Thursday, August 18, 2016

What's in Ira Block's Camera Bag for His Trip to Mongolia?

Internationally renowned photojournalist Ira Block has produced over 30 stories for National Geographic and has lead workshops all over the world.  He’s heading to Mongolia for the 5th time, conducting a workshop in Western Mongolia to photograph the eagle hunters.  He let us take a look in his camera bag before his departure and told us all about his plans for the trip.  Join us at Foto Care on Thursday, October 6th for a talk from Ira Block after his return from Mongolia, going into detail about his experience, equipment, and process. Sign up here. 

What keeps drawing Ira back to Mongolia?  “It’s very authentic, 30% of the people are still nomadic, and the culture is terrific to photographic because of the fact that so many people are still nomadic and the traditions they continue.  Also, it’s a beautiful place, great landscapes, great people… it all adds up”, He says.  Although this is his 5th time visiting the country, he’s never been to the Western part of it, so it’ll be new territory for him to explore, particularly the people who capture and train eagles to hunt.

Ira’s camera bag is all ready for the trip, and packed full of equipment that is easy to carry, fits the location and climate, and will produce stunning, high quality images.  He has four Sony Alpha camera bodies, an A7s, an A7ii, an A7rii, and an A6300.  This is his first trip taking the G Master Lenses, he’ll be bringing the 24-70mm f/2.8 and the 70-200mm f/2.8.  He’s also bringing along a small strobe and a transmitter, an LED light, a mini tripod, some flashlights, knives and leatherman tools, tons of extra batteries, and memory cards. 

Ira will be visiting Foto Care when he returns to tell us about his trip, show us the photographs, and explain his process.  Sign up for the event today -

Monday, August 15, 2016

Photographing People and the Art of Conversation - From Camera Voyages

Bruce Byers and William Vasquez, cofounders of Camera Voyages, an international Photographic Travel company, wrote this article about how to create beautiful, honest portraits of people through genuine conversation.  

A Sadhu (holy person) at Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal. 

The streets of Cuba are full of surprises. Makeshift barbershop in an alleyway.

          It's 6am and we are standing on the Malecon point overlooking El Morro fort on the other side of the entrance to Havana bay, looking gorgeous in the early morning light. We are there with our photo workshop participants to capture the sunrise. Dawn is upon us quickly transitioning into sunrise. So you have to be ready otherwise the moment will speed by you.  As we are setting up I strike up a conversation with fishermen that trying their luck in the early morning light.  I ask them about how the fish are biting. Soon enough the grumbling starts on how everyone is making money but them. It seems that they are always being photographed. I tell them we are there to make art, but that falls on deaf ears. Its a conversation that leads down a rabbit hole. I do understand where they are coming from. Cuba's popularity is exploding with tourism money flowing in and the wealth is not evenly distributed. However giving money to them is not a simple solution. How much do you give, to whom? To all of them? I don't like to leave people feeling used. Luckily a solution presented itself. A lady passed by selling coffee and I offered to buy everyone coffee to wake up a bit. They took the offered coffee and the conversation moved on to other things like fishing, music, and the changes in Cuba. At the end it wasn't just about the money. Although that is certainly one solution, but a complicated one. It was showing them respect, listening to their gripes, finding common ground, and going out of your way to share. Whether you are creating a portrait or trying to get permission to photograph. Knowing how to approach, and talk to people is just as important as the photograph itself. It can make or break your photograph.

      Camera Voyages is a collective of professional photographers who are passionate about helping you capture images that go beyond the obvious. They lead groups on photographic travel experiences in exotic countries with eyes wide open to tell stories with their cameras. They are dedicated to helping you create unique images by moving beyond the limitations of being a tourist to becoming empathetic and embedded in local cultures. They provide immersive photographic travel voyages to live and discover on a professional photographer’s level. Through their partnerships with camera manufacturers and guest photographers, they invite you to extend your creative vision with the benefits of cutting-edge equipment and techniques you will learn from their experience. 

     Their next trip is to Cuba December 2nd - December 9th - Cuba is one of Camera Voyages’ favorite places. It’s in a remarkable state of transition, and offers unprecedented photographic opportunities. Find out more at

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Equipment Tool Kits for Different Jobs

Tool Kits for Different Jobs

Different jobs call for different tools.  Although every photographer has their favorites, we're putting together a list of the go to products for 3 different jobs most pros will come across throughout their career.  

Wedding: The Fujifilm X-T1 is a mirrorless digital camera that is lightweight, intuitive, and discreet.  Capture those beautiful moments candidly.  The 18-55mm Lens is perfect for every situation: easily move from indoor to outdoor, flash to natural light.  The Fujifilm EF-42 is a great on camera flash to illuminate your subjects without having to carry or set up an off camera strobe.   Photo by Manny Tejeda,, IG: @emptyphoto.

Portrait: The Canon EOS 5D Mark III is adaptable and takes crisp, clean images.  The Canon EF 85mm F/1.2 Lens has the ability to capture intensely sharp and contrasting detail, even when wide open.  Achieve natural portraits with extreme depth of field.  The Profoto B2 Air TTL Location Kit is great for both indoor and outdoor shooting.  The battery operated strobes pack into a convenient bag that makes traveling to the location easy.  Photo by Manny Tejeda,, IG: @emptyphoto.

