'digital' Category

What’s up Pussycat? Özkan Özmen goes on a Portrait Safari

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Özkan Özmen at work

Özkan Özmen is a portrait photographer based in Frankfurt Germany with a penchant for photographing subjects that can bite your head off. No, we’re not talking about models and celebrities with attitude here. We’re talking lions, tigers, and rhinos. As Dorothy famously said to the tin man… “Oh MY!”

According to Özkan, he’s always been into things that crawl, chirp, growl, and purr, and it wasn’t long after he began taking shooting studio portraits for a living that he decided to put together a compact lighting kit and try his luck outside of the comforts and convenience of his studio. Özkan Ozmen’s personal project ultimately took him on a multi-continent journey in which he’s captured wonderful portraits of the sort of wildlife most of us only see in zoo and safari parks, though seldom as in-your-face.

Özkan understood the logistics – not to mention danger involved in trying to capture tight portraits of wild animals using lights. Still and all, rather than being technically boxed in by the harsh ambient lighting conditions common to shooting in the extreme locales he planned on visiting, his goal was to light his subjects and select-focus at wider lens apertures similar to the way he would when shooting portraits in his studio.

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Chris O'Connell Stops Time

Chris O’Connell first appeared on our radar when he set out to accomplish the first 500 shutter speed remotely-synched flash sequence in action sports, complete with HDR morph shot in RAW. This is the story of how he got there.

©Chris O'Connell

Virginia is not the first geographic location you think of when extreme skiing comes to mind. That’s where Chris O’Connell grew up and began talking photos at the age of 12 or 13, when his father gave him his Mamiya Sekor. O’Connell began shooting his friends skateboarding and riding bikes. “A lot of action stuff. I mean, that’s my roots,” he says.

Unaware he could make a living as a full-time photographer, O’Connell went to business school and moved to Colorado after graduation. His first job was at The Vail Daily. He also shot freelance. At that time, the area was the virtual epicenter of the snowboarding world. Ice climbing, rock climbing, and kayaking were not far behind. O’Connell shot them all, and then some.

Time in business school paid off for O’Connell. “I focused on the business end of things a lot. It made magazine editors feel comfortable when I started doing submissions and then I’d write little articles. I would package my slides very professionally. I think that gave me a boost over some of my peers at the time,” he says.

He became Senior Photographer at Snowboarder Magazine in the late 1990s, and began shooting many snowboard and ski events for editorial avenues around the world. “I had a few Senior Photographer gigs for different magazines throughout the world, and the commercial stuff came next,” O’Connell recalls. Corporations like Oakley, Nike, and Burton began hiring him for commercial work. He eventually left Colorado for the Tahoe area in Northern California. A few years later, he made a radical shift to Orange County, “to be away from the mountains but still closer to the action sports hub of the world, Costa Mesa,” he says.

His new home base is also home to many surf and skate companies, as well as snow gear brands and optical companies. Hurley, Billabong, Quiksilver, and Volcom all have headquarters there. “It’s a great place for an action sports shooter and catalogue guy like myself to be based, because I’m right here. A good percentage of my clients are within ten miles of me,” says O’Connell. He also cites his proximity to Samy’s Camera, Los Angeles rental houses, and the five hour drive to the Sierra Nevada mountains as further reasons for his location. Those mountains have “some of the most epic light and consistent weather patterns of any mountains I’ve been in the world,” he says. “Tons of snow, and there’s always a high pressure system behind it. Then we go grey a lot, so there’s really good opportunities to shoot around here as well.”

©Chris O'Connell

Exclusively a digital photorapher, O’Connell relies on digital gear to get it right the first time. “When you have a guy jumping off a 50 foot cliff and it’s super dangerous, you don’t really get two takes. When I get controlled environments, that’s when I can really excel. That’s why the catalog and commercial stuff is so easy for me because I’m so used to only getting one shot at a photo,” he explains.

Last September, inspired by his friend Chase Jarvis shooting in New Zealand, O’Connell got the competitive idea to one-up him. Jarvis shot 20 pops per flash at 250 shutter speed tethered. O’Connell’s mind quickly had gears turning. “I want to be able to do this and shoot it wireless. I can’t really speculate on why he did it tethered. When I started looking into the PocketWizard FlexTT5, I got the idea I could really push this to the next level and shoot RAW files with the wireless sync,” he says. “With action photography, one f-stop is everything, so that’s really what I wanted to do. I started researching it a lot before we shot it, but Chase was the inspiration, for sure.”

O’Connell’s big challenge finally happened on June Mountain in the Eastern Sierras of California, which provided a special jump for the complex morphing shot.

©Chris O'Connell

Pulling off such a technical challenge made O’Connell do a lot of homework, including investigating a multitude of manufacturers who might be able to execute this photographic feat. “I used PocketWizard Plus receivers, because I think they have better range and are a little bit more stable in colder weather than the MultiMAXs and even the Mini,” he says. “They’re my workhorses. If I’m going to be far away from a shot, I still go to those, even though I’m on the transmitting mode. The TT5 allowed me to shoot at 1/500. I’ve never been able to do that with the PocketWizard Plus. That usually maxes right around 1/320. I used the Broncolor, the Scoro A4 and A2S packs. Those packs are really quite incredible. They’re expensive, but the control you have over the flash duration and having a digital readout on the pack was integral in being able to make sure I was shooting it at a fast enough flash duration. When this shoot came down to it, it was all about magic hour. Things have to be functioning right, and I can’t have room for error. It gets cold at night in the snow, and it’s hard to change things around, so I think that was really integral, as was the TT5. I used Honda generators, the EU series. They’re quiet so I can hear when riders are dropping, and they’re just not obnoxious to use on a shoot; they’re clean and quiet.”

The cameras which helped him pull all this together were Canon EOS-1D Mark IV. “I shot Zeiss lenses. I’m sort of a lens geek, and I’m just finding that a lot of the Canon wides don’t do it for me. The 14mm is just pretty sharp all the way across, but when you get a rider or anyone, for that matter, up into the corners in some of the other Canons, they fail. I think the Zeiss are super expensive and they’re heavy. For a guy like me who has to hike around the mountains, your pack starts getting really heavy when you’re throwing a bunch of Zeiss in there, but the crispness of the lens all the way across is truly unmatched. You give up the autofocus, but I can deal with that. I don’t shoot a hell of a lot of autofocus anyway. That was one reason I chose to shoot the Zeiss. I was really happy with the results.”

