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Best New Cameras and Photo Gear — 8 Products for the Photographer’s Daydream

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ChaseJarvis_SonyRX-1_creditpopularphotography

PhotoKina, the photography industry’s extravaganza of products and announcements, went down last week. Every two years, the tribes gather in Cologne Germany to showcase the latest and greatest and give us a peak into the future. I did not attend this year. To be straight-up, I’m not a big fan of trade shows. No offense to anyone who digs the gadgetry and flood of products and promotion, but these fluorescent-lit extravaganzas sort of give me the willies. But that’s just me, and the gear that bubbles up from the secret technology labs of the best and brightest camera equipment manufacturers is enough to make any photographer drool a little bit. The tools and technology being unleashed on the world make an undeniably exciting time to be a visual artist.

So here are 8 new products that caught my eye. Full disclosure, I have not tested or even handled any of these products yet. I have included links to more comprehensive hands-on reviews when available for those of you who want to go deeper.

Sony Cyber-shot RX1

Of everything announced at Photokina, this is the camera that I’m most excited about. Full-frame in a true compact with a 24.3-megapixel sensor. The only problem is that at present it’s just a big expensive toy to me. The fixed lens kills its potential for professional use for photo or video, but it looks like an amazing walk around camera for photo hobbyists… with some disposable income ($2800). Everyone should buy it to show Sony how much we all want a compact full-frame camera, then maybe (definitely) in the future they’ll make a version with interchangeable lenses.
Review
Review
[see photo tabs above for more images]

Broncolor Move 1200L Flash Power Pack
I’m excited about this new pack. This battery-powered flash pack is definitely in the high end category with a retail price of over $5,000. Full disclosure, I am a long-time committed user of Broncolor. But for the serious studio photographer check this out:
_160 full power pops on a single charge
_takes just 90 minutes to recharge
_light and small
_1200j power, max flash duration of 1/20,000th of a second, weighs just over 13 pounds in weight and has LED continuous light
No reviews out yet.

chasejarvis_broncolor_credit:popularphoto

The Hasselblad Lunar:
Hasseblads new luxury camera is perfect for those high rollers who want something totally different than the rest of the crowd. Word on the street is that it’s a tricked out Sony NEX-7. But if you want the panache of the Hasselblad brand, sell your car and hang this bling around your neck.
Review
[see photo tabs above for images]

Fujifilm X-E1
This smaller and substantially cheaper little bro to the recently announced X-Pro1 has some interesting features. I dig the specs on this camera and the look of it, but I’m still a little Fuji-shy after how disappointed I was with the X100. Is anyone out there in love with their Fuji gear? I honestly wanna know. Good from afar for sure. But jury is still out for me on Fuji.
Review:

chasejarvis_Fuji_popularphotography

Leica M
The new M camera has a 24-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor that allows it to shoot video and use livemode. It’s f-you money expensive of course. It’ll cost around $7,000 here in the US. But, that’s no surprise coming from Leica. Great for the fantasy quiver.
Review
[see photo tabs above for image]

Nikon D600
I already did a post when Nikon’s new DSLR hit a couple weeks back. Tons of feedback and discussion in the comments here. At $2,100 the D600 beat Canon’s 6D to the punch by a few days when it comes to the entry-level full-frame category. The Canon vs Nikon debate rages on.
Review

Chasejarvis_Nikond600_popphoto

Credit: Popular Photography

Canon EOS 6D
The $2,100 Canon 6D, falls into the “entry-level full-frame” category along with the D600. I would love to try out the WiFi-based iPad app that lets you control the camera using your tablet. But this won’t be released to the public until December.
Review

chasejarvis_canon6d

Panasonic Lumix GH3
Panasonic seems to have nailed it with this one. I love the videos specs on this camera: 1080/60P video, high bit rates, timecode, seamless files for continuous recording, clean HDMI out. Our video guru Erik Hecht told me, “This camera is making me seriously consider selling all of my photo/video gear and going to the micro 4/3 format full time.” On par with the best DSLRs out there, that’s something to consider at $1300.
Review

ChaseJarvis_panasonicGH3_credit:popularphotography

Credit: Popular Photography

Traveling for Photo and Video Shoots — 12 Mission Critical Tips for Travel Packing

Pack it up!


So you’re going on the road to shoot photos/videos for fun or for a client? Kate here again, Executive Producer over here at Team Chase. This is part 3 of 4 on how to pack like a boss. Check out the last two posts in this series:

10 Mission Critical Tips for Booking Photo and Video Travel – getting there
12 Mission Critical Tips for Pre-Production – tips BEFORE traveling

Now it is time to hit the road… to bring or not to bring? That is the question. More is certainly not better, but you have to have everything you need… so where is the magic line?

