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Mentality of a Portrait Session

Adam Lerner March 16, 2014 Comments Off

They say the best camera is the one that’s with you. Sometimes that’s just your smartphone, but in this case, I happened to have my Fuji X100s and Canon 5DMKIII with me.

Andy’s a music producer and has a production studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Andy recorded and mixed all of the records I did with my former band, Second Dan, as well as the theme music for my YouTube videos. We also happen to be neighbors in Williamsburg.

I ran into Andy and he offered to show me his new production studio. Of course I looked at this as a photographic opportunity. This is what I mean about mentality. When I have a chance to create some new work, whether it be editorial or portrait, I always game – especially when it involves interesting people! Andy’s got a look and a thing about him that is very photogenic.

I knew I’d be in a small dark space, so I visualized how I’d shoot him in the space. I also took into account that he only had a little time for me in there and I had to go off to another shoot, so pre-visualizing the shoot, my camera settings and what I wanted to achieve was important.

Armed with my X100s and Canon, we went to his studio which is a really tiny space but outfitted with his big mixing board, racks of analog compressors, multiple sets of speakers and the usual bits and bobs in a studio. I knew I wanted to get some portraits of him in action, some detail shots and hopefully a wide shot of the space.

I also knew I wanted to shoot wide open in order to get selective focus and a shallow depth of field to isolate Andy and not be distracted from all the stuff in his space. I had the 50mm f/1.2 on the Canon and the X100s (35mm equivalent). I shot mostly with the Canon at f/1.8 for the narrow depth of field for portraits, and used the X100s to get the wide shot of him in the space. The Canon’s a bit sharper wide open, but the Fuji is no slacker.

Andy played me some new stuff he’s working on while I took candid portraits and then we went about our day. I love with these type of unexpected shoots come up. It’s great fun and good exercise.

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This is How I Travel With All My Camera Gear: Uber

Jared Polin March 14, 2014 Comments Off

One question that I get all the time is how do I travel with my camera gear? What I am about to tell you is how I like to travel in cities when public transportation is out of the question.

As of late I have been using UBER to get around cities with my camera gear and with clients. If you are not familiar with UBER it is pretty much an on demand car service for the 21st century.

photo 2 This is How I Travel With All My Camera Gear: Uber

USE Code “UberFroKnows” to get $20 off your first ride. When you use my code and take your first ride I also get $20 credit.

You download the app for your smart phone log in, enter your credit card info and you are pretty much ready to go. It is all done via credit card including the tip for the driver. So there is no need to tip the driver cash as they should not accept it from you. As a side note you can change the percentage amount of the tip in the settings of your ap. By default it is set to 20%

I have used UBER on multiple shoots in different parts of the country. I used in NYC when I was assisting Shawn Corigan and we had way to much gear to tray and wait for a cab. Recently in LA I used it with Matisyahu so we could get around the city with the gear and not have to worry about parking. And last week when I was in NYC to interview Joey L we used UBER to get from Brooklyn back into the city.

This service is so smart. When you are ready to take a ride you select your location on a map. You see where all the uber’s are currently as well as the time it will take for them to get to you. You have the options of selecting a Black Car, SUV or Uber X which are regular cars so you pay slightly less. I generally select Black Car unless there are a lot of people.

Rock and Roll Stories Lynn Goldsmith: From My Bookshelf

Jared Polin March 13, 2014 Comments Off


They don’t make Rock and Roll Photographers like they used to. Lynn Goldsmith’s photo book Rock and Roll stories is fascinating.

You get to read the story behind Lynn, who she is, how she grew up and how she got to where she got to. That is what I personally like reading about.

It is one thing to showcase the images only but it is another to include the entire story behind it. Isn’t that what brings the work a live, it makes you feel like you were there.

As photographers we have the ability to capture moments but we also have the ability to bring those moments to life in peoples minds by painting the entire story for them.

Lynn captures the behind the scenes images that many people wish they had the access to capture. Sure there are the live shots but as someone who has been on the road before you know the live shots are usually not as special as the behind the scenes shots.

And finally I love the quality and feel of this book. I love hardback books and honestly prefer them over anything else. They sit up nice on my shelf, they are printed and bound much better and yes they tend to be more expensive.

If you love music and photography this is a book that you will sit back and be in awe of. Rock and Roll Stories Rock and Roll Stories Lynn Goldsmith: From My BookshelfClick Here to check it out on AMAZON.

Nikon D4s 33 Frames in 3 Seconds: Testing Group Area AF

Jared Polin March 11, 2014 Comments Off


One of the issues I had with the Nikon D4 was how it tracked subjects. It sometime had a tendency to back focus or miss focus from where I wanted it thought it should be.

With the introduction of the Nikon D4s, Nikon brought out a mode called Group Area AF. This mode is supposed to help you when shooting in continuos focus to keep the focus from shifting away from the subject.

Canon on the other hand has an entire manual dedicated to just setting up the different auto focus modes. This is something that I think the Canon 1D X does better. Yes there are a million options to set but once you understand them and lock them in you are good to go.

13096752094 896ce553d8 Nikon D4s 33 Frames in 3 Seconds: Testing Group Area AF

Click Here to see the full res jpegs from the camera.

Nikon doesn’t really give you many options to tweak when it comes to customized how long a subject stays in focus vs shifting the focus to something else.

So what could I do to actually test out this new focus mode? Could I sit in a studio and take test shots trying to find it’s “mark” or could I go outside and shoot real world pictures. I chose to venture outside with my neighbor who offered up her dog Corona as our subject.

Nikon D4s Sample Images: ISO 409,600

Jared Polin March 7, 2014 Comments Off

The first thing everyone wants to see when you get a new camera is how is it at high iso’s. Now I will tell you I am not a fan of sitting in the loft taking test images because I know I never will be happy with them.

Today I went out to the flower show in Philadelphia and took some test images with the Nikon D4s. I shot it normally as well as pushing the ISO to places I never thought were possible.

Bellow you will find full res exported jpegs from lightroom 5. I did shoot in both RAW and Jpeg but at this point Lightroom can not handle the D4s’s RAW files. I thought about putting the unedited straight from the camera images out thee but opted not to. The simple reason is don’t usually put out un-processed images.