Offscreen Issue 13

I've been meaning to do a full post about this for months now - I think I got my copy in the mail sometime in March. Better late than never, right?


So, the opportunity to shoot for Offscreen was very unexpected. I'm not really sure how the editor, Kai Brach, usually selects photographers for each issue, but I was fortunate in that Jamin - the subject of this interview - and I had worked together numerous times previously, and he was familiar enough with my work to recommend me. Also fortunate that Kai was down. 

The brief was pretty simple. Offscreen has a fairly standardized aesthetic for their photography, the only real directive was to match that as closely as possible, keep things as ambient/naturally lit as possible and get him in as many different scenarios as possible. 

I only decided that photography was going to become my primary focus a few years ago. As the possibilities with that career decision started to crystallize, I realized that a huge rite of passage for any photographer is to get their work in print - especially now, as digital mediums tend to rule the day. You can certainly have a full career in photography without having your work reproduced in a physical medium, but it's an achievement I think we all want under our belt. I didn't know how it'd come about, definitely didn't know when, but it was a goal I set in front of myself. To have it happen in one of my favorite mags, a magazine I've been reading since it's inception (2012), was the icing on the cake. 

I've also been doing a lot of photography for Killscreen's print magazine as well - really looking forward to seeing and sharing all of that. These first few forays into portraiture for print are still about me defining my style, so I'm really hungry to do more, and get it honed down a bit. 

Next up, I gotta shoot some covers. I have a kill-list of magazines I'd like to shoot for, and a lot of what I'll be working on in the coming months culminates in a big marketing push, to get my work out in front of these publications and see if I can't make clients out of them. 

Baby steps!




So, in the fall of 2015, I was commissioned to photograph a colleague of mine, Jamin Warren (founder of Killscreen and host of the PBS Gameshow), for one of my favorite print mags - Offscreen. If you're not familiar, Offscreen is a print-only publication that focuses on and documents internet and technology entrepreneurs, designers and other creatives. So glad to finally be able to talk about it! 

one of my photos of Jamin for Offscreen.

I highly recommend grabbing a copy - not just because my work is in this issue. The folks offscreen highlights are interesting, talented and typically would go unnoticed otherwise. I love the culture that creator Kai Brach has developed around the magazine. He has a blog where he's super transparent about the ins and outs of publishing Offscreen, touching on such topics as how he makes and spends his money, and problems with diversity among the people he features. It's also a great testament to what can be done with an extremely small team, he basically puts the magazine together by himself, with the help of contributors, of course. It's also really nicely designed.

All in all, it's a really great opportunity for me, and I'm definitely motivated to get my work into more of my favorite magazines - I've started on a kill list of mags I'd like to shoot for. Gotta dream big. 

Happy 2016!


So, in June I shot a wedding. While I've always avoided weddings as they're not really my thing, this particular opportunity jumped out to me for a few reasons. Obviously, an expenses-covered trip to Tobago is really hard to turn down. Aside from that, though - I've been considering doing destination weddings for a few months now, the opportunity to travel and make compelling images was something I hadn't originally given thought to. 

The wedding was really beautiful. I think when you have a good looking couple, a good looking party and a great location (like a Caribbean island), it's pretty hard to screw up. We did have one unexpected issue of an endless deluge of algae from a nearby country that basically rendered the actual beaches where we were useless, but I think we were still able to make the most of the situation. 

A few things:

  • I really enjoyed shooting the party getting ready for the wedding. They were kind enough to grant me all access, and I got some cool images of the bride and groom in prep mode, the super calm, leisurely (and timely) guys and the frenetic, down to the wire girls. lol. That portion of the process is rife with story telling opportunities, which is what I'm drawn to in general. 
  • Traveling to Tobago is a crap-shoot. This was my first and only time (come to think of it, I remember the last time I was in Trinidad, it was on the table but there ended up being a reason we couldn't) but sitting in an airport for nearly 12 hours waiting for a standby flight was torturous. And that wasn't even the worst travel experience of the weekend. Not complaining at all, though. 
  • Shooting a wedding is a long day, physically grueling. I can't describe how hard I slept that night. 
  • I didn't get to shoot any film. I brought my Pentax 645n, and plenty of film (Tri-X, some expired Fuji 160C, some Portra and some Ektar) but I left the batteries I had just purchased - specifically for this trip - home. Of course, the batteries in the camera died as soon as I tried to autofocus. smh. 

