Gear Plans

I really do not know what to write about here.  Well at least not till I can come up with a story for my next personal project- environmental portraiture, name still forthcoming.  Though that will definitely be posted on my Exposure site.  It is a really difficult thing having writer’s block.  No.  That’s an excuse.  I think it is definitely more like not having the right motivation to write.  My last story that I wrote about was my journey to Vietnam for the month.  And that was in 2016.  There were some ideas of trying to continue In Search of Little Saigon in America.  But after Cafe Diem, I hit nothing but “yes!  Let’s do it.  But that never came to fruitition.  Maybe they were unsure of my presence?  Too busy?  So after so many roadblocks, I decided to put that on hiatus.  I mean I still will make photos of Vietnamese shops, but at this point I am not sure I am going to be able to make a story from them.  At least here in Philadelphia.  

I don’t know if there will be a story to tell with the environmental portrait series either.   

So I guess the topic that I can rely on getting back into writing is... about gear.  Hooray?  It is actually the least favorite, though I do have a running wishlist that I want to buy.  Sooooo...

I am strongly considering buying a new MacBook Pro.  I have the 2017 iMac, and recently purchased a iPad Pro that I am currently typing this on.  I do all my edits on the iMac, cause 27 inches of screen real estate is hard to pass as a photographer.  But my mobile edits, I use LR CC’s profiles where one of their profile edits is close to what I use as my baseline edit- dvlop’s profile presets.  The reason for my thoughts on the MacBook Pro is simply tethering.  I don’t want to lug my 27in iMac around to shoots.  And while I can tether to my iPad, it isn’t reliable.  Nor can I photograph with my camera, since everything is controlled via Bluetooth on the iPad.  So unless I lock down the camera in position, I’m pretty not going to be able to walk around the scene.  Choosing where the camera focuses is also kinda problematic. Plus there is a short and noticeable delay between camera and Bluetooth tethering.  Making it very hard to make it a real reliable tool to tether.  That is actually pretty much the only reason why I want to go the MacBook Pro route.  But those things are $2000 and up.  So I’ll work on this mobile solution for now.  Who knows, maybe the wireless tethering to the iPad will be better.  I like PCs, but I am already in the Apple ecosystem so that’s not a viable solution for me.  

Another Profoto B1.  After my portrait session during #PhillyOver9000, I saw the future  need of having a 2nd B1.  While I do think the A1 is a great compliment to my B1, it is hard to do a main light, with a kicker light, and rim light with two lights.  I thought the two light setup was fine for my food work.  But here is the thing.  I feel like I need to move more towards environmental portraiture so that I can make more money as a photographer.   So having a 2nd B1, would really be pretty beneficial if I were to be serious about that move as a photographer.  I’ll still be shooting food and drinks, but with a stronger skill set with environmental portraiture.  

Aside from assorted light modifiers, I think the last camera gear I will want is a wide angle lens.  I can get away with 35 - 50 - 85 -100 macro, for nearly everything.  That is till I have to shoot in a tight kitchens and spaces.  I’ll probably go for a zoom this time around.  


These are my gear plans.  After all of these items, I don't think I am going to need much else.  Well in terms of computing and camera gear.  Will always need new storage space, but HDDs are always needed.  I did at one point think about  switching camera brands, because the Sony A7R III is such a sweet camera.  But, not worth it just for a 1-2 stop difference in dynamic range.  I did think about the Fuji GFX series, the mirrorless kinda medium format set up.  Which may still happen in the future, but the grand total of that addition would be a cool $16,000.  So.  That's not likely going to happen any time soon.




personal project

Hey, blog, I am sorry that I have left you alone for a year or so.  I had writer's block.  But I kept on shooting since.  :) . I worked on a new personal project called, #PhillyOver9000.  I was able to shoot two sessions of people who work in the food and beverage industry in Philadelphia.  Not the greatest turn out, but I was able to photograph about 12 people.  Which I am very thankful for.  I wanted to do a fun white seamless portrait project that was also slightly high key.  

Gear Thoughts. Peak Design everyday backpack 20L

A week with Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20L

A couple weeks ago, I went ahead and purchased Peak Design's Everyday Backpack 20L from Allen's Camera.  Now if you really want to know, I now have five camera bag/transportation items- my Filson Magnum, ONA Camps Bay backpack, Thinktank International, and my very first one, Domke bag.  If you follow the link on the ONA, it is on my ebay page selling it for $200. 

