Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Last day of the quarter, so hectic at work to button up last minute issues.  Great progress on projects but lots of new challenges for the coming months.

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Yesterday was a different difficult day.

When I got home someone who I once trusted had entered my bedroom and was rummaging around in my office in search of things that are not there ... 

I lock my bedroom door.  I lock my office door.  A locked door means exactly that ... do not enter.  Totally un-cool.

How would you feel if you came home unexpectedly and an estranged uninvited individual has violated the sanctity of your space and is in search of things that are not there ... disturbing your order ... disturbing your peace ... destroying the last nibble of respect and trust that was once there.

I felt sickened ... emotionally violated and physically abused ... there are no words for it ... there is no justification for it.

How safe can I feel after repeated events like this ...

Continued ...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

New Mexico, September 27-28, 2008

I decided to stop in Albuquerque rather than flying home from Chicago. I've never been to New Mexico and I just wanted to spend some time in Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

Santa Fe is a great place and many thanks to Ms Susie B for showing me around. 

Shot a bunch of images ... will be back. The aspen were just turning color at the higher altitudes ... magnificent views everywhere.

Found great locations for outdoor figure art nudes ... actually, that's not too difficult ... opportunities all around.

There's a very strong art community around Santa Fe, not a surprise with 250 art galleries in the city !

Continued ...

Chicago, September 24-26, 2008

Just a trip for business ... beautiful city and I do intend to shoot there one day


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sarah Ellis ... no words needed ...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Playa Beach, Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Couple of head shot edits from our walk on Playa Beach.

I love to tone black and white prints and I even go as far as avoiding the typical black and white photoshop conversion at all

This takes a little more time but the end result is well worth it.  

Playing with contrast and toning color allows for the creation of all types of vintage feels typically associated with film chemistry.

Even in color images I tend to look for a slight retro look by toning and contrast enhancing the digital image.

I still have a Nikon F5 film camera but I seldom use it anymore.  It is harder and harder to find good film development labs and print houses.

Never owned nor worked in a chemical darkroom so I'm limited to a digital version or Photoshop.

I'm really happy how this shoot session came out ... the focus was on the face ... no fancy wardrobe and the $10 Target glasses set the tone for an uncomplicated editorial photojournalist shoot.

The light that afternoon was too strong to do the shoot without any type of extra dark shades.  Just uncomfortable to work as I experienced first hand ... I had to leave my shades in my pocket as I was shooting and one and other is mutual exclusive.

Working with Sarah Ellis made this almost a walk in the park.  She senses the direction the photographer wants to work in ...  add to that precise directions and each shot will meet expectation.

It is crucial in my opinion to develop a good working relationship with a model and the latter includes a general direction plan for each shoot plus the ability to direct the model while posing or moving freely in space.  

I prefer the latter, it becomes a give and take ... photographer direction versus model improvisation.

Continued ...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Lucinda Wedge's Studio, September 15, 2008

The hall way in Lu's new studio is painted in red. and as one can imagine, this yields pretty dramatic lighting.  More so when combined with photo flash lighting.

The top image used incandescent lighting with a flash hair light (Quantum T5D-r) for backlighting while the lower image didn't use any backlight at all.

The model is Sarah Ellis once more, make-up by Amanda Rose.  

More pictures of this shoot showcasing different parts of the studio will be posted soon.

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The display quality of images on the this blog website is simply poor but it's about the only method I know to post.

If someone knows a better way to show these pics with less compression and larger size, shoot me an email.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sarah Ellis ... intelligent, sweet, beautiful, dedicated, creative and patient ... works hard for each and every shot ... enough said ... no words needed for any professional photographer or model who ever worked with her.

Incredible expression, lips and eyes to die for ...

These images were taken in Lucinda Wedge's new studio #405 in downtown LA.  Make up artist, Amanda Rose.  Wardrobe picked up somewhere on Melrose Avenue ... close to Wasteland ... just couldn't resist this flowing dress.

The images on the left are all available light photography ... that's pretty much the majority of the work I've been shooting lately and the new studio has some very nice window light corners.  Plenty of texture to work this time and the studio is air conditioned.  Great ward robe and make up room.  Large windows, blinds with light control ... in short ... a pleasure to work in.

I'm a slow retoucher ... lol ...  it's going to take forever to work on these shoots ... not ...

Sarah is by now definitely the model I photographed more times than anyone else and Sarah keeps surprising me when it comes to expression and poise ... her enthusiasm for new angles knows no limits ... 

I owe her a T-shirt for the number of times she worked with me ...  lol

Looking forward to the next collaboration ... very soon I hope !

Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

Mom is going home on Saturday.  She's sufficiently stabilized to receive care at home ... always better.

I'm on my way back to San Francisco over Washington.  Flights are uneventful but I can't get online in the lounges either ... Brussels charges $30 for 4 hours internet access but I have only 30 minutes ...so not worth the money.

