Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ume Teaser

Lauren Larson of Ume

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Recently Published Work

I know the frequency of my blog posts has gone down this year. I'm shooting a lot more, which is good, but eats into the time I devote to this blog. I'm currently shooting for the newspapers, features and cover shots; Surviving the Golden Age, concerts and occasionally reviews; Russell's Photography, second shooting weddings; and myself. I try to post the outtakes from these shoots as quickly as possible, but in each case, I wait until the publication or site has run them first.

I have a few concerts that I covered that will be posting next week. I shot the Last Summer on Earth tour at Mohegan Sun last week, which was my biggest shoot of the year. I just found out that I'll be covering The Gathering of the Vibes this weekend for the newspaper and am currently jumping through the media hoops to make sure I have all the access I need. It'll be the first festival I've photographed, so the learning experience alone will be worth the hassle in the end. 

I always believe the more you shoot, the better you get. What do you think?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Roid Week: Day 5 (Belated)

If you follow me on flickr, you'll know that I only managed to upload one picture on the final day of Polaroid Week. I was shooting the Last Summer on Earth Tour of Guster, Ben Folds Five and Barenaked Ladies up at Mohegan Sun. I knew I wouldn't be able to make it back home to scan the shots before midnight. In my continual struggle to photograph concerts with my SX-70, which is both a ridiculous goal and exciting, my results were so-so. The top picture is Ben Folds, which there wasn't enough light. To shoot these, I use the PX680 Color Protection film. You're not allowed to use flash, so I've been attempting to fool my camera into thinking there is enough light. The faster speed film is getting better results with the wheel set to full dark. The bottom picture is of Guster, same settings. They had a lot more light during their set, actually, too much light. That's the hard part about concert photography and Polaroids: you have no control over the amount of light and little control over what the camera wants to do. In the past, I've played with ND filters to block out more of the light, but those have been coming out too dark. Granted, if I were able to pop a flash, these pictures would come out perfectly.

I had a few more Polaroids that didn't make the cut for Roid Week and I thought I'd share them in this post.

Bench from the Botanical Gardens in New York

Carousel Horse at Walnut Beach, Milford, CT

James, the fastest boy in the world! Shot with the blur filter on my Spectra camera.

Friday, July 19, 2013

fr EYE day

hey hey, it's fr EYE day!

Yes, you might recognize this as one of the first eyes I photographed. The thing is, I've gotten much better at the process and this eye is so crazy cool, I wanted to take it again. Technically, it is the other eye from the same person. Come to think of it, I could just reshoot everyone's opposite eye if I start to run low on subjects...

Today is also the last day of Roid Week. I am going to hold off on posting any pictures because, well, I haven't taken them yet. I won't be home until late, so look for the final two shots to post tomorrow.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Roid Week: Day 4

There's no real theme today, just a couple of cool experiments. The top is my first emulsion lift of the always cool Brett. When I asked if anyone was willing to head down to the docks to take a picture, he happily agreed. The picture wasn't turning out the way I wanted, so I decided to cut it open and see what happened. It slightly bubbled up on the art paper I stuck it to and when I scanned it, there was a little blow out. Still, the end result is 100 times more fun than the original picture. Where else can you destroy something and make it better? I love instant film!

The second picture was another from the carnival. This was the Swinger machine and in the background the one that spins really fast and the floors drop out. It was an 8 second exposure, wheel set to full dark and the sensor blocked. I really like the silhouettes of the people standing at the gates.

Tomorrow, I'm only going to post one picture in the morning. If all goes well, I'll have a second at the end of the night. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Roid Week: Day 3

Today's theme is black and white. Both shots were taken on PX100 Silver Shade Impossible Project film. The top image was created with a custom filter that I drew for National Velociraptor Awareness Day. The bottom is a tribute to my grandmother. The ceramic tiger and hosta plant in the background were hers and relocated after she passed away.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Roid Week: Day 2

I decided to feature a couple of my Spectra shots for the second day of Roid Week. The Spectra camera takes much wider photos and also has a built in flash. Both were shot on Impossible Project PZ 680 Color Protection film. The first is an old abandoned hangar at Sikorsky Airport in Stratford, CT. The second is a carousel horse that is mounted in front of a diner, also in Stratford. The owner came out while I was taking the picture and asked if he could have one as well. That's the price you pay for finding a cool object to photograph!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Polaroid Week 2013

Happy 'Roid Week!!!

This year I'm taking part in Polaroid Week. Monday through Friday, users on flickr are allowed to submit two photos per day of their recent Instant Film shots. Be sure to check out all the amazing creativity by clicking here.

I decided to start my Polaroid celebration a month ago, for my SX-70's birthday. Did you know that you can find out when your SX-70 was "born"? This website gives you instructions to find the serial number and spits out a date of birth for your camera. Check it out here. My particular camera's birthday is June 5th, 1978, so it's slightly older than I am. I gathered up all of my Polaroid cameras and threw a little party for the SX-70.

