Why What You Shoot on Film Matters

I really enjoy shooting film. I never say I’m a pro at it. I live and learn and see what works and what doesn’t. It seems that fewer and fewer people who shoot commercial projects or consider themselves pro photographer ever pick up film cameras these days. It’s mostly the generation, with people like me, who were born on the edge of film cameras and digital cameras. We were not born with iPhones and we didn’t know what Facebook is. I think because we were and are in the middle of these two worlds, it’s very interesting to figure out …

The Great Western Roadtrip and my Day in Yellowstone

National Parks are not easy to photograph. The most popular ones have millions of visitors each year and at least a few hundred of pro photographers. It’s a tight competition space and it always matters what you see in those places and how you can stay true to yourself while giving proper treatment to the beauty of these gorgeous places. A month ago I had a chance to go to the state and the park that has been my dream place for quite a while. I had no major shoot plans, I just wanted to see this for myself. It …

Hollywood, Unfiltered.. With the King of Streets Sony RX100IV

I have two stories to tell before I begin talking about the new RX100IV. It was early June and I was about to go home to Russia for three months. This was somewhere around 2009-2010. I wanted to pocket camera so I don’t have to carry my Canon 7D with me everywhere. I went to Samy’s because this was the day before my flight and I couldn’t even do overnight shipping at that point. I got a little Nikon J2 I think and I proudly took it home. It was my first Nikon and my last one. I took it …

Why You Need a Manual Prime Lens in Your Kit

I heard an expression today that when you go on vacation, you always remember the low moments, the high ones, and the ending. That led me to think of my journey this year and how really crazy things have been. It’s a roller coaster. That led me to think of some of my high moments this year and there is one event that always comes to mind first. It was an end of a long day and I had to squeeze in a late evening shoot. I was pretty exhausted but this just had to happen. It was a ballet …

Asilda Giveaway

Doing the giveaways last year has been some of the most rewarding experiences in my life. It’s a weird feeling to have to tell the winners that this is for real and for absolutely no money they will get an awesome piece of gear. I loved it! At this point I have a bit too much camera stuff in my house, so it’s time to part with some of it and give it to the winners of my next giveaway. I though about putting these on sale, but I knew that I’d much rather ask for your help to spread the …

Quality Portfolio vs. Quality Blog Posts

I never really though I’d have a successful blog. I put a lot into the preparation and creation of each post. I take it seriously. But at this point i feel that I’m getting into this zone where some people may see me as a blogger and not as a photographer. Same goes for people who do workshops. “They are not real photographers,” some may say. And even though these are the comment we usually try to just ignore, it bothered me that no matter how awesome my photos were before, I had barely any visitors on the website. Now …

Shooting Ballet with Sony FE 35mm F1.4

2015 has been one killer year for Sony so far. Since we all know that such releases don’t just happen out of nowhere, I can only imagine what we can expect in 1-2 years. Everything takes time to develop and if Sony is dominating the news right now, it means there are more good things to come. Right now I have 35mm 1.4 in front of me. Soon I’ll have two new cameras that I have been waiting for for months. This summer is looking very exciting and I am pumped to try out and share my thoughts on some …

History Of Success #3. Interview with Richard Photo Lab.

When I first came across Richard Photo Lab, I had no idea about film nor printing actually. It’s always intimidating and stressful for me to be in such situations where I’m a complete newbie. Every single time I spoke with someone at Richard, I always got even more than I asked for. It’s just how they do things. I’m not a newbie anymore, in many ways thanks to the people who work at Richard. For the last two years we’ve worked on numerous projects together for my clients. I bothered them with all my questions. I called several times in …

How to Shoot Product Photography

In the last year I’ve published numerous gear reviews. I enjoy shooting products for photographers and pretty much never get paid for that. It’s more of a personal quest to get the gear I like, to shoot and review it, and share my thoughts and images on the blog. I always am very selective of what I photograph and how and it’s a pretty lengthy process from start to finish. I recently was looking for articles about shooting products on white background because I nedeed to get some of the pins and patches photographed in a lightbox for the store. …

F-Stop Gear Kashmir Female Camera Backpack Review

I admire people who go to remote destinations and take some of the most breathtaking images for us to see. I’m not one of those photographers. I can hardly see myself climbing a mountain. But I do appreciate the work of those who spend countless days hiking, climbing, camping, researching, and living in pretty uncomfortable settings. On top of that they also shoot photos and videos. Obviously this kind of work requires some rigid equipment that needs to add at least a little bit of comfort to such endeavors. Here is where F-Stop Gear comes in. This is as hard-core as …

Sony FE 24-240mm Review and Field Test

Sony has been dominating the market lately. I remember how Canon (for some it was Nikon) was the standard and nobody was even considering the switch. Then Sony began introducing their new generation of cameras and photographers started paying more attention. The switch was easy for some shooters without current extensive collection of bodies and lenses. For someone who shoots professionally the migration was more painful and many questioned if it even makes sense. I was questioning myself for 8 months, after which I rented and ultimately purchased my Sony a7R. I originally had only one Sony lens – 24-70mm F4. …

Billingham 307L Camera Bag Review

There is a handful of companies that make stylish camera bags. It’s even harder to find the ones that can make great looking bags that are also functional, comfortable, and protective of your gear. Billingham and the Hadley line, in my opinion, are some of the finest camera bags on the market. My first Billingham was a gift I gave to my man. Somehow it’s easier for me to spend money on the gifts rather than buying something for myself. So Hadley Pro was my official start of the relationship with Billingham. The bag proved to be genius both from …

Topo Designs: Camera Strap and Light Hip Pack Review

I’ve been a very big fan of Topo Designs and how they present the brand for quite some time now. It you want something very well designed and looking great in the outdoors, then Topo Designs is your brand. I have been looking at their Woolrich x Topo Designs collaboration collection and for a long time admired the look of those bags. If you go on Topo Designs website, there are quite a few thing you’d probably want to get. Made in Colorado, the bags and apparel are true to the area and the people who made them. This month …

Artisan Obscura + Tap & Dye Limited Edition Straps and Buttons

A year ago today I published my Camera Strap Review, which in one day got 3,850 visitor hits. It was and still is my biggest single day for the website. Since then I updated the review and included more companies that do quality straps. In the last year, over 20,000 people looked at that post. It all started while I was in New York, right after my rental of the Sony a7R. I was sipping hot tea and looking at Tap & Dye website. I thought those straps are pretty awesome. I was planning to buy one. What happened after …

Things I learned from my Leica M6

I’ve had my Leica for almost two months now. It was a birthday gift and the one that I totally didn’t expect. It’s the dream gift for any photographer I think, so I was jumping in the living room surrounded by roses and unwrapping the original white matte Leica box. Inside of it my new M6 was peacefully looking at me as if it was wishing to be with someone like me for a very long time. It was weird, but pretty cool. At that moment my life felt a bit like a Pixar movie where everything comes alive, has …