Photo Finds, June 15, 2012 – Matt Furman

Photo Finds, June 15, 2012 – Matt Furman

Welcome to Photo Finds, a feature where we point you to some of the best photography around the web. The business of photography isn’t an easy one. If you’re a pro, you have to deliver – and you have to do it consistently, day after day. Even more difficult is the fact that you have to stay fresh, flexible, stay in tune with the styles of the day, and evolve with time. Few photographers can do this over any length of time. Matt Furman, a commercial and editorial photographer based in New York city, is one of these few. With a client roster that includes Forbes, CFO Magazine, American Airlines, Billboard, and Barron’s, Matt’s work reflects a sort results-oriented aesthetic that stops far short of being “typical.” I first came across Matt’s work in an interview he did for the awesome website “Feature Shoot.” That article is a must-read, by the way; it gives you an insight into Matt’s shooting practices and the kind of constraints he often works under. Those constraints are what makes his work so interesting. When someone says, “I’m a commercial photographer,” my mind immediately goes to a setup with massive lights (at least six of them) and a whole crew of assistants and gophers. In reality, Matthew often works with just one or two lights, utilizing location, ambient lighting, and other visual tools to add interest and drama to his images. Take his image of AMC network president Charlie Collier, for example (below). Here, Matt uses a zombie dummy from the popular AMC show “Walking Dead” to add that additional punch in what might otherwise be a standard...
Photo Finds, June 18, 2012 – Daniel Milnor

Photo Finds, June 18, 2012 – Daniel Milnor

Welcome to Photo Finds, a feature where we point you to some of the best photography around the web. A Leica, a Hasselblad, a few rolls of film. That’s pretty-much photographer Daniel Milnor’s ammunition when he goes out shooting. Whether it’s along the streets of Paris or in the wilds of Machu Pichu, Daniel’s style of documentary photography stands out head and shoulders above the crowd. Daniel refers to his work as “classic Black and White documentary work,” and I think the description really does fit. There’s an air of old-world richness to his images that’s evocative of the golden age of black and white photography (think Cartier-Bresson, Dorothea Lange, and Robert Frank), and some of them might as well have been taken in the mid-20th century. There are two things that I find particularly fascinating about Daniel’s work. The first is the curated nature of the work he posts.Every image I see online seems to be carefully considered, and presented with a certain reverence. Daniel doesn’t indulge in the kind of spray-and-pray photography I see so often (and that I myself am sometimes guilty of). Rather, he seems to shoot and edit with care, and his body of work reflects that attention to detail. The Leica Files, a series of video posts that Daniel has been putting up on his website, adds credence to that hypothesis. Here, he takes one image per video post and talks about it. Normally used to seeing a ton of content packed into as little time as possible, this hit-the-brakes-hard approach is almost a relief for me. The second thing that captures my...
Photo Finds – June 11, 2012: Zack Arias

Photo Finds – June 11, 2012: Zack Arias

Welcome to Photo Finds, a feature where we point you to some of the best photography around the web. This week’s Photo Finds is a very specific one. We’re not just going to talk about a specific photographer; we’re going to talk about a specific photographer shooting a specific genre. A lot of you have already heard of photographer and teacher Zack Arias before. We’ve certainly mentioned him on our blog repeatedly, and his lighting workshop on creativeLIVE ranks as one of our top lighting resources to date. He’s also easily one of the most eloquent and honest photographers I know of. That same honesty and eloquence has, of late, manifested itself in a style of photography that’s pretty different from the portraiture that brought Zack his initial acclaim. Yet, despite its difference, there’s something uniquely Zack about it, and that’s why I’m talking about it today. Recently, Zack was named one of the top 50 street photographers around today by Complex magazine. And, despite being someone who’s been following his street photography since he starting blogging about shooting film back in April of last year, it took me a moment to digest that. That’s because I hadn’t really thought of Zack as a street photographer. Yet it’s his images of street scenes in New York, Atlanta, Dubai, and Bombay that are among my favorites right now. I have always equated Zack with his studio work, and my mental image of him is forever linked to white seamless backgrounds with gorgeously crafted light in a studio. Avedon, I once mused, would shoot like Zack if he’d been into urban hip-hop culture. So...
Photo Finds – June 4, 2012: Michael Cali

Photo Finds – June 4, 2012: Michael Cali

Welcome to Photo Finds, a feature where we point you to some of the best photography around the web. When I picked wedding and portrait photographer Michael Cali as the person I wanted to talk about in today’s Photo Finds feature, I didn’t remember right away that he and last week’s Photo Finds photographer, Brad Moore, had something pretty significant in common. Both Brad and Michael have served as assistants to one of the most amazing photographers alive today, Joe McNally. Brad is his former assistant (he works for Scott Kelby now) and Mike is Joe’s current assistant. I first came across Cali’s (apparently, everyone calls him that) work via Zack Arias’ blog, where he mentioned that Cali had been shooting with the Fuji X-Pro1 lately. So I followed the link to Cali’s blog and ended up spending a good hour there, just going through his images. So here’s something interesting to note about Michael Cali. The Fuji X-Pro1 notwithstanding, one cool thing to know about Michael is that he’s a film shooter. Yep, that’s right. The assistant to Joe McNally, who shot National Geographic’s first digital cover, who was among the elite that got to work with Nikon’s D4 before its release, that photographer’s assistant is primarily a film shooter. The thing is, to peg him as a “film shooter” is to sell him grotesquely short. Michael Cali is a photographer – and he’s a damned good one. Film happens to be his medium of choice, but if you look at his images with the X-Pro1, you’ll quickly see that his photography transcends a particular medium. He’s not a...
Op-Ed: The New Horizon(tal)

Op-Ed: The New Horizon(tal)

From time to time, we offer up Op-Ed pieces on various aspects of photography for your consideration. Please note that these articles are the personal opinion of the writer, not necessarily of BorrowLenses.com.  Changing habits is tough. I used to, for example, use my iPad in portrait orientation for the most part. Now I’m trying to break that habit. Ditto for things on the shooting side. At one point, I used to have a vertical grip on my 5D Mark II and shoot primarily in portrait mode. Most of what I shot was vertical, and I loved it. Portraiture, I used to think, should only be shot vertically. I even invested in an “L” bracket for my 5D so I could shoot in portrait mode with a tripod more comfortably. Now? Not so much. I’m shooting more horizontals. I’m consuming more content in that orientation too. And, like any self-respecting geek obsessed with the reason underlying things, I wanted to know why. I think I’ve figured it out. 1. Tension and space “Fill the frame.” Every photographer I know says this. Some are starting to move away from that statement in favor of more contextual images, but getting closer to your subject is generally considered to be a good thing. I haven’t changed my mind about that, but I have noticed that there is a marked difference between getting closer to your subject while in a vertical orientation versus a horizontal orientation. Take these images of Dwayne Wade from a past issue of GQ. Here, in the iPad version of the magazine, the example makes much more sense. In...