Nothing more LoFi and Joyful than this system.
I am not sure where to begin, Polaroid?! Lomo?! the iPhone, Hipstamatic, Instagram… FILM IS DEAD is what they kept saying and most of us believing. Back in the day. You know?! When we were young.
Repeat like a Mantra!
Somehow everything in the oldschool film photography realm dies and is reincarnated somehow… Polaroid to the Impossible project, filmscanners to iPhone to Polaroid scanners and the list seems to be endless. Yes everyone cries “HIPSTER!” when someone in a plaid shirt with a Lomo or Polaroid or old Hassy walks by, but that is a good thing, no?! That an App like Instagram that started out as a boring and inferior copy of another App (cough Hipstamatic cough) could become this successful is a good indicator that pixel-peeping is not the number one factor in the selection of peoples “camera” choice. And yes yes… Instagram provides something else too and all that bla bla… but that is besides the point.
Polaroid stopped production of its instant product line in 2008 and it was still some time for the impossible project, not only to start, but to get to a point where people other than lab technicians could use their films.
I am not saying, that Polaroid cameras where in everybody’s hand and the watercooler topic day in and day out by the way and they still aren’t, but you often start missing something just when it’s gone.
But! The importance of the different, the beautiful, the individual photo is not to underestimate. Especially with the click of a button and not hours in front of the computer or in the darkroom. Ease of use for the creative processes is a fantastic thing. Yes of course it is going to be overdone, overused and there will be fatigue, but it also will bring out some fantastic and beautiful work and push the ones that where doing it before to evolve, grow and come up with other great ideas and work.
People tend to forget that there has always been shitty works of “art”… as cliche and esoteric it might sound, but “ying and yang maaaaaaaaan!”. The more amazing work we see, the amount of shitty work will grow, too. And it is part of the process, we all need to get the shitty work out of us to make space for greatness. Some will give up along the way and that is ok too.
The point I am trying to get to and I wouldn’t have thought of it, if someone hadn’t asked me “WHY?!” in astonishment of my use of the Instax cameras is that we like the different. We always look for different ways to express ourselves and to create and if the use of our mobile phones is the number one way we take photos nowadays and we love to use weird apps to manipulate what we capture, why not wander back to an older way of capturing altogether too?! Yes, its not wet plate photography, but that is the point. It is easy. It is easy to capture, it is easy to digitise.
Mad props to Fuji for not only rocking the digital photography market at the moment, but sticking to a product that many have doomed over and over again and even “improving” and working on it. They are constantly bringing new Instax models out and luckily keeping the two film formats they have had from the beginnings when still cooperating with Polaroid in the 90s.
When would I use a system like this?! Well… for me personally there are so many use-cases. From using it for BTS work on photoshoots, to doing full on projects or using it while travelling. I love to have one of my Instax cameras with me as often as possible. And not to forget to make some oldschool “Polaroids” of your models for example. When we were in Paris last year for LeWeb we took it everywhere and snapped photos of random of people in a bar, handed them the photo and put a smile on some strangers faces.
Fuji Germany was kind enough to give me one camera of each format and a generous amount of film for a bunch of my projects. LeWeb, #mbrt13 and everything in between. By now I have spent a lot of time with both cameras and there is absolutely nothing I would complain about. Ease of use. As mentioned before is a key point.
A few settings besides ON and OFF. Lighter, Darker, Flash and focusing distance. And most of the time the focusing distance is the only thing you will have to set. There are different versions of each camera for the two formats and you should be aware of that when buying, but I am sure they will bring you a lot of fun and a fresh wind to your photography. And with the quite low prices you can buy them these days there is no reason not to, besides having absolutly no interest of course.
MBShootout NYC / LA
The Mercedes-Benz Instagram Shootout in New York and Los Angeles was a fantastic experience, it was the longest of all the Shootouts so far and took place in two cities. New York City and Los Angeles. Our New York Team consisted of Mario-Roman Lambrecht, Joseph Linaschke, our local Andrew Link and me. In LA it was Mario, Joseph and me again plus our locals Royce Rumsey, Richard Thompson and Zach Benge. I cannot say it often enough how honored and thankful I am to have worked with this extremely talented and kind group of people. What a great and pleasant experience. We worked a lot and had long and exhausting days for sure, but it was worth every minute. I laughed a ton, I learned a ton and I got to spend a few days is two of my favorite cities.