12 Tips for Travel Packing

1. Make sure you have your ID and all necessary documents!

2.Pack early. This will give you time to think about what you may have forgotten and purchase anything needed. Keep a packing list by your stuff so you can keep adding to it and check off packed items.

3. Limit what you bring. Bring the essentials and backups of those essentials. Leave those fancy shoes and other not-so-useful stuff at home.

4. Carry on ALL mission critical items. No exceptions. When you pack a bag to check, pretend you may never see it again. You should have a working photography kit to get you through in a pinch as well as one spare outfit, your technology, any medications, extra pair of prescription glasses/contacts lenses and anything. Wear your heaviest pair of shoes while you travel… just make sure they are easy to remove for airport checkpoints.

5. Follow the rules when you are flying. Check with your airline and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) guidelines for packing your baggage. You don’t want to be stuck with extra charges or overweight bags. Carry-ons have lots of limitations including pocket knives and liquids (3-ounce bottles only in a quart size zip top bag).

6. Clothing essentials. Pack appropriately for the local weather and bring layers. Some essential items to consider are wrinkle-resistant, comfortable clothes, comfortable shoes, versatile pieces that can cover a range – totally caj~ to fancy, and a coat.

7. Your gear. Check out this video all about packing photography gear:

8. Carnet for your gear? If you are traveling internationally with lots of gear, you may need to go through an expeditor and get a carnet (passport for your gear – try www.atacarnet.com).

9. Bring backups for critical gear items. You may have to leave your underwear to bring an extra battery charger.

10. Charge everything before you leave. That means your computer, your phone, your camera batteries. Confirm you have all of your chargers and extra batteries for when you arrive.

11. Electrical. If you are traveling internationally, bring the correct power adapter. Each country has its own unique plug configuration, so be sure to read the label for a list of where the power adapter will work. Apple makes a World Traveler Adapter Kit for an Apple products, which is convenient. http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB974ZM/B/apple-world-travel-adapter-kit
Secret tip: we like to bring a power strip that we can plug into a transformer with the local plug so you can have many open outlets… this can save on space.
CAUTION: Be VERY careful about voltage so you don’t fry your gear or your self. Read the small print on power strips to make sure they can handle the voltage.

12. Take a production kit with you. There are some essentials that can be a pain to try to track down. Depending on where you go and what you are doing the kit varies, but here are some of my favorite go-to items:
_Mobile Wi-Fi. I fell in love on our latest trip to Cape Town! Up to 5 devices can remotely connect the internet?!?! Heaven: http://bit.ly/JZVID4
_a local phone + number
_cash… yes, people still use it. and it can often unlock doors or “make it rain” when in a pinch.
_a tiny printer + ink http://bit.ly/Ogv3Bj
_a tiny scanner http://bit.ly/LBkacJ
_hard copies of your lists, call sheets, paperwork, etc in a production notebook
_sharpies and pens
_sunscreen
_talent releases
_some way of organizing your receipts
_travel book/language guide
_power strip

I’d love to know what goes in your location production kit or in your bags! Leave your ideas below.

In the next post of this series, I’ll have some tips for your arrival. Stay tuned.
Best, Kate

The Future of Photo Sharing — What You Must Know [chasejarvisLIVE with Larry Lessig + ASMP + MORE Wed August 29]

U

The image of much discussion: "The Stolen Scream"


UPDATE:the LIVE broadcast is TODAY. Check out the post below and be sure to tune into http://www.chasejarvis.com/live today — 12pm SEA time (3pm NYC & 20:00 London) — and enjoy the show. See you on air in a few…
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In this new age of media, have you ever wondered how to share, promote and pimp your photos and videos using social sharing tools, but maintain your rights to them? What if someone wants to buy, license, use, or copy your work?

__Ever had a photo or video of yours “go viral” or get liked, +1′d, or retweeted like crazy? If not, do yo wish you had?
__Ever had your photo swiped from your site or social feed and found it being used by someone else?
__Have you ever wondered about watermarking, tracking photos, or overlaying your name in the bottom corner to drive traffic?
__Ever used a Creative Commons (cc) license or wondered if you should put a copyright (c) sympbol on your photos?
__Ever want to make money with your photos? Then you’ve gotta know about this stuff.

