Portrait. Renee in the old studio on San Marcos Street.

The image just above is my template or aesthetic target for new portrait images I'm working on these days. I'm referencing things like the skin tone and the range of all tones; from white to black. So much depends on the lighting. So I'm working on that as well. 

My current portrait system is a FujiFilm XT3 and the 60mm f2.4 macro lens. But it's the lighting and the post processing that will make or break the image creation. 

I guess I'd better get used to working with the cameras and lenses I already have in house as I just read on DPReview that Canon's CEO is currently predicting an upcoming Photography Apocalypse that will result in no future non-phone cameras to ever be made again after the first day of 2020. 

Your thoughts?


David said...

Today's not April 1st is it?

Anonymous said...

LOL, it’s the photographic equivalent of the zombie apocalypse - smart phones will be eating ILCs for breakfast.
As a wild-@r$ed guess, I’d say it depends upon the capabilities and constraints of computational photography.
Sensors don’t exactly replicate film, and I don’t expect algorithms to exactly replicate different sensor sizes, aperture sizes or focal lengths.
There will some areas in which technology excels, and others in which it sucks.
Nevertheless, ILC could well continue to be more niche (lower sales).
Q for you, if ILC goes for commercial customers over consumers, do you reckon the iteration cycles will become longer? I.e. don’t need to keep flogging the latest and greatest to a finicky market. The cycles may never get back the SLR cycles, but it could be another play for cost reductions in the business.
Not THAT Ross Cameron

Hugh said...

Two thoughts.

It’s a beautiful photo. You should stick in on the wall of your studio, along with a few of your other great portraits, and make time to shoot a portrait like them every week. They are important.

Canon sell a lot of cameras. Their CEO might know what he’s talking about. I seem to recall Ben took an iPhone to college instead of a DSLR?

David said...

Doubtful. Probably the least of our worries.
The camera companies who have diversified should be fine for a while world wide, though the story may be different in individual countries with bubble based growth and internal dissension.
A year ago I would have said avoid debt, have some cash on hand, develop strong community networks and take your pension plan out of the stock market.
Now, looking at the effects of climate change in my part of the world, I think all bets are off. Meaning whatever we predict for the coming 5 years, both the best and worst case scenarios, will probably be wrong. It's going to be an interesting time.
I'm wondering what to document with a camera. I think it will be something based around the place where I live.
Lighting. That's difficult to get "right". But what a wonderful thing to play with.

Kristian Wannebo said...

( David beat me to it. ;-) )

But I guess being a CEO he might just want to hear a loud protest...

Bill Langford said...

While working on a portrait or shooting theater, the camera suddenly rings, chimes, or buzzes ! No thank you.

Unknown said...

"But it's the lighting and the post processing that will make or break the image creation."

Yes, it is.

crsantin said...

Well camera makers are facing an uncertain future for sure. With phone cams improving with each generation, there really isn't any reason for a regular person to own a camera and lenses. That leaves hobbyists, enthusiasts and working professionals. A lot of the less serious hobbyists will be well served by a phone camera for the most part and may want to own a camera just because. I think there are an awful lot of dslrs and kit lenses out there sitting in a closet unused and unlikely to be used again. It's a shrinking market for sure and I'm sure a few current players will leave the game. The good news for me is that there will be a huge number of really great used cameras on the market for a long time...dslrs, mirrorless you name it. I'm totally fine buying used and not so state of the art, so I'm covered for the rest of my days. The automobile faces the same future. Electric vehicles and driverless cars are the future. I imagine that in my lifetime, I'm 50, a gasoline powered vehicle that a driver has to be qualified to drive will be an increasingly rarer sight.

Frank Grygier said...

In early 2020, Tesla will introduce a self-shooting imaging device that will float around a subject without human intervention. I order to reach this level of PhotoAI technology, Tesla will announce a licensing deal with Olympus. You will be able to preview the Tesla Model X1 at a mall near you.

Robert Roaldi said...

There was never a good reason for the average joe to own an expensive 35 mm film camera with a lens or three. There are drawers full of Exacta systems, Canon FD systems, Canon EOS systems, 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation digital systems all over the world, most of them collecting dust. People bemoan the sales decreases in cameras, when the reality is that they should never have been high in the first place. We just all buy stuff largely because we're generally wealthy and like to spend money out of boredom. The large variety of choice of stuff to buy is all just a substitute for doing things we like, because by and large people don't really know what they like, so they let the surrounding consumer culture tell them what they like, which invariably leads them to spend money, no surprise there. The number of people in the world who care about photography rounds to zero. Even relatively large photo purchases, wedding albums, sit unopened, especially after the divorce. The benefit to people like us (or me anyway) of having all those people buy all those cameras and lenses that end up collecting dust is that large production volumes is the main reason that consumer goods can be bought so cheaply. If all those people hadn't bought all those Rebels, a Panasonic G9 would cost $10,000.

EdPledger said...

Curious that a Canon exec could be so perspicacious about the future, while Canon failed to get in the phone camera business years ago. Why even use a phone camera...relatively soon one will download their visual memories, process, modify, and dump them, along with others’ experiences, back into the brain for the best imagination can bring you. Getting along with reality, why bother.

Yoram Nevo said...

Try to match the future with your photos. Then, when you will look at them 10 years from now you will admire them as you now admire you’re old photos.
Best of luck.

Wess Gray said...

So I'm curious, what business goes into the location of a former Austin studio these days?

Kirk Tuck said...

Interesting question. I moved out of the studio on 500 San Marcos in 1996. After I left the space (which was part of a large and extensive warehouse with three or four other 2000 to 4000 square foot studios) my space and the one next store were remodeled to accommodate a software start up. After they got too big for the space they moved out and were replaced by a software start up. When they got too big they moved out and were replaced by a software start up...... (repeat for as long as you like). For a brief moment a Vespa store was situated there but quickly it went back to: software start up. Almost everything is Austin is now either space for a law firm, a tech start up or a tech advertising agency. Nobody does any "real" work anymore....😄

Wess Gray said...

It's interesting to me to see where artists used to work, usually on the edge of acceptability. After google mapping the location, my suspicion that a photographer could not afford a studio there now looked to be correct. I am sad that the new photographers don't have the options that we had. To paraphrase 2 famous people "time changes things", and "I used to like places like this till people like me showed up",

Anonymous said...

How about just turning the assumption on its head? Why not build a phone into the camera? You already have a mic, battery, processor, wi-fi/Bluetooth.
That way you could go out and shoot photos, and leave your phone at home. Easy to transfer good photos to clients, cloud, social media etc. And it would be just as easy to call and tell someone you’re running late. I’m being a little tongue in cheek here, but might be a good way to transfer photos on the fly. Also might finally end the argument about how great phone cameras are.

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