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First day in New York the images

In this blog post the images from our first day in New York.
Mostly just some snapshots to give you guys an idea what’s going on.
For the video of course check our vlog “behind the closed DOORs” via Youtube.com/frankdoorhof

Click on one of the tumbnails for a much nicer gallery view.

Jay and silent Bobs secret stash visit

When traveling most people “fall” for the tourists traps, and although those have to be visited too of course, Annewiek and I also always love to visit some local areas and stores. This is also why we always ask the local people what to do.

Both Annewiek and I love the smaller “unique” stores and because at that time we were slowly starting picking up my Comics hobby one of the stores we had to visit according to our friend was in RedBank New Jersey and was called “Jay and silent Bobs secret stash” now for people who think “that name rings a bell” that is 100% right, this is the comic book store owned by Kevin Smith.

We arrived a bit too early so we had to wait for them to open but as soon as they did it was worth the drive. The store is of course jam-packed with comics and figures/toys/shirts etc. but also has some really cool movie memorabilia from Kevins movies and almost work a visit just for that, and do not forget to check out the art on the walls and the pieces on for example a fire door 😀

In the past I watched 1-2 episodes of Comic Book Men (which is not readily available in our area) now with most of these shows they are filmed with the employees (stars) there but as soon as you visit the store…. well there are other people there which for me is always a bit of a let down, we visited for example the pawn shop in Las Vegas and in all honesty it was cool but…… not worth the trip (only half an hour from where we were). Now with the stash it was totally different. Much to my surprise both Mike and Ming were working there and helping customers, and in a very good way taking their time and giving advise.

Of course I couldn’t resist to chat with both Ming and Mike and show some of my work 😀
Now when visiting a store and getting great service also means you have to buy something of course and at that time we didn’t collect any Batman material yet but they had a whole collection of Kevin Smith and Clerks figures, some were signed and some weren’t. The great thing was that all the signed material is priced the same as the unsigned, now that’s a store I love, but mostly an attitude I love, I never got the people that charge for their autograph at conventions, it’s your fans dudes come on. So seeing the signed versions priced equally to the non signed was awesome, and naturally we ended up with a signed version.

Now at that time we already wanted to start collecting something and pick up my passion from when I was young (comics) and because of the enthusiasm of the “comic book men” we ended up deciding to make Batman our main goal, now a few months later we have a nice collection and comics are also a part of this, mainly thanks to that one visit which actually triggered us to also visit other comic book stores and even a convention.

Today on the blog some images from our visit to “Jay and silent Bobs secret stash”
Now if you’re (like me) also into comics and that kind of cool stuff make sure to check out the TV series “Comic book men” I have to be honest that is was very difficult to get all episodes in the Netherlands complete because Netflix is not broadcasting them so we had to….. well ok I can’t say that on the blog, but you know what I mean… right? In essence it’s a cooler version of Pawn stars with the main focus on comics and action figures, toys etc. and it’s a load of fun. If you’re not in the possibility to get the TV shows make sure to check out the many podcasts they have on iTunes and SModcast (just type in SModcast in iTunes)

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A 100MP Workshop and review

One of the things that I really love to do is test new gear….
Often it does mean that I have to keep my mouth shut for a long time (sometimes short) but being able to work with gear in beta is very exciting, especially when you can still have input.

One of the companies I’ve worked with in the past is Mamiya/Leaf now part of Phase One, I always loved their backs and when they released their brand new XF camera system I was immediately in love, for the first time in a long time there is a REAL upgrade to the DF(+) system and the cool thing…. you can even switch to waist level finder mode on the camera, for people not knowing what this means… it means you look down on the camera and can have contact with your model much easier, wait let me show you….. here you see the camera with the normal viewfinder and with the waist level finder. This is really an incredible cool feature, especially because you now also have auto focus of course and that’s very handy. It’s not the first time there was a waist level finder camera with AF but the XF is one of the most complete systems I ever tested.

phase-one-xf-100mp

But with a camera there should also be a back right?
Well that’s how Medium Format works, you have the camera, lens and a digital/analogue back (in this case digital only).

