archive for September, 2010
Tons of things are going on right now and I haven’t really been in the studio shooting proper. I do, however, have some interesting stuff around the corner…once I have some time to breathe. Since we’re wrapping the current quarter at AiC I have a few misfits which I thought I’d post here…I don’t know what else to do with them.
These are concepts, demos, prototypes, etc. They have absolutely nothing to do with each other.
Enjoy the week and eat well. (Here: Lobster w/ Chili-Lime Butter)
This is a short photo profile that I’ve produced for my Photojournalism class. My intention was to highlight an uncommon job. I consider the current state of media to be the antithesis of interest; being mostly shock and heroism, it holds no real value for me anymore. It is without flavor. I’m more interested in the gears of society, so to speak.
I want to thank Stefan Martorano for letting me follow him around for two days while he tended to his duties at Av-Tech Electronics, Inc. in Golden, Colorado, where he is an installation supervisor. Stefan and his associates at Av-Tech install and maintain warning and communication electronics in emergency vehicles of all types for government and private institutions. Av-Tech is one of the largest emergency vehicle electronics service companies in Colorado.
The atmosphere of the place is surprisingly calm and quiet with lots of room to think and breathe. I found it to be relaxing. The music I’ve chosen fits this environment perfectly in my mind. I wanted something slightly abstract and laid back in order to convey the place as a whole. The track is untitled, from Aix by Giuseppe Ielasi.
I was advised to keep this under a minute and a half. To be honest, I wish I had gone for three or more. While some of us may not derive enough interest from this type of piece to keep our attention for even a minute, I submit that it is because we are victims of heroism and modern fast-cut media. This piece is for the reflective and curious; I hope you will enjoy it.
Hey this is just going to be a quickie. I just wanted to mention that Phase One has release Capture One 5.2, the latest version of their high-end RAW file converter/manager, and with it comes some huge things for Leaf users.
Capture One 5 now supports Leaf Aptus, Aptus-II, Afi, and Mamiya DM digital backs natively, which means that it handles .MOS files and tethering with the same speed and performance as Phase One’s own backs, including Live View support for applicable Leaf hardware. On top of that, Live View now works with any Mamiya DM/serial camera configuration such as the RZ67 Pro IID and RZ33, which opens up new avenues for in-studio RZ shooters doing food and still life. Like me, for instance. It’s huge, I’m beyond excited.
LCC support, Leaf profiles, firmware updates, the whole shebang right there in Capture One. Nice. I should also mention that tethered performance is REALLY quick and easily beats Leaf Capture to the display. While Leaf Capture feels a bit heavy on the downloads, Capture One 5.2 seemingly rips through them and really changes the feel of the workflow. The software is neatly threaded; its first priority is putting your shot up on the display before chewing out details such as focus masks and sharpening. Again, nice.
On top of all this, the software seems much more responsive in general, especially during zooms and control adjustments.
I’m excited to step Capture One 5.2 into my workflow to see how it works out for us here. I’ll let you know. For now, go check it out yourself. Capture One 5.2 is FREE for digital back users.
Addendum: Just as I post the above I get an email from Leaf Imaging about a new version of Leaf Capture as well. Figures. It looks like Leaf Capture 11.3.6 will bring the same firmware updates and new firmware/software features to the entire line of Leaf digital backs that we are seeing in Capture One, including the extended support for the Mamiya RZ67 Pro IID camera. Right on!
Whoa, beverage attack! This five drink series was hella-fun to shoot. A marathon of dulling spray, flying corn syrup, acrylic ice cubes, and beer.
Several weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting Heather Capri and Rachel Ryle, founders of the now hugely popular Twitter background website, Tweety Got Back. They showed up to give a talk about social media and social networking for business, which was entirely informal, not boring, and really great. We definitely learned a lot. Thanks, Heather and Rachel!
Tweety Got Back is swell because they provide free, high resolution, gorgeous backgrounds for your Twitter profile, and they only feature real working artists, supporting both local and international artists communities. Make sure to go visit them and grab a free Twitter background. Great website, also.
