Photography by Ian L. Sitren

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International Firefighters’ Day

From a photo shoot I did for a magazine series about fitness in the military. At March Air Reserve Base. Photo shoot note… I shot this with a Phase One medium format camera system.

International Firefighters’ Day is observed each year on 4th May. On this date you are invited to remember the past firefighters who have died while serving our community or dedicated their lives to protecting the safety of us all. At the same time, we can show our support and appreciation to the firefighters world wide who continue to protect us so well throughout the year.”

“The role of a firefighter in today’s society – be it urban, rural, natural environment, volunteer, career, industrial, defence force, aviation, motor sport, or other is one of dedication, commitment and sacrifice – no matter what country we reside and work in. In the fire service we fight together against one common enemy – fire – no matter what country we come from, what uniform we wear or what language we speak.”
– Lt JJ Edmondson, 1999

Firefighting-MARB-sm


Caps and Grammys

This was given to me by the Grammys in 2006. I was there photographing rehearsals with a specially invited group from Special Olympics Southern California. I was documenting their visit.

One of the most fulfilling times for me was shooting for Special Olympics. I did everything from their John Wooden Dinner with thousands of people to every sport during their Fall and Summer Games. Photographs were used for annual reports, displays, media etc.

During “Shelter In Place” I have been cleaning up my office. I have a lot of caps and t-shirts from my travels. Many given to me and others I purchase. I will post more, they are fun. Thanks!

Grammy's Cap


Hasselblad H1 Introduction

I have always been a fan of Hasselblad because of it’s place in history with the exploration of outer space. This is an ad from July/August 2005 in Picture Magazine, but it appeared in many magazines. I remember very well the introduction of the H1D when Hasselblad held a day long special event at the Loews Hotel in Santa Monica. It was led by none other than the then President of Hasselblad.

I was there, and as I usually would do, spent a couple of days staying at the Loew’s for other business. Holding that camera and looking through that viewfinder was a total revelation. It shamed other cameras with its huge bright view. The camera so very ergonomic and solid. Everyone was just amazed with it and it’s features and future.

Indeed that held with me when finally I bought my own H4D system some years later. Hasselblad always had some great huge events. Other companies have done so along the way too. I hope to see more. I think it is good marketing although sometimes immediate results are not seen.

Hasselblad H1 Ad Picture Magazine July:Aug 2005

 


Social Media During Shelter In Place

What to do during this time for your business. You should be working on your social media presence for one thing. Your audience is spending much more time at that computer, and so is mine. So I decided to build my business Facebook page which had been stagnant.

Most of my Facebook reach was on my personal page over the years. But that is at my limit of 5,000 friends. And I have been on Facebook since 2008. So this is what I have done for my page “SecondFocus Photography by Ian L. Sitren” so far. Thanks!

Social Media March 15 - May 1

 


Israel At 72 – “Above And Beyond”

Today marks the 72nd Anniversary of Israel Independence Day. Celebrated on the anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel, according to the Hebrew calendar, on the 5th day of the month of Iyar.

“Throughout their long history, the yearning to return to the Land of Israel has been the focus of Jewish life. Independence Day is a celebration of the renewal of the Jewish state in the land where the Jewish people began to develop its distinctive religion and culture some 4,000 years ago.” – Israeli Ministry Of Foreign Affairs

“Above And Beyond” is an extraordinary documentary of the beginnings of what was to become the Israeli Air Force. It is an amazing story.

“In 1948, just three years after the liberation of Nazi death camps, a group of Jewish American pilots answered a call for help. In secret and at great personal risk, they smuggled planes out of the U.S., trained behind the Iron Curtain in Czechoslovakia and flew for Israel in its War of Independence.”

“Above And Beyond” brings together new interviews with the pilots, as well as stunning aerial footage, to present a fascinating, little-known tale filled with heart, heroism and high-flying chutzpah. The film follows the pilots on their circuitous route from the United States—where they met and trained in secret and struggled to stay two steps ahead of the FBI—to Panama, Italy and Czechoslovakia, where they flew versions of the very Nazi planes they had tried to shoot down in World War II.”

