The editors of Outdoor Photographer magazine have spoken! Listen up…
For more information on our Zuma 9 backpack, check it out here: http://www.tamrac.com/5729.htm
The editors of Outdoor Photographer magazine have spoken! Listen up…
For more information on our Zuma 9 backpack, check it out here: http://www.tamrac.com/5729.htm
We’re excited to to partner up with concert-photography maven, world traveler, and entrepreneur, Max Roper. We got to pick his brain about some of the visually striking images he’s captured and packaged it all up this this blog post for your enjoyment! So read on and enjoy!
Tamrac: Tell us about your first experience with photography and when you knew it was something you wanted to do.
Max: I am a fairly new photographer in general, I got my first DSLR back in 2009 and started just taking photos of anything I was doing. I travel a lot so I was very excited to start getting some good documentation of my travels. Music is a huge part of my life so I think once that was blended with photography, I was into it!
Tamrac: How did you get started with concert photography? Did you know the bands or just show up with your camera in hand and start taking awesome photos?
Max: I love and play music and was going to shows all the time and I thought that I would try and sneak my camera in to get some shots of this artist I was seeing at a smaller venue. I separated the camera up between a few of my friends and I got it in. After the show, I posted the photos on the artists facebook page and they loved them. It was really unexpected. I honestly really had no idea what I was doing, but they really liked my photos. That encouraged me to continue.
Tamrac: What kind of camera gear do you usually take on your concert shoots? Do you ever use a flash as a fill or use only stage lighting?
Max: My first camera was the Nikon D80 and I loved it, so now I am a Nikon dude! I use the D700 now and pretty much just the 24-70 f/2.8 and the 70-200 f/2.8. Once in a while I will bring out my fisheye or the 50mm 1.4 if it will work for the shoot I am on. The 24-70 f/2.8 is pretty much my go-to lens. About 90% of my shots are with that lens. I bought a flash a few years ago and the first time I tried to take it out it got dropped in a lake and that was that. I am a big proponent of using only stage lighting.
Tamrac: You’ve managed to capture some epic moments in concerts (Mute Math drum jump). Are some of these simply being at the right place at the right time and do you also have an idea of how the show will go so you’re able to plan your shoot out?
Max: Thanks :). That Mute Math concert was actually the 4th concert I had taken photos at so I was still getting into the swing of how it all works. I had never seen them before. They were just unreal! Still to this day, they are one of the most amazing bands touring. That night may have had a bit of luck on it. I was also just so into their energy. I think it contributed to how good all of the shots came out. Since then I’ve been on a few tours with bands where I’m shooting their show every night which allowed me to really learn the pace of their sets. You can be very calculated in that type of situation.
Tamrac: From all of the concert shoots you’ve been on I’m sure you’ve seen some pretty crazy stuff. Do you have any funny or crazy stories you can share?
Max: There is always something crazy happening at every concert. Haha. I was taking photos in New York once and it was a pretty insane show; mosh pits everywhere and crowd surfing galore. I was up front and taking photos and some dude from the crowd that was (obviously) pretty drunk decided that it was the best call to pour the remainder of his beer all over me and my camera. My camera was a bit sticky but it was all good. He ended up apologizing. It was pretty funny afterwards.
Tamrac: So what do you like to do when you’re not shooting Jay-Z or traveling around the world?
Max: I have a few things going on. I do tech stuff over at Red Bull and just finished up the Red Bull Stratos project where we had an athlete skydive from space. The project went very well and I am glad he is alive. I also have a tech startup called Appetize. It’s a mobile app that allows you to order food/drinks/merchandise at stadiums and get it delivered to your seat. It is going very well and we have some pretty awesome products that I am very happy about. I love the blues. When I am not working on my other projects, I am playing some blues guitar.
Tamrac: Are there any projects or opportunities on the horizon for you that you’d be able to share with us?
Max: I am a licensed skydiver and am trying to get as many jumps as possible to be able into get to base jumping. I am pretty excited about it and plan to start base jumping everywhere I travel to. Hopefully some of my photography can carry over into that space and I can starting getting some new and innovative shots.
Tamrac: Lastly, do you have any advice for other photographers that have been inspired by your work?
Max: Every photographer should strive to be as unique as possible. Just trying to copy someone else won’t get you very far and ultimately will just put you in the cloud of others. Strive to be as personally creative as possible!
