My two Pentax 645Z bodies with the 2 lenses I use the most: 55mm f/2.8 & 90mm Macro f/2.8

This is article is merely my “script” pasted for the video review I did on my 8:45a YouTube channel. If you’d like to watch/hear me instead, please see video below:

Since buying the digital medium format Pentax 645Z in 2015, I haven’t looked back on full frame 35mm cameras. Yes, there is a constant debate that you “can’t tell” the difference between the image quality between a medium format, 35mm full frame and even APS-C cameras, but that also isn’t the point. …


I’ve been producing photo and video shoots since high school and I’m about to turn 33 this year. If I had to sum up what is the most essential in my shoots, it would be timing.

Photo by Icons8 Team on Unsplash

To be specific: learning how to control, organize, plan and anticipate time is what you need to be successful in every production (and in life if I’m going to make a hyperbolic statement).


In the midst of the pandemic, Canon and Sony announced the $3900 R5 and the $3500 A7S III respectively.

Canon’s $3900 R5 45MP camera body can produced 8K videos (albeit in shorter recording periods) while Sony’s long awaited A7SIII $3500 upgrade that’s taken 5 years is still the low light king with its 12MP sensor. Photos courtesy of B&H Photo Video.

These cameras were all anticipated for 2020 (COVID, the pandemic, and shelter in place? Not so much). And as much as I like new gear that will always outshine the specs of the old, I’m reminding myself these new cameras won’t make better images.

I mean, they actually can aesthetically given their specs on paper if you were to compare it to your older cameras.

What I meant was these new cameras won’t give you the opportunity to make better images to subsequently make you money.

Having gone full time with my own production company for the last 4 years but having…


Yes, these are the retail prices for two digital cameras: Leica’s M9 rangefinder and Leica’s SL mirrorless camera.

Leica M9 on top, Leica SL on the bottom. Both with my favorite strap from Gordy’s leather straps.

Why so expensive you may ask? Leica is essentially the Rolex of cameras. You may not own a Rolex watch but you for sure know that it’s expensive and recognizable. Rolex has its crown logo and Leica has its “red dot.” Leicas are surely priced high but the company does pride itself on the build quality, the materials used, and the hand craftsmanship it takes to build a camera like no other. …


Photo by Marcin Kempa on Unsplash

When you’re at the mall, have you ever been approached by someone from the kiosk who either has some beauty cream, sunglasses, or hot pack for you to try? If you have, you either have walked straight ahead or took your phone out to simply ignore their approach. Or, you somehow got hooked from something they said and you find yourself standing at their kiosk demoing the product and even buying it.

I recently had to be that person at the kiosk but it wasn’t beauty cream or sunglasses I was selling — it was asking strangers at Las Vegas’…


I came across an older issue of PDN magazine and it covered Sekonic’s newer L-858D-U — their flagship multifunction light meter with truly all the bells and whistles. While I’ve never owned a Sekonic light meter, I have had my Minolta Auto Meter IVF for over a decade (this amazing piece debuted in 1992) and still use it today.

While I recently converted to Godox’s AD200 flashes as my main strobes, (formerly used a couple of Minolta 5600 flashes then upgraded to Paul C. Buff’s Alien Bees and eventually their Einstein line), I was always jealous of Sekonic’s integration of…


This will be quick: one lens is $398 and the other is $2098. Take a look and see which you like and find out which is which after the comparisons.

Wide Angle — obviously hard to spot the difference


2 Godox AD200 flashes utilized for Write Left Right in 826 Valencia’s store.

For my personal project Write Left Right, I set out to photograph how people uniquely hold a pencil. Ultimately, I’d like for any sales to benefit a writing program/organization and 826 Valencia was a perfect fit. It’s a nonprofit organization founded by author Dave Eggars dedicated to supporting under-resourced students with their writing skills. The store in San Francisco’s 826 Valencia also happens to be a pirate shop (seriously) where all sales benefit the program. This summer, they started 826 LIVE which invites a variety of artists to be at their window display and do their thing. After pitching them…


I work on my Macbook Pro on the go and then on my iMac at my home office. The best part? Anything created on my laptop is already there on my desktop (and vice versa).

How? The Cloud.

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

Well ok, not that one in particular but I do use a variety of cloud services & apps. And yes, working off the cloud isn’t anything new but this is just my personal workflow.

While I am describing my workflow as a photographer/cinematographer, I still think there’s some tips here that you can adopt. …


I’ve been contracting with Twitter throughout the year and what I’ve learned is how to pack my luggages with gear efficiently.

Yes, my check-in bag is overweight at 91lbs (42kg) but it contains all I need in one bag. And why one? My other hand is on my carry-on that contains my camera, lenses, and monitor/recorder. …

JJ Casas

SF-based portrait & commercial photographer. @845a Creative Director & owner of @photostripco. Here to share my creative thoughts, opinions and tutorials.

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