Overall, it was good experience. I shot everything on my 7D with a 135mm/2, 50mm/1.2, and a 16-35mm/2.8, which surprisingly got the most work. I ended up not needing the 135 that much, and with the crop factor of the 7D, the 50 was too close for a lot of the shots I wanted. It was a lifesaver in the lowlight situations, though - especially the reception. 

Ultimately, I definitely warmed a little more to the idea of weddings in general, and certainly am looking forward to my next destination wedding. I'm trying to decide whether to build out another site specifically for wedding photography services or just to add a page here. I'm leaning toward the latter until I have more portfolio material under my belt. 

Photo Book Finds.

One thing that I love doing but haven't posted about here is finding and buying old photography-related books. These could range from essays, technique and theory books, portfolios or monographs, and stuff from any time period - in fact I tend to go toward older books for a number or reasons, not the least of which being that they tend to be the most affordable. 

I find these books almost anywhere, used book shops, "vintage" stores and thrift shops, online - and the great thing about technique, approach and work in photography, is that their soundness will always hold up, no matter the era. Even if old film-related information didn't specifically apply to my style of shooting, the techniques and general practice is largely the same, and one could stand to learn a lot from writers who taught and talked about older, slower processes of photography. 

On a recent visit to a local used book shop on South St. in Philadelphia, I came across these two books (and a third, a biography of Diane Arbus that I opted to eschew to save a few bucks) and had to snatch them up. 

fashion theory - carol di grappa
100 studies of the figure - john rawlings

The first is Fashion: Theory, by Carol Di Grappa. Written in 1980, it contains essays and anecdotes of fashion photographers of the time, including a few luminaries like Arthur Elgort, David Bailey and Horst P. Horst, along with selected images from each photographer's archive.

yvonne and nicole by erica lennard

I've only read David Bailey's essay, but have yet to see any theory aside from a few recommendations he has about what type of models to work with and when to shoot on the beach, but nonetheless it's interesting and something uninitiated fashion photographer wannabes like me wish existed but have trouble finding, especially regarding photographers of years past. It's definitely a cool little addition to the collection. 

The second is called 100 Studies of The Figure, the late John Rawlings' safely-titled 1951 book of nude figure studies. John Rawlings was a famous photographer for Condé Nast, featuring prominently in fashion for Vogue Magazine in the 40's and 50's. As I've been increasingly curious about shooting nudes myself, the book jumped out to me for that reason alone. What sealed the deal for me, however, was his totally unnecessary but graciously-included detailed notes on each image, including camera, lens and film used, developer and printing chemicals used, and time of day photographed. I don't think I've ever seen that included in a photobook that wasn't intended for purely educational purposes, definitely not an art book. But I like it. His decision to share his technical data in an otherwise purely artistic endeavor gives me the feeling he felt the way I do about photography, and was a total nerd to boot - just like me. 

evelyn frey by john rawlings
rawlings' technical data

I really enjoyed reading Rawlings' introduction - when I think of 1951, I don't imagine a general American society that was particularly supportive of works like these, although I couldn't say for sure - but the fact that he gets right to the point and spends most of the introduction dealing with the controversial nature of human nudity and morality would suggest that I'm not far off the mark. He pushes against the prevailing notions of morality and quickly does what he can to liberate the proceeding images from any unnecessary baggage the moral atmosphere of the 50s may have otherwise wedged between the reader and an appreciation of his work. It's dope. 

The photographs themselves look terrible - although this could easily be due to the book's age -  but the compositions are nice and I enjoy his approach. I won't pretend to be a photo book critic at all, but I've seen some really sub par photographic figure studies, so I do have some perspective. He works with one model for the entire book, and I think there's something to be said for that, though I'm not sure what, exactly. Mostly I would imagine that a prolonged visual conversation between photographer and subject allows for more to be seen and shown, no pun intended. Spending time with your subject and developing a working relationship would seem to be the preferable path, especially with something as intimate as nude photography. 

I'm rambling now. Just wanted to share some photo book finds, finally. 


