Connect to Your Subject In An Instant!

Take only pictures, leave only footprints. And maybe an instant photo.

Chicken Man – Peru
©Damon Webster

When Polaroids ruled the earth, and we were much younger, an instant photo was the coin of the social realm. Yep, gather with your friends and family, and share a moment people could see AND hold immediately.

The Polaroid Land company has ceased to exist as we once knew it. Sure, there is a new one, but trust me, the results are not near what they once were.

So who has come to fill that instant grat void? Fujifilm!!

And they have done so in a big way. From the peel apart film that kept some of us using converted early 60’s polaroids, to the latest version I’ve currently been working with, the Square format SQ20, you will not be disappointed in the results. This is the one that turned me.

It comes in black and beige, although beige is never my choice in camera color

One of the early units I tried had some issue with over exposure with flash. Then you spent a sheet getting it right.

That is the beauty of the SQ20. With an LCD screen, you can see and adjust your exposure, filtration, flash, BEFORE you shoot, and get great exposures the first time. And here is a bonus: with a Micro SD on-board you also have a digital copy of the file. Small, yes, but you have it. The built-in memory does store 100 images, so you don’t need a micro SD to get going.

Before I get into some of the tech, I’d like to share with you how I feel it may be used.

In one part of my career, I’ve produced advertising work all over the world. While engaging the locals, I would invariably take some Kodachrome shots, then give them a polaroid to keep. Many times, I’d shoot them with their polaroid in hand. ( see image above, shot in Peru)

If you are a street photographer, this is a good way to give back to your subject. NO, not the ones you capture on the fly, ala Winogrand, but perhaps you engage with someone, and after asking to photograph them, you can leave them with a memory. More Humans of New York with some giveback.

Of course you can use one of the Instax printers, (packs small, plays big) to connect your mirrorless, changeable lens camera to a small printer on site, and give the shot that the camera captured. There is something still magical, I think, about an IRL print, in the hands. Not the same framing, but a real gift. And the way the print emerges from the camera is truly a cool sight.

The battery is inside, and you charge it by USB cable. The filters are cool, and there are new ones included that are not your standard insta filters. Like this one that isolates specific colors:

Plus a lot more. Honestly, I’m partial to the Sepia. The flash is fine, and as strong as they ever were. The LCD screen gives me all I need to know, and the buttons on the back help me navigate the menus with ease. One thing that was different was 2 shutter releases on the front. I guess for lefty’s, or righty’s? And it has a zoom!

Need a Selfie? OK, fine, it has a nice little mirror on the front to help.

It does shoot video, but no sound. Meh.

You can buy white border or black border film for this, Under a dollar a shot, so affordable. There are some who feel that digital component changes the vibe of the instant film of old.

Get over it. This thing rules.

It’s true, I have been an instant print fan for years. Finally, Fuji has restored my faith, and has made the SQ20 a staple in my walk-around camera bag.

As suspected, it’s great for parties, weddings, dances, events, Quinceaneras, Bar Mitzvahs, etc. Not private parties maybe, but you know what I mean. Although without an image in a cloud, privacy is assured.

How much? About $160 at Amazon

There is a new, much smaller one coming, if you want to keep the bulk down.

Fujifilm owns the instant photo market. thankfully.

Magnum Square Print is Back! Obsessions!

USA. New York City. 2000.
Elliott Erwitt
New York City, USA. 2000.
“ I am obsessed with dogs—because they remind me of people
but with more hair.”
@ Elliott Erwitt/Magnum Photos

It’s that time again! for the small sum of $100, you can have a museum quality print from one of the famed Magnum photographers in your home. Go now to choose from over 70 archival quality prints, signed by the photographer, or estate-stamped by the estates.

Oh yes, the prints are a little small (6″ x 6″) but it’s the perfect size for my NYC apt. Have a few from previous sales. And perhaps that area in your home that you’d like to accent with amazing imagery.

Obsessions, The Magnum Square Print Sale, runs from Monday. June 10, at 8:00 AM, 2019 thru Friday, June 14th, 2019 at midnight EST

Signed or estate-stamped, museum-quality 6×6” prints by Magnum’s photographers for only a C-Note? Yep!

During the sale, and for five days only, over 70 archival-quality prints, signed by the photographers or estate-stamped by the estates, are available for just $100.