You may watch it in it’s entirely on YouTube at https://youtu.be/ZpKhwi4L64o


Photo Excursion Success

Congratulations to my friend Dennis Johnson. From our photo excursion to Yermo a few months ago…

“Thank you to American Society of Railway Artists and The Railroad Tourist for posting my recent painting, “Yermo”. The painting of several box cars, inspired by a photo excursion to the Union Pacific Rail Yard in Yermo, CA in February. Painting specifications: Acrylic on canvas, 36″ x 48″.”

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More Than A Bag

At first look, just a wrinkled plastic bag. It has been sitting crunched up in a drawer. Actually it was a part of hugely successful marketing. If you are a bodybuilding and fitness person, you were handed one of these bags at some time.

At one of the annual, week long, planning meetings at Bodybuilding.com in Boise, the bag concept came up. At the major bodybuilding and fitness expos like the Arnold and Olympia, hundreds of companies hand out tremendous amounts of swag and product samples. The same at all of the other bodybuilding and fitness competitions around the country. So the idea was to hand out a bag that would tell people to buy their products at Bodybuilding.com.

It immediately came to my mind and I said “Find everything in this bag at Bodybuilding.com”. That was it and the bag went into production. I am sure hundreds of thousands of these bags were handed out over the years. They were even supplied for free to other companies and manufacturers to hand out with their products.

Part of a concept that was to make sure that everyone knew Bodybuilding.com and went there first for anything related to fitness and bodybuilding. It worked!

BBcom Bag


What’s Up Doc?

The World War II C-47 “What’s Up Doc?” from the Palm Springs Air Museum. Likely I have flown in this aircraft somewhere around a couple of hundred times or more. This when we were doing ride flights with Hangar 24 Brewery & Taproom at the Redlands Airport. Great fun! Thanks!

C47_H24_DSF3099

 


Battleship

A scene from the motion picture “Battleship” which takes place at the end of the movie on the Battleship Missouri. A cool memory, I have stood right there on the Missouri before it was decommissioned to become a museum.

A very special tour for just a very few. We were not allowed cameras or cellphones (which did not have cameras in them back then anyway).

Battleship


A Very Sad Commentary Commemorating the Holocaust

A very sad commentary on what has become of the USA on “Days of Remembrance” as the nation’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust.

Established by the United States Congress “Days of Remembrance” is commemorated today Tuesday, April 21, 2020. Observances and remembrance activities occur nationwide between Sunday, April 19, and Sunday, April 26.

Some 63% of respondents said they’re less safe than they were a decade ago.

Source: More than half of American Jews have seen or experienced anti-Semitism in recent years, ADL finds – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Yom Kippur Observed In New York


Flying In A B-25

Flying in the nose of a World War II B-25 Mitchell bomber over the Salton Sea. Today April 18th is the anniversary of the Doolittle Raid On Tokyo in 1942. Sixteen B-25’s flew off the deck of the USS Hornet as the first retaliation for the attack on Pearl Harbor. Of the 80 crew members, 77 survived the mission. Eight airmen were captured by the Japanese Army in China; three were later executed.

Video from a hat mounted GoPro as I shot video and photos with my iPhone and a Fujifilm X-Series camera.

We were headed for a Veterans Day flyover at the Glamis Sand Dunes with other World War II aircraft. I was texting our location and timing and also doing social media posts.

Also somewhat of a video self; you can see my reflection on the iPhone.

The B-25 “Executive Sweet” from the American Aeronautical Foundation. That day flying out of the Palm Springs Air Museum.


Pirelli Calendar April 2006

One of the Pirelli Calendars I have hanging in my office. Two pages per month and this is April from 2006. What makes it really fun is that I have an original video created during the entire shoot. But below is a segment from the shooting of this scene. Check it out!

