Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

I'm sharing my costume from a couple years ago. I went as a Polaroid picture. It was quite possibly the most impractical costume ever; there were some pretty bad blind spots and sitting down wasn't all that easy while inside a giant box. My favorite part was the cheesy 70's floral fabric used to decorate the background and equally ridiculous duck shirt, compliments of LL Bean.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween Costume Party

I went to the most elaborate Halloween costume party over the weekend. There was a mandatory dress code and these people stepped up to the challenge. I could not believe the creativity!

As the east coast prepared for Hurricane Sandy, my costume was a no brainer.

Here are some details from my costume. I wanted to give shout outs to some of my favorite internet sensations, which include: The Tesla Museum the Oatmeal helped save, Matt Paxton aka Spotty Showers from Hoarders & 5 Decisions Away, Frankenstorm, and The Bloggess who is going up against the Zombie Apocalypse in Texas. It also looks like a UFO is after her.

This is the whole backdrop and below myself in front of it. I was really proud that people could tell what I was: a weather forecaster. My entire costume cost $1.39!

The dog is another reference to Family Guy's weather man: Ollie Williams. "WHO WANTS THIS DOG?!?!"

Mario and Vanessa went as...well, I'm sure you can figure it out. And they kept their cost to less than $10!

Spider Bread Bowl

Vanessa was sporting her new Gotye t-shirt.

Everyone was impressed by Adam and Barbara Maitland from Beetlejuice and then they busted out their hand made masks. It was a show stopper!

My favorite, hands down, was the Yip Yip Monster from Sesame Street. It was so simple and so brilliant. Every time you saw this guy walking around the party, you couldn't help but smile.

The winners of the best costume award.

I hope everyone has made it through the storm safely. My house lost power around 6:00 PM Monday night and I expect it to be off for a few days. Luckily, the office has power, so I'll be recharging and making massive amounts of coffee as we try to figure out our print schedule for the newspapers.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Photo of the Week: Week 43

Father Daughter Dance
Shot on PX100 Silver Shade with an SX-70 camera, wheel set to 1/3 dark, flashbar used

I'm trying to pack and prep for the hurricane and process a few pictures from my weekend so I can set up posts for next week. Yesterday I attended a wedding as a guest, but brought along my camera to take some candid shots. I also had my Polaroid with me, which got plenty of cheers and chuckles from the other guests that saw it.

Congratulations Teresa and Steve and the entire Welz family!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Kate Miller-Heidke at the Capitol Theatre 10.09.12

I'm really excited to be able to share my set of Kate Miller-Heidke pictures with you. I feel like October is all about the Aussies! Singer Kate Miller-Heidke and guitarist Keir Nuttall hail from Brisbane, which try as I might, I can't quite pronounce properly (Bris-bin) Their albums are classified as alt-pop, but Kate adds her opera-esque voice to give it a twist. The live show is much more stripped down with Keir on acoustic and Kate on tambourine and occasionally keys.

Keir and Kate at the Klein, 2010

The first time I saw Kate Miller-Heidke was in 2010; she opened for Ben Folds at The Klein in Bridgeport. I managed to cover that show for the paper as well. Ben Folds always tours with a wonderful opening act. Over the years, I was introduced to many bands that have become favorites: Fleming and John, Jude, Guster, Rufus Wainwright, Ben Kweller, and Kate. I wasn't familiar with any of her work for that show, but I was quickly won over by her amazing voice and Keir's incredible guitar work. It's just the two of them on stage, but Keir will loop guitar riffs, giving them a much fuller sound.

When I saw Ben Folds Five last month in Central Park, Kate played a very short set, so I didn't get a chance to fully appreciate the show. This time I was able to enjoy the music and shoot the first three songs. While the lighting was a challenge, I worked through it and captured a handful of shots I'm pleased with.

Kate discussing some of the finer points of opera singing.

This was my second "official" photographers pit and as soon as I saw it, I knew it was going to be a challenge. It was so small, my feet were actually hitting the monitors; you can see the other photographer is set up between the monitors in this shot. The stage was literally within arms reach. While I was still able to move around, it was limited, and relied on the other photographers working with you. Thankfully, that wasn't an issue.

The shots above and below are my favorites of their set.

By far, my favorite song of the night was their cover of I'm the Real Slim Shady. I love when bands reinterpret songs. They are currently touring in Europe and have a few shows in Australia in December. If you can, go see them live. They put on quite a show!

You might be wondering why there are so many black and white photographs in this set. I always do my best to salvage color, but this was the most difficult lighting I have come across to date. It was bright blue for the majority of their songs. The above images are unprocessed, straight from the camera. They look like smurfs. There wasn't even a chance to keep these shots in color and it took a lot of work to even make them presentable in black and white. I view every opportunity to shoot a learning experience, so I'm still grateful. I learned a whole lot about post processing this night. I'll definitely put an orange filter in my bag from now on to try to battle the dreaded blue light.

Now as far as the main act is concerned, you'll have to wait a little bit longer. The paper is hoping to run the feature Thanksgiving week. Everyone's all focused on the upcoming election for some reason. In the mean time, I'll do my best to find more shows to cover. As always, I'm closing out with my shoe shot.

To learn more about Kate Miller-Heidke, check out their website here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

SX-70 Refurbishment

Last week, I decided it was time to refurbish my SX-70 Polaroid camera. I'd purchased a new covering for it last month at the NY Impossible Project Space. The first picture was the current state of my camera. The camera is older than I am, and the original vinyl covering on it was in a pretty pathetic state. I'd pull the camera out of my bag and pieces of it would flake off. This was purely an aesthetic refurbishment; the mechanical workings of the camera are in perfect shape.

It took me four days, two stab wounds, lots of delicate scraping and three rounds of applying Goo-Gone to fully remove the old adhesive. What the heck were they using to glue this down in the '70's? Holy crow! I was told that there should have been metal plates on all the panels, like you can see in the middle picture, but my camera only had it on one small section. If you decide to undertake this project, use a glass scraper. I started off with an x-acto blade, hence the two puncture wounds. Be very gentle with whatever tool you use because the frame of the camera is made of plastic. Only use Automotive Goo-Gone, which is approved to use on plastic.

This camera is a labor of love, but I'm thrilled with the results. I put two coats of protective sealant on the new vinyl because I am NEVER repeating this process. Now who wants to go shoot some Polaroids?

I've started to upload my SX-70 shots onto Flickr. You can check those out here.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Zombie Pumpkins

I went into the city on Saturday to check out the last night of the CMJ Music Festival at The Studio at Webster Hall, but first, I hit up the Giant Pumpkin Carving Weekend at the New York Botanical Gardens. The exhibit was still in the process of being carved and continued all day on Sunday. I took a few shots of what was around. The details were astounding. Just look at the tongue! To learn more about the exhibit, click here.

Andy Bergholtz was carving the back of the Zombie pumpkin when we were there.

If you've ever wondered what an 1,800 pound pumpkin looks like, there you go.

Grace was trying to imitate the pumpkin faces.

Before we left, they attached the head to the body. The amount of details in the guts was amazing.

This is a fr EYE day out take. It's really difficult to get young kids to stay still enough and quickly focus on the eye. I missed focus, but I still thought it was a cute picture.

Over at the Everett Children's Adventure Garden, there were lots of carved funkins. This is a detail of the spider creature they made.

I loved the emoticon expression of this guy. The exhibit will be up until the end of October. Andy Bergholtz explained that the final sculpture would have the zombie he was working on, pulling other zombies out of the ground behind him with vines. If you can get down to the Botanical Garden before Halloween, make sure you take some pictures for me and pass them along!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Photo of the Week: Week 42

If you have a chance, head down to the NY Botanical Gardens in the Bronx in the next few days. Artists are carving pumpkins today and they are making an incredible Zombie sculpture. I only wish I could have seen the completed project.

Friday, October 19, 2012

fr EYE day

After a three week hiatus, it's back: Happy fr EYE day!

I hope my regular readers didn't think I gave up on this project; I actually have enough eye pictures stock piled to last me well into 2013. I just wanted to give people easy access to my concert photography. Starting today, it's back to my regular posts. Since you've waited so long for a new fr EYE day post, I'm giving you one of the prettiest eyes I've seen to date. Those are the most pronounced and symmetrical crypts out of the 40 eyes I've taken pictures of.

For those of you that are newer to my blog, I thought it would be fun to take macro pictures of people's eyes and I post them on Friday's because I like a good pun. You can either click on the label beneath this post to read about prior posts or head over to my pinterest board if you just want to look.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Kate Miller-Heidke Teaser

Last week, I attended my first concert at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY. While I can't show you the photos I took of the headliner, I can share the opening act, Kate Miller-Heidke. The band consists of two Australians: lead singer Kate and guitarist Keir Nuttall. The teaser shot is Keir's shoes. (Kate had amazing heels on, but I couldn't get a clear shot of them due to the stage monitors.) Keir rocks out on an acoustic guitar and does some amazing looping, so I made sure to get a shot of his pedals.

I'm putting the finishing touches on my Kate Miller-Heidke pictures. You'll be able to check them out next week!