ArnyZona Photography: Blog en-us (C) ArnyZona Photography (ArnyZona Photography) Thu, 12 Jan 2017 07:44:00 GMT Thu, 12 Jan 2017 07:44:00 GMT ArnyZona Photography: Blog 120 120 New book out now: Reverb, Twang & Fuzz 5 Years ago, I celebrated 25th anniversary of the first photo that I ever sold and the publication of that photo was also the first time I saw a photo of my hand in a magazine. 
It was a photo I took at a punk concert and it is a photographical genre I kept exploring since. To celebrate the anniversary, I put together my best shots of these 25 years in a book with the title 'Loud'. 

At that time, I never thought I would do a lot of music photo in the future. I was to busy shooting for travel magazines, doing reportage work and just tried to have fun with photography. It wasn't my first source of income. 

But two years ago everything changed. I picked up my guitar again and even started a new band. I refound my love for music, as a musician but also as a photographer. I think I shot more concerts the past two years than I did the 10 years before. 

So maybe it is time for a new book, a selection of the best concert shots of the past 5 years. And to make the selection easier, I narrowed it down to three musical genres: surf, rockabilly & garage punk. 

This book is a visual celebration of these three musical genres that stayed mostly in the underground for fifty years: surf, rockabilly & garagepunk. 
Each genre had it's hits and legendary artist (Dick Dale, Link Wray, Sonics, Elvis, Stray Cats to name a few) but most of the bands are popular in a select, small scene. A scene that keeps growing as the subculture keeps surfacing more and more in popular culture. 

Since I was a teenager, this was the music I listend to, and still do. I played in surf and garage punk bands and shot several bands for music magazines. I can't live without crashing spring reverbs, screeching fuzz guitars and loud drums! 

Last year I visited the Surfer Joe Summer Festival in Livorno, Italy, where I shook hands with some of the nicest people in the international surf scene. With some of them I kept in touch. Others commented on my photo's on forums like SG101 or on Facebook. Some even ordered a couple of my photo's through my website. One of them was John Blair. Mr. Blair is a music historian that wrote several books, some of them are considered standards. But he is mostly known for being the force behind the first revival of surfmusic in the late 70's with his band Jon & the Nightriders. I was truly honored that he liked my photo's and I got goosebumps what I got a mail from Brian of SG101. He visited John at home and mailed me that John had my pictures framed on his wall. But blushed like a little girl, when I got a mail from John on my birthday last december. He sent me the nicest birthdaypresent; a foreword for my new book!

You can order it here: in paperback, hard cover or e-book. 

(ArnyZona Photography) & book concert fuzz photobook publication reverb twang Mon, 04 Jan 2016 16:16:59 GMT
Phantom Four - shooting photo's for live album Dutch instrumental band The Phantom Four is one of the most critically acclaimed bands in the surf genre. But they don't play 'regular' surf music, Dick Dale style, no they combine oriental rhythms, exotic scales and more to an eclectic danceble mix. I shot the Phantom Four recently at the North Sea Surf Festival and after that the band asked me to come to the recording of their new live album at the Pacific Parc in Amsterdam. Great cosy hall / restaurant in the Wester Parc area. Only problem, it is not really a music venue. So no big stage and no bright lights. Halfway the show, the only light on the band was dark blue, not the ideal circumstances for concert photography. 

Thank got I brought a flash and a coupe of Phottix wireless flash triggers. That allowed me to place the flash anywere on stage and walk around with my camera looking for different angles. It gives a much more natural look than on camera flash (which I never use anyway). Using the flash with longer shutter times like 1/10 of even longer gives a more dynamic feeling to the photo's. You can see the movement on stage and the audience dancing, especially if you use wide angle lenses or even a fisheye.

One of the masters of this technique is Charles Peterson, his photo's of the Seattle grunge scene late 80's were as iconic as the music from the bands (Mudhoney, Tad and a unknown band like Nirvana to name a few). 
I used this technique a lot in the past, even before I got my first digital camera. And I still like the look of it, although it isn't so unpredictable as it used to be, since you can see the result on your LCD-screen nowadays...

