Leica Camera AG and Magnum Photos International Inc. signed collaboration

by JamesNYCFebruary 24. 2011 13:11

Leica Camera AG and Magnum Photos International Inc. signed collaboration

Magnum Photos International, Inc. and Leica Camera AG have begun a technological and photographic collaboration that will build upon almost a century’s worth of shared history between these two world-renowned photographic institutions. 

Since the founding of Magnum Photos in 1947 by the legendary photographers Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, George Rodger and David “Chim” Seymour, Magnum photographers have served as fervent eyewitnesses to history.  Through the lenses of their Leicas, they have captured the decisive moments of the 20th century with a unique vision and unparalleled intensity.

Magnum was established to reflect the independent nature of Magnum photographers as both people and photographers.  The idiosyncratic mix of reporter and artist continues to define Magnum, producing work that emphasizes not only what is seen, but also the way one sees it.

Over the past sixty years, Magnum and Leica have made extensive contributions to the recording of history. Individually, each brand stands alone as a pioneer in its field.  Leica has become synonymous with the best tools of the trade, blending hand-crafted quality with a dedication to precision mechanics and producing the best optics the industry has to offer.  From the moment Henri Cartier-Bresson picked up his first Leica I, Magnum photographers have pushed the limits of documentary photography, and in turn the limits of their Leicas, with groundbreaking results.

Focus On the Future

Building on their shared history Magnum and Leica agreed to collaborate on a series of projects that continue their longstanding dedication to independent documentary photography.  Alfred Schopf, CEO Leica Camera AG, and Magnum photographer Jonas Bendiksen, President of Magnum Photos International Inc., signed the project agreement in Solms, Germany.


Beginning in the Spring of 2011, Leica will sponsor the creation of a series of independently produced multimedia essays by Magnum photographers that will take a deeper look into the stories behind the photographs.  The work will highlight the personal journeys and insatiable curiosity of Magnum photographers.  Leica and Magnum will publish the stories online at www.leica-camera.com,
www.lfi-online.de, and


Commenting on the agreement, Magnum President Jonas Bendiksen stated: “The purpose of Magnum and its member photographers is to continue our long-standing commitment to discovering, witnessing, and communicating visually the sentiments of mankind.  With this new agreement, Leica is making an important statement in support of that shared responsibility.”

Tailoring to the needs of professionals

In addition to supporting individual projects, Leica and Magnum will use the production of the new essays as an opportunity to learn from Magnum photographers’ experiences in the field with the latest Leica equipment.   Magnum photographers’ input will contribute to Leica’s extensive ongoing user research efforts, with the shared goal of continuing to develop the Leica portfolio and tool-set to serve the needs of photographers world-wide.

Stephan Daniel, Director Product Management of Leica Camera AG, says: “The cooperation between Magnum and Leica will help us to create even better tools for professional photographers, both by getting their feedback with actual equipment and by testing future products. Stressing a camera or a lens under harsh circumstances is a welcome and important addition to our internal test procedures, making our products even more perfect for the hard daily work of professionals.”


For Magnum: Jonathan Roquemore, Brand Relations, Magnum Group L.L.C.

                     Jonathan@Magnumphotos.com  +41.79.688.0179

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Hasselblad releases n ew Phocus Family: Phocus 2.6, Phocus Quick an d Phocus Mobile

by JamesNYCFebruary 23. 2011 13:13

Phocus Family of Software Solutions
Hasselblad is proud to introduce the Phocus Family of software products, offering tools matching the changing working conditions photographers face with each new assignment. With three different products, each catering to a different style of working, these new Phocus options easily overcome shifting workflow challenges by providing a high level of efficiency and flexibility of choice.

Phocus 2.6 – available for download now
Phocus 2.6 is Hasselblad's powerful, easy-to-use imaging software. It offers improvements that expand both application's capabilities and workflow speed. Brand new cross-platform features such as the Dust Removal Tool, Star Rating and Filtering, a much faster multi-shot viewer and improved quality at lower resolution, plus Windows support for TIFF and JPEG files are now part of version 2.6.

For more information on Phocus 2.6 visit the Hasselblad website at:

Phocus Quick – available for download now
Phocus Quick offers a semi-automated solution to import and process your raw files using the core strengths of the full version of Phocus. The application imports your images applying basic image adjustments and saves both – a backup raw copy and a jpg of each image. Ready for printing or viewing, and ready for future more advanced imaging enhancements.

For more information on Phocus Quick visit the Hasselblad website at:

Phocus Mobile – available for download in March 2011
Phocus Mobile completes the Phocus Family with an imaging app for iPads and iPhones. The app connects wirelessly to a Mac running Phocus 2.6 and allows users to remotely browse, and rate images. With an H4D camera connected, you have full access to tethered shooting, including all the unique camera controls offered by the H4D.
Phocus Mobile is available as a free download in March 2011 from the Apple App store.

