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of the

The most


intriguing and memorable

photos of 2012. Plus the stories

behind the pictures.

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33 Images of
the Year
For this years selection,
the editors of American
Photo asked some of the
most inuential minds
in photography which
images of 2012 stood
out the most for them.
then AP combined those
nominations with their
own picks to bring you the
most powerful, most
compelling and simply the
best pictures of the year.

cover: Jill greenberg/courtesy of clampart gallery, nyc and rizzoli new york. this page: todd baxter.

BY Michael kaplan

On the Cover
Jill greenbergs photographs of stunning equine
models (from Horses;
rizzoli, 2012) easily made
our images of the year.

January/February 2013 5



After the Flood

michael massaias elegy for the Jersey Shore.
By MiriaM Leuchter


Devil for the Details

randal Fords hyper-real portraits give americana
a meticulous, hip upgrade. By frankLin MeLendez

Oil from the Air

garth Lenz shoots the worlds largest intact forest
and the industry that threatens it. By Jack crager
24 bOOkS

Near Windows
Voyeuristic cityscapes, arnold newmans trade
secrets, the end of analog and more.
By Jack crager


Diary of an Uneasy Rider

Danny Lyons american odyssey, plus Leibovitzs
icons and more. By Lindsay coMstock



Fashion Forward
Why hasselblads new iLc is out of this world.
By stan horaczek


The goods


The Next big Thing?

affordable, full-frame DSLrs offer new options.
By steve Morgenstern


A Long Time Coming

marc asnins biographical project spans decades.
By Lori fredrickson


SubScriptionS: American Photo (ISSN 1046-8986) (USPS 526-930), January/February, Volume 24, No. 1. American Photo is published bimonthly (Jan/Feb, Mar/Apr, May/June, July/Aug, Sept/Oct, Nov/Dec)
by Bonnier Corporation, 2 Park Ave., New York, NY 10016. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY 10016 and at additional mailing ofces. Authorized periodicals postage by the Post Ofce Department, Ottawa, Canada,
and for payment in cash. poStMAStEr: Send address changes to American Photo, P.O. Box 420235, Palm Coast, FL 32142; 386-246-0408; If the postal services alert us that your
magazine is undeliverable, we have no further obligation unless we receive a corrected address within one year. One-year subscription rate (six issues) for U.S. and possessions, $15; Canada, $25; and foreign, $35; cash
orders only, payable in U.S. currency. Two years: U.S., $30; Canada, $50; and foreign, $70. Three years: U.S., $45; Canada, $75; and foreign, $105. CANADA POST: Publications Mail Agreement Number: 40612608. Return
undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Pitney Bowes, P.O. Box 25542, London, ON N6C 6B2. For reprints email:

6 January/ February 2013

From top: randal Ford; Danny Lyon/magnum photos

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DESIGNER Michael Moreno
COPY EDITOR Meg Ryan Heery
FACT CHECKER Rebecca Geiger
ONLINE EDITORS Dan Bracaglia, Stan Horaczek
CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Aimee Baldridge, Lindsay Comstock,
Jack Crager, Michael Kaplan, Steve Morgenstern




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editors note

After the Flood

hen Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast
at the end of October, we had just nished
selecting American Photos annual Images
of the Year. Faced with an early production deadline
in planning this issue, our editors and designers had
already dened the year as the 12 months ending
October 31, 2012. But we couldnt have predicted
that we would see so many amazing photographs, all
produced just as our year ended. Our ofce, which
had lost power along with much of lower Manhattan, reopened a week later; still a little shell-shocked,
we decided then that only in time would the signal
photographs from Sandy and its aftermath emerge
too late for our 2012 Images of the Year.
Then I saw this one by Michael Massaia. For
the past few years, this New Jersey native has been
making ghostly nighttime photographs at amusement piers for his series AfterlifeNew Jersey Shore.
So after the storm surge tore through these beach
towns, he went back to Casino Pier in Seaside
Heights with his large-format eld camera and
permission from the property owners to capture the
destruction. I grew up down thereI knew it really
well. I surfed off that pier for 15 years, he says. This
photograph felt like a good ending for Afterlife.
This haunting image sums up for me not just the
many tragedies Sandy wrought but also the way that
the best photography can
transform reality into art.
American Photos mission
is to bring you that art
to present contemporary
photography at its highest
level and to step behind the
lens of those who create it.
Photojournalists, artists,
portraitists, commercial
shooters, documentarians,
fabulists: These are their
images and their stories.

MiriaM Leuchter, editor-in-chief

Michael Massaia

12 aMErICaNPHOTOMag.COM JaNuarY/FEBruarY 2013

The Casino Pier & Star

Jet Coaster Post Hurricane
Sandy, November 12, 2012
by Michael Massaia. 30x40
split-toned silver gelatin
print hand-printed by
the artist.

january/February 2013 13


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The people behind The picS Work in Progress 20 Books 24 on the Wall 28

one To WATch

Devil for the Details

In the hyper-realistic portraiture of Randal Ford, Americana gets a hip upgrade
exas native Randal Ford is no stranger to
photographic challenges. Choreographing rattlesnakes, rounding up cowboys,
wrangling a movie iconits all in a days work for
the 31-year-old commercial photographer. So in a
recent shoot for the retailer L.L.Bean, he insisted
on some particulars. Charged with re-creating
the companys hand-painted art commissions
idyllic scenes of Americana from the 1930s, 40s
and 50sfor a series of catalog covers, Ford
painstakingly restaged a 1933 shing scene in

Randal Ford (2)

By Franklin Melendez

Freeport, Maine, down to period-specic costumes

(borrowed from New York Citys Metropolitan
Opera) and the precise breed of sh (eastern
brook trout). Ford even hired a biologist to keep
the sh alive during the shoot. (Dead sh would
have looked fake, Ford says.)
Such exactitude, in addition to his painterly
visual style evocative of apple-pie values, made
Ford the man for the job. But to hear him tell it,
the gigs beginnings were rather humble. I guess
it started with the cows, says Ford from his home

Above: Randal Fords painterly aesthetic and cheekymeets-cornpone sense of

humor are captured in his
portraits of a young man,
shot for the design rm
The Matchbox Studio for a
back-to-school promotion
(left); and an outtake of a
toddler photographed for a
cover of Texas Monthly.


For retailer l.l.beans 100th

anniversary series, Ford re-created
decades-old scenes with exacting
detail, down to the sh in the lake.


Randal Ford

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Randal Ford

Clockwise from top left: Students, for the cover of Texas

Monthlys college football issue; a bull, from Fords
personal extension of his portraits for Dairy Today;
a vizsla, for a veterinary-pharmaceuticals company.

18 January/February 2013
Lives In Austin, Texas
Studied At Texas A&M
Awards Communication Arts
2012 Photography Annual;
Lrzers Archive 200 Best Ad
Photographers Worldwide
2010/2011; Graphis 100 Best in
Photography 2013
Clients Include The Home Depot,
Ace Hardware, AARP, Dell, AT&T,
Pentagram, TBWA\Chiat\Day,
Fast Company, Texas Monthly
In the Bag My equipment is a
tool, Ford says. I used to use
a medium-format digital-back
Phase One system. When the
Nikon D800 came out I switched.
Its a perfect size chip for what
I do, and its more fun to shoot
with a DSLR than a digital back.

randal Ford (2); portrait by austin Lochheed

base in austin. i shot a series of dairy-cow portraits for [the trade magazine] Dairy Today a few
years back, and that got me on their radar. the
cows, like the catalogs, are signature Ford: slick,
graphic and whimsical, their nod to the good old
days leavened by high-tech savvy and wry humor.
none of this was part of the ofcial plan back
in 2000, when Ford enrolled at texas a&m university to study business. but it wasnt long before
he deviated from his core courses to pursue a
growing interest in photography. i was part of
the generation that grew up on digital, he recalls,
and that made things really accessible. i went
online and explored, taught myself some of the
basics. [the Web] is a great asset, and the feedback is immediate.
after earning his business degree, Ford eschewed a traditional art education and instead
jumped straight into the eld. inspired by both the
warts-and-all portraiture of richard avedon and
the homespun realism of norman rockwell, he
strove to establish his own look. When i got into
photography, i knew i wanted to do commercial
work, collaborate with advertising agencies, be in
magazines and have a very specic style, he says.
i think knowing this made the path quicker.
it certainly made for a magnetic draw, as the
young shooter lined up clients including Texas
Monthly, Audubon and Fast Company magazines
and such high-prole agencies as pentagram,
tbWa\chiat\Day and the richards group. Ford
photographed hollywood legend tommy Lee
Jones for Dallas-based D Magazine at the ripe age
of 25. he really hazed me, Ford recalls, chuckling. he busted my chops.
Fords breakout project was The Amazing Faith
of Texas, a 2006 coffee-table book by roy Spence
that surveys the Lone Star States spiritual diversity. it was an exciting opportunity, but daunting
and downright scary at times, Ford says. the
project gave me credibility.
as his practice grows, Ford continues to rene
his signature blend of animals, humor and goodole-boy values. his dream assignment? i want to
shoot the chick-l-a calendar. AP

