I was approached by Rob (the art director at Macworld) about their up coming feature “iPad on the Job.” We both thought it would be a good idea to try something new. Rather than shoot small sets in my studio we thought it would be appropriate and more interesting to take the photos at the Macworld offices. We wanted to keep it real. Instead of trying to build and style the “perfect” set, we would let an honest and actual desk be the setting.
The one thing I didn’t keep real was the lighting. Each set required relighting to give it the feel and mood I wanted.
The image selected for the opening spread was photographed in Jason’s (the Editorial Director) office. Good thing he was on vacation—my lighting and grip really made a mess of his office! It was a refreshing and stimulating challenge to introduce new parameters to our typical process. Looking forward to more such experiences in the future.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
I’ve always been interested in knowing where things are made—it is a fascination of mine. I’m especially passionate about things being made in the USA, since it seems so much manufacturing has been outsourced to other countries. Given the option, I would always choose items made in the US—even my clothes. I want to support the companies that make the effort to keep the manufacturing in the USA. Often I would be wearing at least one American made item, but along the way I became compelled to try and have a fully American made outfit (including socks, shoes and underwear!)
I continued to research and source American made clothing, accessories, shoes, etc. I found some really great options…some are even being made right here in San Francsico, which is very cool. I feel so passionate about supporting these efforts that I’m committing to buying only American made clothing going forward. I’ve been so energized and inspired by the process that I decided to start a new personal photo series of made-in-the-USA clothing and accessories. This photo showcases my first completely American made outfit. (Sources below)
People often ask about our Aperture workflow so I’ve decided to once in a while share little ways in which we work. You can see all my past Aperture posts by clicking on the Aperture category on the right side of the website.
For this post, I wanted talk about smart albums. We use smart albums to pull together images that are spread across different projects. For example, if I wanted to find all the Macworld covers I photographed during 2010 and 2011, I can create a smart album that searches only the years 2010 and 2011 for photos with the keywords “macworld” and “tearsheet-cover” since these assets where originally keyworded during import. We always tag each photo that is imported into the library. This makes it easy to search and separate certain assets.