Tag Archives: mamiya 645 pro

Urban Portraits with Aziz

This particular post features two recent shoots I did with Aziz in New Brunswick, NJ. He’s an athletic guy and has been hitting the gym to box. As we were passing by a local machine shop, we noticed the letters on the facade spelled “AB SHOP”. So we thought it’d be hilarious to show some abs in front of the ab shop.

The majority of the photographs were taken using my Mamiya 645 PRO medium format camera loaded with Kodak TMAX400 black and white film. The others were shot using a Canon 6D body and 85mm f/1.8 lens.

I should also mention that I am hosting a photography workshop on January 30th in Asbury Park, NJ at Salt Studios. It’s called “THAT WERKSHOP” and will feature an in depth look into my workflow, lighting choices, composition and post-processing. The second half of the day will feature a live model that attendees will photograph on a one-on-one basis. You can learn more and REGISTER HERE.

Aziz Rasheed

Aziz Rasheed

Aziz Rasheed

Aziz Rasheed

Aziz Rasheed

Aziz Rasheed

Aziz Rasheed

Aziz Rasheed

Aziz Rasheed

Aziz Rasheed

Aziz Rasheed

Aziz Rasheed

Aziz Rasheed

Aziz Rasheed

Aziz Rasheed

Aziz Rasheed

Aziz Rasheed

Model Ashley Nicole in Asbury Park, New Jersey

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Most of the time I shoot digital, but I still mix it up and shoot film whenever it makes sense. I particularly love the look of the Mamiya 645 with a 150mm lens on it. Almost a perfect combination. Throw some sweet Kodak Portra 400 in that bad boy and you…are…SET. Since film requires a slower approach, each time I return to digital I respect the many, many advantages digital has. My one wish in my digital workflow is a realistic film grain tool in Lightroom. Come on, Adobe, let’s get on that.

The images that kick of this series are shot pointing the camera right at a setting sun. The way the film renders sunsets is really special to me. It feels inviting and you can almost feel the warmth enveloping you.

For the trippy images taken in front of McLoone’s and Wonder Bar, I used a prism to bend the environment around Ashley. I didn’t like the lack of light in the background. The prism gives me the ability to frame her appropriately with lamp posts and other objects in the area.

In most cases I like to develop my own film and do so in my bathtub. After the negatives are dry, I scan them and do very light retouching to eliminate any dust or water spots.

If you are interested in purchasing a camera setup similar to this, I highly recommend KEH Camera. They have excellent customer service and real human beings work there if you have a question about anything.

Model: Ashley Nicole
Assistant: Lew Monty

Equipment: Mamiya 645 PRO, Mamiya 150mm f/3.5, Mamiya 55mm f/2.8, Kodak Portra 160 & 400

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Fall Family Photos at Washington Rock

The Lee family (Another South Plainfield connection…that’s three South Plainfield-related shoots in 2 months) joined me for an hour of running around and playing in leaves on the top of Washington Rock on a beautiful fall day. The leaves dried off enough from the previous day of rain so we were able to toss them into the air without making a sloppy mess of their outfits. Their son has the best hair ever as you can see by the photos. It moves and sways with his relentless energy.

Toward the end of the shoot I had them gaze at the lookout point. He enjoyed throwing leaves over the edge. It was my job to bring him a new pile of leaves each time. Hilarious stuff that happens in front and behind the camera.

To see more of my photography work, please visit http://www.thatwerksphotography.com

Lee family photos at Washington Rock State Park in Green Brook, NJ

Michale Graves Performing at Crossroads NYE 2013


This year I wanted to do something out of the norm for my birthday. Dinner at a tiki bar followed by a punk rock concert with The Downrights and MICHALE GRAVES! I brought my camera, of course, and here is what I got on film. Great time and Michale and his band knocked out an awesome set of music! This guy has one of the best voices ever. (Too bad you can’t listen to photos, but you can see the intensity.)

Michale Graves in concert

Farm Photo Shoot with Model Chris Slovak

We had the luxury of a comfortable fall morning to shoot with Chris on the Pine Valley Christmas Tree farm in Elkton, Maryland. I lost my damn mind and decided to shoot with three totally different cameras. One DSLR. One medium format with b&w film. One 35mm with color film.

I think I prefer the film shots to digital especially for a location such as a farm. Film looks properly weathered like many of the pieces of equipment used on a daily basis to grow crops or feed livestock.

Enough rambling…enjoy the shoot. To schedule your own shoot, contact me at csztybel@thatwerks.com or by filling out the contact form on the site.

