Scholarship Focus – Michael Cardiello


The Scholarship Class quickly turned into my full time job. I would shoot all day and then go directly home and research photo shoots.

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 It was a bit of shock at first scrambling to catch up. Aside from photo assisting I hadn’t shot a photo in a studio since art school. Previous to the class I had been shooting with 90’s era 35mm rangefinders. In the beginning I spent a lot of hours just figuring out what each modifier could do. Midway through the scholarship everything started to click. I quit worrying so much about the lights and was able to direct my focus back to the talent. That’s when the fun started to happen and I was able to really experiment with fun projects.

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It was inspiring just being around the studio everyday meeting and watching fellow photographers. I really took note at how hard some of the photographers worked. Some of the photo talks that Luke set up where amazing. I was inspired by the generosity and openness of all the professionals that came to speak to us. That doesn’t happen everyday. It’s a kind of dream world for an emerging photographer.

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At one crit, Christina Force said, “Shoot the personal work you want to make, not what you think you should make” which really resonated with me.

Another great piece of advice from the Scholarship was “Either charge the full amount or do it for free and learn when to say no” I immediately started practising this and it really worked for me.

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It was totally amazing to be part of a community of photographers in the Scholarship. Everyone seemed to bring something unique to the table; Inspiration, questions, advice, and friendship would be some of the benefits.

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The biggest excitement was that by the end of the studio class I had secured a couple of larger for me commercial jobs which was a direct result of some of the personal photos I had taken at Kingsize.

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After the Scholarship I spent time in Montana and have recently moved to New York where I’ve been working at Milk Studios. My immediate goals would be to break into the New York market and to assist some new influential film crews and photographers. I also want to continue bridging my newfound studio lighting skills with location work. Longer term goals would include getting into larger commercial film productions and taking my photography to the next level with bigger budgets and crazier sets.

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Scholarship Focus – Ken Xun Cao


It was such a great opportunity to join the Kingsize scholarship.


Over 12 weeks, my technical skills have been hugely improved. I learned how to use the Broncolor lighting system. I learned how to set up good video lighting. I learned lots about all sorts of different lighting techniques.

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I had the opportunity to meet and talk to famous photographers such as Russ Flatt, Adam Custins and Ross Brown. Listening to their experiences confirmed my own desire to be part of the world of photography.

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I have also learned a great deal from each member of our class in Kingsize. I learnt some great techniques and helpful advice from Luke White and his excellent workshops. I was inspired to have a photo shoot with Bas van Est and Nic Fletcher who are innovative with lighting. I was inspired by the way they can make an image to look like a professional ad. Andrea and Aaron told me lots about their own successful assistant experiences. I leaned how to make good use of daylight from Mareea Vegas who is an expert with natural lighting. Fraser Chatham offered up some of the secrets of still life photography. Looking at his work really inspired me. Frances Carter’s documentary was personally moving with wonderful live music documentary she created. Also Ju, Olivia, Michael, Megan, Christian, Caitlan and everyone else in our class inspired me in different ways. I am really enjoyed the Kingsize Scholarship.


Because I am in my final year of University, my plan for the immediate future is to finish a project for my graduate show. I hope it is going to be a surprise for everyone.

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Broncolor has announced the Siros range of mono heads. What we see are some of the most advanced specifications ever offered in a mono head.

-fast recycle
-short flash duration
-high speed flash sync

Generally you can only have one or other of the above specs, but with the Siros S units, you can achieve all these features simultaneously.
While many people have been expecting a Profoto B1 competitor giving battery support in a mono, Broncolor have chosen to focus on core features that a flash unit can offer, knowing that battery support can come in the form of supplementary off board power solutions. If you read the spec sheet carefully you see battery power mentioned, although a little mysteriously, so watch this space.

If you want to capture motion crisply, or compete with the sun at shallow depth of field, or if you have high speed sequences to shoot, then the Siros is much like  a 400-800w Scoro pack, featuring many of the core features that the premium Scoro offers, but in a compact mono.

We see the Siros as a whole new technological standard for flash performance. Bron have set a new benchmark for speed, and performance. Where mono heads were usually seen as an entry level option, now we recognise that many productions are compact, mobile, and need high speed performance, so the Siros truly becomes a pro tool, where before packs were the only option.

We have been advised that the Siros will ship December 2014 / January 2015, and we honestly can’t wait to offer you these incredible units for your next production. Watch this space for our rental stock.

(For retail enquiries, contact Photowarehouse)



Scholarship Focus – Olivia Jensen


Being given the opportunity to participate in the Kingsize Studios 2014 scholarship has been the most amazing opportunity as a young photographer at the beginning of my career.


