Studio News

First Fridays at the Studio!

Mark your calendars for August 7th! I'm extremely pleased to be able to bring two major talents into my studio as part of an artists helping artists collaboration. I've worked with both Jessica Martindale and Zach Cannella and you would be hard pressed to find two better, up and coming musicians. Jessica comes from Nashville where she is currently working on her first long LP album. Her catalog of music online and music videos on Youtube is very extensive. She has several smaller EP (extended play) CD's out and if you frequent a Starbucks you might hear them. She recently signed a deal for them to play her music.  Zach is a primo guitarist, singer and songwriter looking to move to Nashville very soon. Zach's got a decent catalog of music and videos online and I'm fortunate to be able to snag him before he heads south later in September. 

The evening is very much "grassroots" and very informal. Seating will be all over - this is a photo studio after all! - and while it lacks formal rows of seating, it does have excellent acoustics. Come in, hang out, tap a toe or get up and dance. Treat your ears to sonic bliss. I hope you can make it. 

 

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art lens (mine, mine mine)

I have never really been a fan of the 50mm focal length, that is until I started doing photography full time. Up to that point I just had very little need of the focal length but I always owned one. I had the Nikon 50 f/1.8D, then the Nikon 50 f/1.4G. I started using that 1.4 lens in the studio and a few times outside the studio and found it worked pretty well for many types of people photos. You have to work closer with a 50, I'm still a bigger fan of the 85mm focal length, but the 50 has a place. Even with my Fuji X-Pro1 and X-T1 cameras, I have started using the 50mm equivalent 35mm f/1.4 Fuji lens more and more. There was nothing wrong with my 1.4G from Nikon, it wasn't super sharp in the corners, across the lens wide open but it had real good center sharpness. Like most all fast primes. One day I happened on a photo by another Nikon photographer using the Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art and he supplied full res pics. I studied them because I instantly liked the contrast and color rendition of the photos, AND they looked sharp but the overall picture was just so inviting to look at. Color, background bokeh, contrast, sharpness - this lens had the Full Monty....yes, many others had touted the Sigma and DXOMark reported it to be sharper than any 50 except for the Zeiss OTUS which is over $4k! Sharpness isn't everything though. I just figured that for as much as I used the 50, the Nikon was good enough. Until I saw the color and contrast of the Sigma. Sigma announced a sale a few weeks back, save $100 on the 50mm Art, so I bought one. I decided to test it against the Nikon and if it was that great, keep it. If not, then ship it back. I do own and use the Sigma 35mm F/1.4 Art lens and its one of the sharpest lenses I have. Probably the sharpest until this 50 arrived. When I talk sharp, I am usually talking about wide open. I only buy fast lenses to use them wide open, and I expect them to work. Any lens is sharp and pretty good stopped down. Well, the Sigma 50mm Art works! It's all that and the bag of chips. You just have to see the photos to understand. I have owned one other high grade Sigma lens, the 120-300 f/2.8 Sport zoom which I wish at times I still had. All the Art (and Sport) lenses I have tried are stellar performers. I've not always been a Sigma fan, owning some real dogs in my film days but back then it was all I could afford. And to be honest, they were a different company then. I swore I'd never buy one again and didn't until I started seeing this new line of lenses from Sigma's Global Vision group and the photos they produced. They were and are beating many Nikon lenses! I'm a believer now of the Global Vision line up. Their USB dock is genius. I'd bet pretty much any investment in a Art/Sport/Contemporary lens would be a wise one. Oh, I sold that Nikon 50mm 1.4G last week. 

Discounts!

The Studio offers discounts to active military personnel as well as Veterans. Being a veteran myself, I feel a bit red-faced at not having offered this sooner. But as of last month, any military or veteran is entitled to 10% off session and printing fees. Semper Fi!

I also have many other discounts and programs available such as my Extend-A-Session where you can just keep extending a photo session for up to a year by just paying the additional hourly rate. Pay once, then pay a little to get professional photos all year long. Nice for recording the seasons with the family, for couples to seasonally record their engagement or for high school seniors that might enjoy photos through the seasons. 

My Celebration of Life program is also available. Its a simple program offering free photos and a print to those afflicted with a life threatening illness or to those that have battled such an illness and survived. 

Video Lights in the studio 

Yes, I have purchased two Alzo LED 3000 video lights after extensive research. These can be used for video or still photography in the studio. Being LED lights, they run cool so you can use them with soft boxes (with a Bowens S speedring), gels and umbrellas and they are pretty bright, bright enough to be used with either type of modifier. I did purchase a fresnel focused glass insert which will be interesting. I will most likely offer these for use with renters since they are a bit easier to use, they won't have the power of a monolight flash unit, but you can model the light better. I plan to also use them to conduct lighting classes. If they work out well, I will pick up two more. 

Business....

You might see mailers from the studio if you are in a select area I'm targeting. Then again you may not! I'm evaluating a few direct mail campaigns to promote my studio and business. EDDM is the post office's, Every Door, Direct Mail program which is a mail blast to every known address for a zipcode. Versus a targeted direct mail campaign which is what it says, you purchase a mailing list for a targeted audience, and mail only to them. Both have pluses and minuses. Costs are similar. I think one favors my type of business more than the other. Can you guess which one? Winner receives a two hour slot to play around with the new lights in the studio. Or two hour one on one, outdoor flash tutoring session. First correct answer via email at wally.kilburg@studio46west.com wins. Time stamp matters.