Thursday, June 2, 2011

Long Time No See

Long time no see.  Apparently teaching art is incredibly draining of one's need to be an artist.

Not going to talk a lot, just going to post a few images.

In the vein of what's old is new again, in a bored fit one afternoon, I decided to attack this set of images. It was a fun second set with peacock girl (see back a few posts). Used a few newer techniques and styles i've become fond of the last while. Just one for now, it's late and it turns out I didn't create websize versions of them.

Now, onward and upward. One sample from the latest toy in the arsenal. I've recently had the opportunity to acquire a Leaf Aptus 22 to fit my Mamiya 645afd. I've decided that at this unique moment in my financial history, I am going to entertain the thought of moving up formats to a truly professional camera designed for the people-oriented photography I do. It's got a sensor twice the size of full-frame 35mm digital and creates 16bit file (more colors/values = awesome!). The downside to this system is that the camera body it attaches to is not anywhere near as capable as nikon's professional cameras. The autofocus doesn't work well in low light, the ergonomics are somewhat lacking, and its just a slower, less intuitive machine. Also, the sensor of the digital back is quite noisy (although festooned with ridiculous amounts of detail) at ISO 400, whereas the nikons don't get to festoonment until about ISO 3200 (though at that point they do obliterate detail).  Without further ado...a first nice image, with missed focus, but nice tonality, and a very sharp goatee...and a color treatment that might as well make this a Transformers movie. I like the expression. I think the image has a nice feel to it, despite its technical shortcomings.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Redux A-Go-Go!

In lieu of posting work I'm still waiting to hear about, and in lieu of shooting more, I've used the ol' WABAC machine and looked to the archives for unpolished gems. A technical note...I've switched to a more square format image, basically 11x14 aka 8.5x11 aka the aspect ratio of magazines and portfolios.

This will be a relatively unwordy post, with a couple photos. Short and to the point.

You may have forgotten the drill, since it's been so long...but click on the photo for a larger view.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Update 11/13/10

Hello my darling readers.

I know, I have been gone a LONG time...a long ass time, even.

Life has been busy, what with the proper day job and all.

Despite that, I have still done 2 shoots. Both with potential for publishing.

Shoot the first: for Vanity Magazine, a webzine based in the UK. Normally I would look people in the eye (as much as one can on the internet), and say "Oh Heeeeeeeeell Nah" if they asked me to do a calendar for free (well...for TF, technically)...but as fate had it, I was already planning to work with the model who was in contact with the magizine editor. So we shot. It was an alright shoot...we managed to get some good images out of it...which will appear here sometime soonish...and I'll scan and publish the tear, whenever I get the promised copy of the calendar.

Shoot the second: for (possibly) 944 magazine. This was with Matt, who I've worked with'll remember him s the impossibly thin model with the feathers on his neck, and the multicolor circles around the eyes, makeup artist extraordinaire Ellen Wilkins (who, as I say every time I mention her, I adore) was back on board, and also joining us was a wardrobe stylist who runs a vintage clothing shop here in town. We had AMAZING wardrobe, ideas galore, and everything went exceptionally smoothly. I think this is some of my best work to date, and I can't wait to put it up here. As soon as I know if it's going to run in 944 or not, I'll figure out when it can go up (if it's not gonna run: soon; if it is gonna run: at some point after it hits shelves...and i'll probably scan and upload the tears as well)

So, there you have it. Updates.

Sometime, hopefully soon, we'll get back to less talk and more rock.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Melissa Meets Hard Light or Testing the Retro Reflector and Poor Man's Hardbox

Today we have photos again, I know it's been a while. June was a busy month shoot-wise. Four shoots plus a wedding, has left me swamped enough until right now, that I didn't realize until the other day that I didn't shoot anything in the period spanning June 19th until whenever my next shoot ends up being. Scary.

Anywho. This shoot was a test for a future project, seeing how we worked together, etc, and also trying out some new stuff. First up was the Paul C. Buff Retro Laser Reflector, followed by an attempt to mimic the outrageously expensive Profoto Hardbox, which involved wrapping the light with cinefoil (essentially matte black aluminum foil specifically created for this purpose so it doesn't catch fire and such).

The retro-reflector is something of a long-distance use item (it concentrates and sends light over long distance in a narrow beam), but I wanted to see what I could do with it up close. As it turns out, it's pretty close to a gridded beauty dish, but I think there's a certain specularity and contrast that differentiates it. Shadows are a little deeper, and highlights a little shinier.

