The Shoot between Jason Lanier and Ken Wheeler the Angry Photographer using the Sony A9 and the Fuji GFX

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The Shoot between Jason Lanier and Ken Wheeler the Angry Photographer using the Sony A9 and the Fuji GFX

I gotta admit, this is a blog post I never thought I'd write.  I never thought I'd make two videos out of the experience, and I really didn't think any of this would come together....but I always hoped it would.

When I switched from Nikon to Sony it angered a good amount of people out there.  My chief and most vocal critic on the matter was Ken Wheeler, the Angry Photographer as he's known on Youtube.  You can go back and search for all the videos related to this subject that have been created over the last two years, but suffice it to say that me getting Ken to agree to shoot was not something many people out there saw happening.

I reached out to Ken while I was on the East Coast teaching workshops in Washington, DC and West Virginia.  Ken lives in Lexington, Kentucky so getting down to see him from West Virginia was feasible.  It required about $1000 in expenses, but I felt the opportunity was worth it to meet the man face to face that has railed against me and Sony for years now.

When I reached out to Ken he was very hospitable.  He accepted my offer to come down there and meet and seemed pretty excited about the prospect as well.  We agreed to meet at his local camera store in town called Murphy's Camera.  Don Baker and the team there were very welcoming and allowed us to shoot our first video together in the store.  This was filmed with no crew.  I set up 3 cameras on tripods and filmed it in 4K using the A9, A7Rii, and the A7Sii.  I felt that having no crew there would make Ken feel more comfortable since he wasn't using to having a crew watching him like I am.  Take a look below to view this initial conversation between the two of us:

This first meeting between us caught a lot of people off guard, most importantly some of our followers.  They really didn't see this meeting coming and were surprised we made it happen. The overall response however was very favorable.  Ken and I grabbed some dinner that night and then agreed to go out shooting together the following day.

We met up again at Murphy's Camera but this time we had a model and two volunteer assistants with us as well.  The two assistants are followers of mine who were local in the Kentucky area and agreed to come down and help out.  They aren't trained videographers but nevertheless they agreed to film Ken and I during out shoot.  You guys gotta understand, this all happened SO FAST.

I called up Ken a day before I was scheduled to leave West Virginia and then a day later I was in Kentucky.  There was no time to bring my crew that I normally travel with to this event.  The model that I had with me in West Virginia needed to go home, and my permanent videographer Jason Coccio was enjoying time off to attend a wedding in California.  So we made the best of it.

I was contacted by a local model named Tiffany Williamson who lived Knoxville, Tennessee and she agreed to come out for the shoot.  You can follow her at www.instagram.com/spacekittyxd. We agreed to terms and she then made the trip out to Kentucky for the shoot.

We left Murphy's Camera and went to the Kentucky Horse Park which is just gorgeous.  Below is the video created from our shoot together:

The video and the shoot are not intended to be a shootout, but rather a mutual shoot where we shared a great day together.  I think my favorite part was watching Ken get in trouble with the cops lol.  He really was initiated into my lifestyle as that always seems to happen to me as well.  Please take a few minutes to watch the video and you'll see two former rivals share a great day together.  Below are the images that we took at the Kentucky Horse Park:

For the shoot I used the Sony A9 with the 70-200 f/2.8 Sony G Master, using natural light only. Below are the images from the shoot:

Below are the images taken by Ken.  He used the Fuji GFX using flash and natural lighting:

For what it's worth, I'd encourage anyone watching this to focus on the coming together that this event facilitated vs. any rivalry that used to exist.  It took courage for Ken to agree to meet and to come out and shoot with me knowing the world would see everything we did.  I applaud him for these efforts and thank him for acting like a gentleman during our time together.

Thank you Ken.

Maybe more in the photography industry can do the same to come together.....:)

Thanks!

Jason

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Sony A9 vs. the Sony A7Rii Landscape Shoot Resolution Challenge

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Sony A9 vs. the Sony A7Rii Landscape Shoot Resolution Challenge

So many people know I absolutely LOVE my Sony A7Rii.  It's been my go to camera for the past 2 years and I absolutely love the beast.  When Sony came out with the A9, I was one of the first photographers to be able to play with the camera.  Given it's speed and many features, I pegged it as the ultimate sports and wedding photography camera in the Sony lineup.  And I assumed I'd continue to use my A7Rii for landscape, architecture and portraits.

