The Alpha 1 Stunner

Capturing sharp images of a subject in motion or in front of rich backdrops is the ideal result for many hobbyists and professional photographers alike. Always having the right equipment for the job and being in the right position to snap images that capture incredible moments in time, means striking a delicate balance in the camera bag.

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Sony's Alpha 1 full-frame camera offers artists a stunning representation of that balance for photographers striving for showstopping moments, jaw-dropping action, and conveying captivating emotions.

To appreciate the versatility of the Alpha 1, read about the unique ways that three photographers in South Korea are using the camera with G Master lenses to bring their visions to life.

Ray Kay  
Fashion Photography

©Ray Kay

Ray Kay is a fashion photographer and filmmaker whose photos and videos tell immersive tales that transport viewers into a dreamland. Shooting with the Sony Alpha 1 camera and FE 50mm F1.2 GM G Master premium lens, he created a story around the theme: The Pirate Ship of Tom Sawyer. In this representation, the adventurous boy from the imagination of American author Mark Twain, is recast in a pirate ship constructed to set off on an adventure in a fictional world. As Ray Kay explained, the fairytale vision is intended to reflect how we also live with the duality of our ideals and reality.  

The harmony between the Alpha 1 and FE 50mm F1.2 GM lens made this aesthetic possible and allowed him to portray an infinite world. 

ⓒRay Kay, Alpha 1 l FE 50mm F1.2 GM l F4 l 1/160s l ISO 1000

Ray Kay usually shoots in a variety of locations using the ambient lighting from sites to create the atmosphere, but this shoot was confined to one space. He sought to balance the background blur and resolution and portray a sense of realism - regardless of the type of lighting on the set. The Alpha 1 with the FE 50mm F1.2 GM lens, allowed Ray Kay to achieve deep and soft background blur at the highest resolution creating beautifully mysterious stills.  

ⓒRay Kay, Alpha 1 l FE 50mm F1.2 GM l F1.4 l 1/125s l ISO 100

What was really helpful in this project was Alpha 1’s excellent resolution and depth of field. It provides amazing resolution from the centre of the image to the periphery, even though the aperture is opened as much as possible.

Sony's Real-time Eye AF feature enabled Ray Kay to continuously shoot at 30 times per second with an accurate focus on the model to catch every tiny moment of the dynamic scenes. 

ⓒRay Kay, Alpha 1 l FE 50mm F1.2 GM l F1.2 l 1/125s l ISO 100
ⓒRay Kay, Alpha 1 l FE 50mm F1.2 GM l F1.2 l 1/125s l ISO 100

Ray Kay enjoys using bright aperture lenses, which are good at portraying a subject's emotions. The FE 50mm F1.2 GM lens with a focal length of 40cm allowed him to get take dramatic shots to draw the viewer to the model's communicative eyes and sharp features in each shot. 

ⓒRay Kay, Alpha 1 l FE 50mm F1.2 GM l F1.2 l 1/125s l ISO 100
ⓒRay Kay, Alpha 1 l FE 50mm F1.2 GM l F1.2 l 1/125s l ISO 100

For Ray Kay, the most important considerations when shooting are the ‘Light’ and ‘Dynamic Range (DR)' - or colour palate that captures brilliantly photos. The DR of the Alpha 1 makes it simple to correct the colour contrast of photos and enrich the overall image. 

The camera and lens combination freed Ray Kay and the model in this shoot to capture a variety of vignettes to bring his vision to life.  

In Flight 
JungRae Cho 
Bird Photography 

ⓒJungRae Cho

As a bird photographer, JungRae Cho likes to introduce viewers to the many varieties of majestic birds in nature. While exploring the Cheongdocheon River and the top of a mountain near Daegu, he brought the Sony Alpha 1 and FE 600mm F4 GM OSS lens along to photograph the birds of those areas.  
JungRae Cho captured close-up pictures of colourful mandarin ducks, and waterfowl from a bird camouflage tent and white-tailed eagles or large winter raptors at the waterfront. In the mountains, he also snapped images of the small, migratory birds that spend their winter there such as long-tailed rosefinch, common bullfinch, and Japanese waxwing. 

