I was very pleased this week to learn that my photo, “Towsley Canyon Gold,” won second place in the City of Santa Clarita’s seasonal photo competition. The first and third place shots were great! I am honored to be included among them. If you live in Santa Clarita, you can enter for the summer competition here.
Diaspora is a great, L.A.-based reggae band that I met through Craigslist, and arranged a shoot while they were in the rehearsal studio. They are a great bunch of guys, and very talented. The band consists of: Tyler Reinhart (Vocals, Keys), Cedar Compher (Lead Guitar, Keys, Melodica), Brandon (Drums), Joe Hall (Rhythm Guitar), Jason Dickie (Bass)
I was happy and fortunate to be selected as part of the exhibit Hard Six: Thru the Lens, at Megasound Studios in Ventura, CA. The exhibit, which includes photos about the local band, Hard Six, opened Saturday, January 28, and continues through March 28, 2017. There was a great opening night party, featuring Hard Six and many friends from other bands. I was very pleased with how great the Xpozer image mounting system from Bay Photo Lab’s worked. The images really popped, and stood out (literally!) from the others.
A few years ago, I saw esteemed photographer Joe McNally give a talk at the Annenberg Space for Photography. Despite all of Joe’s amazing work over the years, doing shoots for various news organizations and the National Geographic, what stuck with me most were some simple shots he took of photographers with their cameras. It inspired me to begin my own project, taking portraits of all the photographers I know with their cameras.
Over a year or so, this project grew into, “The Other Side of the Lens,” which has so far been exhibited once.
Due to work, I had to put this project on hold for a while, but as I’m gearing to start it up again, I thought I would share some of the images from the extended shoot here.
Here are some shots of the gallery exhibit, which took the form of an old-school, analog darkroom, with “prints” in developer, hanging from drying lines, and “negatives” in the enlarger. It was a lot of fun to put together, and the reactions of experienced photographers taking in the digital recreations of the analog photography tools was fun to watch.
It was fun to create negatives of the exhibit, which I printed on a clear mylar film, to replicate the real thing.
I’ve been very lucky to work with local model Kataholic. We started off with basic glamour shoots last year, and this year began shooting sets for popular websites Zivity and Suicide Girls. For those of you who haven’t shot for such sites, it is more challenging than I expected. Traditional photographic “rules” for glamour photography don’t always apply. The sites have a very specific look and brand, and you have to follow their guidelines very carefully, or your shots will be rejected.
Of the two, Zivity is a little more free-form and artistic. To generalize a little, they are more fine-art glamour than commercial glamour. They give the photographer a little more free reign to come up with a look, and as long as it is within their style, they seem to be OK with it.
Suicide Girls, on the other hand, is very strict. I wouldn’t consider them commercial glamour, but they are sort of Playboy for alternative glamour (tattoos and piercings), and are very particular about what they want. Conversely, they allow photos to push the envelope a little more, and accept more explicit nudity, fetishism, and other stuff Zivity won’t allow.
Below are a few shots from my most recent shoot with Kataholic that will not be submitted to either site.
The City of Santa Clarita is showing a Dunes exhibit at City Hall from September 16 until October 27, and I’m honored and privileged to have three images on display!
Stop by and check out the full exhibit at
Santa Clarita City Hall
23920 Valencia Blvd., Suite 300
Santa Clarita, CA 91355
The three images displayed are:
I was really looking forward to Photoshop World in Las Vegas this year, not the least because I had signed up for one of the pre-conference workshops, called, “Characters on Location.” The idea was to go on location with a bunch of actors and models, and shoot using a selection of high-end studio lights that are not available to most amateur photographers.
A couple of months after signing up, I learned that the workshop was to be taught by the esteemed Joe McNally, so I was even more excited. Best of all, on the day of the shoot, it turned out we were going to be working at Hardkore Parkour Las Vegas, with a bunch of Cirque du Soleil performers, bodybuilders, and other Extremely Fit People. This was going to be fun!
I’ve posted some of the shots I’m happiest with above. These are pretty much straight out of camera, with only a minimum of retouching on any of them… the models, and the lighting, was that perfect. Much thanks to Joe, Annie Cahill, and the great crew and talent who worked with us all on that day!
I’ve done a few experiments with time-lapse photography before, but seeing some recent work by David Saffir (http://davidsaffir.wordpress.com) reminded me how much I enjoy the process. Here are a couple of recent attempts. The first was an attempt to shoot some of the highly hyped Camelopardalis meteor shower that turned out to be a dud:
The second was the next day, after I saw how cool the results of the first attempt turned out.
While attending a lecture by internationally reknowned photograper Joe McNally, I was struck by some images he shared, that he had taken of some friends and fellow photographers. So often, we photographers are behind the lens, and not in front of it! In fact, many of my photographer friends have tons of vacation photos in which their families appear, yet they are absent… always on the wrong side of the lens.
I decided to embark upon this project of taking portraits of photographers.
As the project was ramping up, I thought about the relationship that photographers have with their cameras. Phototographers talk about their “gear” all the time. With some, the talk is about learning, with others it is a point of pride, and with some, it is an obsession.
Photography may be the one art form in which a lifetime journey begins with the gift of the tools to create. You never hear, “I decided I wanted to become a writer when my dad gave me a typewriter (or computer, for you kids).” Music, painting, sculpture: all arts in which the appreciation typically precedes the desire. Yet, you often hear photographers speak about getting a camera, then becoming hooked.
For some photographers, the camera is just a tool, no different from a paintbrush. For others, the relationship is more like a guitarist with a prized Les Paul: Something to lust after, acquire, and bond with over years of creativity.
I asked the photographers in this exhibit to bring their favorite cameras. Other than that, they were free to suggest any other “adjustments” or props.
It was interesting to note how many of the photographers expressed discomfort with being on the other side of the lens. Some even admitted to disliking it a lot!
The concept for this exhibit presentation came to me in a flash. My own journey with photography began taking pictures on film as a child. As a teenager, I worked in a traditional film darkroom (in my bedroom closet). The idea of presenting these digital images as if they had been shot on film and printed with “old school” darkroom techniques appealed to me.
The first exhibit for this project was presented as part of the City of Santa Clarita’s ArtSLAM on May 1, 2014.
All of the images were taken with a Canon 5D MkIII, and an 80mm f1.8 lens. Each image was processed in Adobe Camera RAW and Photoshop, and printed at MPIX.com. 4×5 “negatives” were printed on an HP Laserjet using transparency film.