The Marvels of an Image Maker
~ by Girish Mistry
In 1983, I began my journey of image-making as a fine art photographer. I had to practice commercial photography, as there was no awareness or market for fine art. Commercial art paid for my many experimentations and foray in fine art. My experiments included Front Projection, Photo Surrealism, pushing the boundary of Black & White Zone system, multiple exposures, etc. When you want to push the boundaries in image-making, it is very important to have the right equipment backing you.
I founded Shari Academy in 1991, after I was paralysed waist down, as there were no schools to teach photography at that time, and I had to do something constructive and productive to avoid going insane, just sitting at home doing nothing. 2016 will mark the successful completion of 25 years of Shari Academy, having seeded photography with thousands of award-winning students; many of them are brand name image-makers today.
Like any photographer, I am very choosy about the equipments that I would use for making an image. Like many photographers, I too went through many brands of cameras and related equipments. I never felt the need to follow the herd in choosing what brand or equipments I would use for my creative endeavour. When I was a practicing commercial photographer, I used a particular brand. After paralysis I chose the brand that had image stabilizer, eye focus and tilt-shift lenses.
As a teacher, I needed equipment that not only gave me creative freedom, but also a tool that I would use to impart practical training to the students. While experimenting with different cameras, I came across a Sony model once. I was a bit sceptical at first, as it was a new entrant in the DSLR segment. In fact, they entered the segment with the DSLT and Mirrorless cameras. The fact that their sensors are also used by other big brands, coupled with the Carl Zeiss lenses was just too tempting, and I started playing with the cameras, lenses and accessories.
The beauty of the Carl Zeiss lenses are that the T coating helps in getting great back-lit shots with minimal flare, they have very less diffraction and low distortion even at wider focal lengths. The students love the beautiful bokehs created by the 9 blades, aperture construction. The lenses are all metal and glass with no plastic in its construction; hence it can stand the abuse of 70+ students using it regularly. The high resolution of the lenses also helps in getting great images due to the 24+ megapixel fullframe sensor paired with the BIONZ X image processor.
The sensor allows me to teach students to shoot in near absolute darkness, as it has ISO sensitivity range of ISO 100 to 409600 with low noise and 15.3 stops of Dynamic Range. It is great to teach students how to shoot B/W where you get great details in the shadow, medium and highlight areas even in high contrast images. It also gives great rendition of skin tonal range, outstanding colour fidelity with excellent high saturation in portraits and fashion.
My students like experimenting with apps like Motion Shot, Angle Shift, Stop Motion and Time Lapse to get creative images.
When Shari did a troubleshooting for the camera manufacturer, and suggested how to make the products more user-friendly, the company promptly reacted and took all of those suggestions into account. I believe that many of the suggestions and the result of tests conducted have been incorporated in the A7RII that has been launched in Japan recently.
I am very happy with this transition to the A7 system, and look forward to more innovations and creative features in the future.
Story Stats & Gear Used:
|Lens||FE 24-70mm F4 ZA OSS|
Sony Alpha 7 II Full-frame Mirrorless camera - Compact & powerful