In this week’s podcast, Alan and Jason, who are the hosts of the show, talk to three Fujifilm X-Photographers: street shooter, author and podcaster Valérie Jardin, landscape photographer Bryan Minear, who is one of my favorite shooters today, and me.
Each of us shares our own insight about the sensation, joy, satisfaction, challenge and love of photographing, as we partake in our endless search for light, subject matter and compelling moments.
I loved talking with the hosts about my love affair with photography and how it shares similarities with some of my other passions like music and cycling. They asked some great questions and it was fun to contribute my thoughts and ideas about my style and what the craft of photography means to me.
Thanks to B&H Photo for having me on the show, it was a great honor to participate with two other awesome photographers. You can listen below, or find the episode on Apple iTunes.
Also, take advantage of the X-H1 Sweepstakes; it’s going on through August 15. The grand prize is a Fujifilm X-H1 and XF 35mm f/2 WR lens. Second prize is a Fujifilm X-E3 and XF35mm f/2 WR lens. Click here to see how you can enter to win.
Launched back in the fall of 2016, Luminar is a powerful photo editing program offers a wide range of tools, presets, smart filters, layers, masking, customizable workspaces and a gorgeous, intuitive and very easy-to-use interface.
Built with the mindset that photo editing should be a fun, creative task, Luminar offers a distinct alternative for people who are frustrated with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, or who just don’t want to pay for an Adobe Subscription.
Since it was first introduced, Luminar has won many “Best Of” software awards, and it’s seen numerous updates, which have improved the overall speed and performance of the program by considerable amounts. Luminar 2018 is the current version, and in addition to the massive number of upgrades, new tools, faster RAW rendering, Luminar now fully supports Windows.
As of right now, the Windows version has mostly caught up with the Mac version. The only thing missing is support for a couple of 3rd party extensions, but those are coming soon.
Luminar’s Upcoming Catalog Module
Skylum has been working furiously on a brand new Catalog Module, which will be brought to Luminar 2018 later this year. This has been the topic of much speculation ever since it was announced last fall, and people are getting pretty antsy to see it released.
I’ve talked with a few of the Luminar software engineers and their CEO about the catalog system, and I know they’re waiting to release it until they get it right. They’re building it from the ground up, and they want to make sure that it offers a fast, seamless way to organize your photos, and gives photographers a truly viable alternative to Lightroom.
The catalog module will be issued as a free update to Luminar 2018, so if you don’t already use Luminar 2018, you’ll want to take advantage of this special 4-day deal. This will give you the full version of Luminar at the best possible price, and it will lock you in to receive the free catalog update when it’s finally released.
As someone who’s used Lightroom for years, Luminar has now become my #1 photo editing program choice. I love how easy it is to use, and I love how it gives me options, no matter if I’m doing minor tweaks to my Fuji JPEGs, or if I’m processing RAW files.
If I want to go quick and easy, I can use the filters and presets and get a great looking image in a minute or two. Or, I can take advantage of the many powerful tools and go deeper with my processing. Both approaches will give you great looking photos and let you explore your photographic creativity in whatever way suits your style or mood.
I don’t typically refer to myself as a portrait photographer, but I do enjoy shooting portraits on occasion. After all, I’m kind of a people person (at times), and as a photographer, I enjoy the challenge of capturing compelling images of an intriguing character in great light.
Usually they’re made during a shared adventure with one of my friends, when I’m drawn to capture a specific moment of determination, struggle or elation, under the peak of some magical display of sunlight. Or, they might be shots of someone I met during my travels to faraway lands.
Some people just have that look. You know what I’m taking about. Some people have a certain quality about them that begs to be photographed, whether it’s their magically engaging expression or a certain ruggedness that speaks a thousand stories about who they are and what they’ve done in life.
My airplane Mechanic, Mario Maccarone is one of those people. I met him seven years ago when I first bought my little yellow Cessna. He’s the one who rebuilt the plane after one of her wings was damaged in a wind storm. He found her sadly tucked away inside a hangar on the other side of his home airport, broken and battered, neglected after the insurance settlement had been paid out.
Mario saw the potential that lay before him and so he purchased the remains of N3102N, hauled her over to his own hangar and brought her back to life. He drove all the way to Whitehorse and back to get a new wing, and he spent many hours rewiring and renovating the interior.
Metal work is Mario’s specialty. He loves crafting, welding, cutting, fitting and fabricating not only parts and solutions for aircraft, he makes handmade jewelry as well. He rebuilt the entire interior of my C120 with pieces of specially cut pieces of lightweight sheet metal, which makes the plane considerably lighter than if it still had the stock upholstery interior. He even gave me a pair or skylights in the roof.
Growing up as a self proclaimed “poor kid in New Mexico,” Mario flew all the way up to Alaska and back in a small plane one summer with a friend when he was 15 years old. That trip sealed his fate, and he soon found his way back to Alaska. Eventually, he leaned to fly and work on small planes, and he’s now a full time A&P/IA mechanic and runs his own shop at Wolf Lake Airport, 50 miles north of Anchorage.
Those are just a bunch of facts, though. They don’t even being to describe the journey and events that have shaped Mario’s life, personality and appearance, any more than if I told you that I take pictures and ride bikes. That’s the wonder and mystery of humanity. That’s the magic we photographers hope to capture when we shoot portraits.
It’s amazing to think how my life is now intertwined with Mario. I only see him once or twice a year, but given how much I’ve done with my little Cessna, the places it’s taken me and the photos I’ve been able to get while flying her high above the mountains of Alaska, I can’t even begin to quantify the enormous impact that he’s had on my life.
I’ve wanted to photograph Mario for years, so when I picked up my plane from its annual inspection last week, I took my camera along with me. Since we’ve known each other for years now, it was a comfortable enough process to capture a few moments with my X-T2 and my Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 lens while we talked. That tiny little 50 f/2 is such a great lens for portraits. It’s such a great lens for just about anything, which is why I pretty much take it everywhere with me.
All of these are straight JPEGs, shot with the CLASSIC CHROME film simulation on the Fuji, under natural light from the open hangar door. I hope you enjoy these photos and I hope they inspire you to go out and capture some portraits of some of the people in your own life.
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