Wrrphoto's Blog

March 23, 2010

FotoFest Biennial Meeting Place

Filed under: Uncategorized — WRRPhoto @ 7:53 PM

So tonight I am driving down to Houston to take part in the FotoFest Biennial Meeting Place. My session takes place from Wednesday to Saturday, and I will be tweeting and blogging live about my experiences. If you aren’t already following me on Twitter, please do so at @WRRPhoto. If you aren’t familiar with FotoFest and the Meeting Place, here is a bit of a primer.

2010 will be the 13th FotoFest Biennial of Photography and Photo-Related Art. It runs from March 12-April 25 of this year, and is an amazing event. FotoFest itself turns a huge portion of Houston into one giant exhibition. Some of the best photography from around the world can be seen at FotoFest. Each FotoFest has its own theme, with the last being Chinese photography and this year’s being Contemporary U.S. Photography. There are literally dozens of exhibitions around the city dealing with this theme, and each one that I have been to has been amazing. In addition to all the amazing photography on exhibit, FotoFest also sponsors a fine art auction and a number of interesting workshops. This years workshops deal with multimedia (Featuring Brian Storm), as well as creative communication in the digital age with Mary Virginia Swanson.

Perhaps most importantly (at least to me!) is the Meeting Place. The Meeting Place gives artists the opportunity to sit down in front of some of the most influential people in photography today. Each of the four sessions has 60-70 museum curators, gallery owners, book and magazine publishers, private collectors and other photo influentials (such as the director of VII) available for portfolio reviews. These sessions are invaluable in that they can provide you with guidance on your work, exhibition and publishing opportunities, as well as the chance to sell your work. Select artists from the Meeting Place are also chosen to exhibit in the next FotoFest Biennial as a “Discovery of the Meeting Place”.

I have known a few artists who have launched their careers via FotoFest, and others who have left entirely discouraged about their prospects. I’m not entirely certain where I will come out at the end of this, but I am looking forward to it. In fact, the nerves have already kicked in and that ancy, anticipation feeling has kicked in. In other words, I’m as ready as I’m going to get and I’m eager to get started!

So follow my experience here and on Twitter, and please post comments with questions, thoughts, etc. as I would truly love to know what everyone is thinking!


March 22, 2010

Olympus offers new – less expensive – configuration of the E-P2

Filed under: Uncategorized — WRRPhoto @ 7:34 PM

Those of you who read my review of the E-P2 and are now looking to pick one up should be excited by this. Olympus is now offering the E-P2 at 3 new price points: $849.99 for the body only, or $899.99 with either of the kit lenses. This price doesn’t include the electronic viewfinder, but you can always pick one up later if you like. Seriously folks, if you don’t have one and love photography, you need one. details on the Olympus fan page:


March 14, 2010

LUCEO Images announces Project Fund and Student Project Fund

Filed under: Uncategorized — WRRPhoto @ 7:48 PM

As most of you know I am a big fan of the photo collective Luceo Images. Comprised of what I believe to be many of the best of the up and coming generation of photographers, I love watching what this group does next.

Well, what they have done next is to create both a project fund and a student project fund to help their fellow photographers make something happen. This is quite an impressive feat for a group in its infancy, so I encourage everyone to get out there and support their efforts!

Press release follows:

LUCEO Announces Creation of the Luceo Images Project Fund and Student Project

United States – January 11, 2010 – LUCEO is united in a common belief that, through these
times of change, the still image continues to be relevant. We believe that history extends
beyond the news-cycle, and that ordinary people and personal struggle are avenues through
which we can explore the bigger issues facing our world. It is with this purpose that we have
created the Luceo Images Project Fund and the Luceo Student Project Award.

Luceo Images Project Fund:
LUCEO believes in actively encouraging the completion of significant personal bodies of
work, which lack funding through mainstream outlets. In pursuit of this goal, Luceo will
contribute a percentage of all editorial, commercial and corporate commissions toward the
Luceo Images Project Fund. This fund exists solely to support the long-term projects of
LUCEO’s member photographers.
Every commission allows our clients to support significant photographic work.

Luceo Student Project Award:
LUCEO also believes that developing photographers need support. To advance this cause,
LUCEO pledges a portion of this fund towards the Luceo Student Project Award. This award
will be disbursed annually to a talented student photographer in support of a significant and
developing body of work.

This year’s recipient will receive $1,000 along with mentorship for the project from one Luceo

The deadline for receipt of applications is 11:59pm EST May 15, 2010. Finalists will be
announced in late May. A select panel will judge from the ten finalists and the winner will be
announced in June.