Here is my reasoning for going with the Peak Design, even though with all the gear in it is about as weighty as the gear in the ONA- ease of getting to my gear.  With the ONA, since the gear storage is at the base, you can only access it when you put the bag down, unbuckle the top flap, and then unzip.  Then do vice versa to close it all up.  It is fine if you are just carrying from spot to spot.  But if you plan on going around and photographing, that issue may come up.  Now that may seem trivial, but it gets pretty annoying.  With the Peak Design, it allows you to sling it to the side and open the gear from the side, which cuts down that process down by one or two steps. 

The second reason, is that being a biker (I got a mountain bike, not a motorcycle!) the ONA is way too boxy leading to being an issue biking with.  With the Peak Design, it has a more streamlined design making it easier to bike with. 

But.  The ONA is a beautiful bag.  Its material, waxed canvas, is one that I really like.   More so than leather, it is true.  I'd rather wear my tin cloth Filson Short Cruiser than a leather jacket.  Well not that I have a leather jacket..  The 20L, is nice, but if in the waxed canvas material I would have been hands down favorite. Still its material is water resistant and durable, so it's not without its functionality. 

With all my gear inside, a 5D4, 5D3, 35L, 50mm, 85L, and an ipad, in both bags, the weight dispersion is about the same.  Though I felt the straps on the Peak Design was more padded for it.  I don't want to know what these bags would feel like if I had a 15in laptop in there.  That said, I don't know how heavy the bags would have been since I haven't tried putting my old 15 MBP in.  I use my ipad for travel. 

So my choice between the bags is pretty obvious- the Everyday.  I still love my Filson, which is my go to bag for my minimalist exploring.  But if I wanted to carry the rest of my gear it would have to be the Everyday.  That's not to say the ONA is terrible, it isn't.  It just doesn't suit my needs.  So please buy it.  I am selling it for more than half it's cost- $200. 

Here comes 2017

Here we are coming to the end of 2016. While everyone wants 2016, I do not.  I am not fond of who is coming in 2017.  Keeping it 100.  But, nevertheless, I will survive.  Just like you all.  If you follow me on instagram and the other socials, as well as being a reader to my blog and Exposure, you know the big thing that has happened to me this year was going to Vietnam for the month.  

It's a pretty tough to sum that adventure and experience into sound bites.  But read the stories linked and you will hopefully see my viewpoints as I traveled around Vietnam.  As well as get inspired to go there, and or travel, yourself.  All I planned when I went there was to eat and I achieved that goal.  All I did was eat.  

But what else was cool about this year, for me, was that I photographed two stories for Edible Philly and two shoots for Philadelphia Magazine.  As well as photographing a #right2work dinner.  And the Weckerlys finally opened their shop.  

Also, I finally upgraded to the Canon 5D mk IV and purchased a 85L mk II.  I now have two camera bodies!  Not only that, but I got into printing prints on a Fuji Instax and been printing 12 x 16s to put together a print portfolio.  I been printing photos from Vietnam, at that size, for a proposed idea of putting together a show on "In Search of Little Saigon in America."

My day job in Princeton, finally, made me a permanent full time.  Pretty sure that I wrote that I had a day job, here or somewhere.  So I have been able to fund more food photo walks.  As well as go to Vietnam for under $3k.

This was my 2016 in a snapshot.  I am hoping to travel more in 2017 and work on more socially conscious work onward.  Hope your 2016 was great and an even better 2017!

Back from Vietnam

I came back from Vietnam on the 29th of October.  Since then I was editing the photographs and posting all of the images to my exposure site.  If you want to read the stories, go to these links.  

  1. HCMC the first part
  2. Going in Deep
  3. Rain in Danang
  4. That Hue
  5. How Long til Ha Long?
  6. Ma Hai

Now that I am back and all of the photographs are edited and posted in the long story format, what I am going to share here are the portfolio pieces which are linked to my smugmug so you can purchase those images if you so desire.  Which you should.  

As I am trying to work on In Search of Little Saigon in America flush with images and work, I realized I didn't have a good representation of Vietnam from the last time I was there.  So going back to Vietnam for that was one of the primary reasons.  Stay tuned for the gallery showing in the near future.

Each of these images are linked to my smugmug gallery where you can purchase them.  For more choices, go to my smugmug gallery. And buy as much as your heart desires.  :)