But just to make sure, I decided to do a quick little shootout comparison of the two cameras while at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon.  I was there during a family vacation and that place is just breath taking.  Being that I was just there with the family and had no film crew etc. I had to make sure with filming a video using just a monopod and my ThinkTank backpack...and the use of my trusty son Michael as an Assistant.

I did the shoot using two different lenses.  The Sony Zeiss 16-35 f/4 and the Sony G Master f/2.8 70-200mm.  Both are favorite lenses of mine and I thought they'd give the viewers a good variety of shots and focal lengths to look at.  I also did some cropping in on both images to show how both cameras render an image when zoomed WAY IN!

I won't render a final judgment here.  Why?  I don't want to sway opinions too much....:) . I'll just let the results speak for themselves and let you guys decide what you want to do.  I'll just say the results surprised me, and I'll be more comfortable in just taking the A9 everywhere with me than I would've been before doing the test...the resulting images from the shoot are below:

Sony A7Rii

Images are as follows: 16mm, 16mm, 35mm, 70mm, 100mm, 200mm

Sony A9

Images are as follows: 16mm, 16mm, 35mm, 70mm, 100mm, 200mm

Here are the crop comparisons as shown in the video

*16mm SUPER cropped in:  A7Rii on left, A9 on the right

*35mm Cropped in- A7Rii on the left, A9 on the right

*70mm Cropped in- A7Rii on the left, A9 on the right

*100mm Cropped in- A7Rii on the left, A9 on the right

*200mm Cropped in- A7Rii on the left, A9 on the right

I thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and watch my videos.  I appreciate every single person who takes the time to give me a read or a view.  Thanks guys!  I hope this helps...:)

Jason

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Portraits of a Cuban Tobacco Farmer using the Sony FE 100mm STF and 70-200mm G Master Lenses

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Portraits of a Cuban Tobacco Farmer using the Sony FE 100mm STF and 70-200mm G Master Lenses

Recently I had the opportunity to visit Cuba for the first time.  Like many folks from the United States I was very excited to do so since it has been closed off for visiting for the last 60 years. One of the main things I wanted to do was to visit some traditional Tobacco Farms.  It isn't because I'm a smoker, because I'm not.  It's because Cuba is world famous for their Tobacco and I just had to visit the farms that create this product that is coveted the world over.

So my Assistant Brenda and I ventured into the beautiful countryside of Vinales on horseback where we found some beautiful people and locations to shoot.  I really recommend watching the video above to get a real feel for the shoot.  I also did a voice over in the video to explain everything going on and why I decided to use what lenses.

Below are the images taken during the shoot and I'm separating them by the lens used.  Both sets of images were taken with the lenses shooting wide open at 100 ISO with the Sony A7Rii.

Images taken with the 70-200 G Master Lens

Images taken using the Sony FE 100mm STF lens

I really hope you enjoy the video and this complementary blog post.  I invite you guys to subscribe to both my Youtube Channel and my blog and thank you for visiting today.

Adios!

Jason

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Battle of the Sony G Masters!  Sony FE 100mm STF vs. the Sony FE 70-200 G Master

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Battle of the Sony G Masters! Sony FE 100mm STF vs. the Sony FE 70-200 G Master

So recently I had the opportunity to test two really awesome lenses.  The Sony FE 100mm STF vs. the Sony FE 70-200 G Master.  The G Masters lenses are considered the best lenses for the Sony mirrorless system.  For well over a year I've been raving about the 85mm G Master and the 24-70, but it wasn't until recently that I was able to get my hands on these two new kids on the block.

The purpose of this comparison was for portraiture purposes.  The 70-200mm definitely offers a lot that the 100mm STF doesn't being that it's a zoom.  But one of the bigger requests my followers on Youtube had for me was to compare these two lenses to see how they would perform under the same circumstances, and to let the chips fall where they may.  

If you haven't had a chance to already please check out the video that accompanies this shoot that's listed above.  I explain so much in the video that I'll keep the writing here short.  The main purpose of this post is to serve as a companion piece to the video and to let my viewers be able to see the shots that were created for a closer look.