100 More Years of Analog Film.

There's always a few really amazing projects you can get behind on Kickstarter

This morning, while skimming through my YouTube subscriptions, I heard about the Ferrania Film Kickstarter via Ted Forbes' really good podcast, The Art Of Photography, which I've talked about here before briefly.

The Ferrania Film project is an awesome attempt to jump start an old film production facility in Italy that used to make great film stocks for still and motion picture, including a lot of classic Italian films like Federico Fellini's 8 1/2, and Pier Paolo Pasolini for many of his films. In the years proceeding 2007, the company slowly went into production decline and ultimately laid off most of their film production team in 2012.

Fast forward to 2013 and the production line was acquired by new company FILM Ferrania s.r.l, which rehired old Ferrania technicians and took over their equipment and buildings. Here's where their Kickstarter campaign...kicks in.

This is a really cool project to get behind, and will likely be the first Kickstarter project I've ever pledged to. Film's future is very much up in the air, and a lot of people whose opinions I trust speak very matter-of-factly about its eventual extinction. As an avid film shooter who wants to shoot film for the rest of my life, such an eventuality would make me very, very sad.  I'm sure I speak for many people shooting now, and those photographers and film makers yet to come along. Its kind of an imperative for us to support this project and do all we can to keep ideas like this alive. 

Photographer of the Day - Richard Avedon


I have a ton of favorite photographers. They range across a wide swath of disciplines from fashion to journalism to celebrity portraiture. The one photographer who's constantly at the top of my list is the late Richard Avedon, who I believe should be on the short list of the greatest American artists of our time.

I grabbed the recently-released Avedon Archives app from the app store, produced by the Richard Avedon Foundation. The app is great; it gives you a bird's eye view of the breadth of the highlights of Avedon's work - it's really amazing to see. I've mentioned him a few times on my blog but I realize his story may not be well known outside of photographic circles, so I wanted to take a little time to talk about him here.

I think if there was any one photographer's work and career I could replicate moment for moment, it'd be Avedon's. He was able to maintain a signature that transcended technique, and apply it fluidly across a wide range of photographic genres. I especially love his fashion and celebrity work, but he was equally brilliant working outside of those contexts, as can be seen in his book In The American West.

Richard Avedon's career spanned from the '40s all the way to 2004, the year he died. Some of the most iconic images of some of the most iconic people of the past century were produced by him. He shot for Look, Life, Graphis, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, The New Yorker, and the french magazine Egoïste. He's done ad campaigns for Revlon and Versace, shot the Pirelli Calendar, released numerous books and photographed nearly every important person of his time, from Marilyn Monroe to Dwight Eisenhower to Pablo Picasso and Audrey Hepburn, Malcom X and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Louis Armstrong, Prince and, in something of a stroke of prescience, a young Senator Barack Obama in 2004.




In 1964, he- along with high-school classmate, lifetime friend and another of America's greatest artists, James Baldwin- collaborated on the book Nothing Personal, full of each of their artistic musings on the country they called home. Some of Avedon's landmark images fill these pages.

His photographic style was characterized by his abillity to communicate the vitality of his subjects - or lack of such - so viscerally in still image. Fashion model Erin O'Connor described his style as wanting to capture the moment before the moment; the intention of a movement before the body would actually reach a particular movement - readily apparent in his photographs of Veruschka and Twiggy.






He helped introduce movement and life into fashion photography, which at the time of his ascendance into notoriety was very much a static, stoic landscape. Models were posed and statuesque; Avedon danced with his subjects and snapped them in motion, the results of which would revolutionize the way photography featured in fashion magazines. I assume much of his technical skill - especially as it pertained to print magazines - was honed under the guidance of such legendary figures like Alexey Brodovitch and Diana Vreeland, his creative director and fashion editor (respectively) for many years at Harper's Bazaar. He had a flawless sense of design in his photographs, from symmetry and asymmetry to contrast, color and general composition. Most importantly, though, he was able to couple all of that technical skill with the skillful presentation of the human condition - devoid of bias - in his portraits.