To see and learn more about Max:
Jim Jordan – Fashion and Commercial Photographer
Growing up as a skater and surfer in sunny, Southern California, Jim Jordan spent his high school days scouting models and finding the next great faces of the coming generation. With a passion for beauty and styling, Jim quickly became a highly respected hair and makeup artist, traveling the world and working with the biggest actors, actresses and supermodels of the time, such as Cindy Crawford, Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, Farrah Fawcett, etc. He worked with the world’s best photographers, such as Herb Ritts, Peter Lindbergh, Steve Meisel, Patrick Demarchelier, to name a few, and after many years of behind the scenes experience as a hair and makeup artist, Jim picked up a camera and immediately developed his own unique style as a photographer. Jim now shoots celebrities such as Leonardo Dicaprio, Drew Berrymore, Charlize Theron, Marisa Miller, to name a few, and shoots for clients such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, Elle, Marie Claire, etc. Jim also directs and shoots seamless campaigns for clients such as Mercedes Benz, J Crew, American Express, Warner Brothers, and many more. Jim now lives in LA and NYC, and shoots in the most picture perfect places around world.”
Want to learn from one of the best? Jim offers numerous workshops throughout the year where you will get hands on advice from Jim himself. Keep up to date on all his workshops at www.workshops.jimjordanphotography.com
To see more of Jim’s work check out his website at www.jimjordanphotography.com
Like him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jimjordanphoto
Follow him on Instagram @jimjordanphoto
We are thrilled to have Ted Craig as part of the Tamrac team and as a Sponsored Photographer. Ted is a conceptual artist based out of the West Coast of America. His creations of imagination and pushing art have captured the eyes of both domestic and international viewers. Ted continues to push the boundaries of creativity through is images. We are excited to share our Q&A with Ted.
Tamrac: Tell us about your first experience with photography and when you knew it was something you wanted to do?
Ted: My first real experience with photography would have to be my first pictures for my band’s album cover. I remember grabbing our drummer’s expensive leather chair, sneaking it out past his family, and putting out in a sand pit where we ended up taking the photos. I had no idea what I was doing, but I loved it! With no access to a tripod, I placed it between two rocks. Then, I hit the timer on my moms Nikon Coolpix 7900 and ran like hell only to find out later that it was “artistically out of focus.” From there on I was known as the lead guitarist and designated photographer, I was one hundred percent on board after that!
Tamrac: You’re work is very imaginative and creates a story. Where do your ideas and inspirations come from?
Ted: It goes beyond just the capture and the post production. I do a lot of self-portraits because, one: I am always available and two: it is the easiest way to experiment with lighting to conceptualizing. Some people work out, read, or shop, but I simply take photos everyday. And every photo, 99% of the time, is an expression of who I am that day.
Tamrac: You are working on the 365 project. Can you tell us more about that?
Ted: I took on the 365 project for the first time this year. I believe, and I really stress this to people that ask me about the pros of doing it, this is the best thing you can do to further yourself with photography. What I have found with this project is a personal style, and a way of thinking; that is not something you just simply acquire or can buy. I have had my days when it was hard to pick up my camera, dedicate myself to an idea, and execute it; but those are the days that make you appreciate the project and that you will accomplish it in 365 days. I am on day 302 today!
Tamrac: As an active user on Instagram, you have over 5800 followers and growing quickly. How has it helped you as a photographer?
Ted: I honestly thought Instagram was not for me and did not think twice of it in benefiting my photography. Now, it is my highest traffic source and I have met many connections through it. I am thankful for all the people that have helped me on Instagram to get where I am today.
Tamrac: Shooting your images seem to have quite a process. Can you share how much time is spent in pre and post production?
Ted: Some insight on how long my processing takes from start to finish: you can actually go ahead and look at my first image titled, ‘chest of drawers.’ (see above) The shooting portion did not take me long, just over 20 minutes. The reason it took me such a short period of time to do so was because I was working with natural window light, which became directly involved and displayed in the image. Realism is the first thing I try to accomplish in my images. I know it isn’t real but if it were to be real that is what it would be like, from light to shadows on all variables in the actual image. There was an hour or so of post work on this image. Again, creating realism within a fantasized world isn’t always easy, but that is probably the hardest part of the process. This is a 7 image composite.
Tamrac: What do you like to do when you are not shooting?
Ted: Outside of photography, I love films. It is still related to photography in a sense and I would love to be in the film industry as a DOP. The work of Ce’sar Charlone in ‘City of God’ got me really interested in the possibilities of creating beauty within film. Getting out of photography all together, I really love surfing, cooking, spending time with family and working on my other company mavenOG.
Tamrac: Lastly, are there any projects or opportunities on the horizon that you can share with us?
Ted: A project that I am exited about is a collaboration with my sister, Paige. She is a brilliant writer out in Denver, CO and that is all I will reveal for now!
