Just wrapped a campaign here in Rio. This city is amazingly beautiful. This was a snap from a location we shot at.
As some of you may know, I'm writing a travel photography book for Random House. It's quite a venture, and I'm now pulling together an edit for the book. It's fun to go through the archives because there are images that my eye didn't catch the first time, and some that I've forgotten I had. Thought I'd post up a few.
I just picked up a 5D MKII last week, and I thought I'd take a minute and write down a few snippits of what I like about the 5D, and what I don't like about it. I bought this camera to primarily serve as a backup camera and to make use of the video aspect. The 1Ds MKIII will still be my primary camera. I'm reviewing this c
amera in the respect that I would normally go out and shoot. So my review won't be too techy.
So what DO I like about it?
•The color and image quality are great, and as good or better as my 1Ds MKIII. I think there's a little more range, but the images look great.
•The screen is huge and crystal clear. Images look beautiful on it!
•The GUI has a little bit better graphics
•The video straight out of the camera is pretty amazing. Still learning how to maniuplate it. (Laforet has some great posts on this) it's pretty spectacular.
•the ISO in the normal range reaches 6400 and can be expanded to 25,600
•3 sizes of RAW files-Great if you're shooting things that don't need to be at the 21mp size
What DON'T I like about it?
•The focus compared to the 1D/1Ds series cameras sucks. The focus points are really small so it makes it harder to focus. If you've got an 20/30/40/50D or old 5D camera, you probably won't really notice a difference. I think this is where the price point comes in and you jump to the higher end Pro cameras.
•To open the 5DMKII files in Capture One you have to have the newest version which is only supported by Mac OSX leopord.
•The body feels light. Compared to the 1DsMKIII, it feels like a toy. Feels weird to grip, but I will have to get a battery grip to balance this out. (this doesn't really matter though)
•Shutter sound is not as beefy.
Overall, the 5D MKII is a steal. To get into a full frame great camera for $2700 is dirt cheap! Basically disposible.
Here's a couple recent shots:
Casting plays such an important part in the final quality of your images. Good casting doesn't always mean hotter models(except in fashion), but the right models for the desired outcome. In lifestyle, more beautiful models will take your work to a higher caliber, if you're shooting lifestyle advertising. If you are shooting advertising with real people, then real people with a unique look will make your pictures more successful. If you're shooting stock everyday good looking people sell very well, and don't have to be agency models. (agency models definitely help, but aren't necessary) In the general sense, using the right models for the genre that you're shooting is key.
I wanted to touch on the following point, because I see this all the time. The most common mistake that I see in a lot of "young" (by young, I mean early stages of the photographic journey) shooting fashion is the quality of models they are using. I see so much work that is wannabe fashion, and the biggest reason(not always the only) it feels like it's "wannabe" is because the models are NOT fashion models. The lighting, the poses, etc, may be there, but if the model is not a fashion model, it kills the whole image. This may sound harsh, but it's the name of the game, and if you really want to play, you have to get real fashion/editorial models. These models aren't going to exist anywhere in the US besides New York and LA, and mostly they'll be in NY. NY is the top of the game in fashion, therefore they have the best models.
It's all about using the right type of model for the particular image you are going for. There is always a fine line. Think about the way movies are casted. It takes a lot to find the right cast for a film. Same thing happens when you're casting for a still photo, except even more weight is riding on the right look.
If you haven't checked out Twitter, it's a little web status update app that has evolved and blown up over the last year. Now businesses are catching on, and using it as a brand extension to reach customers and clients with new and interesting things that they're doing and even some insider information. A great little communication tool. Obama and Hilary have twitter accounts, so it was great to follow them through the race.
On the personal side, I've used twitter to communicate with my friends in an ongoing conversation which has been quite fun.
I've managed and decided to combine the two, so if you're following me, I usually drop links to new work, blog posts, when I need help with an occasional shoot, or interesting photography related topics, funny videos etc. I also drop some personal comments, sans TMI violations.
That said, what you put out is your thing. Some people complain about not wanting other people to know their business, but if that's the case, then don't put the business you don't want people knowing out there. Simple as that. It's also good to think what you want to project in your tweets if indeed you are using it as a brand extension.
Follow me if you like here: http://twitter.com/nickonken or if you don't want to, then don't.
As you know I'm a big foodie. I was just in NYC, and ate at quite a few great restaurants thanks to my friend Mel Barlow. One of them, Rayuela I already blogged about, but I thought I'd throw the rest of them down in a list. I'm going to start/keep blogging all my favorite restaurants A: so I can have a record of all my favorite places, and B: if you're in NYC or are going to NYC, then you can have some places to try out.
So here they are.. Obviously nothing will make it into the blog if I don't like it, but I'm listing these in the order of what I liked the most:
1. Rayuela- A hopscotch of food from different places. I blogged about this one here.
2. Macondo- A blend of tapas. Blogged about this one too here.
3. Brown- Organic gourmet. Blogged about it this one here.
4. No. 7- Contemporary American Food
5. Frankies 17- A lighter side of italian
6. Moto- Gourmet American, Great live music. Great rustic old brooklyn vibe.
7. Walters- Great late night gormet wings. Other food is great too.
8. Diner- Gourmet Diner food. Hip greasy diner vibe.
9. Relish- Awesome breakfast, and another hip diner vibe.
10. Roebling Tea Room- fun light food, breakfast was great, and rustic atmosphere.
11. Smac- Awesome assortment of Mac 'n Cheeses. I had the Buffalo Chicken mac. Sooo good!
12. Fette Sau- BBQ meet, their own beer on tap that you can buy growlers of. Rustic butchershop vibe.
13. Alta- Amazing tapas in a small low key area close to Union Square. A new fave.
I touched on this in my recent post on your Support Team, but I think it's a subject that can be expanded upon. If you're doing things right, marketing your vision, you should be getting or starting to get hired for YOUR creative vision. What you shoot, how you shoot it, eye for composition and moment, etc. (not to mention the branding, packaging, marketing, and network that's you need to get those jobs) That's ideally where you want to be so you can be shooting the assignments you want to be shooting. Sometimes you run into situations where you really are hired for your vision, but the art direction might not be in your technical knowledge lighting wise or other ways, and that's why you need a great Support Team to rock the job. You won't always have the solution to solve the puzzle at hand, but hiring the right people to help you get there is the key.
I've heard many assistants on a job (as I've been there myself) thinking they could have shot that image, it was all them since they created all the lighting, or they should have been the shooter. That very well may be the case, but it's a cumulative of reasons why they aren't. But lets not focus on that, lets focus on why it's the photographer who IS. That is a cumulative of their work and vision first off, then relationships, marketing, and flat out hustling. Hopefully it's the quality of work aspect of it first and foremost. It takes a lot of "business" and getting your creative vision into the right hands to "get" the job. Your job as a photographer is to extend and blend your vision into the Art Director's concept at hand. Therefore you are adding your personal flavor direction the elements of the production. That makes lighting just an element to arrive at the final creative goal. Don't get me wrong, photography is all light, but still remains a tool for the end product.
So, if you're an assistant wishing or wanting to shoot a job that your photographer is shooting, ask yourself why? Why aren't you shooting it? Being a visionary and having a client hand you $100K, $200K, or $500K to make them an image is a whole different perspective. Can you handle being the commander and chief of an expensive ship? When you think "oh I should've or could've shot that", there's a lot more to it and the fact of the matter is, YOU DIDN'T. Sounds harsh, but that's the reality. The other reality is, YOU are the one that create better images and work to get those jobs.
That said, What are your creative goals for 09? How are you refining your creative vision to get hired for the work you want to be hired for?