Below are a couple of examples, you can see the whole galery here: 

Phantom FourPhantom Four Phantom FourPhantom Four Phantom FourPhantom Four Phantom FourPhantom Four

(ArnyZona Photography) Fujifilm X-Pro1 X-T1 concert flash phantom four phottix Wed, 11 Nov 2015 12:55:27 GMT
The Sonics Last year a dream came true when one of my all time favorites The Sonics played at the Sjock Festival. The Sonics are one of the godfathers of punk and released a couple of classic garagepunk albums in the 60's. 
This year they released a comeback album and it 10 times better than all the neo-garage hypes like Ty Segal and numerous others. This is the real deal. But don't expect Iggy Pop (of the same generation) scenes on stage, these gentlemen are like the granddad you wished you had. Cosy, funny and always in a good mood. No Iggy raunchyness needed here, it is the music that does the talking! 
So when I got the chance to see these legends play a second time and this time in a medium size concert hall, I got my tickets before you could shout 'PSYCHO!!!!' (one of their 'hits').

So no Iggy Pop clownesque on stage, just cudly grandpa's. Why bring a camera? Hmmm, how about shooting the atmosphere. The reaction between the musicians and audience is what makes shows like this work in a photo. 

No telelens needed (hate them anyway) and a wide angle is prefered. Only one camera and two lenses needed (X-Pro, 14mm and fisheye). Fine, these fit in my coat, so no camera bag needed either ;-)

The SonicsThe SonicsThe Sonics in Doornroosje, Nijmegen - october 30th 2015 The SonicsThe SonicsThe Sonics in Doornroosje, Nijmegen - october 30th 2015 The SonicsThe SonicsThe Sonics in Doornroosje, Nijmegen - october 30th 2015 The SonicsThe SonicsThe Sonics in Doornroosje, Nijmegen - october 30th 2015

(ArnyZona Photography) X-Pro1 concert the sonics Wed, 04 Nov 2015 12:45:00 GMT
North Sea Surf Festival 2015 Last saturday in the Milky Way (Melkweg) in Amsterdam: the fifth edition of the North Sea Surf Festival. It is the biggest surf-festival in Northern Europe and the line up was one of the best ever. Messerchups (Ru), Els A-Phonics (Esp), Watang (It), Phantom Four (NL) and Barbwires (Se) were some of the highlights. The afterparty in Amsterdam's notorious blues juke joint Meloe Maloe was also legendary. Els A-Phonics even played harder than at the mainstage and ripped the place apart. 

Here are is a selection of photo's. More can be found here.

MesserchupsMesserchupsMesserchups at north sea surf festival, melkweg, amsterdam 2015 Els a PhonicsEls a PhonicsEls a Phonics at North Sea Surf Festival 2015 Phantom FourPhantom FourPhantom Four at the North Sea Surf Festival 2015 at the Melkweg, Amsterdam

(ArnyZona Photography) band concert live surf surfmusic Wed, 07 Oct 2015 10:14:37 GMT
Antwerp & Surfer Joe Combo Lorenzo 'Surfer Joe' Valdambrini is on tour with his Surfer Joe Combo and last thursday he played in a small bar in Antwerp, called Moby Dick. A nice opportunity to combine a short city trip with a concert. We found a really good deal on a studio for one night and of we went...

Antwerp has changed a lot since we were there last time. Especially 't Eilandje and Noord are two neighbourhoods that used to be very seady, but know are brownsing with activities. It reminded us a lot of Williamsburg in Brooklyn! Good food, nice little bars and shops everywhere!

We certainly are coming back for a longer visit!

Grote Markt, AntwerpAntwerpen Grote Markt, AntwerpAntwerpen Grote Markt, AntwerpAntwerpen Grote Markt, AntwerpAntwerpen Grote Markt, AntwerpAntwerpen

More shots from the Surfer Joe gig can be found here.


(ArnyZona Photography) Sat, 25 Jul 2015 11:23:22 GMT
Sjock Festival - 40th anniversary edition Yes, we've survived another Sjock Festival. A very special edition since it was the 40th time the festival was held. And the line up was truly amazing; Southern Culture of the Skids, Batmobile, Reverend Horton Heat, Rhythm Shakers, Heavy Trash, Bloodshot Bill, OFF!, just to name a few...