The way he deftly moved from portraiture to fashion to reportage without missing a step was a thing of beauty, and when you look at the overview of his legacy, it's quite staggering. That kind of insatiable curiosity to see the world through his lenses is something I try to emulate everyday. There's endless things to say about Avedon, but really, nothing communicates his greatness like his photographs.


img-avedon-holding_151552781451B 11721480.2009



Fashion photographer Nick Knight has been doing really cool stuff with his SHOWStudio production company - one of the many photographers who’ve taken their careers and influence beyond photography. SHOWstudio produces/houses a ton of dope content around fashion, from fashion films to interviews and lots of stuff in between. One of their recent projects is aptly titled Subjective, an interview series where Nick talks with various models about their experiences with fashion photographers. It’s a really interesting and not-often explored perspective, especially as most of the photographers they’ve done pieces on have passed away. I wanted to share this one on Erin O’Connor’s experience shooting with my favorite photographer of all time, Richard Avedon.

I’m keen to watch this series as it grows. They’ve done interviews with Alek Wek, Kate Moss, and Kristen McMenamy, to name a few, on folks like Avedon, Helmut Newton and Corrine Day.

In other news - tons of new stuff to share over the next few weeks. It’s an exciting time, just trying to keep it going.

Photographer Of The Day - Peter Hapak

I belive I came across Peter Hapak’s work during a random search of photographer portfolios on the popular portfolio platform, Cargo Collective. I like to try to keep abreast of what other photographers are doing and how they’re presenting their work, and this particular time I was also considering making an image-only portfolio with less bells and whistles. Still up in the air about that - trying a few more things here.

Anyway, something about Peter’s work froze me immediately - his portraits were powerful and emotive, simple yet provocative, and extremely intimate: they bring you almost uncomfortably close to the sitter, catching them in a brief burst of laughter, a wry glance, a moment of action - some short conversation between the eyes, mouth and camera that quickly ushers you past formality and pretense, and into a sort of understanding of the subject. It’s really brilliant work.

AG_1w AK_1W FW_4 Tyson_3

One of my favorite portraitists (photographers for that matter) is the late Richard Avedon, and he was famed for having mastered the intimate celebrity portrait, stripping away excelsior and retrieving something from a sitting the viewer hadn’t seen before from the subject. It set a very high bar for portraiture for me and I’ve seen few photographers hit that mark consistently. I don’t mean to draw an unfair comparison between Avedon’s work and Hapak’s, but I will say that I feel some of that same emotional strength in Hapak’s portraits.

I’m excited to watch his work over time.

(You can see more of Peter Hapak's work at his site, here. It stretches beyond celebrity portrait commissions, into documentary/photojournalism. There's a nice video/BTS of a project he shot for Time Magazine about protesters here.)

All images © Peter Hapak.






Couture Vulture S/S 2014 Lookbook Shoot.

02490007 I'm not sure where I first made acquaintance with Couture Vulture owner/designer Dominique Negrón, an honest guess would be somewhere in my first visits to Hylo Boutiques a few years ago, but back then I was unaware of her work or aspirations, as I'm sure she was equally unaware of mine. Serendipity would have it that our paths would continue to cross and we'd eventually find a project to work on together.

I was super honored that Dom reached out to me to shoot this year's lookbook, and wanted to make sure that the images I delivered were high quality and really showcased her pieces well. We went with a super-simple setup and shot against a white brick wall with one light, high and to the right of the model. The modifier was a beauty dish on a B800 with the sock off for a harsher and brighter light. Most of the shots that were used for the lookbook were digital images, but the ones I've posted here are all film - Portra in medium format (6x4.5).


For the shots on the rug, most of these are actually naturally lit, again on Portra 400. The detail that I get in a roll of medium format film is always exciting to see. The results I got from this shoot, especially with the film and lights, got me excited to try new things this summer. I'm looking forward to working with Dominique a lot more on future projects.


You can check out the new collection and buy Couture Vulture here.


Ikire Jones S/S 2014 Lookbook Photoshoot.

_MG_0111 This year I had the pleasure and honor of again working with my friend Wale Oyejide on the visuals for his menswear line, Ikire Jones. This shoot was different from the many I’ve done with him in the past, in that for the first time there were other gents modeling Wale’s looks. Once I got to the location, it was really exciting to see these guys walking around in his pieces - the patterns and colors are really something to behold, and- seeing them swirl around one another and really come alive- I knew the images would come out dope without a ton of work from me.


