Another perspective on the Phase One XF-100 system

April 20, 2017

Phase One XF-100

All photos by Robert Hold on the Phase One XF-100.

By Robert Hold

ASMP Dallas Board Member

In the time I had to evaluate the Phase One XF-100 system, I learned quite a few things when using that camera and in comparison to the Canon 5D MkII that I shoot with normally…there are some major differences!

I’m going to start off with what I know, my Canon. I’ve been shooting with a Canon camera for the past 10 years. I started off with a D10 and made my way up to a 30D then a 7D, finally arriving at a full frame camera, the 5D Mark II. In what I have learned is that 35mm DSLR systems are designed to do a job well. Many systems now take photos, take video, able to perform time lapse photography, have wifi, GPS, NFC (near field communication), some even allow you to edit photos and videos prior to exporting from the camera.

In many ways, to use a car analogy, 35mm DSLR cameras are like SUVs. As such, they are great at handling what you throw at them and are able to deliver. For many professional photographers, they are the bread and butter to their business.

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Giving the Phase One XF Camera a Test Run

April 17, 2017

Phase One XF camera

All photos by Jason Janik on the Phase One XF camera system.

By Jason Janik

ASMP Dallas Board Member

It’s not hard to find all the technical details you could hope for regarding the Phase One XF camera system.

Do I need to tell you how well this camera succeeds at producing massive image files with wonderful color, clarity, and contrast? Do I need to toss a bunch of numbers and graphs at you? No. That’s objective information you can pull from any spec sheet. You, like me, are curious about how the camera actually handles in the real world. You want to hear a subjective “this is how it feels” report back from the front lines.

Since Robert was giving the Phase One a spin in the studio, and Beatriz was checking out its landscape capabilities, I thought I’d take things in a different direction! Nobody expects to spend the equivalent of a new Audi A6 on a camera and use it like a point and shoot — or, even better…like a smartphone camera! So, that was my challenge. I absurdly decided to see just how well this five-figure camera would hold up against your favorite pocket-size selfie device.

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ASMP Member William Morton Sees Great Value In Long-Term Membership

February 21, 2017

William Morton

Dr. Matthew D. Ellington, M.D., is photographed for Austin College at Rady Childrens’ Hospital in San Diego. All photos: William Morton of Morton Visuals

By Leah Shafer

Contributing Writer

Longtime ASMP member William Morton of Morton Visuals found photography as a teenager with a borrowed Exacta camera, seeing the opportunity to take pictures of cheerleaders (and other girls he liked) as a member of the yearbook staff. Not really inspirational, he says, but the beginning of a long and rewarding career.

“I was noticed, and people knew that if they smiled and gave me a good shot then they could end up in the yearbook,” he said. “It helped me connect, on some simple level, with people who otherwise might never have noticed me.”

The connection to subjects took him on a varied career path, including a job while he was in the Navy as an assistant manager in a high-volume retail portrait studio in the early to mid-90s.

“That experience taught me to make every shot count and I posed people carefully—not a lot of room for error, or blinks,” he said. “That required even more discipline than my prior experience shooting boudoir portraits, where I shot 12 or 36 exposure sessions. I just can’t get in to that ‘spray and pray’ methodology.”

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5 Things Photographers Should Know About Copyright

January 11, 2017


All photos courtesy of Robert Hold, Robert Hold Photography

Last night, ASMP Dallas hosted a copyright session to educate Dallas photographers on protecting their images across social media. The panel included Ft. Worth Star-Telegram photographer Richard Rodriguez, whose image of Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor punching Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista in the face was widely ripped off last year. Also speaking was Donna Halperin, director of client services at Liebowitz Law Firm, PLLC, in Valley Stream, New York.

I spoke with Halperin and her colleague Kate Tsyvkin, an attorney at Liebowitz Law Firm, to find out 5 things photographers should know about copyright law in the digital age.

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Kent Kirkley Shoots the Stars, Remembers Golden Age of Dallas Photography

October 10, 2016

kent kirkley

All photos courtesy of Kent Kirkley

By Leah Shafer

Contributing Writer

For Dallas photographer Kent Kirkley, a passion for astronomy and love of the skies motivated him to shoot the stars.

Kent Kirkley“I built a telescope and eventually got around to taking photographs through it,” Kirkley said. “I adapted an old Argus camera my father had to the telescope, set up a darkroom in my closet, and off I went—my first photograph was published in Sky & Telescope in about 1962.”

But the math requirements for an astronomy major had him rethinking his college plans, and looking closer at his camera. Soon this hobby became a profession.