©Chris O'Connell

O’Connell discovered a tip and would like to share it with our readers. “I see a lot of snow sports photographers all around the world have some misfire trouble. They just set their flash pack on the ground, have the head six feet off the ground, but not the PocketWizard. I set up a separate light stand, ran a long extension cord for my sync and got that thing eight feet off the ground. That dramatically increased my reliability on the syncing. The ground is bad enough as it is for the radio waves, but the water and snow I guess just really throw it off. I never really knew that in years and years of misfires. I always figured because it’s too far away or I was around the corner too much. But it’s really something that could dramatically reduce the amount of misfires is to get that thing. Buy a long extension cord for your sync and get it off the ground. Bring it up eight feet. That does help.”

O’Connell’s next challenge? To stop even smaller increments of time. “Basically this whole process has left me with the desire to learn more and push it more on how fast it could sync and what else I can do,” he says. “If I could shoot a sequence at 1/1,000 sec., I’d be elated. Maybe that’s my next project.”

Chris O’Connell Photography
Chris O’Connell blog
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Written by Ron Egatz

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Jasmine Star's Permission to be Fabulous

When Southern California native Jasmine Star married her high school sweetheart in Hawaii, she flew Santa Barbara-based photographer David Jay in to document her wedding. Not only was she starting a new life as a married woman, but this vendor in particular helped influence a change in her career choice. “Seeing what he did, and how passionate he was, and how he had created a living for himself was incredible,” she says. “By seeing him, that’s what actually turned me on to photography.”

f/1.8 1/5000 100 ISO. ©Jasmine Star

Finding a wedding photographer who will not only document the most important day of your life, but inspire you to follow in his footsteps is something brides don’t set out to do consciously. Star did a Google search on “wedding photojournalism.” On page 67 of returned results, she found Jay, who was chosen above island-based photographers. “I just became smitten with who he was, not necessarily who he was as a photographer,” she says. Going with her instinct, she valued the relationship with the photographer as an individual above the samples of photographs he presented. “I felt like that experience has made or set the precedent for the type of experience I want to establish with my brides. I would prefer they would become interested in me as a person and then become interested in me as a photographer. I think that’s become a defining point in my business structure.”

f/2.0 1/1000 125 ISO. ©Jasmine Star

Exclusively a wedding photographer, Star knows her clients are purchasing her services one time only, and much hinges on the relationship she builds with future brides. Being the same age and interested in many of the same things helps establish the bond she seeks with new potential clients. “The more we are alike, the more she’ll value her experience, and therefore her photos,” reasons Star. In October of 2006 she shot her first three weddings. In 2007 Star shot for 38 wedding clients based on word of mouth.

f/1.8 1/200 250 ISO. ©Jasmine Star

A strong believer in social media, Star has embraced an online persona which has at times threatened to be more visible than her in-demand photography. This started simply by her blogging about the journey she undertook to become a photographer, from learning how to use her new camera to her first solo shoot. “For some reason, people started reading,” she recalls. “Those people started referring their cousins or their friends. It became a source of business and a megaphone for who I was as a person, not as a photographer because back then, I really wasn’t a photographer. I was struggling to become one.”

f/1.2 1/1250 320 ISO. ©Jasmine Star

If Star has hitched her wagon to her brand, social media is the road the pair travels. “I put myself on the Web every single day,” she reveals. “I’m constantly updating my Web site. I blog every single day. I’m updating Twitter a few times a day. I have a Facebook fan page with over 1500 people, and I want to make sure conversations are going on there.” She also dropped her maiden name for her middle name to help her brand. “Jasmine Star is my first and middle name. I think it works very well for the business.”

f/2.0 1/800 250 ISO. ©Jasmine Star

Star attended Whittier College and got a degree in Business Administration. Dating her future husband J.D. throughout her college years, they started the photography business together. As a gift, he would rent her time in darkroom when he could afford it. J.D. also bought her the first digital camera she owned in 2005. She now shoots entirely digitally. The two travel together and work weddings as a team. “He kind of stands in the background and puts on a 70 to 200mm lens, and he just shoots the day away,” she says. “I love his eye. It’s great. We balance each other.”

f/1.2 1/800 250 ISO. ©Jasmine Star

Shooting a Canon EOS 5D Mark II as her main body and a series of prime lenses, including a 15mm f/1.2, an EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM, and an EF 85mm f/1.2 II USM. She claims being forced to physically move toward and away from her subjects creates a level of connectivity with her clients which has helped define her style.

f/1.2 1/1600 200 ISO. ©Jasmine Star

Seeing herself as a photographer, and not a Photoshop artist, Star tries to achieve her goals in-camera before post-processing work begins. “Just because you can run an image through Lightroom, then process it through Photoshop, then add textures and add saturation, doesn’t mean you should,” she says. “I’m constantly looking for good light and constantly working on my exposures.” She tries to emulate film as much as possible while shooting.

f/1.2 1/800 100 ISO. ©Jasmine Star

Always aware of light, Star works with what she’s provided during daytime weddings. “I try to look for what I refer to as natural reflectors: a natural reflector coming from any sort of wall or gravel on the floor—any time I can find a reflective element that has any type of warmth. I’ll prefer to use a not‑so‑great location with amazing reflective light, versus a great location with mediocre light. A brick wall or terracotta walls or that kind of orangey-type of gravel on the floor that can still reflect sunlight and pop light back into my subjects face, I will move my clients to that light to kind of get that feel.”

f/1.2 1/2000 200 ISO. ©Jasmine Star

Despite calling herself “a natural light photographer,” Star is inevitably in situations where she needs to augment the sun. She mounts a Canon Speedlite 550EX on top of her camera, and uses a custom rig at the bottom of the camera for a PocketWizard Plus II. Star positions an off-camera flash to the side of the dance floor near the band or DJ. She’ll use this configuration, rarely moving the latter strobe throughout the night. “Because of our clientele and the price point we have, most of the time there’s uplighting in the room, and they have pin lighting and extensive setups,” she says, “so I don’t want to bring my flash all the way around the room. I just will keep the flash in one location.” Claiming most of her reception photos are shot on the dance floor, she simply works her way around the light source.

f/1.2 1/1600 100 ISO. ©Jasmine Star.

Shooting the way she does, Star’s workflow relies on off-camera flash mobility. “The PocketWizard provides the freedom for me to still stay true to my overall aesthetic without feeling shackled to the use of artificial light,” she explains. “I’ve had those little babies since the inception of my business. They’ve been with me since, gosh, 2007.”