If you can answer YES to any of these questions above – I urge you to tune in to the upcoming mission critical episode of chasejarvis LIVE, we’ll be addressing these questions head-on in a LIVE, interactive format. In collaboration with the the ASMP (world’s largest photographer trade organization) we’re hosting world renowned expert Larry Lessig– founder of the revolutionary and immensely popular Creative Commons–, Richard Kelly – former President of the ASMP and Oleg Gutsol, CEO of 500px arguable the world’s best photo sharing community, and other surprise guests. We’ll be answering YOUR questions, sharing insights, and making suggestions on how to make the most of sharing while keeping your rights. One thing is certain – that the future of creative work, photography, filmmaking won’t look like the past.

Who: You, Me, the ASMP, Larry Lessig + a worldwide gathering of creative people

What: Interview, discussion and a worldwide Q & A

When: Wednesday, August 29th, 12:00pm Seattle time (3pm NYC time or 21:00 London)

Where: tune in to www.chasejarvis.com/live. It’s free – anyone can watch and we’ll be taking YOUR questions via Twitter, hashtag #cjLIVE

 

HELP PROMOTE THE SHOW, WIN GEAR
1. Score a printer NOW. To help us out and for a chance to win the newest all-in-one photo printer from HP, send out any creative tweet that contains the URL (or short URL) to THIS post + @HPPrint + #cjLIVE starting NOW and ending at the beginning of the show on Wednesday, August 29th. Enter as many times / tweets as you like. We’ll pick our favorite and announce the winner LIVE on-air. Example. “I’d give a limb AND score an @HPprint printer if everyone I knew tuned in to #cjLIVE this week http://bit.ly/RqhNfY”

2. THIS IS HUGE – WIN A CAMERA. We’re also giving away a Fujifilm X-Pro 1 camera AND a 35mm f/1.4 XF R lens (valued together at $2,298.00USD), during the live event. I’ll tell you how to enter, but you gotta watch to win…

JOIN US.

If you want to be part of the live, in-studio audience, send an email to production@chasejarvis.com with “ASMP” in the subject line. Winners will receive a confirmation email with attendance instructions. Bonus points for tweeting about the show and seeing folks here. The in-studio audience seats filled up immediately on posting this. Stay tuned for the next show announcement for a chance to attend in-person.
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Special thanks to our cjLIVE show sponsors: HP, Broncolor, B&H. We genuinely love what they do, make, and sell.
Please follow them on twitter at: @hpprint, @bronimaging, @bhphoto

 

 

Spilling the Beans on Twit Photo with Leo Laporte + Catherine Hall

In a jet-lagged haze working abroad last week one of those reminder alarms hit my computer desktop while I was buried in some email that said, “Twit Photo 1pm”. After a moment of confusion, I realized it was a leftover reminder from a year ago when I was interviewed by Leo Laporte and Catherine Hall as a part of their popular web photography show, Twit Photo. I meant to share it way back when, but I’m reminded today that I never did… So here’s the show.

Topics include:
-why starting is everything
-why quitting is important
-gear
-lighting, what NOT to light
-chasejarvis LIVE
_”making it” or not
-commercial photography vs. the world
-the “un-moment”
-directing/shooting video

…and other relevant stuff. #respect

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chase jarvis leo laport twit photo

Perspective: Dive, Climb, Crawl, Dig and Fly Your Way to a Better Photos + Video

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Jerard here from Chase’s crew. One of the things I’ve noticed working on the CJ Team over the years is the serious lengths Chase will go to for a specific perspective. Almost nothing is off-limits if it enables him to be in position to get the shot. You’ve heard it before, “get on the ground,” or “get above the crowd.” Essentially, look for the angle that others don’t. But sometimes it might take more than simply kneeling down or getting up on a chair. Sometimes, on Chase’s team, we the need to get more creative. Click through some of the tabs above to see the creative perspectives I caught of Erik and Chase shooting from this past week.

On the shoot we just had in Capetown, Chase shot from the following perspectives:
_a rubber dingy (in a questionably big swell)
_a speed boat
_the deck of 114-foot sailboat
_60-feet off the deck tied to the mast
_a helicopter
_4x4 transport in the African bush
_ underwater… in a shark-cage.

But you dont always have to be in a helicopter or on a 100-foot sailboat. The fact is, it could be as simple a borrowed rubber dingy or motorboat (thanks to our friend Carel Stander in Cape Town for our chase boat angle on this job) that gives you the desired perspective. If you’re willing to get dirty, climb up high, get in the water, the mud, the sand or snow…the resulting shots are bound to be more unique.

