For Drew Gurian it’s not just Rock and Roll

imgresFor Drew Gurian, it’s not just rock and roll – it’s what he does for a living.  Though he doesn’t currently play in a rock band (He was  a drummer in a Philadelphia-based rock band for almost seven years), he’s made a name for himself photographing many well-known bands on the road as well as in the studio.

Based in New York City, a town in which if you specialize in portraiture you better have a specialty and be good at it, Drew Gurian’s niche for the last decade has been in the music and entertainment industry. 

 

Backstage portrait of 'Soulive', a NYC-based soul/funk band (Nikon D800, 24-70 f2.8 lens, Elinchrom Ranger, Elinchrom 74" Octabank, triggered by a Pocket Wizard Plus II

Backstage portrait of ‘Soulive’, a NYC-based soul/funk band
(Nikon D800, 24-70 f2.8 lens, Elinchrom Ranger, Elinchrom 74″ Octabank, triggered by a PocketWizard Plus II)

 

To date Drew has photographed over 300 artists and musicians on and off-stage for a variety of editorial and commercial clients including Rolling Stone, The New York Times, and Red Bull. His work has also appeared in PDN, Billboard, Bass Player, Kerrang!, USA Today, and other domestic and international publications as a contracted photographer for the Associated Press.

Candid portrait of former Dispatch singer/solo artist, 'Pete Francis', Solo Artist & former member of 'Dispatch' (Leica M Type 240, 35mm f/2 lens, Nikon SB900 Speedlight, Lastolite 24" Joe McNally Ezybox triggered by a Pocket Wizard Plus II)

‘Pete Francis’, Solo Artist & former member of ‘Dispatch’
(Leica M Type 240, 35mm f/2 lens, Nikon SB900 Speedlight, Lastolite 24″ Joe McNally Ezybox, PocketWizard Plus II)

 

More than a stage shooter, many of Drew Gurian’s best images were captured in studio settings or outdoors under controlled lighting conditions. Even when photographing live performances, Gurian takes the time and effort to make sure the lights are just right and everything goes as planned.

Dubai recording artist 'Fatiniza' (Leica M Monochrom, 35mm f/2 lens, Nikon SB900 Speedlight, Lastolite 24" Joe McNally Ezybox triggered by a Pocket Wizard Plus II)

Dubai recording artist ‘Fatiniza’
(Leica M Monochrom, 35mm f/2 lens, Nikon SB900 Speedlight, Lastolite 24″ Joe McNally Ezybox, PocketWizard Plus II)

 

Capturing the action from more than one angle at a live event requires planning and experience, and after a five-year stint as first assistant to world-renowned photographer Joe McNally, Drew has learned a thing or two about getting the job done under the most challenging conditions. (He once shot a studio portrait of a major rock band in 18-seconds flat!)

'DJ Jay Daniel', Brooklyn, New York Leica M Type 240), 35mm f/2 lens, Nikon SB900 Speedlight, Westcott shoot-through umbrella, Pocket Wizard Plus II

‘DJ Jay Daniel’, Brooklyn, New York
(Leica M Type 240, 35mm f/2 lens, Nikon SB900 Speedlight, Westcott shoot-through umbrella, PocketWizard Plus II)

 

Gurian is personable, which enables him to better connect with his subjects and develop their trust, which goes a long way when you shoot portraits for a living. This comfort level is reflected in many of the casual and more formal portraits in his portfolio.

Depending on the assignment, Gurian’s choice of lights range from Nikon Speedlights to Rosco LEDs, to Profoto and Elinchrom studio lights. Same can be said for his camera choices, which are currently the Leica M (Type 240) rangefinder, and Nikon’s D4 and D800. Regardless of which lights and cameras he’s using, Drew Gurian always packs his PocketWizard Plus IIs and Plus IIIs.

Unlike press photographers who are typically restricted to shooting the first three songs from the photo pit, Drew strives for full access to the venue, which enables him to secure secondary cameras to one or more positions above, to the side, or anywhere around the stage for that matter.Time permitting, his unlimited access makes it possible to test his lights and cameras before the lights dim and the show begins.

The three images below show Gurian setting up during a 2011 Dispatch Reunion Tour show. In addition to matching Nikon D3s  bodies at his side in the photo pit, he also secured a remote camera onto a vertical lighting truss off to the right side of the stage to simultaneously capture secondary wide-field images of the action. To ensure all three cameras worked in concert with one another, each were  equipped with PocketWizard Plus II Transceivers.