Here are a couple of shots. You can find more here.

BatmobileBatmobileBatmobile at the Sjock Festival 2015 Southern Culture on the SkidsSouthern Culture on the SkidsSouthern Culture on the Skids at the sjock festival 2015 Rhythm ShakersRhythm ShakersRhythm Shakers at the Sjock Festival 2015 OFF!Keith Morris - OFF!OFF! at Sjock Festival 2015 Heavy TrashHeavy TrashHeavy Trash at Sjock Festival 2015

(ArnyZona Photography) Sat, 18 Jul 2015 22:45:00 GMT
Italy Roadtrip No Viva Las Vegas this year for us, so we got some time and a little money to visit another favorite country of us; Italy.
Starting of with the excellent Surfer Joe Festival Italy (the 10th edition and it was one of the best festivals we've ever visited). After that it was 4 days in Cinque Terre and another 3 driving around Tuscany....

Full travel blog can be found here:  (Sorry Dutch only)
For more Surfer Joe photo's:

Riomaggiore, Cinque TerreRiomaggiore, Cinque TerreRiomaggiore Riomaggiore, Cinque TerreRiomaggiore, Cinque TerreRiomaggiore Tuscan landscapeTuscan landscapeSan Gimignano, Tuscan landscape Vernazza, Cinque TerreVernazza, Cinque TerreVernazza

(ArnyZona Photography) Wed, 08 Jul 2015 12:45:00 GMT
Time off Is my last post really been in june 2014? Damn, time flies when you are having fun! 
Like I mentioned before, I took some time of from photography and focused on playing music. The band (Aloha Sluts) is going really well, but it also was the start for a new look on photography. 

Aloha SlutsPhoto taken with Gorilla-pod and timer during a Aloha Sluts gigAloha Sluts
Since it is impossible (really?) to shoot photo's and play guitar at the same time, I handed my camera over to my wife, who's learning to be a photographer herself. But she has no interest in Photoshop or digital processing the photo's, so I needed to start working on a workflow using Photoshop and Lightroom CC. The workflow needed to be time-saving and even inspirational. So I got interested in LR-presets, even writing some myself.

After a while I even found out that it is possible to play a gig and shoot photo's at the same time! Using a small Gorilla-tripod and a timelaps timer!

So what am I gonna do with this blog. I tried doing a more technical blog on my own website, but somehow that's not for me.
Well, just wait and see... maybe I come up with something. For starters I try to update the blog once a month, or sooner if something happens...

(ArnyZona Photography) aloha concert gorilla live off sluts time timelaps Mon, 01 Jun 2015 12:45:00 GMT
Sjock Festival: Fuji X-camera's in the pit Last weekend was the annual Sjock Festival in Lille, Belgium. It is the oldest festival in Belgium of it’s kind. Each year about 5000 people visit the coziest festival in Europe for a weekend of rockabilly, punkrock, psychobilly, garagepunk and surf music.

This year’s edition was one of the best of the last couple of years. Garagepunk legend The Sonic, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, The Paladins, Nekromantix, Koffin Katz, Slim Cessna Auto Club, to name a few bands…


Dusty Watson - The SonicsFuji X-E1, 10-24mm @ 10mm, F4.5, 1/250 sec, ISO 3200


The weather wasn’t as hot as previous years and every day we got some rain showers. A thunderstorm cost me a camera (sony A900) a couple of years ago during the Sjock festival. So I went prepared and bought a little raincoat for my Fuji’s. It was my first year without a Sony camera, but I was confident I would cope with the X-E1 and my X-Pro1. One concern I had, was how the 10-24mm wide angle would do. My old Zeiss has a maximum aperture of F2.8 and the Fuji a meager F4.0, but is has image stabilisation. Which isn’t that helpful if you have a bunch of hyperactive punks jumping around on a stage. An auto ISO of 3200 save my shot a couple of times.