Please note that all of the images were processed identically in Lightroom.  I hope this helps.  And for the record, I just can't believe how SMOOTH the 100mm STF lens is with the background.  It is truly in a league of it's own in regards to that...:)

Images taken using the Sony FE 100mm STF with the Sony A7Rii

All Exif data is included in the video...

Images taken using the Sony FE 70-200 G Master with the Sony A7Rii

All Exif data is included in the video...

I thank you for watching/reading and invite you to subscribe to both my Youtube Channel and Blog.  If you feel like picking up any of the gear that you see here, please consider using the links provided.  When my followers use my links I get a little bit of money (it's not much y'all)....but the more important thing is it helps my affiliates to see that it's beneficial to get some of this gear in my hands so I can share my findings with all of you.

Thanks!

Jason

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CHEAP Lens Challenge- Shooting the Sony FE 50mm with the Sony A6500 in a train

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CHEAP Lens Challenge- Shooting the Sony FE 50mm with the Sony A6500 in a train

I'm blessed....I'll admit it.  I work hard for what I've achieved, but I'm very grateful and humbled that I get to shoot with some of the best lenses in the world.  I've shot with Zeiss, Sony G Master, Sony Zeiss and many more.  I've also shot with nearly all of the Canon L lenses and many Nikon lenses to boot.

So one comment and/or request that I get quite frequently is, "Can you do some videos or shoots with some cheap stuff that the rest of us can afford?  We love seeing your shoots but I'll never be able to afford that stuff."

Fair enough.

I remember the days of saving up income for good amounts of time to be able to afford gear.  I REALLY DO.  Those days aren't too far in my past.  So I decided to start adding (yes I bought them), some cheaper lens options into my gear arsenal so I can represent and reflect all of the photographers that follow my work and my Youtube Channel.

So recently I did a shoot using the Sony FE 50mm with the Sony A6500 inside of an old train. The shoot was quick as we had only 15 minutes to complete it.  I think that's a good thing because it shows you what was able to be created without an elaborate setup or time that could honestly make the lens look better than it is.

**Links to Gear:

*A6500-  

*50mm FE lens-  

*DJI Osmo-  

*Westcott Rapid Box XL-  

If you haven't already please take a moment to check out the video that we rolled that will show the focus tests, the shots using natural and artificial light and more.  The video explains much more than I can properly articulate here in a blog post, so I kindly invite you to watch it now.  

For those who have already watched it you'll know that for $200, I think it's a pretty sweet little lens that is a welcome budget friendly addition to the Sony mirrorless lens lineup.  Below are the shots taken at the shoot.  All of them have been edited using Lightroom and Photoshop.  I hope you enjoy...:)

 

The model is the beautiful Cassandra Caballero.  Please let me know what questions you have...and thank you for watching!!

Jason

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Sony FE 100mm STF Auto Focus lens- my rain shoot at Balboa Park in San Diego

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Sony FE 100mm STF Auto Focus lens- my rain shoot at Balboa Park in San Diego

Recently I had the opportunity to borrow the Sony FE 100mm STF lens from Sony to test out.  My followers asked me to not only shoot it on my A7Rii as is typically the case for me, but to also shoot it on some lower cost Sony mirrorless bodies that my followers can more easily afford.

So we went down to Balboa Park in San Diego and it POURED rain.  I put the 100mm STF on my Sony A7ii and commenced to do a shoot where I illuminated the model in the rain by using the Flashpoint Xplor 600 as my backlight and the Rotolight Anova Pro as my key light with a 2 Stop Diffuser by Westcott called the Illuminator.

I gotta say I was very impressed with the lens.  My full write and recommendation will be in a following post and video, but I wasn't disappointed by this lens at all.  It has an F stop of 2.8 and a T stop of 5.6.  It was very sharp, it found focus very quickly and it was a challenging condition to shoot in.

As you'll see in the video it held up just fine with some rain getting on it and didn't give me any issues at all.  Towards the end of the shoot I really started to test the STF Smooth Trans Focus elements of the lens.  It's pretty amazing how that lens can turn virtually any light source into a gorgeous Bokeh ball.  I can't wait to do more testing on that.

Below are some of the images taken during the shoot.  These were all shot wide open at the aperture of f/2.8 but the t stop value of 5.6.  ISO range was anywhere from 2,000 or higher with a shutter speed at 1/60 sec.  I think this lens is a keeper....but more on that in my full review.  I have more shoots to do with it but just wanted to share this one on the A7ii.  I hope it also helps people out there that I did it with a more affordable camera body like the A7ii.

