No car, no problem.

1950's Greasemonkey

1950's Greasemonkey

I did another vintage male photoshoot on Sunday. I was really excited for this one because the model was supposed to borrow his brother-in-law’s beat-up old Cadillac. The car would have been perfect for my vintage mechanic concept.

Unfortunately, the car wound up being used by his brother-in-law at the last second so we had to improvise and use the model’s ultra modern Chevrolet instead.

My original idea for a location was also ditched once we got there and I realized it was way more ghetto than I remember it being. Contrary to popular belief, there is a big difference between a vintage-looking location and just a run-down background.

Luckily, we found a building around the corner that was perfect. It was the service entrance to a Honda dealership. There were no cameras and no street activity, so I gave it the greenlight so we setup shop.

Lighting with my small strobes was a challenge because I wanted to get a nice rim-light, but I also wanted to show the engine while also highlighting that cool gate. Once I figured out what I wanted to focus on, the rest came easy. I let the sun work as my third light, illuminating the engine just enough. I used the gate to my advantage, lighting it to provide an interesting shadow and just a little bit of bounce light for the right side of his face.

At the end of the day, we were sweaty, stinky and proud of what we had accomplished. Meanwhile, I was eyeing the abandoned warehouse across the street for a future shoot…

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Droolworthy Canon SX10

Canon SX10
So the Canon SX10 is coming out soon, but should I really be this excited?

It’s got the same specs as the Rebel XTi, but there are two great features that makes it a great new acquisition:

  1. 20x Optical zoom: Do I really need to explain why this is a killer feature? it’s just awesome to go from landscape to grass blade at the flick of a wrist. Oh, okay maybe not that dramatic, but still…
  2. Flip-out LCD screen: It’s a silly, gimmicky thing, I know. But I miss having it. It makes self-portraits and group shots a hellluva lot easier to do. If it wasn’t for my flip-out LCD back in the day, I wouldn’t exist in photos at all!

The $400 price tag is also nice.
Thoughts?

Erik Boker Photography


At first glance you’re disgusted and intrigued, then you it’s realize it’s a product you use everyday and … well, you just don’t know what to think now do you?

Regardless of your squeamish opinion there’s no doubt that Erik Boker is somewhat of a genius. Like Picasso, he juxtaposes things fucking with our mental expectations. Like Leonardo Da Vinci he is curious and cross-examines notions. Like Michelangelo he appreciates beauty, both natural and artificial. I may be exaggerating, but he’s got the awards to back up his ingenuity.

His portraits are also intriguing and excellently executed. He manages to capture the essence of his subjects, and he makes it seems so effortless.

Indulge in his work, it will inspire you.

Vintage Vacationland

Ana Nance, NorwayI love the vintage quality behind Ana Nance’s travel images. There are no indications of capture dates (pre-EXIF data?) so we’re left to draw our own conclusions. It reminds me of when I was a child and I’d see photos of Disney’s Tomorrowland. So that’s what Norway looks like. I always thought it’d look…different.

I also love the muted and split-toned colors found throughout her portfolio. If the photos were digital, i’d attribute it to post-processing, but I don’t think it is. I’m no expert on film, but to me her work bears the same quality and spirit of genuine film vacation memories, the best kind.

discovered via: Rachel Hulin

Flexible flashing

Vertex PressliteLike the staple-free stapler, it’s about time someone invented the Vertex Presslite!

This genius invention uses simple technology to achieve fantastic results. Check out the 3D demo on their site for a better explanation of how this crazy thing called reflection actually works.

Definitely a must-have for the minimalist strobists out there!

Adobe power corrupts absolutely

Photo fakes
Photoshop has gotten a bad rep over the years. Once used as a last-minute salvaging tool for photographers, the increasingly-popular Adobe software has found itself being sorely abused by amateurs and, sad to say, professionals alike.

The Telegraph counts down some of the most infamous photography fakes to date. From obviously bad cloning to clever photo-merging, these hoaxes will serve as a reminder to the addage: “Absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Probably the most forgivable of the bunch is the famous “Fairies” photo from 1917 (seen above) simply for the fact that it was low-tech method that required some manual work and creativity.

I dread the day when Photoshop is available to anyone and everyone. Oh wait, it already is.

Humor in Photography

Humor in Photography

Humor in Photography

There’s something infinitely refreshing about a photographer who applies humor to his art. I recently started my own humorous series inspired by the photography of Aaron Ruell. Of course, I knew I’d never come close to the precise and detail oriented photography of Mr. Ruell, but I didn’t intend to anyways.

Injecting humor into photographs of subjects not normally associated with humor is a brave and inspiring thing. From having done it, I can tell you there is a very fine line between funny and crass or overdone.

I recently stumbled upon the photoblog of Steve Korn. His latest shot of bassist Clipper Anderson is the perfect example of that. It’s simple, speaks volumes and humorous! Well done, Steve!

Check out my Quirky Photography Project and let me know what you think.

Also, if you know of any artists that do the humor thing well, let me know.

Dinosaurs on a treadmill

Nikon DSLR in action

Nikon DSLR in action

Whatever the gadget on the Flintstones, it was always powered by some sort of dinosaur on some sort of treadmill, or some other crude device. Like a poor-man’s version of a Rube Goldberg invention. I imagine that’s how the Nikon D3 would have been powered back in the “Stone Age” – by that I mean the cartoon version of course.

Back when film ruled supreme (the T-Rex of photography media, if you will), everyone could understand how cameras worked. Anyone who’s ever made a pinhole camera or bought a disposable camera only to open it up and ruin your film understands how a film camera takes its photos.

But how does a DSLR take a photo? We know there’s a mirror involved somehow, right?
Curious to see how the Nikon D3 actually snaps a photo? Check out the supercool low-tech animation that Jeffrey Friedl created showing how a DSLR snaps a photo at 1/63. Very fascinating to think that it’s doing it at 22 MPH — in your hand!

found via Daring Fireball

Denied by Photoshelter

I wasn't real enough for them.

I wasn't real enough for them.

Like any egotist proud photographer, I believe my images should be seen everywhere, so I jump at any opportunity I can to showcase my portfolio. When I first heard about Photoshelter from Chase Jarvis (via his blog, mind you — I wish I knew him personally), I was struck by their noble words:

We believe photography is an art and a profession, not a commodity. We are determined to restore diversity and freshness to this industry. We believe photographers deserve a level playing field and the majority percentage of their sales. Our community is open and growing by the hundreds every week. Free to Join.

So I signed up.

It was a week later that I received a rejection notice from the folks at Photoshelter. Apparently my photos aren’t real enough.

Now, I could have jumped to a lot of conclusions, but what I decoded was that my style wasn’t photojournalistic enough. Fair enough, my photos are completely posed, but it’s still a form of storytelling.

Oh well, they have their ideals and I have mine. I just thought it funny how I was denied by one of the few services that provided hope for the underdog photographer.

Shadowplay with Ivysgrand

Male art nude Male art nudes is a fine, fine line. One photographer whom I’ve had the pleasure of watching evolve in his style is ivysgrandkid, a 19 year old from San Francisco who really knows how to tame lights.

I don’t know how he was trained or what he uses, but there’s no denying his style is artistic and elevates the human anatomy to a statuesque level — thanks to his effective use of lights. His lighting lends a sculptural quality to his subjects, equal parts light as well as shadow. His lighting is brave and self-restricting.

If a strobist is one who knows how to control light, would there be an opposite to that? A shadowist? A negatist? It all sounds not so glamorous, but once you see what I’m describing it will all sound beautiful.

Check out his photostream and prepare to be inspired.