People that are familiar with my style of concert photography, know that I prefer a wide angle for concerts. I hardly ever use a lens wider than 50mm during a concert. I even like to shoot with a fisheye, so I can get as much audience in my shot as possible. One thing that is a bit of a risk, is you have to get really close to your subject to make the shots work. So most of the time I try to get on stage (lucky me, I have a backstage pass for the Sjock) or join the stage divers and thrashers in the pit. One I on the action for photo’s, the other on the look out for flying beer glasses or big bald dudes trying to break my ribs… More than 25 years of experience as a concert photographer come in handy ;-)

So no big accidents this year, only a couple of bruises and a beer soaked t-shirt.

The BronxFujifilm X-E1, 10-24mm @ 10mm, F8, 1/2500sec, ISO 800

The Fuji’s performed really well. If you shoot ultra-wide, you don’t need auto focus that much. My fish eye is manual, so set the aperture, guess the average distance to the subject and you are go. One thing where the camera’s really shine is the excellent dynamic range. Even shooting when I stood behind a drummer with the audience in full sunlight, the shot was perfectly lit.


Another plus that the Fuji’s have is the small size. The bands and audience are not as imidated by the size of the camera and lens. My old Sony A900 with Zeiss was huge! And heavy, my wrist and shoulder would ache a lot after a full day of festival shooting. No problem with the Fuji’s. And don’t get me started on the image quality. For the first day of the festival I shot mostly jpg + RAW. But two days in, I needed the disk space more than the extra assurance of RAW editing a badly lit photo.


Overall, it was a great experience. Having two bodies helped, so I didn’t need to change a lens in the middle of a boiling pit. Hope you like the photo’s… It helps if you put on a CD of one of the bands from this years line up and crank it really LOUD!


Slim Cessna's Auto ClubFujifilm X-E1, 10-24mm @ 10mm, F5, 1/250sec, ISO 2500

See the rest of the Sjock photos here or a complete set of Slim Cessna's Auto Club
(ArnyZona Photography) Fujifilm X-E1 X-Pro1 X-series autoclub bronx cessna's concert festival live sjock slim sonics the Sun, 20 Jul 2014 18:07:47 GMT
Man or Astroman @ Effenaar Ever since Man or Astroman reunited, I hoped to catch a show. We did a couple of support shows with my band in the late '90's and they really blew me away each show. Unfortunately the band can't play in Europe in the same line up as in the USA anymore. Coco, the original bassplayer stays at home. But nowadays they are a quartet and that makes up some of the space that Coco leaves. They played a great show with lot's of alltime classics. And even this formation of Man or Astroman is 10 times better than most bands out there...

I used my Fujifilm X-Pro1 with 14mm, which seems to be my favorite combo for small liveshows like this. It is really a joy to use a camera like the X-Pro1 instead of my huge old heavy Sony A900. The security of the venue doesn't get nervous by the small Fuji and its low light abilities are superb. 



(ArnyZona Photography) Astroman Man concert live or Sat, 07 Jun 2014 18:15:00 GMT
Review: Fujifilm 10-24mm f4 R OIS The Fujifilm XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS is a new ultra wide-angle lens for the X-system, offering a field of view equivalent to 15-36mm in 35mm terms. People familiar with my work, know I really love ultra-wide lenses. The Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T Lens is my most used lens on my old trusty A900 full frame. Ideal for landscape photography and super sharp, even at F2.8. The Fuji 14mm is my favorite x-mount lens. But in some situations it just isn’t wide enough. So I was looking forward to the 10-24mm when Fuji anounced it over a year (!) ago. Was it worth the wait?

We had a new trip to the south-west of the USA planned, in the spring of this year. Our 20th visit to the USA, so a perfect occasion to revisit some of the highlights of previous trips to the deserts of California, Utah and Arizona. An ultra-wide lens would be ‘indispensable’.

The lens wasn’t available in Europe in march, but I contacted Camera West in Rancho Mirage, California. They reserved one for me and I picked it up during our visit to Joshua Tree National Park. The dollar-euro rate made the pain in my wallet a bit more tolerable. During the rest of the trip it was the main lens on my X-E1, while the 14mm was the companion for my X-PRO1. After three weeks of traveling through the South-West USA, I noticed that my Sony & Zeiss only left my camerabag once...


Monument ValleyMonument ValleyMonument valley

Monument Valley, Arizona
210mm (15mm full frame), f16, 1/200sec, ISO 400, BW conversion with Nik Silver FX



The 10-24mm produces stunning images with vibrant colors and sharpness. It works particularly well with landscape photography that often call for wider perspectives.

