A lot of exciting things are welcoming us into 2016. 100MP Phase One cameras for STC’s April seminar will get any photographer’s mouth watering and STC attendee Larry Johnson’s epic 80MP master capture of sexy Zienna Eve from our Santorini seminar has been chosen as a full page ad for Playboy International. We have learned that Larry has additional big plans for 2016 and that his photography is more than just art but it’s also a vehicle to his visual future and his path to success. Let’s hear what Larry’s plans are and what can he reveal to us.
STC: Congratulations on your epic image freshly released in the pages of Playboy.
Larry: Thank you! What a nice way to start 2016. The whole experience has really given me a lot of new ideas and inspiration. I know 2016 will be a year of growth for me photographically and I can’t imagine a better way for the year to start!
STC: How long have you been a photographer and how did you get started?
Larry: I have been shooting seriously for more than 30 years. The first 20 years were focused primarily on travel and nature photography where I spent a lot of time learning the craft and science of photography.
Playboy International layout
The image was shot with the XF 80MP Phase One camera system. Click to enlarge.
Order your copy from Zinio
Order a copy for yourself and see sexy Natasha Naneva’s pictorial by Ales Bravnicar shot during our STC Santorini seminar. If you were there, now you can re-live the moments again.
STC: These days your style of photography is focused more on glamour and ladies. What other styles do you shoot, if any?
Larry: Fashion, glam, and fine art are tremendously rewarding areas to work in. I definitely focus on those areas in most of my shooting these days but many of the techniques I developed in my nature and wildlife work blend in nicely with that work, especially in editorial pieces. I must admit, I still love that feeling when you capture a bird of prey or a large cat on the hunt. I love to shoot sports events and still shoot cityscapes and time lapses. I think my style today is really the product of all my photography experiences.
Behind the scenes images from the set
STC: While in Santorini at the Shoot The Centerfold seminar, what was one thing that stood out for you?
Larry: Wow. That is a hard question to answer, as there were so many things! I loved the locations where we shot. Santorini is essentially a giant mountain of soft white reflectors sitting on the side of a volcanic crater surrounded by the ocean. The dominate colors are white and blue. That palette, combined with the super organic flow of the architecture and the unique feel of the island, produces a setting for photography like no other. The team of STC hosts and crew members were all absolute tops in their fields and all of them were so free with their knowledge and ideas. The attendees were all great shooters as well. We all learned as much from each other as from the official instructors. I have to list all these factors because the seminar was a perfect storm for creative learning and growth. I learned so much over those two weeks.
STC: What cameras and lenses do you own?
Larry: I shoot primarily Nikon and always use multiple cameras on a shoot. My current favorite camera body for fashion and glam is the D810 and I usually shoot with two of those set up with different lenses. For action, I go to Nikon’s amazing D4S flagship. For remotes, I have two D4s and a D800. For travel, I often just head out with the retro-looking Df and a 35mm f/1.4. As for lenses, I love any kind of fast high quality glass, and own more than 40 pro lenses. When possible, I prefer to shoot primes. I love the 35mm f/1.4, the 85mm f/1.4, the 200mm f/2.0, the 300mm f/2.8, and the 600mm f/4. All those lenses are super sharp amazing pieces of glass. Zooms are often the way to go and I have the full range of pro zooms, the 14-24 mm, 24-70mm, and 70-200mm all at f/2.8, plus the 200-400mm f/4. Over the years, I’ve picked up quite a few specialty lenses as well, for macro and architectural types of shots.
STC: You photographed the winning image with an 80MP Phase One system. What are your thoughts and would you like to use the Phase One again for future shoots?
Larry: I loved shooting with the Phase One and the 80MP is a dream camera (they just released the 100MP and I read that it will be at the April seminar. That one must be amazing!). Medium format is a must for top level shooting and the Phase One system is made with the pro’s needs in mind. Even more importantly is the knowledge and support their team provides. Phase One certainly is on my list of future cameras to get!
STC: You seem like a man who knows what you want based on what we learned of you during the two weeks while in Santorini. What would a man of your kind be looking to do next?
Larry and Zienna exploring Santorini
Larry: I am doing a series on the artistic side of sports – aerialists, gymnasts, and dancers. That work was inspired by the time I spent with the amazing Irina Kazakova who was with us at STC in Santorini. I hope to do a special editorial piece with her sometime in 2016.
STC: You travel a lot. What gear do you carry with you?
Larry: Anywhere I go, I take at least one pro body and a set of lenses to cover a range of focal lengths. If the trip is for a shoot, I’ll pack my ThinkTank full with two bodies and 4-6 lenses, plus my Profoto B4 location lighting kit. It is really important to think of every situation when on the road. I carry spare parts, batteries, plug converters, tools, cleaning kits, and even replacement eye pieces!
Larry uses Chimera’s collapsible beauty dish
STC: What’s on your purchase wish-list next? You just got the RingMAXX. How did that play out for you?
Larry: I just ordered the new Nikon D5! I only got the RingMAXX a few weeks ago but already feel that it is an amazingly flexible modifier. I love how it brings out the best of a face. With up to 4000 watts of power divided into 4 quadrants, you can pour as much light as you need (or as little) into any part of your image.
STC: Where you would like to travel next to take beautiful images?
Larry: My next trip is to China. While there, I plan to do a set of portraits of the people who gather every weekend at the huge park that surrounds the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. Other trips this year include London, Australia, and New Zealand and I’d love to find something in Eastern Europe for the fall.
STC: What advice would you like to give all photographers?
Larry: Shoot every day. Push yourself to try new things and never stop learning.
STC: How about models?
Larry: Modeling is an art and there is much craft to it. Practice. Develop a network that can help you connect to talented collaborators. Being pretty is, of course, a prerequisite, but there is so much more that a top model brings to the shoot.
STC: There you go. Larry came and Larry shot the winning glamour image during STC’s Santorini seminar. In the end, all the attendees are winners since we shared the space, atmosphere, thoughts and philosophies and even ate the same food and there’s nothing like good times like this that create memories that will last a lifetime.
Are you next to get your image into the pages of Playboy? Come and show your skills at the April seminar in Miami. We’re ready for you!
© 2016 Copyright ShootTheCenterfold.com. All rights reserved.