Archive for category Cigar Industry In Focus

Thor Nielsen of Cigar Press

This week we continue with the ‘Cigar Industry In Focus‘ series and placing Thor Nielsen in focus.

The man requires very little introduction. If you follow premium cigar industry you will recognize his name as the owner of the Cigar Press magazine pushing the envelope to stay fresh and unique. The magazine screams art and out of the box presentation. David Nielsen’s (Thor’s father) drawings should not be missed. Ad’s are relevant and within reach for the average Joe.

Excerpt from the Cigar Press website:

Cigar Press premiered in June of 2007. It was founded in Los Angeles, California by Thor Nielsen, who currently lives in and produces Cigar Press out of Miami, FL. It can be found in cigar shops around the United States in all 50 states as well as other countries and cities such as Canada, New Zealand, Amsterdam, Great Britain, Brazil, Hong Kong, among others.

Cigar Press is undoubtedly a fresh approach to cigar-related print media. Everything from content to design is unique and approached with innovative style …

Cigar Press Magazine is the new voice for cigar related print media in the industry. While we appreciate the traditional aspect of the cigar industry, we are not always traditional in our own approach or style …

Cigar Press aims to provide unparalleled quality and truth in its photography, cigar tasting reviews journalistic, and artistic integrity. We dive into the cultural aspect of the countries and people who are involved in the cigar business. Each issue of Cigar Press is focused from beginning to end while being visually bold and daring … Each issue can feature interviews, factory tours, cartoons, products, cigar art, and other cigar-related subjects that the reader finds useful and entertaining … Beer and brewery tours can be found in most issues as well as travel features, events, cigar scene coverage and much more. We are innovative in design and style. Our mission is to educate our readers by engaging them in content while visually stimulating them.

Thor and I attended the Cigar Safari in Esteli, Nicaragua back in 2012. While touring Drew Estate’s factory, we had a pleasure of sampling freshly rolled ‘naked’ Feral Flying Pigs. As one would expect from the Drew Estate product, the sample produced so much smoke, it covered half of Thor’s face & upper body. The stage was right, the object was ready, photo props (cigar, black glasses, rock-style ring) were in the right place. Two frames later, I pulled of this dreamy-looking portrait which exposed only half of Thor’s face and glasses but covered the rest with a cloud of thick and “curly” smoke. Mysterious finish, just like the man himself.

Nikon D3 + 14-24mm f/2.8 (1/90sec / f/4.0 / 24mm)

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Jonathan Drew of Drew Estate

It has been a while sinceCigar Industry In Focusseries had an update so I decided to dig through Lightroom catalogs for the right contender. This week we are placing Jonathan Drew of Drew Estate in focus.

Jonathan Drew (stage name – JD) requires very little introduction, if any. In fact, if you don’t know who JD is, you probably have been living under the rock for the last few good years OR you have chosen to ignore today’s Mecca of the cigar industry – Nicaragua. Why did I mention Nicaragua ? Well, if you had a chance to meet Jonathan in person or have read some of his social-media posts, you know that the man lives and breathes Nicaragua. There is that much passion ! In May of 2012, I had the pleasure of visiting La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate and the amount of knowledge, information, tips, tricks and passion that was pouring out of Jonathan’s mouth throughout the trip, was simply mind blowing. If you know Jonathan, you know that he can make your ears “bleed.” I call him the ‘Tobacco Poet.’ Just when you think you know a little bit about cigars and the industry, trust me, you don’t know much. Jonathan Drew and others are uber-cigar-geeks and they will hypnotize you with the cigar knowledge.

Another objective while in Nicaragua was to photograph Jonathan Drew to further contribute to myCigar Industry In Focusproject. When I think of Jonathan, I think of two things: tobacco and Nicaragua so I wanted to include these two ‘props’ while I was making the photograph. While my previous ‘Cigar Industry In Focusentries were somehow staged, below photographs were made ‘gorilla’ style: quick movement, rapid in & out bursts, strategically placed focal point, use of negative space, rule of thirds, etc. I was pleased with the outcome. In fact, very pleased with the color version below. If you stare long enough at the leaf, you will find it “pulsating” and/or looking as if it had a 3D finish. 

Please consider the following post:
* Cigar Safari
* Liga Privada Lounge
* Liga Privada Unico Serie ‘L40′
* Liga Privada Unico Serie ‘Feral Flying Pig’
* Liga Privada No9 ‘Flying Pig’
* Liga Privada T52 ‘Flying Pig’

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Bryan Scholle of Studio Tobac

This week we are placing Bryan Scholle of Studio Tobac in focus.

