Medium Format Phase One IQ260 | NYC Shoot

Medium Format Phase One IQ260 | NYC Shoot


Something we have been doing a lot of recently is shooting for us. I know that sounds selfish and the reality is it is. As you are growing your business, its very important that you are trying to grow as an artist as well. I look at my work from 4 years ago, and while there are some similarities, there are definitely some huge changes. That doesn’t happen by accident. It happens through trial and error. The truth is I don’t want to make these errors on paying clients, but of course, we all want to grow.

When shooting for yourself, there definitely has to be purpose. What are you trying to accomplish? Are you trying a new lighting technique? Are you working on posing? Is there a new style you are going after? These are all questions that we answer before the shoot ever happens. There is a concept meeting with the team where we discuss ideas, locations, models, wardrobe, etc. This ensures we are prepared as a team for the shoot and are in sync on goals and objectives.




Portfolio building exercise.

Custom made red dress

$4k wedding gown.

Gorgeous model.

Phase One IQ260.

Off Camera lighting.

Brooklyn Bridge.

Manhattan Skyline.


We hired an SUV and driver for the day and a makeup artist to travel with us for the entire shoot. Yes, this was an expensive day, but the goal was to move as freely as possible throughout the city and get 3-5 shots that would help me build my portfolio. In addition, I wanted to play with my off-camera flash using the Phase One IQ260. Something I had not done up until this point. I used my Canon 580EX2 Speedlites along with Pocket Wizard triggers for the shoot. This was without a doubt going to be practice for me and of course a portfolio builder.

First up, Brooklyn Bridge and the Red Dress. (CLICK TO VIEW LARGER)


Shot Details.

Camera // Phase One IQ260

Lens // 80mm

Settings // f22, 1/30th, ISO 50

Other // natural light

Pure and utter chaos on the bridge. It was a gorgeous day and there were a ton of people out there on the bridge. We tried our best to get people to stop walking for a 10sec window just to give us enough time to get a clean shot, well that turned out to be near impossible. People were all around us with their cameras and the crazy thing was, no sense of personal space, they were getting right in front of me and blocking my own shot. I am sure if I were an outsider looking in I would have been laughing. However, for this shot, I was not laughing.

Next up, head to Brooklyn for a shot of the Manhattan Skyline. (CLICK TO VIEW LARGER)

CF001586 Panorama_1

Shot Details.

Camera // Phase One IQ260

Lens // 28mm

Settings // f11, 160th, ISO 100

Other // Off-camera flash in manual mode and pocket wizard triggers

Ok, the chaos of the bridge was over and everyone had a chance to take a deep breath. Now, we had a view that was to die for. And best of all, the crowds on the Brooklyn side were almost non-existent. It was very windy and I felt like that really played into the veil. So, I wanted to do something dramatic with it. In addition, I now had more time to play with the off-camera flash and get dialed in. I wanted to be sure to create a dramatic look in the lighting.

Truth is, after these two shots, I was extremely happy with what we had. I had created two distinctive images that would look great in my portfolio and of course my next bridal show. BUT, we had just a little more time to kill. So, I wanted to try something and experiment a little. Off to the Manhattan Bridge. Here we found a cool side street giving an awesome view of the bridge. We took our model and used some off camera flash, but at this point we were losing the battle of light. I wanted some motion, some expression, and some off camera flash. Mission accomplished. (CLICK TO VIEW LARGER)


Shot Details.

Camera // Phase One IQ260

Lens // 55mm

Settings // f8, 1/50th sec, ISO 200

Other // Off-camera flash in manual mode and pocket wizard triggers

All in all, this was an awesome exercise for the team and one we intend to continue doing. Point blank, its an investment in myself and my team. We all need to find inspiration and grow as artists.

Lets talk about the good, the bad, the ugly here.

The good.

Capture Integration. Not sure where you buy your camera equipment from, but this is the company you need to look into. Their support is just STUPID! And I mean that in a good way. I had questions and their team was knowledgeable and available to answer those questions for me.

