Frank Petronio photographer

Underwater

I got myself an Aquatech water housing and picked up a beater Nikon D800 body to use inside it (with a 35/1.8G lens). Aquatech had a Black Friday sale and being the off season you can save a good amount. I’m still testing but I’ve got the basics down. Stuck my hand into the frigid and: 

I’ll have to find something amazing to justify going back into freezing water! But without foreground subjects like fish, boats, or models I’m at a loss…. If I study rocks and ice perhaps I can visualize something and do a quick in-and-out with my old kayaking neoprene? Otherwise… any excuse for a Caribbean trip is a good one.


Sarah K

I love doing these 20 minute portrait sessions. (Ignore the six hours spent driving and editing.) 

The Nikon 105/1.4e is the best short telephoto lens to date, with the best autofocusing accuracy and speed along with beautiful, sharp yet smooth rendering. It beats all of the other good lenses I’ve owned: Zeiss 135/2. Sigma 135/1.8, Nikon 85/1.8G, 85/1.4G, all the AIS lenses, etc. Its only downsides are the price (over $2000) and that it uses odd 82mm filters. To avoid spending more on filters I’ll rarely use I got an 82-77mm step-down ring, figuring I could crop slightly. (I carry a circular polarizer and an 8-stop ND.

I also have the 28/1.4e but I’m not as receptive to wide-angle shooting, in spite of it having similar qualities to the 105. And I’m still frustrated that Nikon doesn’t make a comparable 50mm to these two fine lenses. That trio would be perfect (along with a set of pancake primes for travel). 



Mono

I mainly show the PG version but the Mono is not forgotten. Handheld 4x5 film in a cheap Crown Graphic with the brilliant Aimee, who survived her stint with Suicide Girls and is now a Mom, writer, teacher, and editor. Things do work out more often than not. 


Peak

Holimont, Ellicotville, NY

I’m guessing this is from Spring 1986, three years after my climbing accident and when I still skied the super small Lange shells. I used those race stock Rossignols for many years (they were 213cm with the old Rossi Roc 550 construction… basically slabs of Aluminum wrapped in Fiberglass), still had the 70s Vaurnets. I know I felt slow and pudgy at the time but Lordy, considering the subsequent abuses this was peak Frank. 

It’s hard to describe just how much I identified with being a skier, and a ski racer at that. I did coach the University team in Oregon; qualified for pro race against some World Cup guys, and for one brief weekend I was 176th in the world for Giant Slalom if I read the points right. But I had a late start (age 15), physical deformities (really messed up feet), and when I took a 60-footer climbing fall in 1982 that pretty much put the kibosh on my ski industry career (why be underpaid if you can’t enjoy skiing everyday?) 

Still, this was probably one of the hero days I so fondly remember. I still ski those same trails and when the snow and sun cooperate I can create those same G-forces and arcs, it really is like flying. I have skiing dreams and I often fall asleep thinking about skiing, it’s burrowed deep inside. Which is why we put up with all the ridiculous things we do in order to do it. 






NYC Dawn

Manhattan is at the upper left horizon.

Yesterday we flew into Newark before dawn, on our way to Florida to celebrate my Father’s 80th birthday. The United Airlines commuter flight had tiny seats and filthy, scratched up windows, this is the only aerial shot, I could barely twist to point my camera out of the window. Flying East-West usually gives me better results as we pass through weather systems with farm fields and elevation changes showing more geometry and contrast. But it’s always a crap shoot, you never know what you’ll get. I used to try to figure out which seat of the airplane to sit for best light and clarity but I’ve found that sometimes the flare and even engine turbulence are enhancements… I’ll never get precise, perfect aerials shooting through thick airliner windows so I’ve learned to utilize imperfections that would otherwise frustrate me. 

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