Tamrac Sponsored and Surfing Photographer guru Tom Carey recently visited Bali. Tom travels all over the world capturing some amazing surfing photos. We are so happy that Tom gets home safe and sound from his travels. And Tom is happy that is camera equipment is safe and protected in his Tamrac bags!
“Hey Tom, tell us about your trip”
The locations I travel to and the conditions I put my bag through are the toughest around, including my latest trip to Bali. The salt air, dirt and dust are relentless. I really abuse my gear and my Tamrac bags handle every element. I’m also able to carry on the bigger planes a 600mm, multiple SLRs, a laptop, hard drives, a 70-200mm and multiple other lenses. My super Telephoto Lens Pack was also perfect for riding my moped in Bali, it felt like nothing was on my back.
“great Tom, awesome pics too”
For more info about Tom and to see more of his cool photos, visit his website at www.tomcareyphoto.com
Tamrac Fright Photo Contest is our latest photo contest running on Instagram. We’ve gotten some dreadfully delicious submissions and wanted to share a random sampling with our online community! To see all of the submissions, look up #tamracfrightpic in Instagram. The contest is in its last day, so if you’d like to enter, check us out @tamracphoto for details! Special thanks to Ted Craig, one of our new and exciting sponsored photographers, for partnering with us for this contest! Enjoy!
Tamrac Sponsored Photographer Andrew D. Bernstein recently traveled to China to shoot the NBA games. He was well equipped with his Tamrac bags! Even the paparazzi wanted photos of Andrew…and his Tamrac bags!
Andy, we are glad you made it back safe and sound. How did your bags do?
“When traveling all over the world, I need camera bags that are reliable and durable in all conditions, and my Tamrac rolling bag is just that. One of the best features of the roller is that it fits in the overhead compartment on a plane, making it easy to store during travel. Also, the roller’s storage and pockets hold all my gear needed for the job.” - Andrew Bernstein
One of our bags, the Pro 9 BP, was lucky enough to enjoy the comforts of a cozy train ride while in the company of it’s owner, Tamrac Sponsored Photographer Matt Beard! Matt was able to find great use for his bag in a variety of ways…see what he had to say:
“Had to catch a train today, and needed a bag that could hold my clothes, a small camera, my laptop, all my bills and mail and other things…yet work as a quick carry-on.
My Series 9 did the trick. …and it worked well as a pillow for a quick nap!”
Thanks Matt and we are glad the bag gave your weary head a soft landing!
Check out Matt’s website at www.mattbeard.com
Hey folks! We recently partnered up with Chadwick Trentham, the Visual Storyteller at Azusa Pacific University, for an 11 day filming project that took Chadwick and his team over the mountains and through the valleys of California’s Yosemite Nation Park. We set him up with an Evolution backpack and a few ZipShot tripods to use and abuse on the trek, and abuse he did! We’re excited to share with you the visual story of Tamrac in Yosemite and Chadwick’s detailed account of the adventure! Enjoy!
As a storyteller for Azusa Pacific University, my job includes producing films covering a range of topics: alumni, academics, campus events, and student life. That’s a pretty diverse task for a filmmaker—you never know what you might shoot next. One week I’m in the middle of the African bush filming an alumnus, and the next week I’m running alongside APU’s football team as they take the field for a home game (and trying not to get hit). As you can imagine, what I carry my gear in is very important; it has to be able to travel and function well in any situation.
My most recent project took me on an 11-day backpacking trip with students into the Ansel Adams Wilderness in Northern California. I love to hike, so I was excited about this trip. Capturing the beauty of the outdoors would be the easy part. But 11 days on the trail also presented a few challenges. No showers, for instance. No outlets to charge my batteries either, which meant packing in plenty of extra batteries. Packing light? Not really an option.
The biggest challenge was finding a bag that would hold all my gear and keep it dust free, dry, and ready to go at a moment’s notice. The bag also had to fit inside the main compartment of my large backpacking pack, and be easy to use as a daypack. After researching my options, I landed on the Tamrac Evolution 9. It offered all the compartments and pouches I wanted, and looked like it was built for the rugged outdoors, including a rubber bottom to protect it from the dirt. It even came with a rain cover, and how could I say no to that? (That rain cover came in handy.)