My technical skills have vastly improved from what I thought I knew, being introduced to a gear room filled with infinite possibilities! Every week I would discover a new light or a new piece of equipment that I never knew existed. Having that push to create new work each week has given me the ability to think fast and problem solve in my sleep.


It has been amazing to be introduced to a wide circle of talented image-makers throughout the scholarship. Being part of a supportive network where we can bounce ideas off of each other and constructively criticise one another. Seeing all of us evolve our styles and develop our ideas, while massively improving on our technical and creative abilities over the 12 weeks has been so rewarding.


I gained a lot of really important pieces of advice throughout the scholarship, but one thing really resonated with me in particular, something that I gained from all the amazing guest speakers we met was to just constantly shoot. Any ideas that come to mind, do it. But also to continue to make the work that you love, and push ideas that excite you. Not to try and make the work that you think people want to see from you. You will be recognised for the work that you actually care about.


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This week, we are starting a blog series called the “Understanding” series. We will be talking about various gear and hire related topics, that we hope will empower you when you are shooting, help you with your productions, and assist you get the most out of your rental experience.

For a start, we thought we’d talk about renting a Kingsize studio.

First, we want to say, that everyone is welcome at Kingsize. You can be a complete beginner, through to the most discerning professional. Our clients include students at high school, graduates from AUT, Unitec, Wintec, Whitecliffe, Raffles, and all over the country. We love working with emerging photographers, or anyone who wants a bit of lighting or gear advice. We also work with pros who need to dissect a lighting plan, or other production problem.

Usually when booking the studio, we just need to enroll you in our system, provide you with a quote, and give you the various payment options. We take EFTPOS, Visa, Mastercard, but not American Express. Also our Internet Banking details are on our contact page of our website. You can also apply for a Trade Account, but that takes a few days usually. All first time clients must provide picture ID, such as a Driver’s Lisence or Passport.

We prefer to provide you with an emailed quote ahead of your booking, after discussing your needs, and we can supply you with some budget / or technical quote options.

You are of course welcome to bring your own equipment, and shoot in any of the Kingsize studios. We also can back you up, with New Zealand’s biggest still-motion gear hire inventory, all in house. We have Chimera softboxes, Westcott umbrellas, and Mola beauty dishes that can fit the following brands of flash: Broncolor, Bowens, Elinchrom, Hensel, Profoto, and Multiblitz. Just let us know in advance, and we can change out the speedrings prior to you arriving. This can even be done on the day.

If you need to use Kingsize gear, we are very happy to guide you through the technical specifications, and operation. There are some safety guidelines, and also techniques you need to know, so that you don’t damage anything, which would not be great, since it will slow down your shoot.


All our gear day rates include the cost of insurance, but not the excess. Your excess is $1000+gst per claim (not per item) If the loss or damage is less than $1000, then you are responsible for 100% of the repair or replacement cost. Our insurance offering is industry standard, and exactly like renting a car. In many cases the value of the gear you are hiring is worth well into the ten’s of thousands, so for over $1000 you are covered for a very high value loss, or damage.

We strongly urge you not to leave gear in your car at any time: ever. This is the number one theft scenario for photographers and film makers !!


So, back to renting a Kingsize studio: what do you get with a studio, and what is extra?

Every studio is fully self contained, except our baby Studio 4, and the Garden Studio. So in Studio 1 and 3, you get your own kitchen, bathroom, waiting area. In Studio 1, there is a dedicated client lounge, and production annex space, along with adjacent workshop for repairs and props work.

Studios 1 and 3, have commercial espresso machines, with fresh coffee for you and your crew. On that subject: catering is available on request of course !


Every studio comes with a dedicated makeup facility, including daylight balanced makeup lights, generous space for your stylist and makeup crew: iron, ironing board, clothing racks, styling table, pin boards for references, and shot lists, access to a steamer (these can be rented, or come with Studio 1) Within the actual shooting spaces, you will always have a ladder, poly-books (these are large sheets of black/white polystyrene) along with a table or trolley that serves as a digital work station. Each of these has a UPS for your computer.

Studio four has an opening skylight which is great for regulating your temperature, but in Studio 3 we have Air Conditioning for winter / summer use. Studio 1 is cool in summer, but heated in winter. We provide fans and gas heaters on the day, depending on the conditions.


And now with summer on it’s way: keep in mind our completely unique Garden Studio, which offers an out door shooting stage. This has single phase power outlets outside, and usually we set up an EZUP and tables, chairs, etc for makeup and styling or as a digital work station. You can be fully operational in the garden.

We look forward to working with you, no matter the project, or style of production. Give us a call, and we can get everything rolling.

The Kingsize Team.