Often asked about her custom hardware she uses for her PocketWizards, Star didn’t feel comfortable using Velcro, which was her first thought on how to jury rig what she envisioned. Walking into Samy’s Camera, she explained what she needed. It was built for her there, and she continues to use it faithfully. Asked exactly what kind of configuration they built her, she laughs. “I tell people I have no idea,” she says. “I just say, ‘the guys at Samy’s made it for me!’”

f/1.2 1/500 160 ISO. ©Jasmine Star

Star cites her ongoing connection with her clients as paramount to her success. “I wrote a post about the permission to be fabulous,” she says. “Sometimes girls don’t feel it’s okay to feel beautiful. Part of my job is to make them look beautiful, but in order for somebody to look beautiful, they have feel beautiful and fabulous. As a photographer, I wanted to make a point it’s so important to what we do to let people know, give them permission. As a female photographing another female, I want her to know that I’m not behind my camera judging her or thinking, ‘why is she doing that,’ or ‘what is she doing?’ I often tell my clients I want to create an arena where it is okay for you to feel beautiful and be fabulous. When they feel like that, all I have to do is simply capture them when they’re uninhibited. That is the mark of a true and beautiful picture.”

Jasmine Star Photography
Jasmine Star Blog
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Written by Ron Egatz

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Kevin Jairaj: Expanding the Photographer's Role

Kevin Jairaj is a Dallas, Texas photographer who found his groove after a business management degree, some sports photography, and a career in corporate America. Shooting fashion after his day job hours, he shot a wedding as a favor to a friend. He had a great time, loved the diversity, and got referrals from that first wedding alone. Shortly thereafter in 2003, he began shooting weddings full-time.

©Kevin Jairaj

Jairaj’s wedding work has awarded him with rave reviews and is in demand in the Dallas-area and at destination weddings from Trinidad to London. With the results speaking for themselves, Jairaj has gathered many photography fans after they’ve seen his frequently-uupdated blog and Web site. Almost as impressive as his photos, Jairaj has put that business management degree to work and created multiple revenue streams from his photographic knowledge and experience.

©Kevin Jairaj

For years he was besieged with questions on how he got his images looking as they did. Finally, he made his own Photoshop Actions available to the public, bringing his visibility to a whole new audience. “I have my own formulas for my black and whites, my sepias, my split-tones, and lots of other things,” he says. “People all over the world have been buying it the past few years. The response amazes me.” We’ve had a chance to work with Jairaj’s action set, and we’ve found you can achieve a wonderful film-like warmth to images, among other effects.

©Kevin Jairaj

The success of this project ultimately encouraged him to create and market the Dramatic Lighting DVD, which follows him on location shoots with a bride and a high school senior, detailing all aspects of his techniques. Rounding out his post-processing offerings is Unique Textures, a collection of images easily integrated into photos or used as multimedia backdrops.

©Kevin Jairaj

Lastly, a unique offering from Jairaj is an iPhone app called Wedding Vendor. This app has the potential for saving the sanity of wedding coordinators, florists, photographers, videographers, bands, hair stylists and makeup artists or any other vendor who works in the wedding trade. All details of any wedding can be logged and saved into this app, including photos of the bride and groom, locations, other vendor contact info, and more. It even has customizable fields for notes. Jairaj has been in the business long enough to know what data he needs to have handy. Now all he needs to do is glance at his iPhone to recall any past or pending job he’s shooting.

©Kevin Jairaj

Partnering with Alycia Alvarez, the two shooters have created Rings to Rattles, a series of seminars on teaching photographers how to cultivate relationships with clients from their wedding through the arrival of children and beyond. Both photographic techniques and business practices are covered.

It’s no surprise a photographer who has his own actions, DVD, and iPhone app is a gearhead. Jairaj is definitely knowledgeable about his equipment, and enjoys speaking about it. “If I’m shooting a bride on the beach during the day and I want to overpower the sun, I use Profoto AcuteB’s,” he says. “Indoors I’ll use PocketWizard MiniTT1′s and FlexTT5′s and Canon Speedlite 580EX II’s. The MiniTT1 is so small I use it to trigger all my other strobes as well as the Flexes. I do the 580′s on TTL-mode. You can be very mobile with this kind of lighting and not have to carry around much at all. You can be agile and very quick. Most of my shooting is on location, and this helps me move around and get the shots.” Jairaj’s main camera bodies are Canon 5D Mark II’s, which he loves for their low noise at high ISOs. His favorite lens is the first one he bought: a Canon 70-200mm.

©Kevin Jairaj

A fashion-lover at heart, Jairaj pays attention to fashion in his wedding photos, and it shows. “Someone once said to me I shoot brides like they’re fashion models,” he recalls. “Well, that’s exactly what they want to be on their special day. I don’t want them to be all prim and proper and posed, like some 1980′s shot. I want them to feel gorgeous and sexy and love their photos as if they were in a magazine.”

©Kevin Jairaj

Jairaj sees an engagement photo session as a critical part of the wedding photography business. “For me, engagement sessions are almost a necessary thing I try to make all my couples do. I like to see how they act in public, how they react to each other, if they’re comfortable with the camera, if they blink a hundred times—it’s a long list. If I see them blinking a lot, I know on the wedding day I have to take extra shots. It also helps me determine what kind of style they like after they see the photos. Do they like more sepia? More kissing? More romantic or the fun, silly shots? Sexy? This helps me figure out what to do on the wedding day. It’s all about getting to know them better.”

©Kevin Jairaj

Fashion is never far from his thoughts, and Jairaj still shoots fashion when given the opportunity. A long-time sports enthusiast, his dream is to shoot for a professional football team. Knowing the drive and inventive nature of this shooter, we’re betting it’ll happen sooner, rather than later.

Kevin Jairaj’s Web site

Kevin Jairaj’s Blog

Kevin Jairaj on Twitter

Kevin Jairaj on Facebook

Kevin Jairaj’s and Alycia Alvarez’s Seminar

Fashion gown shoot video for Brides of North Texas Magazine

Kevin Jairaj’s “Wedding Vendor” iPhone App

Trailer for Dramatic Lighting DVD, showcasing the Profoto AcuteB setup

Kevin Jairaj’s Outdoor Action Set for Photoshop

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Airtime with Steve Lloyd

As a native of Utah, Steven Lloyd is no stranger to winter sports. As an art major in college, Lloyd took a photography course in order to help him capture images he wanted to paint. “I fell in love with photography, and thought it was a lot more fun than sitting in a room all day painting,” he says.

