About

About Francois Roux

Francois Roux at the top of the Rockefeller Center - Manhattan - New York

 

Francois Roux

Biography

I live and work in New York City. I am a native of Gap, a town in the French Alps.

During my teenage years, my interests were chemistry, ceramics, and photography. I explored processes and formulae in my basement chemistry lab; it also served as my darkroom. Learning about the technical aspects of my creative pursuits led me to the studios of local ceramic artists, winemakers, and other artisans. I subsequently became interested in computer science. I received an advanced degree in computer programming and accounting from Lycee Dominique Villard.

When I was 21, I founded a software development company and developed specialized accounting software for use in beverage companies. I received a technical merit award from Decision Micro. I joined my family's beverage company, Mathias-Roux, initially as Director of Computer Development.

I first visited New York City in 1991 and immediately felt a strong connection with the city. I returned often during the next several years and decided to make Manhattan my home in 1994. For many years I worked in real estate rental. Photography returned in my life around 2001, initially as a hobby. By 2013, I was ready to fully devote myself to a new life behind the lens. The natural evolution of my work and my computer background led me to digital images. My work continues to reflect my technological interest while remaining grounded in nature.

I can frequently be found in Central Park, the City's zoos or on location doing cityscapes!

I am grateful for the encouragement offered by photographers Joe Holmes, Greg Gorman, Jon Ortner, Jeff Schewe, and Bertrand Bodin.

 

Acknowlegements

I would like to thank all the people who supported and inspired me on my photographic journey. I am so grateful for the encouragement.

 

My Equipment (and a little of its history)

Photo of the Canon 1Ds Mark III

In 2001, after a quick introduction to the digital world with a Canon G2, I decided to buy the Canon D60 with the 16-35 lens. My research and learning process provided months of data along with a new excitement.

After using a straight approach with the 16-35L, I discovered the assets of the well-known 70-200L. It was a beautiful lens: sharp, fast, and it had image stabilization.

In early 2003, I was drawn to bird photography and wanted to find a good lens for capturing this rather difficult subject. Without going to the 500 or 600 mm "big guns", I chose the 100-400 L lens. I wasn't disappointed. The 100-400 is sharp, not too heavy, and the IS is effective, even if it works a little bit differently from the 70-200L--though not as stable as I would like.

To add some "reach" to the 100-400L, I decided to get the 1.4x and 2x extender.

Unfolding in front of me with more reach was architectural photography in New York--something that I had wanted to do for some time.

For photographing birds, I began using the Wimberley Sidekick. It is easy to use and set up. It is light and provides extra movement flexibility. In fact, it is so convenient that I sometimes use it to for other work, like vertical multiple exposures for panorama stitching (provided that one makes careful adjustment of the nodal point).

I also use the Gitzo 1348 tripod and an Arca Swiss ball head. I'm very pleased with the combo: stable and not too heavy.

One note for travelers: the tripod without the head is slightly longer than "standard international" carry-on luggage; it doesn't fit completely in it. Some airlines will not accept the tripod, as well.

Three years after my journey into digital photography had begun, after much debate I decided to get one of the most exciting cameras on the market: the Canon 1DS. This "behemoth" impressed me with its quality, resolution, sharpness, and build.

In 2008, I acquired the Canon 1DS Mark III. With it, I was finally able to produce single shot images that I could print at 10 x 16 in. at a native resolution of 360 dpi. Stitching images together allowed me to bring large, panoramic photos life at sizes of 22 x 100 and more!
The new camera also required more attention to details of shooting technique like tripod stability, lens vibration, and subject movement in order to obtain maximum resolution.

 

Epson 7900 with HRD inks

In 2009, in preparation of an exhibit showcasing around 30 of my photographs, I realized another dream of my dreams-- being able to print my own work on a large format printer. Until that time I used smaller desktop versions of Epson printers. When my Epson 7900 finally arrived, I feared it wouldn't fit my building's elevator. Following installation, I began referring to it as the "car in my living room"--or at least, the front end of a small car!

I started the long process of fine-tuning my images and test printing them on diffrent papers. I love the matt finish of Epson Hot Press Bright and Velvet papers, as well as the remarkable finish of Canson Baryta Photographique.

To this day, printing is part of my regular workflow. When I feel a photograph is almost finished editing, I print it, evaluate the look and feel, contrast, and luminosity. I then go back and make adjustments. For me, creating the print the last step of "development".

 

In 2012, I replaced my beloved 70-200L by its new Version II. I noticed a significant improvement in sharpness and contrast.

I also acquired the long-awaited Canon prime 600 IL II. The first time I used this lens, I really understood all of the fuss that had been made about it. The image quality, sharpness, contrast, image stabilization, and reach (also associated with the 1.4x or 2.0x III Extenders) is unparalleled.

 

Sony A7R camera

In the middle of 2014, I added the Sony A7R camera to my bag.

I had read many good reviews about the Sony, but it was not until I got it that I understood how far the new sensor technology has advanced over the last four to five years. The 36 megapixel images captured are extremely detailed (due in part by the lack of AA filter). It provides a "real" option to boost the iso to 1600 without adding too much noise.

With this high level of detail, I'm reminded that I must apply all my known techniques to avoid vibration and apply more accurate depth of field calculation.

My only complaint about this camera is the lack of an electronic first curtain shutter (EFCS). Without it, there are some induced shutter vibrations between 1/20s and 1/80s that can ruin an image. The vibration is often more visible as the focal length increases. Probably Sony will release a new version of the A7R in the future with an EFCS.

I use the Sony with my Canon lenses via a Metabone IV adaptor. It works very well. The thing to be aware of is that the focus operation becomes very slow on most lenses (not too good for bird photography!). Now with a very good quality electronic viewfinder, I can finally focus manually with precision (this was not possible on the Canon 1Ds III).

 

Let's not forget that equipment is one thing, but being in the field and on location, waiting for the right light (and sometimes coming back empty-handed) is the heart of photography. I love this aspect!

 

One-on-One Workshop

Francois Roux Photography Workshop - Photoshop, Lightroom and Printing

One-On-One
Photography Workshop

Want to learn more about photography techniques?

- Lightroom
- Photoshop
- Panoramic (stitching)
- Printing

Join me on a personalized
One-on-One Workshop

My Equipment

Cameras & Lenses
Canon 1Ds Mark III
Sony A7R with Metabone IV
Canon 70-200 F2.8 L
Canon 24-70 F2.8 L
Canon 100-400 F4.5-5.6 L
Canon 600 F4 L II
Extender 1.4x III and 2x III

Printer & Ink
Epson 7900
Ultrachrome HDR Ink

Paper
Canson Baryta Photographique
Epson Luster
Epson Hot Press Bright