The Malloys

Keith, Lauren and sweet little Milly Lou Malloy hosted us yesterday afternoon. Yup they are ranchers, yet the Malloys are most  famous for being top notch surfers and producers of some of the very best surfing movies like “Thicker Than Water”, “Shelter” and most recently “Come Hell Or High Water.” Their ranch is very near one of the hottest and also most secret surf spots on the California coast.

The movie biz is a family affair. Brothers Keith, Chris, and Dan Malloy share their love of surfing and making top notch surf ciné.

For me shooting, I was not totally on my game. I mean the first rule of thumb if you are a photog, which I totally ignored, is to never never do a shoot with a brand new camera. I had only with me two brand new cameras, with nothing second nature to me about either. All it takes for me is one tech snafu to get me out of “the zone” totally….Yet I looked this as an intro only in any case. Keith’s other brothers were out of town. They arrive in a few days. Do I wait? Will I come back? Will I just let it slide and move on?

The main thing I am trying to do at this point in the trip is to figure out things like this, get a rhythm going that I will stick by and mostly to get loose. Always the very hardest thing for any of us to do. Sloppy does not work nor does too pro work either. This dilemma is not only mine right now but the primary hangup for any student I mentor. This is exactly WHY I can relate to those I mentor. Their problems are mine.


30 Responses to “The Malloys”

  • DAH:

    Just see the video made by Galleria 64. Great. As a burn follower not new at all, but like the last sentence
    “Demasiado cómodo, demasiado aburrido”! I go to bed with this in mind… (but I’ve already know it).

    When you’re near Texas with the camper, just turn right and head south, México, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Perú, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina…

    Tentador hein?!?

    Muy buena semana en la ruta

  • “The main thing I am trying to do at this point in the trip is to figure out things like this, get a rhythm going that I will stick by and mostly to get loose. Always the very hardest thing for any of us to do. Sloppy does not work nor does too pro work either.”


    Patricio, I just watched that interview on Vimeo from galleria 64, just 10 minutes ago! Absolutely great! And hey, before going south, mis amigos vienen a San Francisco :)

    Looking forward to seeing you David!

  • The slightly out-of-focus outside puts a dream-like atmosphere on this family scene, very cinema-like, very appealing. More distance between inside and outside, possibly far removed in the wife’s mind.

    I assume medium format is what you used here!?

  • This is absolutely fantastic. ‘Nuff said.

  • I dunno. Take that S2 Photo, slap a nostalgic Instagram filter on it, and upload it to FB. The Likes will go through the roof and MOMA will surely come calling. Does the S2 have WiFi?

  • This photo is the first one I like in Road Trip :)

    Have a good trips Mr Harvey…

  • Lovely photo. So I need to ask this out of pure curiosity:

    To many people this would be an obvious keeper, but if I get your words right you don’t think so.
    Why is that?
    Or was it just the process in general you were not satisfied with?

    Hoping you and your new cameras are getting along by now:)

  • Beautiful shot but I see why I wouldn’t keep it. It would be fine for a magazine art director if they needed a portrait, but otherwise not enough ambiguity, mystery, or found moment-ness to it (for me at least). It almost looks like the husband was being coached – “Just a step forward. No, too much! Back an inch….” and so on. I do think that’s where sometimes shooting with a rangefinder is better in that it can take that ability to frame too tightly, too perfectly, out of your control, no matter how practiced with one (which of course Harvey is!). So maybe time to break out the Mamiya….

    David, have you tried converting the S2 to b&w yet? Curious as to how it might match up with the Mamiya. Also, what lenses do you have with the S2? The shot above might have worked better a lot wider. Not sure how wide one can get with that camera. Been dying to use one but Leica isn’t loaning to me yet…:). My Leica’s a lot cuter (and smarter) anyway. :):):)

    Have fun. Don’t party too much! Been checking out your doings just not posting much. If you do make it this way let me know and I’ll meet up if possible. But you might want to stay where it’s warm and not raining…..:)

  • Charles

    Just curious, how would you add more mystery/ambiguity with a wider lens with more depth of field, and presumably the outside man sharp also?

