Friday, September 19, 2014

Burger, Fries & The Brooklyn Bridge On The Side.

The Brooklyn Bridge.  A place where walkers, bikers and tourist tend to flood, as it is a New York landmark.  It's the one you see on movies. The one that connects Brooklyn to Manhattan. It's "that" bridge. I grabbed a Canon DSLR and a 24-105 mm lens from Fotocare Rentals and headed to the BK.

 Seeing that my body was running on a travel size cup of coffee from this morning, I needed to fuel up before my walk. I saw two words that put the biggest smile on my face when I got into Brooklyn: Shake Shack.

I'm not even a real New Yorker yet, and I even know how imperative it is to try Shake Shack. They are pretty much in any popular neighborhood, usually with a line that wraps the building. I ate at the 409 Fulton St location. After devouring my meal, I headed to the bridge.

The picture above basically explains the panorama views on this bridge. Breathtaking. 

I'm really into symmetry and balance, so I took a seat and appreciated how
 beautifully this bridge was built.

People apparently have adopted the "lock" trend from over seas. The oldest date I 
saw on a lock was 1983. 

People write on the beams, too. Almost all of them had their city of origin on the signature. People from Florida, Washington, China, France, etc all sign this thing. But, this message made me laugh. It summed it all up in 2 phrases. 

Now entering Manhattan, I ended my journey in a park. The leaves are starting to finally change, guess it's about the be fall, y'all.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Canon 7D and 7D Mark II Comparison

We whipped up this graphic to visually show you the main differences between the Canon 7D and the Canon 7D Mark II. Go ahead and throw it on your Christmas list, it'll be available in November.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Chariots, Clothes & Cathedrals.

Today felt like Southern California. Mid 70's, welcoming breeze and just the right about of sunlight to wear a light jacket. After grabbing my 60D and 24-70mm lens from our Rental Department, I hopped on the M train towards 59th Street. 

The second I stepped onto the pavement I knew this was the "New York" you see in the movies. High fashion decorated store fronts, horse chariots and people buying fancy clothing.

Although I had already had breakfast this morning, I couldn't resist visiting Tiffany and Company for the first time. There were actually people eating their breakfast outside, but they kept looking at me. Needless to say I didn't snap their photo. The talk of the town in the past 48 hours has been Apple and their release of another product that will have people camping outside their glass-box flagship. I thought I'd pay a visit to see what the hype was all about.

I found this trail at the entrance of Central Park and decided to explore a little. I got some dirt on my shoes, but the view was worth it.

I had to visit the famous Trump Tower. I heard there was a Starbucks on the inside, so I went to see for myself.

Lastly, I paid a visit to Saint Patricks Cathedral. I had to take off my hat when I walked in, which made me really uncomfortable. The stained glass reminded me of the southern bell church my mother raised me in.  Ironically, she texted me when I was there. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Chasing Clouds in Staten Island

We all know that an overcast day for a photographer is a little piece of heaven on earth. No harsh lighting, and almost complete control in post editing. With my latest obsession with nature, my mission today was capturing clouds.

I needed to get away from the city to be in an open area to grab the photos I envisioned. I wanted the photos to be as dramatic and gloomy as the sky was looking today. Thanks to the Foto care Rental Department, I had a Canon 7D with a 24-105mm lens.

My boss recommended me take the Staten Island Ferry and visit the Statue of Liberty. Shoulder to shoulder we stood waiting to board the John F. Kennedy Ferry. Ironically, JFK was my favorite president, which put a smile on my face.

Once I got on the boat I rushed to the top to get a spot to myself on the balcony. Clearly I wasn't the only one who had this bright idea. 

About 5 minutes into the departure and I already had a beautifully placed skyline view. I'll admit, I never knew dark clouds could be so beautiful.

As my ferry ride was complete, I sat inside of the boat on the way back to Staten Island. It was totally empty and I kept catching people in reflections. It was really cool! 

I came face to face with this extremely intimidating church building. It looked like something straight out of a thriller film from the 80's.

Finally, the moment everyone was waiting for; Miss Liberty herself. That iconic statue stood absolute even though it looked like a storm was brewing. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Q&A: Robert Whitman (Award Winning Photographer)

Interview: Robert Whitman
By: Johnny Self

Foto Care's in-house blogger Johnny Self had the opportunity to have a one on one interview with world famous photographer Robert Whitman in his Soho studio. Because of Whitman's unique shooting style and work, we chose him to be the first showcased photographer on our Fotoblog. We hope you enjoy Robert's work as much as we enjoy spending time with him.

SELF: So Robert, what's your story?
        WHITMAN:  Well, I’m from Minneapolis.  I was in Theater originally, then, I was a hippy (laughs) and then decided to come to NY for acting school, and ended up traveling around the world. First. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I knew 3 things I didn’t want to do. Cut my hair, work a 9-5 and wear a suit and tie everyday.

SELF: That's awesome. Which place in the world is your favorite to visit? 
WHITMAN:  Cuba is my favorite. I was in Mexico a lot; I did a lot of odd jobs there. I lived on the beach for a few years.  I saw this movie called Blow up, and after watching it I figured I wanted that photographer lifestyle. 

SELF: So you kind of liked the things that came with being a photographer? The travel, etc?
WHITMAN:  Exactly. After traveling the world, I got back and was asked to take pictures of some models and I said “Sure, but I have no idea how to take a picture”. I went back to Minneapolis and my family had friends that owned a camera store. They showed me what to do and I practiced. The photos actually came out great.  Then, I was told to take my work to a big department store and I said “Oh my God Ok, but I don’t know what I’m doing” But, I did and they actually gave me a job with Daytons. Which is now Macy's.  