After we shot the primary images, I pulled out my trusty Yashicamat 124g twin-lens for a few photos of my own. Between the 12 frame limit on my single roll of 120 Portra 400 and the below freezing temperatures and wind chill we were fighting, I didn’t have much luxury in getting my shots, so I moved as quickly as possible, set the guys up and made 7 photos (7 looks). The meter on my Yashica broke during an unfortunate fall a few months ago, so I metered with the pretty solid Fotometer app on my iPhone and hoped for the best.




The more I shoot film, particularly in a fashion sphere, the more my respect for early photographers shoots through the roof. The limitations these men and women learned to fluidly work around were tremendous. Manually focusing, changing film backs, finding interesting compositions, keeping the talent engaged and game - it’s amazing to think that people did this all year long and were really good at it. After a shoot like this, it’s hard not to wonder whether I’ll ever get to that point.

Photography truly is a lifelong practice.

I’m pushing myself to get to the point where I can rely totally on my film cameras for professional work like this, and it’s a huge gamble because of turnaround times and the aforementioned limitations. I know I’m not totally there yet, I’ve still some learning to do with my equipment, but I think these next few months will provide ample intense concentration to help move me up the ranks.

(You can check out Wale’s designs and get some pieces for yourself at his site, Ikire Jones.)

Short Journeys.

nehad khader shoot

For the last few weeks, I've been working on a few projects with my partners Taj and Rashid, under the auspices of our collective creative agency, WJS Creative. One of our ongoing projects is a photo/interview-based profile series we’re calling Short Journeys.

With Short Journeys, we interview really dope and interesting people about their life and experiences through the lens of travel. It’s been a really fun adventure so far, hitting the ground guerrilla style and getting up close and personal with some awesome individuals, figuring out workarounds for the different locations we’re working in, and having a great time along the way. It’s put me in the position to be shooting pretty regularly, and I’ve tried to make the most of it - I’m primarily shooting medium format film, and I’ve shot every negative size I have in my possession, 6x4.5, 6x6, and 6x7.

(Maybe this year I’ll get my hands on a big old 4x5 and really get crazy. That would be epic.)

This project has really tested my abilities as a film photographer. As of the writing of this post, all of the cameras I’ve been shooting with are big, clunky, manually focusing cameras, only one of them with an actually TTL meter that works - shooting run-and-gun is a substantial task. It’s also a task I brought upon myself, of course - but for the most part I’m enjoying the challenge. I’m hoping that I ultimately get comfortable in these situations; it can only make me a better photographer.

I’m really excited to see this project hit the airwaves; we’ve been producing some pretty fantastic content, and I think it highlights the team's abilities as storytellers, which is what we’re trying to perfect with every move we make. We want that to be our claim to fame, our distinction, our excellence.

Be sure to check out our first Short Journeys post on the awesome photo story platform, Exposure. We’ll be updating pretty regularly - drop us a line to let us know what you think.

*behind the scenes photo by Taj Reid.

Out with the Old, in with the New.

kanye-west-quote I wanted to make sure I squeezed in a looking back/looking forward post in before January had slipped away, so here it is, albeit quite late in the month. It still counts!

Looking back, 2013 was a year of wake up calls. Some good, some…just very needed. I hate to talk about these types of things as finite experiences that aren’t as amorphous and persistent as they actually are, but there were very specific things that happened over the course of the last year that really shed light on what I’m doing right and wrong, and I want to try to make the best use of those experiences.

As a noob freelancer, I’d managed to live a somewhat charmed existence. I came into the world of freelancing not having to do much in the way of marketing before I landed some pretty stable, repeat clients. This was awesome as it allowed me to generate income purely through photography - I didn’t HAVE to take on extra work to make ends meet, keep the bills paid and do cool extras like travel or feed my gear acquisition syndrome (GAS) - but what it also did was lull me to sleep as far as building new clientele was concerned, and as fate would have it, client work dried up suddenly, and quite categorically. The sneaky second issue was that I was ONLY shooting gigs - not work I wanted to highlight in my portfolio, and certainly not personal work I wanted to be hired to do at some point. By the end of 2013, work had come to a screeching halt - and while there were lots of opportunities to shoot really cool things and work with really awesome folks in the future, I had to scramble (and suffer) to make ends meet.