Have to take the BART from SFO to Fremont and the train I'm on has an issue with brakes.  It smells terrible ... burned rubber.  After a while they can unlock the brake.  It takes me over 2 hours to make the trip.  Long but it beats paying for expensive daily airport parking.

Checking emails, fielding phone calls and text messages ... it's good to be home.  Having mom in my prayers.

Continued ...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I'm traveling to Europe to visit my mom.  Writing this from London during my layover for my next flight to Brussels.

My mom is in the hospital, ill.  We've know for a while that there's no holding back on the cancer anymore but she's gotten worse in a short amount of time because of a bout with pneumonia and a collapsed lung.  This could be very well our last visit.  Prognosis is very grim, we were all hoping she would make Christmas but this may not be the case anymore.

She sounded good on the phone the last couple of days but we're both looking forward to connect.

My BlackBerry doesn't work in  London and I'm sure the same happens in Brussels, just like last time.  I was on AT&T for the longest time until the company switched me over to Sprint.  That is a nightmare.  Not only does Sprint not cover my home location, I also have to deal with poor reception at the office where I have to switch to a landline on most days when a cell phone call comes in.  Sprint is so not worth it.

Luckily there are airport lounges with *paying* wireless connections ... no more freebies I guess ... T-mobile hotspots.

On my way here I was able to do some editing in camera of my last shoots with Betcee May, Tiana Hunter and Nicole Vitelli.  We did get a wonderful collection of editorial work to support my evolving  photography stories.  

The image on the left is from my "Two friends" story ... Betcee and Tiana being spontaneously goofy.

This shoot was a lot of editorial photojournalistic fun.  Watch out for more images from this series.

Nicole did a great job showcasing a lingerie and sexy dress collection.  No images yet but I'm happy with what I've seen in camera from this mostly available light shoot.

We worked in the new studio 405 from Lucinda Wedge in downtown LA.  Lovely location with a myriad of possibilities.  The roof access is nice, plenty of cool corners there also.  Looking forward shooting there again.

I'm living a roller-coaster.

Continued ...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Friday, September 5, 2008

It has been a couple of days since my last update ... very busy time for me, business travel and not too much time to sign up online.

Managed to do a shoot today with Betcee May and Tiana Hunter.  I always wanted to shoot these professional models in a natural "real" home environment and I finally got the opportunity.

Great timing as Tiana was in LA till the 4th and graciously extended her stay till the 5th ... Betcee is getting ready for an extended modeling stay in Europe and this is one of her last shoots in the USA till next year.

Both Betcee and Tiana were great at playing and feeding my concept.  Norton, Betcee's cat, became at times a very willing participant during the shoot.  

Norton is funny, likes to be petted and cries incessantly for attention.

Adorable ... he became my friend in no time and as one can see, Norton is not afraid of the camera !  Well trained kitty ... lol ...

Pictures of this shoot will be edited and retouched later this year.  

I'm currently shooting a small editorial portfolio together and I'm focussed more on the creation process than the finishing process.

Continued ...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008.

Mildly sunburned from yesterday ... no surprise ... it always gets me ... fair complexion and always forget the sunscreen ... was a beautiful day though ...

Dealt with the insurance for my rear-end collision from yesterday ... wait and see what the adjuster comes up with ... my rear AMG bumper is totally shot and I don't trust the rattle in the car ... there could be more wrong than what the eye sees ...

Finally got to work on some more retouching.   

A continuation of my Betcee May series in the creek ... a gracious flow of movement ... it was a spur of the moment thing ... Betcee picked up effortless on my feedback to repeat a pose and the ensuing "dance" yielded a great series.  Betcee is always aware of  where the photographer is and how to move and position her body for maximum impact and elegance.  This model never ceases to amaze me.

The image below is from April, shot in London (ON) on a balcony.  I'll be posting more of these fashion styled images.  April needs little direction to come up with styled poses in a fluid movement.

Continue to work with Susie on plans for a San Francisco trip in mid to late October.

Maybe we can make Susie's and April's trip coincide and put both models together 

Talked to my mom on the phone also ... it was good to hear her voice ... we both needed this talk.

Hurricane in New Orleans ... terrible thought ...

Continued ...

Monday, September 1, 2008

No shooting today ... Labor day ... time to relax a little with friends .. so I thought ...

Got rear-ended on my way to the beach ... that is an expensive AMG bumper ... this is not so going to ruin my afternoon ...

OK ... did bring a camera for some beach and surf shooting ... wonderful ...

Camera got splashed ... thanks for weather sealed bodies ... a quick dry with a towel removed the sand and stickiness ... great pictures to show for ... little kids are great subjects ...

The afternoon went by to quickly ... home alone ... keeping up with emails, IM, phonecall ... Susie sent me some great pictures from a state prison in New Mexico ... great natural light indoor location ... have to shoot there.