USA. Buffalo, NY. 2011.
Gregory Halpern
Buffalo, NY, USA. 2011.
“ I am endlessly intrigued by the landscape of Buffalo, New York,
where I grew up. As a kid, I picked up a camera in response to
the look and feel of the place. The first thing I photographed
there were the houses, which have remained a point of
fascination for me.”
@Gregory Halpern/Magnum Photos

Magnum Square Prints are printed on 6″x 6” (15.24 x 15.24 cm) archival paper. They are not editioned by quantity, but editioned by time, as these items will not be made available outside the sale window. The images in each sale are always different, and will never be available in this format again.

SWITZERLAND. Zurich. Photomontage. 1941.
Werner Bischof
“ Werner Bischof … thinks and works from the start in
photographic terms. He uses the graphic elements of
photography to suit his ends, which are the crystallization
and interpretation of the object. He finds new and untapped
possibilities of photographic approach and technique unknown
to the creative artist who sets out from the principles of
draughtsmanship.”
— Hans Finsler, Graphis magazine, 1945
@ Werner Bischof/Magnum Photos

I think I know what I’m ordering already! Seriously, the quality, which i have seen first hand, is beautiful, and send eyes to select areas of your walls in the best way.

ProLighting from Lowel

Many years ago, my Lowel Tote-A Lights were a go-to. Quartz lighting, compact, lightweight, and great color. And warm to the touch

Well, that was then. The new upgrade to LED has a some of the same greatness: Solid build, PERFECT color (5600º), and versatility

Barn doors top and bottom, let you further shape the light directionally. Add in an umbrella, and you have a solid single source beautiful portrait or interview light. Yep, add more for true shaping.

With ability to use horizontally, or vertically, thanks to a 1/4-20 thread on the mounting bar, it throws a power bank of light, which can be spread using the included diffuser.

It all comes with what you need in a well made zipped case,

And what you need is where I want to advise all potential users. It is not simply a plug and play operation. There are 2 parts that must be plugged together to light up this unit.

One is the control pack that connects direct to the light, and controls the on and off, plus a dimmer. A little bulky, but OK.

THEN you need to connect that pack to the power block that then plugs into an outlet. It does create a bit of a large total block. They knew this and designed some connective parts to hold both parts together, and a cold shoe to attach the whole package directly to the light.

Now, you get excellent light, and true color temp. What comes with that is weight. Another advantage is the ability to operate on DC and add an outboard battery. V-Mount for those who want that option.

I’m torn on this product: Wish the weight had been cut down, but the light quality is great. Bulky power sourcing, and the step dimming is a not as seamless as I’d like to see. Under 5LBs. A little heavy in comparison with what is currently in the market place.

Part of what I loved about the original lights, was light weight. The heat from quartz was not the best, and having to wait for a cool down before packing was a drag.

The price has just dropped at BH from $450 to $300, with a Watson V-Mount adaptor thrown in. You may want to consider it as a high quality single LED, just consider the bulk.

Nikon Z Series – Why I’m Staying in the Family

A few years ago it was clear: mirrorless cameras were the future, and only getting better.

As a long time Nikon user, the double DSLR bodies, multi lens, music shoots, were getting heavier that I wanted to carry. Enter mirrorless. I went Fuji. And then……

……Nikon did what I wished for. A solid Full Frame mirrorless WITH an adaptor to use legacy glass! The Z series!

Sure, that glass was best balanced with my Nikon 810s, but I could still use those beauties already in my kit. And with a operating menu that was oh so familiar, it was a new deal.

One other note: the Z7 balances fast on my Zhiyun Weebill Lab! HUge advantage, when using the 4K video. And I do!

Today they are announcing one of the newest additions to a lens line made for the mirrorless Nikon Z series: part of the holy trinity of lenses, the 24-70 2.8. Huzzah! With a weight that compliments the size of the Z series, it may be time to rebuild.

Key Features:ideal for environmental portraits, landscapes, weddings, events, studio and street photography.

Constant f/2.8 aperture throughout the zoom range delivers the subject separation, speed and gorgeous bokeh .

Exceptional optical performance achieves edge-to-edge sharpness and minimal aberration in an incredibly lightweight and portable package.

All-new ARNEO coating works in conjunction with Nikon’s Nano Crystal Coat to minimize ghosting and flare when the light source is within the frame.

Fast, accurate and quiet autofocus throughout the zoom range, thanks to Nikon-designed Multi-Focus System and Stepping Motor.