©Steve Lloyd

Always an outdoorsman, Lloyd has been shooting professionally for eight years. “I grew up skiing, and always try to shoot far away from the resorts,” he explains. His photography now includes his latest passion, mountain biking, which he’s been involved with the past four years. He enjoys shooting biking at least as much as photographing skiing. This works out well, as they both have their seasons are opposite each other. Also on his list of sports covered is climbing and backpacking. “I enjoy shooting anything outdoors, basically,” Lloyd says, “but my main focus is biking and skiing.”

©Steve Lloyd

With year-round subject matter to shoot, Lloyd can usually be found shooting on location. Some of his shots set him apart with the photographer’s equivalent of New Journalism: interjecting himself into his photographs. His portfolio include photos taken over and including a mountain bike’s handlebars. Others seem as if he is skiing with the subject he is shooting. “Growing up in the outdoors,” he says, “I’ve always tried to come up with different ways to shoot, like doing point-of-view shots or including myself in the photo. A lot of times photographers don’t get credit for being athletes themselves. When you’re out skiing and shooting with skiers, you’re on the slope with them. The danger factor is the same. It’s even harder because you’re carrying all your camera gear.”

©Steve Lloyd

There’s a reason why Lloyd has a high ratio of dramatic shots with stunning backgrounds. “I like to find cool-looking features in nature, whether it’s a rock, arch, trees or a good view. I look for those things first, and then think how I can put an athlete or skier in the scene; how I can put a biker on a trail where it would look cool with the mountains and clouds. The landscape complements the athlete and the athlete can enhance the photo by putting action into it.”

©Steve Lloyd

“The last few years I’ve been working a lot with flashes in nature,” Lloyd says. “I love to hike and get away from people. Using speedlights on a very cool natural feature to bring color and light to it with these tools is very exciting. Now that I have PocketWizards to use with my flashes, doors have opened up for me. I can get very creative and make colors how I see them. Artistically, I can now do more of what I’ve always wanted to do. I’m pretty stoked on the MiniTT1 and FlexTT5. There’s no more wires, which were fickle in extreme temperatures. It’s a pleasure to hook up this system and use it.” Before using his current PocketWizard system, Lloyd employed Plus II’s.

©Steve Lloyd

Although he has plans to purchase a Profoto system later this winter, Lloyd travels small and light with speedlights. His current rig is two Canon 550EXs, one 580EX and two Vivitar 285s. His body is a Canon EOS 5D Mark II. “A lot of the locations I shoot at make it impossible to get large packs there,” he explains. “We often hike two or three hours through the snow up in the mountains. You can’t take a snowmobile or other vehicle there, so it’s all carted by hand. With the smaller systems it’s nice because you can put it in a backpack. If you have an athlete or two going with you, you can divide up the gear and everyone can handle it without stressing too much. You’d be surprised what you can do with those mini-systems.”

©Steve Lloyd

Setting up many of Lloyd’s well-composed shots isn’t easy, although the action looks spontaneous. “On the flash-lit set-ups, my prep and shoot time is four to five hours, minimum. To get things set-up, test the lights, get the athletes on the same page and get my exposures dialed-in, it’s a lot of work. The recycle times on the smaller rigs isn’t as fast as the big gear, so I have one chance to get the shot of the athlete in action. You have to be patient when the biker or skier goes off the cliff. You can’t preshoot the photo because they won’t be in the right position. You also can’t wait too long. Sometimes we’re only allowed two or three times before the athlete’s done or the snow is bad. It’s difficult, but doable.”

©Steve Lloyd


Another factor weighing on the production of Lloyd’s dramatic night shots is safety. “A guy jumping off a forty-foot cliff at night is a lot more difficult and dangerous than someone doing it in the daytime,” he says. “Skiers can’t really see their landing area well at night, and they have to guess when to absorb the impact.”

©Steve Lloyd

Lloyd is bullish on technology available to himself and other shooters. “Digital photography has opened unlimited doors to creating whatever you want,” he says. “That’s especially true of products like PocketWizards. You put these products together and I don’t think there’s any limit to what you can create as far as colors, images, scenes, or whatever you want. It just takes a little time. You get instant feedback, as opposed to the film days. You can get your timing down and know exactly when to hit the shutter as they’re flying through the air. It’s all possible because of the technology we have now.”

Steve Lloyd Photo
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Ari Simphoukham and the Power of a Photo

The old cliche dictates pictures are worth 1000 words. I disagree. Pictures are worth millions of words, and millions more to each different person viewing the same photograph. Legions of stories exist as testament to the power of photographs and our desire to protect them. Otto Bettmann, fleeing Nazi Germany with two steamer trunks loaded with 25,000 photos — the foundation of the Bettmann Archive — and no clothing, is just one example.

The technology of photography allows us to visually document our very existence for both ourselves and future generations. Previously, only paintings could do this, and their accuracy is always subject to question. The data and testament of a snapshot from any given year is invaluable to people interested in the subject matter of any photograph. A picture can say, “this was me when I was your age,” or “here’s our first home,” or “this was your great-grandmother.” Photographs are nothing less than a bet-the-farm hedge against our inevitable deaths. When times are more uncertain than usual, photographs can document “we made it at least this far. Remember us, this period, and what we went through.”

It is one of these photographs which changed a young man’s life. As America’s war in Vietnam spilled into neighboring Laos, chaos followed. Some estimates cite over one million Laotians fled their country as a direct result of that war. Simphoukham’s parents were among them, eventually winding up in a refugee camp in the Philippines after their son was born in a similar camp in Thailand. His parents knew the value of documenting their odyssey to a new homeland for their son and future generations. They saved and traded on the black market for one family photo to be taken. The image survived the family’s landing in San Francisco and has become a vibrant signpost of their old lives and struggle for success until becoming American citizens. One photograph changed their son’s future.

©Ari Simphoukham Collection. Ari Simphoukham at age two with his parents in a refugee camp in the Philippines, 1987.

The 1987 photo not only sparked Simphoukham’s desire to photograph, but helped him become the man he is today. “In the refugee camp, my parents put together enough money to have that snapshot of us taken,” he says. “Every time I look at that photo it does so much for me. This is who I am, these are my roots. It keeps me grounded as a person. There’s a lot of history and a lot of emotion in that photo. It’s one of the reasons I’m a photographer.”

©Ari Simphoukham. Focal length 50mm, f/2.5, shutter speed 1/500, ISO 160.

“I started off as an events and senior portraits photographer,” says Ari Simphoukham. While in a fraternity at UC Davis as an International Relations major, Simphoukham was shooting a Nikon D50 all around campus. Soon he was asked to shoot an event by someone who noticed his photography. This led to other organizations asking him to work for them. “Eventually I was approached to shoot senior portaits. I got better and better, and improved my photography while getting paid. It was amazing.”