I've yet to use any film in the One, the newest of my Polaroid cameras.

My Spectra, which was my great uncle's camera, and the short lived I-Zone, which printed out miniature sticky pictures.

The birthday boy, the SX-70, which is by far my favorite Polaroid to shoot. I get compliments every time someone sees it.

No party would be complete without a fresh batch of Impossible Project film to shoot! I've already submitted my Monday pictures to the flickr group, but I'll post them here for those less inclined to click links. Both come from my photo assignment over the weekend: a carnival in Monroe, Connecticut.

I loved the colors of the Whackamole game. This was shot just before the sun went down, wheel set to neutral.

This ferris wheel shot was taken using a tripod and a 14 second exposure. I set the wheel to full dark and blocked the light sensor with my finger. This causes the shutter to stay open as long as you are blocking it because the camera thinks it needs more light. It's a little bright still; I could've gotten away with a much shorter exposure, but it was the first time I played around with night photography on the SX-70.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Caturday: The Ghost is Back!

I haven't seen this little guy in almost a year. Last night, on my way home from a shoot, there he was just sitting down in the middle of the road. I shooed him to the side then came back out and brought him some treats. The Swayze is still friendly as ever.

Happy Caturday!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Stratford Fireworks

Fireworks are one of my favorite subjects to photograph. With long exposures, you can create some surreal effects. I play around with my settings, but I find that 1-2 second exposures come out the best, with the ISO as low as your camera can go and the f stop between 16-22. Focus on one burst then switch your camera to manual focus. I like to play with zooming in and out while the shutter is open. This year, I also played around with HDR photos. The camera takes three pictures and combines the results into a single picture. While it created some strange artifacting in a few of the shots, it really made the colors pop.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Can I enjoy a concert without a camera?

I thought it would be a fun experiment to see if I could attend a concert without a camera in tow. This year, I've been very fortunate to have my DSLR with me at most shows. Even when I don't get press access, I usually bring my point and shoot along. When my friend Joe offered me a couple of tickets to see Courtney Love at The Capitol Theatre last week, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to test this experiment. I'm not particularly fond of Courtney Love, I don't really know her music and I wouldn't have bought tickets for this show.

It took all of about 5 minutes before I pulled out my cell phone out and started taking pictures. The Cap is such a gorgeous music venue and the lighting this night was really good. Trust me, I was kicking myself for not bringing the point and shoot. Even though Courtney Love was running late and didn't exactly know where she was, calling it Long Island and Rhode Island several times, she was a great performer. She engaged with the small crowd, walked out to the front of the stage and reached out to her fans. It was a lot of fun to be able to experience that, but I won't deny that I missed my camera.

This experiment also allowed me to really test out the Galaxy S4's. I know, I sort of cheated by having my cell phone with me, but I don't consider those to be real cameras. I set it to night mode on all of them, so there was no flash. I didn't edit these pictures except for converting a couple to black and white. I have to say, while the quality isn't what I like, for a cell phone, it is pretty darn impressive. I was only a couple people back from the front, but the camera locked on focus and did a pretty good job at exposing the shots properly.

A final word to fellow concert goers. I've had a couple of unfortunate experiences this year while attending shows. Being nearly trampled at Andrew WK was something I expected and planned for. The guy that bum rushed the stage at the Eels Webster Hall show then proceeded to shout at Vanessa and myself that he was going to physically harm us still gets my blood rushing when I think about it. Perhaps it was that memory that caused me to react the way I did at this show. A girl pushed her way in front of me at Courtney Love, then turned to say she only wanted to take a picture. I, of all people, wasn't about to argue with that. I told her to take her pictures and then kindly move away so I could see. She took a couple of shots, then started to elbow my friend. I watched her take her beer and pour half of it out on my friend.

Now listen, everyone. I know that this was a bit of a moshing crowd. That's fine, enjoy yourselves. But have some respect. There is no excuse for being flat out rude to another concert goer. I caught her hand that was spilling the beer and tilted it back towards herself. I might have said a few choice words and then took back my original spot in the crowd. General admission shows are not my favorite. If you want a good spot, get there early. If you didn't, don't push your way through the crowd and by all means, don't insult someone that allowed you into their spot by spilling half your beer on another person on purpose. We're all there to enjoy the music and have a good time.

Ok, rant over. Sorry.

The answer to my post title? It's pretty clear to me that no, I can't. It doesn't even have to do anything with the band that I'm seeing, I want to have my camera there to capture it. I've covered several bands this year that I had no idea who they were. They each have something to offer and something that sets them apart. When I know and like the band, that desire is ten times stronger. You should have seen how twitchy I was without a camera at this show.