Young woman trail running in the Oakland hills by San Francisco Advertising photographer Robert Houser

At least twice a month we set up test shoots to work with new lighting, new cameras, new models or even new locations.  Last week we were using the new Canon 5D Mark IV with some lenses that had just be re-aligned by Canon for a fitness test. We put the camera and new fitness model, Julia from JE Models, to work under difficult light.  I was hoping for a beautiful fall afternoon, but instead we had nothing but overcast skies.  Using high-speed sync capabilities of the ProFoto B1 while shooting at 1/2000 sec allowed us to clean up the shadows.  

Two hours and some 2000 images later, I had quite a bit of homework to do on the plane to this week’s shoot in Dallas.  I think I most like the moody running shots on the road, but this test was just plain fun. 

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My new Canon

Canon just released the new 5D mark IV and I’ve already played with it.  The new bodies are supposed to start shipping today, so I’m waiting for my pre-order to get here.  With the focusing engine of the Canon 1Dx mark II, it should keep up with that camera except not at 14 frames per second.  While the 1Dx 2 comes in at just over 20 megapixels, the 5D mark IV shoots at 30.  In all, this is the camera that I’ve been waiting for all summer.  I loved the 1Dx2 when I shot with it this spring — the focus was so accurate and fast in sports and lifestyle work, but I wanted the larger files.  Do I get rid of a 5D mark III?  I don’t think so.  Though the new mark IV shoots 4k video, I’ll keep both mark 3’s on hand for backup and BTS video shooting for now.

Canon 5D mark IV

Canon 5D mark IV


Thank Tank Photo – new cases

Also announced today are new airport camera cases from ThinkTank – my new goto supplier for camera bags.  I want to get my hands on one of these Airport Security V3.0 cases.  The Airport International version is slightly smaller to accommodate international security requirements, but the 3.0 is as big as you can get on a domestic flight.  Check them out with the links below.

[Airport Security V3.0]

[Airport International]



New Think Tank Airport cases. courtesy: Think Tank Photo

Photograph of a young boy on a bicycle

We had a great opportunity to work with the folks from GA Communications on a project for BioMarin this past fall photographing a series of patients.  We spent three days on location around the Bay Area making images that had to have a strong sense of flared backlight.  While we couldn’t shoot all of the images late in the day, we made use of both ideally placed sunlight and a strobe set far off in the distance.  For the swing shot I made a swing from an old piece of redwood and some nice looking hemp rope.  Using high rollers for a large silk above, we slid medium rollers underneath with a speed rail tube across so that we could place the swing wherever we wanted.  I knew we weren’t going to find a perfectly placed low hung tree branch : >

Yes, I got into the pool.  I had to.  With the tether cord held by an assistant and connected to a computer on dry land, I shot with a long lens handheld.  Most of the project was photographed using Canon’s new 5dsr 50 megapixel camera and a ProPhoto B1 in the trees.  And, lots of large silks.


Photograph of a young boy on a bicycleTwo boys for a pharmaceutical adHealthcare photograph by San Francisco Advertising photographer Robert Houser for a California based pharmaceutical company



Check out the cover of the newest OM Yoga. This is from a studio shoot we did a few months back with a yoga instructor we’ve shot a handful of times for one of our favorite clients, Title Nine. image1

Thanks to the National chapter of the APA for highlighting my Fitness advertising work on their site this week.


We had a great shoot last week working with Ritual San Francisco (@ritualsanfrancisco) doing some yoga images on the street.  Here’s a preview of the first two to make it out of retouching.  Let us know your favorite in the comments.



I was interviewed last week about my work by Barcelona based, Production Paradise.  Check it out here:

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