I’m incredibly honored to have once again been given the opportunity to work with Nikon Japan on another project—this time, for the absolutely stunning Nikon AF-S105mm f/1.4E ED.

DG_105_000004

(Nikon D810, ISO 64, f/1.4, 1/4000th)

First and foremost, this shoot was so much fun to be a part of, and I attribute it’s success in large part to an amazing creative director and crew.  Having a CD who puts their full faith in you to produce a great set of photos as well as an amazing support crew is priceless.

Instead of shooting tight studio portraits with minimal backgrounds (which I cant wait to use this lens for), we opted for a handful of locations around my neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY, as we needed to show off the versatility of this lens and push it as much as possible.

DG_105_000010

(Nikon D810, ISO 64, f/1.4, 1/4000th)

Even when there’s a bit of a production on a shoot, I really strive to shoot as loosely as possible. For a shoot like this, that meant a handful of formalized portraits, but more than anything, tons of loose lifestyle work.

DG_105_000009

(Nikon D810, ISO 64, f/1.4, 1/1600th)

Tracking and locking focus at f/1.4 isn’t typically an easy thing to do.  With that said, I really wanted to use this lens exactly as I would on a normal portrait assignment, and it really shined where I needed it to.  I shot three models over three days, and the speed of focus and level of sharpness far surpassed my expectations.

DG_105_000002

(Nikon D810, ISO 200, f/1.4, 1/250th)

Fast glass can be a lifesaver, and f/1.4 is a beautiful thing.  When used right, shallow depth of field can make an otherwise ordinary or even cluttered scene into something breathtaking.  The bokeh this lens produces is just that, and when you combine it with the compression of a 105mm lens, it really brings this lens to a whole new level.

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(Nikon D810, ISO 320, f/1.4, 1/100th)

This lens really sets a new professional standard for portrait photography, and I’m so excited to have it in my bag.

If you’re a portrait photographer, I can almost guarantee you that this will be your new favorite lens, so go check it out for yourself, and I’d love to hear what you think.

A huge thanks goes out to my crew for all their hard work on this job!:

Client: Nikon Japan/Worldwide

Creative Director: Soichi Hayashi

Talent: Ebony Obsidian, Matthew Bentley & Emily Stockdale

Photo Assistant: Adam Wamsley

Styling: Kody Pangburn & James Huggins

Hair/Makeup: Christina Nicole

As a quick note, I know a lot of you reading this are interested in this lens, and for that reason none of these photos have had any major editing, and there’s been absolutely no retouching.

Here’s a handful of images shot for the campaign, and if you have any questions, drop a comment below and i’ll do my best to get right back to you.

Cheers,

Drew

DG_105_000008

(Nikon D810, ISO 64, f/1.4, 1/4000th)

DG_R1410_1765

(Nikon D810, ISO 1600, f/1.4, 1/160th)

DG_105_000006

(Nikon D810, ISO 64, f/1.4, 1/250th)

DG_105_000005

(Nikon D810, ISO 64, f/1.4, 1/3200th)

DG_105_000003

(Nikon D810, ISO 200, f/1.4, 1/400th)

DG_105_000001

(Nikon D810, ISO 64, f/1.4, 1/200th)

DG_R1410_0669

(Nikon D810, ISO 1000, f/1.4, 1/80th)

 

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Back in the fall of 2014, I was very excited to get an email from no other than Nikon’s mothership in Tokyo, Japan to shoot a chunk of their campaign for the new 300 f/4.  I was honored and humbled to be able to work with a brand that I’ve used and have been a fan of for years.

This past fall, I got another one of those mysterious emails, which usually start with “Greetings from Tokyo! We’re planning a new photo shoot for an interesting project.  What does your schedule look like in November?”  At the time of course, I had absolutely no idea what the shoot was all about, but as it turned out, it was for the brand new premium compact Nikon DL series of cameras.


These cameras will be available in three models to suit just about any type of photographer:

18-50 f/1.8-2.8

24-85 f/1.8-2.8

24-500 f/2.8-5.6

A few features I absolutely love about this camera:

  • Amazing image quality (so much so, that I can literally use these photos in my portfolio alongside photos shot on my Nikon D810’s.)
  • FAST glass!
  • Incredibly quick response time, intuitive menus I’m used to using on my DSLR’s
  • Hybrid autofocus beyond any compact camera I’ve used to date.
  • Quick and easy sharing of images from your camera directly to your smart phone.

I try not to get too wrapped up in the technical details of this or any camera I shoot.  I’m not a tech blogger, but a photographer, and my biggest concerns are whether or not this camera feels right in my hands, enables me to work in the way I want to work, and produces the quality of images I’m used to taking.

This was one of those dream assignments where the client comes to you with an amazing job, asks what you want to shoot, and they say “yes” to your first few ideas.  In this case, that meant going to the incredibly beautiful Maderas Village, just outside of San Juan Del Sur in Nicaragua.  I was there last August on vacation, fell in love with it, made great friends with the whole crew down there, and was looking for an excuse to go back and photograph it all.

I’m so used to shooting jobs that involve tons of production and lighting, and this job was not one of those.  The overall concept involved shooting the camera in as loose of a way as possible, and shooting beach lifestyle photos in a place like Nicaragua made perfect sense for this campaign.  Despite bringing a few cases of gear with me (It’s ingrained in me, what can I say?), we used nothing more than beautiful natural light and the occasional reflector..that’s it.

This isn’t the camera that I’d necessarily use on a big production shoot (these shoots are typically reserved for my DSLRs), but it’s the camera that I’d bring absolutely everywhere, because there’s no excuse not to have it with me.  It’s all too easy to find an excuse not to bring a giant DLSR with me everywhere I go, and nobody’s going to hold that against me.  They’re amazing, and they serve their purpose, but to carry one with me everywhere sometimes feels a bit like a ball and chain.  The DL however, fills that huge gap for me— it’s a camera that enables me to express myself visually, and to work fluidly, without being tied down with a bulkier system.  To be able to throw it in my bag, go on vacation, and shoot amazing photos is a huge win for me, and I think it will be for tons of other photographers too.  The camera absolutely exceeded my expectations, and I’m thrilled to have been involved in such a cool campaign.

I’m so happy to have shared this campaign with my good friend, and fellow New Yorker, Steve Simon.  Take a look at his in-depth view, along with gorgeous images he shot in Havana, Cuba HERE!

This entire shoot could not have been possible without my incredible crew, so a huge, well deserved thanks goes out to all of them!

Client: Nikon Japan/Worldwide

Creative Director: Soichi Hayashi

Talent: June Freedom

Photo Assistant: Michael Cardiello

Cinematography/Editor: David Geffin

Production Managers: Matt Dickinson, Allison VanCleave

Production Assistant: Bill Quinn, Erica Jane Hicks

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