Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Focus on the Everglades Sunrise Wrap Up with Photo Workshops Miami

Nikon Ambassador Ron Magill leads the sunrise expedition in the Everglades. 
By Pamela Wentworth
Focus on the Everglades, presented by Photo Workshops Miami was an incredible experience from beginning to end. 

We started our day - long before dawn –at the Coral Gables Museum where we met organizer Al Diaz, a Miami Herald photojournalist and one of our guides, Everglades Historian Cesar Alejandro Becerra on Saturday, January 30th. We boarded a comfortable van for the first leg of our adventure. Enjoying pasteles, breakfast sandwiches and fruit as we traveled west, we listened to Cesar recount the challenges and successes of the early pioneers as they constructed the “Tampa to Miami” or Tamiami Trail across the Everglades.  As we moved along the Trail, we marveled at the advances that have been made in the last one hundred years.
Sunrise in the Everglades by Enrique Monasterio

Arriving at the Miccosukee Village, we met our Everglades host and guide, Houston Cypress.  The morning chill and dampness had us all shivering as we loaded our gear aboard a large airboat, which would be our base for the next several hours. Earplugs in place, we pulled away from the dock in the darkness.  Our photography guide, Nikon Ambassador and Zoo Miami Communications Director Ron Magill, had assured us that we would be rewarded for the early hour by being in the right place at the right time to watch the sun come up. No one could have predicted the breath-taking beauty we witnessed.  First the grey then the red then a whole rainbow of colors played out across the water, grass and cypress trees where we sat. As Ron gave us tips and pointers, shutters clicked.  I will admit that at one point I just sat and drank in the sight, totally mesmerized by the changing light and colors.  Along with my photographs, I will carry that sunrise in my mind’s eye for a very long time.
Enrique Monasterio with Cesar Alejandro Becerra & Houston Cypress
When the light was fully up, we traveled through the area in the airboat photographing birds and early morning beauty until we arrived at our next destination – a hammock island called Little Pot.  
Our guide Houston Cypress photographed by Max Freund
We spent some time there exploring, shooting pictures, and listening to Houston tell about his life as part of the Otter Clan.  Another treat was in store as Al had arranged for us to share a wonderful lunch prepared by Houston’s mother.  Delicious!
Re-boarding the airboat, we started back, stopping to observe lilies and lily pads and experimenting with the light as Ron shared tips from his experiences as a wildlife photographer. His enthusiasm and knowledge were infectious. Participants were drawn into trying new techniques that resulted in stunning captures…the wows and ohhh’s as we looked at the results of our work encouraged more experimentation.
Ron Magill photographs flora as he leans over the side of the airboat. Al Diaz Photo.

We returned to the Coral Gables Museum and were greeted by Al’s wife, Cindy Seip who arranged coffee, tea and goodies for us to enjoy.  We toured the museum’s Tamiami Trail exhibit, then moved into the conference room to enjoy a presentation by Ron Magill.  To say that the next hour and a half sped by would be an understatement.  Listening to Ron share his expertise and photos was both delightful and inspiring.  Ron’s attitude is that we can all do what he does so he shares freely and unselfconsciously.  His love for his subject comes through in every shot. He wove stories into the sequences and showed how to improve pictures both with framing and with different settings and techniques. 
The day wrapped up with gifts and prizes and a visit to the Leica Store on Miracle Mile.  We came away knowing that because we had spent this day together, we would all be better photographers.

Marc Serota, at left, and the Polaroid University video crew document the day.

Main photo above, back left to right, is Enrique Monasterio, Pamela Wentworth, Frederic Friedmann, 
Ron Magill, William Freund, Max Freund and Ruth Blenker. Front left to right are, Al Diaz and Elkin Pabon.
Giveaways from our Sponsors
The award winning Rotation 180º Horizon backpack by MindShift Gear 
Slide Camera Sling and Clutch Hand Strap by Peak Design
Pixel Pocket Rocket and Modular Pixel Pocket Rocket 
Memory Card Holders by Think Tank Photo
Prints by Image Pro International
T-Shirts and Earbuds by Polaroid University

Monday, February 1, 2016

LEICA LOUNGE: with John VanBeekum | Thurs, Feb 4, 2016 | 7pm - 8:30pm

Free Event

Join us in the Leica Lounge on Thursday, February 4, 2016 with Miami-based photographer John Van Beekum. John's presentation is titled EVERYMAN, a tale of personal documentary photography.
The Leica Lounge is a lecture series hosted by Leica Store Miami which features presentations by local members of the photographers, editors, gallerists and educators. Held monthly, these free events are designed to create and inspire the local photography community through sharing images and exchanging ideas.
The Leica Lounge is kindly sponsored by Brooklyn Brewery. Participants will be able to sample some of their amazing craft beers during the event. Brooklyn Brewery is one of the largest craft breweries in the United States, producing a portfolio of traditional and experimental beers sure to impress any beer drinker.
About John:
During his decades-long journey through the American photojournalism world, with stops along the way at the Associated Press in New York City, the Houston Chronicle and Fort Worth Star-Telegram in Texas, US News & World Report Magazine and the Washington Post in Washington, DC, and, most recently, the Miami Herald, John Van Beekum kept his sanity between daily assignments by producing a steady stream of personal documentary photography.

Van Beekum earned his Master of Fine Arts in 2015 from the University of Miami, where he is currently teaching Introduction To Digital Photography in the College of Arts & Sciences and Advanced Documentary Photography in the School of Communications.

To view more of John's work, visit his website.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

FOCUS ON THE EVERGLADES: Photo Workshop with Nikon Ambassador Ron Magill


Improve your photography while spending the day on an airboat along the river of grass learning from the pros // PLUS WIN // some awesome product from MindShift Gear​, Peak Design​, Think Tank Photo​ and Polaroid University​ plus free prints from Image Pro International​. We are good to go with two final seats available!

Join Nikon Ambassador, Ron Magill and Miami Herald photojournalist Al Diaz, January 30th on an adventure destination photo workshop in the Everglades. After photographing sunrise in Big Cypress, our guides, Houston Cypress and Cesar Becerra will lead us to our destination — a private Miccosukee Village on an island deep in the Everglades. Transportation, breakfast and lunch included.
All inclusive  |  Full Day  |  Photography Workshop  |  Space is Limited  |  Saturday, January 30, 2016

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

MindShift Gear: Lightest Weight Photo Backpacks Released

Our friends at MindShift Gear just released what might be the three lightest weight outdoor photography backpacks ever.  (The new UltraLight Single 16Lbackpack weighs in at a slim 1.9 pounds, including the rain cover!)  The UltraLight Sprint 16LUltraLight Dual 25L, and UltraLight Dual 36L side-panel designs allow quick access to cameras, lenses, and accessories without first having to take off the bag. The backpacks also offer generous space for personal belongings, zippered storage, a hydration reservoir and electronics. Additional features include an integrated tripod mounting system and highly breathable shoulder straps. The UltraLight Dual 25L and UltraLight Dual 36L also include a removable camera compartment and shoulder strap that can be worn separately when you wish to drop your full pack and bag a peak with even less weight.
“All aspects of the UltraLight backpacks were refined with weight in mind, including lightweight fabric, thinner webbing, lighter buckles, and shoulder straps with less padding,” said Doug Murdoch, MindShift Gear’s CEO and lead designer.  “This allows the outdoor enthusiast to be able to go farther and faster as they are not weighed down by their pack.”

