Friday, December 13, 2013

It's a major award!

I try to tell my fellow photo professors and students that film is dead, digital photography is now 20 years old and the only reason to shoot film today is because you like to.
My good friend Bernard was a master welder before he had to leave that job and took over running the Power Art building where I teach. I tell him often that if he ever was fired I would quit teaching at my University. He knows most of my classes so well that when I am not there, I can trust him to help out the students. 
Bernard gave me this "put a nail in it" award (it's a major award ala Christmas Story) to celebrate my often spoken line "film is dead".
Thank you Bernard. The welds are beautiful, the design is thoughtful and the thought is oh so much appreciated.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Love what you do

Worldwide Photo Walk local winner 2013
Imagine a job where you look forward to going to work every day, a job where you wake up happy each morning as you head out to work. Photography has been this kind of job for me for the last 41 years. My first job was was to shoot a Caterpillar warehouse. My client was a friend and just about every job since has been done for clients who are friends.

Caterpillar Warehouse 1972
Maybe that's the key to loving a job: Go play with friends and get paid at the same time. My last job was for Nick at Distinctive Sweets. Another friend who gives me money to shoot. 
PeanutButter Lava Cake 2013
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. Confucius
I have personally found this quote to be true.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

When you rent studios to shoot for big clients you need to bring everything to the location that you just might need. In this economy we rarely have assistants to run out and pick up forgotten items. This Big Red Nabisco Crate travels with me on the photo-gurney and has saved me many times. 

Here is all it holds:

Here it is sitting strapped to the gurney:

While some of the things in the the Big Red Crate are used on a regular basis, fill cards and mirrors come to mind, some have been a special savior for a special time. For instance; as I walked into a rental studio in New Jersey just after super storm Sandy, the power went out. Total darkness for over an hour. The LED flashlight was right there so I had light for my food stylist to unpack while we waited for the power repairs. Wire ties have been extra handy shooting outside on location to secure wires and weights against the wind. I was on location shooting fashion in a very expensive house. I put the light bank up high on a stand and when I took it down, the location scout was terrified to see black marks on the white ceiling! Magic Eraser to the rescue. A few wipes, a little scrubbing and the marks were gone and a pristine white ceiling remained. 
I guess the Big Red Crate is just filled with all the little crazy things I've come to realize I sometimes need when I shoot.
You can download the list here: PDF List Download
Hey, it's just this photographer's experience talking.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

80 MP Hasselblad 500C

I've got to re-shoot the grocery cart image for Nestle.
They told me the last time that it was going to be a print on the wall so I shot it with my trusty D700. One week after the shoot they told me the print would be 6' high. They also changed the layout so that my original image would have to be severely cropped. There was just no way it would work. For the reshoot I rented a Leaf Aptus 80 MP digital back. I think it's cool that I am mounting it on my 42 year old Hasselblad 500 C. It's so old it's not even a CM and definitely not a 503. Both the 50mm lens (seen here) and the 80mm are super sharp with this back at f/16. The shoot is set for tomorrow. We'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Propping by iPod

I don't normally prop or food style but this job was sort of a test to get a product into Costco. My fee was the same but to save some money my client asked me to prop and buy groceries for the shot.This is the first time I have ever propped in this way. My wife (a former prop stylist) and I went to Macy's and Bloomingdales to find chip/dip dishes. Oddly enough, this being so close to the Superbowl, there were none. We did find a larges number of small bowls (to make the product look larger) and plate combinations that we liked. Instead of buying them I just took pictures of them with my little iPod Touch and sent them to the client. They picked three out of 21 and a few days later we just bought those three sets. It all seemed to go so much easier this way. And anything that makes life easier is okay by me.