Now Medium format was always known for the high dynamic range and high megapixel count, but in all honesty with the new Sony sensors Medium format was playing catch up, it was still better if you stayed under ISO200-400 but in all honesty above that…. well give me SLT or DLSR.
A few years ago Leaf/Phase One introduced the first Sony Sensor in a Medium Format camera and I was able to test the 50MP sensor on the road during a road trip through Denmark, it was the first time I didn’t touch my SLT camera at all, in fact I didn’t even took it out of the case, the 50MP sensor did an amazing job in both low light as in day light, the only “problem” it was a crop sensor, and in all honesty I also love to shoot with the back on a Mamiya RZ67ProII and having a full frame sensor on that camera is already a pretty tight crop, so I gave it back with the comment…please make a full frame sensor 😀

It took a while but now it’s on the market, and what a nice back…..
100MP (actually 101MP) and a TREMENDOUS dynamic range and great high-iso performance. Of course I wanted to test this camera and back. This is how the idea started to teach a one day workshop in New York with the new camera in cooperation with Phase One. And I can be very short about the experience….. this is an AMAZING camera (and back).

Now most of the attention will mostly go to the camera, this is where you really see the difference with the “old” system, the XF is MUCH faster with it’s auto focus and also much more accurate, where the DF+ is already very good but sometimes slow, the XF feels very snappy and is spot on. Also the speed in which the 100MP files are dumped over the USB connection is nothing less than stunning. The camera has a lot of new features including an automatic Electronic first curtain which makes the camera more “stable” (less vibrations) and with 100MPs to shoot with that’s not a bad thing.

The first thing a lot of people ask…. “What about dynamic range”
well this is always hard to say, because although the older backs were much less “dynamic” according to DxO labs than my Canon for example I had to disagree because my Aptus series really blew my Canon away with dynamic range, but agreed there was a bit more noise in the shadows. Now with the new backs Phase One claims a 15 stops dynamic range, I don’t know if that’s true or not, but what I do know is that it’s one of the most dynamic cameras was that I ever tested, I could get detail back in areas where I would (even with my Sony A7RII) would have said “ok this is ridiculous, it’s gone”.

The second thing is…. “What about compression and bits”
Now this one actually got me into some sort of a dilemma a while ago with my A7RII, a lot of people complained online that Sony was “butchering” their files and didn’t get the maximum quality out of the sensor, Sony responded with a (first on the market I think) totally uncompressed data output, resulting in HUGE (double the size) image files, the critiques were silent, and I still shoot “compressed” for the simple reason I can’t see a difference in 99% of my work and if I see the difference it’s not worth that I shoot the other 99% of the images in that setting taking up a load of my drive space. So that being said, the Phase One stores in different formats, which gives you the option to choose, but the best option is a real 16bits storage in their IIQ format which is handled marvelous by Capture One (the software I use for most of my RAW developing for fashion work).

But most of all people ask…. “Do you really need 100MP”
Well it depends.
For some applications 100MP is not even enough, think about people making replicas of art pieces for example, but also for the “normal” user 100MP is not as “weird” as it might sound. One thing a lot of people don’t take into account is the resolution of modern day monitors. When we edited our 16MP files most monitors topped out at 1920×1080 which at that time was HUGE, you never needed more, but most monitors also topped out at 24″. Now a days most monitors are in the 24-27-32″ range and to be honest I think most people will be on 27″ within a few years. Now size also means higher resolutions, most aRGB monitors are 2560×1440 which is a lot more pixels which in essence means that if you zoom in on your picture the “zoom effect” will be less. This means in real life that if you do a retouch on for example a pattern you have to zoom in to 200-400% to make sure you don’t mess up and have the accuracy you need. If your camera has a higher resolution zooming to 100% is often enough (although I also love to work in 200-400% with tricky parts).

Now if you travel and shoot and work on a nice new MacBook retina you might not realize that your images are actually “scaled” on a 2880×1800 display, which is even worse because it’s “only” a 15″ screen, meaning zooming in becomes very difficult. And it doesn’t stop there, new monitors with higher resolutions are coming REALLY fast, 4K (4096×2304) and even 5K (5120×2880) resolutions are hitting the market as we speak.

Editing a 16MP file on a 5K monitor is “madness”, the resolution of the file is 4608 x 3456 which would actually mean that if you zoom in to 1:1 there would hardly any difference….. well that’s not a nice way of course to edit.

To make a long story short, for print you still have more than enough resolution from a 16MP camera, but resolutions of projectors, TVs, monitors jump forward at an almost alarming speed the last few years and this means that having a 100MP camera at once isn’t that “weird” anymore especially if you do retouching (or just love to zoom in a landscape or street scene (something I LOVE to do). In fact when I zoom in on my iPhone shots on my MacBook retina there is hardly any zoom effect, and when I zoom in on my old files actually really nothing happens.

