Geared Up

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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  |  Jul 06, 2017  |  0 comments

“I think all art is about control—the encounter between control and the uncontrollable.”—Richard Avedon

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  |  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  |  Jun 26, 2015  |  0 comments

It seems as if there’s a camera bag for everyone but one thing is certain—I’m sure it’s true for you as well—I’ve got more camera bags than I need! We’re constantly tempted by bags combining functionality with style, from surplus military bags beloved by hipsters to the $2,000 Ghurka Rangefinder No. 57 bag to toss onto your Bentley’s back seat. Todd Hutchings, a commercial photographer on the Monterey Peninsula, introduced me to his use of sports bags to carry equipment because they disguise the bag’s purpose from thieves.

Joe Farace  |  Feb 21, 2017  |  0 comments

Capturing “the decisive moment” is more than just clicking the shutter at the right time and it’s more than luck, too. It’s an artful combination of experience, talent, and preparation. Being prepared for the unexpected is just as important to photojournalists and documentary photographers as it is to a Scout and that includes selecting and using gear that can be deployed at that right time, even if preparing for a single shot or two takes several hours. Some of these tools may be obvious while others not so much.

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  |  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  |  Sep 01, 2015  |  0 comments

If there’s a more challenging photographic discipline than wildlife photography, I don’t know what it is. It requires heavy and expensive long focal length lenses, a sturdy tripod, and the physical prowess to schlep all this gear through physically demanding environments. If you’re thinking “that’s not you, Joe,” you are correctamundo so I asked a few friends for advice on telephoto lenses and this is what they told me.

Joe Farace  |  Mar 14, 2017  |  0 comments

The late Mr. Newton was certainly onto something. I believe the overwhelming desire of most portrait photographers is to please the client, with seduction, amusement, and entertainment far from their minds. Let me submit this idea: shoot what the client says they want and then shoot something challenging their assumptions. Most wedding clients tend to be traditional but even introducing black and white or infrared images can increase sales and show clients you’re thinking outside the veil.

Joe Farace  |  Oct 06, 2015  |  1 comments

Studio lighting hardware is going through the biggest change—a paradigm shift, really—since the flashbulb was invented in 1929. There are many trends and fads with LED’s popularity seemingly having equal parts of both. LED lighting also appeals to DSLR and mirrorless camera shooters who want to capture stills and video.

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  |  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  |  Nov 06, 2015  |  0 comments

There’s more to black-and-white photography than simply a lack of color. Maybe we wouldn’t feel this way if the first photographs were made in color but that didn’t happen and I grew up admiring the works of W. Eugene Smith and other photojournalists who photographed people at work, play, or being themselves in glorious black and white.

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.

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