The Rig
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The Rig: Jorge Ledesma

Who are you and what’s your profession I’m Jorge Ledesma and this is my blog. I’m a dentist by profession and photographer by passion. I live in Coral Gables, Florida but I’m originaly from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic the land of great baseball players. I started my photography journey back in 1994 with college courses including:

  • The History of Photography
  • Black and White Photography Processing I & II

During that time, I had a wonderful professor and I was very lucky to train under Bill McGuire who attended the famed Institute of Design in Chicago and was taught by the illustrious Gary Winogrand. So its no surprise that our classes had a great infusion of the Winogrand philosophies which made those classes ever so interesting.
What’s your rig?

I currently shoot with Fujifilm X-Series cameras: the X100S and the X-Pro 1 as I believe they offer the right mix between image quality, portability, and the “ninja factor”. Prior to this I shot with the X-E1 and X100 LE as well but I always had a soft spot for the X-Pro 1. After I acquired the X-Pro 1 I wanted parity between my files so I ended upgrading to the X100S, best one two punch in my opinion currently with X-Series cameras as they both have the hybrid OVF/EVF which I use both extensively. In strobist department, I have a few Nikon strobes and a Yongnuo 560 (from my early days) as well when the lights go down that work just great. In reality, more often than not, I only use one speed light. As far as modifiers, I use the wonderful products from Expolimaging ― the Rogue Master Lighting Kit which are like an swiss army knives and of course a couple of great prodcuts made by Honl ― the Photo traveller8 Softbox and the Photo Speed Grid. When I need a softbox, I use the Apollo 28 modified with two custom made zippers on the sides I had a tailor put in so I can access the flash from either side. I really hated having to unvelcro the white panel for power adjustments. For my light stands and adapters I only use Manfrotto products, by once and never again, they are durable and extemely reliable. Here’s a power tip get a couple of Manfrotto 175 Spring Clamps, these are super handy on the studio and on the field. When I need a tripod I use the Culman Magic II it simply works for me, its small and it fits in my medium size bag the Urban Disguise 35v2.0 perfectly, and as a bonus, it also lays out flat on my Airport Airstream when I need to travel. I also have a Billinghman Hadley Small which is absolutely wonderful alongside a Zkin Mothman when I need to go ultra light and yes it does fit the X-Pro 1 with the XF 35mm 1.4R and the X100S without issues one at a time. For my camera straps, I own a few of them: the DSPTCH sling, the Black Label Racing Strap, and the awesome Russet Shooter Camera Strap made by hand by Cub & Co by Joel Chavez. If you want an incredible strap, then look no further, the Cub & Co products are nothing short of pure awesomeness. My X-Pro 1 has one permanently attached.


What hardware do you use?


I use a 2013 13′ Mac Book Air and an iMac from 2010 but these days the iMac doesn’t see much action. The Mac Book Air is really my daily driver for all things photography and more. Attached to the right usb port on the Air is a Satechi premium 4 port aluminum usb hub and attached to the Satechi are two My Passport 1TB Portable external hard drive which back up my photographs and another 500gb Passport drive that runs my Time Machine backups. Sometime this year I’ll add a 27-inch Thunderbolt Apple Cinema display.   What software do you use? These days I Photomechanic 5 to cull down my images alongside a healthy dose of Lightroom 5 and Aperture 3. Although, as of late, I’ve been diving into the latter mostly but I admit I’m quicker in Lightroom so I guess my muscle memory has quite caught in Aperture. I really need to make a commitment to one and just stick to it. I also use Pixelmator and a Photoshop CS5 when I need to make some further adjustments. I’m currently developing my monochrome conversion in Photoshop via some custom made actions and its working out nicely. Recently, I started using Irridient to develop my RAW files and the results are simply outstanding. Irridient is one of the reason I may commit to Lightroom 5 as I’m using a plugin that lets me open RAW files directly and I haven’t quite yet figure out a way to use it alongside Aperture.


What would be your dream rig?

I don’t really know, I’m happy where I am right now and I like what I have but I’m always looking ahead. I have a soft spot for Canon dslrs and I guess the 5D Mark III would be in my list of full frame cameras to acquire. Perhaps an X-Pro 2 that acts more like a dslr as far as autofocus and ease of handling would be nice.


What’s your favorite photography quote?

For me, photography is not a means by which to create beautiful art, but a unique way of encountering genuine reality — Daido Moriyama


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