longer flash duration. Studio Packs are usually engineered to have shorter flash duration than the portable packs but they are a lot more expensive. I just had the chance to use Profoto’s new 8 pack and not only is the flash duration fast, you can dial one channel from the full 2400 watt seconds down to 4.7 watts. This is great because I tend to use a lot of lights and often have a hard time shooting below f11. With these packs I could dial it all down and shoot at f1.6. I sometimes have to use an ND filter to get my f-stop where I want it but these packs are more versatile.

Worrell: Canon, Nikon, or Digital back?

Kafka: I use Canon. Right now I have the 5D MarkII and MarkIII cameras. On that Huggies ad I used my 50mm Zeiss ZE Macro lens which is not an autofocus lens. And since I was on a tripod for this shot and the models weren’t moving around too much I used the Zeiss lens which is a sharper lens edge to edge when wide open at lower f-stops. So at lower f-stops I like the Zeiss lenses but down past f8 or f11 I think the Canon lenses are better.

Worrell: Do you shoot tethered and if so, what program are you using?

Kafka: I use the software that comes with the Canon Utilities and I focus in live view, I find it easier and faster to use than Capture One or Light Room. But I catalog and organize everything in LightRoom.

Worrell: Thanks Evan!

Check out Evan’s website and blog for more work and insights.

 

 

 

 

The Daily Edit – Monday
8.6.12

- - The Daily Edit

(click images to make bigger)

New York Times Magazine

Design Director: Arem Duplessis
Director of Photography: Kathy Ryan
Art Director: Gail Bichler
Deputy Photo Editor: Joanna Milter
Photo Editors: Stacey Baker, Clinton Cargill, Amy Kellner, Luise Stauss
Designers: Sara Cwynar, Hilary Greenbaum,Β Drea Zlanabitnig

Photographer: Richard Barnes

Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted