Tags: 80mm, advertising, Apo-Digitar, Aptus-II, beverage, Cambo, D1, digital photography, equipment, Leaf, lighting, medium format, Phase One, product, Profoto, Schneider-Kreuznach, set, Sinar, still life, studio, tools
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posts tagged ‘Cambo’
Whoa! Things are ramping up! I’m directing and shooting a preliminary sequence for my graduation portfolio as I round the bend into my final year at AiC. That’s exciting. I’m shooting contracts here and there and moving out old equipment – making room for some new. See note below. I’ve also started teaching Capture One to a few students, and possibly a few instructors starting this week. Busy.
This week brings huge changes as I switch over to the Sinar platform (evil Sinar!) via a brand new X body. I couldn’t resist any longer and I was offered a deal I really couldn’t refuse. Along side that comes a 150lb camera stand and a huge Manfrotto 400. This rig takes over as studio queen whilst my trusted and beloved Cambo Ultima sticks around for out-of-studio jobs, secondary, and backup. On the production side, I’ve really been getting into Profoto’s Air system combined with Capture One for lighting control directly within the workflow window. Everything is now managed from Capture One… Really, really sweet. I make no apologies for being a gear head, btw. I think I’ve found the one area of photography where that’s okay.
Earlier today I chatted with my friend and fellow studio rat, Kelsey Hansen, about starting an interest group at AiC dedicated to tabletop and still life. It would be great to get together in order to talk about trends, tech, do some camera and equipment demos, visit some commercial studios, and so on. Honestly, I can’t believe that this doesn’t already exist. If you’re a student and you’re reading this, PLEASE CONTACT ME OR KELSEY if you’re interested! Awesome.
Here’s the note: I have a gorgeous Cambo Master PC technical camera (L-Frame, base tilts, variable-axis tilts, fully geared) with perfect bellows, 4×5 glass, extension rail, and hard case for sale. I’ve been going back and forth about selling it, but the new Sinar ends that indecision. All in EX+ condition. I really hate to let this camera go, it is a classic. I also have several MINT- Nikkor lenses on Copal shutters to let go if you’re looking. Contact.
And, suddenly, it looks like the latest Safari 5.0.5 update for OSX breaks my current implementation of the Facebook Like button running in my site-wide footer. I’ll have to fix that. Always something.
I’ll leave off with a new shot. This started out as a classic bottle and glass still, until my friend commented that, had she that glass of Green Label, she’d be drinking it not looking at it. Ha! Brilliant! Thanks Stacey.
Hi again. I’m just dumping out my work from this quarter at school. Let’s see, where are we… I shot this huge bread production as an editorial for a recipe book that I want to put together someday. Or, at least, as a test editorial for a recipe book that I want to put together someday. Bread. It’s so good and it’s so much fun to light. These two shots are my selects from the entire project and now that it’s over these two are really the only two that I care about. First we have this HUGE three pound boule of traditional sourdough, which is to say that it is not the nasty San Francisco stuff we are used to here in the Midwest. Next is this midsized but very dense loaf of Cherry Walnut holiday bread that makes the mouth water.
I should mention that I did not bake these things. They came directly from the hearth ovens of The Denver Bread Company up there in Denver’s Highlands neighborhood. This place is so sweet; this place will be visited by me frequently. The people who live near this bread bakery are so very lucky. In this age of supermarkets we often forget tradition, flavor, and aesthetic qualities in our foods. Eating this bread was like a revelation. Life is too short to eat mass-produced bread. Search out a local bread maker and realize what you’re missing.
These three shots complete my Advertising & Art Direction class at AiC; probably most informative and motivating course I have ever taken. I’m half-way sad that it’s over, and half-way relieved…time step back and evaluate what I’m doing and shoot some stuff for myself. That kind of course is exactly why I’m spending money on commercial photography school.
This advertising campaign features Jameson Gold Reserve Irish Whiskey, a premium Jameson blend. Each part is set in a distinct environment and stylistically they stand half way between modern and traditional liquor advertising. My technique for these shots produced a great look and feel that seems painterly, hyper-real even. They seem like foreground/background composites, but they aren’t – each set was complete from foreground to background, and each set was built on location. Each piece was multi-shot, however, over six lighting segments and composited to produce the final images. I love the look; I just need to refine the process and keep pushing it. This series was produced over a two week period with 4 to 5 hours shooting and 4 hours editing for each piece. Hell of a lot of stress, planning, and travel on top of all that; we moved a full studio kit to each location. It’s a good thing this stuff is so much fun!
I have TONS of nitpicky issues with these, but I’ll just keep them to myself. Please feel free to comment; otherwise just enjoy!