LUCEO Images is:
David Walter Banks, Kendrick Brinson, Matt Eich, Kevin German, Tim Lytvinenko, Daryl
Peveto, Matt Slaby
LUCEO is a photographer owned and operated cooperative established with the goal of
supporting the significant work of its members. LUCEO produces the highest quality
commercial and editorial photography and works to provide creative nourishment to our
member photographers. www.luceoimages.com

March 4, 2010

Vote for me! PDN Faces 2010 Contest

Filed under: Uncategorized — WRRPhoto @ 8:48 PM

I’ve entered some of my UT Football portraits into PDN Magazine’s Faces contest. Here’s a sample shot of Earl Thomas if you haven’t seen them yet:


I would appreciate everyone taking a look and voting for me! Here are the links to my images. You only get one vote per email address, so have a look at all of them before you decide! Two of them are shown twice, so if you like one of those, please just vote for the one with the most votes!

Link to my overview page with all of my contest images:


Links to individual images:









Thanks everyone!

March 3, 2010

E-P2 – Rebirth of a legend or epic fail?

Filed under: Uncategorized — WRRPhoto @ 11:44 PM

Olympus recently launched their micro 4/3 line with the introduction of the E-P1, which was quickly followed by the E-P2 and now E-PL1. This line of cameras carries the “Pen” nickname, which is derived from a series of film cameras produced by Olympus from 1959 and into the 1970’s. The cameras utilized the half-frame format, allowing for a smaller size and lighter weight. The Pen cameras were incredibly successful, and thus give the “E-Pen’s” a large set of shoes to fill. So do they?

In short, this camera has revolutionized the way I shoot, liberated me as a photographer, and completely changed my view of what photography is, and more importantly, what it can be. I am not in any way exaggerating with such a heady statement, I really feel as though a new world of photography has opened up to me, which is why I decided to post this review despite my blog not really being an equipment blog. So what makes me feel this way?

First of all, let’s address what this camera is NOT. It is not a camera for sports or other fast action, nor is it a camera for extremely low light shooting. That’s about all I can see thus far when it comes to drawbacks. As far as why I feel this way, it is primarily due to focus speed. This system uses a contrast-detect auto focus system, which utilizes the imaging sensor to detect focus, much like most point and shoots. A typical DSLR uses a phase detection auto focus, which is significantly faster. What this means is that it takes a moment to acquire focus, as opposed to the near instant lock of a DSLR. Much has been made of the “slow” focusing of the Pen cameras, however I have not found it to be a problem for most every type of shooting. I simply wouldn’t use it at a sporting event, and it sometimes get bogged down in really low light. Otherwise it has not been an issue for me, and I think as long as you know what it can and can’t do the focusing isn’t an issue. I’ve been using it for street shooting, and have not missed any shots that were the cameras fault. Those I may have missed due to my own error, well that’s another story!

One other drawback (for me at least), is the battery life. This camera has me loving photography so much I shoot constantly now. Trouble is the battery can only handle about 200 shots using the EVF (300ish using the rear screen). I go through at least one battery a day, so an extended one would be welcome!

Now that we’ve covered the drawbacks of this camera, let’s get on to why I love it. First and foremost is the image quality. What Olympus has done with the Pen series of cameras is give you DSLR quality in an almost point and shoot sized body, all the while still allowing you to use interchangeable lenses. My E-P2 is 12+ megapixels, which is more than enough for anything really. I have made prints at 30X40 with a 12 MP camera, so resolution is capable of handling most needs that I can think of. The detail the sensor produces is astounding, and the dynamic range is impressive. This is a camera that I have been confident in shooting under a variety of conditions, and have yet to be disappointed.

Second most important feature, to me, is the size of the camera that this sensor has been packed into. I carry a camera with me EVERYWHERE, and until I bought the E-P2, that camera was a Nikon D3. With the D3 on my shoulder I would often see images that I might want to make, but end up not shooting it because the camera was just cumbersome. Other times I would not want to take a picture because people react to cameras that size (and usually not in a photogenic way), so I often found myself not shooting anything without an assignment for weeks. Every single day since I got the E-P2 I have shot anywhere from 90-300 frames of just everything. I no longer regret missing shots, because I no longer miss them! The camera feels like it was made to my hand, and I am continually reaching for it and shooting whatever it is that catches my eye. This is where I feel the E-P2 has revolutionized my shooting, and opened my eyes to new ways of photography. By having this camera with me at all times and it being so easy to shoot (honestly, pick one up and you won’t want to not take photos), I am now exploring areas of photography that I was previously uncomfortable with, such as street photography, and have been experimenting with everything from new angles to new techniques. Also, having a camera that wants to be used liberates you from classical photographic assumptions. With a DSLR, the moment you bring it to your face you have a desire to make a technically perfect photo. These photos also have a tendency to lack “life”. With the E-P2 I just shoot and shoot whatever it is I feel like at that moment without a need to be technically perfect, and my images have come roaring to life because of it.