It’s a curious balance, divvying up one’s time between paying bills, lobbying for new clients and also honing your practice and producing portfolio work that helps your business grow and progress. You never know when you’re OD’ing on the wrong third of the equation. I won’t even pretend that I’ve figured it out, but I think the greatest potential lies in working backward from creativity. Working every measly gig that comes your way and never making time to flex your creative muscle means you stay in the same spot forever. Of course, you have to find time to market yourself and your work, and I’ve started to develop a system that makes it easier to integrate some of those efforts into my process, but I really do believe it starts with personal work.

...until further notice, that is. Ha!

Last year I also slowly came to the realization that I would like to explore the fine arts side of photography. I can’t ONLY be a photographer that works from briefs. It’s hard to just be a tool when you have ideas that could probably blow the brief you’re executing out of the water. Even more so when it comes to ideas that have nothing to do with promoting a brand. I guess what I’m really realizing is that there’s a place for everything I want to do. Some things deserve (and demand) precedence, and that’s the trick - prioritizing and managing my time accordingly. For instance, I also produce music, and there’s a music project that’s been bubbling inside of me for years now that needs to get out. Shooting gigs that don’t move the needle at all to the exclusion of stuff like that is a travesty and a personal tragedy.

Aside from life lessons - I have been shooting a ton of cool things that I can’t wait to show folks. I shot the S/S 2014 lookbook for my friend Wale Oyejide’s Ikiré Jones menswear line  - including some film stuff - and it looks pretty awesome. That should be launching soon, so I’ll be able to share images from that. Also, I’ve been working with my partners Taj and Rashid at WJS Creative, and we’ve got some really cool projects on the horizon, including a profile series we’ve been hard at work on called Short Journeys. I’ll go into detail about that with a full post when it launches, but it’s given me an opportunity to try things out, particularly with medium format film.

I’ve also been on the ground a lot more trying to shoot with models. It’s a tough grind - I find that between timing and desire, it’s hard to lock something down, but I like that since I made the decision to really push with these types of shoots, I’ve been pretty consistent with my efforts, and when the opportunity has presented itself, I was there with camera in hand. I’ve got a lot of learning to do but I know when I’m not willing to put forth the effort and it doesn’t seem to be the case here.

Much of what I experience professionally and creatively can often double as a metaphor for how I’m learning to live my life - do what you believe in and learn to do it better every day - much of what you want will follow. Kanye’s quote above really rings true with me. He’s expressed this idea in other interviews of late and I think it’s something he’s sat with a long time - I also think he’s working to get very comfortable with bucking that trend. Being creative and doing new things is very much about developing a process that starts with accepting those facts and pushing against them, often to the disapproval of the people around us, or to our own extreme discomfort. Not to get too philosophical here, but especially as time passes and I somehow keep getting older and older, the internal pressure to do what feels right regardless of conventional wisdom ramps up infinitely. I’d like to just keep these things in mind throughout the year going forward, whatever I may be doing.

Here’s to a happy, productive and amazing year to come for everybody!

Photographer Of The Day - Oliver Stalmans

Mc1-950x600 Been excited to talk about Oliver Stalmans for a while. I can’t really remember where I happened across his work - more than likely one of the many fashion blogs I follow. there’s not much more to say about his photography that - for his age, especially - he’s freakishly talented.

Oliver, 25, is a french-born fashion/commercial photographer. He’s been racking up accolades of late, including 2013’s Danish ELLE photographer of the year award, and rightly so. He’s shot covers for ELLE, Tomorrow Journal and Muuse Magazine. His simple, crisp, and extremely mature approach to fashion portraits reminds me of Peter Lindbergh. I personally enjoy his black+white photography the most, his understanding and control of light and tone contribute to help him create incredibly dramatic images.




I think he hits a lot of the marks I’d try to achieve to in his work - simple, strong compositions. The subjects look strong. The fashion looks good. Good fashion photography is a complex task: there’s the portrait, then there’s the commercial considerations, the art… photographers who can combine all 3 seamlessly are veritable geniuses in my book.

I’m going to enjoy keeping up with his work.

You can keep up as well here on his site, and on his instagram feed.