It looked sturdy enough to hold all my gear, which included:
2 Canon 60Ds, 2 GoPro Hero2s
Canon 24mm f1.4, 50mm f1.4, 24-105mm f4, 70-200mm f2.8
Tokina 11-16mm f2.8
2 ZipShot tripods with a set of ZipShot quick release plates
Manfroto 190XDB tripod with 701HDV head
Manfrotto 561bhdv1 monopod
Audio-Technica ATR-3350 Lavalier
Zoom H1, H4n
The Evolution 9 was a perfect fit. Other than a few strap-ends being a little too long, it met all my needs and kept the gear safe, clean, and dry. I could set it down on the damp ground by a lake and know the gear was well protected. Toward the end of the trip, we got trapped in a three-day rainstorm complete with thunder and hail. As soon as I felt the first raindrop, I put the rain cover over the Evolution bag, put it in side my pack, and put another rain cover over that. When the rain stopped, I took the bag out of my pack and it was completely dry.
The pack also functioned really well for day hikes. On the day we repelled with the students, I needed to shoot from the bottom, so I used the chest and waist straps, put my tripod on the back of the bag, and repelled with all my gear on my back. Dangling about 100 feet off the ground, I knew that pack wasn’t going anywhere. After traveling with this bag, I’m not sure I would trust any other bag company. Tamrac’s lightweight, well-constructed bag met all my expectations. If it can survive 11 days in the wilderness, it can handle just about anything I throw at it.
I also used the ZipShot tripods, a new item for me. I needed a second option for filming but wanted something lightweight. The fact that it’s so light, compact, and can be set up in about a second sold me instantly. I used them almost daily on the trip, including once for an interview when I used my second 60D. It supported the camera’s weight, stabilized quickly, and got the job done. But the ZipShots really shined when I used them with the GoPros for time lapses, filming, and as a pole for a higher shot. They provided perfect support for the weight and were really easy to use with the ZipShot quick release plates. These will be a must have for any future trips.
Visual Storyteller for Azusa Pacific University
©Chadwick Trentham 2012, www.chadwicktrentham.com
For more information on the Evolution Series backpacks, visit: www.tamrac.com
For more information on the ZipShot Tripod, visit: www.zipshottripod.com
American Photo Magazine named Kevin Kubota one of the “Top 10 Wedding Photographers in the World”. His photos have been featured on the covers and within the pages of countless popular magazines and photography books. Kevin has been a featured presenter for Nikon and Adobe, and his work with the Nikon digital camera earned him a spot as a Nikon “Legend Behind the Lens”.
Kubota is an internationally recognized speaker, having presented for every major photographic convention in the USA. He created the popular “Digital Photography Bootcamp®” workshop which has been running successfully since 2002. He authored the book under the same name, now in it’s second edition, published by Amherst Media. Kevin shares over 2 decades of commercial and portrait lighting experience in his latest book, The Lighting Notebook, published by Wiley. The companion iApp, is available in the iTunes store.
Kubota Image Tools products have won multiple Hot One Awards as well as the Readers Choice Award. Kevin was personally awarded the 2009 Monte Zucker Memorial Humanitarian Award for social service through photography
Wedding photography can be very challenging, but your images convey beauty, personality and spontaneity. What inspires you to create such amazing photos?
Adrenaline! But seriously, I do actually thrive on the pressure of photographing weddings. I think that certain people are able to use pressure and adrenaline to be creative and solution oriented, while others tend to freeze under it. Good wedding photographers find a way to use the pressure to fuel their creativity. The style of my imagery, I think, comes from my own romantic imagination and my ability to connect and put my clients at ease. I try not to use formulas to create an image, but instead I let my imagination run wild and try to put what’s in my head in to my client’s head – so they become part of the process. I’m also not afraid to ask my client to do anything that pops in to my head – within reason. If they say no, I move on, but I’m not afraid of hearing “no” because usually they say, “Sure!”.
Have any funny moments happen to you during a shoot?
My wife, Clare, and I would often joke with wedding clients during the pre-wedding meeting about what, if any, unique events they had planned – so that we could be prepared to photograph them. We’d joking say, “Do you have anything special planned? Special guests giving speeches? Slideshows? Fire breathers?”. We’d get a giggle and make a note of anything to watch for.
After one wedding, we were packing up to head home as the wedding reception continued to rage on through the night. As we were walking out, I saw behind the reception tent a woman in a skimpy costume (which of course caught my eye :-) secretly pouring liquid from a can on some sort of baton, and in her mouth. I immediately thought it was some wacky belly-dancing pyro terrorist plot, but then soon put the pieces together…FIRE BREATHER!
I whipped open my (Tamrac) bag, grabbed my camera, and ran back in to the tent just in time to catch the surprise fire-breathing dance show that one of the guests had planned for the bride and groom! It was amazing and certainly something you don’t see at every wedding!
Clare and I laughed, we finally got our fire breather.
