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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

From Brad…

Jul 9

In Uncategorized at 2:35am

First off, I just want to thank everyone for the overwhelmingly great response to Joe’s post yesterday.  It’s always great to see a community of people (no matter how far apart we are from one another) join together for a singular cause.

I also want to thank Adorama once again for their gracious support of both Joe and the Faces of Ground Zero project.  Can’t say enough about how great you folks are!

I want to take a second and point out a new addition to the blog for those of you who may not have noticed it… The Equipment Page!  As you’ll see, this is a complete listing of the equipment that Joe uses.  Believe me, it’s as much stuff as it seems.  Even more since we have multiples of a lot of those items.  When we load up the Suburban to go to a shoot, it’s filled from top to bottom and front to back.  Joe and I usually have enough room left for ourselves and a couple of coffees (or lattes, if it’s a highfalutin’ gig!)

For those of you who get the blog in an email or reader, you’ll always find a link to the equipment page at the end of the post, just above all of the “sharing” links.  For those who visit the blog directly, you’ll find a link on the sidebar, along with the link at the end of each post.  Depending on what Joe is talking about (and what kind of mood he’s in), he’ll put specific gear links directly in the post as well (i.e. “So I sparked the fnugy with a pepper, then had him re-adjust the c-stand with the Elinchrom Octa, which produced a beautiful quality of light.”)

To be honest, this is something we’ve had in mind for a while, but just now got around to doing.  I would say that the number one question we get when Joe teaches is some variation of either, “What’s that?” or,”Who makes this?”  Now we can tell them, then point them to this page in case they forget!

And, if I may take a second to make a shameless plug, I would like to point out that I too have a blog.  I’m not as consistent as Joe, but I try to share nuggets of assistant-wisdom when I can.  Be on the lookout for continued stories in my “Mistakes” series, including a multiple-part saga that occurred at the beginning of my stint with Joe.  Part of it involves me in a Mexican ER at 1 a.m. the night before the Baja 1000 (my mom loved getting that text message in the middle of the night!)

Seriously, thanks again to everyone for all of your support.  And, in keeping with Joe’s ending, more tk…

A Wonderful Day In New York City

Mar 13

In Uncategorized at 10:44pm

Now I know to some folks, “wonderful day” and “New York City” don’t belong in the same sentence. But I have always loved the city, lived there for 16 years (not anymore), and have fond memories of the energy, the lights, Central Park, first runs of movies, and yes, even the muck, the squalor and the noise.

FGZ Grand Central StationAfter 9/11, I shot a project on the world’s only Giant Polaroid camera that was known as Faces of Ground Zero. (Maybe in a future blog, I’ll talk a bit about it, and this singular beast of a camera–interior chamber of the camera is the size of a one car garage, for starters, and in 90 seconds you peel the backing off a 4’x9′ life size image.)


One of the gifts doing the project gave me is the lasting emotional relationships I have with people who came before the camera. One of those is with Archbishop Demetrios, the spiritual leader of the Greek Orthodox Church in North America. He graciously agreed to see me yesterday to present him with a copy of The Moment It Clicks, which has a photo of him in it.

The photo in question came from the assignment I received from the church to make the Archbishop’s official portrait. What an honor of an assignment! I got a chance to make a picture that will last in the annals of the Greek church for all time, way past the time they pry my D17xs from my cold dead fingers. (That’s ambitious, eh?)

Archbishop Demetrios Archbishop Demetrios

We sat and talked for about a half hour. He is one of the most decent people I have ever met. He radiates forgiveness, warmth and a love of humanity in all it’s shapes and forms. I took a deep breath when I got out of the building and onto 79th St. Proximity to such goodness lightens anyone’s mind and heart, even a prone-to-be-cynical 30 year career photog. The irony of feeling such a blast of clear air in my head and my heart was that the Greek Archdiocese offices are directly across the street from former Governor Spitzer’s residence. The news trucks were still there, and you could smell the smolder of something that had gone terribly wrong.

Mom's Hands with DollThen I headed west, across the park and delivered a book to my mentor and editor, John Loengard. John was a staff photographer at LIFE who become the magazine’s DOP for a long time. We sat and talked pictures for about an hour and a half, and it was just remarkable. He remains one of the truly smart and perceptive picture people walking around. His book, Pictures Under Discussion, is a must read for anyone involved in photography. I took a class from John called “Editorial Concepts in Photography” at the ICP in 1977. 30 years ago! I was a copyboy at the New York Daily News. He gave us an assignment on dolls. This was a great assignment, and one of those beginning points. I made this photo of my mother’s hands with an Alexander doll. I have photographed hands ever since.

Ivan BankoffFor class, I also started photographing a gentleman named Ivan Bankoff who would pluck his ukulele outside of the tonier shops on 5th Avenue, and lived in my building. (Should give you an idea of what a high rent place that was.) He would occasionally pull in a fiver from a well heeled passerby, and pull it out of his hat and wink as he pocketed it. He would regale me with tales of his days in vaudeville, a showman to his core.

