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.....:)