20 April 2017

Return of the Panda


Art Model, Panda ©2017 Terrell Neasley
"There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered."
~ Nelson Mandela

If you haven't seen it or heard the news, Sony just announced the much awaited and rumored Sony a9 system. Its a beast of a system, at that. You can see the details of the camera on the Sony website. The thing has almost 700 phase detect AF points which now practically covers the entire sensor and can shoot continuously at 20fps WITH AF/AE on each shot. Its got dual SD card slots now. I really miss that from my Nikon and Canon days. The battery life has doubled. It can shoot silently with a shutter topping out at 1/32,000 of a second. This thing definitely set new standards of what can be done in photography.

Art Model, Panda ©2017 Terrell Neasley

But its not for me. Its designed for sports, but I'd love to have it for my own purposes as well, mind you. However, it still doesn't suite me better than the Sony a7rII. I still love that camera and if I need speed, I have the fully capable Sony a6300. Yeah, its the same one I bought for my girlfriend, but I traded her my full-frame a7II AND my beautiful 55mm 1.8. On the surface, its a dumb trade. I'd have to be entirely stupid to make this trade with anybody else. The operative word here is "girlfriend". So that makes it a good deal, albeit selectively. But that's okay. I lost the 2nd best lens available for the a7rII. There's only one lens better and that's the Sony G Master 85mm 1.4. And I just picked it up. So don't cry for me... I'm good.

Art Model, Panda ©2017 Terrell Neasley
"I'm a storyteller; that's what exploration really is all about. Going to places where others haven't been and returning to tell a story they haven't heard before." 
~ James Cameron

And then guess who came back to town for a visit. I'm sure you figured that out from the pics. If you've followed me for more than a few years, you'd know that Panda was the one model I had photographed most. (Now Tracie...er...Art Model, Covenant holds that honor.) As an artist, she's one of the few among hundreds who has allowed me to get better as a photographer. That's the actual function of a muse. I might have 5 like that in my life right now. I always want to tell a story with my camera and she's aided me in my own self-exploration and expression. She was on her way to Peru and knew she needed a new camera system to make some great pics on her journey. She gave me the specs on what was most important to her and the Sony a6000 fit the bill. Am I a bit biased towards Sony gear. Nope. If Sony is the best for the job, then I'm just truthful, wouldn't you agree?

Art Model, Panda ©2017 Terrell Neasley

So she picked up the camera and then flew back in to Vegas for me to train her on it. Remember...I teach One on One photo classes for YOUR specific camera system.  She stayed with me for a week and of course between training sessions we got to do some shooting. Its been 3 years since Panda moved away with her family. So it was a pleasure to see her again and shoot. What's changed about her in 3 years? Well, she's got "mom" all over her now. She's had another daughter since I last saw her who's about 2 years old now. Herding TWO girls, two years apart has stained that mommyhood varnish over her in a double thick coat. Nonetheless, we practically picked up where we left off except this time, I also explained a lot of what I was doing while shooting her.

Art Model, Panda ©2017 Terrell Neasley
Seeing how this time around, shooting her was also a teaching session, we shot A LOT! 3 different shoots and 3 different locations. For a 5-day class session, the first two days are in-house going over the camera on day 1 and then general photography principles and fundamentals on day 2. The remaining 3 days are spent out in the field and/or studio. I hated having to see her go...again...BUT, its likely her hunny bun might be getting a job out this way this summer. So who knows...

Art Model, Panda ©2017 Terrell Neasley



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