Pirelli April 2006


Palms In The Wind

While it was still raining all around Southern California, here in Palm Springs it was clear and windy. Fujifilm X-H1 camera and XF100-400mm lens. Sheltering in place.


Snow And Palms

The other day after the rains. The view of the mountains through the Palm Trees here in Palm Springs. Fujifilm X-H1 camera and XF100-400mm lens. Sheltering in place.

Snow Palms


At 38,000 ft

Airliner overhead at 38,000 ft. Fujifilm X-H1 camera and XF100-400mm lens. Sheltering in place.

38,000 ft


Uncle Izzy Film Credits

Continuing research into my new project about the Yiddish Theater. The man who in my family was called Uncle Izzy and his wife Jenny in the credits for the motion picture “The Light Ahead” from 1939. Izidore and Jenny Cashier. The names are sometimes also found as Isidore and Casher. From the Facebook page of Yiddish Cinematheque, the movie can be watched here… https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1991278897858413

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This Would Be Better

Doing some more photo shoots poolside would make sheltering in place much better.

Catherine Kwong


The Sculpture Of The Windmill

I do find the windmills fascinating. This is here in Palm Springs. Photographed with a Fujifilm X-Series camera.

Windmill

 


Take A Break And Fly

Let’s take a break for some flying. The Palm Springs Air Museum P-51 Mustang “Bunny” from start up to shut down around the pylons at the Reno Air Races 2019. I mounted a GoPro inside and there was some really great light making it seem like you are right in the cockpit.

That is me in the black t-shirt doing the start-up and sending it out. I was doing more than just photography at the Air Races and at Air Shows. Although you can see my camera hanging on my back. It is a Fujifilm X-T3 and 100-400mm lens. One of the reasons I avoid carrying a lot of gear, too much going on.


Polaroid

Would love to get back to shooting some “Polaroids”. I still have a camera for it and some packs of Fujifilm. Discontinued, the film sells for a premium. But it makes for a look I really like.

Polaroid-1sm


Film Was Is Good

I was still shooting film for my gym features long after everyone else went to digital. Here my buddy Jake Sawyer was the subject for me shooting a Leica M7 with Kodak Tri-X film. I love the look of film shot with a Leica and still do.

I did have to go digital to accommodate the need for fast turnaround when I was shooting bodybuilding and fitness competitions. Most of the time the photos were uploaded and online for my client, Bodybuilding.com, by the next morning. More of the photos would then go to the magazines and be in the next print issues. I was shooting 25 – 30 competitions per year all around the country.

Jake Sawyer


Curls and Pivotal

Among the things I do best, bodybuilding and fitness photography. And that is where I have been published many thousands of times over around the world.  This photo of my friend Travis Ely doing curls from one of our shoots a few years ago.

However this photograph has another point to it that was pivotal for me. This photo was done with what was at the time, the latest Hasselblad digital camera. Although I had been shooting other digital cameras at the time, for shoots like this I was still shooting medium format film. The Hasselblad gave me the colors, skin tone and look that I preferred in film.

For you photographer out there; this was shot with the Hasselblad H4D-40 with the HC80mm lens. No additional lighting, just the overhead gym lighting and natural light coming in from the large front windows. ISO 800, f2.8 and 1/60th second, processed in Hasselblad Phocus. Hasselblad files processed in Phocus create an almost magical perfect result. Thanks!

Travis Ely


NAF El Centro Not This Year

Last year headed to the airshow at NAF El Centro with the Palm Springs Air Museum. I was flying alongside in either a T-28 Trojan or P-51 Mustang, I don’t recall which. I have flown in this C-47 hundreds of times. Anyway the airshow this year of course was cancelled. Sheltering at home.


A Favorite In Budapest

An all time favorite photo, accidentally had to be a selfie somewhat. I wanted to photograph and remember this photograph in the window of the then X6 Photo Gallery in Budapest. I love the original photo because of the scene, the car and the woman. My photo took in the photo, the reflection of the streets around the gallery and me. So many facets to this photo that just happened.

Photo Within A Photo