The F Stop's Here

Last year, shooting the Miss USA pageant, I met a New York City-based photographer named Zack Seckler. We spent a while in the media room complaining about our total lack of access in covering what was basically a vacuous, two-week long ode to hairspray and teeth whitener.

The other day I get a "Remember me?" email from Zack. Oh, and by the way, he is starting up a new online photo magazine and could I take a look at it.

One of the downsides of having my contact info in such a public context means I get a lot of emails. I usually get north of 100 a day about brand new online photo magazines (you wouldn't believe) indispensable camera doodads, amazing penis lengthening medications and many, many stunning opportunities to share in the six-figure inheritances of excruciatingly polite Nigerian businesspeople.

But Zack and I had actually shared a photojournalistic day from hell in the press room in the bowels of First Mariner Arena, so I popped over to take a look.

Turns out that Zack's 'zine is a very cool look into the world of hi-end advertising photography. It has photos, photographer interviews, lighting diagrams - the whole nine yards. I don't know about you, but I can't get enough of stuff like this.

It's amazing to a ground-level photog like myself just how much of the high-end stuff is carefully composited from multiple, tightly controlled elements. I do not know if I could work in an environment like that. Not the technical issues. I could learn those. But the idea of being so anal retentive about every tiny piece of a photos, with creative directors signing off on the even the smallest details -- I'd eat a gun within six months.

Which maybe explains why I shoot stuff in cardboard boxes.

Zack's mag is called "The F Stop," and you can see the first issue here. I signed up on the email list, and am looking forward to seeing what he comes up with in the next issue.

Way to go, man. Good stuff.


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