    Also, I assume if done with the Leica S, this was done with the 70mm, would be sorta like the “normal” focal length on the Mamiya 7(II) as well?

  • Gerhard,

    Not sure if in this case those particular things would be added, but often by going wider and including some more of the surrounding environment, the viewer can feel more free to engage with the scene from a remove. Not sure if I’m explaining myself correctly, but it’s really the ability to stand back and just “take it all in” vs being too intimate, too part of the scene (which therefore can remove some of the mystery). And it might actually be better if the husband was sharp, and not quite so guaze-ly “romantic.”

    When I shot the Mamiya 7 I often shot with a 50mm lens (there is also a very wide 43mm for it). “Normal” was 80mm. Not sure what the equivalent for wide on the Leica would be.

    I’m not saying wider is better, just one way of approaching a subject. And of course this is just my ramblings, DAH has his own agenda and approach. Which I’m sure he’s putting to use as I type this.

  • Thanks, Charles.

    I should probably drag out my Mamiya again, cause nobody is letting me borrow a Leica S either.

    Hope David will give us some of his views on this particular shot when he has time.

    How much ambiguity and/or intimacy is the goal in telling stories about families, how documentary or how art-oriented can photographic storytelling get to be effective? And do the smaller sensors with lenses that provide sharpness from foreground to background help or hinder in the effort? How to use all of these effectively is what this trip will be about, seems to me …

  • Will be curious,myself, to hear whether the S2 was used for this image.
    My gut tells me that the distortion on the interior barn walls is a little to strong
    to be coming from a 70mm lens
    Also, the degree of background softness doesn’t jive with my experience with the S2 and 70mm
    I would expect the husband to be more out of focus
    My money is on the D800 and a 35mm. I now await the humiliation of being wrong…again :)

    Charles, if you want I can get a neutrally processed S2 file to you so you can see how a black
    and white conversion works with your way of doing things.
    Generally, like most hi-res digital, I find the results to be a little too clean and ‘slick’
    for my taste. I usually rough up my files with a run through a tri-x or neopan 1600 profile
    using Alien Skin’s Exposure.

  • Hi Charles,

    David wanted me to tell you that these photos are with the gx1. He used the S2 but hasn’t shared the photos from it yet.



    exactly ..dammit i went in to “pro mode” appointment, not much time, and i went in to “get the publishable picture” mode…just exactly what i don’t want to do….

    i could have done many things differently…i did not know how to use like second hand nature either the GX1 nor the Leica S2…i fumbled with both….

    all in all not the way i want to work…but i am just starting…just getting loose…you can never just DO IT….there is a process….you will see it unfold here on this trip i think…

    i have not even looked at my S2 pictures yet…will do it now…will let you know

    cheers, david

  • David and Candy…

    Just wondering if you’re finding the GX1 suffers from more noise in the shadows than the GF1? Personally I’m rather surprised by how noisy my GX1’s sensor is compared to an admittedly full frame Canon 1Ds II camera but it’s very nearly eight years old!!

  • DAH,

    Didn’t think this was an S2 shot. Curious as to why you’ve totally abandoned working with the M9? Maybe you need Leica to send you one as well (I would imagine you still have M lenses)….

    Also, did maybe having an appt with a “name” family make expectations run a little high, esp as your first shoot? I know that when that happens with me it’s usually doesn’t turn out the best. Maybe the parking lot family would have been a better bet…. (sad story).


    Thanks for the offer but don’t really need to know firsthand. I’d hate to be tempted and clean out my savings…. Anyway, the M9 is just the sweet spot for me at the moment, though the next project(s) I have in mind I may bust out the medium format gear again but the expense of film and processing scares me vs just shooting with the M9. But the look, esp when paired with an unlikely subject (like I did with breakdancers) is unbeatable. But yeah, I usually send my digital files through a bit of A.S. Exposure as well, at least before printing.