In this blogpost you can see some of the finished results from the New York workshop.
My overall opinion on the new camera is STUNNING, it’s very fast and accurate and I love to work with it, the waist level finder is great and the way the camera handles is what you expect from a camera in this price range (because it’s not cheap). The back itself is simply put breath taking, for me personally it will be a while before I will be shooting with a 100MP back myself (I also have to earn my money and can spend it only once) but if you are in the market for a camera/back combination like this… I don’t think you will find anything better… IT ROCKS… the files literally sang in Capture One and Photoshop, I could push the shadows and pull the highlights as far as I wanted and the sharpness was absolutely breath taking, but most of all I REALLY loved the skin tones, this is something that I always miss in certain cameras, even with the use of a color checker the skin tones often are just…. well…. a bit off, but the XF100 nailed it, and even although I tint all my images, it’s incredibly important to have a file to start with that is as clean and perfect as possible.

If you have the chance make sure to test the system yourself.

 

We started the workshop relaxed with some expression and portraits.

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And playing with some contrastKarina Feb 13 2016 Phase One workshop NY 0031

Creativity within a photoshoot is always important so why not use the background in a different way, and throw in a prop (in this case, why not try to make some images for Phase One) 😀Karina Feb 13 2016 Phase One workshop NY 0055

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As you can already see in the backlit images, the dynamic range is awesome, you can still see details in the models arms and the white areas aren’t blow out where I didn’t want to blow out. Pretty cool.

 

So we thought let’s up the ante a little bit. The next shot was done without any strobes, just using the windows and kicking up the dynamic range in Capture One, pretty impressive. Shadow detail and no blow out areas. Don’t try this with an old camera.Karina Feb 13 2016 Phase One workshop NY 0119

Here you can see that I included the bright sun in the frame and by using the leaf shutter lenses you are able to cut the ambient light, with shutter speeds up to 1/1600 you have a great range to work with to let in more or less ambient light.

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The final shot we used both window and cut the ambient light with a combination of strobes and shutter speed.Karina Feb 13 2016 Phase One workshop NY 0177

And finally adding some color with gels for an extra effect.Karina Feb 13 2016 Phase One workshop NY 0225

 

MTM goes New York

On February 13th I’ll be teaching a full day (small group) workshop in New York… the city that never sleeps.
And trust me… after this workshop you won’t sleep for a week…. it’s jam-packed with information on shooting models, understanding light, mixing light sources, shooting with advanced light setups and the bare basics (just natural light) and much more. The unique approach of the workshops is always that we start with a Q&A in which the participants can ask whatever they want and part of the questions will be answered right away and the other part will be incorporated into the workshop it self, this way the attendees always learn exactly what they want.

 

For this workshop we have some amazing dresses from our friend Lindsay Adler (they are stunning) plus the workshop itself is taught in a great studio with both day light and studio options so it’s possible to cover literally every aspect you can encounter, meaning you will get a very complete overview of techniques for both natural light and strobes (and mixing them of course).

 

During the workshop you will also get the chance to shoot with the brand new 100MP Phase One digital camera/back so you will be going home not only with stunning images… but also some very high resolution ones 😀

 

As an added bonus you will also see the whole retouch process from selection to finish with many tips in Photoshop and Capture One.
By the way… ALL participants will receive a free copy of Capture One 9 (valued at 299.00)

 

Topics will be :
Understanding/Manipulating/metering light
Using the light meter in incident and reflective mode
Mixing light sources
Coaching the model and working to a great shoot
Adding motion for that WOW effect
Advanced techniques for location shoots
Maximizing the location
The right gear
The complete workflow for model photography
Color managed workflows
Using Capture one during and after the shoot
Retouching and selecting images
And MUCH MUCH more…….

Retouching topics will be :
Skin retouching without spending hours behind the computer
Adding an unique look within seconds without plugins
Tinting your images 
Body shaping within Photoshop
Using BW convertors for stunning color enhancements
Adding skin detail back if necessary (this can save your shot)
Manipulating light
Adding atmospherical lighting to a shot
Enhancing the look of the scene
And MUCH MUCH more…..

 

 

Sounds good?
I think so, so head on over to http://www.frankdoorhof.com/web/tours/new-york-workshop-february-13th-2016/ and read more about this workshop and register.
CU in the big Apple 😀

 

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