Friday, June 27, 2008

Boulder Cruisers for Bicycling Magazine

Publish PostI just got this issue of Bicycling Magazine in the mail yesterday.  The shot was for the back "Finish" page.  Highlighted here are participants in a cycling group called the Boulder Cruiser Ride.  These guys are awesome.  They organize fun Thursday night costume bike rides through Boulder. They often have themes, like robots, nerds, and super heros.  Next weeks theme: Red, White, and Cruise.  
When we go there, I was joking about it being a windy day.  We used so many sand bags on the background and scrim that I took a risk and left one head with a 20" beauty dish "un-bagged." 

Sure enough, near the end of a shoot, a front moved in, ripped the 12' white seemless off the stands, and blew over my soft dish light.  Gotta hand it to Dynalite, they make a good product.  Even though the handle was bent into the head, the fan and head still work fine.
My assistant Randall shot this picture (above) right when I was shooting the image that ran.
What a great assignment and what great people.  I love shoots for Bicycling.  Thanks Stacey and Kaitlin!  And thank you Randall for the production stills!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Playing with fire

I'm playing with some ideas for retouching some of the fire fighter's images that were shot on black... This is just a rough sketch... I didn't spend too much time on selections, or placements... I'm mostly playing with my approach to layers and textures to figure what my final attack would be.  It's a lot of fun.  I don't know if it will work for the calendar, but I envision a gritty, grungy, movie poster look.

Remember the days when working with 2 layers in photoshop could take half an hour to render a simple change?  I don't mean to sound like an ol' geezer, but I can't say how much I appreciate how far computer speeds have come!  A fast computer just puts the fun back into the game!

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Future of things to come!

Cats and kittens, hold on to your seats, because BIG changes are coming to my studio arrangements.  Though I love my current digs, I've outgrown my shooting space.  We are under contract for a new building that will expand my capabilities to the next level.  Let's just say that several paths converged and this may be the best risk I've ever taken.  A lot will need to happen in the coming months... if you have vision... check out these pix and join me in my excitement!
The building is garage... check out the vaulted ceiling! Two garage doors!

This is the view from the roof where we plan to put a deck!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Boulder Fire Fighters

I was asked by a client if I would shoot a fundraiser for the Children's Hospital Burn Unit. Are you kidding me? Of course! My pitch to the AD was to combine the expected safe "sexy" look of the firemen with an edgy "heroic" look. They liked the idea and we were off to the races. We spent days scouting and shooting.  The above image is just a basic test from the shoot... I'm still playing around with where I'm going with these images in post.

I'll have to split this shoot into several blogs... the job is huge.

Part of the honor of shooting this job was a tour of the Children's Hospital Burn Unit. I walked through the halls with last years calendar Firefighters and got to see first hand what this huge effort is going to help. It was awesome and frightening at the same time. The unit is a harsh reality I hope to never visit with my kids.

We met a boy (about 11 years old) who wants to be a weapons designer when he grows up. He filled a huge squirt gun with gasoline, trying to build his own flame thrower. Instead, he built his own napalm bomb which melted and shot flaming gasoline all over his legs. You get the picture. Ouch. Reminds me of the time when I was his age and some friends and I were playing tennis with a gasoline covered flaming tennis ball. It's a wonder any of us are alive. Part of the effort of this calendar is to educate kids to be smarter than I was.

Anyhow. This was a fantastic project. What guy didn't at one time want to be a firefighter? What girl at one time didn't want a fire fighter ???

Our first shot was a sunrise shot at the top of a training tower.  We had to lug a couple thousand pounds 5 flights up to the top.  Firefighter do it all the time.
My top secret lighting here is the 6x6 ScrimJim to cut down the ambient light, two Uni400s with grids on booms for back rim light, a Profoto 20" softdish reflector with grid and then a Profoto top secret multi-million dollar (insert laugh) custom grid pictured below.

Boulder is beautiful in the morning.  I love my job.

This is the tower and we are setting up for the next shot... a firefighter named Tony in the bucket of a ladder truck.

Meet Nicky Lee, she is a rockstar stylist and a papillon.
In addition to the "action shots" we shot each firefighter on a stationary second set for the option of a cutout.  

Here we are about to drench this firefighter with water from above for a sexy shower shot... yeah baby!

this shot is smokin'.  LOL

5280 Magazine June '08 Cover

Art Director: Mike Leister
Photo Editor: Steffanie Woodward

It was a great honor to shoot 5280 Magazine's June cover (the "Summer is Here!" issue) for the second year running. Careful scouting landed the perfect location to show a happy couple walking over a hill with stellar views of mountains in the background. Bad weather the week before the shoot threatened the deadline, but God came through and we had a beautiful early morning shoot. I couldn't have been more happy with my my weather and the crew. Kudos to Katelyn Simkins who did a great job with makeup. Randall Bellows, my wingman, Caleb Opp, and Micah Dekorne were camera assistants. Georgia Benjou was the clothing stylist. 

Thank you Micah for these awesome production stills!!!!

Catering table and "Harvey the RV", my first class Grip Truck... sort of.

Katelyn hard at work.

Gotta live high walkers... This location is 80's RAD!

Summer issue shot in 40 degree weather... note warm clothes.

You have to pose like Bono when you shoot covers.

My top secret lighting: Uni400 with 18" dish key, 2040 head with 2K WS. blasting thru the 8X10" scrim for fill.

Mike (AD) to my left and Steff (PE) to my right.

Macbook Pro with external 18" screen and external hard drives powered by a Dynalite Battery in my computer tent.

You want some of this?  300mm lens compresses the subjects and Mountain background.

Here we are setting up to shoot the index page.
Sandbag tripod.  Real High Tech.
Sorry for the view Randall... Thanks for saving my (and the Models') life.  A great assistant will sacrifice all comforts to help get the shot... ha ha.