This photoshoot was executed back in 2011 in Montclair, NJ during 2011 Studio Tobac Tour. I have contact Bryan via Twitter and asked if he would be interested in few simple, without studio lights, camera clicks. We were both game ! The Studio Tobac Tour is about Bryan Scholle and The Car (2011 – Special Edition 2011 Touring Corvette Convertible), like Michael Knight and the K.I.T.T. Despite limited parking and working space (* I was literally crouching on the 2-way busy street), we got few good frames worthy Bryan’s wall. The highlight of the photoshoot had to be the ‘flipping bird’ LOL ! Imagine: North Jersey attitude, jealousy, sick Corvette, two young cats (Bryan and I) posing in front of the car, Dave Wagner (Oliva’s VP of Sales) standing in the middle of the street with an iPhone taking pictures … it only made sense to ‘Flip a Bird’ toward our way, right ? Yep … it happened. We laughed it off and continued smoking Studio Tobac’s latest releases.

2012 Studio Tobac Tour is now in full swing. Check Studio Tobac’s website for latest updates.

Bryan “The Show” Scholle – Bryan has been enjoying fine cigars since 2006, which started as an occasional hobby but quickly formed into a very strong passion. Bryan started with Oliva family in February 2010 as an account executive covering the West Florida Territory. Bryan started his sales career for Coca-cola following in his grandfathers footsteps. He was inducted into the Top Performers Club in 2004 for being Salesman of the year for Florida. Then in 2008 Bryan followed his passion and went to work for a Tampa based cigar shop named Tampa Humidor, which also is 1 of 2 Oliva Lounges in the USA. Bryan’s passion and knowledge for cigars grew during his years that he worked there. Bryan grew up with a very supportive family and group of friends that always told him to “aim for the stars…” , with this support he has been able to accomplish many great things in his short life. Bryan is very excited to be named Studio Ambassador for Studio Tobac, and can’t wait to get out on the open road and to a tobacconist near you very soon. – Studio Tobac website


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Andre Farkas of Viaje

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Cigar Industry In Focus‘ series is back and in full swing. This week we are placing Andre Farkas of Viaje in focus.

This past friday I have attended an event at the Cigar Republic (NY) store – a retail face of the Atlantic Cigar Company. In attendance was Andre Farkas of Viaje and Paul Palmer of Casa Fernandez. The event was scheduled for the release of Viaje Exclusivo Lancero to recognize Atlantic Cigar Company’s 15th Anniversary.

I have never met Andre in person so this was a perfect opportunity to contribute towards ‘Cigar Industry In Focus‘ series. After brief introduction and random conversation, I have asked Andre for 5minutes of his time to execute a rapid photoshoot. Total darkness, 40° F, creepy corner, metal stairs – couldn’t ask for better studio! Andre expressed interest in photography as well so after brief photo chit-chat, we went to work. I always get the kick out of those cigar-puffing sessions. Even folks in the industry have a limit on how many times they can pull on the cigar to create that perfect, per photographer’s vision, cloud of smoke.

The vision – very simplistic setup to highlight facial expression and concentration, the act of lighting the cigar … and Andre’s signature – thick-frame glasses. Manual mode, high ISO (3200), quick adjustment to the focus point, external LED light, 10 frames … finito !

Please consider the following posts:
* Viaje Oro Reserva VOR No5
* Viaje Exclusivo Shorts
* Viaje Platino Reserva DT

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Pete Johnson of Tatuaje

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Cigar Industry In Focusseries is back and in full swing. This week we are placing Pete Johnson of Tatuaje in focus.

About a month ago I drove down to Holt’s Cigar Company in Philadelphia to hang out with fellow cigar aficionados, talk cigars, smoke cigars, and breath cigars. I knew that Pete was stopping by as well so I grabbed my trusty Nikon, couple lenses, flashes and took T-Pike South to famous Philly. There is definitely a lot of Tatuaje followers out there so getting that 15min to pull a quick photoshoot came with patience. Holt’s itself was packed so the only option was outdoor / busy Walnut Street “studio.” Pete had no objections and moved like a ‘seasoned model’ in front of the camera. After few up-close, side, from-the-back frames, we were all done and working through the rest of Tatuaje stogies.

In reference to Pete / Tatuaje, we were busy chatting about released products, upcoming prototypes, Saints & Sinners project so no official interview. Having said that, I read an interview that Pete did with Cigar Press Magazine back in 2007 that folks should re-visit.

Please consider the following post:

* Tatuaje ‘Anarchy’
* Tatuaje ‘M80’
* Tatuaje ‘The Face’
* Tatuaje Black Petite Lancero
* Tatuaje Federal 90th Anniversary

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