Thursday, December 20, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
I was doing some more testing with an agency. I always shoot the normal stuff casual,business etc. I had some extra time with Phil so I dragged him to the water plant. I've had this idea of a businessman throwing paper at the plant for awhile and he kinda looks like the guy from Prison Break. This is probably in my top 10 favorite shots I've ever done. Next time I'm thinking of bringing a desk and chair. AB 800ws with small umbrella camera left and AB400ws as a backlight with reflector.
Friday, December 7, 2007
So my early Christmas present arrived by UPS the other day, a Tronix Explorer 1200ws pure sine wave inverter. I've used the old school Vagabond for years but couldn't use my other strobe outfits with it. The Tronix Explorer 1200ws seemed to be the answer.I did some quick studio test, not real world shooting,here are my results.This is right out of the box with no charging.
Profoto Acute 600E - worked fine with an Acute E head,but when I tried it with a Acute 2 head, the head makes a almost
grinding sound before it come up to power. Seemed to recycle slow even at low power.
Profoto Acute2R 1200 - Same as above with the different heads. My pack wasn't firing with my pocket wizards and even with
the sync-cord to camera wasn't firing... I tried a new sync-cord and same thing..... I plugged the pack
into a wall outlet and it worked fine both ways ? I then plugged it back into the Tronix Explorer 1200
and it fired with the pocket wizards. I have to be honest and say that the built in PW in the Acute
1200R pack has never worked right from day 1 and I always use an external PW with the pack. But
remember it still won't fire being hard wired with a sync-cord.
Both Acute Packs - They both fired, same issue with the grinding sound of the Acute 2 head and the sync issue with the 1200.
Speedotron 2403B- Worked fine, seemed like the fan in the head kept turning off and on.
Speedotron 2403 - Worked fine, seemed like the fan in the head kept turning off and on.
Speedotron 1201A - This was the fastest recycle time of any pack, same thing with the fan coming on and off
Speedotron 2401A - Didn't work at all, when everything was shut off you could still hear the pack cycling through a charge ?
I'll have to do some more test with multiple heads and try it out on a real shoot to get a better feel for it.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
I was somewhere outside Winston-Salem at Horne Creek Farm, shooting some images for Our State Magazine. Guess what an old farm house built in the late 1800's has no electricity. It was cold that night and they forgot to open the dampers in the chimneys, lots of smoke. My jacket still smells like a campfire. The staff and people were great. Most shots were just one light,very small rooms in the house. The outdoor images were SB-800 with AB 800ws on the house fired PW's.
Today is the first day I haven't been on the road in awhile. Lots of file editing to do. I ordered a bunch of X-mas gifts the other day from Archie Mcphee http://www.mcphee.com/. If you haven't shopped their before check it out. I came across a tub of businessmen and had to get them for myself. I put them on a white formica sweep and just used the overhead floursent lights in the studio.
I was hanging out in Hillsborough the other day with author Lee Smith. Funny she's with algonquin books whom I do some work with. She has a lovely historic home and we shot upstairs in her office. Profoto small and big umbrella. We shot afew images in her backyard some light snow. Had to breakout the lensebaby.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
I had an editorial assignment for an article about a home and garden to be published in March. The only problem is it's December and there is noting in bloom and everything is covered in leaves. I shot alot of detail shots around the home and the owners are going to provide some images of the garden from the summer.
Up in Ayden NC to do some shots of Anne Grimes The Dumpling Lady. She was in the process of moving so we shot the images in her new home that was under construction. Lots of dust from the sanding of the floors. I'm still not sure exactly what a dumpling is. Soft-box for front light and back light small umbrella.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
I happen to catch Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography the other night and there was an interview with Gordon Willis the cinematographer for the Godfather series. He talked about his use of overhead lighting on the movie. He kept shadows in Marlon Brandos eyes to add mystery and drama to the scenes. I photographed a standard headshot for a corporate business and Mark also need a separate headshot for his book jacket as a horror mystery writer. I thought I'd try the overhead lighting and some other stuff. 30 degree grid on C-stand pointing down and a 20 degree grid on a thunder gray seamless background.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
It was one of those long grinding days in the studio 7AM till 6PM, never set foot outside, people tell me it was a beautiful day.