©Ari Simphoukham. Focal length 18mm(14-24), f/8, shutter speed 1/250, ISO 400.

A cousin’s friend needed a wedding photographer, and Simphoukham was recruited. “I did it and couldn’t believe how fun it was,” he says. “After that, I concentrated on weddings. I tried to meet other wedding photographers to learn techniques and the business end of it. I improved along the way.” He had found his calling and his paycheck, and eventually left school to pursue his career. “I know this is what I want to do,” he states.

©Ari Simphoukham. Focal length 10.5mm, f/14, shutter speed 1/60, ISO 400.

Simphoukham took the bold move of dedicating an entire year to learning his craft. “One of the reasons I love doing this is because wedding photographers are awesome,” he declares. “They’re so helpful and so easy to talk to. They’re very helpful, and that kindness made me want to be a wedding photographer even more.” Simphoukham assisted several Bay Area wedding shooters to further hone his skills. Although he still shoots senior portraits, wedding work is where his passion lies. “Weddings are more work, but I feel they appreciate my art more,” he adds.

©Ari Simphoukham. Focal length 14mm, f/6.3, shutter speed 1/500, ISO 400.

Currently located in Los Angeles, Simphoukham is shooting weddings and expanding his network of wedding photographers. Eventually he sees himself setting up his studio in the Bay Area. These days Simphoukham is shooting two Nikon D3 bodies, one D300 for backup, “and a lot of lenses,” he says. Originally a film photographer, his workflow is now all-digital. He uses PocketWizard Plus II’s to fire his strobes. “Being a wedding photographer is hard because the lighting changes constantly. You have to be on your toes and aware of the light always. The PocketWizards help me control the light because if it gets too dark, I just dial in what I need from the strobes and it’s okay. I can get a very natural look, as opposed to a deer-in-the-headlights direct flash.”

©Ari Simphoukham. Focal length 85mm, f/3.2, shutter speed 160, ISO 800.

Regarding post-processing work, Simphoukham says, “I find the best photos are not the ones I do heavy work on. The best photos are the ones that are that way straight out of the camera. I think I heard this quote from someone: you can make a good picture better, but you can’t make a bad picture good.” He uses Lightroom and Photoshop for minimal post work.

©Ari Simphoukham. Focal length 14mm, f/13, shutter speed 1/100, ISO 400.

“When I first started learning about off-camera flash, PocketWizard was the name in radio remote flash. All the good photographers were using it back then. I’m going to upgrade in the future. It just works. I’ve never had a problem with them. The Plus II is simple and it works. It goes through walls. What more could you want?” he laughs.

©Ari Simphoukham. Focal length 85mm, f/9, shutter speed 1/60, ISO 100.

Simphoukham is just as passionate about his client photos. “I try to tell a story with my photography. I think nowadays everyone has a camera, but not everyone has the ability to portray a story with a camera. I develop a story behind the photos everyone can read,” he says. “I’ve been very fortunate to have great clients. When they appreciate my work, I feel great.” How great you feel the day you get married is one of the things you never want to forget. Who better to document that day? Connecting emotionally to photographs is something Ari Simphoukham knows quite a bit about.

Ari Simphoukham Photography

Ari Simphoukham Wedding Photography

Ari Simphoukham’s Blog

Ari Simphoukham on Twitter

Ari Simphoukham on Facebook

Ari Simphoukham on MySpace

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PocketWizard Announces 30-Day Satisfaction Guarantee for MiniTT1 and FlexTT5

Elmsford NY –January 26, 2010 – In a bold move certifying the performance and reliability of the new MiniTT1 and FlexTT5, PocketWizard® is offering an unprecedented 30-day Satisfaction Guarantee. Photographers can purchase the system, try it out for 30-days and if not completely satisfied, simply return it to their dealer for a full refund — no questions asked.

“We’re excited to offer professional photographers the unique opportunity to try the groundbreaking Mini and Flex system absolutely risk-free” noted Jan Lederman, President of MAC Group, PocketWizard’s U.S. distributor. “Our new 30-day Satisfaction Guarantee offer sends the message loud and clear that we’re committed to our customers, and serious about professional grade performance.”

To ensure the same level of unsurpassed performance to all existing Mini and Flex owners, PocketWizard is offering a free system check, with 24-hour in-house turnaround. Included is a free Version 5.0 upgrade to bring them up to the latest standards.

“Version 5.0 is a very recent development that adds additional features for both new purchasers and current owners”, says Tim Neiley, President of PocketWizard. “A big advantage of the PocketWizard system is the ability for photographers to upgrade all of their Mini and Flex units to the latest operating system by simply downloading the latest firmware from the PocketWizard site.”

Lederman continued, “We are including a performance enhancing accessory, the AC5 RF Soft Shield with units we are currently shipping. The AC5 is a two-piece shield that isolates the RF noise produced by some Canon flash units to provide precise autoflash at great distances. We are also making it available at no charge to current owners. And now, with our 30-day Satisfaction Guarantee, there are more reasons than ever for photographers to step-up to PocketWizard.”

Lederman added, “The Mini and Flex are exciting products. They’re easy to use right out of the box and offer many advanced features that improve the overall Canon flash system performance.”

30-day Satisfaction Guarantee offer applies to purchases made within the USA, and runs from February 1st to April 30th, 2010. For details, go to PocketWizard.com

FOR MORE INFORMATION

For more information on this exciting new story and complete product details, please visit PocketWizard.com. PocketWizard, the leader in wireless control and synchronization of cameras, flash lighting and light meters, is made by LPA Design, based in South Burlington, Vermont and sold by MAC Group in the USA and authorized distributors around the world.

# # #

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Paul H. Phillips on Endurance and Planning

Triathlons are multi-sport endurance events, and the photographers who cover them are not unlike the athletes who participate in them. Paul H. Phillips and his team of photographers at Competitive Image in Minneapolis have identified their métier, and it’s in their blood. Competitive Image consists of photographers who also happen to be runners, skiers, cyclists, swimmers, and martial artists. These common athletic interests enable them to cover sporting events in ways most photographers can’t or don’t imagine.

©Competitive Image

Bob Kupbens teamed up with Phillips to conceive and create Competitive Image’s iconic shot of the start of the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon earlier this year. The shot was also featured in Runner’s World magazine. It’s a classic example of the company’s premise of making great shots, as opposed to taking them.