(all images © Oliver Stalmans)

On New Work/Pentax 67 First Impressions.


Over the past few months, much of my focus has been devoted to trying new things, shooting things that are actually of interest to me, and through those experiments, building a portfolio worth showing to potential clients. As much as I love photography and working with images before, during and after the actual shoot, I’m still very new to the idea of actually being a photographer in the proper sense, and so there’s a lot of guesswork at play in finding out my voice, shooting style, preferences, etc. I’m a gear head for sure, but a large portion of the reality behind my constant GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) is that I’m looking for the right pieces that compliment my nature the best, and help me to produce the images I want to produce. Every step is like a small but integral piece to a very large, unending puzzle.

Most recently, I’ve been spending time organizing shoots with models. This is very new for me and I’m not completely in a comfort-zone with the ask, so it’s been a slow-go, but this part of the process is a skill set I have to get in my pocket.

Along those lines, I took the new Pentax 67  (along with my EOS3 and 7D) out to Penn’s Landing last weekend and had a quick shoot with Rebecca, a model I made contact with on Model Mayhem.



The Pentax, in my opinion, handles great. It is definitely heavy+huge, definitely old school, but it’s a great camera with its own charm and quirks - and the negatives it produces are just beautiful. The copy I own came with a non-metered prism, so I had to use a separate meter (a Sekonic L-318B cine light meter that works in shutter priority mode only) and pray. Most of the shots came out beautifully. These are low-res scans and even at the low-res, you can see how sharp the 90mm 2.8 lens is. I also love the small depth of field; I didn’t shoot wider than ƒ5.6 (it was extremely sunny, I typically shot at ƒ8 and above).

I’m going to commit to this camera for most of my personal work going forward, and keep the 7D and EOS3 handy as backups.

I enjoyed shooting the black & white, especially Ilford's awesome Delta 100, but now I'm really excited to see how the lens reproduces color, so I got my hands on a pro pack of Kodak Portra 400 that I'm going to try to blaze through.

'Til then!

Pentax 67.


New impulse buy - what a camera. I sat in the office since 8:50am this morning waiting for UPS to show up.  (They finally got here around 3:30. Long day.)


The Pentax 67 (1989) is the second in Pentax’s 6 x 7cm line of medium format camera systems, following the Pentax 6x7 (1969), and preceding the creatively named Pentax 67II (1998). Minor to moderate changes between the three - this is a system that remained for the most part the same for neary 40 years (Pentax stopped producing these in 2007, I believe.)

The 67 looks like a regular 35mm SLR, but outsizes them substantially - it weighs in at nearly 6 lbs with a lens mounted - and one press of the shutter button lets you know this isn’t your average snapshot camera. The mirror slap/sound is ridiculous.

I got this because of the dumb gorgeous images it can produce - some of this ability is innately a feature of the large negative size, but some of it has to be attributed to it’s legendary lenses. I had to get in on that. I’ve been itching to shoot 6x7, having shot 6x4.5 and 6x6 already and loving the results. I did have the opportunity to shoot a Koni Omega rangefinder, but with very unsatisfactory results. Other options for 6x7 were either more ungainly, more expensive, possessing less legendary optics, or a combination of the three. Of course, this is just the beginning of what I'm sure will be a long journey to get the system where I need it:

  • The viewfinder prism is the unmetered version, and with me not being posession of a handheld lightmeter (yet),  I'll need to get my hands on a metered prism as soon as possible. until then, I'll be using the ever handy and ballpark figure-capable Fotometer Pro app for metering.
  • The camera needs some cleaning. I won't attempt a full on CLA myself, but some nook and cranny cleaning, getting the tape/sticker goo off the body, etc. I can handle all of that.
  • Gotta find a strap. It's heavy - and I don't mind lugging around heavy camera gear, but I can see this kind of weight getting old quick. There's also a wooden handle accessory that I wanna grab for it. In due time.
  • Saw a comparison of the 90mm 2.8 lens (my lens) vs the 105mm 2.4 lens... I want that 105mm. Also, would like to grab the 55mm 3.5 wide-angle for some urban landscape projects I have in mind.

All in all, I'm super excited to see what I can make the camera do. Can’t wait to run some film through this.