Fuji X100

Leisure Cruise, Dry Ice and the Fuji X100

Fuji X100, f/2, 1/420

I've been covering the band Leisure Cruise since their inception, shooting in the studio, at various concert venues, and a little while ago, photographing a conceptual session in collaboration with The Windmill Factory. With art direction by founding Creative Director, Jon Morris, we played with some dry ice, a "Glam" light and the Fuji X100. In short, we had a blast.

This photo is currently featured over at Philthymag. Be sure to check out the band's website for their upcoming tour dates, and if you haven't seen their latest music video (also directed by Jon Morris of The Windmill Factory), you should do so right away:

Capturing the "Snowpocalypse" with the Fuji X100

Monday's blizzard was supposed to be an historic event, according to New York City's Mayor De Blasio. While the snowfall didn't set any records, there was quite a bit of wintry weather through the evening. With a travel ban issued across the city, the streets were mostly free of cars, so I set out with my Fuji X100 (in a ziplock bag) to explore the neighborhood.

Into the Void
Williamsburg Pier
Fuji X100, f/2, 1/80, ISO 3200

Bedford Avenue in the Storm
Fuji X100, f/2, 1/50, ISO 1600

The Lone Food Truck
Fuji X100, f/2, 1/105, ISO 3200

La Esquina
Fuji X100, F/2, 1/170, ISO 1600

With a travel ban in effect, all taxis had to be off the roads.
Fuji X100, f/2, 1/30, ISO 1600

Blow, winds...
Fuji X100, f/2, 1/50, ISO 3200

S. 6th Street at 4am
Fuji X100, f/2, 1/40, 1600

Exploring Bushwick

Bushwick Joker, Fuji X100, NYC, 2014

Even though I have lived in Williamsburg for the past couple of years, I really haven't taken the time to explore much of Bushwick. I've been to parties and other events in the neighborhood, but each time I've just gone to that event and then straight home. So, on Saturday I went on a photowalk to finally explore Bushwick (along with the outskirts of Williamsburg, East Williamsburg and surrounding areas).

Fuji X100, NYC, 2014

Exploring the edges of gentrification was pretty easy - a quick google search for tattoo parlors, coffee shops, along with keeping my eye out for graffiti murals led me to the center of all the hipster areas.

Fuji X100, NYC, 2014

Fuji X100, NYC, 2014

Fuji X100, NYC, 2014

Fuji X100, NYC, 2014

Green space is essentially non-existent, particularly along the stretch between East Williamsburg and Bushwick on Morgan Avenue. Instead, concrete and warehouses abound, with any open space dedicated to industrial use, as seen above.

Fuji X100, NYC, 2014

Like a lot of trendy neighborhoods in Brooklyn, the heart of Bushwick is a mix of various ethnic areas, infiltrated by enclaves of hipsters who've recently moved into the neighborhood.

One More Fight Before the Night Ends - Leisure Cruise at Cameo

Leisure Cruise playing at Cameo on February 28, 2014

Following on the heels of last month's debut at the Highline Ballroom, Leisure Cruise played an intimate, high-energy set at the Cameo Gallery on Friday night. Leah Siegel was in her element, belting out tunes from their upcoming album (check out the new single, Double Digit Love below), as the enthusiastic crowd got sweaty on the dance floor.

Leah Siegel and Dave Hodge of Leisure Cruise (Fuji X100, f/2, 1/60, ISO 3200)
Headlining the evening, Leisure Cruise came onstage after Clementine & The Galaxy and proceeded to set the tone for the concert with their opening number, Ragged Dawn, an immense synth-rock anthem with incredible energy and power, convincing the listener that there's "one more fight before the night ends."

Leah Siegel (Canon EOS-M, 50mm, f/1.8, 1/15, ISO 800)
As far as shooting this show, I found that the dark venue, along with the band's use of fog on stage proved to be pretty challenging. Armed with my Fuji X100 for the wide shots and my Canon EOS-M and a couple of longer lenses (Cameo is a smaller venue, so I didn't want to bring my full DSLR gear), I tried to just go with the slower shutter speeds for a few interesting motion shots, hoping to capture the energy of the concert. You can check out some more of the photos from the gig here.

Dave Hodge on the keyboard (Canon EOS-M, 50mm, f/1.8, 1/100, ISO 3200)

Check out the latest single from Leisure Cruise, Double Digit Love, along with the fabulous new artwork below:

Leisure Cruise at the Highline Ballroom

Leisure Cruise debut performance at the Highline Ballroom
Electronic synth-pop music is alive and well in NYC.  Leisure Cruise had their debut performance at the Highline Ballroom last night, playing a featured set before European pop sensation Gala, and they totally crushed it. I was there to catch all of the action, and you can check out the rest the photos from my gallery here.

