Tools, Photography, Challenge


We all have what we consider the “tools of our trade” and while the people in our industry tend to use computers (software) more than power tools (hardware) they’re all still tools, and they help us get the job done.

(Disclaimer: Z2 probably has a workshop that rivals many people’s basements. We actually built our first three offices.)

I was thinking about tools recently when I was building a custom camera mount, and as I started to file something by hand, I remembered that I had a Dremel, which could probably do the job in about one tenth the time. Faster is always better right? (Well, not always…)

One thing I’ve noticed about Z2 Photo over the years is that Cory (being our main photographer) has continually refined his technique, and reinvented how we make photographs. We used to do almost everything with continuous lighting, which was great, because we used consistent techniques between photo and video. We eventually started using strobes more and more in our still photography, so now it’s a matter of how we want to control the light being the deciding factor in much of our shooting. We’ve also been working on some new techniques involving small lights set in motion, which allows for some amazing photos.

After thinking about these different techniques, it made me think about how we use the tools we have. While it’s been said that you need to have the right tool for the job, it’s also been said that when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. It’s a challenge to reinvent how you do things… to create new ways of using the basic tools, and to get used to using new tools… but that challenge is what makes it exciting, and hopefully what makes our work stand out.

Oh, I also wanted to mention that we’ll be revisiting our Z2 Photo Challenge. If you’re not familiar with it (as it’s been a while) you can check out Photo Challenge #1, Photo Challenge #2, and Photo Challenge #3. Photo Challenge #4 should see the light of day in a month or so.

February 10, 2011 · Posted by in photo  


One Response to “Tools, Photography, Challenge”

  1. Cory Z on February 10th, 2011 8:56 am

    Being set in your ways is what makes people become “old” and “out of date”. I love the fact that when I (or anyone) looks at our portfolio of photos over the past 7 years that you see different styles. New ways of looking at things. New ways of doing things. How the end product looks on the “film” is always about the journey not the end product all the time. Getting from A to Z doesn’t always mean a straight line.

    Check out the Z2 Photo site and Flickr account and see the different styles. Can you guess how we shot some of those? I think you might be shocked. Yes we have the tools of the trade but we also have the mind set to “challenge” ourselves everyday. That’s one of the tools.