Securing remote cameras in place at one of the stops on the 2011 Dispatch Reunion Tour. Nikon D3s, 14-24 f/2.8 lens, Pocket Wizard Plus III (visible in Drew's right hand)

Securing remote cameras in place at one of the stops on the 2011 Dispatch Reunion Tour.
(Nikon D3s, 14-24 f/2.8 lens, PocketWizard Plus II (visible in Drew’s right hand)

Both cameras I had with me in the photo pit had PocketWizard Plus III's mounted on them, so every time I took a photo, the camera I mounted on-stage was also triggered. Nikon D3s, 24-70 f/2.8 lens

Both cameras I had with me in the photo pit had PocketWizard Plus II’s mounted on them, so every time I took a photo, the camera I mounted on-stage was also triggered.

As Gurian captured shot from the photo pit, the PocketWizard-equipped remote camera that Drew mounted onto a vertical lighting truss earlier captured secondary wide-field stills of the same scene. If you look in the photo pit, just in front of the band, you can actually see me taking that last photo. Nikon D3s, 14-24 f/2.8 lens, Pocket Wizard Plus III

As Gurian captured the shot from the photo pit, the PocketWizard-equipped remote camera that he mounted onto a vertical lighting truss earlier, captured secondary wide-field stills of the same scene. If you look in the photo pit, just in front of the band, you can actually see me taking that last photo.
(Nikon D3s, 14-24 f/2.8 lens, PocketWizard Plus II)

 

As you can tell from the pictures, everything worked as planned.

Partly as a result of his shooting successes over the past decade, Drew has had several speaking engagements, and has taught workshops in the US, Asia, and the Middle East.Aside from the fun-factor of meeting new faces and interacting with others in the field, these seminars have given him an opportunity to mentor others as others have mentored him in the past.

To see more of Drew Gurian’s work visit his website. 

 All images, videos, and quotes in this post are used with permission and ©Drew Gurian, all rights reserved; story is ©PocketWizard. Please respect and support photographers’ rights. Feel free to link to this blog post, but please do not replicate or repost elsewhere without written permission.

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Walter Van Dusen Gets Ready for Hannah’s Big Day

Screen Shot 2014-01-06 at 10.58.47 PMThe contact page of Walter van Dusen’s website features a picture of his daughter with a caption that reads “Every wedding that I photograph is preparing for my daughter Hannah’s wedding. That’s how important your wedding is to me”. And he means it. Some photographers approach weddings as cookie-cutter catalog work. New England-based Walter van Dusen approaches weddings with a passion.

With 20 years as a correction officer under his belt, Walter has the steely nerves required to deal with the heightened emotions and meltdowns that often go hand-in-hand with wedding days. Careful to avoid repetitive grip and grin-ish wedding photography, van Dusen makes a conscious effort to spend up-front time in order to get to know the soon-to-be-married couple, and sometimes their families and significant others in their lives.

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Making Waves, 17 January 2014

making_waves_logoMaking Waves is a weekly round-up of current posts featuring PocketWizard products.

Dean Blotto Gray, photographer for Burton Snowboards takes snowboarding off the mountain for his recent shoot, which is referred to as a ‘street mission’.  Among his 195 pounds of gear that is packed for the shoot the PocketWizard Plus III Transceivers are guaranteed to make the trip.  “Lights, Camera, Action”

Photo: © Dean Blotto Gray

Photo: © Dean Blotto Gray


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What’s That For, PocketWizard?

PocketWizard VP, Dave Schmidt gives you an inside look on how to use PocketWizard ControlTL® system’s Manual Power Control with ANY camera.

Are you one of the many photographers who have added a mirrorless camera to your bag?  Would you like to use your PocketWizard MiniTT1® and FlexTT5® with that system?  Well, you can and have complete control of your compatible remote flashes using Manual Power Control.

Photo: © Dave Schmidt

Photo: © Dave Schmidt

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Faces of Tradition captured by Joe Coca

Joe Coca traveled to nine different villages throughout the Andean highlands to capture images for the book Faces of Tradition: Weaving Elders of the Andes, released in November 2013.  This was a book project done for Thurms Books, Loveland, CO in conjunction with the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco.  The images show the ancient weaving traditions of the Peruvian people and gave the Elders the opportunity to see a photo of themselves for the first time.  Here’s Joe’s story in his own words:

Photo: © Joe Coca

Photo: © Joe Coca

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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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Making Waves, 3 January 2014

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Making Waves is a weekly round-up of current posts featuring PocketWizard products.