When Canon announced the Legria Mini a few month back, I was very skeptical. In a time where most mobile phones produce great video and we always have them with us, why would we need a dedicated video camera for blogging at home and on the go? Well… on the one hand because we might need our phones for so much more than just recording video. I mean they can be our voice recorder on productions, or being needed to read off your lines of them etc. etc. A lot of people use GoPros to shoot themselves, as the video quality is is great in good light, and it has a wide angle lens that makes it easy to frame the shot, even while holding the camera in your hand. The one thing that camera phones and GoPros have in common and which can be a disadvantage, you can’t see yourself while recording (in the case of mobile phones I obviously think of using the back facing camera only, as the quality normally is so much better.)
Cardhu Whiskey started its history back in 1824 when the smuggler John Cumming founded the distillery. In its long history a lot happened from cooperations with other big brands to wars and problems with the public perception. Nowadays Cardhu is back to its old glory and one thing that has not changed is the hospitality and charity. Back in the day every visitor was offered a glass of Cardhu and to carry on the tradition the agency started to share a bottle of Cardhu with friends, who in return not only shared their bottle with friends, but also recommend one of their friends for another bottle. So it happened to be that my friend Kai of Heldth got a bottle and recommended me for a bottle of my own. As for the photo, I wanted to test the new Canon G16 anyway and had a simple setup in mind. The light of a christmas tree for the background and as a little backlight, then instead of using my strobes or a classic setup I set the camera on the new carbonfiber Manfrotto 190 tripod, the camera on manual and to a long exposure. To f2.2 and a shutter speed of 15 seconds at ISO 80 to be exact. Then set a nice rich orange tone in Adobe PS Touch on my iPhone and started “painting” the light where I thought it would fit. I shout six frames and had the result I was going for, a little RAW conversion and here we are. The Bottle, glass and chocolate are set on a black glass plate to get the reflections right in camera and not to have to photoshop anything in in post. Have a nice sunday my friends.
Canon Germany sent me a beautiful new G16 to give a shot and see what I think of it. It’s been quite some time I had a camera like this in my hands. The first G I encountered was the G9 and at that time I hadn’t seen or used no other camera like it. Price, features, quality size were basically unmatched. The next one I remember really hearing of was the G11. I know there was a G1X something and so on. Times have changed a lot since 2007. Mobile phones have been slashing at the small camera market like Jason Voorhees. That not being enough the Micro Four Thirds cameras came to the market and are a revelation for many. Fuji on the other hand has basically created their own fast growing market within a market with their X series cameras. Interesting enough in all this camera craziness we find the big two Canon and Nikon to be a bit shy… or should I say misguided as the Nikon V and J cameras kinda obviously show. Also the Canon M was not the big hit everyone was hoping for. Sony on the other hand just pulled a Fuji and brought out a series of fantastic little non-dslr cameras. So… I guess you see where I am getting at. I am world of way too many cameras, is there still space for cameras like the Canon G16 and if yes, what can and should they offer.
The beast, the car that Chris Harris basically called an Aventador killer. an elegant and classic front engine rear wheel drive design and all the fantastic goodies a modern supercar needs.
Fabian and I had a a couple of hours to spare, an underground garage and a whole lot of fun. Not much more to say at this time besides enjoy and stay tuned for more F12 and Ferrari goodness.
I have posted a few Teaser shots over the past few weeks and I am happy to show you the final results now. When Tina contacted me about a spontaneous shoot with two of her friends and had some ideas what they wanted and needed I was very happy to get away from all the cars and shoot some human models again for a change. I love shooting both as you know, but it’s the mix that makes it really fun.
So we have three wonderful and very different female models. Two nice and also very different Locations and two sets of sexy clothing.
Thank you Ladies for a fun day and everyone else, enjoy!
You probably remember the Instagram Shootout we did with Mercedes-Benz at the IAA in Frankfurt back in September. This week we went on a another shootout and changed a few things up. First of all we did a three day tour to Kitzbühel in Austria. Secondly there was no prize or so to win so it was “just” about having fun and creating great work. The third point was that we had two brand new Mercedes-Benz GLAs with us, driven by Mercedes-Benz drivers as the car is not yet open to the press and public. Lastly we had three great vehicle for ourselves to drive and also shoot. A CLA 250 Sport, a S 350 S-Class and the beast that is the GL500.
Last week I had the pleasure to cover an unveiling event for BMW Motorrad in Munich. It was the unveiling of the new and stunning R nineT. The location was a blast, from the outside fitting perfectly into the conservative and upperclass Munich city center, the inside a mix of biker- and southern-bar. Problem with that, well not really a problem, but probably very much out of the comfort zone of a lot of photographers… shooting somewhere between ISO 6400 and ISO 10000. That on a job?! Well, why not. Professional cameras nowadays are built for that, and thats why we pay so much money for the high end cameras, well that should be the reason and not because we want to look professional without knowing or wanting to know what they can do. With high end gear it’s always about the last bit you can squeeze out of it.