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

Wedding Photography and the New Canon 5D Mark III

A familiar high ISO torture test with the Canon 5D Mark III Click here to rent the Canon 5D mark II from BorrowLenses! Click here to check pricing and availability of the Canon 5D mark III at B&H The Canon 5D Mark III has finally arrived.  Is it a worthy successor to the 5D Mark II, or is this just a re-branding of a beloved camera system offering little payout for the updated pocketbook pricetag? I finally got my hands on a 5D Mark III for the weekend (a way too short weekend)... Read More

Canon Updates The Cult Classic 5D Series

Canon Announces Canon 5D Mark III So we have it, the long-awaited announcement of the new Canon 5D Mark III. Canon’s surprise smash hit 5D2 had a glorious run, achieving fame and infamy by inventing DSLR video capture in all its excitement and distress and, oh yeah, being a pretty fine photographic camera to boot. The 5D2 has become a widespread industry standard for portraits and events and this update will keep it in the game. Much needed on the old camera? Better... Read More

Introduction: The Profoto Air Remote

  Introduction The Profoto Air Remote transceiver can be purchased from Samy’s Camera here. In recent years, the single aspect of strobe lighting to advance most noticeably has been control.  Strobe packs like the Broncolor Senso (reviewed here) and the Profoto D4 now offer precise digital control of flash power in compact, go-anywhere boxes.  With wide-ranging power and asymmetry, advanced packs like theses have practically done away with ND filtering and separate... Read More

Review: The Broncolor Litos Strobe Head

Introduction Infrequently in professional photography are the serious tools of our trade to be called “cute”.  In the world of sand bags, grip heads, gaff tape, and C-stands, there is little room for snuggly little objects designed for smiles.  This newest flash in the mighty Broncolor family is capable, practical, and tough.  But, people might say, it is also “cute”. If we look past cuteness, though, the Broncolor Litos is an exciting new product from... Read More

Interview: Jeff Kauck, Food Photographer

It doesn’t take long talking to food photographer, Jeff Kauck, to detect his passion for art, light, and photography.  His studio is lit with two giant windows, one facing North, one East.  During our conversation, talk quickly arrives at the finesse of light and color in classic painting.  Jeff explains the concept of Color Lift: “You take a white cup and saucer outside, the shadow is blue, the sunlit highlights are yellow, opposite colors.  With a warm light... Read More

What’s Up With “Flash Duration”?

Flash Duration? A topic of great discussion around the studio lately has been flash duration.  What is it exactly and what’s all the hype?  Two things have become clear – it can’t be had without compromise, and there are a lot of terms on the chalk board. In simple terms, studio strobes function by filling slowly with a bucket of electricity and pouring it quickly out through flash tubes.  The blink we see is one quick splash of light, but the reality is... Read More

Image Quality and the Mamiya RZ33 (aka: the DM33 and Leaf Aptus-II 7)

Introduction In two previous articles, I discussed both the features and market position of the Mamiya RZ33 (Introduction: The Mamiya RZ33) and the ergonomics of using the big camera in the field (On Location with the Mamiya RZ33).  As is often the case with big cameras and perhaps the most sophisticated gear of any discipline, it’s the results that make the added complexity worth the extra effort.  The Big Mamiya is no exception, with generous doses of both complexity... Read More

Field Test: The Profoto Acute2 Ring Flash

Introduction: Ring flashes, in their various forms, are a unique way to illuminate a subject and perhaps none more frequently represents the strange breed than the Profoto Acute 2 Ring Flash.  It’s a big, sturdy donut of a light, designed to surround a camera lens, throwing intense and even light on a subject, seemingly from the lens itself.  Ring lighting creates unique effects with shadows and highlights and has been used to great effect by a range of photographers. ... Read More

Interview: Fashion Photographer, Chiun-Kai Shih; A Pep Talk from Photography’s Phantom Chunkalizer

Introduction: This month, I’m happy to have New York’s Chiun-Kai Shih as our featured artist.  When pressed to describe himself, the photographer, art director, editor, and TV personality doesn’t use any of those words, just one: “Chunky”.  His nickname and identity is consistent with a fun-loving, dedicated commercial artist.  He has a recognizably intense approach to color and is, by all accounts, a rising star in the world of fashion photography.... Read More