ⓒJungRae Cho, Alpha 1 l FE 600mm F4 GM OSS | ISO 100
ⓒJungRae Cho, Alpha 1 l FE 600mm F4 GM OSS | ISO 320
ⓒJungRae Cho, Alpha 1 l FE 600mm F4 GM OSS | ISO 800

The feathers of these birds have beautiful colours and patterns, which JungRae Cho believes the Alpha 1 depicts well and captures the moments other cameras may have missed before. When capturing images of short-eared owls after sunset, the Alpha 1 's stable autofocus allowed him to track it and get continuous, precise shots of its motion through the sky.  

I like the Sony Alpha 1 because it delicately expresses these beautiful colors.

ⓒJungRae Cho, Alpha 1 l FE 600mm F4 GM OSS | ISO 200

JungRae Cho explained how difficult it is to take photos of birds approaching because you hear the birds before you can see them. It's for this reason that many bird photographers use Bluetooth speakers to draw the birds from their nests. Sony's Real-time Eye AF feature recognizes and tracks a bird's eyes, and the FE 600mm F4 GM OSS lens has two XD linear motors that give him the confidence to capture these moments. 

When selecting a single image out of many shots, JungRae Cho typically looks for photos that convey a strong sense of nature's vitality.

ⓒJungRae Cho, Alpha 1 l FE 600mm F4 GM OSS | ISO 400

JungRae Cho believes that as cameras and lenses evolve, mirrorless cameras will be the future of bird photography because of how well it can capture those split-second moments. 

For JungRae Cho, having a lens that can completely depict high resolution situations is extremely important. The development of the 600mm F4 GM OSS lens - a light 600mm long telephoto single lens in the low 3kg range - was game changing. 

Enhanced Naturalism  
Cheolhee Song 
Portrait Photography 

©Cheolhee Song

Cheolhee Song produces commercial and art photographs, and also offers photo training to aspiring artists. For him, the Alpha 1 camera and FE 35mm F1.4 GM lens are well suited partners to get fantastic results in just about any situation. Cheolhee Song has used Sony lenses for over seven years, and has always sought the brightest, light single lenses.  

He describes himself as a photographer who works on images that can comfort people while retaining his identify. Cheolhee Song mostly uses the 35mm angle to capture images that calmly convey his subjects and the background in harmonious balance and has gravitated toward the FE 35mm F1.4 GM lens because it is small, lightweight and delivers outstanding image quality in just about any situation. He chose this combination for a recent shoot on Jeju Island because of the unparalleled resolution and speed he could achieve in low-light situations.  

ⓒCheolhee Song, Alpha 1 l FE 35mm F1.4 GM | ISO 250

Cheolhee Song sought to capture natural photos of his subjects against striking scenes. One place he really enjoyed shooting was Gwakji Beach, which he found to be a comforting place. Even on cloudy days the colour of the sea appeared beautiful to him. Cheolhee Song explained that photos he took before dawn with only the moon lighting the sky or in the rain still had amazing results with the Sony Alpha 1 and FE 35mm F1.4 GM lens combination.  

I can make my story into a work of art in any situation because the FE 35mm F1.4 GM lens is small and light and has good image quality.

ⓒCheolhee Song, Alpha 1 l FE 35mm F1.4 GM | ISO 100
ⓒCheolhee Song, Alpha 1 l FE 35mm F1.4 GM | ISO 640
ⓒCheolhee Song, Alpha 1 l FE 35mm F1.4 GM | ISO 125

When Cheolhee Song takes pictures of scenery, he strives to give meaning to it and show viewers what he finds beautiful about the scene rather than showing a lot with a wide angle. He says that the Alpha 1 is a satisfying camera for a photographer like him because of its ability to handle a variety of scenes with high-quality results and fewer edits and manipulation.

ⓒCheolhee Song, Alpha 1 l FE 35mm F1.4 GM | ISO 100
ⓒCheolhee Song, Alpha 1 l FE 35mm F1.4 GM | ISO 100
ⓒCheolhee Song, Alpha 1 l FE 35mm F1.4 GM | ISO 3200

To Cheolhee Song, photographers who often take pictures in low-light environments have more possibilities than they could have imagined with advanced camera and lens technology. He explained that when taking pictures of people moving in the dark, the only ways to get a good shot previously were to use a strobe or tripod, or to reduce noise in the shot. The Alpha 1 camera has freed photographers from that inconvenience.  

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