It was a busy and productive 2012. We finally updated the website with new images from the previous year. On top of that, check out a revamp update to the blog. The Posterous era has come to an end. Therefore, a new blog engine needed to be used. With the change comes great opportunities for minor improvements. So, we decided to incorporate more social features to the blog. You can now subscribe via email, link to my Instagram and it includes a much better comment section with the help of Disqus. Have at it and take a look…comments are welcome.
More and more frequently magazines are creating interactive versions of their print magazines rather then just a static copy of it. Recently Macworld magazine has created issues for the iPad that works with Apple’s Newsstand.
My role as the photographer is really interesting because I now need to think of my photos as both stills and motion. The cover image and opening spreads are more likely to be used as a stills in the print magazine and as motion sequences in the iPad version.
When I photograph the still version I use still equipment. I could change to the 5D Mark III and hot lights, but that would double my work and change the look of the photo. The work flow that I found that works well is to use stop motion or a layered photo.
With stop motion the art director, Rob, and I plan out the best way to use motion that ends at a still image for print. I use Apple’s Motion program to combine all the stills into a video for the iPad version.
The other method I use is to shoot a still photo and then remove the product from the set after I shoot so I have a blank background. This way I have the product separated from the background. This allows me to bring the files in to Apple’s Motion and animate the foreground giving the photo a more animated feel. So far we have done this for two issues, I’m looking forward to fine-tuning and improving this as we go along.
The July issue and the November issue both have examples of this. Look for them in the App store.
San Francisco Magazine approach me with another great idea that got the creative juices flowing. This time it involved a scarf with a Grace Kelly inspired look. The twist was to have no one wearing the scarf, making it a free floating subject.
The challenge with this image was how to get the scarf floating in the air while having the interior visible. We used wire and paper to get the shape of a human head then cleaned any visible wires in post production. Since influence laid heavy on Grace Kelly, a moody beach was the perfect choice for a background.
Look for the magazine on newsstands or check out the free digital edition online here.
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.
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 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 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.
I was very excited they asked me to collaborate on the album art with them. The photography on the single is a teaser of what the photo will be on the full album. I was also lucky enough to work with Amy from A1 Design on the album design.
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.