Traveling for Photo + Video Shoots [10 Mission Critical Tips for Booking Photo + Video Travel]

Photo: Erik Hecht

So you’re going on the road to shoot photos/videos for fun or for a client? Kate here again, Executive Producer over here at Team Chase. I’ve been thinking a lot about shooting (for work or play) on the road. Whether you are traveling 100 miles or 10,000 miles, whether on a budget or with a budget, here are some tips I’ve learned over the past 10 years producing photo shoots away from home. This is part 1 of a 4 part series on Traveling for Photo and Video Shoots: Booking your Travel.

10 tips for booking your photo/video travel.
Everything can seem important when you decide that you are headed out on a trip, but nothing is more important than making sure you can actually get to where you are need to go. These tips will get you headed in the right direction:

1. Confirm that all travel docs are valid. Whether you’re traveling abroad or just to the next state over, certain docs are likely required… ID, driver’s license, passport, carnet (passport for gear) or other required documents. Make sure yours are up to snuff.

2. Research your destination. You can dive deep later, but initially you need to find out the essentials: how to get there, requirements for entry, vaccinations, and special considerations. A great source of info for traveling abroad is the US Department of State Travel Site.

3. Decide who will travel and how will you get there. If you’re a one-man or one-woman show, the ‘who’ is easy. But, if you have a small team traveling with you, make the call on who will travel, when, and if these people are available during your prospective travel window. For the how – weighing the pros and cons with respect to cost and efficiency will help you determine the best way to get to your location.

4. Apply for visas. If a visa is required, START THIS ASAP!

  • Gather information. how long will it take, where do you apply, what is required?
  • Gather the assets needed. the application, passport photos, letter of invitation if needed, travelers’ information.
  • Apply. To apply on your own, work directly with the embassy or consulate. If budget allows, you can explore two options for support:

-expeditors such as www.cibt.com can take care of the process for you.
-local production company where you will be traveling can help you gather documents if they are needed. (I’ll discuss more in part 2 of this series)

5. Get vaccinations and medications. If either of these are required, take care of that early. Some times there can be a wait period before they are effective. The CDC has helpful information: http://1.usa.gov/mg0vvE

6. Gather travelers’ information. For all travelers, you will likely need the names of each passenger, exactly as it appear on their travel ID (driver’s license, passports), ID number, date of birth, gender and mileage account information.

7. Book flights/trains/cars. If you are traveling by either plane or train, you can save tons by booking early, BUT make sure you know the penalties for changes or cancellations before booking. You’ll need to balance your savings with possible fees.

8. Book accommodations. You can often save money by booking early and paying a large deposit at the time of booking… this goes for small hotels, vacation rental sites, and longer term housing. Just be careful because these places usually come with hefty cancellation and change fees. Whenever I feel like the dates are likely to shift, I book through large hotel chains that have very flexible cancellation/changes policies. Some — like the Hiltons, Hyatts, Marriotts, Westins– will allow changes without penalty as late as the day of your scheduled arrival.

9. Book ground transportation. Even if you are traveling by plane or train, you will need to think about getting to and from the airport or train station. A ride from a friend, taxi, subway, booked car… all work, just make sure you allow enough space for the gear you’ll need to bring.

10. Research your Insurance Coverage. Think about what you will be doing and ask questions if you have new elements. For both your business and medical insurance, work with your provider to find out what is NOT covered. There can be lots of exclusions, such as, limited liability coverage for international travel. You can up your coverage for the duration of the trip or buy additional insurance. www.imglobal.com provides a ton of additional medical coverage for a great price.

Once you’ve checked these items off your to do list, you’ll know WHERE you will be, WHEN you will be there and WHO will be with you… the basic skeleton. That’s when I always feel like I can relax a tiny bit. But stay tuned for the next post of this series, I’ll have some production specific tips (ie – for shooting and making the arrangements to get your shots) at your destination. Until then, safe travels! Kate

New Work from Wieden & Kennedy: Southern Comfort: “Beach”

This new TV spot from Weiden & Kennedy for Southern Comfort is turning some heads. It debuted a few days ago on TV and has been bouncing around the internet making people smile since. If you’re a filmmaker or a photographer and this doesn’t make you want to create something original – I don’t know what will.

Ad Age Reports:
Neal Arthur, managing director at Wieden & Kennedy, contrasted the spot with other liquor ads that he said create “contrived images of the consumer.”

The “consumer that we were talking to [is] really just looking for the confidence and the appreciation for being as you are,” he said. “We very intentionally tried to create work that isn’t ‘trying’ and doesn’t feel like it is contrived in any way.”

What the Foap?! How to Sell Your iPhone Photos [But is it Worth It?]