©Competitive Image

This approach is paying off. By staking out race courses and planning out positions of remote cameras, the teams’ results are getting them recognition. Their soccer book, Portrait of Passion, has been nominated for the 2009 Billie Award for Journalism for the Outstanding Portrayal of Women in Sport. They have also had an image published on one of the ultimate sports marketing icons: a box of Wheaties.

Triathlons are essentially a long swim race followed by a long bicycle race followed by a long foot race. Photographers covering them need to work at least as long as the shortest time it takes the winner to complete the course. That doesn’t include setup and breakdown times. Endurance is the strategy on both sides of the cameras.

The PocketWizard MultiMAX has proved critical to many of Competitive Image’s shots, including some of their decisive images of winners crossing triathlon finish lines.

©Competitive Image

“We can now do some very exciting things with very high shutter speed,” says Phillips. “This is because of PocketWizard. We’re slowly making the shift from the MultiMAX to the FlexTT5 and the MiniTT1. I particularly like the Mini because it is what it is: it’s tiny! We’re combining all of these models on a shoot for the cover of Triathlete magazine. We’re going to use studio strobes, but we need a few highlights on the athlete’s bike, so we’ll use a few remotely-fired 580s, too.”

Competitive Image recently shot a series of swimmers in a pool using the FlexTT5 and the MiniTT1. “One Mini and three Flexes were used with five MultiMAX units. I only see our work with PocketWizards increasing.”

©Competitive Image

“The PocketWizards help us make the shot. We ask, ‘what shot would be really cool?’ Well, let’s build something and hang it from the starting line truss!” As the lead photographers for the Twin Cities Marathon, one of the top marathons in the country, Phillips and his team enjoys a large degree of latitude in creative license and permissions to set them up and get them. Named as one of the International Triathlon Union Photographers for 2010, Phillips is earning the reputation of the guy who can get the shots others don’t.

For the first leg of triathlons with athletes diving into the water, Phillips sometimes finds himself shooting half-submerged from the waterline with two assistants behind him holding strobes on monopods. He also has been known to sit backwards all day on a motorcycle, shooting athletes as they bike and run for the finish line.

©Competitive Image

“I only see our use of PocketWizards expanding,” says Phillips. “We’re only limited by our own creativity. We’re already designing our next big cover shot for a race that will be the first week in May of 2010.” Phillips will be detailing his preproduction work in an eight-page report, covering everything from how he’ll mount remote units on streetlights to dealing with crowds during a race which will be won in approximately four minutes. “At a four-minute mile, you’re talking about a runner moving 22-feet per second. Trying to light that and get a clean shot is challenging.” With that kind of action, the team will have several photographers firing a multitude of PocketWizards on different channels.

©Competitive Image

The Competitive Image team shoot a full range of lenses for both Canon and Nikon digital bodies. Two of the team are MIT grads, “so if we need something built, it’s no problem,” Phillips laughs.

The well-written Competitive Image blog not only details some solid tips for sports photography enthusiasts, but documents some of the detailed thought process Paul—a former racer himself—and his team do in the preproduction stage before an athletic event. Photography fans and athletes alike have reason to follow Paul Phillips and his team—until they have to start planning for their next race, that is.

Competitive Image

Water shoot

Video of water shoot

Blog entry on water shoot

Portrait of Passion

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Jason Reed, Witness to History

Jason Reed doesn’t have one thing most photographers have: his own Web site. He has no need for one. We see his images every day. Jason Reed has one thing most photographers would trade all their gear for, even for one day. Reed is a seven year veteran of the White House Traveling Pool, and has been shooting for Reuters for twenty years.

Photo by Jason Reed, ©Reuters

Photo by Jason Reed, ©Reuters. Note remote camera with PocketWizard on floor against shrubs.

News photography fans and much of the public will recall some of Reed’s memorable images, such as George W. Bush bumping chests with a new graduate at the Merchant Marine Academy, or Karl Rove rapping at the Radio and Television Correspondents’ Association dinner, or Barack Obama shedding a tear over the death of his grandmother on the eve of the election he was to win. What really got the attention of photography fans was his “White House Moments: A Time-lapse View,” created after a video editing course got him interested in time-lapse movies. In it, he documents a day at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, from the West Wing to the East Room to the Rose Garden to the South Lawn. This is the White House as you’ve never seen it before. 8000 exposures later, PocketWizards proved critical to the project.

Photo by Jason Reed, ©Reuters

Photo by Jason Reed, ©Reuters

“The PocketWizard is something we’ve been using at the White House since they’ve been around,” says Jason. “I use the MultiMAX Transceivers. I can’t imagine working without them. They’re so easy to use. I can put multiple cameras at different angles all on the same frequency and trigger them as either motor drive sequences or using the intervalometer, which are really easy to set up from the menu. You can shoot a picture every three seconds, five seconds, ten seconds, and you can change those settings pretty quickly.”

Photo by Jason Reed, ©Reuters

Photo by Jason Reed, ©Reuters

Australian-born Reed began a Bachelor’s degree in Photography in Sydney. The first day he showed up to discover just one class was unavailable: his photography class. This unfortunate event was the loss of higher education and the gain of the news photography industry. Soon he was able to get a job at Reuters hand-printing color film to 8 x 10 format and loading prints onto analog drum transmitters. That led to some photographer-mentors encouraging his talent, supplementing a two-year technical course in Photography at a local college. Then began Reed’s Forrest Gump-like professional life of being present at world events as they unfolded. In 1994 at age 23, he moved to Hong Kong, which was the Reuters regional headquarters at that time. He served there as an editor and photographer until the handover to China in 1997. Moving on to the new headquarters in Singapore, Reed was dispatched around the region to cover earthquakes, plane crashes, and civil unrest in Asia. From 1999 until 2002 he used Bangkok, Thailand as a base from where he travelled to Pakistan to cover the 2001 war against the Taliban and Indian natural disasters, among other news stories.

Photo by Jason Reed, ©Reuters

Photo by Jason Reed, ©Reuters. Note remote cameras with PocketWizards on floor at right.

Presidential visits to the region drew his interest. President Clinton went to Vietnam, India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Reed lent support to Reuters White House photographers who travelled with the President wherever he went. The young photographer found himself caught up in the energy of being in the entourage of the Leader of the Free World, as the old cliché goes. He dreamed of doing it full-time, and in 2003 a position opened up, and Jason Reed became a Reuters photographer at the White House.

