Craig W. Cutler FINE ART
Recently I had the opportunity to sit down (over the internet) with Fine Art Photographer Craig W. Cutler to discuss his recently acquired Phase One XF100MP.
Craig is the owner of Craig W. Cutler FINE ART and it’s affiliate DesignLIFE, a consulting firm that works with high-end designers. He studied Fine Art and the History of Art as well as Economics at The University of Colorado and The University of Wisconsin. In the 80’s Craig started his own company, Horizon International Films, and was highly active in the film industry. He was President and Chairman of that company for over 30 years. During his ownership, Horizon International Films was voted ‘The Best in North America’ at what they do, and in the following year, won ‘The Best in the World’.
Ten years ago, Craig started shooting Canon, then Leica, and now PhaseOne. Craig was recently featured in Beverly Hills Lifestyle Magazine and is currently a Featured Artist at The Waldorf Astoria Main Lobby, Park City. Craig’s work sells in Beverly Hills, Dallas, Fort Worth, Atlanta, Phoenix, Denver, Las Vegas, High Point, and into Canada as well. Craig’s Offices and Studios are located in Montreal and Phoenix.
Commercially, Craig’s Fine Art sales have increased over 1100% in the past 24 months. Additionally, his Private Collector’s list is expanding rapidly, with many clients purchasing multiple artworks.
What was your learning curve like with the XF?
Truthfully, I spent about an hour or less with the manual – really to see what’s new. My first shoot was a high-speed, high-action Rodeo in Arizona – envision Bulls, Broncos, and Cowboys – and lots of mayhem! The learning curve with the XF was brief. I customized a few settings and went to work.
What features of the XF do you think you’ll use most?
The power sharing is wonderfully convenient. For action – the new autofocus system is a huge improvement. I know I’ll use the ‘Capture through LiveView’ on my landscape work. The ergonomics have improved (over the 645DF+) and the menus are fast and easy. The focus trim worked really well for all of my lenses (primes).
Was there a confidence boost shooting with such a high resolution?
Yes and no – yes in the sense that I could enlarge my work so much (as I sell such large work) and also in the sense that I could crop a bit if needed. I’m a details freak – so that was comforting. Only ‘no’ in the sense that I had to be more exact to get the most out of what this new system could produce. Having said that, after only one day of shooting and reviewing – my confidence was full on. It blew me away!
How did the autofocus perform?
All I can say to this is: ‘thank you, thank you, thank you’.
Did you feel confident you got the shot before you left the shoot?
Such a good question – the answer is that I never worried about that. I don’t spend much time looking at the digital back once the action starts – you just don’t have a chance. I only check the first few captures for focus, exposure, settings and that’s it – so yes I was confident. I did use the 100% Zoom feature once – it’s reassuring and easy.
What were your expectations going into the shoot with the XF100MP? Were your expectations met or surpassed?
My expectations were high. I had read a lot about this system and Mega Pixels Digital kept me up to date fully. I was excited really. If this system could allow me to capture what I shoot most often – wild horses, rodeos, polo, horse races, action sports, and wildlife – and have gloriously large files to create my Art from – files that would allow me to produce 60 inch prints and up – then I could exact my Art. I could look at the fine detail and be impressed. I would not have to worry about resolution breaking up and having to compromise. My current expectations have been surpassed; having said that however, I am still looking forward to those clever fellows (and gals) in Denmark creating more magic as the firmware releases roll forward. It’s an exciting time to be alive!
Please feel free to add any additional thoughts or opinions.
My final word (to PhaseOne) would be … ‘continue to be the best – to allow us to possess the tools and technology to break barriers, to excel, and to create more than we can currently imagine is possible’. One other thing … I will honestly admit that I am ‘grateful’ to be able create with this system – really, I give thanks each day that I am lucky enough to have this. Phase One delivers nothing short of this: ‘the tools or instruments I need to fully express myself in the manner and form of which I expect of myself’.