Thanks!

Jason

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Budget Batis- is the new Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 lens as good as the Zeiss Batis for half the price?

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Budget Batis- is the new Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 lens as good as the Zeiss Batis for half the price?

Recently I had the opportunity to get the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 lens on loan from Sony to be able to take out and test in the field.  When my followers found out I had the lens one of the first things they asked me to do was to compare the new lens against the sought after Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8.  Below is a video of the shoot took place doing this very comparison:

The Zeiss Batis was the first Auto Focus 85mm lens available to Sony Mirrorless users and I fell in love with the lens about two years ago.  I must have done at least 20-30 videos on Youtube using this lens that I just loved.

Then Sony released the 85mm G Master f/1.4 lens and that thing is a BEAST.  It is definitely a pro level top of the line lens and while the Batis is amazing, it can't keep up with the G Master.  BUT, the G Master also comes at a premium price and due to that many Sony users still consider going for the Zeiss Batis because it's about $600 less than the G Master.

Then earlier this month Sony announced their own FE (Full Frame E Mount) 85mm f/1.8 lens. What made this a game changer for many is the fact that it's $600 less than the Zeiss Batis and over a $1000 less than the G Master.  Hence, that's why I received so many requests to compare it to the Zeiss Batis.  Because if it's even CLOSE to the Zeiss Batis it's definitely a lot more affordable.

So we went out to Salvation Mountain in the California desert and I did a straight apples to apples comparison between the two lenses.  Both lenses were shot on a tripod using the Sony A7Rii with the exact same settings and lighting.  All images were developed using Lightroom only using the exact same settings via Batch Processing.  So the results are identical.

As you'll see in the video and or the images you are viewing below, I was pretty stunned on just how the shots look identical.  If I didn't know any better I would swear they are the same lenses in different shells lol.  Take a look below for yourself:

Set 1- Sony FE lens- 85mm, f/1.8, 1/2500 sec, ISO 100

Set 1- Zeiss Batis- 85mm, f/1.8, 1/2500 sec, ISO 100

Set 2- Sony FE85mm, f/1.8, 1/2500 sec, ISO 100

Set 2- Zeiss Batis-  85mm, f/1.87, 1/2500 sec, ISO 100

Set 3- Sony FE- 85mm, f/1.8, 1/2000 sec, ISO 100

Set 3- Zeiss Batis-  85mm, f/1.8, 1/2000 sec, ISO 100

Set 4- Sony FE-  85mm, f/1.8, 1/1600 sec, ISO 100

Set 4- Zeiss Batis-   85mm, f/1.8, 1/1600 sec, ISO 100

**Links to Gear:

*Sony A7Rii-  

*Sony FE 85mm f/1.8-  

*Zeiss Batis 85mm-  

*Lastolite 6x6 Diffuser-  

*Westcott Rapid Box XL-  

Thanks for coming by and checking out this post.  Don't forget to subscribe to my Youtube Channel and also this blog for future posts!!

Thanks,

Jason

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Salvation Mountain-  My First Shoot with the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 on the Sony A6500

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Salvation Mountain- My First Shoot with the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 on the Sony A6500

So thanks to the kindness of Sony, I was able to borrow the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 lens prior to it being released to the public.  So I asked my followers what they wanted me to do with the lens and one of the most frequent requests was that I slap that puppy on my A6500 and show the world what the images looked like.

So I booked my crew and a model and we headed out into the middle of nowhere....literally.  We went out to Salvation Mountain which is somewhere between Mexico and Palm Springs out in Niland, California.  It is a CRAZY place!!

We did a number of shoots earlier in the day and as the sun was getting close to setting I threw the lens on my A6500 and did a quick shoot.  I wanted the shoot to be something similar to the time frame I'd have when shooting for 10-15 minutes at a wedding...like the couple shoot after the ceremony just to show people what can be done in a short amount of time.

Lighting wasn't necessarily optimal, but I wanted to show what could be done in less than ideal situations.  I used the Flashpoint Xplor 600 monolight with the Westcott Rapid Box XXL as a modifier.  Below are some of the shots from the shoot.  All of the images taken were shot wide open at f/1.8.

