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Julius Motal

 

julius motal the phoblographer panasonic lx100 product image-1

So it was on a cold November day that Editor-in-Chief Chris Gampat would hand me the Panasonic LX100. It had been a while since I reviewed a camera, having been back in New York City for about two months from Istanbul. The LX100 piqued my interest with its design as a premium compact with manual controls. In a past life, I had written micro four-thirds largely because I found the cameras to be too small for my large hands. While the LX100 proved to be impressive in image quality and aesthetic, its diminutive size was a sticking point for me.

The camera is Panasonic’s stab at Fujifilm’s X100 series–and so sports retro handling and looks done in collaboration with Leica. The LX100 has the same sensor as the GX7, and in some ways even has the same styling. But this camera is much different in that at the heart is a Four Thirds sensor and in front of it is a fixed zoom lens with an f1.7 maximum aperture.

And in many ways, it could be a perfect camera for the photojournalist.


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julius motal the phoblographer kurt cobain jesse frohman image 04

©Jesse Frohman

All images by Jesse Frohman. Used with permission.

The assignment was to photograph Kurt Cobain and Nirvana for the London Observer. Jesse Frohman had everything ready to go for an 11am shoot on location, when the call came in that he would have to photograph the band in the basement of the Omni Hotel, which wasn’t the agreed-upon location. Moreover, Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain was hours late for a five-hour shoot, and when he did arrive, he was high. This, however, didn’t hinder Frohman, an accomplished portrait photographer who had worked for Irving Penn, a legend in his own right. The shoot at the Omni Hotel led into Nirvana’s iconic Unplugged in New York concert with MTV. Now, more than 20 years after Cobain’s death, Jesse has compiled that shoot into a book, “Kurt Cobain: The Last Session.”

You can check out more of Jesse’s work on his website. But we talked to Mr. Frohman about the last iconic session nearly 20 years later.

Editor’s note: This interview has been edited and condensed.


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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer VSCO for iPad (1 of 1)ISO 2001-50 sec at f - 4.5

VSCO has made waves on iOS and Android for its smooth interface and impressive array of film-like filters, most of which are available in affordable bundles in the store. With its 4.0 update last week, VSCO Cam just got a lot bigger for folks on iOS 8. The app is now available on iPad, a substantial step up from its iPhone counterpart. The device upgrade also comes with the announcement of VSCO Journal, a publishing platform for longer projects. Think of it as an expanded VSCO Grid. Of course, since it’s just been released, we’ve only had so much time to use it, so here’s our first impressions.


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Julius Motal the phoblographer establishing an online presence

So you’ve got a camera and you’ve been shooting for a while. When people ask, you tell them you don’t have a website, at least not yet. As with anything, it’s a work in progress, and when you finally do take your work online, you want it to be a finely crafted portfolio. What people see on your website or across any of your channels (be it Instagram, Flickr, 500px, etc.) will determine how they view you and whether or not they want to work with you. How you present yourself online matters.


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julius motal the phoblographer manual ios image-2

Shooting with my iPhone 5 has always been a hassle. That was largely because of the lack of control, and I could never seem to get the images quite right. Having spent years with a variety of cameras, I’m predisposed towards buttons and dials. Then I saw a video for an app called Manual by a company called Little Pixels. It promised control of shutter speed, ISO and a number of other things all for the price of $1.99. More over, it didn’t have that dreaded “Offers in-app purchases.” For two bucks, I could essentially unlock the features of my phone that Apple kept hidden away.


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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It was shortly after I arrived in Istanbul that I read about an app that holds your images for an hour before letting you see them. The app is called 1-Hour Photo, and it renders your images in black and white. It’s predicated on a very simple concept: what if you had to wait an hour to see the photos you take with your phone–just like you used to when getting your film developed. This is a reality for anyone who’s shot and still shoots film, but for those who haven’t had the experience of shooting film, it’s something brand new. I shot film for several years before transitioning to digital, and have only managed to sporadically shoot film the past few years. So, 1-Hour Photo was a welcome addition to my phone, but it surely was not without its hiccups.

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