The "poor man's hardbox" with the cinefoil seeks to emulate what is essentially a $900 black box that fits on your lights. Not even a terribly sophisticated black box...but apparently sophisticated enough to warrant people buying them.  The aim is to mimic the sharp-edged shadows cast by the sun.  Using cinefoil to cover the light and make the source as small as possible, this got pretty close on this attempt, and I think with some monkeying around, I can get things pretty much indistinguishable.

Anyway, without much further ado, photos. As always, click for a bigger view. First is a set with the retro reflector, with a bit of a faded look is a melange of other row is retro reflector, the crazy colored one is with a beauty dish, the one above that is ambient light, and the series of four left of those are with the "hardbox".

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Zay of Arabia, in Technicolor

This is the completed series of model Zay Vassar, who was traveling through Vegas on vacation.

You will recall this was the shoot where I threw out my back the first time.

To recap, theme for this was somewhere between Lawrence of Arabia and Bear Grylls...i.e., surviving in the middle of nowhere in a crazy Technicolor experiment.

Setup was super simple, and basically involved an AB1600 + Beauty Dish plugged into the ol' Vagabond II. Full power, ~12-14ft, f/13, 1/250. Gave a nice balance between the bright sky and background of midday Vegas in summer...a little dodge and burn completed the key shift.

Apart from the near death of my spine, and walking farther than I thought up hill with tons of gear, the shoot went well, and he was a hoot.

Without further ado, les pictures (as always, click for a larger view):

Thursday, July 15, 2010


This shoot is filed under "well shit, *insert creative team member* didn't show up...let's shoot anyway?".

There was supposed to be a makeup artist...something went awry...and then there wasn't a makeup artist.  So we made the best of what we had to work with, and I think we did a damn fine job.

Poor, poor, poor Kyle has the *cough* misfortune of looking pretty similar to a certain very famous obviously we stayed far far away from that realm of concepts. Kept things pretty simple, tried out some new stuff on the hardware and software fronts.

Everything except the white jacket shots were done with a beauty dish...those were with a ring flash...the ring flash was used for fill on some of the shots, but at this point, nigh on 2am, I don't remember which, or if any of those are presented here in the final set of images.

Anyway, in the spirit of "less talk, more rock", images (as always, click for a larger view)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Walk On The Wild Side

Today's model is Stefania, makeup artist Leila, and our concept is "zebra". Good times. Gonna go short on the verbiage for this post. It was lovely working with Stefania for the first time, girl knows how to pose it up. And it was a lovely reunion with Leila after approximately 1,000,000 years since we last worked together.

Without further ado, pictures (as always, click for a larger view):

Friday, June 11, 2010

Monique - Who Needs Color?

You'll recognize Monque from a little while back from the post "An Experiment".  The experiment is still in the works, and will be re-posted soonish, with a few tweaks and such. And I'll go through what the experiment was, my processes, results, and other sundry thoughts.

For now, we have the rest of the set. You shoot a peacock in color, right? Meh. I say MEH to you! As we were shooting, something (probably the hard light source) told me this would end up black and white. And as I imported to the computer, my suspicions were confirmed. Fiddling with black and white conversion, it eventually clicked in a way that color just wouldn't with this set.

We did a second concept, but since it was quite silly, I've given Monqiue the option to approve the images for public consumption. Hopefully they'll show up on the blog some time next week.

Without further ado, Monique, the monochrome for a larger view, as always:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Model, A Desert, and a Very Small Mountain or AY MY BACK!

I had one of those "for the sake of the art" moments today.  While shooting out in the desert, in the heat, with a tolerant and amusing model, I bent over to pick something up...a sync cord...or a water bottle...something...and my back went crunch. And then we shot for another 25 minutes or so.

It was a good time. Concept was somewhere in the land of Bear Grylls meets Lawrence of Arabia meets normal guy.

In my crippled and invalid state this afternoon, I decided to fiddle around with an image from the shoot...shits and giggles, as it were.

It's a little bit technicolor, a little fashion editorial, a little blah blah blah.

Without further ado, the usual, click for a larger view.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Editorial Series no. 1?

Editorial is such a fluid term. In the vaguest explanation I can possibly think of, it means there's a story of some sort going on in a series of images.

I've been working on technique and concept, but not as much editorial, even though editorial is really where I want to end up.

This series is what I would consider an editorial, a simple one, given it's a studio series involving a model and shoes.  But there is progression, there are inferences to be made, yada yada yada.

I won't talk too much, let I lapse into "art student" territory. Which nobody wants, except for professors and art folks. But this isn't an art blog.  This is a photo blog.

I've also chosen to go with a sort of "glazed" look for this series. Why? It felt right.

As always, click for a larger view.