We hope you enjoy the shoot.  Please let us know what you think and what questions you have. We certainly have high hopes for this lens and the performance of it paired with this camera is quite a combination!!

**Links to Gear:

*Sony A6500-  

*Sony 85mm f/1.8 lens-  

Thanks!

Jason

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Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 Lens First Shoot and Impressions

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Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 Lens First Shoot and Impressions

In February 2017 Sony released two new lenses, the 100mm STF and the 85mm f/1.8 lenses.  For people like me the 100mm STF was the BIG NEWS because I already own two 85mm native AF lenses for my Sony mirrorless, the G Master and the Batis.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this new 85mm is a MUST for Sony shooters because they need great lenses at more affordable prices.

So Sony sent me both lenses....and I decided to test the 85mm first.  Believe me, I surprised myself too lol.  This post and the video created are my first impressions and shoot using the 85mm.  They don't constitute a full review as I like to use a lens for a little while before passing judgment and recommendation.  

So we planned a shoot in Los Angeles and then IT RAINED.  So we booked an impromptu studio shoot on the same day and I did a shoot completely using natural and ambient light only.  Below are some of the shots.

The following shots were taken at 85mm 1/60 sec at f/1.8, ISO 400

The following shots were taken at 85mm 1/40 sec at f/1.8, ISO 400

**Links to Gear:

*Sony 85mm f/1.8-  https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1317562-REG/sony_sel85f18_fe_85mm_f_1_8_lens.html

*Sony A7Rii-  www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1159878-REG/sony_a7r_mark_ii_digital.html/BI/20004/KBID/13355/DFF/d10-v21-t1-x647086/KWID/EZ

We thank you for watching and encourage you to stick around and watch a few more while you're on my Channel!!

Thanks!

Jason

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Inauguration Day Riots, Fake News, Burning Cars and more for Donald Trump's Inauguration

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Inauguration Day Riots, Fake News, Burning Cars and more for Donald Trump's Inauguration

Well, inauguration day 2017 was one for the record books.  Truly an unforgettable experience.  I've been able to shoot a lot of interesting and exciting things in my career but I've never been able to shoot riots following an inauguration.  Check out the video below to see exactly what went down!

Below are some of the shots taken during the riots and protests that followed the inaugural address and went into the evening on the streets of Washington DC.  I've separated them by the lens used for my photographers out there who are wondering what I captured them with.  All images were taken with the Sony A7Rii.

These images were taken with the 16-35 Sony Zeiss lens

These images were taken with the 24-70 G Master lens

These images were taken with the 70-200 G Master lens

These images were taken with the 85mm G Master lens

I thank you for visiting my blog and invite you to subscribe!!

Thanks,

Jason

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Inauguration Day Chaos- Protesters Block Trump Supporters from Entering the Inauguration for Donald Trump

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Inauguration Day Chaos- Protesters Block Trump Supporters from Entering the Inauguration for Donald Trump

Being a freelance photographer has its challenges.  You don't have as much access as credentialed press, you have to pay for your own way, you really don't have any support or anyone helping you out.  It can be tough to do it on your own.

The advantage to being a freelancer is you get to do exactly anything you want without any agendas or any commitments that you have to keep.  You can shoot what you want, when you want to, and can tell the story that you find.

Having covered the past two inaugurations for President Obama in the same way, I booked travel for my team and I to Washington DC for the inauguration of President Donald Trump.  My experience for both of Obama's inaugurations prior to the swearing in was pretty simple really. Get there early, get a spot and watch the inauguration.  There were a lot of people there, especially in 2009 where there were more than in 2013, but is was pretty much devoid of any protests or controversies outside of the normal 1 or 2 "Believe in Jesus or Go to Hell" guys that you see regularly in any big city.

That wasn't the case at the inauguration for President Trump.

We took the metro in and got off near the Ford's Theater where President Lincoln was assassinated.  We heard chanting and yelling as we headed towards the entrance to the inauguration.  What we discovered there was something pretty surreal.

There was a large group protesting and blocking the entrance to the Trump supporters not letting them pass to be able to enter the National Mall area to view the inauguration.  For those who have never attended an inauguration before access is restricted and you have to pass through security to enter.  At the Obama inaugurations in 2009 and 2013 access was easy.  You waited your turn in line and got in.  At this entrance the protesters were locking arms and would not let Trump supporters pass.  