To download Phocus 2.6 and Phocus Quick for free, simply register your email-address at:

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Leica S2: What You Didn’t Know

by JamesNYCFebruary 23. 2011 12:46

Leica Camera revolutionized the world of professional photography with the S2, breaking new ground in every way. The decisive advantage of the Leica S2 is truly the sum of all its features: flexibility, durability and easy operation combined with industry-leading resolution and image quality. While some specific features are lesser known, each component greatly contributes to the S2’s unparalleled standard for quality. Explore some of the elements that make the S2 the ideal choice whether in the studio or on location to capture images of unmatched brilliance.

Weather Seal

The rugged, durable design of the Leica S2 ensures the highest standard of performance in even the most extreme climactic conditions. With over 35 water and dust resistant seals covering every surface of the S2 and Leica S lenses, photographers can shoot in inclement weather or dry and dusty environments and still be assured that their camera will function to its optimum ability and provide breath-taking images. The S2 can also be supplied with a highly scratch-resistant Leica S2-P sapphire glass display cover for the most demanding circumstances.  

Tethered Shooting

A true trailblazer, the S2 is the first and only medium-format camera to incorporate LEMO push-pull connector technology for its USB interface into its design. Ideal for high speed tethered shooting, this construction is so durable that the camera body can be held by its strain-relief tethering cable alone, a major advantage for any number of challenging photographic situations. Designed by the German military, this state-of-the art technology enables photographers to easily move about without worrying that the cable will be disconnected from the camera while the LEMO USB weather seal allows for tethered shooting even in severe weather settings.


Soft Keys

Simplicity and ease-of-use are paramount to the Leica photographic experience and the S2 achieves both with its innovative soft keys. The four menu keys can be programmed to perform almost any function and adjust to photographer’s individual shooting style and needs. Additionally, the soft keys allow for firmware updates to be made swiftly and easily, ensuring that S2 photographers are consistently at the forefront of their craft.

Battery Life

Whether shooting a fashion spread in the studio or a safari in the field, the S2 allows photographers to capture more images with a single battery life. A drastic improvement over the standard 200 frames per battery life, S2 photographers can garner up to 1,000 frames from a single charge. In addition to using lithium battery technology, the S2 features no memory effect, which allows partially drained batteries to be recharged without reducing performance.

About the Leica S2

Introduced in 2009, the Leica S-system is a completely new digital camera concept to meet supreme professional requirements. With a resolution of 37.5 megapixels, the S2’s 30 x 45mm CCD sensor features an aspect ratio of 3:2 and an area nearly 60% larger than that of a traditional 35mm camera, resulting in stunning image quality. The S2’s full range of features includes autofocus, high-speed MAESTRO image processor, highly durable design and optimal size and ease-of-use for professional photographers. The Leica S2 retails for $22,995.00 (body only).

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AD clients are now trying to screw the Ad Agencies

by JamesNYCFebruary 21. 2011 08:38

I just found thi sinteresting little story from Advertising Age.

Sears Riles Shops With Demand: We Will Own Your Ad-Pitch Idea

Calling the Practice 'Unreasonable,' 4A's Prevails Upon Consultant SRI to Intervene

Who would turn down the opportunity to work on an iconic retail brand that spent nearly $500 million last year and ranked No. 22 among all U.S. megabrands in 2009? How about Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide and TBWA Worldwide; Interpublic Group of Cos.' Deutsch; and Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett Worldwide, all of which are snubbing Sears, Roebuck & Co.

The reason is simple: Sears is demanding that participants relinquish ownership of materials and ideas they present during the review -- even if they don't win the business. That demand is so unpalatable that agencies are opting out -- and Sears stands to lose out, unless an enterprising agency can convince it to waive the requirement specifically for them.

While such provisions have popped up over the years, the one attached to the Sears review stands out because of its scope. "I have not seen language this broad," said Tim Finneran, exec VP-agency management services at the 4A's. "From time to time clients will suggest that they want the rights to use ideas. But the wording in this case is so broad that it is outside the norm. Here is a client saying to agencies, 'It's all ours whether we hire you or not.'

Read the original story here: http://adage.com/agencynews/article?article_id=148998


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Leica Camera offers a new LEICA S lens firmware update and a new Image Shuttle software version

by JamesNYCFebruary 18. 2011 14:41
Allendale, NJ (February 18, 2011) - Leica Camera, Inc. is pleased to announce the latest S lens firmware update and a new Image Shuttle software version. Users wishing to benefit from the new offerings can now download the firmware and software updates from the “Leica Owners Area” on the Leica website and take advantage of new, improved features.

