Category Archives: Blog

Pay Me, and I Won’t Shoot!

The recent kerfuffle between Mike Sorrentino, (aka “The Situation” on the Jersey Shore) and Abercrombie and Fitch, whereby the company offered New Jersey’s second-most-famous Guido (sorry, Mike, but Tony Soprano would never forgive me) money NOT to wear its clothes, got me to thinking.

I’m from New Jersey, I’m obnoxious, and I can often be seen with a six-pack (although I usually carry mine in a brown paper bag). What if I offer my clients the opportunity NOT to shoot for them….for a nice fee?

It’s a brilliant marketing strategy for the new photographic economy. Think about it….It’s pretty much a given that publications, clients, and websites do not want to pay the going rates for experienced content producers…in fact, they’d like to not pay for content at all.

So, if you’re unfashionable enough, how much will they pay you NOT to use your content?

Most publications are desperate for ways to put old-timers out to pasture with the minimum of fuss (and this fall, from what I hear, the pasture stands a good chance of becoming rather full).

Rather than the usual; i.e. letting us drift into obscurity by simply pretending we don’t exist, not returning emails and phone calls, and ignoring story proposals, and then getting lambasted in the photo blogosphere, let’s put a positive spin on it.

Just send the checks, and we’ll promise not to shoot a thing.

In fact, make those checks big enough, and we will deny ever having wielded a camera in the name of any given publication or client.

I know what you’re thinking: this is nuts. It may well be, but it makes about as much sense as shooting for links, sweatin’ your SEO, creating your brand, and all the other career advice I read lately.

So you heard it here first. From another Jersey boy.  If it’s good enough for The Situation, and agri-business, it should be good enough for photographers. Just pay us, and we’ll promise not to shoot for you……

Dr. Krist, you’re needed in the O.R., stat!

© Bob Krist---The night the lights went out in Senegal!

Wow, what a trip Senegal is!  Incredible place but tough on docs and patients using the less-than-ideal infrastructure. Take the above photo for instance.

My friend Dr. Al Ruenes and his colleague, Dr. Serigne Gueye, were doing a fistula repair on a patient in a remote clinic south of Dakar when the power went out. So they’ve got the patient opened but can’t see a thing.

Well, as much as I love my Nikon Speedlights, it was continuous lighting that saved the day because I pulled out my little headlamp flashlight and my Lite Panels Micro Pro LED on camera video light, handed them to the docs, and they were able to finish the operation with a nice main light and a broader fill!

The docs liked the light quality so much, they continued to use it even when the lights came back on (probably a good thing, since we lost power a couple of times that day!)

© Bob Krist---The fill is a little close to the main light, but for surgery, this is perfect lighting!

We’re wrapping up here today and hope to be home tomorrow. It’s been an incredible experience seeing what obstacles are faced and overcome here on a daily basis. Hope to have some video up (but, it’s going to take a while).

I hardly shot a still while I was here….video took up all my concentration, and I’m still making rookie mistakes. I’ll have more on that in another post.

A One-Man, Video-Shootin’, Senegalese Band

Photo by Arun Paul. Left to Right: Painter, Doctor, and....Videographer????????

I’m off to Senegal to shoot a short documentary on the volunteer work of my friend Dr. Al Ruenes. Al is a urologist who regularly visits Senegal to teach new techniques to surgeons from all over Africa, and while he’s there, does a whole slew of pro bono procedures for Senegalese patients.

Also coming is renowned plein air artist Bob Beck. He’s going to make paintings of the trip, I’m going to make the short video, and when we get back, we’re going to try to use this stuff to raise money for an operating theater Al hopes to fund in Dakar.

Originally, my son Brian was coming along to do the video duties, and I was just doing stills and audio. But then, young Brian had to go and get a great new gig as an associate producer for a new series at Discovery Channel and couldn’t get the time off.

(Oh sure, let a little thing like a major career move get in the way of a trip with the old man….sheesh, these kids!)

So it’s up to me to do my one-man band routine.

I’m only mildly panicked, as I’ve spent a lot of the summer studying up, shooting a lot of video to try to get my chops somewhat up to snuff.  Even at that, I’ve got a long way to go as a videographer, but I’m ready as I’ll ever be by tonight, anyway!

And just like in my still shooting,  I’ve been researching and finding the smallest, most reasonably-priced stuff that will do the job right.

So it’s going to be a little quiet on the blog for the rest of the month. And comment moderation could be very slow, so if you post a comment and it doesn’t show up for a while, it is nothing more nefarious than a bad or non-existent internet connection in my location!

For a look at the gear I’ll be bringing on this one man band gig, hit the jump. Continue reading »

Meet Joe Photographer: The TSA’s Silhouetted Symbol of a Terrorist

Don't forget to wear your hoodie on your next terror assignment!!

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Ay Carumba!  As if photographers didn’t already have enough problems with overzealous police officers and security guards drunk with power harassing us in public places?

Now we’ve got the TSA using a hooded photographer’s silhouette as the symbol of a terrorist in their latest poster.

Oh boy, this is going to be fun. Couldn’t they have picked somebody else to symbolize a terrorist?

I dunno, maybe a mommy with a baby carriage (you never know, there might just be a bomb in the baby carriage that’s wired to the radio. Thanks to Paul Simon, I’ve heard that scenario over and over again!)

Or maybe a sneaky ground crew member (They wear hoodies almost all the time…..What’s up with that, anyway?).

But noooooo, it had to be a guy standing out in the open taking pictures with a big obvious SLR camera.

Yup, that’s what just terrorists do….right after they get off from a long hard day at flight school, and are tired of studying the tons of maps and information they’re finding on the internets.

But hey, it’s not as if a simple silhouetted figure can come to represent an entire profession in the public imagination!

Just ask Jerry West.

Hands on impressions of the Nikon Coolpix P7000

© Bob Krist--The Coolpix P7000's 28mm (equivalent) lens is great for landscapes

I had the opportunity, a few months ago, to work with prototypes of the newly-announced Coolpix P7000 on an assignment in the Southwest US. It was for Nikon’s ad agency in Japan. The P7000 is a fully-featured compact that would be the perfect backup/stealth/walkaround camera for a travel photographer.

This is not a review. So, if you are looking for MTF charts, camera-to-camera comparisons, and all the stuff a full-blown review offers, stop reading now, please.

It is, as the headline clearly states, my impressions of the machine. On these gigs, I’m handed a camera or a lens and I have a limited time to make as interesting a set of pictures as I can, not do side-by-side comparisons. So, tech heads, please forgive me in advance:-).

© Bob Krist--A cowpoke named "Laredo" as captured by the Coolpix P7000

When I got the call, my client said “bring along your DSLR too, in case we see something special and you want to shoot it on your main camera.”  I thought it was a very generous offer, but based on my previous experience with a variety of compacts, I declined. I knew that, in the heat of a great photo opportunity, I’d probably forget to use the compact altogether (Oy! Can say “blown assignment?”).

So, in order to save me from myself, I went out without a “net,” and after a day or so of getting used to using the LCD screen (although there is an excellent, if not 100% accurate, optical viewfinder), I didn’t miss the D90 nearly as much as I thought I would.

In fact, I’m using one of the pictures from this assignment in the oversize calendar that I do as a promotional piece for clients every year. I’ve done the calendar for years and never used anything but DSLR pictures. But I got my early copies last week from the printer, and the P7000 frame is indistinguishable from the DSLR frames. Not bad!

To read more about the camera and see a few JPEGs, hit the jump.

Continue reading »