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Oil from the Air

Garth Lenz keeps tabs on one of the worlds largest intact forestsand the industry that threatens it

s a former piano teacher, garth Lenz, a

photographer who specializes in conserva
tion issues, brings a great sense of counter
point to his visual reportage. in surveys that pair
pristine nature with human industry, Lenz has
studied the forests and clearcut deforestation in
chile, burgeoning tourism on mexicos yucatan
peninsula and coalmining sites in alberta, canada.
i love photographing wilderness areas and indus
trialized environments, he says from his home
ofce in Victoria, british columbia. im fascinated
by the contrast between the two.
Lenz found his most compelling location of all in
the alberta tar Sands within canadas surrounding
boreal forest. theres an amazing contrast be
tween one of the largest energy projects set amidst
the largest, most intact forest ecosystem remain

Above: Tar Pit #3, Alberta

Tar Sands, 2010, from
The True Cost of Oil. Opposite, top: Dry Tailings #2,
Alberta Tar Sands, 2010.
Technologies are being
developed for dry-stackable
tailingsthe materials left
over after extracting an
orethat may help limit vast
ponds of mining waste in the
Tar Sands region. Bottom
right: Boreal Forest and
Wetland, Athabasca-Peace
Delta, Alberta, 2010. This
is one of the worlds largest
freshwater deltas and a
critical stopover for migrating waterfowl.

20 january/february 2013

By Jack crager

ing on earth, he says of the area, also known as

albertas oil Sands, which he began documenting
in 2005. meanwhile, you have this extraordinarily
relevant issue of introducing a vast, previously not
very accessible oil resource into a planet that is
already in the throes of climate change and global
warminga lot of interesting aspects to explore.
explore he has. When he returned in 2010 to
shoot the region extensively, he found an altered
landscape. its rapidly changingthe rate of oil
extraction keeps increasing, he says. right now
there are ve large mines, and there are plans in
the approval process to expand.
compelled by the sociopolitical issues surround
ing this expansion, he created an ongoing series,
The True Cost of Oil: Canadas Tar Sands and the
Last Great Forest, which has been exhibited in the

garth Lenz (3); portrait by Will coop

wOrk in PrOgress

g2 gallery in Venice, california, and brooklyns

powerhouse arena. along with abstract paintings
by rebecca allan and music by Laura Kaminsky,
his images are part of the multimedia Crossroads
Project. Debuted at utah State university in Logan,
talks are under way for exhibitions in purchase,
new york, and other cities this year.
the largescale prints (up to 40 by 60 inches)
in The True Cost of Oil blend art with admoni
tion. the industrialized images are beautiful and
perhaps abstract, so people are drawn in, and then
they look at what the subject matter actually is
and do a double take, Lenz says. i dont want to
just take pretty pictures. i want to take pictures
that mean something and can hopefully foster
some kind of positive change for the world.
Still, in his photos and accompanying text,
Lenz stresses facts over fanaticism. energy and
conservation have become polarizing issues, and
id like to get back from that and have people just
look at the images. hopefully this stimulates dis
cussion and exploration of these subjects as people
come to their own conclusions, he says. theres
no scapegoating. theres no us and them in this
issue of global warming and climate change. the
people who work in [the oil] industry are provid
ing a resource that we all demand, and theyre
trying to provide it the best way they can. the
issue is more a societal one: our energy consump
tion is, ultimately, not sustainable.
most of Lenzs tar Sands photos are aerials,
for a few reasons: the landscape is huge and very
at, he says, and the industrialized scenes are all
behind closed doors, with security guarded very
aggressively. So theres no place to get a full view
of these mines unless youre in some sort of air
craft. he shoots out of either helicopters or small,
xedwing planes with the doors off or windows
open. its usually just me and the pilot, sometimes
someone else along for the ride, he says.
Some of the images where theres snow on the
ground were taken when it was 30 below without
wind chill, he adds with a laugh. you get about 30
seconds to shoot from the open window, and after
that you start losing all feeling in your ngers. it
doesnt make you super popular with pilots.
Lenz started this series on a pentax 6x7 cam
era with roll lm, but in recent years he has gone
digital. i use a nikon D800e, and it makes life a
lot more straightforward. and the technology is
phenomenal in what it allows you to reproduce.
he nances his expeditions with magazine as
signments, stock and print sales, donations from
nonprots and private fundraising. its about


Garth Lenz
Lives In Victoria, BC, Canada
Awards Include 1st place,
SocialDocumentary.nets Ten
Years After 9/11, 2011; 1st prize
(nature/trees), International
Photography Awards, 2008;
2nd and 3rd place (photo
journalism/environment), Prix
de la Photographie Paris, 2008
Publications The Christian
Science Monitor, The New
York Times, Time, BBC Wildlife,
Canadian Geographic, National
Wildlife, The Globe and Mail
In the Bag Nikon D800E, D3
and D300; 1424mm f/2.8G ED,
70200mm f/2.8G IFED, 2470
f/2.8G ED, IFED, 300mm f/4D
IFED, 85mm f/1.8G Nikkor
lenses; Gitzo tripod; Really
Right Stuff mounting plates
and quickrelease clamps; B+W
and Lee lters; MacBook Pro;
SanDisk memory cards

nding different creative ways to be able to con

tinue doing this work, he says.
Lately, hes been photographing the site of the
proposed enbridge northern gateway project in
northern british columbia. if built, one thing this
pipeline would do is take unrened crude from the
tar Sands out to the west coast of bc and in so
doing would cross many remote landscapes and
rivers, Lenz says. there are two main concerns:
one is a pipeline rupture, particularly over some
of these very rich salmon rivers. and the other is
[that] once the stuff gets to port, it would have to
go through an extraordinarily difculttonavigate
series of fjords. the fear is that an oil tanker could
create a huge spill in this pristine natural area.
Lenzs work takes him away from his wife and
two kids for weeks at a time. thats tough, but its
the way of my life, he says. and my work on these
issues is about trying to do something that will
allow my kids and other peoples kids to have the
same kind of environment and opportunities that
weve had. if youre going to bring children into this
world, then youve got a job to do to ensure that
they inherit a world in the same condition that we
got it. thats a tall order. aP

january/february 2013 21


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United States and/or other counties. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


Near Windows
Unfolding lifes small dramas in front of an indifferent city

By Jack crager

By Gail Albert Halaban powerHouse $50

Like a cross between Alfred Hitchcock and Edward
Hopper, this work combines voyeurism with a
storytellers sense of empathy. In various locations
throughout New York City, Gail Albert Halaban
directs her 4x5 and 6x9 cameras out one window to
peer into others, capturing slice-of-life vignettes in
seemingly private spaces. Because her subjects are
also her collaborators, Halabans striking architectural studies are lent a bit of mystery and intrigue:
a man alone in one room while people party in
another; a nude woman looking out her kitchen
window at a distant bridge. The effect is both melancholic and oddly reassuring.
24 AmErICANpHoTomAG.Com JANuArY/FEBruArY 2013

From top: Gail Albert

Halabans Chelsea,
Manhattan Bumblebee and
Bottle, 2010; Midtown
East, Manhattan, 57 East
57th Street, Into the Four
Seasons, 2010.

Gail Albert Halaban (2)

Out My WindOW

ArnOld neWMAn At WOrk

By Roy Flukinger Harry Ransom Center and University of Texas, Austin Press $60
En route to his position as one of the 20th centurys great portraitists,
the late Arnold Newman earned a reputation as a perfectionist, curmudgeon, charmer, taskmaster and teddy bear. pegged to an exhibition at
the university of TexasAustins Harry ransom Center this spring, the
book peeks behind the scenes of his prolic output at outtakes, letters
and exhibition shots to reveal the method behind his mastery.
Newmans handwritten notes, contact sheets and test prints hint at
the hallmarks of his nished work: carefully chosen
locations, strong rapport with subjects, attention to
visual detail, an obsession with tonal contrast and a
willingness to create illusion. But his true gift was
composition. Arnold Newman is the best there is,
says Colin Ford, a colleague, for formal portrait, prepared, composed and executed with all the thoroughness and depth of an oil painting.

see the WOrld BeAutiful

by Anne Menke Glitterati Incorporated $85

menke is a fashion photographer who is drawn to farung locales, seeking out stylistic innovation in rural
settings around the globefrom iridescent costumes in
Nairobi, Africa, to Native American style in the Badlands
of South Dakota. This collection focuses on the blend of
culture and fashion that menke has encountered on and
between shoots for Vogue, Elle, Cond Nast Traveler and
other publications. Her curiosity about
indigenous lifestyles and her eye for
graphic patterns and ashes of color
energize her street photography while
humanizing her fashion work. Beauty
is happiness, she writes. You can nd
it anywhere, but it helps to have a good
pair of walking shoes and a 35mm lens.

the disAppeArAnce Of dArkness:

phOtOgrAphy At the end Of the AnAlOg erA

By Robert Burley Princeton Architectural Press $50

using a 4x5 eld camera, Burley documents the demise
of the analog photography infrastructure in this report
on lm-processing centers that are dying in the wake of
the digital revolution. Captured here are the remnants of
lm-era outposts: a neighborhood photo studio, imploded
Kodak buildings, polaroids
abandoned ofces, dormant
equipment. Its a desolate
landscape. Not all these shots
are grabbers, but they tell
poignant stories and serve as
a requiem for a disappearing
industry and subculture.

