Hello! My name is Adam Senatori, photographer, cinematographer and pilot. I was an airline pilot but left the industry about 10 years ago for other pursuits.
I’ve since been shooting photo and video full time and produce content for aviation/aerospace companies like GE and Icelandair. I also shoot travel photography for outfits like LA Tourism and the Oahu Visitors Bureau.
Over the last ten years I’ve shot with a wide variety of cameras. Hasselbald H4D medium format digital, Canon 5D Mark III, Leica MP-240, Fuji X100T, Graflex Pacemaker Speed graphic 4×5 large format camera and of course Apple iPhones. Each camera had a very specific purpose and I used a particular camera to fulfill a look I was hoping to achieve.
Recently however, I felt constrained by all of this equipment. I had a realization that the gear was getting in the way of creating. Further, if I didn’t use a particular camera for a while, I’d feel a twinge of guilt. I began selling off my entire kit. Everything. I wanted to start over equipment wise. Get back to the basics of simply shooting.
Once I emptied my bag, I began researching my next camera. The criteria was fairly straightforward:
- Full frame
- Small footprint
- Irresistible to use
- Unique look to the files
The Canon 5D Mark III was my workhorse. I did many jobs with the 5D. But it only met two of the above criteria, digital and full frame. It wasn’t small, irresistible to use and the files were technically on point but didn’t have a particularly special look to them.
I once had the Leica MP-240. An incredible camera. It was fully manual. I didn’t mind that but often it wasn’t practical especially for fast moving commercial shoots. But it hit all of the above requirements. The image files were gorgeous. They were so close to film, I often had to double take.
Enter the Leica Q. It’s the nimble little brother to the MP-240. It has a fixed 28mm lens, my preferred focal length and opens up to F1.7!! It produces the same film-like files as the MP-240 did.
The Q has been a breath of fresh air. I now look forward to shooting with it. My kit is as minimal yet powerful as can be. I can carry my entire kit using one shoulder strap. In fact, I don’t even have a bag anymore! If a job or commission requires a different camera… I’ll rent one!
I also shoot with my iPhone. Currently the iPhone 7, black, 128GB. I always get the new iPhone since the optics are one of the first things to get upgraded. My phone goes with me everywhere, and I use it for well-lit candids, street shooting and time lapses. It fits in my back pocket, requires no bag and is fun to use.
When I travel, I use an Apple iPhone 7 Smart Case for two reasons. It doubles my battery life when I’m out all day shooting and two it protects my phone from drops and cracked screens. Things I don’t want to deal with when I’m a long way from an Apple Store.
Oh, it’s waterproof!!! I can do timelapses in the rain and shoot video underwater.
It’s all about documenting, not creating. Documenting life as it revolves around me requires fewer decisions equipment wise.
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