The iPhone application Foap says $10. Actually…$5 after they take their cut. Here’s the rundown…
Foap is a micro stock photography app made exclusively for iPhone photography. You upload your photos for review using their app, and then when/if they’re approved they become available for purchase in their market for editorial or commercial use by third party companies. There’s no end to the number of times a single photo can be sold (at the fixed $10 rate), so there’s a lot of potential to earn money  ($5 per sold photo) if your work is popular enough.

 

So what do you think? Sound like a good deal? Personally, I’m torn about whether or not I like this concept. Photographers get an incredibly easy way to put their photos on the market, buyers get super cheap images, and Foap gets to split the profits. So who wins in this scenario? Have any of you used this or other micro stock photography services with any success?

If this sounds intriguing to you, check out the Foap site for more information, or better yet, take the app for a test drive.

Trust Me I’m Lying: Media Manipulator Ryan Holiday on chasejarvis LIVE [re-watch]

UPDATE: it’s not an accident that just this week we heard that Ryan and his book made the Wall Street Journal BestSeller list. Congrats Ryan! If you have not purchased this book or recommended it to those who might dig it, please consider doing so.
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We had so much going on during the last few weeks that the superdope Ryan Holiday / Trust Me I’m Lying Episode repost on YouTube has taken us a few weeks to hit the blog. I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll learn more and be more inspired by Ryan than from any other over-achieving 24 year old on the planet. For those of you creatives who want to make a mark in your world and want to know how the pros do it, this is a must-watch.

Also, Ryan’s book <strong>”Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator” is on sale now here at Amazon. It’s an incredibly worthy read – you’ll see why it was the “book deal of the week” when it was the announced. Plus, you won’t want to miss his book trailer, below. It’ll justifiably get your attention, even if all my ranting about its brilliance has not. #Respect

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ryan holiday chase jarvis live

Photoshoot Secrets: Why Model Talent is Crucial & How to Cast For the Best

Hi friends, Megan here – I’m Chase’s primary on-staff producer. We just wrapped up a commercial shoot for a major sporting goods company and it required a monster amount of production. These tips are fresh on my mind and since it was a highly specialized sport shoot on a short time-frame (ie: challenging from a production standpoint) I thought I’d talk a little about the casting process for this type of job.

First, as you start to think about casting, you might want to consider the specific factors that are most important to both the client and photographer.

The LOOK (ie 6′ tall and blonde with blue eyes and long flowing hair)
If so, you probably want to start with your local talent agencies. You can find these online under ‘model’ or ‘talent’ agencies. They are abundant in most major metropolitan areas.

The SKILL (for this job it was athletic ability/running) 
If so, you may want to look for top-tier athletes in the given sport. You could reach out to local athlete groups, yoga studios, for instance, or running clubs. If you were shooting an ad for the circus you might need to find a juggler. There could be specific experience that your models need. You could also consider enlisting the help of a seasoned casting agent, who will be able to source potential talent from a variety of places. They, like model agencies, are abundantly available in most metropolitan cities worldwide.

The BUDGET.
Depending on your budget, you might be able to go world class with the talent from said agency above… OR…you may want to consider casting “real people.” That is, folks who probably aren’t represented by an agency and will work for a lower day rate, depending on their level of experience. These can be friends, part time models, or people you spot on the street who have a look you’re after. REMEMBER when sourcing these people: they usually have no experience, so you’re trading experience for a look. Sometimes that works great – other times it can cost you a lot because your production doesn’t move along as well as it should, as quickly as it should, with the right facial expressions, experience, etc. It’s a balancing act – and you usually get what you pay for.

In our most recent case for the job at hand, it was a combination of the above factors (and it often is…). We needed to find talent who were trained athletes with some experience modeling so they were comfortable running for a photographer – and within a well-defined budget. There’s a difference between folks who have been competing in track and field or marathons for years, and those who understand what it means to do it in front of a camera. Trust me. Athlete does not mean model and vice versa. The experience of understanding the need to repeat or hold certain body positions for the photographer comes from experience on photo shoots and will make the day run like clock work.

Since we were tasked with finding nine runners, we needed to be conscious of how quickly talent fees would add up. Enter Sports & Lifestyle Unlimited, an agency with branches in Portland and LA that represents highly skilled athletes. We were able to negotiate a fair rate for all parties involved…the model, the agency, and us. This was aided by the fact that we booked all but one of the models through them; you may have heard the terms “most favored nations” (everybody gets the same rate) or “economy of scale” (the more you use form one source or at one time, the easier it is to book for everyone, so there can be money saved…) used to describe our approach to this situation.

