Thursday, October 9, 2008

the thursday afternoon slack-off

No photo jobs to work on today, so I got to just enjoy my camera. I took a handful of photos of my quail's eggs (and some chicken eggs for funsies) in the nice, soft light of my kitchen window. I love the quality of light that my apartment gets in the late afternoon.

They all looked so lovely when I uploaded them that I decided to leave them completely unedited. I'll be posting them to flickr shortly for you to enjoy.

Eggs are a lovely subject. With the right light, it's not hard to get an aesthetically pleasing image, I think. Anyway, also got some more photos of the animals and a few new Mariage Blanc photos.
The Mariage Blanc shoot was a little tricky since it was at night and my subjects were a little drunk. That made it tough to get clear long exposures like I had planned. Also forgot to bring along my wide angle lens so shooting in the basement where the light was decent was also tough. Had to do quite a bit of maneuvering just to fit them all in the frame. This one is probably my favorite as far as what I think would look good in the City Paper, which is where it is going to end up. I hope they pick this one, too.

I'll have the rest of these sets and more shortly on flickr and deviantart. In the meantime, have a look at this nice website about Duane Michaels, just because he's great. You can see one of my favorite sequences of his on there called "Chance Meeting". I leave you with the only photo that I got of the fireworks that I found to be in any way interesting.

Monday, October 6, 2008

opening up the vault

Good day to you, blog-shaped readers! Just thought I'd let you know what I've been up to. A few days ago Pittsburgh celebrated it's 250th anniversary so all the rich folk threw a fireworks party. I haven't had a chance to look at the photos yet, but if any turned out well, you have that to look forward to. Tomorrow I'll be shooting my co-worker's band Mariage Blanc
in the dead of night which means I get to play with streetlights and flashes. I think my photo for them will end up in the City Paper, which will definitely make my day.
I've shot them before, and I just recently posted that entire shoot to flickr. I enjoyed that project for a few reasons. First, it taught me to assume nothing about a shoot. They told me that they wanted me to document them recording their album. So in my head I had a picture of what I thought all recording studios looked like. Last year I took some (not very good) photos of my friend's recording studio The Church Recording Studio which is an incredible space. Were I to shoot a band there, I'd have lots of space to prance about with my tripod and do as I please. Mariage Blanc's place was not this way. There was no room to move and the few small spaces for me to crouch on the floor were always in the way of important microphones. My ninja photographer skills were put to the test that evening, for sure. I had to be as little of a distraction as possible, while still snapping.
Another assumption I made had to do with the lighting situation. I was told that the studio had big windows to let lots of soft, natural light in. However, I didn't think to ask what way the windows faced. So as the sun set and the music began, my subject become silhouettes. I had already decided not to use flash, as I don't have a remote, off-camera flash yet and anything I tried to do with my on-camera flash would look less than amateur. I took a few hundred shots that night, despairing that none of them looked any good. Later that night while editing I was pleasantly surprised at the mood I captured. I think the final product really suits the band and the kind of music they make. Subdued, simple, and just a tiny bit rockstar. Why not see for yourself!
I've also begun posting some of my other older projects, including these photos of Cyco Mike of Angry Moon tattoo working on an aquatic-themed sleeve. That night I had gone to just snap a couple quick ones for a portrait assignment for a digital photo class. I ended up staying for hours because I love the sound of a tattoo machine. This was one of the first shoots that I discovered how much I love to boost the highlight contrast. Looking back at it now, I can see that I had been adding way too much yellow to my photos on my old monitor. Now I've got a Samsung SyncMaster with her colors calibrated and her pixels in working order. Someday I'd like to re-edit all my old photos to see just how much better I can make them look.
Which brings me to my next project. I call it the Pip photo documentary. Last year I spend a few months documenting the creation of a robot. It's been a very big secret because my friend's company, Mechanimal, has been trying to sell it. So I've been sitting on these photos for ages without the permission to show a single living soul. The end may be in sight, but first I have to go back though all of them and pick the ones I'd like to display online, then get permission. I imagine once I start picking them out, I'll want to do a lot of re-editing as well.
Also new to check out on flickr are my photos of Prometheus Burning live at club Diesel, and the entire PAPA product shoot. That's all for now, hopefully you'll be hearing from me soon about these robot photos.