Clockwise from top left: Newmans Ernest Trova at Pace

Gallery, 1971; Menkes Barrow, Alaska, United States,
1999; Burleys Dwaynes Photo Lab, Parsons, Kansas,
December 30, 2010.

26 AmErICANpHoTomAG.Com JANuArY/FEBruArY 2013

Clockwise from top left: Courtesy of Harry ransom Center; Anne menke; The Disappearance of Darkness by robert Burley (princeton Architectural)





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youll venture deep into the heart of Alaska, where others
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Diary of an Uneasy Rider

Danny Lyons unforgettable journey on the B-side of society
This World is NoT My hoMe:
PhoTograPhs by daNNy lyoN
de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA, through Jan. 27

Danny Lyon epitomizes the generation of photographers who absorbed the 1960s zeitgeist by
taking to the streets and following the action. in
both images and writings, he embraced the new
Journalism by immersing himself in the lifestyles
of his subjects, many of whom lived on the fringes
of american societymotorcycle gangs in the
midwest, Death row inmates in texas prisons
and he became the rst ofcial photographer for
the civil rights movement, shooting many a march
against segregation. So-called objectivity was far
beside the point. recalling the 60s, Lyon says: i
was a bike rider, a photographer and a history
student, probably in that order.
but Lyons idealism didnt go the way of bell
bottoms and lava lamps. in recent decades, hes
covered such varied subjects as native american

by liNdsay CoMsToCk

communities in new mexico, abandoned street

children in colombia, political turmoil in haiti,
cultural change in china and the occupy movements in new york city and Los angeles. inspired
by the absolute realism of Walker evans and,
to some degree, by maverick photographer robert
Frank, Lyons style of photography has emerged
as a ashpoint for activisma catalyst for the
advancement of social causes and human rights in
the united States and beyond.
in more than 60 images, This World Is Not My
Home traces Lyons long and winding voyage.
Drawn from the artists studio as well as several
private collections, the show spans work from
throughout his career, including rarely seen montages in which Lyon arranged old and new photographs to create reections on memory, family and
friendship. the collection reveals constant forces
driving Lyon: restlessness, inquisitiveness and compassion for the underdog. the resulting work is as
psychologically charged as it is aesthetically bold.

28 January/February 2013

Above: Crossing the Ohio,

Louisville 1966. While
making photographs for
his 1968 book The Bike
riders, Lyon himself rode
with the Chicago Outlaws
Motorcycle Club.

2012 Danny Lyon/magnum photos/courtesy of the edwynn houk gallery and

on the wall

on the wall

E aNNie leiboviTz
Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL, Jan. 17June 9

the refrain about Leibovitz is that many of her celebrity portraits

are as renowned as their subjects. this 39-shot slice includes a mix
of well-known and lesser-known work, showing the progression of
her classic portraiture from the 1970s (when she worked on staff
at Rolling Stone) through now. inevitably, iconic faces emerge
brad pitt, al Sharpton (shown here), cindy Shermanbut this
collection emphasizes soul over sizzle. the photographs weve
chosen demonstrate the quiet power of the photograph, says
charles Stainback, exhibition curator and assistant director of the
norton museum of art, and the vital connection between the
artist and the subjectthe essential element of all great portraits.

Sound and Vision:
Monumental Rock & Roll Photography

Images of Armed Conict and Its Aftermath
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, through Feb. 3
From the work of photographers on the battleeld to visual journals from
the streets of war-torn nations, this 165-year survey probes the impact
of armed conict on our world.

G ruud vaN eMPel: sTraNge beauTy

Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, CA, through Feb. 3

if the images by Dutch artist ruud van empel appear too

polished or fanciful to be true, its because they are. many of the
hyper-realistic and color-saturated planes are almost entirely
constructed in adobe photoshop. Sometimes van empel pieces
together features of multiple individuals to create entirely new
children and impossible beauty; other times he explores how a
subject ts into a fantasy landscape. this collection, the artists
rst solo museum exhibition in the united States, reveals a
process that blurs reality and subjugates ideals of beauty.
30 January/February 2013

South Africa in Apartheid and After:

David Goldblatt, Ernest Cole, Billy Monk
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA, through Mar. 5
South African photographer David Goldblatt is joined by his colleagues
Ernest Cole and Billy Monk in a multifaceted view of South African culture
during the years of Apartheid and beyond.
Clockwise from top: The Reverend Al Sharpton, PrimaDonna
Beauty Care Center, Brooklyn, New York, 1988, by Annie Leibovitz,
at the Norton Museum of Art; Muchachos Await Counter Attack by
the National Guard, Matagalpa, Nicaragua, 1978, by Susan Meiselas, at MFAH; World #29, 2008, by Ruud van Empel, at MOPA.

clockwise from top: annie Leibovitz; Susan meiselas/magnum photos; 2008 ruud van empel/courtesy of Stux gallery, new york

Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, AL, through May 5

A show-stopping exploration of the dance between imagery and rock and
roll, featuring the usual suspectsHarry Benson, Jim Marshall and Mark
Seligerand a bunch of other brash punks with cameras.


Photo 2012 Robert K. Jacobs

O r ga n i c . C A P T U R E D .

Ive retired my DSLR. With its spectacular color rendition, image

size and sharpness, the X-Pro1 is now my camera of choice. Its
interchangeable lenses make it versatile for any assignment, its
lightweight, easy to grip, and comfortable. Of course like their films
the camera captures what my eye sees.

The compact X-E1 is engineered to

deliver extraordinary image quality.


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including a 14mm F2.8 and an 18-55mm F2.8-F4
lens. Everything you need in one compact,
beautiful camera system.

FUJIFILM and FUJINON are trademarks of FUJIFILM Corporation and its affiliates. 2012 FUJIFILM North America Corporation and its affiliates. All rights reserved.

fa la la la la
with FoCal this holiday season

By Michael Freeman

By Matt Armendariz

By Tracey Clark

By Corey Hilz

From the bestselling

the founder of

Renowned photographer

Get up and running with

author of the The

shares his experiences and

and blogger tracey Clarks

your lensbaby--covering

Photographers Eye, The

best practices for creating

guide to documenting

all of the latest lensbaby

Photographers Mind, and

wonderful food photos.


gear, with practical tips

and techniques, alongside

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stunning four color images.

For a look at our holiday titles, visit

Creativity has an endless shelf life.

Focal Press Books are available wherever fine books are sold
or through your preferred online retailer.

Left to right: pari Dukovic/trunk archive, phillip toledano, christopher anderson/magnum photos, Lauren marsolier/courtesy of the robert berman gallery, Dan Winters

of the

We asked some of the keenest observers of photography to share the

most important images theyd seen in the past year. Then we combined
their nominations with our picks and made the nal call. What follows
is our noncomprehensive, totally biased selection of the most powerful,
most inuential, simply the best pictures of 2012. Some names appear
multiple times: New York and Time magazines continue to commission
groundbreaking work, and photographers such as Martin Schoeller
and Peter Yang had such a great year that we couldnt pick just
one shot for each of them. Surely youll nd lamentable absences.
Nonetheless, we proudly present 2012s Images of the Year.
By Michael Kaplan

January/February 2013 33

Images of the Year

ESPN ThE MagaziNE;

July 23, 2012
ESPN The Magazines
annual body issue, which
features nude photographs of athletes in their
prime, can cross the line
into kitsch. but we fell for
Lippmans portrait of anna
tunnicliffe, winner of an
olympic gold medal in the
womens one-person dinghy
event. tunnicliffe had no
problem dealing with the
rough seas during the shoot,
but Lippman says his crew
could take only so much.
he adds that this particular
shot was snagged from the
side of a shing boat. anna
came at me at about 20
miles per hour and missed
the boat by a foot, but she
was in complete control.
For his part, Lippman had
to angle his shots so as to
strategically conceal tunnicliffes nude form while
he capitalized on a stormy
backdrop and contended
with a small-craft advisory.
i wanted a great picture,
but i also wanted anna to
be safe and not demolish
either of the boats.