Some shots for Vincent Shoes for a Hanna Andersson catalog and insert. Not sure who Hanna Anderson is but the wife went crazy, so it must be cool stuff. Lots of hot glue and armature wire for rigging, trying to give the shoes a playful look. The studio is a disaster zone and I don't have the energy to clean today.
Friday, November 16, 2007
So after my 4 AM wake up call and hiking through the woods, I had a shoot at Duke for the ACR. I had taken a change of shoes but not pants and after hiking through the wetlands ( who knew we had wetlands in the middle of NC ) my pants looked like some sorta army camouflage. WOW a pencil sketch for a layout, you don't see that much these days. The room was really tiny not much space to move or light. Soft-box and 20 degree grid camera left, small profoto umbrella camera right and a light on back wall.
Up at 4 AM to head out to a new planned community Briar Chapel in Chatham County. This will be almost 3000 homes,condo's and shops. They are taking great steps in the preservation of the land, it's greater than the County or state calls for with the buffers. These shots are documenting some landmarks and trying to capture the feel of the surroundings.
My last day documenting Maria Dubin www.mariadubin.com at Novozymes. This is what it's all about the finished paintings. They looked really great hanging on the walls with all the empty space around them. It was tough to get a good image of the finished work. I couldn't get straight on on one painting and the other noway to get the light at a 45 degree angle. Thank you Photoshop. Maria's next Novozymes painting will be in Brazil, maybe they'll send me down to cover her again from start to finish.
Copy Work and Stuff- I'm going to show my age here. I worked in Vegas for 5 years, 3 of those years I worked with Bob Pace, a Master of Dye transfer,retouching and copy work. We shot alot of copy work in the studio 4x5 and 8x10 chrome, we did alot of work for Leroy Neiman. The best way was to polarize your light source and camera lense and have your lights at a 45 degree angle. Stop the camera down to @ f/32 go dark in the studio and pop the strobes @ 10 time. As I said Bob was a Master of retouching, this was in the days before Photoshop and SciTec was new. This was all done with 8x10 pin registration and litho's form highlight and contast masking. I work with a Tom Kelly original chrome of Marilyn Monroe (the nude on red), I might have afew dupes of my own lying around the house.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Found out late Friday, my quote for the vending machine shoot was to high, and I even came down in price. A blessing in disguise. The rental/delivery/food stylist/assistant/fruit props were close to 2K and I couldn't go any lower on my price and would of spent all weekend looking for fruit. Oh well .............
Friday, November 9, 2007
So I find myself scrambling once again. I might have a shoot where I need a vending machine. The agency called at 5PM Thur and wants to shoot Mon. AM. I use to have a vending machine from a previous shoot but sold it, took up to much space. Just trying to get some numbers together vending machine/lots of fruit/food stylist/assistant etc. and I have to be on location today Friday at 2PM...no stress here........ The image below in my old vending machine I had to email the client, so they would know I am the King of Vending Machine Photography.
I'm currently documenting artist Maria Dubin http://www.mariadubin.com/ for Novozymes at the USA plant. She's an artist from Copenhagen and has been commissioned by Novozymes to do large scale painting at plants for them around the world. I get to go back 2 more times and am looking forward to seeing the finished work. An overall lighting Profoto 2 umbrellas and a softbox around the work area, changed the f/stop as she moved.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Here we go again ...... For the past 5 years I've covered the 2007 Women Extraordinaire, a cover shot and 10 portraits. It is truly hard to achieve an ultimate flat lighting ratio (Ha). Lets say the 2007 Women Extraordinaire are alittle on the older side and worried about wrinkles and double chins. I try to light them as flattering as possible. 2 soft-boxe split 800WS a touch of backlight and a background Split 400WS and tweak the ratio's. What do you do when your waiting for them, run around the giant conference room and take goofy sel-timer shots of yourself.
Friday, November 2, 2007
I was working with a model the other day and still have this cheesy wood wall up in the studio. This is what we came up with. It was the day before Halloween give me a break. I'm really into the 4X5 edges these days. I still try to shoot my personal images on film, but after my audit, think I'll be shooting digital and faking it. Don't remember the lighting but think there were 3 grids and 2 soft-boxes ...