The police were present but would not intervene unless a Trump supporter was in the middle of the fray as they tried to get past the protesters.  I try to make a point in my photojournalism to not say too much as I don't want to paint the narrative.  I prefer to let my pictures and my films show what happened and for the viewer to decide on their own what they think of it all.

For what It's worth I'd show good and bad behavior on either side of the political spectrum without hesitation.  I truly do want to just convey what occurs and let others decide what it all means.  I hope you find that it moves you in some way.  

Below are images from the protest taken. Images and video footage from the inauguration, the riots at night, and the Women's March the next day will also be coming soon.

 

Thanks,

Jason

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Snow Queen- studio shoot using the Broncolor MobiLED, Rotolight Neo and the Westcott Eyelighter

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Snow Queen- studio shoot using the Broncolor MobiLED, Rotolight Neo and the Westcott Eyelighter

Last week I had the opportunity to visit the Home Studio of Swng Productions in Austin, Texas while I was in town for the Imaging USA conference for PPA being held in San Antonio just an hour south of Austin.

The shoot wasn't planned at all.  The awesome guys over at Swng Productions follow me online and invited me to the studio to shoot.  As such we quickly put together a shoot calling upon models that we could find in about 3 hours notice.

We found the lovely Ashlyn Simon to be my model.  When she arrived I did what I normally do with my models and had her show me the wardrobe options she had available to her.  She showed me a fur coat that she had with her and we decided to shoot with it and a pair of shiny pants.

I started posing her and once I told her to put her arms up above her head I saw what I wanted to create....a Snow Queen shoot.  When she raised her arms above her head it gave her the appearance of wearing a headdress that was really neat.

So we set up the two Broncolor MobiLED lights with the Rotolight Neo and Westcott Eyelighter to create some truly unique images.  Since it was a studio shoot I knew I'd have to add some Photoshop magic to it to create my overall look.  Normally I'm an outdoor shooter and love using the location as my backdrop, but having the studio meant I had to create it in post.

Below are the shots taken during the shoot.  I also included samples of the same shot:

*Straight out of the camera

*Developed in Lightroom

*Edited in Photoshop

*Enhanced and Finished in Photoshop

Below are the other shots taken during the shoot edited and finished in Photoshop:

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Groom Getting Ready and Groom Portraits at a REAL Indian Wedding Workshop

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Groom Getting Ready and Groom Portraits at a REAL Indian Wedding Workshop

Many times so much emphasis at a wedding is placed upon the Bride.  While the Bride is certainly an extremely important person, we of course can't forget the groom right?  This shoot comes from my REAL Indian Wedding Workshop in Cherryhill, New Jersey with Akshar and Arti Patel.  In case you haven't seen Part 1 which includes my images taken of the bride Arti, you can find a link to them by clicking below:

http://www.jasonlanier.com/blog/real-indian-wedding-workshop-bride-getting-ready-at-the-crowne-plaza-cherry-hill-new-jersey

We went into the Groom's room and took the following shots that are included in the video as shown above.  It's important to capture the groom in a dignified and flattering manner which you can do by blending a style of photojournalism with light yet deliberate posing methods.  In other words, direct the shoot but don't overly pose the shoot.  Below are images taken of the Getting Ready portion:

After the getting ready portion we prepared for the First Look.  While waiting for the bride to arrive for the shoot I took a few minutes and did some groom portraits with Akshar as well.  All of these images were taken with lighting from the Rotolight Neo.  Below are the portraits of the groom taken at the ceremony site:

 

**Links to Gear:

*Sony A7Rii-  

*Sony 85mm G Master-  

*Sony Zeiss 35mm-  

*Rotolight Neo-  

Don't forget to subscribe to my Youtube Channel and my blog to get updated whenever we release new content!

Thanks,

Jason

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Real Indian Wedding Workshop- Bride Getting Ready at the Crowne Plaza Cherry Hill, New Jersey

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Real Indian Wedding Workshop- Bride Getting Ready at the Crowne Plaza Cherry Hill, New Jersey

For those that don't know, I've been doing REAL wedding workshops for years as a means to help photographers out there gain experience at great venues with wonderful clients.  In July of 2016 I had the opportunity to do a real indian wedding and hold a workshop at the wedding.

