National Geographic Photography Expedition in New York City

Statue of Liberty on a Misty DayApr 25 – 28, 2013

Ira will be leading a photography expedition to New York City at the end of April.

Brimming with towering skyscrapers, historic parks, vibrant ethnic enclaves, and the colorful bustle of street life, New York City presents photographers with an endless array of subjects. Photograph the environs of Ground Zero, and Battery Park City with its views of the iconic Statue of Liberty. Capture the diverse architecture of fabled Fifth Avenue and the sights of Central Park, and complete a portrait assignment in the lively neighborhoods of Chinatown or Little Italy. Photograph the sunset from the top of Rockefeller Center, the iconic Brooklyn Bridge or bustling South Street Seaport, and the new High Line Park in the early morning light.

This workshop is designed for amateurs who are interested in improving their digital photography. All participants must bring a digital SLR camera, a laptop computer, and software for organizing and presenting images. The workshop is limited to 25 participants.

For more information please go here.

National Geographic Photography Expedition in Cuba

Remember the MaineMar 31 – Apr 08, 2013

Ira will be leading a photography expedition to Cuba in the beginning of April.

Meet and talk with Cubans in diverse settings, from urban Havana to colonial Cienfuegos. Learn firsthand from Cuban locals and experts about their splendid colonial cities, vibrant music and art scene and lush rural landscapes, and experience the timeless beauty and fascinating culture of this enigmatic island nation. Engage Cubans directly in discussions about their lives and work, culture and traditions. Meet with Cuban historians, teachers, artists, musicians, naturalists, and others, and experience this fast-changing island nation through their eyes.

For more information please go here.

Panasonic Presents Ira Block and the LUMIX G Series at B&H

Night view of a stone arch at Devils Garden in Arches National Park, Utah.

Thursday, February 7, 2013 | 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

B&H Photo-Video-Pro Audio
420 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001

Admission: FREE

Veteran National Geographic Photographer Ira Block will speak about the photographic challenges and changes he has faced in his 30 years of shooting for the magazine. From film, to digital and now video, Ira will discuss the technology leaps needed to stay ahead of the changing world of photography.

There will be a Panasonic camera (GX1) give-a-way at the end of the talk.

For more information please go to http://www.bhphotovideo.com/find/eventDetails.jsp/id/1453.

Samy’s Camera EDU Panasonic GH3 Workshop in Los Angeles

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Join NatGeo photographer Ira Block as he puts the Panasonic GH3 through it’s paces for this hybrid photography workshop. Participants will be shown how to shoot video using their GH3 cameras in the classroom. Then it’s off to the Farmers Market to shoot stills and video at this eclectic location.

Learn to use your Panasonic GH3 to it’s fullest from acclaimed photographer Ira Block.

Panasonic’s new top-of-the-line digital single lens mirror less camera, the LUMIX GH3. The GH3 doesn’t only record still images and video in extremely high quality; it also features a tough splash/dustproof design to withstand the harsh conditions of professional use.

Samy’s Camera EDU Los Angeles
475 S Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Saturday, February 2, 2013 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (PST)

Price: $195

Please go to http://www.eventbrite.com/event/5195824852/ for more information and the ticket.

Working with the new Panasonic GH3

 

This summer Panasonic asked me to test their new mirrorless, micro four thirds camera, the GH3. I took this opportunity to shoot in southern Utah, one of my favorite places. You can follow my adventures with this great camera. I am told it will be available in December.

National Geographic Photography Expedition in Bhutan

October 21 – November 1, 2012
February 18 – March 1, 2013

Ira will be leading a photography expedition to Bhutan, “The Land of the Thunder Dragon” in October 2012 and February 2013. This exciting adventure will lend itself to incredible experiences and provocative images.

Set out into the lush mountains of Bhutan to shoot images of exquisite temples, villages untouched by time, and towering Himalayas. As you explore, learn photography tips and techniques to help you improve your skills. Capture scenes from a lively market, or saffron-robed monks against the backdrop of white-washed dzongs. Venture into mystical forests where wild moss creates an otherworldly atmosphere, and photograph breathtaking panoramas of snow-clad peaks from a high mountain pass.

For more information please go here.

Putting the New Lumix GH3 to the Test

I’m at Photokina in Cologne, Germany where today, Panasonic rolled out its Lumix GH3 camera. In late spring the folks at Panasonic asked me to test this new professional grade camera. I immediately suggested shooting in southern Utah. Although my choice was a bit self serving because I love the American west, I knew that Utah with its canyons, mountains and unique culture was the perfect place for photography.

