I have always loved photographing shiny things. I credit one of my mentors, Ernie Block, for my fascination with reflective objects. While shooting for him on a catalog he told me you don't light chrome, you light what chrome sees. That simple phrase has stuck with me for over fifteen years. On that particular job it seemed that I got to shoot all of the chrome items for a kitchen catalog he was producing. We are talking spoons, knives, ladles and the list goes on. Every so often he would walk by me on set and say, "Its a discipline builder" and how right he was. It really gave me a love for photographing chrome objects, however some might call it a sickness.
I have photographed quite a bit of chrome product in my career and in most cases we produce really clean chrome. I recently wanted to photograph a golf wedge, this had absolutely nothing to do with me wanting a new wedge. I found quite a few wedges with cavity backs and bronze or brushed nickel finishes that would have made great subject matter and been relatively easy to photograph, but I wanted something with a classic shape and reflective chrome. I ended up with a relatively inexpensive Callaway wedge from a local big box store. I started with a similar approach that I had used with other chrome product, large sources creating big fields of clean white reflections. The clean chrome was fine (unfinished version pictured below) but I wanted to do something sexier with lots thin edge highlights. So I changed up my angle and started from the beginning. After a couple of hours I got to what I had pictured in my head. A dark moody photograph with lots of razor thin edge highlights. I included the final capture as well as the retouched shot. As you can see most everything was done in camera and not a lot of retouching was needed. Thanks to Andrew Webb for straightening out the minor imperfections. Really happy with the outcome and the wedge was a long needed addition to my bag.
Late last year we had an idea for a shot that called for a really cool car. We were lucky enough to get our hands on a Tesla Roadster. We shot the road scenes outside Boulder and the Tesla in studio last fall. Then, as they often do, the shots waited on a hard drive until we had time to finish them early this month. Part of the delay in finishing this other than a pretty busy spring was I was not entirely happy with the sky I had shot. So I put my ego aside and did a little search for some stock. I was able to find two stormy skies that we composited for this shot. All together the finished shot has five separate images in it, so I clicked the shutter on the majority of the images. We have a couple more Tesla shots waiting to be finished it is just a matter of having the time to get them done. Really pleased with the way this one came out,no small thanks to Andrew Webb!
In January and February of this year we had the pleasure to work with Level 3 Communications and Carbon8 on a really fun project. A big thanks goes out to my producer on this adventure, Lisa Schrag She was able to orchestrate six days of shooting, with a cast and crew of more than thirty-five people, within our budget and with a smile. While we had a lot of surprises like subzero temperatures on at least two of our shoot days, frozen pipes in one of our locations, an ice storm out east on the very day we had to travel east, the crew operated like a well oiled machine and we pulled off some great shots. It was hard to choose from the thirty-four shots we delivered but here are my favorites. Thanks again to everyone involved.
It is always a good day when I am shooting. While editorial gigs don't pay much sometimes, they make up for it in other ways. I always forget how much fun I have shooting editorial. The opportunity to meet and interact with a wide range of individuals and the creative freedom photographers get to have is reason enough I should chase after a few more of these gigs. We shot a series of seven or so portraits for Colorado Meeting and Events Magazine a few months back and these are a couple of my favorites. As always, a big thanks to Andrew Webb for his inspirational post production.
A couple months ago we did a quick job for Catapult Marketing. The concept for the shot was to show what appeared to be an endless sea of people. We determined we needed approximately thirty head shots with great expressions. With a two day turn around on this one the idea of shooting these people ourselves was out of the questions. Even if we had the time the budget just would not permit it so we found a photo CD online that met our needs for about $850. While Andrew was putting a little bit of his post production styling on these images I was laying out the shot with a deck of playing cards. Once we got the layout and post styling of the head shots approved by the Creative Director, James Pelz, back in Connecticut, we printed the head shots in-house, cut them out and placed them in the shot. All that was left was a little card shuffling to make sure we had all the faces in the right places. We only had thirty cards prepped so to create the illusion of more we shot several plates or layers, moving the rows of cards back each time. I think we were contacted on a Thursday and had final files delivered to the client the following Monday morning. Could not have pulled it off with out the organized thinking and quick decision making of our client and the digital support of Andrew Webb.
What can I say about one of my favorite shoots from last year. I am not a huge sports fan by any means but I do get into March Madness quite a bit. Could have something to do with my ties to KU but I watch the games even when the Jayhawks aren't playing. We produced these for Miller Lite and their promotions surrounding the 2011 NCAA basketball tourney. With some great art direction from Integer's Eric Lindgren, a talented crew and some incredible talent we pulled off a definite portfolio piece. It may not look like a difficult gig for the talent but you try to jump for two to three hours in a row. Many thanks to Solomon and Ray for hanging in there. Thanks also to Andrew Webb for his on-set tech support and post stylings.
To say we have been busy does not say enough. We are currently in the post production phase of what turned out to be an almost two month long project we produced for Level 3 Communications and Carbon8. Our largest production day involved about twenty five people and one magnificent location, OfficeScapes. This photo is of our amazing cast and crew that I owe a real debt of gratitude for all their hard work. Not only did we get to work with some great people but we learned a lot about Level 3 along the way, what a cool industry. Thanks to all.