Although situated at the White House, the road didn’t stop calling him. Reed covered the 2004 Bush campaign and he spent the last two years on the road following the Obama campaign to victory from before the Illinois junior Senator’s announcement to run in February of 2007. He finds what he’s learned in the capital is applicable outside it. “Shooting every day at the White House is challenging. You constantly try to find something new. Those skills you take away to any other assignment and look for something new, something you wouldn’t be looking for if you hadn’t worked at the White House. Trying to make things subtly new day after day for years and years teaches you to be a better photographer. The PocketWizard is an extension of that. When I travel to events I see where I can put multiple cameras. I’m always looking for a key moment of a historical event, such as the signing of an important act of Congress, or a bilateral meeting with a foreign head of state. As a photographer you try to find multiple angles of everything. You’re working harder, but the reward is you’re getting more angles, better pictures and better moments. The PocketWizard frees me up to look at different things and execute them really easily.”

Photo by Jason Reed, ©Reuters

Photo by Jason Reed, ©Reuters

Although shooting at the same address, Reed isn’t about to get bored. “History shows us anything can happen at any time,” he says. Occasionally he’ll be photographing the President at a graduation ceremony, looking through the viewfinder for hours at a time, careful to never miss a moment. “If there’s anything this job teaches you, it’s about being ready.”

Photo by Jason Reed, ©Reuters

Photo by Jason Reed, ©Reuters

Photo by Jason Reed, ©Reuters

Photo by Jason Reed, ©Reuters

Reed also has to be ready for other assignments. He covered the last Academy Awards ceremony, and was full of quips pointing out the difference between photographing politicians and celebrities. “They say Washington is Hollywood for ugly people, and Hollywood is Washington for beautiful people,” jokes Reed. “I like to do different events like the Olympics or Formula One races — something different to mix it up.”

Photo by Jason Reed, ©Reuters

Photo by Jason Reed, ©Reuters

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, however, remains the location of his dream job, as it would be for countless photographers around the world. “At the White House, it’s full HMI (hydrargyrum medium-arc iodide) light. There’s a whole group of television lighting technicians dedicated to lighting every event. We’re really blessed with the ability to walk in and shoot an indoor event at 400 ISO at 250ths of a second at f/2.8 or 320ths at f/2.8. It’s fantastic. This is the center of the universe of making things look good.” For this, our leaders and candidates are grateful, and viewers around the world wait for the next click of Jason Reed’s shutter while working at his dream job.

Photo by Jason Reed, ©Reuters

Photo by Jason Reed, ©Reuters

Jason Reed at Reuters

Bush Years: Defining his Presidency

Riding with Obama — A Final Look Back

White House Moments: A Time-lapse View

Reuters Photo Blog

Reuters News Pictures Official Site

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Kevin Bauman’s Sublime Decay

People are hard to find in Kevin Bauman’s photographs, but they are there if viewers relax, maybe squint a bit, and open their minds. You will see them in each frame, transparent echoes in his native Detroit photos: children running up now-crumbling steps after their first day at school, young men in khaki kissing their sweethearts in the broken-windowed Michigan Central Station before their last train ride to the Atlantic and war, and muscular veterans swinging drag chains in the cavernous, crumbling Fisher Body 21 facility.
Those people are gone, but our imagination can’t help but put them there. We know they lived prosperous lives in Detroit because Bauman has spent over ten years chronicling structures they’ve left us, and continues to do so with a balance of art, technology, honest delicacy, and reluctant indictment of a system gone wrong.
Detroit was the fourth largest United States city in 1950. Since that time, due to the the ever-shrinking U.S. auto industry, it has lost half it’s population; approximately one-million residents. The city itself covers an astounding 143 square miles, and as entire neighborhoods are depopulated, their structures decay and fall, opening vast tracts of urban prairie. It is amid this background Bauman finds his personal project bliss.
Although an accomplished photographer in several genres, Kevin Bauman receives the most attention for his series entitled 100 Abandoned Houses. It has caused him to be profiled by The New York Times [http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/09/garden/09online.html?_r=1&ref=garden], ABC World News [http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerindex?id=8313586], and AOL [http://home.aol.com/new_in_home/photogallerytall/_a/detroits-abandoned-houses/20090428114509990002?feeddeeplinkNum=0], among many others. Purposely shot in from a uniform point of view at a wide enough angle to put the home in context. Everything from vacant lots to inhabited homes next door are shown to chart the woes of these once-grand Detroit residences.
Bauman sells prints of his work, giving one-third to organizations like Habitat for Humanity [http://www.habitat.org/] and The Greening of Detroit [http://www.greeningofdetroit.com/].
Michigan Central Station has been an ongoing subject of Bauman’s documentation of Detroit’s direction, this time in black and white. Often shooting at the slowest film speed possible and the lowest ISO, Bauman always uses a tripod.
“PocketWizards are pretty much a must-have,” he says of his standard gear. “In the old days I’d use those radio slaves. They’d go down and you’d have to run that stupid cord again to operate the lights. Then there were those synching lights. I often shoot in industrial settings. In some factories they have blinking lights on forklifts, and it would set those things off. I’d have to run down through the factory so the pack wouldn’t blow. PocketWizards are awesome, and have changed everything.”
When asked about any trouble he may have encountered in some of the sketchier neighborhoods he’s drawn to, Bauman says without hesitation, “Packs of dogs. It’s a known problem in Detroit. I don’t know if they’re runaways or abandoned by their owners, but they’re out there. I was shooting one day and about eight of them starting coming toward me, and they were not coming for fun. I kept the tripod and camera in front of me and made it back to the car.”
Always carefully aware of his surroundings and non-canine threats, Bauman reports people are generally friendly and interested in what he’s doing while shooting. “Sometimes people ask me if I’m from the city, and am I photographing an abandoned house because it’s scheduled for demolition. Unfortunately, I can’t help them, although they’re usually very pleasant to speak to.” As of this writing, he’s never had a physical assault or theft. When given verbal warnings, he’s happy to move along and come back at another time to get the shot he wants.
Bauman doesn’t shirk away from photographing people when called upon to do so for clients, such as when he documented school officials ten years after the Columbine tragedy [http://www.flickr.com/photos/kbauman/sets/72157617112122655/] for the American School Board Journal. On that assignment, he walked a fine line incorporating documentation, personal profile, respect for families involved, and yet not overwhelmingly depressing. Bauman used Profoto 7b generators to capture employees and the memorial under the ominous Colorado skies.
When shooting interiors for commercial work, he explains, “I light it, but light it so it’s minimal, or doesn’t look artificially lit at all.” Among these clients, he typically shoots for interior design firms, developers, and architectural firms. With his father being an architect, Bauman spent years reading architecture magazines, which helped him develop his style for this side of his photography business.
Along with his PocketWizards, Bauman has shot Mamiya RB67s and RZs. To move all his gear, Bauman has relied on Tenba rolling cases and Air Cases. “I’ve shot in some pretty nasty industrial locations — plants where they do anodizing and plating of metal, one-hundred twelve degree temperatures. They have vats of acid where they dip the metal in, steaming. The smells are horrible and everything is coated with stuff. The PocketWizards never stop working.”
www.kevinbauman.com http://www.kevinbauman.com
www.behance.com/kevinB http://www.behance.com/kevinB
www.themotorlesscity.com/ http://www.themotorlesscity.com/
www.themotorlesscity.com/photos/ http://www.themotorlesscity.com/photos/
www.flickr.com/photos/kbauman/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/kbauman/
100 Abandoned Houses: http://www100abandonedhouses.com
Selected Kevin Bauman Commercial Work: http://www.behance.net/KevinB/frame/212673
Kevin Bauman at Coroflot: http://www.coroflot.com/kbauman/crypton
http://www.coroflot.com/kbauman/interior_n_architectural_photography
The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/09/garden/09online.html?_r=1&ref=garden
ABC World News: http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerindex?id=8313586
Camera Obscura: http://cameraobscura.busdraghi.net/2009/contribute/kevin-bauman/
Really Good Magazine: http://reallygoodmagazine.com/?p=7705
AOL: http://home.aol.com/new_in_home/photogallerytall/_a/detroits-abandoned-houses/20090428114509990002?feeddeeplinkNum=0
Squidge Magazine: http://squidgemag.com/tag/100-abandoned-houses/
The 405: http://thefourohfive.com/articles/1805