Steven Lippman/corbis outline


34 January/February 2013

January/February 2013 35

this series went viral this

year, and with good reason:
the repetition of a simple
visual device communicates
volumes about the daily lives
of cartagenas subjects.
36 January/February 2013

Images of the Year

alejandro cartagena (4)

The cAr PoolerS; PerSonAl ProJecT
While shooting an assignment on the ways mexicans use their streets, alejandro cartagena noticed construction workers stowing away in the beds of pickup trucks from the suburbs of monterrey to the city of San pedro.
i wanted to photograph the unintended consequences of suburbia in mexico, says cartagena, who made these
images while perched on highway overpasses. if they didnt travel like this, theyd be taking many buses and arriving late for work. cartagena enjoyed the voyeuristic aspect of this project: theyre doing intimate things right
in public; more than half of the guys are sleeping. but if youre at street level, you would never know. im exposing
the invisible. cartagena is not the only one who found these perspectives fascinating. the photo series went viral
on the internet, he says. the work has been shown in galleries. car bloggers have picked up on it. people embrace
these images and relate to them.

January/February 2013 37

38 January/February 2013

Images of the Year

peter read miller/Sports illustrated


SPorTS illuSTraTEd; July 23, 2012
intense as this years olympic games may
have been, the olympic trials came with
tensions of their own. as miller explains,
its win or go home and wait four more
years. there can be heartbreak for the
shooter, too: a photographers best shot
of the trials might be of a losing athlete,
rendering the image basically worthless.
miller avoided that fate when he captured
soon-to-be gold medalist gabrielle Douglas
in mid-air via an overhead camera mounted
on a catwalk. you need to know how high
she will be off the beam when you make
the exposure with your pocketWizard,
says miller, who watched Douglass warmup, gauged the height and pre-focused his
camera onto a Fedex box held up by his
assistant. i knew the point when she would
make this move, timed it well and got as
close to perfect with it as you can get.

January/February 2013 39

Dan Winters

Images of the Year

TiMe; July 23, 2012
up against a four-day deadline, Winters staged a shot
for a Time magazine cover story about suicide and the
military. a notorious perfectionist, he wanted to get
everything right. i told a military dealer/collector friend
that i needed a class a uniform, fully decked out, says
Winters, whose 2012 included two published books and a
career-spanning retrospective at the telfair museums
Jepson center in Savannah, georgia. then i recruited a
muscular guy who had gone to military school. hes even
using the military bugle. not one person in the military
would see this picture and nd a aw in it. the image
was so strong that iowa congressman Leonard boswell
displayed the cover when he rallied for $10 million
in funding to help prevent active-duty suicides. the
amendment passed in the house last summer.

these stark and

beautiful pictures
sprang straight from
the imaginations of
their creators.
Lauren marsolier/courtesy of the robert berman gallery

lAndScAPe WiTh covered cAr 0, 1, 2;

PerSonAl ProJecT

Some of our favorite images this year were not made

in the camera alone. always taking pictures, marsolier
makes libraries of shots that form the building blocks
of her nal images. i start each piece with a striking
image that speaks strongly to me, she says. and then
i build an image around it, adding pieces as if i am doing a puzzle. For the trio at right, she says, i started
with the picture at the center, worked on the landscape
and imagined what would be on the left and right.
i wanted it to feel both realistic and fabricated. you
become unsure of what is true and what is not. using
adobe photoshop, marsolier creates her own world.
eight years into this method, she says, i am getting
more condent, experimenting with the technique and
becoming better at putting together the puzzle pieces.
JuLy/auguSt 2012
2013 41

Images of the Year


todd baxter. opposite: michael thompson/Jed root.

oWl ScouTS: loST in The

WoodS; PerSonAl ProJecT
the idea for this project was
sparked by a pair of vintage
boy and girl Scout uniforms baxter spotted while
antiques shopping. they
made me think about kids
in dire situations, lost in the
woods, with their uniforms
scuffed up, he says. he soon
imagined a photo series
about kids in a co-ed scouting organization attempting to surmount various
challengesand failing every
time. branding is exciting
to me, and i like the idea
of creating new organizations. So i called it the owl
Scouts. a friend designed
the logos. Fashion students
sewed the uniforms. baxter
meticulously storyboarded
each image and shot professional models on sets inside
his studio. he photographed
the locations separately and
stitched everything together
in post-production. as for
the conceptual inspiration,
he says, i had just gotten
divorced; maybe there was
something about a boy and
girl failing in the world.

W; ocTober 2012
inspired by the dark colors of last falls fashions, thompson and W magazine fashion
director edward enninful dreamed up a story depicting a small-town family in their Sunday best. the location is rural oregon, about ve hours from where thompson is based.
using the work of the german portrait and documentary photographer august Sander as
a touchstone, thompson combined cutting-edge fashion and vintage detailing and put it
in the time machine. Whats interesting is that Sander was a portrait photographerwe
usually reference other fashion photos [for fashion shoots], says Jacqueline bates, senior
photo editor at W. putting the style of portraiture into fashion is unique. We knew that
only some people would get the references, so the photos had to stand on their own.
January/February 2013 43

44 January/February 2013

Images of the Year

christopher anderson/magnum photos

New York magaziNe;
September 10, 2012
on the road with Joe biden
during the recent presidential campaign, christopher
anderson had nearly unfettered access to the Vp.
but in the political arena,
he says, its tough to shoot
the picture that has not
been designed for you, and
he wanted to go beyond the
typical politician-deplaning
shot. i wanted to show
what you dont see. there
is a Dr. Strangelove feel to
[this image], with those
uniforms, plus the biden
swagger and all those
colors working together.
Knowing that id have
those elements to work
with, i positioned myself
to get this shot. because of
my access, there werent a
lot of questions as to what
i was doing. a veteran of
road stints with such celebrities as Lance armstrong
and alicia Keys, anderson
recognizes at least two
important distinctions of
covering a vice president:
the seriousness and the
security are both higher.
you have guys with guns!

Images of the Year


the atlaNtic; JulY/auguSt 2012
Time magazine wasnt alone in stirring up controversy about contemporary motherhood, though in this case the cover image for The Atlantics story on working women
wasnt nearly as divisive as the article itself. the assignment called for toledano to
photograph a crying baby in a briefcase, but he proposed that a woman holding the
bag creates more context. Following his instincts, toledano shot it both ways, and his
concept ended up gracing the cover. our favorite image was a bit different from the one
that ran. the magazine went with a child wearing a more neutral expression, which
likely suited the story better, but we prefer the drama of the meltdown on the right.
46 January/February 2013

martin Schoeller/august images. opposite: phillip toledano

time; maY 21, 2012

this photo of a mother (Jamie
Lynne grumet) and her son was
one of this years most controversial,
but the shoot itself was drama-free.
Schoeller describes the atmosphere
as completely relaxed (the photographer even brought his own
3-year-old son, who happened to be
the same age as the boy in the photograph). i was asked if i wanted
[him] to wear something other than
combat pants, but i thought they
were great because they underscored his age, says Schoeller.
the mom was great, too, because
she was pretty and petite and her
breasts werent so large that the
picture would be about her breast.
it was my idea to have the kid
standto show his heightand he
breastfed for 45 minutes. Schoeller
considers the controversy silly,
adding, everyone [on the shoot]
thought of it as being completely
normalexcept my son. he thought
the boy was eating his mommy.

Images of the Year

aFP/gETTy iMagES;
SEPTEMbEr 2012
countless images this year
depicted events in Syria, but this
photograph by Joseph eid struck
us as singular. perhaps thats
thanks in part to eids perspective. born and raised in Lebanon
and now shooting for aFp, eid
has dedicated himself to communicating the suffering, heroism, and violence in his home region. he captured this one in the
company of the Syrian army as
soldiers escorted him in aleppo
after a battle. buildings had
been destroyed, and people were
hoping to nd what was left of
their belongings, eid says. i
saw this old man walking along,
like he didnt know where to go.
he looked like one survivor in
the aftermath of destruction. he
said that everything had been
stolen by the rebels and that
nothing was left for him in this
neighborhood, where he lived for
his entire life.

