BrickHouse Photo School

Tips, Tricks and Reviews for Photo Hobbyists

Archive for April 8th, 2009

Florida Birding & Fotofest

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The Sigma Corporation will be demonstrating its line of lenses, digital cameras and electronic flashes at the Florida Birding & Fotofest, April 22-26 in St. Augustine, Florida.
This event features a large number of lectures, seminars,  and photo field trips presented by well known nature photographers.
Call 1-800-653-2489  or on the Web for detailed information.

Written by jeremyparce

April 8, 2009 at 10:59 am

Ringing Endorsement of Calumet Photo

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I want to give Calumet Photo in New York City a full (and free) endorsement. I was in NYC recently and went to B&H Photo, Adorama and Calumet looking for a few pieces of equipment I really wanted. While all the shops were good, I was completely and totally impressed with the folks at Calumet. It’s what a real “camera shop” should be.

The NYC shop is located in Manhattan at 22 W. 22nd Street, between 5th and 6th Avenue. For those visiting the city, it’s a nice walk from Times Square. Plus, if you walk down 5th Avenue, you’ll see St. Patrick’s Cathedral (Fifth Avenue between 50th and 51st Street), Rockefeller Center, and all of the high-end fashion stores on the famous avenue.

I suggest the walk. I also suggest a stop at Jamba Juice located at 176 Fifth Avenue, it’s right around the corner from Calumet and it’s a nice place to stop and relax after your walk to the store.

Now I have nothing against Adorama or B&H. These two companies are photo equipment retail giants. B&H in particular has an amazing selection of gear in the store but it’s a little too “Now Serving Customer 3,282” for me. I don’t enjoy feeling like I’m just another guy in a long line of other people waiting to pick up the next item in a long line of items. I don’t expect the whole store to stop and bow to my every needs, but I do like a sense of customer service.

Calumet did just that. Although it was busy both days (yes, I went two days in a row) the sales staff took time to answer my questions and help me find the products I was looking for.

Although Calumet has a Web presence, if you live or are visiting in a city where there’s a retail store, I highly recommend the stop. You’ll be glad you did. Also, if you’re looking for a rental supplier, they have a full line of equipment ready to go at reasonable rates.

Store Locations in the U.S.:
Oak Brook, Illinois
Los Angeles
New York
Santa Ana, California
Santa Barbara
San Diego
San Francisco

Written by jeremyparce

April 8, 2009 at 10:00 am

Books for Your Library: ‘Fighter: The Fighters of the UFC’

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Photo books are a great addition to any library. As photographers, we are constantly searching for new ideas and are always interested in seeing concepts-done-well. Here’s a suggestion to add to your library …

Reed Krakoff’s recent work, “Fighter: The Fighters of the UFC,” is a stunning and not-too-often seen look at the men who fight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Krakoff, the president and executive creative director of Coach, is a fan of the UFC and trained his Mamiya medium format camera on capturing images of the fighters in a new light. This project may deviate from his usual fashion photography, but his background allows him a unique perspective in photographing the fighters.

Krakoff studied photography at Parsons School of Design and has shot many of the Coach ad campaigns over the years.

The 224-page hardcover book features such fighters as Mac Danzig, Diego Sanchez, Chuck Liddell, George St-Pierre and Matt Sera. It is available at Amazon.

Must Have Equipment: Gorillapods

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There are only a few pieces of photo gear that I get excited about and the Joby Gorillapod is one of those items. It’s a photographer’s dream because it’s simply built and highly functional.
Unlike traditional tripods, the Gorillapod doesn’t require a level surface – you level out the camera yourself. The device is composed of multiple, fully-articulating, ball-and-socket joints that allow you to bend, twist and fold the Gorillapod into any shape necessary to get the perfect shot. Rubberized feet and soft rings between the ball-and-socket joints prevent slippage even in the toughest environments.

There are 5 versions of the Gorillapod: The Go-Go version for phones, MP3 players and compact cameras; the Original for compact cameras and point-and-shoots; the SLR model for prosumer-style cameras; the SLR-Zoom to support SLRs with long lenses and the Focus style, which can hold a whopping 11 pounds, for pro-model SLRs.

There are also a host of accessories for the Gorillapod including spikes for the feet – great for outdoor photography and photography in mud or snow; a level and a flash clip to support off-camera strobes.

This is a must-have piece of equipment especially if you do macro photography or mount remote cameras. Also, Gorillapods work great if you’re doing tabletop photography and/or fine art work. The units are well-priced with the SLR-Zoom model priced at $54.95 and the Focus model priced at $109.95.