Model Chris Slovak color photography

Black and white photos of model Chris Slovak

Union Line Garage Promotional Photographs

Union Line Garage is located in beautiful Hopewell, New Jersey and it has a lot of history including an appearance in the movie “I.Q.” starring Meg Ryan, Tim Robbins and Walter Matthau. The shop is a main shooting location in the movie and can be seen in this YouTube clip. The following photos will be used for promotional use for the business. Special thanks to Brett Palmer and the rest of Union Line Garage for having me down to shoot.

Union Line Garage in Hopewell, New Jersey (Christopher John Sztybel)

Union Line Garage in Hopewell, New Jersey (Christopher John Sztybel)

Union Line Garage in Hopewell, New Jersey (Christopher John Sztybel)

Union Line Garage in Hopewell, New Jersey (Christopher John Sztybel)

Union Line Garage in Hopewell, New Jersey (Christopher John Sztybel)

Union Line Garage in Hopewell, New Jersey (Christopher John Sztybel)

Union Line Garage in Hopewell, New Jersey (Christopher John Sztybel)

Union Line Garage in Hopewell, New Jersey (Christopher John Sztybel)

Union Line Garage in Hopewell, New Jersey (Christopher John Sztybel)

Union Line Garage in Hopewell, New Jersey (Christopher John Sztybel)

Union Line Garage in Hopewell, New Jersey (Christopher John Sztybel)

Union Line Garage in Hopewell, New Jersey (Christopher John Sztybel)

Union Line Garage in Hopewell, New Jersey (Christopher John Sztybel)

Union Line Garage in Hopewell, New Jersey (Christopher John Sztybel)

Union Line Garage in Hopewell, New Jersey (Christopher John Sztybel)

Union Line Garage in Hopewell, New Jersey (Christopher John Sztybel)

Union Line Garage in Hopewell, New Jersey (Christopher John Sztybel)

Duke Farms Nature Walk

I gave Boogs a crash course in photography during a nature walk at Duke Farms in Hillsborough, New Jersey. The grounds are the old Duke estate that Doris Duke once owned. That was also a potential candidate for Duke University. Now it is a lovely nature preserve with many acres to explore. Since Boogs was using my 7D, I brought along my Mamiya medium format film camera. All of the images below are scans done using a CanoScan 9000F.

The landscape around the wooded areas of the farms is still pretty torn up from Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy from back in November 2012. Many of the trees are still snapped in half while others lay on the ground in various stages of removal.

We lasted about an hour because it was cold and windy, but it will be warm soon and the landscape will become colorful once again.

Duke Farms in Hillsborough, New Jersey (Christopher John Sztybel)

Duke Farms in Hillsborough, New Jersey (Christopher John Sztybel)

Duke Farms in Hillsborough, New Jersey (Christopher John Sztybel)

Duke Farms in Hillsborough, New Jersey (Christopher John Sztybel)

Duke Farms in Hillsborough, New Jersey (Christopher John Sztybel)

Duke Farms in Hillsborough, New Jersey (Christopher John Sztybel)

Duke Farms in Hillsborough, New Jersey (Christopher John Sztybel)

Duke Farms in Hillsborough, New Jersey (Christopher John Sztybel)

Duke Farms in Hillsborough, New Jersey (Christopher John Sztybel)

Duke Farms in Hillsborough, New Jersey (Christopher John Sztybel)

Developed Two Rolls of Medium Format Color Film

When I develop film at home, it is always black and white. I send out color film to a lab to be developed. I was feeling lucky this time and mixed up some color chemicals. Then I crossed my fingers and started developing two rolls of Kodak Ektar 100 color film from recent summer destinations and one model shoot for Steello. All of my previous medium format work had been shot on Holga, but I’ve been using my Mamiya 645 Pro exclusively for months now.

One thing I can’t stress enough: chemical temperature is crucial when developing color film. Black and white is far more forgiving. I am pleased with the results!

Periwinkle Inn Sign in Cape May, New Jersey (Christopher John Sztybel)

Classic Car Show at Pizzadili Winery (Christopher John Sztybel)

Dawn models a Steello bikini (Christopher John Sztybel)

Mamiya 645 PRO medium format camera

Mamiya Leaf logoI sold a couple of my Holga cameras and made way for a Mamiya 645 PRO. I’ve never shot with a Mamiya before and tomorrow I’ll be taking some shots at a wedding with it. Here’s to success!

My decision to buy a Mamiya was due in part to reading Annie Leibovitz’s “At Work” book while on a recent vacation. She had kind words to say about her equipment of choice. If Mamiya is good enough for artists like Annie Leibovitz and Herb Ritts, then Mamiya is good enough for me.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/Uvahxc759dw[/youtube]