Joseph eid/aFp/getty images


48 January/February 2013

January/February 2013 49


PErSoNal ProJEcT

Weve long been fans of greenbergs stunning portraits of animals, whether wild or domestic, and we love her latest exhibition and book, Horses (rizzoli, 2012), just as much. one
of her big challenges was nding cooperative owners: i wanted to shoot these expensive
animals, off their bridles, with strobes. Lights can startle horses, and if they hurt themselves,
theyre done. but greenberg charmed her way into elite stables and emerged with stunning
pictures of the supermodel horses (such as casey-4-50, shown here) she desired.
50 January/February 2013

Jill greenberg/courtesy of clampart gallery, nyc and rizzoli new york

Images of the Year

pari Dukovic/trunk archive

New York magaziNe; auguSt 20, 2012
Kim Kardashian has been photographed countless times, so when Dukovic was assigned to shoot her for the cover of
New Yorks Fall Fashion issue, he hoped to portray her in a unique but iconic way. turning to his background in art history, he found inspiration in Julia margaret camerons portraits. he planned to present Kardashian in a natural state,
stripped of the glamorous trappings that typically surround her. as the shoot went on, i wanted to bring out something
more spiritual in her, says Dukovic. toward the end, she began connecting with what i wanted to capture. i told her, i
want just you. nothing else. Suddenly the muscles in her face relaxed. there was a glow and i saw a golden moment.
January/February 2013 51

Images of the Year

52 January/February 2013

In a world where
retouchIng Is
ubIquItous, we cant
help but admIre
abstract Images that
are accomplIshed In
the camera.

giles revell/Vaughan hannigan

ThE TiMES EurEka MagaziNE; SEPTEMbEr 2012
revells otherworldly abstracts illustrate something concrete: the ways pressure can affect the body when freediving to extreme depths. he made this image, depicting
the heart under aquatic pressure, using nothing but
water and pigments. i drop them into the tank, knowing that some will mix and others will dissolve to make
clouds. i create volume by working with different colors
and densities. i tried to suggest the marine world and
the human world [merging]. and revell says a lot of
digital post-production was not part of nailing the look.
im bored with looking at pictures that are retouched
beyond photography, he says, demurring when pressed
for details on exactly how the effects were achieved:
these things take a long time to discover, and i think
[the process] should remain ambiguous.

2013 53
JuLy/auguSt 2012

Images of the Year


Peter Yang (2)

The New York Times

magaziNe; april 29, 2012
esquire; FebruarY 2012
Peter Yang had such a big
year that we couldnt settle
on just one image. When
he looks back on 2012, he
sees lots of celebrities and
politicians. One big difference between the two, he
says, is that politicians give
him 10 minutes, while celebs
settle in for the afternoon.
His sessions with Samuel
L. Jackson for The New York
Times Magazine and Bill
Clinton for Esquire played
to type. Because I had just
10 minutes to get an iconic
shot of Clinton, I did a ton
of research on how to make
him look the most interesting, Yang says. And he
knew how he wanted to
look. He had his eyes on
the lens the whole time.
Jackson, on the other hand,
gave Yang three hours and
a movies worth of facial
expressions. Both guys,
says Yang, exude attitude:
They are not inward as
photo subjects. They move
outward. You keep encouraging them and go along for
the ride.

JAnuArY/FeBruArY 2013 AmerICAnPHOTOmAg.COm 55

Images of the Year

Despite the controversy

surrounDing this shoot,
Mert & Marcuss
portraits of aDele are
unDeniably stunning.

Vogue; March 2012

When Vogue required luscious and seductive photographs of Adele, the magazine turned to the reigning
superstars of fashion photography, the duo Mert Alas
and Marcus Piggott, who are often known simply as
Mert & Marcus. Working in a style that calls to mind
both Guy Bourdin and Helmut Newtonwhen Newton
died in 2004 the duo reportedly created a memorial
shrine to him behind their house in Ibizathey captured
Adele in a manner that augments her natural glamour.
Nonetheless, the photograph has a classic beauty that
would likely have been impossible without some serious
post-production. (Grace Coddington, the magazines
creative director, has complimentarily described their
signature style as fakey, fakey, fakey.) While many outspoken fans felt the pairs edits went too far, Alas once
told The New Yorker that digital enhancements are an
important part of his work: You can achieve what you
want eventually, even if you didnt do it that way. You
seem freer than when what you shot is what you got.

Mert&Marcus/Art Partner

Mert AlAs And MArcus Piggott

56 AMerICANPHotoMAG.CoM JANuArY/FeBruArY 2013

JAnuArY/FeBruArY 2013 AmerICAnPHOTOmAg.COm 57

NaTioNal geographic; JaNuarY 2012
When martin Schoeller went to Twinsburg, Ohio, to photograph the annual festival
of twins on assignment for National Geographic, he initially viewed it as too obvious to
be interesting. In short order, Schoeller found himself so fascinated that he turned the
one-off gig into a book (Identical: Portraits of Twins, teneues, 2012). Schoeller became
interested in the differences that years of smoking or a few pounds of weight can have
on people who started out looking exactly alike. There is something eerie about twins,
he says. everybody thinks of themselves as being unique. Twins call that into question.
Its a little spooky and philosophical.
58 AmerICAnPHOTOmAg.COm JAnuArY/FeBruArY 2013

Images of the Year

martin Schoeller/August Image, LLC (8)

technical skill
turneD twins
into coMpelling,

Images of the Year


persoNal proJecT

An editorial commission to shoot a question mark made of pills inspired the image
above; when the work was done, eschliman wanted to take the idea further. That led
to a series that also includes a syringe, a dollar sign and a smiley faceall made of pills.
For the gun we created a cookie cutter out of aluminum and lled it in with pills,
says eschliman. We surrounded it with white pills, removed the cookie cutter and did
very little post-production. Fascinated by the transformative power of objects, eschliman wanted to make a point about drug use. Its a quick read in terms of concept, and
people who see it tell us its really cool or they want to know how we did it.
60 AmerICAnPHOTOmAg.COm JAnuArY/FeBruArY 2013

Dwight eschliman/Apostrophe



Fredrik Brodn/renee ryder

and Company

spriNg 2012
Some photographers like
to add humor to their
pictures in post-production,
but Fredrik Brodn does it
at the shoot itself. Hence,
when models come to his
studio, they dont always
know what to expect. We
once had a guy up to his
nose in water, says Brodn.
Weve had people hanging
from ropes and standing
on ladders in precarious
positions. For this job, to
illustrate a trade that investors cant bail out of early,
Brodn bound a model from
shoulder to waist. Beyond
the simple but effective
propping, Brodn knew that
the models ability to convey
discomfort and distress
were crucial to a successful
image. Ive booked this guy
several times before because
he is good with his body language. Sometimes its good
to book a model because hes
slightly awkward, and that
is whats working here.

these photos bear the hallMarks of

a successful creative concept:
strong visuals anD clever set-ups.

JAnuArY/FeBruArY 2013 AmerICAnPHOTOmAg.COm 61

Images of the Year

New York magaziNe;

ocTober 1, 2012
We kind of couldnt get over
this picture of a monkey in
a bathing suit. (A monkey in
a bathing suit!) To illustrate
a story on the erstwhile
sitcom Animal Practice, New
York hatched a plan to shoot
a thespian primate named
Crystal in her native environment: Hollywood. minton says that this model was
a cinch to work with. She
gave a perfect smile and was
better behaved than a lot
of my subjects. I shot her
exactly as I would any Hollywood celebrity. The swimsuit was custom-made, and
concerns were expressed
about the cocktailthough,
minton notes, Crystal
played a drug mule in The
Hangover Part II. The biggest
hurdle was location. eight
hotels turned us down, but
the Chateau marmont was
cool. They acted as if this
was completely normal.

Jeff minton


62 AmerICAnPHOTOmAg.COm JAnuArY/FeBruArY 2013

JAnuArY/FeBruArY 2013 AmerICAnPHOTOmAg.COm 63

Images of the Year

Time; augusT 16, 2012
We had a feeling that this
years Images of the Year
would include at least one
shot with a phone. For
Times rst issue devoted
to wireless technology,
Brown captured these images using an iPhone and
the Hipstamatic app. The
iPhones advantage was its
perception, says Brown.
members of the public do
not perceive a phone in the
same way they perceive a
camera. I think the imagesabout the impact of
the Democratic republic
of Congos mines, which
provide minerals used in
the electronics industry
became more intimate.
I do not feel as intrusive
with a phone. I was less of a
photographer and more of
a human. Though he gave
up some resolution, Brown
doesnt mind the trade-off.
Part of the phones greatness is that control goes
out the window. The focus
becomes about the situation
and ones position inside
that situation.


We are indebted to the following editors, curators, photographers and allaround picture geniuses who contributed their suggestions to this story:
Alan Taylor - Senior Editor, The Atlantic Brenna Britton - Deputy Photo Editor
(Entertainment), People Clare ODea - owner, Clare Agency Jacqueline Bates Senior Photo Editor, W Jim Colton - Photo Editor John Toolan - Photography Director
Field & Stream and Outdoor Life Erica McDonald - photographer educator, curator
and founder of DEVELOP Photo Karen Frank - Senior Director of Photography, ESPN The
Magazine Kira Pollack - Director of Photography, Time Lisa Sutcliffe -Assistant Curator
of Photography, SFMOMA Michael Itkoff - cofounder, Daylight Paul Kopeikin - owner,
Kopeikin Gallery Patrick James Miller - photographer Steve Fine - Director of
Photography, Sports Illustrated Jennifer R. Grad - Associate Editor of Photography,
Sports Illustrated Simon Barnett - Director of Photography, CNN Digital W.M. Hunt curator, collector, consultant, teacher, fundraiser and author of The Unseen Eye:
Photographs from the Unconscious Amy Berkley, Photography Editor

64 AmerICAnPHOTOmAg.COm JAnuArY/FeBruArY 2013

michael Christopher Brown (4)

using phones that take

great pictures anD apps
that Make theM better,
pros have officially
MaDe Mobile caMeras
an inDispensable tool.