A collaboration between Leah Siegel of Firehorse and Dave Hodge of Canada's Broken Social Scene, Leisure Cruise conjures, in their own words, "the music of a John Hughes film if it had been written by Bowie, remixed by Johnny Jewel, and fronted by a female Prince." Supporting them onstage were Aaron Kinsley-Brook on drums and Steven Elliot on guitar, and the four of them played an incredibly tight set, particularly for a band making it's debut performance.

Leah Siegel of Leisure Cruise performs at the Highline Ballroom

Jon Morris of The Windmill Factory provided the production design for the show, following a hectic week flying back and forth from LA as he was working with Nine Inch Nails and Trent Reznor for their Grammy performance (You can check out that performance here). I particularly enjoyed the stunning projections and video created by Matt O'Hare and Josh Higgason, which really matched each song well and took the production values of the show to another level. 

Dave Hodge
The performance was was a fast-paced, high-energy thirty-seven minutes that got the crowd the dancing and definitely wanting more from Leisure Cruise, who will release their debut album on May 6th. Until then, you can listen to their single, Sailing, right here:

You can check out the rest of my photos from the night by following this link: http://bit.ly/L7reB0

Fuji XPro-1 Preview

Fuji X-Pro1 and the XF 35mm 1.4 lens, ISO 1600, 1/120, f/1.4

Even though I've been a Canon shooter for more than a decade, over the past couple of years I've become increasingly interested in what Fuji is offering serious photographers. I've had the quirky X100 since 2011, and it's been my favorite camera I've ever owned. The compact retro design of the X-series cameras with the incredible low-light capabilities of the sensors and a growing batch of quality lenses, make these cameras a compelling alternative to the Canon/Nikon dominance of the photography world.

I've been eager to try other cameras in the X-Series, and with an assignment coming up at the end of this week, I decided to rent the Fuji XPro-1 with the XF 35mm 1.4 lens. I'll be testing it out over the next several days, and I'll post a more complete review later, but here are a few sample images from my first couple of days with the camera.

Fuji X-Pro1 and the XF 35mm 1.4 lens, ISO 640, 1/300, f/8

Fuji X-Pro1 and the XF 35mm 1.4 lens, ISO 1600, 1/60, f/1.4

Fuji X-Pro1 and the XF 35mm 1.4 lens, ISO 800, 1/280, f/1.4

Shooting an Overnight Time-lapse in Times Square

Sunset in Times Square

Last night was one of the coldest nights so far this winter in NYC, and I spent most of it outside in Times Square, working with Jon Morris, the Creative Director of The Windmill Factory. Jon is directing a music video of the song Fool for Firehorse, and needed to shoot a time-lapse in Times Square. With Director of Photography, Branan Edgens taking care of the technical end of things, setting up the Canon 7D to shoot every 4 seconds, we set in for a long, cold night in midtown to watch the camera, change the batteries and make sure everything was happening according to plan. I took the first shift from the late afternoon through the early evening and then came back for the final shift at 6am.

Jon Morris of The Windmill Factory

A little before 8pm, as I was grabbing some coffee and warming up at Starbucks, I happened to recognized Philip Bloom grabbing a coffee as well. I consider Philip to be the guru of DSLR filmmaking and time-lapses. He's is incredibly talented, and has been very generous with his fantastic tutorials and behind-the-scenes insights on shooting, lighting, gear and post-production. Basically, everything I know about shooting video with a DSLR and creating time-lapses I learned from his blog. He was really nice, and stopped by our set-up to check out what we were up to and shared with us the infrared shots he's been taking in NYC (which can be seen on Flickr here). It was a very cool and inspirational encounter!

Philip Bloom (left) and Will O'Hare (Right)

I tend to avoid the crowds in Times Square as much as possible, but it was interesting to watch the mass of humanity unfold before us as we stayed in one place for so long. Tourists came and went, many asking us to snap photos of them in Times Square, and two couples got engaged in front of us on the stairs, including a couple from Berlin that I chatted with and I took a couple of photos for them.

A newly engaged couple from Berlin celebrates in Times Square

I also took advantage of shooting some HDR photos and some panoramas with my Fuji X100. Once the video is finished, I'll share a link here as well.

Paula and I trying to keep warm!

Sunset Engagement Session - Heather and Justin

As I posted earlier this week, I love where my work as a photographer takes me in New York. I really enjoy getting so many different perspectives of the city, but even more than that, I love creating images with my clients and capturing them in their neighborhood.

Heather and Justin live in Midtown, right next to the Empire State Building. We had a great time shooting around sunset in Madison Square Park, and out by the Flatiron Building, but then we went to their spectacular rooftop, took in the breathtaking views of the city and created some wonderful images.