Now I’d like to address the metering, color, and lenses. Quite simply, I could not be happier with the metering of this camera. It seems to know the image I am trying to produce, and meters for it. Give it a tough lighting condition and watch it shine. Here is a sample with a lot of bright and dark areas (Please note that all samples were converted from RAW to JPG using Lightroom, with NO processing done, not even sharpening and are simply to illustrate camera function and NOT meant as pieces of art, so no hating!):

Lighting - E-P2

And another, notice how the PEN has balanced shadow and highlights:

Lighting E-P2

Lighting - E-P2

How about the white balance? Well, I tend to shoot in auto white balance mode (shoot me ok?) and fix it in my RAW converter. I have to say that the E-P2 has one of the most accurate auto white balance modes I’ve ever seen. Crappy light in an elevator? Crappy light in a school lab? Check it:

Elevator - E-P2

Elevator - E-P2

School - E-P2

School - E-P2

Now check out the skin tones that camera produced…nailed it if you ask me. Which brings me to the next major plus of this camera, those Olympus colors. Now I had heard Olympus fan boys shouting about the Olympus colors ever since I got my first DSLR and always responded with a resounding “So what? I can do color in Photoshop.” Both of my mentors were or are Olympus Visionaries, and both have raved about the color (even the one no longer with them). I didn’t know what people were talking about until I got this camera. The colors are stunning, very natural, right out of the box. This reduces workflow time tremendously, as your color already looks good and requires no adjusting. Here are several samples:

Color - E-P2

Color - E-P2

Color - E-P2

Color - E-P2

Color - E-P2

Call me a believer. And continue to call me a believer with regards to the Olympus Zuiko lenses. This is something else Olympus fans have raved about, and one which I felt had to be overrated. After all, I have Nikon, my glass is great! Right? Well, the Olympus glass is easily as good, and certainly smaller and easier to handle. I have both micro 4/3 lenses, the 17mm and 14-42mm (34mm and 28-84mm equivalent on full frame). I shoot primarily with the 17mm because I see the world at 35mm, but have to say both lenses are incredible. Sharp across all apertures, nice contrast, and help make those wonderful colors. If for some reason you don’t like the Olympus lenses, then no worries. You can get an adapter to put everything from your old Nikon glass to Leica lenses on your PEN. How’s that for a lens selection?

There’s also no need to worry about which lenses are stabilized, because Olympus uses sensor stabilization. I never thought this was a big deal, and I only worried about it on my big (and expensive) lenses. That said, the image stabilization has been a HUGE help to me. Here are two images I shot to illustrate what it can do:

Slow Shutter - f/2.8 at 1/2 second

Tat’s an exposure at 1/2 second…and it’s sharp! Handheld I can’t get close to this with my other setup. Still not impressed? Try this:

Slow Shutter - f/2.8 at 2 seconds

Now this image is not tack sharp…but it was handheld at 2 SECONDS! It’s a crappy picture of a window, but it’s acceptably sharp, and simply amazing to me for 2 seconds.

So enough gushing. I love this camera because it has enabled me to shoot my existence as I experience it, and have fun while doing it! I didn’t even get into the art filters (which are fun), or the HD video mode with amazing sound. If you want to shoot your kids football game, don’t buy this, but for everyone else I would say go buy it…and an extra battery! You’ll need it because I promise you the amount of shooting you do will increase dramatically!

February 7, 2010

It’s been awhile…

Filed under: Uncategorized — WRRPhoto @ 8:48 PM

Sorry to have disappeared for awhile, the start of school coupled with some of my projects got to be a bit overwhelming. Add to that some events have occurred recently that have drastically shifted my outlook and my focus as a photographer. I am not yet in a position to clearly articulate this outlook just yet, so I will have to elaborate on that more completely in a future post. As for today I wanted to talk about news photography, and specifically a blog post on the New York Times Lens blog that questions the number of photographers showing up to events these days, and specifically, the tragedy in Haiti. First though, my exhibition in Japan just wrapped up, and I was sent some images of the space. Unfortunately they did not take photos while the exhibition was open, but I still think the space was pretty cool, and it’s seriously cool (in my mind at least!) to see my images with Japanese captions! So here’s a few:

Ok, time for serious talk. A friend sent me a link to a post from the New York Times blog concerning the amount of photographers covering events these days. Link is here: http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/04/essay-13/, and here ere are my thoughts.