Built-in Function (L-Fn) button, Organic EL Lens Information Panel and independent focus ring give creators more control .

Fully compatible with in-camera 5-axis VR found in the Nikon Z 6 and Z 7, providing up to 5stops of image stabilization without adding to the size or weight of the lens.

Optimized for video, with reduced focus breathing, a quiet stepping motor, customizable control ring, and the ability to take advantage of the in-camera 5-axis VR + eVR of the Nikon Z 6 and Z 7.

Designed with consideration to dust and drip resistance, and featuring a fluorine coat that effectively repels dust, water droplets, grease and dirt.

The NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S will be available in spring 2019 at a suggested retail price (SRP) of $2,299.952.

And taking a cue, I think, from the good folks at Fuji, they have announced the plans to do a firmware upgrade affecting the Eye AF features, plus more.

I have to applaud any company that upgrades the produce with firmware instead of insisting you but a new cameras for the new features. Unlike the film camera of old that never needed an upgrade (Get off my lawn!), Cameras are computers that need an upgrade now and again. Firmware is the best! Details below-

DEVELOPMENT OF NEW FIRMWARE FOR NIKON’S FULL-FRAME MIRRORLESS CAMERAS

MELVILLE, NY (February 13, 2019 at 11:01 P.M. EST) – Nikon Inc. is pleased to announce additional details regarding the development of new firmware for its full-frame mirrorless cameras, the Nikon Z 7 and Nikon Z 6. The firmware in development includes new functions for the Z 7 and Z 6, such as Eye-Detection AF, RAW video output, and support for CFexpress memory cards. In addition, the cameras’ AF/AE functions will be further improved.

The Z series will continue to flexibly respond to changing user needs and offer next-generation features that give users new creative opportunities.

Functions and capabilities to be added and improved with new firmware

1. Support for Eye-Detection AF for still image shooting (scheduled for release in May 2019)

Eye-Detection AF is convenient for portrait photography. The Eye-Detection AF in development will work not only with the AF-S (Single AF) focus mode that is convenient when photographing still human subjects, but also with the AF-C (Continuous AF) focus mode, which is effective when photographing human subjects that frequently adjust or change their pose. What’s more, the function is capable of detecting multiple eyes, from which the user can select the eye upon which the camera should focus, allowing the photographer greater flexibility when photographing multiple people to suit their intent.

2. Increased AF/AE performance (scheduled for release in May 2019)

AE (auto exposure) tracking will be newly possible in continuous high-speed (extended) mode, in addition to the AF tracking that existed previously. In addition, low-light AF performance will be improved, enabling faster autofocusing in dark or dimly lit surroundings with both still-image shooting and movie recording.

3. Support for RAW video output

Output of 4K UHD and Full HD RAW data stream from the camera will be supported. The output RAW data stream can then be recorded in the compatible RAW format using an external recorder. This will allow users to utilize rich 12-bit colors to achieve flexible color grading.

Release timing for this feature will be announced at a later date.

4. Support for CFexpress memory cards

The new firmware will provide support for CFexpress, a new standard for memory cards. Having passed durability tests in which they were inserted and removed from a camera 12,000 times, these memory cards offer users a greater sense of security. They also offer high-speed performance that will provide users with a more efficient workflow. After upgrading, users will be able to use both CFexpress as well as XQD cards in their camera interchangeably. In addition to the Z 7 and Z 6, in the future, CFexpress memory card support will be added to the Nikon D5 (XQD-Type), Nikon D850, and Nikon D500 digital SLR cameras as well.

So, if you were thinking about getting into the mirrorless future, and don’t want to relearn all new camera functions., the Nikon Z7 with all of the legacy deserves strong consideration. Heck, I’m the same boat!

Holiday Gift Guide 2018 – Part 4: The Books

There are photo books that should be in everyone’s library, and there are photo books that may just pique the interest of the giftee.
At the end of this post is a book that you may never buy, but may be fascinated with the design.

First up-
If you, or a photographer you know, is always looking for some good projects to launch into, this is the perfect book.
With the teaching masters of photography laying out some great assignments, at about 1 page per project, there will be ideas here to get your camera going on that personal project. Priced right, everyone will find some photographic food for thought in there.

Lauren Greenfield has been added a view of our culture for decades now. From her examination of the US caste system in Fast Forward to an in depth look at eating disorders.
This book, Generation Wealth, is an important work in our cultural introspection. A lifelong project, it calls for you to examine values. Perhaps it will give you an understanding of how the other half lives. Not a sympathetic view, a decidedly editorial view. There is also a companion documentary you should check out.