People are hard to find in Kevin Bauman’s photographs, but they are there if viewers relax, maybe squint a bit, and open their minds. You will see them in each frame, transparent echoes in his native Detroit photos: children running up now-crumbling steps after their first day at school, young men in khaki kissing their sweethearts in the broken-windowed Michigan Central Station before their last train ride to the Atlantic and war, and muscular veterans swinging drag chains in the cavernous, disintegrating Fisher Body 21 facility.

©Kevin Bauman

©Kevin Bauman

Those people are gone, but our imagination can’t help but put them there. We know they lived prosperous lives in Detroit because Bauman has spent over ten years chronicling structures they’ve left us, and continues to do so with a balance of art, technology, honest delicacy, and reluctant indictment of a system gone wrong.

©Kevin Bauman

©Kevin Bauman

Detroit was the fourth largest United States city in 1950. Since that time, due to the the ever-shrinking U.S. auto industry, it has lost half it’s population; approximately one-million residents. The city itself covers an astounding 143 square miles, and as entire neighborhoods are depopulated, their structures decay and fall, opening vast tracts of urban prairie. It is amid this background Bauman finds his personal project bliss.

©Kevin Bauman

©Kevin Bauman

Although an accomplished photographer in several genres, Kevin Bauman receives the most attention for his series entitled 100 Abandoned Houses. It has caused him to be profiled by The New York Times, ABC World News, and AOL, among many others. Purposely shot in from a uniform point of view at a wide enough angle to put the home in context. Everything from vacant lots to inhabited homes next door are shown to chart the woes of these once-grand Detroit residences. Bauman sells prints of his work, giving one-third to organizations like Habitat for Humanity and The Greening of Detroit.

©Kevin Bauman

©Kevin Bauman

Michigan Central Station has been an ongoing subject of Bauman’s documentation of Detroit’s direction, this time in black and white. Often shooting at the slowest film speed possible and the lowest ISO, Bauman always uses a tripod.

©Kevin Bauman

©Kevin Bauman

©Kevin Bauman

©Kevin Bauman

“PocketWizards are pretty much a must-have,” he says of his standard gear. “In the old days I’d use those radio slaves. They’d go down and you’d have to run that stupid cord again to operate the lights. Then there were those synching lights. I often shoot in industrial settings. In some factories they have blinking lights on forklifts, and it would set those things off. I’d have to run down through the factory so the pack wouldn’t blow. PocketWizards are awesome, and have changed everything.”

©Kevin Bauman

©Kevin Bauman

When asked about any trouble he may have encountered in some of the sketchier neighborhoods he’s drawn to, Bauman says without hesitation, “Packs of dogs. It’s a known problem in Detroit. I don’t know if they’re runaways or abandoned by their owners, but they’re out there. I was shooting one day and about eight of them starting coming toward me, and they were not coming for fun. I kept the tripod and camera in front of me and made it back to the car.”

©Kevin Bauman

©Kevin Bauman

Always carefully aware of his surroundings and non-canine threats, Bauman reports people are generally friendly and interested in what he’s doing while shooting. “Sometimes people ask me if I’m from the city, and am I photographing an abandoned house because it’s scheduled for demolition. Unfortunately, I can’t help them, although they’re usually very pleasant to speak to.” As of this writing, he’s never had a physical assault or theft. When given verbal warnings, he’s happy to move along and come back at another time to get the shot he wants.

©Kevin Bauman

©Kevin Bauman

Bauman doesn’t shirk away from photographing people when called upon to do so for clients, such as when he documented school officials ten years after the Columbine tragedy for the American School Board Journal. On that assignment, he walked a fine line incorporating documentation, personal profile, respect for families involved, and yet not overwhelmingly depressing. Bauman used Profoto Pro-7b generators to capture employees and the memorial under the ominous Colorado skies.

©Kevin Bauman

©Kevin Bauman

When shooting interiors for commercial work, he explains, “I light it, but light it so it’s minimal, or doesn’t look artificially lit at all.” Among these clients, he typically shoots for interior design firms, developers, and architectural firms. With his father being an architect, Bauman spent years reading architecture magazines, which helped him develop his style for this side of his photography business.

©Kevin Bauman

©Kevin Bauman

Along with his PocketWizards, Bauman has shot Mamiya RB67′s and RZs. To move all his gear, Bauman has relied on Tenba rolling cases and Air Cases. “I’ve shot in some pretty nasty industrial locations — plants where they do anodizing and plating of metal, one-hundred twelve degree temperatures. They have vats of acid where they dip the metal in, steaming. The smells are horrible and everything is coated with stuff. The PocketWizards never stop working.”

www.kevinbauman.com
www.themotorlesscity.com
The Motorless City Photos
Kevin Bauman on Flickr
100 Abandoned Houses
Kevin Bauman at Behance

Selected Kevin Bauman Commercial Work:
Behance
Coroflot
Coroflot 2

Other coverage:
Camera Obscura
Really Good Magazine
Squidge Magazine
The 405

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