There is absolutely a need for these guys (and gals) to be there documenting these tragedies. I completely understand that in a time of tragedy, or a time of war, or any other time human suffering is involved, there is perhaps an overabundance of reporters there to cover it. I get it, and I certainly get that it is possible that the last thing many of these people want during these times is to have hordes of cameras shoved in their faces. Despite this, I feel strongly that the rights of history supersede the rights of those suffering. These journalists are serving an important function to history, and it is one that desperately needs to be served. Keep in mind that many people deny the existence of the Holocaust. The photographic evidence makes that argument a little difficult for the majority of the world to swallow. We need documentation of the ills that befall our world. It allows future generations to learn from and glean insight into our era, and there is inherent value in that. The presence of journalists, and specifically photographers, has allowed my generation to witness and learn from many events in history that would otherwise lack the impact that they naturally possess.

Now the second question becomes do we need that many photographers over there? The answer to that is, in my mind, a resounding absolutely not. The vast majority of photographers over there are mediocre at best, and their images will serve no function at all in history. My opinion is very strong in that I think the vast, VAST majority of news photographers working are not very good at all, and so I do not think what they are doing in Haiti will be of much benefit to society as a whole. I also do not buy that every news organization on the planet needs there own people there. The truth is a handful of photographers could sufficiently cover the devastation and relay it around the world for news purposes. That said, there is no objective way to decide which photographers should go, nor is there any objective way to determine how many should go. Therefore we have little choice but to allow whoever can get there to cover it.

My hope is that these journalists will remember while out in the field that they not only have a responsibility to history, but to their subjects as well. You are not there to get an image at the cost of another human beings dignity. You are there to shed light on their plight, and should do so as respectfully as possible.

I personally cannot do this type of photography. To begin with I am not a huge fan of “news” photography. I see its value, but it isn’t for me, and so I do not do it. Secondly, I cannot do wars, natural disasters, and other such events that inflict horrible human suffering. Again, I see the value in this work, and I am glad there are people out there who do it, but I cannot. I remember talking to Dennis Stock about this not too long ago and he said he could never do wars because he wouldn’t be able to press the shutter because he would rather be sticking his hand out to help that person. That conversation stuck with me, and is fairly close to how I feel about these scenarios. Before I move on, please do not misunderstand me and think that I feel I am in some way better than those who do this work. I absolutely do not, I am simply articulating why I would suck at this work. I personally know one photographer who nearly died trying to save a man who had been hit by missile shrapnel, and I have the utmost respect for him. I also know another photographer that I know for a fact took photos of a man who had his legs blown off and then abandoned him despite there no longer being an immediate threat. He I have no respect for. In either scenario, I couldn’t do it and therefore choose not to. I’ll let those who are good at it handle it.

So in the end I agree wholeheartedly that these people should be there, and while I wish there weren’t so many who go, I get it. Again, I just urge those that choose this career to treat their subjects with dignity and respect. Thoughts and comments appreciated…


January 27, 2010

John Francis Peters show to benefit Haiti – NYC

Filed under: Uncategorized — WRRPhoto @ 11:18 PM

Another post about a show in NYC, but this one is extra special. Friend and phenomenal photographer John Francis Peters (http://www.jfpetersphoto.com/) is having a show this Friday to benefit Haiti. The YES Gallery in Brooklyn, NY will be hosting the benefit show this Friday January 29th, with the Hospital Albert Schweitzer in Haiti (http://www.hashaiti.org/) being the beneficiary.

John is a tremendous photographer and has a sincere concern for the people of Haiti. I urge anyone in the NY area to check it out. Drop me a line if you have any trouble getting there.


I’m Back! Almost!

Filed under: Uncategorized — WRRPhoto @ 3:36 AM

I haven’t been able to post in a bit due to a combination of several interesting shoots (which I will talk about in my next post along with images!), school starting, and a near-crisis with my file server. I’ve had a rough day and won’t do a full update now, but will be back tomorrow!


