Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mothers Day Ads

The Downtown Naperville Alliance has created a Mothers Day advertising campaign using one of my photographs.  It was a really fun photo shoot on a beautiful day.  We didn't want this to look too posed and fake, so we went with a real mother and daughter couple.  They were great to work with and I'm really happy with how it all turned out.  I thought I'd share with you some of the outtakes from that day-
After we shot outside for about an hour we ducked into the chocolate shop in downtown Naperville to get our little model a treat.  While they sat there goofing around I continued taking pictures.  I love some of these shots as well and perhaps they'll be used for another advertisement sometime down the road.  

Thanks to Katie Wood with the Downtown Naperville Alliance for putting all this together.  You can find out more on the Mothers Day activities here (until Mothers Day of course)-

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tales From South Florida - Pt 2

One thing I forgot to mention about the underwater housing is that it weighs about 12 pounds.  So it's like lugging around a bowling ball.  I certainly don't think I'll be specializing in underwater photography anytime soon.  It's a cumbersome thing to do, but I'm glad I had the chance to give it a try.  Here are some of the test shots I took in the murky water off Ft Lauderdale Beach.  They're not perfect, but I enjoyed the dream-like outcome. 
And here is one shot of me trying to figure the thing out. 

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Tales From South Florida - Pt 1

 What an interesting week.  I'm helping to document a series of luxury retirement resorts in the Boca Raton/ Ft Lauderdale area.  Forget what you know about sad nursing homes where people sit around waiting to die.  These are gorgeous high-end condos where people are having a great time and the staff takes care of every need and whim.

Still, I can't begin to describe the hilarious situations that I found myself in after spending a week with these folks.  There seems to be something that happens to people when they hit 82 years old.  Apparently they lose that filter in their brains that keeps them from saying inappropriate things.  I have some crazy stories that I might share with you (but only after you buy me a couple of drinks.)

One of the photographs we had planned was of a resident enjoying a nice swim.  This required us to find a underwater housing unit.  So just days after buying my new camera I was faced with the prospect of having to go underwater with it.  There is a high degree of 'user error' when it comes to these units and I was afraid that we'd screw it up somehow and I would have a soggy, dead paperweight that looks just like a 5D Mark II.

So after practicing for a couple hours with the thing, there came the moment of truth when we simply had to test it out.  At 11:00 at night I marched down to the hotel pool with Kristen (the stylist for the project) determined to give my new camera a quick dunk.  I was shocked to discover that it was harder to do than I thought!  There was something in me that knew I was holding a LOT of expensive camera equipment in my hand and I simply couldn't make my hand put it in the water.  After about 5 minutes of nervously goofing around, it finally make the plunge:

The device was difficult to use.  There are knobs, dials, and plungers that all connect with the buttons on the camera locked inside.  Of course many of them are not labeled and not in the location you would expect them to be.  It took me hours of practice before I felt comfortable using the thing, and even then there was a number of wasted shots.  But when it all came together it was wonderful.  I'll post more photos of the underwater experiment tomorrow. 

By the way- that is my first Youtube video ever.  I'm sure there will be many more to come.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

New Camera

I like adding new things to this blog to show everyone.  But lately I've been luckily that I've been too busy to post about all the fun things I've been doing! 

I'm typing this on a hotel bed in Ft Lauderdale, FL.  I'm down here on a project which is challenging, but difficult to explain.  But there are some funny stories so maybe I'll post some soon.  The day before I left for this trip I made my way to the local camera story and purchased a Canon 5d Mark II.  Unfortunately I didn't have time to test out my new toy before I left.  So I sat on the plane, messing with the settings for about 45 minutes until I had everything just like I wanted it. 
This is the first photograph I took with my new camera.  I think it looks quite nice, thank you very much.  I'm just glad I had a window seat.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Cocoa Beach

I just returned from a trip to Florida with photographers Dennis Biela and Cathy Brinkworth from Light Speed Media.  We were photographing a project that Dennis is working on for NASA.  Over the course of three days we covered a number of the highlights around the Space Center, including making a video of astronaut Jon McBride, and a fun romp through the rocket garden. 
Every now and then I get an assignment that takes me to the east coast of Florida, which is a big bonus because I grew up in Cocoa Beach.  This is my hometown.  All winter long I had a desperate craving for sunshine and seafood, and now I was given three days to satisfy those urges.
The weather was perfect and we even had some free time on the schedule.  I took Cathy to the Cocoa Beach Pier where they were setting up for the 46th Annual Easter Surf Festival.  The end of the pier is the perfect venue to catch the surfers in action.  At times you can almost look straight down on them.  Plus the bar at the end has cheap drinks and it's an ideal spot for people-watching.
Overall it was a great weekend.  I got to talk about photography trends and Ipod apps with Dennis, visited my parents for a bit, and even got to see my good friend Rhonda one evening and tour her new studio.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that a few more trips will present themselves in the next couple of months.

I'll leave you with a photo that Cathy took of me on the pier-

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