Thursday, August 18, 2016

What's in Ira Block's Camera Bag for His Trip to Mongolia?

Internationally renowned photojournalist Ira Block has produced over 30 stories for National Geographic and has lead workshops all over the world.  He’s heading to Mongolia for the 5th time, conducting a workshop in Western Mongolia to photograph the eagle hunters.  He let us take a look in his camera bag before his departure and told us all about his plans for the trip.  Join us at Foto Care on Thursday, October 6th for a talk from Ira Block after his return from Mongolia, going into detail about his experience, equipment, and process. Sign up here. 

What keeps drawing Ira back to Mongolia?  “It’s very authentic, 30% of the people are still nomadic, and the culture is terrific to photographic because of the fact that so many people are still nomadic and the traditions they continue.  Also, it’s a beautiful place, great landscapes, great people… it all adds up”, He says.  Although this is his 5th time visiting the country, he’s never been to the Western part of it, so it’ll be new territory for him to explore, particularly the people who capture and train eagles to hunt.

Ira’s camera bag is all ready for the trip, and packed full of equipment that is easy to carry, fits the location and climate, and will produce stunning, high quality images.  He has four Sony Alpha camera bodies, an A7s, an A7ii, an A7rii, and an A6300.  This is his first trip taking the G Master Lenses, he’ll be bringing the 24-70mm f/2.8 and the 70-200mm f/2.8.  He’s also bringing along a small strobe and a transmitter, an LED light, a mini tripod, some flashlights, knives and leatherman tools, tons of extra batteries, and memory cards. 

Ira will be visiting Foto Care when he returns to tell us about his trip, show us the photographs, and explain his process.  Sign up for the event today -

Monday, August 15, 2016

Photographing People and the Art of Conversation - From Camera Voyages

Bruce Byers and William Vasquez, cofounders of Camera Voyages, an international Photographic Travel company, wrote this article about how to create beautiful, honest portraits of people through genuine conversation.  

A Sadhu (holy person) at Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal. 

The streets of Cuba are full of surprises. Makeshift barbershop in an alleyway.

          It's 6am and we are standing on the Malecon point overlooking El Morro fort on the other side of the entrance to Havana bay, looking gorgeous in the early morning light. We are there with our photo workshop participants to capture the sunrise. Dawn is upon us quickly transitioning into sunrise. So you have to be ready otherwise the moment will speed by you.  As we are setting up I strike up a conversation with fishermen that trying their luck in the early morning light.  I ask them about how the fish are biting. Soon enough the grumbling starts on how everyone is making money but them. It seems that they are always being photographed. I tell them we are there to make art, but that falls on deaf ears. Its a conversation that leads down a rabbit hole. I do understand where they are coming from. Cuba's popularity is exploding with tourism money flowing in and the wealth is not evenly distributed. However giving money to them is not a simple solution. How much do you give, to whom? To all of them? I don't like to leave people feeling used. Luckily a solution presented itself. A lady passed by selling coffee and I offered to buy everyone coffee to wake up a bit. They took the offered coffee and the conversation moved on to other things like fishing, music, and the changes in Cuba. At the end it wasn't just about the money. Although that is certainly one solution, but a complicated one. It was showing them respect, listening to their gripes, finding common ground, and going out of your way to share. Whether you are creating a portrait or trying to get permission to photograph. Knowing how to approach, and talk to people is just as important as the photograph itself. It can make or break your photograph.

      Camera Voyages is a collective of professional photographers who are passionate about helping you capture images that go beyond the obvious. They lead groups on photographic travel experiences in exotic countries with eyes wide open to tell stories with their cameras. They are dedicated to helping you create unique images by moving beyond the limitations of being a tourist to becoming empathetic and embedded in local cultures. They provide immersive photographic travel voyages to live and discover on a professional photographer’s level. Through their partnerships with camera manufacturers and guest photographers, they invite you to extend your creative vision with the benefits of cutting-edge equipment and techniques you will learn from their experience. 

     Their next trip is to Cuba December 2nd - December 9th - Cuba is one of Camera Voyages’ favorite places. It’s in a remarkable state of transition, and offers unprecedented photographic opportunities. Find out more at

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Equipment Tool Kits for Different Jobs

Tool Kits for Different Jobs

Different jobs call for different tools.  Although every photographer has their favorites, we're putting together a list of the go to products for 3 different jobs most pros will come across throughout their career.  

Wedding: The Fujifilm X-T1 is a mirrorless digital camera that is lightweight, intuitive, and discreet.  Capture those beautiful moments candidly.  The 18-55mm Lens is perfect for every situation: easily move from indoor to outdoor, flash to natural light.  The Fujifilm EF-42 is a great on camera flash to illuminate your subjects without having to carry or set up an off camera strobe.   Photo by Manny Tejeda,, IG: @emptyphoto.

Portrait: The Canon EOS 5D Mark III is adaptable and takes crisp, clean images.  The Canon EF 85mm F/1.2 Lens has the ability to capture intensely sharp and contrasting detail, even when wide open.  Achieve natural portraits with extreme depth of field.  The Profoto B2 Air TTL Location Kit is great for both indoor and outdoor shooting.  The battery operated strobes pack into a convenient bag that makes traveling to the location easy.  Photo by Manny Tejeda,, IG: @emptyphoto.

Fashion: The Nikon D810 is a full frame sensor DSLR that takes high resolution images that reflect the color and texture of every garment being showcased.  The Nikon 24-70mm F/2.8 ED Lens is a versatile, incredibly sharp, midrange zoom lens, perfect for capturing both studio or on location.  The Broncolor Siros 800L Outdoor Kit has 2 battery operated monolights, with short flash durations and quick recycle times to capture every moment. Photo by Ivanessa Luna,, IG: @callherluna.