January 16, 2010

Luceo and MJR to exhibit in NYC

Filed under: Uncategorized — WRRPhoto @ 8:39 PM

For those of you who don’t know, Luceo Images and MJR are two agencies/collectives whose memberships represent some of the finest up and coming talent in the photography world today.  They are partnering up with each other for a one day only exhibit in NYC.  If you happen to be in town I highly recommend checking them out!  Here is the invite/press release from the Luceo Images website:


Luceo is proud  to announce our upcoming group show for one night only, featuring photographers from Luceo and our partners in crime at MJR.  The show will feature a limited edition fine-art print publication that will be distributed to the first 200 attendees.  Large-scale reproductions of the publication pages will be displayed on the wall.  The show will coincide with Luceo’s upcoming business meeting in New York City; our photographers will be on hand for the event so, please, come out, have a beer and join us.

Where: 25 CPW

When: Thursday, Janaury 21, 2010

Time: 6-10pm EST

Address: 25 Central Park West at the intersection of 62nd Street.  New York, NY


A word from the show’s curator, Gillian Tozer

The role of the documentary photographer has changed dramatically over the last 20 years. No longer emblazoned in funding and dispatched to remote surroundings adjacent to ‘the action’, the photojournalist must now explore their own environment. This exploration of the familiar is perhaps what best aligns the two photography collectives of MJR and LUCEO. Issue One of Make-Do captures the cultural struggle within America as it embraces a ‘new’ era of change while desperately clinging to that which made it solid. Among the degradation and disarray, there are traditions, habits and memories that call out to be salvaged. What you will witness is a dialogue between the America that was and the America that is now. For those working outside of America the same theme pervades. This collection documents the youthful and local meanderings of each photographer. While each series is strikingly different to the next, what remains ubiquitous is a sense of stoicism in the face of an inescapable and united collapse. This subject of human resilience is not uncommon to photojournalism, but it is never cumbersome, nor can be disregarded due to the warmth and significance it emanates. These are everyday, fleeting moments, often stumbled upon, now marked in print.



January 15, 2010

Jacohb Aue Sobol at Yossi Milo Gallery

Filed under: Uncategorized — WRRPhoto @ 7:08 PM

Good friend and Magnum photographer Jacob Aue Sobol of Denmark has an exhibition at the Yossi Milo Gallery that opened last night and runs through February 20th.  Anyone in NY during this time should pop in and check it out.

Jacob is a great guy and an even better photographer.  His work is intensely personal and deeply introspective.  It isn’t for everyone, but those who like it will love it!  His career essentially took off with his Sabine series, which chronicled 3 years of his life with his then-girlfriend Sabine in Greenland.  He has since done bodies of work in Guatemala, Tokyo, and Bangcock.  His book on Tokyo, I, Tokyo, won the prestigious Leica publisher’s award last year.  I’m one of he ones who loves his work, so go have a look!  Here is the press release from the Yossi Milo Gallery:

Jacob Aue Sobol

Sabine and I, Tokyo

January 14, 2010–February 20, 2010


Thursday, January 14, 2010, 6:00–8:00 pm

Yossi Milo Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of two bodies of work by Jacob Aue Sobol, Sabine and I, Tokyo. The exhibition will open on Thursday, January 14, and close on Saturday, February 20, with a reception on Thursday, January 14, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.

Jacob Aue Sobol’s series Sabine (1999-2001) chronicles three years the artist spent in the settlement of Tiniteqilaaq in Greenland, his life as a fisherman and hunter, and his intimate relationship with Sabine and her family. The series of black-and-white photographs is a visual diary of a love story and daily survival, capturing private moments with Sabine contrasted with the harsh arctic environment of the east Greenlandic coast.

Photographs from the series I, Tokyo were taken between 2006 and 2008 while the artist lived in Tokyo. Overwhelmed by loneliness and isolation due to the unfamiliar culture and large city, the artist used the camera to find “individual human presence” in a swarming metropolis. The photographs offer a personal view of Tokyo, a result of the artist’s need to connect to the people and the city.

Jacob Aue Sobol’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Museet for Fotokunst, Odense, Denmark, and Rencontres D’Arles, Arles, France. In 2006, he received the First Prize, Daily Life Stories, World Press Photo. Jacob Aue Sobol’s recent book,I, Tokyo, was awarded the Leica European Publishers Award 2008. The book Sabine was published in 2004. Aue Sobol studied at the European Film College and Fatamorgana, Danish School of Documentary and Art Photography. He was born in Denmark in 1976 and grew up in Brøndby Strand south of Copenhagen. He currently lives and works in Copenhagen.



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