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February 414, 2013

Pack up your camera gear and sense of adventure and join the Mentor
Series as we journey to breathtaking New Zealand! From the patchwork
green quilt of the Canterbury Plains to the icy blue peaks of Fox
Glacier, witness the unique dichotomy of this countrys postcard-perfect
landscape. With Nikon professional photographers Reed Hoffmann
and Layne Kennedy at your side, you will be able to sense your photo
skills sharpening with each press of the shutter and each new sight
encountered! Starting out from Christchurch, we will soon reach glorious
Mount Cook. Capture the stunning scenery on the Glacier Explorer
Tour, which includes a walk and cruise granting up-close access to the
Tasman Glacier icebergs. Prepare for another day chock-full of photo
ops when we head to Fox Glacier and nearby Lake Matheson. A walk
through lush rainforest with a pause at viewing platforms along the way
will offer memorable panoramic views of the highest peaks with native
trees, birds, and flora. Fill your frame with the alpine delight of the
snow-topped Southern Alps, as well as the sparkling lakes, meandering
meadows, and idyllic farmland surrounding the range. Dont miss out on
this incredible expedition to New Zealand, where natures magnificent
tableau truly makes it a photographers paradise.

For more information, call toll-free 888-676-6468.

February 2124, 2013

Shelly Perry


Ruth Lawton

Pack your camera gear and NIkon Speedlights and join the Mentor
Series as we trek south to light up San Antonio, Texas. This historic
locale will provide the perfect backdrop in which to learn the rewards
of using light to create an intentional effect in your photos, as well as
capture the spirit of this Lone Star destination. Allow Nikon professional
photographers and illumination gurus David Tejada, Michael Clark
and Dave Black to simplify techniques and help you address lighting
scenarios that will convey a desired atmosphere, while capturing unique
images in both controlled and spontaneous shooting situations. Light is
the essence of any photograph, and it is important to understand how to
control your light and to explore which lighting is best suited to subject
and scene. Take your passion for photography to the next level on this
trek by practicing the Mentor Series hands-on approach and walking
away with in-depth knowledge of your Nikon Speedlights and how they
can work for you. You cant miss with mentors Dave Black, Michael Clark
and David Tejada, industry leaders when it comes to using Speedlights
in their stylized images.

With additional support from:

March 810, 2013

June 716, 2013

There is no place on earth quite like White Sands National Monument.

Join the Mentor Series where the dune fields appear otherworldly before your
lens. Allow Nikon professional photographers Mark Alberhasky and Wolfgang
Kaehler to guide you in creating compelling images, as this tranquil
landscape begs to be framed and captured from different perspectives and in
changing light. We will head out in the dark and be set up and ready to press
the shutter when first light appears on the crystalline dynamic spectacle
before us. The mentors will remind you to meter the scene, and compensate
your exposure for the endless white pearlescent particles that make up the
fascinating gypsum floor. Consider leading lines in your composition as the
sand crystals mirror the suns early morning glows when catching them at the
right angle. Spend some time at Missile Range Park. Zoom in on the sharp
aerodynamic angles that can create unusual abstract shapes, or step back with
your wide angle and take in the entire field for effect. The mountains stand
proudly in the background and contrast the human element represented here.
We will head out into the dunes again at sunset and be prepared to create
more images of the fascinating terrain in the warm golden soft light. You
wont be at a loss for opportunity to learn the best ways to represent this
particularly astonishing topography.

Embark on a journey to the magnificent Galapagos Islands located nearly

600 miles off the coast of Ecuador. Aboard our private chartered luxury yacht,
venture to several of these wondrous islands to photograph the varied terrain
and get up close to the unique wildlife that gives this stunning locale its
magical character. Nikon professional photographer Layne Kennedy will be
on hand to assist you in capturing the wonder and awe this destination
offers. Each island here gives us a new opportunity for discovery, each day a
chance to tell its story. Walk amongst the unique species and stop to consider
various angles to frame a giant tortoise lumbering by, or step back to take
in the entire scene of sea lions peppering the shores. Encounter nesting
colonies of Albatross, or witness the famous blue-footed boobies beautiful
mating ritual. Focus your lens up to the steep dramatic cliffs that have been
formed by rising lava. Our small group size will allow for impromptu photo
discussions and plenty of opportunity to review your images one-on-one
with your mentor, receiving invaluable feedback. Each cabin has a private
balcony to capture sunsets, and a great chance to see dolphins and whales
right from your room! No doubt a photo adventure with the Mentor Series
to these enchanted islands will leave a lasting impression for years to come.

Come on a Mentor Series trek and try out

some of the latest equipment that
including their high-performance HD-SLRs,
NIKKOR lenses, the Nikon 1 System and a
variety of COOLPIX compact digital cameras.

Special thanks
to our premier

Pam Dolby

Natalia Bratslavsky

FOR THE PAST 15 YEARS, the Mentor Series has taken photo enthusiasts to
destinations across the country and around the world. With top Nikon professional
photographers accompanying participants every day and teaching them how and
what to shoot, theres nothing like a Mentor Series trek. You and your photography
will never be the same!






Hasselblads rst ILC puts a designer ourish on a familiar camera

lenty of cameras made their debut at
the 2012 Photokina trade show last fall,
most of which shouted their spec sheets.
But while they were touting things like megapixels and sensor sizes, Hasselblad took a different approach, positioning its interchangeablelens compact, the Lunar, as more of a high-end
fashion accessory.
The Lunar gets its name from the companys
long history with the NASA space program. A
number of Hasselblads were left on the moon
by Neil Armstrong and his crew in 1969. But
the Italian-designed Lunar is a far cry from the
purpose-built, at gray Electronic Data Camera.
In fact, its mostly a Sony Alpha NEX-7 dressed
up in some very fancy duds.
When you pick up the camera, the Sony
connection is immediately obvious. The OLED
electronic viewnder, the TriNavi control scheme,
even the 24.3-megapixel APS-C-size sensor are
all familiar. But the shell has gotten considerable attention. The grip is formidable and can be
wrapped in materials youd expect to nd in luxury
cars: carbon ber, wood and leather. Even the dials
on the top have been given dapper little titanium
hats. While those ne materials make it a pleasure


to hold and to behold, they dont add much in the

way of performance. And they certainly wouldnt
endure a trip to the moon.
While Hasselblad made a big deal about the
design, almost everyone else at the cameras launch
event seemed more concerned with the price. The
Lunar, which comes to market in the rst quarter
of 2013, starts around 5,000 euro (about $6,400)
and goes up from there if you add such premiums
as gold trim. Yes, gold is an actual option.
Though Hasselblad shooters are used to high
prices, theyre also used to stellar optics. The Lunar
comes with a kit lens that looks and feels nearly
identical to the Sony 1855mm E-mount kit lens; a
Hasselblad rep assures that its a Hasselblad lens,
but its the only one for now. Otherwise, the camera
relies on Sony and Carl Zeiss lenses in A- and Emount glass, just like the much less costly NEX-7.
Hasselblads heavy focus on style has met with
tangible backlash in the camera community. In
a candid moment on the Photokina show oor, a
Hasselblad rep said, Maybe this isnt the right
show to debut a product like this, a nod to the
fact that the Lunar may be better suited to those
who carry an ostrich-skin briefcase than a tattered camera bag. AP

DIMENSIONS 5.5 x 3.3 x 2.6 in.
(140 x 83 x 67 mm)
FLASH Pop-up and Sony
VIDEO auto or fully manual control; Full HD 60/24p recording;
one touch instant recording;
external microphone jack
LCD MONITOR Tilting 3.0-inch
VIEWFINDER 2.359 milliondot
JPEG, JPEG Fine, JPEG Standard
BUY IT $6,400 (estimated),

Above: The Hasselblad

Lunar (artist rendering)


New tools for pro shooters




Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 We all know photographers are fanatics for their iDevices. Right? Right? Well, for
those who havent drunk the Apple Kool-Aid, heres an Android tablet that offers some special capabilities for
shooters who want to edit on the y. The most obvious: Samsungs S Pen. This pressure-sensitive stylus, which
comes standard with the tablet, lets users select areas of an image much more precisely than is possible with
a nger. This lets mobile photographers take full advantage of the preinstalled Adobe Photoshop Touch, one
of the most robust image-editing apps in either Android or iOS ecosystems. Sure, Samsungs screen doesnt
match the resolution of the iPad 3s Retina display, but it is a little taller and weighs a little less.
BUY IT $500,

