Analog Stories of Film Photography

Shooting a promo video for yourself is one thing, but having someone invite you to be part of a bigger project and document your life is a whole different story. I am humbled and excited to show you the new video by Matt Mangham for his Analog Stories featuring me and my daily life. Matt started this series when he completely fell in love with film and that manual experience. He reached out asking if I’m open to film another episode for his series. Of course I said yes! Matt is a very talented and his work ethic is inspiring. Even …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Lumu Light Meter Review and Field Test

Introduction What an exciting two years it has been. In two months I’ll be celebrating my birthday which also happens to be the day I was introduced to film photography two years ago. So much has changed in how I shoot, what I shoot, what gear I use, and what interests me. It’s been a very important transitional time for me where I finalized my style, my overall approach to photography, and many other things. My first camera was Canon AE-1 and now I have about 20 different 35mm and 120mm cameras. For a while my light meter was my …

History of Success #2. Interview with Japan Camera Hunter

Introduction There is an endless list of photographers around the world who at least for a split second each day visit japancamerahunter.com to get a daily dose of inspiration (In Your Bag & Get Featured get thousands of hits each day). Bellamy Hunt, the mastermind behind this website and this venture, is someone I admire not just for what he does, but also for managing his time like a pro. Every single time I reach out to him, he got back to me within a few hours. So with time and I got more and more curious about Bellamy and …

Voigtlander 35mm Nokton F1.4 Review and Field Test

Sony A7 was meant to be a stylish camera. After using it for a little less than a year this would be my conclusion. Somehow it is also inviting to play with various lens options. I have a single Sony lens that I have owned for all this time. I’m definitely going to expand the lineup very soon just because I need to keep doing my main BW series. So one of my first extra lenses was a Voigtlander 75mm Heliar. A great lens, but I barely use it (it’s available for purchase). I have seen a ton of camera …

Zeiss Loxia 50mm F2 Review and Field Test

On of the most attractive thins about Sony a7 is the ability to mount pretty much anything on it. When Zeiss released its two Loxia lenses, I jumped on the opportunity to rent them and spend the weekend shooting in Palm Springs and Salton Sea. I own a Voigtlander 75mm and multiple Canon fd’s so I have some experience with manual lenses and Sony. The new Zeiss Loxia series brings more enjoyment to the manual shooting and I was about to see for myself how much I’m going to enjoy the lens. It was the morning of Christmas Day and …

How to Choose Your First Medium Format Camera

This weekend I’ve been thinking about the future of film cameras and film photography. I was watching a short documentary about Steve McCurry and the last film of Kodachrome. This was 4 years ago. What will happen with film in another 4 years. Our film options are limited, there are only a few last in the whole country who can process medium format film, and the cameras are slowly disappearing from eBay. I wrote about the changes I found in myself after I began shooting with film cameras and especially medium format. It truly is a growing experience. Today I …

Artisan Obscura review: buttons and hot shoe covers

In the last few months I have been busy putting together the reviews of all the new products I like and wanted to test out for a while. One day I decided to spend $70 and get myself a few nice treats. These things are not necessarily whatsoever, even though I know there are people who will argue on this. There is a bit of room left to prove me wrong and in part the button was ordered for my Mamiya RZ67 to get more ergonomic with the shooting. The hot shoe cover was a mere pleasure and something nice …

The big camera strap review

Introduction Who would have thought that only after about 6 weeks I will be sitting at home and looking at the best handmade camera straps from all over the world. What started as a simple “Why not try and see if I can get a few straps for a review” thought turned out into possibly the largest major strap review there is. Today I have 16 fantastic straps in this review and all of it was possible thanks to the people who made these great products. The best thing about trying to reach small companies is that someone will actually …

How medium format film affected my digital work

Introduction It was December 30th and I was sitting in front of my laptop thinking about the next cool gadget to get for New Years. In Russia it’s the biggest holiday and the second coolest opportunity after birthday to get the best gift of the year. It was raining outside even though it was the middle of the winter and snow typically piles up all around the buildings so only the small paths allow the people to move around. With a cup of coffee in my hand I got to my research. It’s always a happy feeling when you know …