(other items that affect budget if you’re traveling models in for a shoot or having them for mulitple days or shoots for the same project…)

Travel days – what will you pay them for the time it takes to get to the shoot?
Shoot days – what is the daily rate for working in front of the camera?
Down days – what is the price for weather days or days when they’re at the shoot, but not in front of camera?
Per diems – this is a flat rate of money that you give models or production staff for non-shoot related meals. Guides for these amounts vary by region and are somewhat standardized… plenty of info on the ‘net.

Again, most agencies will work with you on these rates to arrive at something fair and reasonable.

The kicker to REMEMBER about BUDGET: Model agencies, like the rest of us, do work to make money. As such, model and talent agencies will add a 20% fee on top of Travel, Shoot + Down days, so be sure to factor that into your initial estimate. This is standard, fair practice and how agencies get paid.

Back to our story… Once we had received the talent + model specs from the client (i.e. age, height, ethnic diversity, “look”), we contacted SLU and requested a package of guys and gals that fit the bill. One of the things that was absolutely mandatory for us was running ability, so we asked to see a video of each of the talent submitted in addition to their portfolios + current snapshots. This is standard practice. Don’t be afraid to ask for this. The last thing you or your client wants is to get a good looking model on set that either a)doesn’t look like the shots on the talent website (ie shaved their head or similar) or b)can’t do the thing you need them to do as well as was represented when on the phone during booking.)

In addition to video, you may want to ask really specific questions of the talent (usually via the agent, but can be direct to talent on occasion…) that relates specific to the jargon of the activity you were told they were “an expert” at… For example if you’re looking for rock climbers, ask “what kind of climbing shoes do they own?” or “what level do they boulder at?” For runners, it might be “what was the last running event they ran in?”. You get the picture.

Our selections.
After Chase reviewed all submissions, we sent our recommendations to the client for consideration. After carefully considering who would work best for each of the shots we were tasked to shoot, they sent their selects to us for booking. At this point, if you have a shooting schedule already mapped out, it’s relatively straightforward to figure out the which talent you’re shooting on which day. In our case, the schedule depended entirely on locations + weather, so we ended up booking all nine talent for all shoot days in order to give us maximum flexibility. This isn’t the most cost-effective solution, but in this case, it was the only option for our situation.

When it was all said and done, our running talent was top-notch and total sweethearts, to boot. Worth every penny!

Let me know your success stories, failures, or — of course– if you have any questions. In production, it’s all about resources and who you know, so Kate and I are happy to share what we’ve learned throughout the years as best we can here on the blog :)

The Future of Technology for Creatives: ROBERT SCOBLE on chasejarvis LIVE — Wed July 25

UPDATE!! If you’re reading this now – the LIVE broadcast is TODAY. Check out the post below and be sure to tune into www.chasejarvis.com/live today — 10am SEA time (1pm NYC & 18:00 London) — and enjoy the show. See you on air in a few…

Photo gear, gadgets, computers, apps, software – it’ll be featured….cause’ve caught ourselves another big kahuna guest for chasejarvisLIVE. My guest THIS Wednesday on #cjLIVE is the web’s most influential gear + tech geek–bar none. It’s Robert Scoble. He’s a gadget lover, an technology savant, a Silicon Valley insider, and–in his spare time–he’s a photographer too. Many of the most powerful people in technology share their secrets and consult with Robert to know what’s next in the world of gear, tech, apps, and more. And we photographers, creatives, really want to know this stuff – it’s in our DNA.

Well, prepare to see behind the curtain Wednesday July 25th as I host Robert on this Future of Technology for Creatives episode of chasejarvis LIVE — you will be first to hear about the trends in gadgets and technology tools that he believes will shape the next decade and beyond. More than just cool cameras, we’ll discuss wearable image sensors, realtime creative collaboration, mindblowing cloud solutions and other stuff that makes my brain hurt. Understanding how to harness these tools for your own creative purposes will be worth 90 minutes.

Who: You, Me, Robert Scoble and a worldwide gathering of creative people
What: Interview and a worldwide Q & A
When: Next Wednesday, July 25th, 10:00am Seattle time (1pm NYC time or 18:00 London)
Where: tune in to www.chasejarvis.com/live. It’s free – anyone can watch and we’ll be taking YOUR questions via Twitter.

CONTESTS
***And last but not least – 2 things very important:

1. Score a special… In order to pimp this show I’m giving away a signed open-edition 11×14 print of my work. At charity auctions, these go for about $5000. To enter for a chance to win, send out any creative tweet that contains the URL (or short url) to THIS post + @hpprint + #cjLIVE starting NOW and ending at the beginning of the show on Wednesday. Enter as many times (tweets) as you want – tweet and retweet – we’ll be naming the winner at the beginning of the LIVE show based on the most creative tweet we see now till then.