 

Why would clients agree to let me hold a workshop (where I bring photographers to shoot the wedding)?  The way the real wedding workshops work is that I give a discount to a wedding client in exchange for them allowing me to bring photographers along to shoot the wedding.

The photographers are allowed to use the images for their portfolio which is a huge boon for them to be able to bolster their portfolio at a great wedding that most of them would otherwise not be in a position to shoot.

The photographers have to obey rules set forth that makes sure the wedding goes off without a hitch including the way they act, the clothes they wear, even going as far as where they can stand during the wedding.  So far it's been a win-win as both the wedding clients and workshop attendees have benefited from the experience.

So I had a beautiful wedding couple to shoot, Akshar and Arti.  We first went to the bride's room where we did a shoot of Arti in her beautiful gown.  She is just one of the most stunning bride's I've ever been able to shoot.  The shots below were taken with the Sony A7Rii using the 16-35, 85mm G Master and the 35mm Sony Zeiss lens using the Rotolight Neo.

 

**Links to Gear:

*Sony A7Rii-  

*Sony 85mm G Master-  

*Sony Zeiss 35mm-  

*Sony 16-35mm Zeiss lens-  

*Rotolight Neo-  

Thanks and don't forget to subscribe to my blog!!

Jason

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How I Pose and Shoot Men- a Groom Shoot in the Maui Rainforest in Hawaii

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How I Pose and Shoot Men- a Groom Shoot in the Maui Rainforest in Hawaii

On my Youtube Channel I'm known for taking pics of lots of pretty women around the world. What some may not realize is before my Youtube and commercial work days I shot hundreds of weddings in many places which meant that I had to of course, shoot men.

Now this isn't a bad thing.  Shooting men is quite a bit of fun and is actually a completely different dynamic than when I shoot women.  I remember when I shot weddings I would go into the bridal room and more often than not the feel and vibe of the shoot was a romantic, fairy tale type of a shoot.  Everything seemed to be very poetic and magical.

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Then I would head over to the Groom's Room.  That was a different story.  Typically the groom's room involved a bit of alcohol consumption by the groom and his friends which lead to some pretty fun and crazy shoots.  In other words, I had to learn to shoot differently based upon shooting a bride vs. shooting a groom.

Many times (unless you're a male model), men don't particularly love having their picture taken. It's always one of those types of scenarios where men just "want to get the shoot over with." I learned over the years that using humor was a great way to get the groom to relax and actually get into the shoot.  Once I got their buy in, the shoot turned into something magical.  

Now I'm using generalities here and there are always exceptions.  Women and brides can certainly be wild and very funny and men can certainly be romantic and elegant.  But in the hundreds of weddings I've shot I've found my descriptions of both to be what I encounter the majority of the time.  Best piece of advice, learn who your clients are and adjust to their personality and needs.

So that leads us to this shoot.  This was a bride and groom out in Hawaii for their honeymoon. They found out I was in Hawaii on vacation and made arrangements with me to do a shoot of them in their wedding attire while out there.  This was very unique timing as it was their first day of their honeymoon, and my last day of vacation with my family.  So they were eager to get their honeymoon started and I was eager to get packed up and head to the airport.

I first spoke with the bride Karolina and when we spoke about doing the shoot she was very excited.  Her husband Ray was happy to do the shoot, but just didn't want it to go very long.  He was more than cooperative but like many grooms just "wanted to get it over with." Understanding this dynamic I persuaded the couple that there was this amazing rainforest that could produce some really gorgeous images.

So we drove down there to shoot.  I started setting up my gear and my friend Chris Millen agreed to come along to help roll video.  Thanks Chris!  I didn't have any assistants or crew since I was just there on vacation.  So I set up my gear and started shooting.  But the important thing was that I started shooting the groom (Ray) first.  I wanted and needed him engaged in the shoot.  I wanted him to feel good about taking the time to do the shoot and to feel good about himself.

We started joking around while shooting and before we knew it we were having a really fun banter back and forth which lead to some really great sets of images.  If you can get a groom to laugh and get him to feel good about himself, you can create some fantastic images.  Ray's wife is a model.  So you can imagine that might make anyone feel a little intimidated.  He probably assumed that a photographer would only be interested in shooting her.

By starting with him, by showing him that I really wanted to create something amazing with him, it really builds confidence which lead to a fantastic shoot.  At one point he teased his wife Karolina telling her that she was jealous I was spending so much time with him lol.