John flipped through Clicks like it was a flip book, and then paused and looked at me and said, “You know I’m a fast looker, right Joe?” I smiled and reminded him of the first time I brought a carousel of pictures to him at LIFE around 1980. They were splashy and full of color, but utterly devoid of content. He never took his finger off the advance button except to pause and say, “You know I’m a fast looker, right Joe?” He also noted very pointedly that my controlled work, the work with strobe, had more “energy” than the more reportage pics in the tray. A harbinger of a career to come.

Still the same John, and by that I mean as quick witted and sensitive to nuance and detail as ever. After his review, he looked over and said he thought the book was terrific. Then he went on to say that the Steve Martin picture was “tilted” a bit, in a way LIFE had not done, and he liked it better in the book. Also, he was smiling at me but his eyes narrowed in disapproval as he noted, “You cropped Bernstein.” And he held up the gold man on the roof, and asked if I had lost the original. True enough, the repro of that picture is not as good as it could be.

This all happened in just a couple of minutes. We went on to talk of the field, and what photographers do now to survive, and he said, “This book is not your best work.” I readily agreed. It was not meant to be that. Some of the pictures I chose were failures on certain levels, or addressed field problems or mistakes. He gave, as always, good advice. He counseled me to think about the book. The book. The one I leave behind. “It may take you 5 years to do, Joe. You should think about it now.”

dscn1044.jpg Rats–all the good titles are taken.

We rambled, and bitched in genteel fashion, which is what happens when two photographers sit down for any length of time. His voice has always been clear and consistent, and I have heard it on location often, sometimes in the back, but very often the front of my head. It was good to hear it again.

Maybe this helps?

Feb 21

In Lighting, Uncategorized at 7:28am


A couple of folks were interested in a sketch of the lighting grid for the ballerina and the wall, so here it goes.

Now I was just starting coffee, and the twitch in my pre-dawn fingers hadn’t yet disappeared, so this artwork is less than magnificent. But hopefully you get an idea. The bed sheet is camera right, two SB units behind it. Camera and model are pretty straight up. The gaffer tape gobos I spoke of are on the wall side of the strobes, shielding the wall from spill. Always remember, when you set a flash off, those photons go everywhere. Omni-directional, in other words. They just don’t go in the direction the head is pointing. (Would that they might do that!)

So, you feather the units. There were a couple of questions about that as well. In this case, I feathered the lights by swiveling the left, towards the camera, and almost past the dancer. They are actually aimed at the empty space between the camera and the subject. Pretty radical, but the soft spill created by the bed sheet covers her well, and the feather move lets the light fall off before it hits the wall. Thus the wall is just, you know, there, and I didn’t light it up and hang a sign on it, “Here’s the wall!”

More tk…..


Jul 1

In Uncategorized at 6:57pm

Camera Bodies
Nikon D3
Nikon D700

Nikon Lenses
AF-S VR Zoom NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4 IF-ED
AF-S VR NIKKOR 200mm f/2 IF-ED
AF-S VR Zoom NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED
AF-S VR Micro NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED
AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED
AF Fisheye NIKKOR 16mm f/2.8D
AF-S Auto Focus Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G
AF-S Teleconverter TC-17E II

Camera Accessories
Nikon EN-EL4a Rechargeable Li-ion Batteries
Nikon MH-22 Quick Charger
16 GB Lexar Professional UDMA 300x CF Cards
8 GB Lexar Professional UDMA 300x CF Cards
PocketWizards MultiMAX Transceiver
Hoodman HoodLoupe Professional
Moose Peterson’s Warm (81A)+PL 77mm Filter
Hitech 85mm 0.9 Graduated Neutral Density Filter
Singh-Ray Thin 77mm Vari-ND Filter
Lens Filters (Kodak and Lee brands)
Nikon Gelatin Filter Holders
Giotto Rocket Air Blower
Visible Dust Sensor Cleaner

Nikon Flashes
SB-900 AF Speedlight
SB-800 AF Speedlight
SU-800 Wireless Speedlight Commander

Flash Accessories
Nikon SC-29 TTL Coiled Remote Cord
Nikon SD-8A Hi-Performance Battery Pack (For the SB-800)
Nikon SD-9 Hi-Performance Battery Pack (For the SB-900)
Lumiquest 80-20
Lumiquest Big Bounce
Lumiquest Mini Soft Box 3.0
Bogen Tri-Flash umbrella adapter
Honl 1/4″ Honeycomb Speed Grid
Honl 1/8″ Honeycomb Speed Grid
Honl 8″ Snoot
Honl 5″ Snoot
Honl Speed Gobo Flag/Barndoor/Bounce Card
Honl Speed Strap
Honl Gel Kit for Speed Strap
Lastolite Ezy-Box 36″x36″ Softbox
Lastolite Ezy-Box 24″x24″ Softbox
Lastolite Ezy-Box 18″x18″ Softbox
Lastolite Ezy-Box 15″x15″ Softbox

Rosco Color Correction Gels
Full Cut CTO
1/2 Cut CTO
1/4 Cut CTO
1/8 Cut CTO
Full Cut PlusGreen

1/2 Cut PlusGreen

1/4 Cut PlusGreen
1/8 Cut PlusGreen
Full Cut CTB

1/2 Cut CTB
1/4 Cut CTB
1/8 Cut CTB
Roscolux Swatch Book – If you want to experiment with a wide variety of gels, buy this before buying larger sheets.