Available for LEICA SUMMARIT-S 1:2,5 / 35mm ASPH., the LEICA SUMMARIT-S 1:2,5 / 70mm ASPH., the LEICA APO-MACRO-SUMMARIT-S 1:2,5 / 120mm and the LEICA APO-ELMAR-S 1:3,5 / 180mm, the new S lens firmware update optimizes the lens’ performance due to an initializing sequence when turning on the camera and attaching the lens. Users are invited to download the instructions manual prior to updating their lens.

Leica Camera’s new Image Shuttle software update optimizes the compatibility with the current S2 firmware, in addition to improving stability. Furthermore, it allows Quick View to display images in a separate, scalable window immediately after capture when shooting tethered.

The S lens firmware update, the software update and instructions manuals will be available for download to registered S customers starting February 18, 2011 at http://owners.leica-camera.com/.

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Leaf Capture 11.4.5 Now Available

by JamesNYCFebruary 16. 2011 14:56

Leaf Capture 11.4.5 Now Available

Please be informed that Leaf Capture Version 11.4.5 is now available.

Version Highlights

Leaf Capture 11.4.5 features tethered and portable support for Leaf SensorFlex technology on Leaf Aptus-II 12, Leaf Aptus-II 12R and the Leaf Aptus-II 12 for AFi/HY6 digital backs.

The release of this key feature means that when shooting tethered or to CF memory cards, Aptus-II 12, Aptus-II 12R and Aptus-II 12 for AFi/HY6 users will now be able to choose their cropping dimensions from a range of standard pre-set formats before the shooting even begins. Leaf SensorFlex enables photographers to choose the dimensions, capture speeds, burst lengths and file sizes that are most suited to their work.

Leaf SensorFlex technology enables all Leaf Aptus-II 12 users a range of cropping sizes that includes:

• Full size - 80MP (10320 x 7752 pixels)
• 4:3 - 60MP (8952 x 6712 pixels)
• 14:9 - 60MP (9856 x 6088 pixels)
• 1:1 - 60MP (7752 x 7752 pixels)

The new version also enables support for the Aptus-II 12 for AFi/HY6 digital backs.

Download Leaf Capture 11.4.5
Download Le af Capture 11.4.5 Release Notes

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Ikea Cutting Board to DSLR Rig

by JamesNYCFebruary 16. 2011 14:54

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JamesNYC recalls working on Sports Illustrated 1996

by JamesNYCFebruary 15. 2011 21:25

Since the new Sports Illustrated is now on news stands I thought I'd reminisce about my own S.I. experience.

I had the great fortune to be on a Sports Illustrated swimsuit shoot several years ago, with a photographer I'd been following since my photo school days back in Chicago.
These YouTube Videos are from our leg of the shoot in South Africa.
We shot in Cape Town, The Kalahari desert, Cape of Good Hope, Johannesburg - Sun City, and the wine country known as Franschhoek
This was back in the "Olden days" of film and Polaroid, 35mm manual focus cameras and the best/most reliable portable flash unit of the day was a portable 600W Hensel.

In fact I personally loved South Africa so much I seriously considered moving there; and the video production company was even willing to sponsor my Visa. Little did I know that I would become a father 10 months later.

Long before reality TV I was foolish enough to attempt industry specific comedy on camera at 7:30 in the morning, before having my morning pot of coffee, on an airport tarmac which at that hour of the day was already 105 degrees. Thankfully the forth generation audio on this 1st video is bad enough that I just sound like an inarticulate exhausted photo assistant; and I can live with that.

For me this was the final travel job of 6 that included traveling to 4 countries, and working 120 days straight with 1 day off while we were in shooting in Milan. It was during this trip that Marco and his business partners and boarding school friends Federico Pignatelli and Gianni Versace (the silent partner very few knew of) were putting the finishing touches on the new Pier 59 Studios in NYC.

Other fun stuff about this trip:
Rebecca Romijn (pre Stamos) gave here engagement ring to someone during the shoot to hold while we were shooting in the red sand dunes. Later that day we spent a large portion of that afternoon sifting through 2 acres sand aided by the local goat herders to find it. The sand in these red dunes is so fine that in order to get an idea of how deep we should be digging we dropped a quarter in the sand from from an elevation of 4 feet. The quarter had gone down 16 inches when we found it.

Travel time direct to South Africa from JFK NYC is 28 hours with 1 stop to refuel off the west coast of Africa (Cape Verde I think). When you know your going to be sitting on a plane for 28 hours straight I highly recommend flying business class. And while South African Airlines appears to have crappy user ratings now, they took really good care of us on that shoot.

When shooting at the Cape of Good Hope the surf spray was so harsh that even when shooting 150 yards from the breaking surf the salt mist was coating the camera and lens and getting into the the focus ring. That particular 200 mm lens which was new at the beginning of the shoot was cleaned and put up for sale at a local camera shop when we got back to NYC.