The bottom line is that if you take the time to show a man that their time is valuable and that you are invested in shooting them, the rewards can be great.  I highly recommend you watch the video to see the posing and techniques used to create the images below.  

Images taken with the Sony A7Rii and the 35mm Sony Zeiss f/1.4

Images taken using the Sony A7Rii with the 85mm G Master f/1.4

**Links to Gear Used:

*Sony A7Rii-  

*Sony Zeiss 35mm-  

*Sony 85mm G Master-  

*Flashpoint Xplor 600-  

*Westcott Rapid Box XL-  

*Feisol Monopod-  

I hope this helps and that it gives you some insight on how I shoot male subjects in general.  In essence if you do it right, it's an absolute blast that can give you some stellar results...

Thanks!

Jason

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Using the Sigma MC-11 Adapter with Sigma and Canon Lenses

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Using the Sigma MC-11 Adapter with Sigma and Canon Lenses

I get lots of questions about the adapted lenses that I use.  Should I use the Sigma MC-11 Adapter or the Metabones Adapter?  Well recently I had the opportunity to shoot with the MC-11 Adapter during my commercial shoot for Mia Bella Couture.  

First I used the 20mm f/1.4 Art lens that I was really excited to try.  It's the fastest aperture wide angle lens on the market that also does Auto Focus.  It's a canon mount lens made by Sigma and I have to say...it is truly a nice lens.  Very sharp and when paired with the MC-11 Adapter it behaves as close to a native Sony FE lens that you will find.  Below are some of the shots taken with the 20mm Art lens on my Sony A7Rii.  All shots were taken at f/1.4:

I then wanted to get some shots a little bit tighter so I put the 85mm Canon L lens on it and shot it wide open at f/1.2.  The adapter performed at the same level as the Metabones adapter which was really nice to see.  Below are shots taken with the 85mm:

The sun was close to being all the way set so I quickly put on the 200mm Canon L lens which also performed very well.  These were all taken at f/2.8:

All in all it was a great shoot and the MC11 performed very well.  Please take a moment to check out the video to see how the shoot went.  Flash was the Flashpoint Xplor600 with the Westcott Rapid Box XL as the modifier.  For links to the gear that was used please see below:

*Sony A7Rii-  

*Sigma MC11 Adapter-  

*Sigma 20mm f/1.4 lens-  

*Canon 85mm f/1.2 lens-  

*Canon 200mm f/2.8 lens-  

*Flashpoint Xplor600 monolight-  

*Westcott Rapid Box XL-  

Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog.  I truly hope the information is useful.  Please click on subscribe so you're notified everytime we have a new blog post...:)

Thanks!

Jason

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Commercial Couture Gown Photography Shoot in La Jolla California

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Commercial Couture Gown Photography Shoot in La Jolla California

This was really a fun and fast paced shoot.  We shot earlier on in the day down at Balboa Park as part of my commercial photography shoot for Mia Bella Couture.  By the time we got down to La Jolla we didn't have a lot of time before sunset so that meant doing a lot of quick shoots of a lot of different gowns with different models.

 

This is one of the main reasons why I always tell the photographers that I train that it's essential to know how to quickly diagnose lighting scenarios and apply the correct technique to get great results.

The first shoot was a fun one where we took my 8x8 Westcott Scrim Jim with the reflector and held it above the rocks of the model Tiffany to cut bounce light from the sun.  We used a Westcott Illuminator Reflector on bottom to fill, and then I fired the Flashpoint Xplor 600 to give catch light to the eyes.  The resulting images are seen below:

I then brought the next model Lauren into the same spot but changed the lighting set up to give the client a different look and background.  We switched the reflective surface on the Scrim Jim for the diffuser to cut light still using the flash and smaller reflector.  Those images can be seen below:

We then went out onto the beach where I shot Tiffany in a stunning red gown.  These shots were created using the Scrim Jim as a reflector and then just used the Flashpoint Xplor as my key light.  These images are below:

I then used the same lighting set up to create these shots with Lauren.  It really is fun to be ale to shoot so many different gowns and all of them are just AMAZING.  Mia Bella Couture really has some beautiful gowns and Daryl Rene Artistry did a fantastic job on hair and make up.  Below are the shots of Lauren in the blue gown: