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Welcome! I don't know about you guys, but I plan on having a good time. It's a lot of work putting together each episode, but photography has been in my life — work and play — since I was a strapping sapling simpleton. And that's saying something (especially if you try to say it through thrice).

Connect or comment, please. Each episode will have a conversation, and I'll be glad to strike one up with you, too!

- Mark

Jan 16, 2019

Episode thirty-eight is a mish-mash of topics, from tech to quotes, the darn thing wanders all over the place! So, if you've ever wondered about how dolphins and Greek opera are related, and how dabbing ever became a thing, um, you'll have to look elsewhere. This is a photography podcast, after all.

Mirror, Mirror…

A mirror was first introduced into a camera a few short decades after the invention of photography, but didn't truly invade cameras for another 60 years or more after that. Eventually, they were not uncommon because of the value they brought. But they also brought some challenges with them. Now, with digital electronics, their value is being realized without their challenges. Without them, actually.

You can see mirrorless cameras in every photography magazine or camera retailer, but for those unfamiliar with their forbears, here are two cameras that featured mirrors. Each is a professional-level instrument that has either disappeared from the landscape of new-build devices, like the Rolleiflex, or have gone mirrorless while keeping their basic form, like the Hasselblad.


The Rolleiflex, above, was one of the most popular twin-lens reflex cameras of its era. The lower of its two lenses fed an image directly to the film when the shutter was released. The upper lens bounced its image off a mirror to display on a focusing screen, not visible here because it's surrounded by the pop-up glare-blocking panels. Composing, thus, was accomplished through a lens that was physically displaced from the imaging lens and depth-of-focus preview was unavailable. However, when the shutter button was pressed, not much would happen except the shutter opening and closing, which meant the view through the upper lens would remain throughout the exposure.


This Hasselblad has but a single lens which, for composing and focusing, bounced its image off a mirror to a focusing screen, also hidden inside that hollow box formed by the pop-up light-blocking panels. Such single-lens reflex cameras, unlike the twin-lens brethren, would show accurate composition and depth-of-focus, but when the shutter was released, the mirror would hinge up out of the light path so the light could reach the film, depriving the photographer of their view during that interval. (Thanks go out to Tempe Camera for lending me these examples to photograph. If you have a hankering for such machines, they have a few.)

What Comes After 2018? Why, 3, of Course!

Luminar 2018 has been followed by Luminar 3, a version that brings just a few improvements to the core functionality of image preparation, but a whole new field of functionality in the form of image cataloging and organizing. Unfortunately, while I can still wholeheartedly recommend the product for its photo prep chops, I found the library functions clunky to use and, worse yet, downright unreliable — or misunderstood in ways that shouldn't really happen. So, enjoy the ease of use and powerful tools carried forward and expanded on a bit, from the previous iteration, but hold tight for improvements in the cataloging.

Learn more, and download a trial version of the application, at

Coming Soon to a Screen/Magazine/Movie House Near You

Phuong Kubacki is building a body of work as not just a lifestyle model, but as an actress and photographer, and more. Listen in to hear what she's been doing, where you can see her (or hire her), and where you might find her in the future.


You can find Phuong on Instagram as a model at phuongtourage and as a photographer at pink_foto. Reach out to her through her agency, Ford Robert Black, at

Get Down…Get Down…

The simple four-part photo tip for photographing children is as follows:

  • Soft lighting from behind you;
  • An out of focus background;
  • A brighter or darker background;
  • Get your camera at the level of the kids.


This one photo, then, almost nails it.

  • Soft light almost from behind me;
  • Background out of focus (helped by being close to my subject);
  • Background, well, pretty much the same light level as the subject, so I missed that one;
  • Camera at the same level as the kid.

That last recommendation, being on the same level as the kids, is the most important of all the tips, more important than even the many tips and topics I didn't cover. Be where the kids are and they will interact with you more as people, rather than the annoying little rugrats that they are. (Except for this young man, my grandson Griffin, who is an angel, of course.)

Who Said Clothes Make the Man?

Two quotes this time around. One from Miuccia Prada, youngest granddaughter of fashion house co-founder Mario Prada, who opined, "What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today, when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is instant language." That quote is joined by one from a man who didn't seem to worry so much about how he dressed, though I expect he did, based on his quote, delivered in riposte to an inaudible off-stage shout from a concertgoer: "Everybody in this room is wearing a uniform, and don't kid yourself."

How you approach photography, whether from behind a camera or in front of a computer, says something about you, too. Listen to the episode to hear just a bit more about my thoughts on this topic, but not before you get a gander at the man, Frank Vincent Zappa (he's the brooding one in the back).


Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. Photo by Ron Kroon/Anefo.