  • went from the GF1 to the GX1 ended up taking about a 70 odd shots sold it …………a mistake upgrading does not always work

  • Curious Imants
    I had the opposite impression when I upgraded
    Find the files print larger,better and found about a stop or two of hi iso gain
    Supposed to be a GX-2 with improved sensor in a month or so

  • Not the sensor or files just the feel of the system………. then again I have been using the Epson RD1 of late or it could be why I found the GX1 boring.
    Maybe I should get a fuji X100,( so I can get really frustrated) I was offered a Leica M8 cheap as chips in great condition from a friend but I don’t like the things.

  • Pretty much convinced myself to go the other direction and get an RZ, while I can still use one. I can also afford it.

  • Mtomalty…

    Don’t you find the GX1 files just a bit too noisy even at iso 160? I’m surprised about the noise I keep seeing in the shadows, OK it’s easy to fix in Lightroom and I suppose also in camera raw, but I wasn’t expecting in 2012 files with more noise than my 1DS II from iso 50 up to iso 800 which I bought in 2004!! I also agree with Imants the feel of the thing is lacking in charisma – I don’t enjoy using the damn camera…

  • Tom Hyde…

    If that’s a Mamiya RZ you’re talking about, I can wholly recommend the system. Beautifully reliable and well thought out never ever let me down and saved my butt a couple of too many times when my damn 503 Hasselblads as usual broke down.

  • Paul,
    I have to assume the GX1 is noisier than te 1DsMk2 when you consider it’s a sub-$500 camera
    with a sensor the size of your pinkie fingernail :)
    I can’t say that I have ever noticed any distasteful noise unless I’m really mangling an
    underexposed file in post and above 640 it smokes my M9 by 1-2 stops

    Regardless of any of this, if you don’t like the feel of the camera then it’s never going to
    work for you.

    On my new temp site, I put together a GX1 gallery for a friend who was considering the camera
    last week
    First group in portfolio are all gx1 pics as are the pics in NYC gallery
    The first 4 pairs in ‘dark trees’ are combo of GF and GX1. The remainder are 5d3

  • mtomalty …what lens are using with the GX1 ? …… thnks

  • Mark, you really like your colors vivid! Do you have some examples shot with the GX1 with less intense colors?

  • Regarding Imants comment on the Fuji X-100, I bought one a while back and rarely find it frustrating. Apparently, it was a horror show when it first came out, but there have been numerous software updates since that have fixed the problems people complained about when it was first released. If I were in the market for a new small camera, I’d definitely look into the new Fuji with the interchangeable lenses. I’m not in research mode now, so have no idea how current models compare, but when I was buying, the X-100 had significantly better image quality than the Micro 4/3 cameras. Panasonic advantages were incredibly fast focusing speed and smaller size. Seems I care about image quality more than most around here though. The X-100 is good for a small camera, but I find when I shoot a project using both that and a full frame DSLR, I end up using very few, if any, photos from the smaller sensor camera. I’m afraid if I ever used a medium format camera I’d be totally ruined. I’d be willing to give it a try though.

  • Vivek

    Mostly the Panasonic 20 1.7-among the best in the micro 4/3 format
    To a lesser degree I use the Olympus 12mm f2.0 and Olympus 45mm 1.8
    Also,recently picked up the new Olympus 75 1.8 and Voightlander 25mm .95
    Both are excellent but a little too physically large for the camera and sort
    of defeat the compact nature of the camera.

    I do have many less saturated images. Everything shown,in all galleries, are simply placeholders
    as I build the new site.
    Is there something,in particular, that could assist you ?

  • little scrapbook on the last sunny day (last sunday in september)

    photographed with GF1 and 14mm/2.5

  • Mtomalty…

    I enjoyed your portfolio, I think one of my problems I’m using the 14-42 power zoom – came as kit lens. I loath most zooms so I must start looking for a second hand 20mm lens, I won’t be buying it new, as I haven’t seen it anywhere near where I live for less than 400€!!

  • Paul
    Also,as Thomas referenced, the 14mm 2.5 is excellent and even smaller than the 20mm
    and a lot more affordable.

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