On location with the Phase One IQ180

Introduction The Phase One 645DF and the IQ180 medium format system is a serious camera system for a serious photographer.  A full frame 80 megapixel digital back offers unparalleled image quality.  The 645DF and the IQ180 combine to make a beast of a camera, and currently is the top of the line in single-capture resolution.  The camera is based on an open architecture, meaning that the camera can accept a variety of digital backs and lenses.  It is a system that can grow... Read More

Introduction: The Fujifilm X100

Introduction In a strange twist from the globalized world of digital imaging, Fujifilm, one-time maker of zesty film has launched one of photography’s most compelling successors to to history’s iconic Leica rangefinders of the 35mm film era.  How many of those German cameras at one time or another loaded with Fuji Velvia, Astia, or Provia?  No matter, Fuji is back in the game with a tough little rangefinder built around classic Fuji color philosophy and the camera... Read More

Introduction: The Broncolor Senso A2

Introduction Broncolor, Swiss maker of fine lighting equipment, holds a long-established seat in the elite ranks of the industry’s finest.  Among the finest and also the priciest, Bron packs are known for scientific accuracy and a degree of control to satisfy the most laser-eyed among us.  Ranged around the Broncolor standard are several high end industry heavy weights from the inescapable line of giant Para reflectors to the mighty Scoro strobe packs. While other companies... Read More

On Location with The Leica S2

Introduction As a new player in photography’s highest bracket, the Leica S2 is a compelling option for high end and professional photographers.  It promises to take the spectacular image quality virtues of medium format digital photography and make it much more accessible in a wonderfully simple, intuitive, and travel-friendly package, not to mention a brand new line of lenses from one of the optical world’s finest.  Even compared to the pricey products of companies... Read More

Introduction: The Leica S2

Introduction With the new S2 camera system, Leica has boldly entered the world of professional imaging at the very top.  The Leica S2 is a tool designed for professional photographers, optimized to churn out big, clear files.  Unlike other cameras in photography’s upper reaches, though, the S2 immediately feels like something familiar, in many ways more closely related to modern 35mm DSLRs than to oblong 645 format cameras. To put our test camera to work, I set up a number... Read More

Introduction: The Profoto Acute 2R 1200

Introduction The first thing a photographer is likely to notice about the Profoto Acute 2R 1200 pack is its tiny size.  This is a little pack, especially for one with 1200 W/s, 6 stops of adjustment range, and the ability — according to my informal tests — to fire consistently at up to 11 frames per second (at its lowest power setting).  It feels beefy, very well constructed, nicely labeled, and has a cute rubber antenna for its built-in Pocket Wizard radio remote receiver. A... Read More

Suburban Runner

A capture from a recent shoot in Oakland.  Laurie & Ziggy were heroic, running up and down the steepest part of the street for 45 minutes…  Also, a streamlined 1-head White Lighting kit saved the day (the “big pack” is in the shop with a fried sync plug).  The single light and relatively dinky umbrella make for pretty unsophisticated lighting, but work well to give this image a heavy dose of dramatic contrast.  Also, using a low-powered monolight made for an... Read More

Diesel-Powered Location Work

Well, regular-gas-powered location work anyway, but what kind of headline is that?  I recently chucked our old battery packs in favor of a smooth-running Honda and life on location has never been better!  I’ve enjoyed the added power, unlimited strobe pops, and even modeling lights (a rare luxury away from AC power). The current generation of Honda inverter generators, including this “EU 2000i,” are smooth and quiet and put out power fit for delicate photo gear.  It’s... Read More