James Schmelzer: Photographing the Wild Using His “Everyday Workhorse,” the S1R

James Schmelzer: Photographing the Wild Using His “Everyday Workhorse,” the S1R

When photographer and LUMIX ambassador James Schmelzer went to Whitefish, Montana to photograph wild cats and other wildlife, he brought along the LUMIX S1R. The photos that resulted from this session are nothing less than dazzling—Schmelzer’s skill, professionalism, and tools help him capture the grandeur of the moment with ease. In conversation with LUMIX, he sheds some light on his process.

When asked about his setup, Schmelzer explains why the S1R was the natural choice: “I like to leave space for cropping selections later, so the S1R was the perfect megapixel camera for me. The IBIS helps because most of the shots are hand-held using the 70-200mm 2.8 lens.” And these aren’t your average hand-held shots either: “These animals are very fast and you almost have to anticipate the movement and follow the action and have good practice at knowing your focusing zones and size of the zones. Fast shutter speeds are a must, and this camera looks great at high ISO. Also, I love the battery life and the XQD slot for fast download times.”

From the look of the results from the Montana shoot, it seems as if photographing wild animals is something Schmelzer was born to do—what’s astounding is that he was far from his Michigan home, and his usual photography beat. “I am from Detroit so I also photograph a lot of industrial work in factories of large machines.” In spite of the dramatic difference in subject matter, Schmelzer notes that the S1R is the perfect choice for this scenario, too. “The S1R has the high resolution sensor, allowing me to photograph just about any job that comes my way. I know I’ll have enough resolution to handle it.” This performance comes in handy for client requests such as having the background extracted. “I need this camera’s high resolution to maintain sharp edges for cutting out the background.” The video capabilities of the S1R perform perfectly for clients, too: “I also might get requested to shoot a video interview or a sizzle reel for a customer, and this camera has great video capabilities.”

For all of these reasons and more, Schmelzer calles the S1R “the best camera I have ever shot with, and wouldn't choose to shoot with anything else. It’s my everyday workhorse camera.”  We at LUMIX are so proud to support Schmelzer, and all our customers, in their professional artistic pursuits with the S1 series.

James Schmelzer

James Schmelzer

Known for his consistently outstanding style of portraits and wedding photography, James is an internationally known Master Craftsmen photographer, lecturer, and owner of Elite Photographic Studio located in Shelby Township, Michigan. As a professional photographer for more than 30 years James has been awarded the Photographic Craftsmen and Master of Photography from the Professional Photographers of America, Accolade of Photographic Mastery from Wedding & Portrait Photographers International, among many others. Besides owning his own studio, James conducts workshops, speaks at seminars and events, and demonstrates photographic lighting techniques at trade shows around the world. "As a hybrid photographer there is no easier camera to shoot photos and video than LUMIX."

Visit James Schmelzer website

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