SELF: So that was your first big project, Daytons?
WHITMAN: Daytons was my first major project.  I just kept learning what to do at each shoot.  Since I was doing this work for Daytons  I got more calls and even though I didn’t know what I was doing.  Then I went to Paris and Jacques Nointel took me under his wing. He got me in with the editors of Elle Magazine, Votrebeaute and started shooting. They all thought I was a big photographer, but I really wasn’t.  After that, I eventually moved to NY in the early 80’s.

Johnny Self Johnny Self New York City, Johnny Self Photography

SELF: I saw a photograph of Prince on your wall, you've met him?
WHITMAN: My friends discovered Prince
SELF: Oh, ok so your friends discovered Prince
WHITMAN: His first manager hired me to shoot this “very talented singer”. We did 3 different sessions, (street, studio, and his manager’s house). He then became famous and the rest is history. I was his first photographer.

SELF: That's insane. All the experiences you’ve had in the past 40 years, what’s the most memorable moment photography provided you with?
Johnny Self Johnny Self New York City, Johnny Self PhotographyWHITMAN: There are so many (laughs) simply because I love photography.  I think shooting and being in Israel was the greatest highlight of my career. 
Being able to travel In general was important too.  I like my work in Cuba. There is this particular swimming pool that is just great and I just think that before being a photographer that I was totally blind. Exploring and discovering places that no one has seen.

SELF: Nice. What subject do you prefer to shoot?
WHITMAN: Mostly people, but I really like everything. My work is known for it’s intimate style. For some reason people feel comfortable around me. Real moments. I really enjoy shooting body parts with no face. I find that it’s mysterious. I’ve been shooting people smoking for years. Also, because of my dance affiliation I’ve been shooting legs too.

SELF: As we all know the creative process is imperative to an artist, can you describe your process before or during a project?
WHITMAN: I cant’ say because I don’t want go to jail :-)  But, things just come to me. I can go 3-4 days and not even take a photo, but then out of no where something happens and inspires me. 

SELF: You seem to have a strong connection for overseas.
WHITMAN: Yes, I definitely do. Being out of the country is very important to me.

SELF: When traveling and shooting, do you prefer film or digital?
WHITMAN: I prefer film, but everything is digital. If I want to put something in black and white, I’ll shoot
Johnny Self Johnny Self New York City, Johnny Self Photography
  film. Anytime I see a young photographer 
 around the city shooting film I think it is really  cool .

SELF: That is very cool. Anyone in the photo world that  you admire as an artist?
WHITMAN: Right now, Vivian Meyer. I really like her work and genre.

SELF: I'm curious about how you feel about   smartphone photography? The idea of people   calling themselves photographers, even children. What's your verdict?
Johnny Self Johnny Self New York City, Johnny Self Photography
Times move on. So many people can be a photographer. All you have to do is push a button. But, for a client spending thousands, you need someone who knows a little something. “Everyone’s a photographer, and it is what it is”. 

SELF: What keeps  you coming back to Foto Care?
WHITMAN: It’s home. They treat me like family. Jeff , Fred everyone; they are like family.  They’ll teach me if I have a problem. Foto Care is always so helpful. Everyone there deals with professionals. They actually care. It’s not about saving a few bucks, it’s about the follow up.  I’d never go anywhere else.

Robert's work can be found at

Friday, August 29, 2014

Foto Care explores Downtown New York

Today for #FotoFriday I decided to explore downtown New York.  Being the last day before the holiday weekend, I knew people would be outside and soaking up the nice weather we had.  With my exploring I always try to have a task to complete, and today my mission was motion. I wanted to capture cabs, bikes, people, and create at least one blurred effect in one of images. I like to call it "ghosting". Thanks to our Rental Department, they gave me a Canon 7D and a 24-70mm lens to go play with.

Johnny Self Johnny Self NYC Johnny Self Photography

Johnny Self Johnny Self NYC Johnny Self Photography

Of course I could't help myself and took photographs of architecture and even discovered a new restaurant today. Needless to say I was feeling a little adventerous.

Johnny Self Johnny Self NYC Johnny Self Photography

Johnny Self Johnny Self NYC Johnny Self Photography

When shooting blurred motion I kept my shutter around 1/60 and my aperture on f/22. This allowed me to focus on the background image while still recording what walked (or drove) in front of me. The trick is to be very still, which can be hard due to the fact that we are constantly in motion. (breathing, hand shaking, etc). Luckily I found this chair and I sat for a while to set up the shot I wanted. Sitting helped me hold the camera still and I even held by breath when shooting. Believe it or not, it helped! 

Johnny Self Johnny Self NYC Johnny Self Photography

I stumbled upon this small, yet incredibly delicious restaurant called The Melt Shop. Their restaurant theme is built around the grilled cheese sandwich. I thought to myself "How many different kinds of grilled cheese sandwiches can you possibly make?" After a large cup of homemade strawberry lemonade and a bacon-grilled cheese and I am now sold on this place!

Johnny Self Johnny Self NYC Johnny Self Photography

Johnny Self Johnny Self NYC Johnny Self Photography

See more photos on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Little Italy & China Town

Last Friday, I had the pleasure of interviewing our buddy Robert Whitman in his studio on Canal Street. (Q&A blogpost coming soon.) I was in his part of town, Little Italy/China Town, so I did some exploring. Shopping bags, wine-pouring waiters and cobble stone streets flood these Italian & Chinese inspired communities. If you are interested in photographing people, food and lifestyle; then this place is perfect for you.

Thanks to the Foto Care Rental Department, I got to capture these moments with a Canon 5D Mark ii, with a 50mm lens.