Scholarship Focus – Christian Espinoza

This is the first in a series of posts focussing on each member of the Kingsize Scholarship.


My technical skills improved hugely over the 12 week Kingsize Scholarship. I learned how to develop my own lighting diagrams, and after extensive tests in studio, I got to see how each modifier shaped light in its own ways, whether on skin or other textures. I also enhanced my own retouching skills using Photoshop, by research and practice through every assignment. Progressively across the 12 weeks, I had transformed the nature of my work and the path I would take would be a 180 from where I started.

I was also exposed to a lot of new influences. Luke mentioned the Helsinki School early on, and that was a treasure trove of inspiration. Others in the class mentioned Creative Live videos, with I am now hooked on. Practinioners which made an impact on me were Steve Pyke, Miles Aldridge, Trent Parke, Inez and Vinoodh, Richard Mosse, Nadav Kander, Taryn Simon, and Broomberg and Chanarin (to name a few of the best).


A big highlight of the scholarship program was the focus on business, having several professionals talk to us about their approach to the business of photography. Licensing and copyright came up a lot, for both video and stills work. My favourite was portfolio advice from Christina Force, and the importance of having a tight book.

“Being attached to a photo means nothing!” was a great piece of advice which Christina Force shared when she met with the class for a portfolio session. It makes sense, just because you love a photo maybe for the memories you associate with it, doesn’t make it worthy to be in your portfolio. Bottom line, if it’s not strong or it doesn’t fit, don’t show it.


 As a class we all produced quite different work, so it was great to have shared equally different resources of inspiration and even technical advice. The Kingsize team were always friendly and encouraging so it made it very easy to come in and talk shop, try new things in studio, and just keep learning by doing.


 As a result of my involvement with the Kingsize Scholarship, I recently shot the hero stills for a new NZ film production.

My short term plan is to produce a new personal body of new work, and flaunt it. Long term, build up a list of clients and get busy making work that I want to make. The scholarship course revived my interest in photography and gave me a much needed kick, I am really grateful.

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 Click above to watch Christian’s short documentary.





1x Kingsize Technical Workshop per year (Value $150-300)
2x PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT 1/2 Day shoot per year (Value $400)
10% Discount on Studio + Equipment Bookings
Free Coffee + Wi-Fi
Subscription to The Photographer’s Mail

 Kingsize Club ‘Test Day’ We will regularly send out emails inviting a small group of photographers to test new equipment in the Studios, FREE, discounted, or with exclusive arrangements.

Analogue Camera Hire. We have a large inventory of analogue cameras, including 35mm, Medium, and Large Format, available only to Club members FREE.


Kingsize Scholarship Class 2014


The Second Kingsize Scholarship Class has now finished for 2014.

Watch this space for the announcement of the next Kingsize Scholarship and be sure to sign up for the newsletter on our homepage.

Congratulations to: Olivia, Ken, Christian, Megan, Bastiaan, Nic, Aaron, Cindy, Mike, Andrea, Caitlan, Mareea, Frances & Fraser.

Below is a sample of work created during the 12 week programme and you can see a lot more on their websites- linked beside their names.


Frances Carter


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Christian Espinoza


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Aaron Burgess



Michael Cardiello



Caitlan Mitchell



Fraser Chatham



Olivia Jensen



Megan Bowers-Vette


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Bas van Est



Mareea Vegas



Andrea Bednarek



Nic Fletcher


Ken Xun Cao


A big thank you to Photo Warehouse and Panasonic New Zealand for sponsoring the 2014 Kingsize Scholarship Class.


panasonic NZ

Vocas Sony E-Mount to PL adapter

The PL mount compatible with the Sony A7S

The Photographer’s Mail – Canon C300


Canon C300 with Vocas Rig

This month Luke discussed the Canon Cinema range of cameras in his regular article for The Photographer’s Mail.

You can read the article HERE or transcript below.

An interviewer once asked photojournalist Henri Cartier-Bresson about his complete lack of involvement with editing, exhibitions, and book projects. “Once the picture is in the box, I’m not all that interested in what happens next,” he said. “Hunters, after all, aren’t cooks.” For the majority of photographers considering bringing video into their practice, the idea of editing, grading, and general post-production represents a major roadblock. As a photographer shooting video you will need to pick up some editing skills. Even if you’ll be working with professional post- production teams, it is very important to have an understanding of the process. If you have to do post work, it is in your interest to shoot in a way that produces the most beautiful footage possible and requires minimal work. To people who have not used them before, the Canon Cinema range of cameras (C100, C300, and C500) can seem quite formidable. But Canon paid close attention to the film-makers shooting on 5D Mark IIs, and implemented a lot of fantastic features with the operator and editor in mind to make shooting and editing much easier.