Medium Format. I am in love with my Phase One IQ260. The camera is a beast and the images coming off it are just superior to 35mm. I am getting more and more comfortable with the camera and taking it on the bridge with all that chaos was a great testament to my comfort level.

Having a makeup artist and dedicated driver for us to get around from location to location saved us time and stress.

The bad.

Shooting on the bridge. It was pure chaos. But it felt oh so good. 🙂

The ugly.

Off-camera flash in manual mode. I am used to shooting in ETTL, so this was definitely getting me out of my comfort zone, but then again, thats what I was looking to do on this shoot. While shooting in manual mode on the flash slowed me down a little, it was not enough to stop me from doing it again in the future.

I hope you enjoyed this and are inspired.




This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Adam Kuzik

    Hi Sal,

    How did you get away with the slow shutter speeds? When I shoot my Phase I try to stay at 1/100″ or faster when hand held. I have found that dealing with slower shutter speeds on the Phase is much harder than dealing with them on my D4. There is a “fix” in PS CC, but I like to avoid that when possible. What do you do?

    1. admin

      its all about technique… the camera will allow for it for sure. 🙂 practice. practice. practice.

  2. Sarah Crowder

    Very awesome! I’ve been challenging myself to shoot off camera flash in manual too- it’s amazing how much more control and power I get from my little flashes. BEAUTIFUL work Sal. Thanks for sharing!

  3. R. J. kern

    Sal, good for you pursuing personal work! I think you are on to something with your new creative tools. Have you tried shooting with the V-Grip Air with a Profoto to trigger 1/1600? Not to say you always have to do it, but I know the retouching for dust spots at f/16 vs f/4 (if you don’t require the depth of field) makes a big difference… especially the longer you own the back and switch lenses more 🙂 Also, I find the simplicity of not needing AA batteries or Pocketwizards are amazing! I review the setup and show some personal work from family portraits at Burning Man to illustrate results:

  4. lizzie

    It seems that with the Phase One camera you’re shooting at a higher depth of field than when you were shooting with your Canon. Is there a reason why?

    1. admin

      good catch lizzie. because the camera doesnt support ettl on the flashes i try to shoot below the 250th sync speed. also, there is only a center focus point on the camera – so if i have to adjust composition at all – i dont want to risk anything being blurry.

  5. Jenna Doughtry

    Great work as usual! I like that you are working on personal work for your portfolio.

    As far as manual mode flash – check out Scott Robert Lim – He is the master of such and really breaks it down easily. He had a CL course all about it.

  6. victor rodriguez

    Well i missed you by an hour or so on the Manhattan bridge. Shoot after sunset. Breathtaking images, i just wish i had a model that day. Manual flash does slow you down but i find it helps me think for a few seconds about the shot ,and i find other shots in the process.

  7. Chris Helton

    Hey Sal,

    These are amazing shots! Very inspiring…

    My favorite is the Bride in front of the Bridge. The leading lines of the bridge and perfect placement of the bride really puts the shot in balance for me. I really like the geometry and symmetry of the shot. There are only a couple colors in the background which allows me to focus on the bride. I absolutely love this shot!!!

    I can’t wait for the PHASE ONE workshop…

    Did you ever use any filters to darken the sky or is that processed in Post?

  8. Leandra Brown

    These shots are amazing and very inspiring! Thanks for sharing!

  9. David Lavery

    Thank You
    Truly inspirational

Leave a Reply

Want more content like this?

Check out our recent posts

on camera direct flash tutorial thumbnail

On Camera Direct Flash Tutorial

Have you tried using on-camera flash for your studio portraits? As a professional photographer, I’ve always been taught to take the flash off camera to create more directional light. In this video of on camera direct flash tutorial for lighting, I will show you how to work quickly and easily using on-camera flash to create some very unique and interesting portraits.

Read More »
5 easy poses for boudoir photography thumbnail

5 Easy Poses for Boudoir Photography

Posing for boudoir photography is always a challenge. In this video, I will show you some easy tips to posing your clients. Not every client is a model – so we need to find an easy set of poses to get them started. Once they get comfortable in front of the camera, you can then work on more advanced poses and lighting techniques to build on for the images you create.

Read More »