Interesting -> the weird distortions on the third shot (holiday) are due to shooting on a carpeted floor: misalignment between plates, etc. Lesson learned!
Again, lots of great work from friends and other students recently. Hopefully I’ll get some links up soon.
It’s the holiday season and I’m right smack in the middle of finishing what is probably going to go down as one of my toughest quarters at the Art Institute. I am booked out completely. I haven’t seen my friends in weeks. I’m looking forward to wrapping this one. In fact, its midnight and I really should be working on a statistics research paper and moving closer to doing just that. But I got bored and realized that I have not yet posted my mouse house shoot from three weeks ago.
So I’m going to do that now. This was a great set and a lot of fun to design, build, and shoot. (Lighting geeks will note the monolight simul-lamp rig-up, ha! It was useless in the end.) It generated a bunch of feedback, which I love, and lots of further ideas that I look forward to trying. The set is now bubble wrapped in storage for more action in the future. Thanks to Raydene Salinas, Charles Dykeman, Marc Roewekamp, and everyone else in Brad Bartholomew’s Advertising class for brainstorming this one with me.
I should have some more work to post coming up over the next few days and the following week. I’m also seeing some AWESOME stuff coming from friends and students, look for some links soon!
Here’s a quick test shot, fresh off the table today. This Tomato-Basil soup is part of a series of contemporary Polish dishes that I am preparing to shoot later next month. This is a lighting test, texture test, aesthetic test, etc. Not quite where I want it to be. It’s too busy, perhaps. I’m not into the angle. Still, not too shabby! Shooting food well is really hard, I’m learning quite a bit.
We wrapped a great shot for my advertising concept portfolio this afternoon. We’re ill from the damn diffusion spray but it was worth it. The design was inspired by all the great fragrance advertising photography of the 90′s. Boldness has slipped away to make room for the current trends of muted tones and minimalism. But there was a time when big and in-your-face was the best way to sell your perfume.
You’ll note the masterful droplet styling on the bottle face as well as the selective lighting. My assistant Dave and I were at it for hours getting the light just right on this one, so it was especially gratifying to see such a great result. There was digital clean up, of course, and I did brush those ice cubes together and work the logo background a bit in post, but otherwise this is a straight shot. Much fun was had trying different angles and combinations of diffusion spray…up until the headaches and nausea set in. Strange stuff.
The table-set was constructed for this shot specifically and is a total Home Depot special. You have to love hardware stores the size of city blocks; they have EVERYTHING.
Still rocking that 120mm Nikkor-AM Apo-Macro. I’m convinced that I need a 120mm Digitar around here, eventually. It’s a versatile focal-length on a 48mm sensor.
Not much time for blogging lately, hence the huge delay since last post. I just thought I’d drop in and leave this. Minimalism; mixed lighting; looks cool. This shot’s histogram has a just a wee bit of skew! I’m looking forward to revisiting this idea for my portfolio process, coming up.
I love Intuos4 tablets; they are a staple in my studio space. Wacom is a great company, too.
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.
I’ve just finished another portfolio piece that is a continuation of a previous piece started ten months ago in a studio class taught by Joe Lavine. This represents a background format within which I like to dabble that blurs into both commercial and fine art disciplines and usually heads in the direction of surrealism, which I am very much into. It’s a lot of fun and a great sidetrack to keep things interesting and original in my portfolio. Also, surrealism drives my mind and makes me happy.
This image is a personal minimalistic statement about leaving the corporate world of software for the creative, and trying to hack it as a photographer. It’s also closely tied to the concept of Time vs. Space; two complimentary entropic dimensions tied to the inevitability of aging. Yeah. I just turned 32. Strange times in my head.
In order to add to the original image I had to completely reconstruct the set in my own studio and match the original lighting. Luckily I take pictures of my sets! The original image was used to create a Cartesian overlay for Leaf Capture and the camera was slowly worked into the same position. This is hard to do with a pan/tilt/roll friction-head. I would really love to upgrade my large format support to a three-way geared head. But I digress.
After capture I collected the old Leaf raw files along with the new and headed into Photoshop to finally do this thing right. The original was shot on a 28 MP Aptus-II 6 with a slightly different crop than the back I use here, but this was not a problem as I intended to play with scales a bit anyway in order to add to the surrealistic aesthetic.
Emotionally this image is very powerful for me. At the same time it was a lot of fun to produce. I want to mention that the original was completed with help from my friend and studio partner, David Donovan.
So…does this go in my commercial portfolio or my fine art portfolio??? Who knows; it’ll probably go back and forth. I can’t make decisons.