UltraLight Sprint 16L:
·       Holds one large (un-gripped) Mirrorless body and one to two standard zoom lenses, or primes
·       Holds one compact DSLR (Rebel, 3300 or 5300 series) and one to two lenses
·       Fits up to a 10” tablet or most 1.5 liter hydration reservoirs
·       Nine liters of capacity for personal gear
·       Maximum lens size:
o   Mirrorless: 70-200mm f/2.8 equivalents attached to body
o   DSLR: 24-70mm f/2.8 attached to body
UltraLight Dual 25L:
·       Holds one standard-size DSLR (5DM3 or D810) and one standard zoom lens or two primes
·       Holds one large (un-gripped) Mirrorless body and two to three lenses
·       Fits up to a 15” laptop or most 2.5 liter hydration reservoirs
·       Fourteen liters of capacity for personal gear
·       Maximum lens size:
o   Mirrorless: 70-200mm f/2.8 equivalents attached to body
o   DSLR: 24-70mm f/2.8 attached to body
UltraLight Dual 36L:
·       Holds one standard-size DSLR (5DM3 or D810) and two to four standard zoom lenses
·       Holds one gripped DSLRs (1Dx or D4s) and two to three standard zoom lenses
·       Fits up to a 15” laptop or most three liter hydration reservoirs
·       Twenty liters of capacity for personal gear
·       Maximum lens size: 24-70mm f/2.8 attached to body with 70-200 f/2.8 detached
Exterior: For superior water resistance, all exterior fabric has a durable water-repellant coating, plus the underside of the fabric has a polyurethane coating. It also has high-quality YKK® Fuse zippers, 100D nylon shadow rip-stop, 420D high-density nylon, 210D velocity nylon, 320G UltraStretch mesh, 350G airmesh, nylon webbing, 3-ply bonded nylon thread.

Interior: 200D poly, velex, high-density closed-cell foam, belly-o mesh, 3-ply bonded nylon thread.


UltraLight Sprint 16L 
External Dimensions:  (25 x 47 x 15 cm)
Camera Compartment: (24 x 14 x 12 cm)
Tablet/hydration compartment: (24.5 x 27 cm)
Volume: 16 liters
Weight: 1.9lbs (includes rain cover)

UltraLight Dual 25L
External Dimensions: (26 x 55 x 17 cm)
Camera Compartment: (23 cm x 19 cm x 13 cm)
Laptop/hydration compartment: (26 x 40 cm) W x H
Volume: 25 liters
Weight: 2.8 lbs (includes rain cover, removable shoulder strap, removable camera compartment)

UltraLight Dual 36L
External Dimension:  (28 x 60 x 22 cm)
Camera Compartment: (25 X 25 X 16.5cm)
Laptop/hydration compartment: (26.5 x 49cm) W x H
Volume: 36 liters
Weight: 3.3 lbs (includes rain cover, removable shoulder strap, removable camera compartment)


MindShift Gear (www.mindshiftgear.com) is a group of committed professional photographers and product designers who support conservation and protection of our natural resources and planet. Founded by the creators of Think Tank Photo and conservation photographer Daniel Beltrá, MindShift is dedicated to building carrying solutions for those who are passionate about experiencing the natural world. Their slogan, “Engage with nature,” challenges people to not only become involved in outdoor activities, but to create a conversation about nature and our relationship to the environment.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Former Miami Dolphins Running Back Larry Csonka

Last week I met up with Larry Csonka during the Miami Dolphins Fifty Seasons Halftime Presentation. I quickly showed Csonka my photo of him scoring against the Chicago Bears in 1979. Thanked him for helping me build the foundation that launched a life long career in photojournalism. That photo along with others got my foot in the door for internships and eventually a staff position at the Miami Herald. Several minutes later Csonka reacts to seeing me again as we walk off the field. B/W shot with a Canon F1, manual focus 135/2.8 from the open side end zone at the ole Orange Bowl Stadium.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

MIAMI STREET PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL: Portfolio Review with Al Diaz, Friday December 4, 2015

ON PORTFOLIO REVIEW PANELEven though AL DIAZ was the first photographer to launch the #MiamiHeat 's #DreamTeam , and...
Posted by The Miami Street Photography Festival (MSPF) on Thursday, November 12, 2015