“Over the years I’ve tried just about every different kind of photography there is—I photographed the 1966 UT tower sniper incident, the first mass killing in U.S. history and sold them to Paris Match magazine,” he said. “Even though I was in college, I was worried about being drafted, so I enlisted in the Navy Reserve as a photographer, assuming I’d be on a ship or naval air station. When it came time for my active duty service in 1969, I was sent to Vietnam…surprise.”

One thing he says he learned from Vietnam was that photojournalism was not his forte.

“I was brought up to follow rules and to be a successful photojournalist, you often have to break the rules,” he said. “I also wanted to ‘make’ the photograph, not just take it. This led me in the direction of advertising because more than anything, being an advertising photographer is being a problem solver.”

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Beatriz Terrazas Tells Visual, Written Stories with Talent in Both Worlds

September 21, 2016

Beatriz Terrazas

All photos courtesy of Beatriz Terrazas

By Leah Shafer
Contributing Writer

Photographers and writers often need each other to tell a story in the most complete way. The interdependent relationship between the two fields play out in the career of Beatriz Terrazas.

beatriz terrazas“When I first started out, I think I was a photographer who could write,” she said. “When I came into features at Dallas Morning News, I became a writer who could shoot. Now I’m back into the photography game and I am a photographer who writes again.”

Terrazas sees the work as symbiotic.

“I think it’s really important for photographers to know, especially if it’s editorial or documentary work, people are drawn into the story by the visuals and they want to know more, so they read,” she said.

So that’s what she does today as co-owner of InMotion Imagery, a visual content and video company in North Texas.

“I function as producer, still photographer, and writer, and I do have some writing clients, as well,” she said.

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Sebron Snyder Seeks Artful Collaboration In Commercial Work

August 3, 2016

Sebron Snyder Profile | ASMP Dallas

All photos courtesy of Sebron Snyder

By Leah Shafer

Contributing Writer

Dallas photographer and ASMP member Sebron Snyder is a man who “salivates over collaboration.” He believes all great commercial creative is better with artful teamwork.

Sebron Snyder

Sebron Snyder

“Each person on a project brings elements of success to that project, whether it is a producer, art director or stylist it takes that team to elevate the idea to a higher place,” Snyder said. “I have a way of doing things but I am humble enough to allow my work to be fed by other people’s ideas—regardless of its impact.”

This love of collaboration helps define Snyder’s work, which is dynamic and original. During a recent shoot, one which involved a subject with a lot of movement, Snyder’s team talked after every run-through and revisited the layout and sketch-up variations, changes, and “what if he did this?” moments.

“The process was very organic, as we allowed the energy to flow through the entire crew,” he said. “I took those ideas and added my spin. I wish every project could be like this.”

Sebron Snyder Profile | ASMP Dallas

There were childhood signs that photography might be a possible career for Snyder. As far back as 1970, he claimed ownership of any camera close to him. But he chose a “safer” field for his studies, deciding against photography.

While pursuing his engineering degree with the United States Air Force, stationed in Germany, Snyder caught a five-minute newscast that changed his life. It said one of his top engineering job prospects was laying off a few thousand people in its telecom operations.

“I realized at that moment that all jobs have inherent risk regardless of field, education level, or industry, so I would take on that risk on my own terms and with something I truly loved,” he said. “Keep in mind, my interest and passion for photography was overwhelming at that time in my life. That profound moment was a gentle breeze that pushed me over the edge.”

Sebron Snyder Profile | ASMP Dallas

When Snyder started, photography was more craftsmanship-based, he says, comparing it to a more mechanical field now with computers, retouching, and plugins.

“Back when I started you had to understand film and light—understanding film took time and was a very expensive proposition,” he said. “It took savvy and skill to be able to predictably expose film accurately—you didn’t have Photoshop to save you. It had to be done in camera and I loved that about the field.”

His first camera, a Kodak Instamatic, still brings to mind the smell of its film.

“I bought my first camera the first day of freedom after basic training in the Air Force,” he said “I literally spent all my money and was broke for weeks. I loved that it was mine!”

His inspiration is found mostly in music and cinema.

“I perform regular creative exercises where I dive into a subject, a song, or an interpreted part of a movie,” Snyder said. “I visually explore ideas in those daydreams in real time — physically moving around imaginary environments, flying, walking, or whatever. It’s a lot of fun and extremely powerful.”