Fashion: The Nikon D810 is a full frame sensor DSLR that takes high resolution images that reflect the color and texture of every garment being showcased.  The Nikon 24-70mm F/2.8 ED Lens is a versatile, incredibly sharp, midrange zoom lens, perfect for capturing both studio or on location.  The Broncolor Siros 800L Outdoor Kit has 2 battery operated monolights, with short flash durations and quick recycle times to capture every moment. Photo by Ivanessa Luna,, IG: @callherluna.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A Photographer's Guide to Cuba

Cuba is a beautiful and diverse nation, perfect for any photographer.  Full of color, with wonderful people, vintage cars, and green verdant landscapes, there are many opportunities for a photographer to create amazing images. Amateur photographer Christie Allen took a trip to Cuba, and has some tips for anyone planning to do the same. 

Christie used two camera bodies and a lenses that range from 24-200.  She brought along a Nikon D810 and a Nikon D500, a 24-70mm lens and a 70-200mm lens for covering a large range.  Extra batteries are necessary and make sure they're all charged up at night because finding a place to charge them during the day will be difficult.  Bring extra memory cards, as CF, SD, and XQD cards are not easily available in Cuba.   

Christie always travels with her tripod and never regrets it. The Gitzo Mountanier and new Gitzo ballhead fit right into her suitcase, but she wanted a more compact, easier to carry option so she went with the Induro Stealth Carbon Fiber GTT204 tripod.  Bringing a flash depends on whether or not the photographer wants to shoot in low light.  Cuba offers many low light opportunities, so bring a flash if that's what you're looking to shoot.  

Camera BagThe weight limit on bags to carry on and checked can be anywhere from 44-50lbs. Anything over is an additional charge. The Tenba Shootout Back pack is great, especially when on the road and changing locations.  For a rolling bag – Think Tank Airport Series Navigator or Airstream can generally fit in an overhead compartment, but it’s unlikely that any traveler will be rolling a camera case through the streets of Havana.

Follow Christie Allen on instagram @hudsonroadphotography and twitter @hudsonroadimage

Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Fotoblog is Back!

Hey everyone!  It's been a while since we've been posting here, but we're back.  We have some questions for you.

1.  What content would you like to see on our blog?  We want to post a wide variety but suggestions from you would help point us in the right direction.

2.  Would anyone be interested in writing and creating posts as a guest writer?  It would be great to get the voice of our customers and fellow photographer out and represented on our website.

We want to cover product reviews, digital editing tutorials, artist spotlights, think pieces about the industry, and gallery and exhibition reviews.  We'll also be covering our upcoming events and in store promotions.  We have an exciting summer ahead of us at Foto Care, with a lot to cover on the blog!

We're looking forward to your feedback! Please share your opinions in the comment section below.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Allen Rokach Travel Workshop!

Yesterday, travel photographer Allen Rokach gave a lecture on his work to a full house. Displaying examples of his own photography, Allen showed the audience what makes a good image, how to tell a story, and much more. Those who sat in on the seminar asked questions about his subjects, his methods, and his materials. Check out Allen's website at and see some of the images he shared with us!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Q&A with Jeff Hirsch (Foto Care owner)

Q&A with Foto Care owner Jeff Hirsch

Foto Care was established in 1968 and has been in the hands of Jeff Hirsch for over 22 years.

1. In your perspective, how has photography changed from when you started in this industry?

Images are immediately shared with millions of unseen eyes connected by mobile devices and networks. The era of a tedious or intimate evening looking at carousel slide trays in a darkened room or escaping to a darkroom to process film and print is in the rearview mirror just like tinkering with a car on the weekend. Technical advances have opened up possibilities only dreamed of before in scientific journals to be open and available to anyone who can afford a mobile phone with built in camera.  

2. How important is building relationships with the photographic community in today’s photo world?
It’s essential. Photography as both a form of communication and art is nothing without the ability to share. Foto Care is in business with the intention of helping customers succeed and grow as photographers. Our past present and future is a road paved by the customers we serve and to that end we do our best to help them achieve success. It’s a two way street and that’s what makes it exciting. To meet and serve not just the photographers and artists with recognizable names but also the students and newcomers that become trailblazers is part of what makes coming to work each day as invigorating as the first cup of coffee.

3. How has NYC changed since you’ve opened Foto Care?
It’s cleaner, safer and more expensive to live.  Cities are magnets that attract young and old alike to occupational and cultural opportunities that are in short supply elsewhere.

41 W 22nd St, New York, NY 10010

4. How is it running a business in NYC?
I can’t think of a better place to work.

5. What are your thoughts on the new generation’s versions of photography? In example, taking photos on iPhones and having them hung in a gallery?
What difference does it matter what tool an artist uses or which camera a photographer points toward their subject matter. You have to choose a point of view and pick the moment to make the photograph regardless of the device. Image making by mobile devices have eroded the market for point and shoot cameras but so what? It hopefully will push camera manufacturers to make better cameras.

6. What trends are you seeing in the photography world today? 
Print it larger, shoot in darkness, Mirrorless cameras, 4K, 6K, 8K, 3D, 4D

7.What do you love most about photography?
Every day is a new day. When things get boring look up, down or behind yourself and open your eyes. Everyday on every street corner there’s a smile, a gesture or a passing shadow that is just waiting to be photographed.