Sigma 120300mm f/2.8 DG OS When it comes

to long telephoto zoom lenses, fast is
where its at. And only Sigma makes a
full-frame zoom with this much reach
that has a fast maximum aperture of
f/2.8. But what makes this update of
a 2011 version so intriguing is the new
USB-connected docking station (sold
separately), which will let photographers
download rmware updates directly into
the lens and upload the optical prole of
the lens into imaging software. For glass
geeks, this could prove both useful and
fun. The lens is also the rst in Sigmas
new Sports line, whichbesides better
resistance to dust and weatherboasts
a focus limiter and focus speed control.
Look for it to hit stores early in 2013.
BUY IT Price not available,


Profoto Pro-B4 1000 Air Talk about strobes, and the real cognoscenti start
asking about duration. So how fast does this new power pack pop? Profoto
claims a ash duration of as little as 1/25,000 second, making it easier than
ever to freeze action in a studio or on location. On its lowest output setting,
1 watt-second, this battery/generator can manage an incredible 30 pops
per second; at full 1,000Ws power it recycles in less than a second. The
cast aluminum, rubber-framed pack contains a lithium-ion battery that
recharges in just 45 minutes, and it charges even when in use.
BUY IT $7,900,


Novoex Balpro T/S Dedicated macro photographers prize

bellows for their ability to take subject magnication to
extremes. What makes this new Novoex kit so cool is that
it adds tilt/shift movements for perspective correction
or creative distortion. And with separate mounts for the
camera body and lens, this compact bellows adapts pretty
much any lens to work with any body, from almost any 35mm
through 6x7 medium-format cameras. (With Canon EOS
mounts, it maintains electronic communication between the
two.) It opens up a crazy number of options when it comes
to both gear selection and composition, not just for macro
photography but for products, architecture, landscapes,
portraits and more. And at just 2.14 pounds (without the
camera and lens adapters), it easily goes from the studio to
the eld. BUY IT $1,475, bellows only (camera and lens adapters
sold separately),


Leica M For its successor of sorts to the M9 digital rangender, Leica left the number off altogether.
The reason may be that this is what a digital M should have been all along. This new version sports a
new 24-megapixel Leica Max CMOS sensor and Leica Maestro image processor, bringing with them
capabilities that have long been standard on just about every other digital full-frame camera, from
live view in the LCD to (gasp!) 1080p video capture. Sensitivity nally reaches ISO 6400not much
in this era of six-digit speed, but up from ISO 2500 on the M9 (which remains in the lineup). Even
the venerable Leica build has gotten an upgrade, with splash-protective rubber seals and a Gorilla
Glass surface on its 3-inch LCD. And as a bonus to photographers still hoarding their Leica R-mount
glass (from the companys 35mm SLR line discontinued in 2009), a new adapter will allow these
lenses to be mounted on the M. Look for this modern classic to arriveand immediately sell out
in the U.S. around the end of February. BUY IT $6,950, body only,


Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 Theres a

certain breed of photographer whose heart
beats faster on hearing the words Zeiss
glass. But this fast telephoto, the longest
focal length Zeiss makes for DSLRs, requires
a steady eye and hand since focus is purely a
manual affair; the focus rings smooth 268degree rotation will help. The lens has a durable
all-metal barrel and a nine-bladed aperture
for beautifully circular bokeh. Due out in early
2013, it comes in Canon (ZE) and Nikon (ZF.2)
mounts. BUY IT $2,125,


Mamiya Leaf 645DF+ Modular units that belong to Phase One, Mamiya and Leafs medium-format
platform come together in this update of a studio workhorse. The new Mamiya 645DF+, shown
here with the Leaf Credo digital back, has had all of its moving parts overhauled. The
company promises more responsive and accurate autofocus, higher-capacity
battery power (up to 10,000 shots on a single charge), and the ability
to make precise adjustments in alignment for each back used on
the camera. The updated Credo backs come in 40-, 60- and
80-megapixel capacities with a 3.2-inch touchscreen LCD.
BUY IT starting around $26,100,



201 2


Pictured, left to right: Rosie Sandoval (Sony Marketing); Brian Smith (Sony Artisan); Matthew Jordan Smith (Sony Artisan); Andy Katz (Sony Artisan);
Kayla Lindquist (Director, Sony Artisan of Imagery); Me Ra Koh (Sony Artisan); David McLain (Sony Artisan); Cristina Mittermeier (Sony Artisan)

Cliff Hausner
David Fine

Cliff Hausner

Top image, top left to bottom right: Gabriel Johnson (Sony); Ruben Tellez (Sony); Mike Kahn (Sony); Rosie Sandoval (Sony); Erica Johnson; David Wheeler (Sony);
Mike Iadanza (American Photo); Matt Parnell (Sony); Misty Cauble (Blue Pixel Creates) Bottom left, left to right: Elliott Erwitt (Photographer); Kayla Lindquist (Sony)

Sony & American Photo : Coming Together to Celebrate Photography

In what has become the must-attend event during
PhotoPlus Expo, Sony and American Photo welcomed
media analysts, professional photographers and
industry icons in celebration of the art of photography,
as well as the photographic community whose
collective vision shapes the way we see the world.
The evening began with a pre-party ceremony
in which Sony was presented with an American

Photo Editors Choice Award for the Sony Alpha

a99, and then transformed into a night of revelry
where photography took its rightful place on center
stage. Sonys Artisans of Imagery, a diverse group
of talented professional photographers, and the
winners of the Sony World Photography Awards
provided a stunning visual backdrop that enveloped
the evenings invitees with powerful imagery.




An inux of cameras with 35mm image sensors brings new choices to photographers
raditionally, moving up to a DSLR with
a full-frame sensor has been a win-lose
proposition for many photographers. In the
win column: improved image quality, shallower
depth of eld and wide-angle lenses that actually
deliver on their great view-embracing promise. On
the other side: heftier gear, heftier price (especially
when you start adding lenses).
Now there are signs of a shake-up in the 35mm
digital market, with introductions from Canon,
Nikon and Sony to challenge photographers
assumptions about, notably, body size and price.
With well-established full-frame agships already
anchoring their product lines, Canon and Nikon are
trying to lure would-be upgraders by adding smaller,
less expensive full-framers. Their new models come

Four different body

dimensions, one sensor
sizehere are the new
full-framers. Clockwise
from top left: Sony
Cyber-shot RX1 (4.5
x 2.6 x 2.8 in.); Nikon
D600 (5.6 x 4.4 x 3.2
in.); Canon EOS 6D,
(5.7 x 4.4 x 2.8 in.);
Sony Alpha A99 (5.8 x
4.5 x 3.1 in.).



around the same time as a double-hitter from Sony:

the Alpha 99, the rst full-frame DSLR with a lighttransmissive mirror, and the Cyber-shot RX1, the
industrys rst 35mm digital compact.
First up is Canons EOS 6D, setting the MSRP bar
at $2,099. Compare that against the full-frame EOS
5D Mark III, priced at $3,499: Both have a 63-zone
metering system and DIGIC 5+ processor, and resolutions are similar (20.2 megapixels for the 6D, 22.3 for
the EOS 5D Mark III). The 6D adds GPS (for geotagging photos) and Wi-Fi connectivity, two increasingly
popular consumer-oriented built-in features.
Of course, a lower price comes at a cost, in this
case not-quite-as-rugged construction and a viewnder that provides 97% coverage instead of the
full 100% youd nd in top-of-the-line full-framers.