A now classic book, Nothing Personal, has been given a reprint, with an extra companion piece. Long out of print, the combination of the images from Avedon, and the words from James Baldwin, depict a look at the world that may have more relevance today, than you may think. Oversized and beautifully printed, this is a great one to gift.

Sure, you loved discovering Vivian Maier, now find this photography by Sabine Weiss you truly have to see. Her street photography is exceptional, and her name may be a little off the beaten path. I first discovered her work at Paris-Photo years ago, and have been a fan ever since. Her heart, her eye, will amaze you or your gift recipient. Seek out her other books as well.

In the 70’s, SF photographer, Mike Mandel, published an incredible set of baseball cards featuring photographers. Yep, all of the greats: Ansel Adams. Imogene Cunningham,etc, with stats on the back! I have a partial set from that time, and when this boxed set was announced i couldn’t resist. If you want to get some major Kudos for a gift that keeps on giving, this is the hit.

Mike Mandel- 70’s box
This boxed collection contains facsimiles of Mandel’s original publications, long out of print, including the ‘Myself: Timed Exposures’, ‘Seven Never Before Seen Portraits of Edward Weston’, plus previously unpublished work such as ‘Motel Postcards’, ‘People in Cars’ and ‘Mrs. Kilpatric’, and ephemera from the projects, including selected facsimile contact sheets from the baseball photo shoots, a letter to Mandel from Charis Wilson regarding Edward Weston and a pack of ten of the original 1975 baseball cards, PLUS a full reprint set of the entire series. All packed into an Agfa paper box! Yes, there is even the same kind of gum included, as you would get in any pack of baseball cards.

A slightly different book, in a unique format, the book Until Death Do We Part Thomas Sauvin has made a lifes work of discovering Chinese vernacular images. In this collection, it explores the tradition of the wedding family lighting a cigarette for every guest. The book is admittedly small, just the size of a pack of smokes.I’ve given you the link to Mr. Sauvins site, Beijing Silvermine, as you will get the best price from him. Amazon is way too high in this case.


Sandro Miller is a gifted commercial photographer, and his personal projects have crossed over into fine art and, let’s be honest, having John Malkovich reimagined and recreating classic imagery is inspired. In the gift realm, in The Malkovich Sessions you get beautiful photography, celebrity, and overall a book that will just bring a smile. And if your a feeling generous, check out some of Sandro’s prints with Malkovich. Contact his gallery here.

This is the book that should be in everyone’s library. The Family Of Man is still the most visited photo exhibition ever, books have been written about this exhibit, and this book, has been in print for 60 years. A testament to the human condition, it is a collection of work from 256 photographers from all over the world, sharing life from birth to death and everything in between. We’re not so different after all.

\OK, you stayed to the end of the post, and I told you about this crazy great book!

From Thomas Sauvin, comes this book, Xian, with a unique design, that reveals vernacular photography from Mainland China. At about $1400 USD, I don’t expect many of you will purchase this. Just have a look and be amazed!

More Holiday Gift Guides coming!!

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Upcoming Events

  • Photo Plus Expo

  • Oct. 24 – Oct. 26, 2019
  • Javits Convention Center, New York City

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

Current Exhibitions

  • Yossi Milo Gallery
  • Conspiracy of Ravens
  • October 24 – December 7, 2019
  • New York, NY 10001
  • 245 Tenth Avenue
  • p. 212-414-0370
  • Annenberg Space for Photography
  • W|ALLS: DEFEND, DIVIDE, AND THE DIVINE
  • OCT 05, 2019 – DEC 29, 2019
  • 2000 Avenue of the Stars, #10
  • Century City, CA. 90067
  • Tel: 213.403.3000
  • Getty Center
  • True Grit- American Prints and Photographs from 1900-1950
  • October 15th, 2019- January 19th, 2020
  • 1200 Getty Center Drive
  • Los Angeles, CA. 90049
  • Tel: 310-440-7300
  • Howard Greenberg Gallery
  • Don McCullin
  • September 11-November 16, 2019
  • 41 East 57th Street, Suite 1406
  • New York,NY 10022
  • Tel: 212-334-0100
  • Peter Fetterman Gallery
  • New York, New York!
  • 26 SEPTEMBER 2019 – 22 FEBRUARY 2020
  • 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.

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