2. EVEN MORE SPECIAL. This is HUGE. If you want a chance to SCORE a Broncolor Senso Lighting Kit…the REAL DEAL…a Senso A2 1200ws Pack with 1 Litos heads, Carrying Case, Softbox, Ring, and Sync Cable — valued at $3500.00, then you’ll tune in to the show. We’ll make it easy to win this thing. Gotta tune in LIVE to win. See you there.
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Special thanks to our cjLIVE show sponsors: HP, Broncolor, B&H. We genuinely love what they do, make, and sell.
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Overwhelmed? Lean with it

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Photo: Paul Octavious

Im going to let you in on a secret. It’s a crazy week for our crew – a perfect storm of several jobs/productions happening all at once. [Including the upcoming 3-Day cjLIVE Broadcast from Capitol Hill Block Party - Tune in! Starts on Friday at 3pm!] It’s just plain hectic hellish busy. Im sure many of you can relate to the feeling – trying to get it all done with 1000 things coming at you at once. Our team is firing on all cylinders right now, working long hours and slugging it out. When we’re busy to this level, sometimes there is a natural tendency to get collectively stressed. But as a group, we’ve made a very conscious decision to lean with it this week. By leaning with it, we’re keeping the stress low and the smiles high. That’s the idea.

As a visual example of this idea, something to picture in your mind when it gets a bit hectic for you, Chicago photographer Paul Octavious has just released a number of new photos as part of his Lean With It series, where he captures people bending in parallel with steeply angled trees. Click through the tabs above to see some examples of what REALLY ‘leaning with it’ looks like.
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Thanks for the inspiration Paul. Check out his website here.

Emerging Talent: The Transformation of Photographer Mark Tucker from Digital to Wet-Plate

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Photo: Mark Tucker (Wet-plate collodion process)


Welcome back to a series of posts I’m calling Emerging Talent – where I’m spotlighting the work of photographers and filmmakers on the rise. Some are shooters that me and my spies will uncover from 500px or Flickr – others might already be shooting campaigns, but in both cases I don’t care about what the “industry” says. This is simply work I like. I get great pleasure out of seeing my peers make great stuff and I enjoy sharing their work. In many cases I draw inspiration from them as well. I hope you’ll join me in all this.

It might seem odd to refer to 53 year-old photographer Mark Tucker as “Emerging Talent.” He he has been a pro photographer for more than twenty years. But after discovering his work and speaking with him, I found that he is re-inventing himself as a fine art photographer – and both transforming and emerging in the process. It was his portraits, full of texture and screaming with real connection, that first caught my eye. When I went to his website I discovered Mark’s experimentation with the wet-plate collodion process. He is producing some incredible photos, er, objects, with this process. No editions, no negatives, one-of-one originals. Click through the tabs above to see some of Mark’s work. Other than the header photo, the first images are examples of his digital work – the later images are some of his wet-plate work.

Mark thought that his story, of re-discovering his passion for the simple act of creating images, might be be helpful for other photographers… who might be “emerging” for the first time.

CJ: Could you give me a little background on your history as a photographer. You’ve been shooting for more than 20 years as a pro – I gather this is not your first rodeo? 

MT: I went to college for photojournalism. I didn’t really fit in with that style in the end, because I kept wanting to light the pictures, and prop them, in a more illustrative style. But that storytelling aspect of PJ will always come in handy. So I’m glad I did that. When I left college, I assisted, and then started doing small editorial jobs for magazines, and then moved toward doing album covers for the music business. I did that for about twenty years. At some point, about the time of the CD and the smaller format, the covers started migrating toward head shots only, and much of the creativity went away. I started working with my rep, Tricia Scott, and she moved me more toward lifestyle advertising. Again, the photojournalism education came in handy, for the honest, real approach applied toward advertising lifestyle. I did that from the mid-1990′s, until about two years ago.

CJ:You are transitioning from commercial to fine art. Can you elaborate on why and how? 

MT: The advertising business is obviously changing, especially in the last few years. Ad concepts seem to be cleared more and more through focus groups, and many times, you end up receiving a PDF with a swiped stock image in place, as a guide. That comp has been through several layers of client approval, so there’s not a lot of room for spontaneous improvising, and for (happy) surprises to happen. Basically, you shoot the comp, and then, if there’s time, you explore other options. But with more shots now crammed into a day, even this gets hard to do. So it began to get a bit frustrating to work within that system.