In order to escape the heat of the intense midday sun our call times were often 4:30 am, so that we could shoot by sun up at around 5:45. We would load the 3 passenger vans and start driving through the dessert to the locations I had scouted the day before. That's a 40 minute drive in pitch black. So to break the silence and to wake up Angie Everhart and I would sing Van Halen songs at the top of our lungs in the van. Actually not the worst duet you've ever heard.

OK, so it was still the 90's. Pretty much every night everyone on the shoot consumed a bottle of wine each at dinner; some more... while we were in the Kalahari the local producers set us up a barbecue of fresh lamb chops (butchered that morning) flown in to us along with fresh veggies and 6 cases of wine from the vineyard we had shot at the week before. While we were eating, drinking, exhausted and sunburned a couple of Bat eared fox strolled through our camp looking for their share of the BBQ.

Night time in the Kalahari is the Blackest black and the quietest quiet I have ever experienced. Very NOT like NYC.

For our 30 day shoot we brought 300 rolls of 35mm Ektachrome 100, 100 packs of Fuji fp100c, all crammed into my flight case. Total baggage of the photo crew (3) including equipment and personal bags was 9. Sports Illustrated/Time Warner had 50 body bags of swimsuits and accessories.

7:00 in the morning is the wrong time to realize that a single Cessna Turboprop aircraft is too small for a group of 8 and all of the equipment and baggage. So we loaded a van and our S.F. producers boy friend drove 16 hours to our next location.

When the video crew on your shoot asks if you want to go on safari with them while the rest of the crew sleeps through the afternoons high sun TAKE IT!! You'll probably never get a second chance to get out of the truck and photograph 3 Lionesses in the dessert sitting under a lone tree watching you.
Wild Animal PHOTO TIP: Keep 1 foot in the truck at all times; cause you really ain't that fast!

I think an interesting video now would be a "Where are they now" of the people from that shoot.
More in that book I keep saying I'm gonna write.

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Manfrotto Genus System

by JamesNYCFebruary 15. 2011 16:28
Manfrotto Genus System


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Manfrotto Genus ND fader

by JamesNYCFebruary 15. 2011 12:38
Manfrotto shows us the amazing new Genus ND fader

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Stuff people say

Any photographer who says he’s not a voyeur is either stupid or a liar. - Helmut Newton


"The Camera does not lie, Post Production and Publishers do". - James-ism 09/06/2013


"Papa, ... Music is your love, but Photography is your Religion." - Joya D. Hall-Sullivan | Age 10


"All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth." - Richard Avedon - 1984


 "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." - Thomas Alva Edison


"Any photographer who says he’s not a voyeur is either stupid or a liar." - Helmut Newton


"You don’t have to sort of enhance reality. There is nothing stranger than truth." - Annie Leibovitz


"When you find yourself beginning to feel a bond between yourself and the people you photograph, when you laugh and cry with their laughter and tears, you will know you are on the right track." - Weegee


" The camera is much more than a recording apparatus. It is a medium via which messages reach us from another world." - Orson Welles


"Some people's photography is an art. Not mine. Art is a dirty word in photography. All this fine art crap is killing it already." - Helmut Newton


"Our virtues and our failings are inseparable, like force and matter. When they separate, man is no more. " - Nikola Tesla


"I think all art is about control - the encounter between control and the uncontrollable." - Richard Avedon


"The first 10 000 shots are the worst." - Helmut Newton


“If I have any ‘message’ worth giving to a beginner it is that there are no short cuts in photography.” – Edward Weston


"Men often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn't have it in the beginning." - Mahatma Gandhi


"Ultimately success or failure in photographing people depends on the photographer's ability to understand his fellow man." - Edward Weston


"If you want reality take the bus." - David LaChapelle


"You don't take a photograph, you make it." - Ansel Adams


"When I have sex with someone I forget who I am. For a minute I even forget I’m human. It’s the same thing when I’m behind a camera. I forget I exist." - Robert Mapplethorpe


" Great photography is always on the edge of failure." - Garry Winogrand


"I don’t think photography has anything remotely to do with the brain. It has to do with eye appeal." - Horst P. Horst


"Be yourself. I much prefer seeing something, even it is clumsy, that doesn't look like somebody else's work." - William Klein


"Avedon claims to have been the best photographer in the '60s - bullshit - Bob Richardson was - despite or because of being insane and strung out on drugs, I managed to do photographs that are considered iconic - being known as the 'photographer's photographer' means I lead and they follow - I'm broke and they are rich." - Bob Richardson


"If you're absent during my struggle, don't expect to be present during my success" - Will Smith


"Either take the lead or follow behind, just stay the fuck out of my way." - James Sullivan

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