Sylvere Azoulai
Leaf Aptus-II 12R

"My Leaf Aptus-II 12R is a perfect match for my style of work. It is all about precision, versatility, creatively-oriented and high-end quality, the exact set of characteristics that I deliver to my clients on a daily basis!"

Sylvere Azoulai

Sylvere Azoulai is a New York City based photographer who specializes in still life photography for advertising. He decided to become a professional photographer nearly 15 years ago, after having tried his hand as a physical therapist. Sylvere counts within his impressive client roster global giants like Chanel, Bloomingdales, Chivas, Martini, Italian Vogue, Belvedere Vodka, and Estee Lauder amongst many other big name brands.

Sylvere’s advertorial work demands high levels of creativity and constant innovation to ensure that his subjects – no matter how tiresome they may be – grab and hold the attention. To achieve his stunning images, Sylvere often finds himself shooting from extremely unorthodox angles and employing a diverse range of swings and tilts. It was this desire for range and diversity that convinced Sylvere to purchase the rotating “R” version of the Leaf Aptus-II 12R, the version that changes from landscape to portrait orientation with a simple turn of the dial. “Not only did the Leaf Aptus-II 12 offer 80 million pixels, but the new rotation dial was something that I’d been dreaming about for sooo long! In two words – convenient and smart”.

The “R” series is available on the Leaf Aptus-II 10 and Leaf Aptus-II 12. This series offers photographers the ability to easily change orientation to suit the needs of each particular shot. Instead of turning the camera on its side to switch from landscape to portrait orientation, Leaf Aptus-II 10R and Leaf Aptus-II 12R users can simply turn a dial which rotates the sensor inside the digital back. This revolutionary feature allows photographers to use either a waist level or a prism viewfinder with ease, as neither viewfinder would be viewable while the camera is tilted on its side.

Sylvere’s first professional works were shot with a Sinar 4x5. His brief flirtation with an 8x10 ended with the purchase of his first Leaf digital back – the Leaf Valeo 22, which he used on his Sinar 4x5. He was initially inclined towards the Leaf back because of its versatility in that it could work with a number of different camera platforms. “I’ve loved Leaf since the beginning because of its versatility, its ability to easily move from the Sinar camera to Hasselblad 503. I acquired 33MP Aptus 75 as soon as it came out and was immediately satisfied with the level of detail in its captures! Eventually I began shooting with the Hasselblad more and more because I had the feeling that the Hassleblad’s medium format lenses had a better “understanding” with the Leaf back, at least compared to my 4x5 captures.”

Sylvere began shooting digitally more as a reaction to customer demand than anything else. “The pressure from clients who wanted to save money on film, Polaroid, processing – especially when shooting with an 8x10 – and the time constraints is what motivated my move to digital. It was difficult to resist this new era of “instant gratification”! I chose Leaf as my digital back because of the way it is built, it offered me the nicest transition with my Sinar camera, and had a much better “grain” than the competitors at 50 ISO. Low speed and depth in every channel is very important in my work.”

Although Sylvere was quite satisfied with his Leaf Aptus 75, he recently upgraded to a Leaf Aptus-II 12R. He had been considering purchasing a new Leaf back for some time, and in the end the unbelievable resolution provided by 80MP convinced him to take the plunge. “Going from 33MP to 80MP was a real decision factor, and I wanted to make the jump into higher resolution. Clients are always requesting bigger and bigger files for very large outdoor usage like bill boards… Better to enhance a final file size from a very good, large original file. The trust I have in Leaf was also a decisive factor in my decision. What I most love about my Leaf Aptus-II 12R is the resolution, the internal rotating sensor and the overall color dynamic and precision.”

One of the reasons behind Sylvere’s extraordinary success is his reputation as a highly creative, precise photographer who gets the job done. “My Leaf Aptus-II 12R is a perfect match for my style of work. It is all about precision, versatility, creatively-oriented and high-end quality. This is the exact set of characteristics that I deliver to my clients on a daily basis!”

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