Field notes and late night rambling

I’m not Gary Larson, or “How big of a pigeon do you think I am?”

I'm in the process of putting together some new folios for the spring marketing push and as chance has it there has been some interesting talk lately about promotion on the interwebs. I was reading how one photog mentioned that he annually spends enough promoting himself to buy "a nice German luxury car". Zounds! I think to myself, "Self! If you had $50,000 to spend every year just to let people know that you exist and do good work I'd […]

Previsualizing filter

 There was a day when some hardcore B&W landscape photographers would carry a filter in a frame that sucked all the color out to render the view through it to be essentially black and white. This was to help you visually edit out the color content of what you are looking at to get a better idea of how the colors would be rendered as B&W tones. It wasn’t perfect but it helped. You still had to learn how the […]

I’m not Mark Tucker but …

This has kind of the feel of his longstanding ad campaign for the Jack Daniels. I’m doing a photo project with my friends at Avery Brewing, one of the top craft breweries in the country and luckily not that far from me. I’m focusing on the hands on “craft” aspect of what they do. Unlike 99% of the beer out there the brew that comes from a place like Avery is made by just a few people and is very […]

I was dreaming …

about developing film the other evening. Really and no it wasn't because of eating too much spicy food. Ok I'll admit that in the dream I was developing it in a fish tank while the lights were on but hey – it's a dream so cut me some slack jack! Now from time to time I am shooting film and developing it but I haven't in a while. So this all got me thinking. What does it mean? Well I've […]

More from the Pola-pocket-cam-o-phone

This is more from my doodling with the CameraFX application for my G1 phone camera. I really wish that it didn't reduce the file size so much but eh' what do you want for nothing huh? I is nice to make delightfully trashy photos without so much as real gear or anything that resembles professional control. Ahhhh!

Words from masters of other arts

I ran across these two short bits of thought that totally made sense to me about our job as a photographer in capturing visual moments. Unless you are doing still lives in the studio there is always some variable element. If the subject is a person then even if they are the most trained actor/athlete there are a whole range of different ways that they can perform the same action. It's our job as photographer to direct, and in camera […]

2010 – I’m so excited

Huh? Am I crazy? Nope my eyes are open and my heart is eager for the upcoming year. Yes everything is in flux and moving too fast. Yes the economy is still faltering and markets are precarious. And I’m certainly aware that clients are tightening their already taught purse strings. I don’t care.   Why? Because we photographers, especially the ones who work on location, are used to adversity. Things never go “as planned” in our work so why should […]

Embracing a lack of quality control

Most of us photographer are control freaks. I've mentioned that before and yes it's still true. I tend to want to have lots of control over the things that I can and let the rest go where it may. I shot on chromes for so long that I could shoot just about everything as a jpg and not really worry that the image won't work. When you shoot a chrome what you get in the camera is what you get […]

Made me think of Weston

I'm a huge fan of winter light. It makes a good portion of the day that fleeting "magic hour" which is normally about 20 minutes long. However unless you are shooting outdoor sports winter here in Colorado tends to mean a lot of indoor shoots so that glorious light goes to waste. Ugh! Worse still are the days when the light is superb and I'm stuck in the office. Like today. I did a quick early morning shoot of the […]

Wise man say: “If it looks good shoot it”

It's easy to get overly focused, to get tunnel vision if you will, when on assignment. When time is tight and there is pressure on you to get the images that you need feels overwhelming I'm pretty certain that at some point of stress your creativity shuts down or at least suffers. I try to have as little a feeling of pressure as possible and try to do whatever I can to make the time that I have camera in […]

Archiving: feeding the beast / lightening the load

As I mentioned in the prior post about how our storage tech has gotten smaller/faster I realized that I had to do something that I've been dreading for the last two years: putting all my image DVD's into my mirrored hard drive archive system. Not that long ago large hard drives, i.e. bigger than 100gig were seriously expensive. When we first started seriously shooting digital around year 2000/1 drives were in the order of a $5 per gig and a […]

AC/DC as a lesson in photography

I was having lunch with my buddy Peter … everyone say “Hi Peter!”.   He is the guitarist and singer in two cool bands Shimmersound and Quitters Anonymous. We got talking about the creative process, as we often do, and he said something that really made me think. He said “Look at AC/DC, they have great songs and all that but when you really listen to them there is a total lack of ego there. At no time is anyone […]

Something old something new

My wife and I don’t quite belong in this era. She loves vintage fashion and often gets lost in the costumes of period movies. While we are watching a film like Gosford Park, that takes place in 1932, I can hear her thinking “Oooo! I want that dress and that one and wow I love that hat!”. As for me I love to tell people that “I’m totally 80’s … like 1480’s!” meaning that I love to explore and if […]

You shot how much???

Alrighty then, time for a trip in the Wayback machine. Have your helmets on? Here we go! (Wooosh!) Once upon a time photographers used this material called film for making pictures. It was the best stuff at the time. Most professionals used canisters that contained 36 frames at a time. Then you would have to put in a fresh canister, after that is you rewound the pictures back into the can. Seriously, I'm not making this up. If you were […]

Up and away!

I've been pretty busy lately as you may have guessed. Lots of portraits and some multimedia work to break things up a bit. I got referred to do a gig for a local non-profit who is trying to protect a large piece of land that is near the foothills of the Rockies from development. Turns out that a neighboring city is pushing to get it made into an industrial park under the auspices that the area around it is already […]

Multimedia and lighting classes

I've been doing teaching/lecturing on photography for a while now but primarily in the Denver area where I'm based. It's exceptionally cool that I've been added to the faculty of The Compelling Image. TCI is a comprehensive online school that does a variety of classes on various topics from developing your compositional sense, macro photography to video editing. The classes take 2-6 weeks with new lessons each week followed by assignments and critique from the instructor. I will be teaching […]

Oh! You don’t want a snapshot?

No, I really don't. Not at all. But I swear that's the conversation that I seem to constantly have regardless of whom I'm on assignment for. For some reason people think that when I show up to make photos I'm going to have them stand bolt upright, put on their best "Olan Mills" fake as hell smile, I'll shoot two frames with an on camera flash and then leave. Wow. I guess if I was shooting for National Geographic they […]

You get one shot

One of the things that I most enjoy about being a location photographer is that nothing goes as planned. In a studio you have almost perfect control over your situation: lighting, camera placement, background etc. But when you step out into the 3 dimensional world things get odd fast. That tends to play havoc with the studio control freak dudes. However I love it and think that it adds a whole bunch of new options, surprises, inspirations and the ever […]

In the dark

This is from a shoot I did that was made possible by few things. 1) A great subject. Vivian is a great gal with a stunning look. She was superb to work with and was perfect for the modern urban look we were going for. 2) PocketWizards. This was done with two strobes but one was very much behind me and there was no easy way to trigger them with my beloved Nikon CLS system. The Wizards make the "you […]

How are you, how you are

I had an interesting meeting a bit ago with a potential new rep and afterwords I was told that she was pleased to see that how I write here on the blog and how I present the world through my work is actually how I am in person. I was at the same time both pleased and taken aback. Pleased because I consider myself a humble person and my integrity means a lot. I don't have much of a ego, […]

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