Category Archives: Behind the Scenes

04|08
2013

Exploratorium and SF Magazine.

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The Exploratorium in San Francisco has moved in to a new location that’s going to make it one of the biggest attractions in the city. San Francisco Magazine asked me to capture a couple of photos of the new location before it opens. The museum’s crew spent a day moving construction materials and equipment out of the way just so I could get a clean shot. It is a beautiful new space for the museum. I knew I wanted a soft light to showcase the building. We were shooting other areas inside the building when I noticed the sun outside was how I envisioned it would be to capture an exterior photo. We rushed outside and got this shot just in time!
This is my favorite image they used for the spread (plus a behind-the-scenes photo). The magazine is on newsstands now and also free online.

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03|15
2012

Hanging with Bikes

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I love bikes, especially well designed and functional urban bikes and accessories. Naturally, I was excited when Dwell approached me to photograph some beautiful bike gear.

The idea was to photograph 3 bikes hanging on colored backgrounds. Normally, we would paint the walls the day before the job but the client wanted the flexibility to change the colors once we had decided on what items would be in each shot. In order to achieve this, we hung paper on the wall instead of painting. I was worried that the strong side lighting would show all the wrinkles in the paper. We were really careful and it turned out extremely well. The side lighting gave the sets great depth.

It was great working with the stylist, Janis, and the talented team at Dwell. Now I just have to curb my bike envy!

Look for the magazine on newsstands or check out Dwell for more great info.

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02|08
2012

The Brokenmusicbox Full Album

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The cover for the single, “We Will” was a teaser for the full album—which I’m excited to say is out in it’s full glory. The music, design and photography have all come together in harmony to form an exciting album.

 

How was it all done??

 

We met with Tony and Kim from The Brokenmusicbox in September of last year. In the meeting we talked about what the album meant to them and what they were trying to convey with it. During the meeting we came up with some basic ideas and then narrowed it down to one. After the meeting I gave them a final sketch of my idea which they approved before I started photographing.

 

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The technical part:

The dirt was pilled up in front of a turquoise background. Once I was happy with the shape of the top dirt I placed the flower. I test photographed about 6 flowers but only one was used for the final image. The dirt was lit from above with a long strip box. This gave the dirt a nice edge light. The lighting also left the front of the dirt dark, making it easier to blend with the “underground” dirt photo. I had one light with a 7″ reflector coming from the back to give the photo lens flare. The flower that I picked didn’t have any leaves so I had to photograph them from a different flower. Once I was happy with the dirt and the flower I used a water spray bottle to add the rain.

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The “underground” portion of the photo was taken separately and upside down. This way I had gravity working in my favor rather then against me. The root for the actual  flower in the final image wasn’t very photographic so I picked a different plant that had a nice root. I then used scissors to trim the root so it didn’t look too busy. Once the bottom image was photographed I just rotated it 180 degrees and blended it with the top photo.

 

It was great working with The Brokenmusicbox and Amy Gregg from A1 Design.

 

Listen to the full Album here http://thebrokenmusicbox.bandcamp.com I love all the songs but my favorite is “California Year.” Listen to the album and post which song is your favorite.
01|13
2012

Editors’ Choice

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The latest issue of Macworld Magazine gave me the chance to use my new 100-400mm lens.  San Francisco is the perfect city for it! Every neighborhood has a view.

It is crazy how many tourists come and go to famous landmarks. They take their photo and then on to the next spot. I guess I do the same thing when visiting other places. As we waited for the sun to go down, we were asked by at least 7 tourists to take their pictures.

Here are some photos I took from the same spot at full zoom.

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12|16
2011

Macworld January Cover

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The iPhone 4s has been unleashed all over Macworld Magazine, inside and out. The cover may look nice and clean but the set to light it was a mess.

 

If you’re traveling for the holidays, load your iPad up with the Zinio version or look for the analog version at your airport news stand.
12|08
2011

Eames: The Architect and the Painter

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About a year ago (November 2010) Dwell magazine hired me to photograph a bunch of cool chairs. Of course one of the chairs was a requisite Eames chair. Dwell had asked if a film crew could come by my studio as well since the editor of the magazine (Sam) was being interviewed in a film about Charles and Ray Eames. They thought they might get some footage during the day. See photos from that day here

 

Fast forward to now, and the movie, Eames: The Architect and the Painter, is now out in theaters. I went to see it since I thought it would be interesting and I wanted to see how the film turned out. I wasn’t expecting to see any footage from my studio but was super-excited to see that towards the end of the movie my studio (and I) were shown. I even had a big line—I don’t want to spoil it—but it was something like, “I think we should move the chair.”

 

I encourage you to see my film debut this really fascinating portrait of an incredibly innovative, influential and talented couple. http://firstrunfeatures.com/eames

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12|06
2011

Red, Red, Red

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San Francisco Magazine approached us with a fun idea for “The Trend” section of the December 2011 issue.  They wanted to incorporate the color red in an over-the-top fashion.  They provided a selection of red products to pick from to form the groups. Rather than washing the photos with a red overlay in Photoshop, we went old school and used red gels.  Each grouping was giving it’s own surface and gel treatment. This allowed the photos to have their own identity while relating to each other as a series.

 

 

 

 

11|29
2011

city lights

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It’s always fun when we collaborate with clients and come up with bright ideas.  This time we captured the luminance of lamps against a city background for the Dec/Jan 2011 issue of Dwell Magazine. It took a few extension cords to get all the lamps lit.  We also got to roam the streets of downtown San Francisco pretending we were tourists and photographed various city backgrounds.

You can find it on newsstands or zinio.com

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10|31
2011

Clutch Bags With SF Magazine

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Now that the we finally got the blog up and running with Posterous, we are playing catch up with a few new blog posts of recent work. The September 2011 issue of San Francisco Magazine includes three of my photographs in it’s “The Trend” section.  This time, we got to work with fancy, designer clutch bags and incorporate fruits and vegetables.  Shannon Amos (stylist) came through in the clutch to provide good quality and photogenic produce.

 

 

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08|03
2011

Dwell: Desks

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For the September issue of Dwell magazine we photographed desks. We worked with a set builder to make custom pedestals, which looked great but moving things around was no easy task! When asked if we could move a pedestal “a little to the left” we had to really question if it was needed. When we did move things, it took considerable effort not to scratch the floor or anything. Even with all the heavy lifting it was a really fun job. After we assembled all the desks Jamie, the editor, tried them all out for her story.

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For the September issue of Dwell magazine we photographed desks. We worked with a set builder to make custom pedestals, which looked great but moving things around was no easy task! When asked if we could move a pedestal “a little to the left” we had to really question if it was needed. When we did move things, it took considerable effort not to scratch the floor or anything.
Even with all the heavy lifting it was a really fun job. After we assembled all the desks Jamie, the editor, tried them all out for her story