October 16, 2011
I've got my attention on portable lighting outdoors, where most of my paid photography happens, and usually without assistants.
How do I love Thee, let me count the ways.
I was born into what was at the time the largest sole-shooter commercial studio on the West coast. Our dad was The Go-To photographer for large format advertising images, for clients like Dole, Christian Brothers Winery, Qantas Airlines, and many others. (Hal's Bio with some fantastic images: http://communityofcreatives.com/m-halberstadt) I got to hang out with Ansel Adams, Imogene Cunnigham, Ron Partridge, and many, many others. I got my first camera as a middle school graduation present, learned to print by 10th grade, and how to assist by high school graduation. Processing Pan-X took me a lot longer -- the better part of a college year and hundreds of rolls to decide on Rodinal to get the extra fine grain that combination is capable of.
I have tons of experience with continuous light, but that doesn't mean I'm good at it! I'm learning flash and strobe; they didn't get much use in the studio. With ASA 40(ish) 8x10 color sheet film, even focused at infinity, strobes just don't put out enough light economically. When a single exposure cost $100 just for film and processing, and a shot might take a month of prep, hot lights or natural made the only realistic sense.
Canon T2i, a bunch of speedlights and strobes, a few good lenses, cool lights, reflectors, and a lot of make-do. I'm always adding gear!
I'm a second generation photographer, not nearly as accomplished or dedicated as my dad, M. Halberstadt, but I learned a lot about studio photography from him and through his association with luminaries like Ansel Adams, Dory Lange, and others.