Thursday, November 5, 2009

Josh the Ripper goes to school

At last! I'm finally getting back to what I love to do; sneaking into abandoned buildings and light painting. My friend Josh, who you may recall from the family portrait shoot with Mel and Lydia, took me to a school in Larimer that hasn't had students since the seventies. It was legitimately creepy but I stifled my thoughts of zombies to shoot a round of portraits of my fashion-forward model and his decayed surroundings.

These are all six to fourty-five second shots using flashlights only. The only editing that I did was tone, contrast, and saturation. I'm really happy with the result!

Be sure to look at the whole set on flickr!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dark Sky

Look what I saw!

More soon.

Flora and Fauna

Last week I was taken on a surprise adventure to Phipps Conservatory and the National Aviary. I was preened by some flamingos, but the camera made them nervous so I couldn't get a good shot of them chest-bumping us. But here's some other things I got!

I'd never been to the conservatory at night and I really liked it. The light was totally different so I finally got so see all the fantastic plants in a new way. I dig it, yes I do.

As always, it was no tripod allowed, but I think I made a few good photos anyway. The rest will be on flickr in a jiffy!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

An Enduring Conundrum

Two winters ago my friend Dan Vogel asked me to photograph myself so he could paint my portrait. His painting was beautiful and was recently sold to Tim Victim, the gentleman who administered my first professional tattoo. Sometime shortly after the completion of the painting, I was hired to photograph the painting (of the photograph of myself, haha) to use on bus stop billboards around the city. "How fun and easy", thought I to myself, "to photograph a flat object that won't move."

I was very wrong. Oil paintings are hell to photograph. I was hired by a woman a few months later to photograph her entire portfolio of paintings which were textured and shiny and complex. I nearly turned down the offer because of my experience shooting the portrait of myself.

I don't yet have a solution. The color balance must be spot on to accurately portray the painting. That issue isn't nearly as befuddling as the light. Because it's shiny and textured, oil paint looks different from every angle, no matter how even the light is.

Here's the photograph that I took of myself for Dan to use as reference.

I've made a note that the next time I sit for a portrait, I should adjust my bra straps and reduce the amount of crazy-eye I'm unleashing. Anyway, here are some of the photos that I took of the painting. These are unedited to show just how tricky oil is.

And so on. Below is the shot we settled on. I plan to work on this some more. Still, I think I'll try to get more gigs shooting tattoo artist's work and not so much painter's portfolios.

P.S.- On the link I've put there from Dan's name, you can see a picture of the billboard. Neat!

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I finally unearthed some of my favorite portraits that I shot in 2007. I had just discovered light painting and was trying it out on my friend Leah. They're not all stellar shots. I didn't know how to frame her most of the time and I didn't know how to clean my camera sensor yet, but a few of these images I love love. So I've gone back and tried to spruce them up in RawShooter. Here's a few of my favorites.

What we did for a lot of these shots is this; I shut off all the lights and cover any sources of ambient light. Then she poses as still as possible for about 30 or 45 seconds while I move a flashlight over her. You see how lovely? I lovey!

This is the same idea as light painting but for the purpose of playing with color instead of light. The exposure here is maybe 5 seconds and I shone the flashlight just on her face, so when the color was correct on her face for skin tone, the rest of the shot would be much cooler tones.

This here is my favorite mistake ever. When we did this shoot I didn't yet have my glorious tripod with the sturdy trigger release. I had a flimsy tripod that was no better at holding the camera still than my own two hands. This was a 5 second exposure and when I released the shutter, the weight of the camera caused the tripod to slowly turn in an attempt to give in to gravity. Thanks, pull of the planet earth!

In a few of the light-painting shots indoors, her cat jumps into the frame and makes little ghosts in the background. It's so nice to have a model with a sense of humor and a sensational booty. To see what I mean, please check out the rest on my flickr page.

pool party

I think I'm going to like Lawrenceville. Yesterday, three blocks from home, there was an accordion dance party in an abandoned pool.

You know it's good if Zombo is there. Here he is explaining to me how tall he will be when he grows up, using his friend (we'll call him Toothy McAwesome) as a visual aid.

If I could be ten years old again right now, I would actively pursue the best-friendship of this kid. He played the Mexican hat dance.

Here we see the ensemble and the resulting jubilation of the onlookers. Also, anarchy.

This man arrived at the pool with suicidal intentions, but received instead a fresh outlook on life thanks to polka.

Not only were there old people and hipsters in attendance, but music aficionado marine life was represented as well.

There was an old-timey photographer. I thought black and white would be appropriate.

Inspired, I made the sound guy old-timey as well.

So concludes my visual summary of the thrilling twenty-five minutes that I spent outside of my house yesterday. Tune in next time for images of mysterious origin from either the past or the future!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

except it wasn't so much a beautiful day

I took some astoundingly mediocre photos yesterday walking the tracks by the Allegheny. Here they are!

Then I picked some raspberries and went home to make a tasty lemoncello cocktail and forget about my dwindling creativity.

I'll toss the rest of these on flickr sometime. Today I'm going to an outdoor accordion party. I reckon I'll have fun things to shoot there. Look forward to that, why don't you?!

For something entirely unrelated to photography, here's a map of the route I ran a few days ago.

View where i ran today in a larger map

Friday, September 11, 2009


A friend pointed something out to me that I hadn't noticed before. I went through all my old deviantart photos and he was quite right. I put boys in corners.

I found quite a few more than this, but I think this is enough to make my point. What's my point? I don't know, probably that I'm a genius. Or I have some subconscious aversions to putting men in the center of my frame.

My Long Overdue Change of Scenery

I haven't been shooting at all lately because I've been busy relocating from Southside to Lawrenceville, but today I'm dedicating the whole day to wandering around my new part of town with my camera. Last night I got the Nikon out, cleaned the sensor, re-read the manual, and tooled around my dark apartment wishing I hadn't missed dusk. But I got a few shots before breakfast (oatmeal, soymilk, and way too strong coffee) to toss up here to prove that I'm really really really going to try to get back to doing what it is that I like to do.

Here they be. They are all lovely things which can be seen without leaving the apartment. I was wearing jammies.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fresh From Mechanimal

Jason Bannister has made tiny lions.

And a tiny man on a tiny camel.