The 6Ds autofocus system, with just 11

AF points and a single, central cross-type,
sounds underwhelming (at least on
paperwe havent had a chance to test
this camera yet). Canon claims exceptional low-light sensitivity here, though, down
to 3 EV. The camera is also smaller and
lighter than its full-frame counterpart,
weighing about half a pound less than the
EOS 5D Mark III.
Nikons D600 hits the same $2,100
mark, and though it lacks the GPS and
Wi-Fi, it delivers 100% viewnder coverage, a built-in ash and support for dual
SD cards (a useful feature for sending
les to different storage locations or for
keeping an ongoing backup on a second
card). The D600 design and control layout
resembles Nikons APS-C-sensor D7000
more than it does the companys higherend full-frame offerings. Here again, size
matters, with a 5-ounce advantage over
the D800. And while its not an ideal solution, current Nikon APS-C shooters will
be able to use their existing lenses with
the D600, albeit at reduced resolution.
Sonys two-pronged full-frame assault
is distinctly different from the approach
taken by the SLR industry leaders, instead continuing its emphasis on cuttingedge tech developments. With the A99,
Sony brings to the full-frame party its
innovations in SLR and ILC lines, including multi-shot noise reduction, in-camera
HDR and panorama compositing. Foremost among these features is its unique
transmissive mirror technology (Sony
calls it translucent) that eliminates
the time-tested SLR moving-mirror assembly. Substituting a xed mirror that
transmits a percentage of the incoming
light to a phase-detect AF sensor enables
smooth continuous autofocus (particularly valuable when shooting video) along
with a lighter feel and quieter operation.
The A99 also adopts Sonys top-notch
video-shooting standard with support for
1080p video at 60 frames per second (versus the 30fps standard found in Canon
and Nikon cameras).
Because moving to this mirror system
means doing away with an optical viewnder, the A99 relies on an electronic
viewnder with 100% coverage. Fortunately, this OLED display with 2.4 milliondot resolution is a solid performer,
and it has the added benets of live exposure preview and the option to brighten
up the view when shooting in low light.
Also noteworthy is the rear LCD, both for
its display system (an extra white pixel

In designing the EOS 6D, Canon took an approach similar to its midlevel EOS 60D. The
large command wheel on the back and generous number of dedicated control buttons show
that this is a serious camera for serious shooters. The 6D has a xed LCD screen, unlike the
articulated one on the 60D.

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adds brightness while cutting down on battery consumption) and its cleverly articulated screen, which
pivots from a bottom hinge. The A99 weighs slightly
less than the Nikon and Canon but at $2,800, it
costs considerably more.
But the most eyebrow-raising of the new fullframe crop is the Sony Cyber-shot RX1, the worlds
most compact full-frame camera. The RX1 is based
on the same 24.3-megapixel full-frame sensor as the
16.1-ounce A99, weighs just 17 ounces and measures
41/2 x 25/8 x 23/4 inchesnot pants-pocket compatible,
but ne for a jacket or purse. You get Sonys Full
HD 24p/60i/60p video recording, a built-in ash and
ISO sensitivity up to 51,200 (102,400 using multishot NR mode).
Squeezing full-frame capabilities into a compact
frame required sacrices. There is no interchangeable lensinstead, theres a xed f/2 Carl Zeiss
35mm. Theres no viewnder included (an optional
optical viewnder sells for $600, an EVF for $450).
And the camera price is an eye-watering $2,800.
Granted, that includes the lens, but its still a
healthy chunk of change, especially for a compact.

Sonys RX1 is a marvel

in size alone, and its
interface is sophisticated
for a compact. The A99
is the largest DSLR in
this bunch; its articulated LCD and highly
customizable interface
further set it apart.

Pros See
the Cons
Since traditionally, fullframe photography has
been largely the domain
of professional photographers, we reached out
to shooters from several
different specialties to get
their feedback.
The lower prices didnt
faze this crowd much. As
portrait photographer

Nathaniel Welch explains, When I got into the digital market, my rst camera was a Canon EOS-1Ds
Mark III and it was $8,000 or $9,000I remember it
was a fortune. But then the EOS 5D Mark II came
out and I got it for, like, $2,200. I dont really do the
research based on price now because the top cameras are really not expensiveI have three of them.
As for the lower-priced cameras potential in
the consumer market, Michael Shane, who shoots
features for the online publication The Verge, notes
that when it comes to embracing full-frame photography, the camera body itself is just the starting
point. The sort of less expensive but really not quite
affordable full-frame camera is a bit of an enigma.
Once you go full-frame, youre not going to buy $200
lenses anymoreI mean, you cant, he says. So
maybe one day well have $500 full-frame camera
bodies, but I dont know how Canon can ever make
an 85mm L prime for less than two grand. Youre
dealing with materials and workmanship; theres
just no way for them to be less expensive than that.
Photojournalist Ron Antonelli expresses similar
skepticism. I have two categories: cameras I use
for work and cameras I walk around withvacation cameras. For me, the new full-frame cameras
would be in the walk-around category, he says. I
dont think Id ever use them as a backup, because they just have a different feel in your hand,
a different weight, a different body, a different
interface. I need everything to just work, and the
inconsistency is [what stops me from] using those
cameras professionally.
Antonelli also emphasizes the importance of
having a physically robust camera in high-pressure
situations. Every time a new lower-cost model
sparks my interest, it falls apart somewhere for me.
Its just that it feels like a toy compared to a Nikon
D3 or D4it doesnt have the same feel. Especially
shooting sports and news. Youre running around
with this stuff, and if it bangs into a wall, its not
going to work anymore. I put my cameras through
some pretty bad stuff, and Ive never had them go
down from impact damage.
While relatively modest savings in size and weight
couldnt lure our pros away from their established
bodies, the surprisingly compact Sony RX1 did raise
some eyebrows. Nothing will replace my workhorse
Nikon D4, but for such a small piece of equipment
it packs a wallop, says wedding photographer Cliff
Mautner. A 35mm f/2sweet! But you also have to
weigh the priceit comes with a pretty heavy price
tag to use a xed lens on this type of sensor.

The Full-Frame
The war for the hearts and minds of photographers,
both amateur and pro, has gone through many
battles in the past few years. First there were the


megapixel wars, a mighty stat-based conagration thats become increasingly irrelevant. Low-light capability remains an important issue when sizing up a new camera
purchase, but the ammunition to get the job done, even at reasonable prices, is already
well established and widespread. Will full-frame photography be next?
For the established full-frame market of professional photographers, shaving a few
hundred dollars off the price of their bread-and-butter tool doesnt seem like a game
changer. Even for backup, the pros seem willing to invest in top-tier gear or hang on
to their previous-generation models. And as travel and editorial photographer Michael
Freeman points out, the lm-era need to carry more than one camera at a time (one for
black and white and one for color, for example) has long since faded in the digital age.
Still, there are many enthusiasts who will be intrigued at the idea of stepping up
to full-frame at lower prices, although the savings so far have been only incremental. Investing $2,000 or more (and thats before lenses) is still challenging economic
ground. But a Canon EOS 6D or Nikon D600 doesnt cost a whole lot more than
those makers top APS-C models. And theres every reason to expect even more affordable full-framers in the future.
It may all come down to marketing: In a land of happy smartphone-toting snapshooters and increasingly impressive cameras with APS-C and smaller sensors, selling
the benets of full-frame photography could prove challenging.
In the end, it may be the Sony RX1, with its temptingly compact form, that makes
the biggest impact. While a camera without a zoom lens may be a foreign concept for
some consumers, its solidly established among professional photographers, and the
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Publisher: Bonnier Corporation, 2 Park
Avenue, New York, NY 10016; 9. Full Names
and Complete Mailing Addresses of
Publisher, Editor, and Managing Editor:
Publisher: Steven B Grune, Bonnier Corporation, 2 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016;
Editor: Miriam Leuchter, Bonnier Corporation, 2 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016;
Managing Editor: Jill C. Shomer, 2 Park
Avenue, New York, NY 10016; 10. Owner:
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A Long Time Coming

s long and intensive as many personal
projects tend to be, marc asnins Uncle
Charlie surpasses most. the 30-year
investigation into his uncle charlie henschkes
chaotic life started in 1981, when asnin began
photographing him for a student project.
now more than 200 images (culled from
thousands) are intertwined with interviews
compiled from hundreds of transcripts and
presented in short-story (really, prose-poem)
form. the document encompasses charlies life at
his home at 23 troutman Street in the bushwick
section of brooklyn, where he played a signicant
part in street life and drug culture as far back as
1969 and dealt with personal tragedies such as the
loss of his middle son, Joe, from aiDS in 1996.
a father of ve and asnins godfather, uncle
charlie had originally been a gure of strength
to the photographerbut the work revealed a

Marc Asnins photographic

subject of 30 years on his
last day in his home in
2000, published in Uncle
Charlie (Contrasto, 2012).
See more of his work at

80 January/February 2013

By Lori Fredrickson

much more complicated personality, one who

struggled with emotional and mental health issues,
a history of substance abuse and often-conicted
relationships with his neighbors.
the photo above was taken on charlies moving
day in 2000 after being forced into public housing
following his eviction from troutman Street.
though hed frequently talked about relocating,
this was a big issue in learning to adapt to a
new identity, asnin says, because it was leaving
memory and history behind.
the conict of identityhow ones selfperception changes through circumstances,
oftentimes sudden and dramaticunderlies most
of the long history in Uncle Charlie, as well as the
ways in which his uncle receives the work today.
Sometimes, asnin says, he tells me ill go to hell
for this, but he takes pride in it. he says, these
are my words, this is my genius. AP

marc asnin

Marc Asnins Uncle Charlie describes a work and a life, both decades in the making

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2012 David FitzSimmons | CAMERA: SIGMA SD1, ISO: 100 | LENS: Macro 105mm F2.8 EX DG, Shutter speed: 1/160 sec, Aperture: f11


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