Since its release, the Canon EOS C300 has proven to be one of the most versatile, high-quality, simple systems available, becoming one of the most popular production cameras on the market. The C300 found the perfect niche for productions where a camera such as an Arri Alexa would blow the budget but a 5D Mark III would be limiting.

The Canon Cinema cameras have been embraced by film-makers including Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street), Spike Jonze (Her), and Ron Howard (Rush), for specific scenes or whole features. Documentaries suit the cameras perfectly, and they are widely used by the likes of Morgan Spurlock and the Vice News team. The great battery life and ability to shoot four hours of footage on a 64Gb CF card mean operators are not burdened by extra batteries and media.


It’s easy to think of the C300 as an improved, video specific version of a 5D Mkiii which isn’t true- the C300 is a whole different beast, from the sensor up. The 5D is an excellent camera for moving image as well as stills and in some situations may be preferable to a C300. The cinema camera is simply a dedicated tool for film-making, rather than a stills camera which shoots great video with the help of various add ons. Unlike DSLRs, the C300 is specifically designed for cinematography- its ergonomic design incorporates a monitor as well as handles and physical buttons (rather than controls being in an LCD menu). In use, there are a variety of other intuitive and very useful features- ‘Peaking’ is a focus assist, indicating on the screen with a red lie the in focus areas of the image. ‘Zebra’ indicates blown out areas of the image with black and white stripes. Seasoned DSLR film-makers will be delighted to know that issues such as rolling shutter and moiré are simply not a problem when using the C300. Moiré is a common issue for DSLR shooters where fine patterns or pinstripes are represented with an odd banding effect. This issue is especially frustrating for DSLR users shooting interviews and corporate videos where the talent may not necessarily have a spare suit jacket to change into (or where it may not be appropriate for production to ask).

On paper the Canon C300 doesn’t look very special at all- there are a lot of cameras out there with higher resolution (1080p is nowhere near as sexy as 4k). It can’t do slow motion either, with a top frame rate of just 30fps. It can’t be explained by looking at the stats but the cinematic ‘look’ of the footage straight out of the camera is the big deal with the C300. Skin tones are particularly excellent. The huge 12 stops of dynamic range mean that there is more detail in the highlights and the the blacks are not crushed. There is a lot of talk about resolution but in practice dynamic range is as, if not more, important. The footage is effectively recorded on a 4k sensor downsampled to 1080 making for a very clean, sharp output. The low-light performance is another big feature on these cameras. The native ISO is 850 (this is the optimum setting, meaning it will have the broadest dynamic range) and it records well right up to 20,000 ISO. At the higher ISOs there is noise but it has a organic, filmic quality to it.

People have grown to love the look of video shot with large sensor DSLRs as the depth of field is similar to how our eyes perceive the world. With the very large sensor of the 5D Mkiii though, the depth of field at large apertures could become so narrow as to make it very difficult to pull focus. The Super 35 sized sensor of the C300 means that there will be a slightly greater depth of field, giving more leniency when keeping focus and retaining the pleasant looking bokeh. Of course the camera operator is not so limited by high ISO selection so has the option to use more moderate apertures such as f/5.6 rather than shooting with the aperture wide open.

Small form factor means it is popular for use with car or helicopter rigs as well as being the perfect camera for ‘run-and-gun documentary projects, especially when paired with an Image Stabilised zoom like the 24-105mm IS L. The build-in ND filters are a great touch, meaning the camera operator can maintain a uniform aperture in changing light conditions. The maximum ND is 6 stops and as they are internal, rather than screw-on or fitted to a matte box, there is no chance of them getting scratched or dirty. The C300 is also very capable on big productions at the heart of a more complex rig.

Canon Log is for recording very ‘flat’, low contrast looking footage with the widest range of tones and detail so that there is more information available when when editing the footage (see illustration). This is so that the editor can make selections about grading the footage in post, it also ensures a uniform look if using multiple cameras (an Arri Alexa for example) on a project. Canon Log is similar to shooting raw as a photographer but without the huge file sizes. For people who plan to do no, or minimal, post processing or colour correction there are picture settings to ensure you’ll get great looking footage straight out of the camera- like shooting jpg with a pre-defined picture style as a stills photographer.

Of course, it’s important to remember that a camera is simply a tool. In the right hands any video camera can produce a masterpiece but when working commercially- reliability, usability and quality are all vital factors. In the C300 Canon has produced a tool which is very fast and intuitive, outputs beautiful, no-fuss footage and is relatively affordable. I say relatively as $17,000 for the body is quite an investment. Fortunately the $300 rental day rate falls comfortably within the budget of many productions.

The Photographer’s Mail – Canon Cinema

Canon C300 Rentals