So, anyway, I pulled off a rather huge shoot for a five shot series of minimal/bold/sexy beverage features. Five sexy beverages in a modern style. The studio is a mess and my refrigerator is full of beer that I don’t really care for. Luckily, I know some people who will take care of that.
I’ve combined this series into a single wide-pan (see last image below) and integrated it into my portfolio slider, so make sure to hit my landing page and get into my product portfolio to check it out: http://www.matthewlowery.com/
On a side note, I was asked by the founder of Strobox to submit a tutorial based on this series. Strobox looks like a really cool website that features tutorials by photographers based on actual shots from their portfolios. I think this is a great idea. The best way to learn is by taking apart actual work. Anyway, I’m thrilled.
I am back to shooting food editorials for my portfolio and for assignment. Now, this is my kind of day: Wake up at 10…or after 10, actually. Play with cats until noon. Go shopping for props; equals lots of high-end home and kitchen stores, and big dreams. Enjoy a late sidewalk lunch with Amy. Hunt for huge pieces of fruit. Come home with two bags full of exotic melons. Take studio apart. Sweep a bit. Nap. Put studio back together. Work on a shot all evening with an assistant to do the dirty work. Blah, blah, blah.
I convinced my buddy Dave to assist on this setup and together we ate way too much of this stuff. I’m all giddy and ill on grapefruit and strange melons with unpronounceable names. Also, melons are delicious, but damn they smell. Never leave one in your car, for instance.
That delicious looking grapefruit is the product of all kind of tricks and goo. It’s smoke and mirrors, man. Lots of glycerin, syrup, glue and, literally, mirrors going into the camera, plus tons of work in Photoshop out the other side. Have a look at the actual grapefruit on my monitor in the last image below. Apparently grapefruit isn’t doing so hot right now…some seriously pathetic fruit we had. It took a lot of work to get that thing looking good, thanks to Dave for managing it during capture.
The best part is that I got to use my modified bag bellows. The standard Cambo bag is just huge and awkward, so I found a used one and went at it with a sheet-rock knife, rubber cement, and a sewing machine in order to lose the extra baggage and come out with a smaller version for shorter focal lengths. It’s totally awesome, so maybe I’ll do a write up. Yes, these things excite me. Don’t be afraid to cut up your bellows.
Have a great week.
Medium format shooting just got a whole lot easier for Profoto Air users who pack a Mamiya or PhaseOne 645DF. PhaseOne/Mamiya has introduced a portrait grip just like the one you’ve got for your small format SLR camera, only this one fits the PhaseOne/Mamiya 645DF camera and has Profoto Air radio triggering along for the ride.
Other features include support for both standard AA and Mamiya/Leaf battery packs, and an integrated Arcs-Swiss l-bracket for vertical aspect mounting with or without the grip attached. As if that were not enough, a built in USB port allows for easy camera body firmware updates and programming. Controls and ergonomics on the new grip replicate the camera body exactly with the following functions: Tactile Shutter release, Front Dial, Rear Dial, for time and aperture, AEL and AFL.
Combining Profoto Air with Mamiya’s new Schneider-Kreuznach designed leaf shutter lens line will provide up to 1/1600 sec flash sync on Air-compatible packs and monoblocs right out of the box. By using Profoto Air Sync receivers virtually any lighting system can be triggered by the new grip.
It also comes with a screwdriver and extra mount inserts.
I’m sort of wondering why we haven’t seen one of these yet, considering that the 645AF platform has been around for more than a decade. Also, yeah, HUGE boost for Profoto Air; many will find this heady Air intervention a bit hard to swallow, probably depending on the size of their PocketWizard kit. Personally I’m all for Air, so I dig it. Sorry PocketWizard, but 1/1600 and complete control of my entire lighting rig from my MacBook…eh, I switched teams a while back, actually…you can understand.
Aptus/DM shooters have already put this together: now you can run your back and your body using the same expensive and fairly weak battery packs! Seriously, though, it’s a good thing and a step in the right direction.
Since I know you’re wondering; the new grip will NOT work with older Mamiya 645AF/ADF camera bodies. Also, we will see this product simul-branded across PhaseOne and Mamiya.
Cool. I like it.