Joe’s Camera Bag(s)
WRP MP-1 Backpack
WRP MP-3 Backpack
WRP MP-7 Backpack
Kata SB-907
KATA WS-604 Waist Shoulder Bag
KATA SB-904 Reporter Shoulder Bag

Elinchrom Lighting
Ranger RX Speed AS Battery Packs
Free Lite A Speed Heads
Ranger RX Ringflash 1500
Digital RX 2400 Power Packs

A3000N Speed Heads
X6000N Heads
Ring Flash 3000
Yellow Pyrex Domes

Elinchrom Light Shaping Tools
EL Strip 13″x68″ Softbox
EL Octa 74″ Softbox
Rotalux Junior Octa 53″ Softbox
Rotalux Mini Octa 39″ Softbox
Rotalux Deep Throat Octa 39″ Softbox
Standard Reflector 8″ w/grid set
Standard Reflector 7″ w/grid set
High Performance Reflector 10″ (Long Throw)
Softlite Reflector 44 cm 80° white w/Deflector Set (Beauty Dish)
Rotalux 27″ Square Softbox
Rotalux 39″ Square Softbox
Rotalux Mini Recta 14″x35″ Softbox
Color Filters

Elinchrom Skyports
Universal Trigger Set
RX Flash Trigger Set
USB RX Radio Transceiver
Computer Remote Flash Trigger Set

Equipment Cases
Kata OC-88
Kata OC-86
Lightware T4444 Strobe Cases
Lightware H7020 Large Head Pouch
Lightware C6052 Cargo Cases
Lightware C6062 Flip Lid Cargo Cases
Lightware RC1048 Rolling Stand Bags

Tripods & Accessories
Gitzo GT-5560SGT Tripod w/Center Column

Manfrotto 468MG Hydrostatic Ball Head
Manfrotto Accessory Arm 3153B
Gitzo G065 Monitor and Laptop Platform
Gitzo GT-2541L Tripod (when a smaller tripod is needed)
Gitzo GM5540 Monopod


3’x 3′ Skylite Panel Kit (Sunfire/White & Diffusion)
3’x 3′ Skylite Panel Kit (Silver/White & Diffusion)
3’x 3′ Black/White Fabric
6’x 3′ Skylite Panel Kit (Sunfire/White & Diffusion)
6’x 3′ Skylite Panel Kit (Silver/White & Diffusion)

6’x 3′ Black/White Fabric
6’x 6′ Skylite Panel Kit (Sunfire/White & Diffusion)
6’x 6′ Skylite Panel Kit (Silver/White & Diffusion)
6’x 6′ Black/White Fabric
All-in-One Umbrellas

Grip Gear
Avenger 12×12′ Butterfly Foldaway Frame
w/12×12′ Silk
Manfrotto 244N Variable Friction Arms
w/Super Clamps
Manfrotto 175F Justin Clamps
Avenger C-Stands w/Extension Arms, Grip Head, and 6″ Pins
Avenger A635B Maxi Kit Stands
Avenger Mini Booms
Avenger Sand Bags
Heavy Duty Stinger Extension Cords
Power Strips
Gaffer Tape
Rosco Matte Black Cinefoil

Computers & Accessories
Apple Mac Pro
Apple Cinema HD 30″ Displays
Wacom Cintiq 21UX Tablet
Wacom Intuos3 6″x8″ Tablets
X-Rite Eye-One Display 2 Monitor Calibration
Nikon Super Coolscan 9000-ED Film Scanner
Epson Expression 10000XL Flatbed Scanner
Apple 15″ MacBook Pro
NIK Software Complete Collection
Extra Rechargeable MBP Batteries
Lexar Professional UDMA Firewire 800 Readers
Lexar Professional UDMA Dual-Slot USB Reader
Monster High Performance USB 2.0 cable w/extender (for tethered shooting)
160-GB iPod Classic
Bose QuietComfort 3 Acoustic Noise-Cancelling Headphones
JBL Duet Speakers
Verizon Wireless BroadbandAccess National Access Card
Lacie Rugged 500GB Mobile Hard Drives
Lacie Rugged 250GB Mobile Hard Drives
Data Robotics Drobo 4 Bay Storage Array

Epson Printers & Accessories
Stylus Pro 7880
Stylus Pro 3800
Ultra Smooth Fine Art Paper (13″x19″)
Exhibition Fine Art Fiber Paper (13″x19″)
Exhibition Fine Art Fiber Paper (24″x30″)

Various Accessories
Leatherman Wave tool
Petzl Headlamp
Sources of entertainment/imagination/inspiration such as Blazing Saddles, This Is Spinal Tap, Young Frankenstein, Super Troopers, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Office Space, Hot Fuzz, etc.