I was cleaning out the prop room and came across some old props from a shoot for Siemens, an illustrator was hired to produce a $100 bill with a scream. Set it on fire and try not to burn the studio down, I think it makes a good stock shot. Speeotron split 200ws 20 degree grid on money and reflector with blue gel on background. f/7 @ 1/4.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Went through a million versions for Voith Paper. We tried to project a background with a LCD projector, but it got to busy. Went from gray to blue on the background. You think it would be easy to find a 4 inch globe, but it's not. Some brute force a hacksaw and hot glue, got rid of the Equator ring.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
I had a shoot for a magazine cover this week. The magazine handles the booking and locations and I just show up. The story was about an architect, and he want to shoot at a space he designed. I showed up and ran into the magazine people (3 of them) in the parking lot, they didn't know where they were going, so I knew this was a disaster in the making. We found the space and made contact with the office manager. We asked if we could look around to find a space to shoot, she said "No-way You have to wait for the architect", who was running late. I know she thought, we were going to show up with a camera and do a snap shot, boy did she have a surprise coming. The the architect arrived and we found a spot, I had my small location kit with me a pelician 1650 (produt plug) which hold 2 Profot Packs (produt plug) and 5 heads. This poor women couldn't believe what was happening,we moved all the furniture out of the lobby and were in the middle of the hallway with a conferene going on to camera left. This poor women could of crapped her pants, the look on her face was priceless. I had to shoot up at the architect because of the large flat screen on the wall behind him. If you look close there is a pack and cord on the bottom left of the image, this will be retouched out, just didn't have time to shoot it right. Leason of the day is Communication.
Monday, October 22, 2007
I'm a sucker for big machines, I Could watch Really Big Things, Build it Bigger, Moderen Marvels, How it's made etc. all those shows 24-7. I got to shoot at EEC and it was really cool, they recondition old machines and motors. Met some great people, Roger is a screen writer and just went to LA for an open screen play event, he got 4 call backs. Don't think he'll be working on motors much longer. I used a combination of @ 7 heads for most of the shots.
I've shot alot of MRI Machines in the past for hospitals and other radiology places. I spoke with them on the phone and set-up the shoot. My thoughts on lighting were. 3 geled lights for background , 2 backlights for machine, 3 lights for the front of the machine and another backlight if there are people. That's like 9 lights......... So I pack everthing up (you have to have back-up) , so I end up with about 15 lights,5 power packs,2 mono lights and 4 small flashes. I arrive and unload everything into the waiting room in back. My contact is running late and when she arrive she informs me, I can't take a camera or lights into the MRI room, It was turned on the day before and if it's turned off, it cost like $30K to have the gas pumped back in. The room was tungsten and floursent. I ened up using the modeling light on a Speedotron head with a 40 grid over the camera. I shot at ISO 400 yikes...The shots turned out nice.
I do alot of work for the guy's at merge and they are slammed. The layout was emailed and they wanted to try color paper instead of white. The color paper looked to much like memo's so back to white. After making @ 50 RX perscriptions I thought I'd nailed it. Just afew changes and some retouching and the file was out the door. Hazy light and some mirriors.
Some shots for the cover of Business Leader Magazine, a story on marketing featuring French West Vaughan a marketing firm. FVW is only 5 blocks from my studio and parking in downtown is always a problem. I decided to walk. I loaded up my Multi-Cart (Product-plug) and set out. It was all up hill and the cobble stones and brick sidewalks are pretty to look at but not fun to pull a cart on. Shot were 3 profoto heads, 2 softboxes 1-2 on front and a reflector for back light.
I was back at EEC the other day to shoot a "stanton" ( A big electrical thing that's getting an over-haul ). The stanton was about 10 feet from the roll up door,and it hasn't rained in @ 4 weeks, So today it decided to rain. I was outside on a ladder when the storm came and scrambled to get in and move the packs and lights.
For this shot I had to drop a guy in. I would normally shoot the group shot and than the person to drop in so the lighting would match. Because of time I had to shoot him first. I told them no patterens and he showed up with the worst suit ever. I had to cut and paste his entire suit together to get rid of the morie. I showed up to do the group shot of 13 people and they had a very small space, I was standing on a desk and zoomed out as far as possible, I had alot of color fringing on my edges, yet more retouching, Oh by the way drop out sign in while your at it.