Chip Kalback is a photographer based out of Denver, Colorado who shoots commercial and editorial photography with a focus on environmental portraits and lifestyle sports.  Chip used HyperSync to capture the new standard of performance vehicles, electric cars.  Chip brought along his FlexTT5 as a transmitter and had his lights setup with Plus III radios so he could capture the cover photo and all the images for the feature story in Popular Science magazine.   Chip’s setup for each shot is described in his own words.

“For the cover shot and opening spread I was using a FlexTT5 (Canon) with a Plus III hooked up to an AlienBees B800. Using HyperSync I was able to stop the cars at 1/2000, f/6.3 and ISO 640. My camera setup was a Canon 5D III and a Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f/2 ZE. 

For the portrait shot of the driver I was using a FlexTT5, with one AlienBees B800 and a gridded beauty dish, and 2 AlienBees B400′s both with tight grids, all three flashes synced with Plus III’s. Those were shot at 1/100, f/8 at ISO 320 with a Zeiss Planar T* 50mm f/1.4 ZE.

For the shots in the garage I was using an AlienBees B800 and 2 AlienBees B400′s, all with tight grids on them being synced with Plus III’s, in conjunction with the ambient light coming in from both sides of the garage. Those were mostly shot using my Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f/2 ZE while again using my FlexTT5.”

Photo: © Chip Kalback

Photo: © Chip Kalback

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9 Questions for Ashley Barker

Ashley Barker is a rising star in the world of snowboard photography.  Only in her mid-twenties, Ashley already has many magazine covers to her credit and has done work for many of the top companies in the sport.  Ashley is not afraid of lighting things up as well.  PocketWizard VP, Dave Schmidt, did a Q&A sessions with her to find out what the Whistler, Canada based Barker had to say about her office(which happens to be on the side of a mountain), the gear she uses and how she is setting herself apart in the industry.

Photo: © Ashley Barker This set-up is two flashes on full power in the middle of the day.  I was trying to get the rest of the scene dark and blue, so I kept the flashes close to the subject. I exposed for the highest settings of the flashes, and 1/320 second using PW MultiMAX radios.    The light you see in the picture is right beside where the riders take off, pointed directly at the camera with a yellow filter.  The second flash is placed 5 feet to my right.  I am shooting with a fisheye lens and the rider is going over my head and slightly to the left where he lands.

Photo: © Ashley Barker
This set-up is two flashes on full power in the middle of the day. I was trying to get the rest of the scene dark and blue, so I kept the flashes close to the subject. I exposed for the highest settings of the flashes, and 1/320 second using PW MultiMAX radios. The light you see in the picture is right beside where the riders take off, pointed directly at the camera with a yellow filter. The second flash is placed 5 feet to my right. I am shooting with a fisheye lens and the rider is going over my head and slightly to the left where he lands.

(more…)

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Josh Ross Creates a Liquid Apple

The third installment of our series on Josh Ross has just been completed. Previously, Part One and Part Two. Here, in his own words, is how Ross put together his most ambitious product shot, liquid, this time, in three dimensions.

©Josh Ross

©Josh Ross


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Making Waves, 13 December 2013

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Making Waves is a weekly round-up of current posts featuring PocketWizard products.

 

 

Sean Setters of The-Digital-Picture.com posted a great review of the the PlusX Transceiver. Sean shows you the real world testing that took place in order to test the PlusX.   The PlusX also made the Phoblographer.com gift list for this year.  Here is the complete list of 30 gifts that any photographer would love.   We also found it on Houston-based, fashion photographer, Dixie Dixon’s  holiday gift guide for photographers…”naughty or nice”.

Photo: © Justin Van Leeuwen

Photo: © Justin Van Leeuwen

 

SLR Lounge shows you all of the gear it takes for them to shoot their typical portrait sessions.  For off-camera lighting they use Plus®X Transceivers or Plus® III Transceivers. “We typically carry 3 or more of these on a shoot, one mounted on the camera and 2 on off-camera flashes. These reliable remotes are extremely important to us because off camera lighting is an important aspect to our style of photography.”

PlusX_PlusIII_on-cameras

 

 

All videos, photos, and quotes in this post are used with permission and copyrighted by the photographers featured, all rights reserved; story is ©PocketWizard. Please respect and support photographers’ rights. Feel free to link to this blog post, but please do not replicate or repost elsewhere without written permission.

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