Chromatic aberrations, purple or blue fringes along contrasty edges, are a problem that even my old Zeiss has. The Fuji doesn’t. If it does have some, it is in camera corrected with the latest firmware. So it save a lot of time post processing. The lens has virtually no barrel distortion, even at 10mm. Offering a constant aperture of f/4, it also features optical image stabilisation which gives the lens a 2-3 stops advantage when used in low light situations.

Vignetting when shooting at f/4 is also very well controlled. At higher apertures it is almost non existent.

The centre of the photo is remarkably sharp wide open, with peak performance achieved in the f/5.6-11 range. The edges of the frame are somewhat soft at f/4 but sharpen up at f/5.6 and higher. It is not the sharpest lens in my camerabag, the 35mm and 14mm win in this department.


The lens has a traditional aperture ring on the lens barrel, although I miss having the actual aperture markings on the ring like the 14mm has. The aperture is instead shown in the viewfinder or on the LCD screen. The aperture ring makes a distinctive click as you change the setting, although it's too easily moved. Without visual markings on the lens, one can easily make mistakes when the aperture is accidently moved and you haven’t checked setting on screen.

The lens ships with a plastic petal shaped hood and a soft lens bag. I’m not keen on the plastic lens hoods that Fuji delivers. Esthetical they don’t fit the retro look of the X-pro1 ane X-E1. They did a better job on the 18mm and 35mm lenses.

It is a heavy lens for a camera with a small profile as the X-E2, but on the somewhat bigger X-PRO1 it isn’t really a problem. Although it will significantly weigh down the front of your camera. It certainly isn’t a stealthy lens that let’s you take anonymous street photo’s.


Green River OverlookGreen River Overlook, Canyonlands NPGreen River Overlook, Canyon Lands National Park

Green River Overlook, Canyonlands NP, Utah
24mm (36mm full frame), f6.4, 1/350sec, ISO 200



-finally an ultra wide in the x-mount

-The all-metal construction

-Image quallity

-No barrel distortion, no chromati abberations, no vignetting



-The max aperture isn’t the best for low light / night photography


-Flimsy plastic lens hood

-72mm filter threat (most wide angles use 77mm filters, but nothing a cheap adapter can’t fix)


Grand Staircase EscalanteGrand Staircase EscalanteCanyon in Grand Staircase Escalante

Escalante River Valley, Utah
16mm (25mm full frame), f8, 1/170sec, ISO 200

(ArnyZona Photography) 10-24mm Fujifilm Fujifilm 10-24mm f4 R OIS X-E1 X-Pro1 X-series angle f4 lens review wide Thu, 29 May 2014 15:22:00 GMT
Review: iShoot grip for X-Pro1 & X-E1 iShoot grip & X-Pro1 I received some questions after my last blog post about the grips on my X-Pro1 and X-E1. I bought these iShoot grips on Ebay after reading some online reviews. Most users thought they were better than the official Fuji ones. You have to unscrew the Fuji grip from the camera to reach the battery compartment / memory card. With the iShoot you can leave the grip on the camera when changing battery and memory card. Plus all you can use all connection ports on the camera like the usb and remote control port with the grip on the camera.

Fuji understood this too and released an updated version of their old grips with better accessibility to the camera ports and compartments. Maybe they will even release one with a battery compartment in the future?

But the iShoot has two other advantages over the Fuji ones, first the price (allthough the price difference isn’t that huge anymore) and second the iShoot ones function as a L-form quick release plate for Arca style tripod ball heads. It works like a charm on my Benro backpacker tripod.

The iShoot grips fit perfect on the cameras, a screw fits into the tripod socket and can be tightened with screwdriver or a coin. The grip is very rigid. Once attached, the grip adds a bit of weight and improves the handling. Which is why I needed a grip in the first place. When shooting on streets, I like to have the camera in my right hand all the time, so I can shoot in a second.
It gives a firm grip on the camera and I’m not afraid that somebody knocks it out of my hands during a rowdy concert when I’m shooting direct in front of the stage of even in the pit.
A firmer camera grip also improves the stability when shooting at longer shutter speeds.