You recently traveled to Rwanda, can you tell us about your experience?
It was an emotional roller coaster! We went there with some of our staff and a few photographer friends to deliver some funds we’d saved to a woman who ran a large orphanage. I was initially introduced to her by my good friend, Benjamin Edwards. He inspired me – through his own documentary photos, to do something to help her and the orphans. She was Rwandan and didn’t speak English, but after we’d told her we had the gift to give her, she – via a quick cell phone video – managed to convey her sincere thanks, and encouraged me to come visit her in Rwanda. I was moved to tears and we were determined to make the trip happen.
While we were there we visited with her, the children, the volunteer teachers at the makeshift school, and all the wonderful people who’s lives she touched. We documented the journey with photos and video and shared the experience when we returned. I’ve heard from many photographers since then who have seen my work and in turn been inspired to do something charitable like that themselves – just like I was inspired by Ben.
We often never know how our images will affect people and the world, so we have to just take them, share them, and know that the ripple effect has been put in motion.
What advice would you give to aspiring photographers?
Create personal projects. One of the hardest things for new AND seasoned pro photographers is to stay motivated and fresh. Whether you need to learn a new technique, perfect an existing one, or push yourself to create something completely new, projects are the way to go. You simply cannot wait for ideas and assignments to find you! You have to create time and commit to doing them until the day comes when client requests overwhelm you. At that point, it’s even harder to schedule time for personal projects, but they are just as important to keep doing. Put it on your calendar a time to do a personal project. Treat it like a real job and commit to it. You’ll grow in leaps and bounds!
Tell us one place that you have not been but would love to photograph and why?
I have not yet been to Atlantis. I love scuba diving and have started working on my underwater photography. It’s a lot harder than I thought! I think the under-sea world is absolutely fascinating and beautiful. It reminds me of being on another planet (not that I’ve actually been on another planet yet). I enjoy the challenges of learning something new and of photographing things we don’t see every day. When underwater, you generally have to get much closer to your subject to make it come out clear and colorful and this is particularly challenging when the currents are whisking you around or big sharp teeth are smiling at you.
How has Social Media helped you as a photographer?
It’s given me another avenue to share my experiences and projects – which often leads to inquiries about new jobs and opportunities. In a way, it is also an incentive to get out and keep shooting or to be more committed to my personal project agendas. When the world is watching, you want to push yourself a little more – and that’s good for our own growth.
What is your favorite movie?
Ooh, tough one. I loved Moulin Rouge for it’s silliness, romance, quirkiness, and dramatic sets. It is just so unusual and entertaining. I also loved Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind for its unusual premise, characters, and romantic desperation. Then, of course, I love movies like Lord of the Rings and 300 for their visual amazingness and inspiration.
What do you love about your Tamrac bags?
I’ve been using Tamrac bags for about 20 years. My mentor when I started wedding photography had a Tamrac bag that he swore by, so of course I had to get one too. I’m kind of a gadget geek and pretty particular about ergonomics and details in the products I use. I’ve been known to buy several brands and types of similar products just to find the one that is “just right” and then give the others away. My Tamrac bags and products have always just fit my needs and held up extremely well. I’ve never had one break, rip, or wear out. The features are well thought out and satisfy my ergonomic pickiness.
What Tamrac gear do you use?
My main bag has been the Super Pro 14. It is the perfect size for my primary photo gear and I particularly love the computer sleeve in the back of the bag. I use this for my computer, obviously, but it also perfectly fits my 42” pop-up reflector disc (when folded), which goes with me everywhere. I like that this slot is behind the main cover so my disc can stick out a little and I can still secure the front flap over the main compartment. I haven’t seen any other bag on the market that offers as much versatility for my needs.
I also have a Super Pro 13 that I use for my speedlights, wireless transceivers, and other smaller lighting gadgets.
I have a 324 tripod bag, and 3 of the 328 Location bags for my light stands and folding light panels.
I use Rolling Strong Box 692 and 694 for my studio strobes and larger light heads. I love that they protect my delicate gear, are relatively light to move, and have wheels for easy cruising.
When I’m traveling abroad and don’t want to carry a ton of gear I use my Adventure 9 backpack for my DSLR and misc. goodies and an Express 6 compact case for my point-n-shoot.
For my day-to-day work commuting with my laptop and gadgets I use the Superlights Computer Messenger 15. I also have the Superlights Computer Sleeve 15 for when I just need to transport my laptop and nothing else.
And of course, what accessory collection would be complete without a red flames camera strap!
For more on Kevin Kubota, you may visit his website at www.KevinKubota.com