Snyder joined ASMP a few years ago because he saw the need to know more photographers. He also wanted to be a part of an organization that is actively concerned about issues that affect commercial photographers today.

“Our business is a tough and the more advocates we have pressing for common goals, the better,” he said. “My investment in the ASMP is my statement about my hopes and aspirations for photography as a business and lifestyle.”

As for what keeps Snyder in the field?

“I just love what I do!,” he said. “It’s a tough job and sometimes I complain, but this is my calling.”


Fort Worth Photographer Learns the Hard Way About Copyright Infringement

July 27, 2016


Photo courtesy of Star-Telegram/ Richard W. Rodriguez

By Leah Shafer

Contributing writer

On May 15, 2016, Richard W. Rodriguez captured a photo that quickly went viral.

Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor punched Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista in the face after Bautista slid into second in the eighth inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas. It was the biggest MLB brawl in years and Rodriguez’s photo captured the pinnacle of a heated rivalry between the two clubs.

But Rodriguez could never have guessed what would happen with his photo within 24 hours.

Rodriguez took the photo during the eighth inning of a Rangers’ day game on a Sunday. He sent the photos in to his editors at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, who published it online on their website and on social media. The Associated Press and Getty picked up the image shortly after and by that night, Rodriguez was seeing it for sale online without his authorization.

“I started receiving links that day from people and the image was being used by DIY t-shirt companies,” he said. “I went on eBay that night and saw people selling it on custom baseball cards, reprints, framed prints — it was kind of crazy how quickly that all started.”

This kind of situation is emblematic of the digital age, when a photographer’s copyrighted material can be hijacked and sold by anybody online. The two legal remedies for copyright infringement aren’t too great — but ASMP is working with politicians to help create new legislation that could create better remedies for photographers in the U.S.

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Holly Kuper Hopes for Stronger Professional Ties in Digital-Era Photography Community

June 7, 2016

Profile of Holly Kuper | ASMP Dallas

By Leah Shafer

Contributing writer

It’s no secret that the advent of digital radically changed the practice for all photography professionals. Photographer and ASMP member Holly Kuper has a long-term perspective on the post-film media photography community in the Dallas area. She’s been a member of ASMP since 1981.

“Digital photography has made it very hard to be a community – everything is online and everyone is at their computers, so there is not much communication like the old days,” Kuper said. “We don’t really need each other because we can have our questions answered online, but we really need each other because otherwise, we are working in a box alone. No one even goes to the lab and hangs out.”

Profile of Holly Kuper | ASMP Dallas

Holly Kuper

Kuper said ASMP could be a part of bringing a fragmented community back together with, as she puts it, “Less parties and more teaching opportunities.”

“Things have changed — when I first started, there were lots of meetings that we learned from,” she said. “We gathered and partied and talked and shared — I learned so much and had mentors throughout the community of photographers. But now I feel that the leadership team is the only team and that the rest of us just come in and out periodically. No one seems that interested in being involved.”

Kuper herself has relied on ASMP members to advance her career and help her out in a pinch.  She joined to be part of a community.

“I was in Boston and got a surprising job there and borrowed lights and cameras and even went to the guy’s studio and uploaded my photos that day,” she said. “Without ASMP, whom would I have turned to?”

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Differentiation is Key In a Changed Industry, Says Stewart Cohen, ASMP Member

May 12, 2016

Stewart Cohen

Photo courtesy of Stewart Cohen

By Leah Shafer

Contributing writer

In an industry hammered by the demise of film, the advent of high-quality smartphone cameras, and filters that allow consumers to create myriad looks with their own photos, photographer, director, and ASMP member Stewart Cohen is philosophical about the future.

Stewart Cohen

Stewart Cohen

“Will it be possible to be a still photographer and make a good living in 10 years? I don’t know,” he said. “When I started, I had a camera and I owned the technology that could make the pictures and not everybody had that. Now, everybody has a camera in their pocket that’s as good as what you were carrying 10 years ago — you gotta separate yourself from the ‘everybody can do it’ crowd.”

Canadian-born Cohen joined ASMP as an associate when he moved to Texas in the mid-1980s, fresh out of college and with a sense of loyalty to the group.

“Without ASMP, we never would have owned our own copyrights and they’re the ones that made the ability to make a living as a photographer a reality in the 1940s,” he said.

When he started in Dallas, the photography community was less fragmented.

“When I moved here, there was more of a sense of community [among photographers], partially because everyone got together and went to ASMP meetings—it was a different time and they weren’t as scattered in life in general,” he said. “We saw each other at the lab or photo store, too.”

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