Highlights from Adorama's Dedolight Demo

In case you missed it… here's a highlight reel from last week's in-store demonstration of Dedolight and Sony gear to make print and video ads.

Free Demo at Adorama Pro Imaging: Dedolight and 4K Shooting

Our friend Daniel Norton will be leading a demo in the Pro Department at Adorama's NYC store next week titled "Dedolight and 4K Shooting". Daniel really knows his stuff, and it'll be a great opportunity for you to check out Sony's new 4K camera and appreciate the characteristic look of Dedolight products. (Don't forget to pick up a few rolls of microGAFFER while you're there… we keep them well-stocked!)

RSVP for free through this link and enjoy the show on March 20th!

Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Stock Photographers

On the general premise that a picture is worth a thousand words, does it also follow that a picture is worth only $2.28, even if it's the President of the U.S.?

Getty-license-statement

Big shakeups have come in the last few days via Getty Images. First they announced that stock photography can now be embedded on websites for free. Less significantly, but interesting nonetheless, they have also pulled away from their licensing arrangement with Flickr. And last year, it was discovered that Google had licensed thousands of Getty's images in order to make them freely available as clip art to Google Drive users.

Yet another case of "stop the insanity" to beset our industry. By the way, the amounts you see here are the gross billings for these pix. What ended up in my pocket is a whole lot less.

"Ed Clark: American Photojournalist" Exhibition at the Bruce Museum

Many great photographers are known by their images, while their names may have no wide recognition. That’s even more the case when you’re talking about photographers who are no longer with us. Take Ed Clark, a mainstay of LIFE magazine from the 1940s through JFK’s presidency.

Bruce-Museum-Greenwich-CTEd-Clark-Bruce-Museum-photos

Now, and running through June 1, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut has a wonderful exhibition titled, Ed Clark: American Photojournalist. The Bruce, as it’s known to locals, is a terrific museum and always is filled with superb art in all media from its permanent collection as well as travelling shows. It also has the great advantage of being a five-minute walk from the Metro-North train station and just off Exit 3 of the Connecticut Turnpike (I-95).

Ed Clark’s best-known image is of Navy Chief Petty Officer Graham Jackson, playing Goin’ Home as FDR’s body is carried by train from Warm Springs, Georgia, after the President’s death in 1945. But Clark’s range of work for Life covered the post-WWII rebuilding of Europe, the Eisenhower and Kennedy presidencies, small-town life throughout The South (Clark was a native Tennessean), and even some of the earliest pictures of Marilyn Monroe. The show at the Bruce Museum has a wide range of work, beautifully displayed.

Ed-Clark-Graham-Jackson-sorrowfully-plays-Goin'-Home

Although Ed Clark (born in 1911) lived until 2000, he had to stop taking pictures more than 35 years earlier due to failing sight. I never had the privilege of meeting him and telling him that the reason I ultimately became a photographer was largely due to the images and stories he and his colleagues brought to my own small-town doorstep each week when LIFE arrived.

My Own (Fuji) X-Files

After months of being a very interested observer from the sidelines, a series of events in the past month has turned me into a player.

Smartphone as makeup mirror (in Times Square)

First of all, I’ve been intrigued by all the press, blog posts and reviews revolving around Fuji’s X-Series of cameras, and recent posts here (including Raj Tavadia’s here and here) will bear that out. But I’m at the point in my life now where I really want to be sure I have some very valid reasons for acquiring any new equipment. And it’s not about the money involved — more a case of recognizing that I have a lot of gear that hasn’t been used for a very long time, and wanting to move that equipment out of my life before adding anything new.

So when I learned from Jeff Hirsch at Foto Care in New York that each year his fine operation plays host to representatives of KEH Camera Brokers, who evaluate and purchase used equipment online (from their base in Atlanta), it seemed the ideal opportunity to accomplish two goals at the same time.

Earlier in December, I emptied my equipment cabinet of a number of non-autofocus Nikon lenses, along with a couple of F3s and  an F100, plus a few accessories that were never going to be used again, made the trip into NYC and left a couple of hours later with the Fuji X-E2, lenses and accessories; including the adapter that will let me mount most of my Leica M-series lenses (the version of my 21mm won’t work — too deep to clear the Fuji’s sensor.)

I’m holding on to a number of Nikon and Leica lenses, since the Nikons perform beautifully with the D800 (especially the 15 / 300 / 500mm), and my ancient Leica 90mm f/4 Elmar may well be a perfect portrait lens (wide open).

So, now, what about the camera and the images —

Times Square tourists with a mime

First of all, the X-E2 fits my hands just like I’d hoped (think Leica M-series). Displays make sense and Fuji’s “Q” button is a great way for quick access to various functions. But what about real-world picture taking? Since a prime reason for getting the X-E2 was my need for an unobtrusive “street camera” without spending a not-so-small fortune for the latest Leica M (never an option), I took it out into Times Square the other night, after leaving a private screening of the new Scorsese film, The Wolf of Wall Street. The scene in the streets was about as surreal as much of the film itself. And the weather the weekend before Christmas was approaching 70 degrees, which brought out crowds that would have never been seen there in typical winter conditions.

I had mounted Fuji’s 18mm f/2 (27mm full-frame equivalent) and shot mostly at ISOs of 400 and 800. Bottom line — superb.

Grand Central Terminal, main hall

This image of the main hall at Grand Central Terminal, taken from a marble railing, was a 5-second exposure @ f/11 (ISO 200). Two things other than the camera’s inherent excellence made it work so well — the X-E2 has a threaded socket for a standard cable release, and I supported the camera on one of our Steadybag® camera supports – in this case the 8 oz. model SB-3. Yes, it’s our product, but this is not a shameless promo. We make Steadybag in a range of sizes, to support every kind of still and video camera and all their lenses, including the longest telephotos. Sometimes even the smallest Steadybag makes a world of difference in cushioning the front of a super-telephoto optic.

Looking up in midtown Manhattan at night

The nighttime image looking up at some of midtown’s taller buildings is a good way to appreciate the importance of a large sensor (as well as the 18mm optics). There is a tremendous dynamic range in this hand-held shot (f/2.8 – ¼”).

And the images in Times Square itself have a tonal range (even in JPEGs) I didn’t think possible. It’s early days for me with this camera, but I think I could travel just about anywhere with only the X-E2; and the whole set of gear would only take up part of a shoulder bag (including plenty of room for my still-wonderful Sony RX100. More impressions to come…