Until now, I haven’t had a chance to test the Fuji versions. But if you are you are using a tripod a lot with your camera, than the choice is really easy…

The iShoot grip is a fantastic product at a competitive price.

(ArnyZona Photography) Fujifilm X-E1 X-Pro1 X-series gadget iShoot Sun, 26 Jan 2014 17:55:23 GMT
A year with Fuji X-series... My first camera was a Canon AF 35F rangefinder. I got it from my parents as a present some 30 years ago (damn, I’m getting old). A nice camera for taking snapshots of friends and preserving holiday memories. It ended up in the Adriatic sea after a drunken bar brawl when it slipped of my shoulder as I fed the fish in the harbor with my stomach content.
But the shutter bug got me and when I needed a semi-professional SLR for my first year in art school, I got a Minolta X700. The first photo I ever sold was shot with that camera during a concert. I kept upgrading to better (Minolta) camera’s and lenses.
I liked the ergonomics of the Minolta camera’s and the Dynax 7 is still one of the best camera’s I ever had. My first digital camera was a Dynax7D.
My Fujifilm X-E1 and X-PRO1 (grips by ishoot, tripod: Benro, backpack: National Geographic)(grips by ishoot, tripod: Benro, backpack: National Geographic) When Minolta closed down it’s camera department and sold all patents to Sony I had a big collection of Minolta lenses. So I switched to a Sony A700 on which all my old lenses worked perfect. The last six years I shot mostly with a Sony A900, 24.6-megapixel full frame camera. Big beautifull files with lots of detail and great color rendition. Combined with a Carl Zeiss 16-35mm f2.8 it was my 24/7 choice for photography. Until a year ago…  
Shooting hours and hours with the heavy A900-Zeis combination took its toll on my wrist and hand. The camera plus lens weighs a hefty 2.8 kg!
I needed something lighter for reportage and street photography. Plus the A900 has a really loud shutter, you cannot take a picture unnoticed. A couple days before a trip to New York, I found a great deal on a Fujifilm X100. The reviews I read were all full of hallelujah's and praise. Some even called it a poor man’s Leica. The fixed 35mm lens was something to get used to, since I mostly shoot with (extreme) wide angle lenses. But from day one on the streets of Brooklyn and Manhattan, I was in love. In got my love for photography back and I fell in love with Fuji for producing such a great, almost silent camera.
The image quality was amazing, the strait out of camera jpg’s were sharp with beautiful colors. And in black and white, the images really shined. Back home I started experimenting with a Hoya R72 infrared filter on the camera and the results were unbelievable. 
If this little camera was so amazing, what would a X-E1 be like? I needed to have one ;-)
I ordered one at a local camera store that made me a good deal. When I found a second hand 18mm and Samyang fisheye lens online, it was a no-brainer. 
The X-E1 performs great in low light situations with almost no noise up to 3200 ISO. It’s jpg’s and RAW 16 megapixels files are superb!
The trusty A900 stayed home more often and it didn’t see a concert in a year. During an assignment in the Blues Delta of the Mississippi, I shot mostly with the Fuji’s. The Sony only got out of my camera bag when I needed an ultra wide of the bigger megapixels files. My wrist thanked me for it. Last month I found a second hand X-PRO1 for a price I couldn’t resist. It is a big bigger and heavier than my X-E1, but it handles better. And it is still a feather weight compared to my old A900 (2.8 kg vs 0.7 kg!).
Do I miss something when I’m out with my Fuji’s? Yes! A good, fast ultra wide angle lens would be great. And sometimes I miss the DOF of the full frame A900. But the quality of the Fuji lenses is as good as my big, heavy and very expensive Zeiss. The Fuji lenses are not cheap, but I don’t have to rob a bank to expand my collection. 
Can’t wait for the new 10-24mm... 

Fujifilm X100 & X-PRO1 with my favorite guitar, a Fender Telecaster.

A900, X-E1, X100My trusty Sony A900 with the much smaller and lighter Fuji X100 and X-E1
(ArnyZona Photography) A900 Fujifilm Minolta Sony X-E1 X-Pro1 X-series Wed, 22 Jan 2014 10:57:00 GMT