That zipper necklace photo... part 1.

This was a fun shoot to art direct and shoot, retouching not so much. This started at Pacific Trimming ( 218 W 38th St, New York, NY 10018) where I was overwhelmed by the cost and selection of zippers. Who knew that there were so many options? After much back and forth, and some questions the staff got me what I needed to build the set for this jewelry photo.

Building out the set was another set of new challenges. At first I started building on standard white 1/4” foam core but because the zippers were black the background foam core created distraction. Honestly, I would have needed an additional dozen zippers to build out a small jewelry set on white. Switching to black foam core allowed me to create deeper set that would give me more depth and fall off in the image without investing in more props.

To light the set I used Elinchrom strobe lights an impact beauty dish that was heavily feathered. By feathering the contrasty beauty dish light I was able to create deep shadows on what was a shallow set. Those deep shadows really allow the jewelry pop off the dark background.

In the next part I’ll go over my tethering and important aspects of creating this image.

It's Friday the 13th... let's talk about happy accidents!

Friday the 13th will always have a special place in my heart. I was born on a Friday the 13th and it is a sort-of unofficial day of celebration for me and my family. On this Friday the 13th I want to talk about happy accidents but more importantly about using the unexpected as a tool.

What you see in the photos below wasn’t what I had pre-visualized when I hit the shutter release. I had anticipated a much higher contrast from the lighting but that’s not what I got back from the photo lab. In this case the work wasn’t for a client. However I did invest in film, development & scanning. It seems silly to let all that go to waste.

So this is where as a creative professional you put on the thinking cap. How do I use the less than perfect photographic elements as a new starting point and make something better. In this case I wanted to reintroduce color on the gold “C” on the loafer. From there it quickly became fun, testing color relationships and digital brush strokes.

In the end the images are playful with a Warhol screen print feel. That most people can get a sense of I’ve seen this before but a little different. If things don’t go perfect, it’s a good thing because you’ll grow from it.

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Exploring repetition and line in composition

Being hyper stimulated by the ebb and flow in NYC, I often want to reduce that sense of chaos in to something orderly. It’s my photographers soul trying to control everything and bend the light to create something visually expressive of the feeling in the moment. I find that reducing the elements while working in black and white gets me focused on abstraction that dips in to the fundamental elements of design.

In these studies of the Oculus at ground zero I focused on line and repetition to emphasize a strong sense stability to take back ownership of the change that 9/11 created in my life.

Oculus, study 6

Oculus, study 6

Oculus, study 18

Oculus, study 18

Oculus, study 12

Oculus, study 12

A few words on scanning negatives with the Epson V600

I’m currently working my way through scanning twenty four rolls of film I shot during my Apres SCAD trip. I want to take this opportunity to share my thoughts on my flat bed scanner.

My home setup is an Epson V600 flatbed using the proprietary software. On previous trips and for some jobs I’ve had my lab do the scans but they always leave me thinking I could have done this better myself. However the trade off is time. The Epson V600 while adequate is on the slow side due to its narrow back light used for scanning negatives. It is an entry level scanner that is great for learning and refining your technique but you will out grow it if you are doing heavier levels of photo production.

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After Aprés SCAD 2019

After my trip I was excited to get the film back and begin the great work of scanning all the film I shot. My lab in NYC is Luster Photo ( 121 Ave A, between 6th street and St Marks). Usually It takes a few days to get black and white done but this week I was able to pick everything up a day later. $200 invested in developing and I’m ready for the next steps.

A mixed bag of 24 rolls of film

A mixed bag of 24 rolls of film

120 Negatives on the light table

120 Negatives on the light table

View through the 10x loupe

View through the 10x loupe

Light table covered in 35mm negatives

Light table covered in 35mm negatives