Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Le Corbusier & Lucien Herve-book review

 I have been asked by Red Dog News to review a big new (and expensive! $75 at Getty-$46 street) book. Le Corbusier & Lucien Herve: A Dialogue Between Architect and Photographer. I just received it yesterday and it looks fabulous. It is about an extended collaboration between a monumentally important architect and his "official" architectural photographer. I'll post a link to RDN when the review is finished. This will be fun!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Georgia O'Keefe Elementary School

One of the recent award winning projects I shot for Jon Anderson Architecture-featured in ArchDaily

Monday, August 15, 2011

Long Beach Post: Police Chief Confirms Detaining Photographers Within Departmental Policy

AESTHETIC PROFILING? Give me a break. I too have been harassed on public streets and in National Parks for doing nothing more sinister than pointing a camera at a building or landscape. Who are they to decide what has "apparent esthetic value".

Long Beach Post: Police Chief Confirms Detaining Photographers Within Departmental Policy

One of the "offending" photographs-A photograph shot by Sander Roscoe Wolff on June 30 before he was detained by Long Beach Police. Courtesy of the Long Beach Post.

Back in my 4x5 film days I was shooting an exterior of a piano store when closed on a Sunday afternoon for the contractor. I was accosted by a security guard who said people in the nearby Starbucks had reported a man pointing a large gun at the store. Its a camera people! Give me a break.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Digital prints for HABS?

The last bastion of old school large format film commercial architectural photography-HABS/HAER. Informative discussion on revised HABS/HAER submission requirements.


Friday, August 12, 2011


Marketing is a very frustrating long term educational effort with some new and clueless clients. The other day I gave an estimate to a manufacturer for 20 images of their facilities.

Him-"how many do I get to pick from?". Me-"twenty". "No shit" he says "the other guy is going to shoot 700 (!) in half a day and let me pick 100". I say-"With all due respect, he doesn't know what he is doing. There are not anywhere close to 700 or even 100 good images of this building. He is talking snapshots. There are however about 20 good views that will show your facilities off really well and will make you website look really professional. It will take about a long day and the images will be perfect for your marketing purposes."

He picked the other guy.

I can't wait to see the updated website.

Structire of Spirit exhibit in DC

Looks interesting:
Structure of Spirit

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Fraction Magazine: Fraction Show at Rayko

Fraction Magazine: Fraction Show at Rayko:  Fraction is very proud to announce it's first photography show, Fraction Magazine : Three Years in the Mak..."

Two days till the opening!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Why an MFA?

"Out of curiosity what did your Master of Fine Arts in photography bring you?  What were you doing before you did the MFA and what kind of work were you doing in the first 4-5 years after your MFA?  I'm contemplating returning to school....." From an emailed question.
That's a big question and I don't think my path is typical. I finished undergrad and did allot of things non-photographic for a living (welding, auto mechanics, union organizing, industrial mechanic) before starting to do commercial work a couple of years before going back to grad school. All the while I continued to pursue my personal B&W photography with a vengeance. It was ten years between finishing undergrad and starting grad school. Grad school gave me the opportunity to really think about what/why I was doing what I was doing artistically. It also gave me the credentials, self confidence and legitimacy (for NEA grants and teaching at a university level for example) to subsequently have a very diverse and rewarding dual career in academia and commercial work. It was well worth the effort and expense (I had a full ride with living expenses, plus grants but it still cost me $).

For me grad school was a great experience. I was in my early thirties with two kids and a wife, but I knew what I was doing artistically and school just kind of raised that to another level and opened doors. It was not so much what I was taught as being able to concentrate on my work in a professional nurturing environment. For the first five years after school, I went back to doing commercial work but also increasingly got shows and exposure of my personal work and started teaching at UNM part-time. It also impacted my commercial work as my kind of clientele respect formal art education and my "art shows" and publications turned out to be the best advertising for my commercial endeavors. It has been a very symbiotic dual career. The commercial work also provided the financial support and equipment for allot of my personal work.

Medium Format AP camera discussion.

Interesting discussion about MF digital AP cameras at Lu La. Certainly allot more complex and risky purchase than just buying a good FF DSLR and some T/S lenses!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

New Schneider T/S Lenses

Interesting discussion on LuLa about the new 90 and 50 Schneider DSLR T/S lenses. Also see:  Schneider T/S Review. Schneider.

This comment by ASF is most illuminating:
"Interesting Schneider states the 50 "is therefore recommended mainly for architectural photography as well as for town and landscape imagery."
I ordered one when it was announced, but when they sent me the MTF's from Germany I couldn't quite believe the distortion graphs (over 2%). When I asked why they would design a modern lens with this much distortion they replied it was not intended for architecture but for table-top, and they recommended using a plate camera such as the Alpa for architecture.
That along with it not being a new optical design (basically the old mf SA in a new house), the cost of over $4k, and the shipping date being pushed back over and over led me to cancel my order.
I checked with my dealer, they have received a 90 but still no 50."
If the 90 is available I would love to see some side by side comparisons with the now long-in-the-tooth Canon 90 T/S. The Canon is an adequate lens optically but is ready for an update with Tilt lockout etc. like the new 24 and 17 wide angle T/Ss.

Schneider's response:
The truth is that a Distagon design is required in order to make space for a mirror box as well as for the complex movements that are required for a PC lens
this type of lens design is also used by Zeiss for the Hasselblad system and is known from Schneider as the premium medium format Rollei lens 50/2.8. both these lenses have very high optical performance and have an image circle that it big enough to cover medium format, as well as being large enough to allow perspective control on full
If you look at the Canon and Nikon PC lenses they also use a Distagon design for the 24 and 45mm lenses... they do this because there is no other way .
We have also to remember that all lenses distort and for this reason Nikon Canon Zeiss and indeed Schnieder list MTF charts to document the lens performance. the selling point is that the Zeiss and Schneider 50 MF lenses have an even greater image circle that the Nikon and canon equivalent, this means a large sweet spot to the lens.
In terms of price the Schneider 50/2.8 lens in a Rollei mount used to cost around £2800 + VAT new. The Zeiss 50/4 CFE lens sells for £2700 new. so given that this optical design has been mounted into such and expensive tilt shift mount and costing a little over £2000 shows great value for money.
Having said all this if you look at the 90/4.5 PC TS HM lens you will notice that it has the image circle optical layout and performance of the 90/4.5 Apo macro Digitar lens.
Due to the focal length this lens does NOT need to be a Distagon ( retrofocus ) design and so is one of the finest lenses in the World .
One very disappointing design feature that has been repoted is that the lens only shifts in one direction???? Unlike Canon and Nikon which shift both ways. Shifting both ways makes flat stitches extremely easy-single direction means you have to rotate the lens to go the other way-twice the time and a pain. Two way shifting is vey old in T/S designs going back to the Old Pentax and Nikons of the 80"s. Why would they do this?
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