Panasonic worked around the clock to get the prototype ready and it arrived at my studio the day before I was scheduled to leave for Utah. I was pleasantly surprised to find two new zoom lenses, a 12-35mm and 35-100mm, both with a fixed f/2.8 aperture. These two new lenses were solidly built in addition to being small. Luckily I own a GH2 and was familiar with many of the new camera’s functions and most of the seven lenses that came with it. I was able to fit the camera body, all of the lenses including the compact 100-300mm zoom, a flash, food, first aid kit and lots of water into my medium Tenba backpack. The GH3 and I were ready to go and the five hour flight would give me a chance to study the instruction manual.

This camera is also designed with a lot of dials and buttons which make it easy to change settings – when I’m working fast I don’t like scrolling through menus. The viewfinder is very bright and doesn’t have the ‘electronic’ look that earlier Electronic Viewfinders had. And the swivel screen monitor on the back made it easy for me to shoot low and high angle photos, like the image below of the bronc coming out of the chute.

During the ten days I was shooting in Utah I took the GH3 hiking and camping, climbing bluffs and exploring canyons, and exposing it to water and temperatures as high as 112 degrees Fahrenheit. And as I only had one body and needed to change lenses frequently, the camera was also exposed to a lot of dust and sand. This rugged camera had no problems functioning in these extreme conditions. Shooting the spectacular landscapes was inspiring but it was important to test the camera in non-static situations as well. I knew a Native American Pow Wow and a Rodeo would offer numerous action activities.

The GH3 didn’t let me down. Its great autofocus system was responsive and fast and the six fps motor was invaluable in capturing the bull and bronc riders. The dynamic range of the sensor was beyond what I expected and produced images with detail in both the highlights and shadows. Of course everyone wants to know if a four thirds sensor can deliver enough quality to make really large prints. Here at Photokina some of my prints are almost four feet long. When I was photographing the action at the Pow Wow and rodeo I was working with ISOs of up to 800 and saw a negligible loss of image quality.

Camping out under Utah’s night sky afforded another unique photo opportunity. I had never seen so many stars. To capture these ‘extraterrestrial’ like images I set the camera’s ISO to 2500 and used an exposure of thirty seconds at f/2.8 with the 12-35mm zoom. While the shutter was open my assistant and I used small flashlights to illuminate the surrounding landscape. Although I expected some noise under these extreme exposure conditions the resulting images were remarkable.

From canyons to cowboys, Native American dancers to skies saturated with stars, the images I shot with the prototype GH3 were beyond my expectations. I can’t wait to shoot my next journey with the production model.

7-14mm at 7mm, f5, 1/500sec, ISO200

12-35mm at 26mm, f8, 1/25sec, ISO200

45mm macro, f4.5, 1/160sec, ISO320

12-35mm at 35mm, f5, 1/2000sec, ISO250

35-100mm at 100mm, f8, 1/200sec, ISO160

7-14mm at 8mm, f11, 1/5sec, ISO200

7-14mm at 10mm, f4, 1/1600sec, ISO400

35-100mm at 41mm, f2.8, 1/1000sec, ISO640

7-14mm at 12mm, f2.8, 30sec, ISO2500

You can click here to see a full gallery of my photos.

2012 Singapore Digital Photography Workshop

2012 Singapore Digital Photography Workshop: Mastering Your Flash and Outdoor Lighting for Travel and Street Photography

Flash often mystifies amateur photographers. It’s the one piece of equipment that most photographers have, but few use the correct way. However, mastering artificial light for travel shots and street portraiture is vital, and can take your photography to a new level. Flash can stop motion, or add light to a scene on a dark street, or enhance the sense of motion.

Ira Block is one of the world’s experts on flash photography, lighting outdoor scenes, using flash and powerful lights to tell a story. As a veteran National Geographic photographer, his assignments often involve remote flash and creative use of stage lights to bring subjects like mummies to dinosaur bones to caves to life.

This weekend Singapore workshop is designed to ‘demystify’ the flash, and give you concepts and tips on how to use artificial lighting ‘in the field’ for travel and street photography. This workshop will show you how to maximize your flash—on and off camera—so you can work better indoors, in low light situations and after dark. And make you a better technical photographer.

To enhance the creative atmosphere, this workshop will be held in a private Chinese Shophouse in Chinatown at 5 Blair Road.

Dates:
November 1st to November 4th 2012.

Workshop Costs:
US$950.00. This does not include hotel or airfare.

For more information, please go here.

The National September 11 Memorial and Museum Acquires “Faces of Hope” Prints

I am honored that the prints from my exhibition, ‘Faces of Hope: Portraits of World Trade Center Survivors’ are now a part of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum’s permanent collection. I took these portraits and also photographed objects that were found at Ground Zero to commemorate the tenth anniversary of September 11.

The exhibit was made possible with the help of Alliance Bernstein, Foto Care, Gotham Imaging, Mamiya, and National Geographic.

More of my “September 11” photos can be viewed on my website, here.