Another part of it for me is the age thing. I began to really look around me, after years of shooting other people’s ideas, and ask myself, “What do I have to say about the world?” Part of these last couple of years has been that — testing; exploring; shooting for myself, and trying new things.
Also, the whole conversion to digital meant that I wasn’t creating anything tangible — I’d shoot the job on Raw; process and retouch the file; then deliver the file via FTP. The whole thing was electronic — start to finish. I began missing the old wet darkroom, and the act of creating a physical, tangible object in the form of a print. I wanted something to hold; something to touch; something to bleach and tone and abuse.

CJ: Tell me about your creative process? Both with some of the portraits you shot digitally and the new work with wet-plate processing. Parallels? 

MT: I always shot Hasselblad and Fuji 680 in the old days. I liked that large viewfinder. Now, I’ve found this Pentax 645D, and it’s presently my only digital camera. It’s somewhat strange looking, and it can’t tether, (which I love), and you have to find the lenses used, but I’m in love with the large viewfinder, and the way it feels like a film camera. It’s as close to a Hasselblad 203 as I’ll find in digital. I just have one body and three lenses; that’s all I need. I just put it on 2.8 and I go find interesting faces.

Also, a few months ago, I started taking workshops and learning the wet-plate collodion process. Although I’m very early into the process, it’s incredibly rewarding. I mix my own chemistry, coat my own metal plates, and process right on the spot. One day when I was working for a gallery show, I started trying to make even larger plates, and I started building this homemade camera in my basement out of 1x4s and black plastic from Home Depot. I mounted this old 1860′s era brass lens on the front of the homemade camera, and started shooting large collodion plates that are 24″x28″. It is so exciting to watch that image come up in the fixer tray. I found these giant trays at Home Depot that are used as emergency overflow trays, for underneath your washing machine. These hold the large plates perfectly. When framed, these large plates look really great on the wall. And the interesting part is that, since there’s no negative, that plate is regarded more like a painting — it’s a 1/1, with no editions possible. Obviously, you could copy the plate and make editions, but at that point, the prints would just be a standard C-Print from a lab. They wouldn’t have that special quality of being on metal.

CJ: You have mentioned that you feel like you’re “doubling back” as a photographer? 

MT: I never really got into the business to make money — I just wanted to make nice images. So it was that search and passion for a great face, or a great scene, that always pushed me forward. As time went by, the business itself forces some compromises — in the old days, you had to have your own studio; you had to have your own gear, (unless you lived in a real city. I live in Nashville; it’s not really a real city, with rentals and support). So for me, I looked up one day, and I was an adult, (without really even wanting to be), with responsibilities and overhead. And as much as I’d like to say that it doesn’t change you, it just does. So what I’m trying to do now is shed a lot of that overhead, and shed a lot of that pressure to keep doing commercial work every week. I want to take this time in my life to really experiment again — just like I did in college — and simply work for the image only, and see where that takes me. I guess, after thirty years in the business, I’ve paid my dues, so maybe I can take some time now to really push myself to create more personal images, without the constraints of client needs. That’s what the big camera is all about, and that’s what the wet-plate process is all about. Just to sink into the process of creating images. Pure and simple.

CJ: Any words of wisdom for those who are just getting their start – or those who are simply but in a creative rut?

MT: I know it’s been said many times, but “follow the passion” has always worked for me. The words are simply true. I just find that, if you really believe in what you’re doing, it naturally provides the kind of motivation to keep you experimenting and testing, even on the weekends. I just let the passion carry me along. I firmly believe if you follow that, the money will follow. I’m already getting calls for my wet-plate work, even in commercial areas, so I feel that, if the spirit is there, the paycheck will somehow find its way into the equation. I also think small sabbaticals of experimentation are healthy too — taking workshops, purposely trying new gear and techniques, and even traveling. It keeps your head clean and fresh.

Of course, these are crazy times in the commercial world, but I feel if you can find that one thing that you can really put your thumbprint on, and separate yourself from every other 5D out there, and then advertise it properly, the clients and the work and the creativity will find you. Of course you need balance in life — you have to be there for yourself and family, to be paying the rent, and mowing the yard, but at the same time, you always have your eye peeled for that one thing that will be your specialty. I think more than ever now, it’s important to specialize, and find one look, so that you create a memory in clients’ minds — so ask yourself if your style/approach could be summed up, by a client, in one sentence. Imagine them sitting around a conference table and they say your name, and the AD says, “Oh yeah, he’s that guy that shoots ______ with that certain look”.

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For another look at some wet-plate work check out my blog post on “Photos as Physical Objects,” from a few weeks ago.

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