Geared Up

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Joe Farace  |  Jan 31, 2017  |  0 comments

This January issue’s theme was outdoor photography and other than architectural interiors and studio photography, more images are probably captured out of doors than indoors. This column’s focus is on camera bags for landscape, nature, and wildlife shooters, whose needs are different from their urban counterparts. Kelly Moore, for example, manufactures fashion bags (see the December 2016 Geared Up column) and offers the beautifully crafted Woodstock Backpack ($229) that’s probably better suited for Rodeo Drive than Jellystone Park.

Joe Farace  |  Jan 06, 2017  |  0 comments

Some trends just won’t go away: Billboard magazine notes that U.S. vinyl album sales are up 53 percent, generating $416 million in sales. Stereophile, our sister publication, reviews new analog audio equipment and you can purchase new Nikon F6 or Leica M-A film cameras from Shutterbug advertisers. Ferrania is back making film and the Japan Camera Hunter website is making their own film, a discontinued Agfa emulsion they’re calling JCH StreetPan 400. Amazon’s top-selling photo item is Fuji’s Instax Mini Instant Film. There’s even a new twin-lens instant camera, Mint’s InstantFlex TL70, and yes, I gotta get me one of those.

Joe Farace  |  Dec 16, 2016  |  0 comments

Sports photography shares much in common with capturing images of wildlife: You’ve got an active scene captured at a distance requiring specialized equipment and knowledge of the subject’s activities while anticipating what they are going to do next…or not. Sure, you’ll need fast, long focal length lenses but you will also need camera supports and other gear that along with specialized knowledge separates the virtuosos, like Regis Lefebure (regislefebure.com), from the wannabes. Here’s a look at some of our favorite tools of the sports trade.

Joe Farace  |  Nov 08, 2016  |  0 comments

Proving you can, in fact, change your tune; Paul Simon revised the lyrics to “Kodachrome” when performing the song in Central Park in 1991 to “everything looks better in black and white.” Picky photographers insist “monochrome” is more precise because it covers images made using sepia, blue, or other tones, while images using only shades of gray are black and white.

Joe Farace  |  Oct 10, 2016  |  0 comments

In contemporary lighting equipment there are trends and there are fads with some gear seemingly having equal parts of both. And they just aren’t boxes of light anymore; they are lightsabers, small studio lights with big output, and everywhere you look it’s LED lighting in every size, shape, and price.

Joe Farace  |  Aug 30, 2016  |  0 comments

Because of the “this is why we can’t have nice things” antics of several idiots flying drones, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) now requires every drone (and RC aircraft) weighing more than 0.55 pounds to register their craft and have an identification label. Pilots are also required to carry Flight ID.

Joe Farace  |  Jul 26, 2016  |  0 comments

We all know nature and wildlife photographers need long focal length lenses but they’re not the only ones who need a longer-than-normal lens. While the only wildlife I have photographed are the mule deer who treat my backyard like it’s their backyard, I’ve photographed a racing car from time to time and that’s when a telephoto or long zoom lens comes to the rescue.

Joe Farace  |  Jun 28, 2016  |  0 comments

When people asked legendary editor Herbert Keppler why he sometimes wrote about cameras costing more than the average photographer could afford, he told me it was because of the Maserati factor. “Most people,” he said, “can’t afford a Maserati but like reading about them.” And I get that. My personal dream car is a 1961 Maserati 3500 GT, which sells for north of $450,000. Fortunately, medium format cameras, while expensive, cost less than that.

Joe Farace  |  May 10, 2016  |  1 comments

When a photographer leaves the studio to go on location, they need to start packing. It doesn’t matter whether you’re slinging gear into a Range Rover or a baggage handler is stuffing it inside an Airbus, you need tough, dependable bags and cases that are up to the job. How do you pick the bags and cases that hold your equipment? Like green bags? Prefer anonymous bags? Want a hard case? What about wheels? The answer to these questions and more are found in this month’s installment of “One Case to Schlep.”

Joe Farace  |  Apr 08, 2016  |  0 comments

Many years ago, along with some fellow writers, I visited an Agfa—remember them?—facility in Brussels. During the tour one of the leaders asked, “What do you think of the idea of adding a phone to a digital camera?” We all laughed and thought it was the dumbest idea we’d ever heard. It turned out that he was asking the wrong question; it should have been, “What do you think of adding a camera to a phone?”

Joe Farace  |  Mar 25, 2016  |  0 comments

Every company that makes lenses usually designs a few that are ideal for portraiture. The trend these days for studio and boudoir portraits is toward fast prime lenses, while zooms remain popular for location and wedding photography. Wide-angle lenses may get you closer to the subject but perspective distortion exaggerates a subject’s nose and ears.

Joe Farace  |  Feb 26, 2016  |  0 comments

Here are some tips I discovered when researching this month’s column. One was from my wife who uses this technique all the time—smile! And you know what, people smile back, making you appear friendly and non-threatening. The other was from Michael Archambault, who suggests you “acknowledge that street photography is not perfect.” Or as my grandfather once told me, “If you spend your whole life looking for happiness, it’ll make you miserable.”

Joe Farace  |  Feb 02, 2016  |  0 comments

I think my urge to customize cameras comes from a love of cars. I can’t seem to leave my cars alone and each one has touches that make it unique. I think that’s why everybody gets really personal when it comes to finding, using, and often treasuring photographic accessories, gadgets, and gizmos. It helps if the source is obscure, foreign, and off the beaten track, which only adds to the exclusivity. And why not? The whole idea is to seek out photo accessories that accomplish something camera and lens manufacturers didn’t think to make but perfectly fills a niche in your own photographic pursuits.

Joe Farace  |  Dec 22, 2015  |  0 comments

During the coming year, the means we’ll use to capture photographs may change but not the motivation to share our view of the world with others. To accomplish this goal we need tools to change the way we see that world and interact with it. Imagine handing an iPhone to Alexander Graham Bell. What would he think of it? The future of imaging includes many paradigm-shifting technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence but in the short run, we’ll deal with trends.

Joe Farace  |  Dec 08, 2015  |  0 comments

While compiling a list of my favorite professional DSLRs two things came to my mind: At this point in the 21st century, why are they still called DSLRs and not simply SLRs? Canon’s top-of-the-line, film-based EOS-1v was introduced in 2000 and is long gone. Nikon’s F6 ($2,399) was launched in 2004, and although you can still buy one, not many people do. To me it’s like calling automobiles “horseless carriages” and since I don’t think a Nikon F7 is around the corner, let’s put this abbreviation to bed.

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