Tag Archives: black and white

portraits, cars, where i wanna go

| currently listening to: Fiery Crash, Andrew Bird, Armchair Apocrypha, 2007 | LINK

the photography:
this past week i spread my wings. not only was i asked to put in a bid for a commercial job via an ad agency for a national campaign but i also saw one of my photos published in Bust Magazine. well skin me alive and call me luggage, that’s a couple of steps in the right direction…

so what is my right direction? my professional goals include at least 3 very different subject matters. professional direction #1) i want to shoot editorial content for print/online (story based portraits, lifestyle, fashion, etc. in the vein of Mark Seliger). professional direction #2) i want to shoot automobiles for print/online magazines (old, new, editorial, pinups, models, calendars, you name it i’ll shoot it – as long as there’s a car in the frame). if you haven’t seen my first big step into the classic car photography arena, please check out my site: http://shinyside.net. it truly is a labor of love and it’s where i want my creative juices to take me. #3) run my own studio that shoots fashion photography. i mean… what photographer in their right mind wouldn’t want to do that?! lights, models, action.

on top of my directional aspirations, i want, nay, i need to take the time to go to get my masters in fine arts. my professional goals do not inhibit this from happening but rather they allow me the time to get back into the studio to study what i love. i can’t think of a better way to spend 2 years of my life. dive in, get dirty, create, and produce. sigh… applications for fall 2012 are due in winter 2012. time to get cracking. but hey… it can wait too.

so where does this put me? i would be really excited to start shooting editorial assignments for magazines or fashion models with bright lights tomorrow (but realistically that’s not gonna happen). i love the idea of following a subject in their own element, taking photos of them at home, at their favorite bar, getting into their routines, their rhythms, their daily lives… i love the idea of becoming a fly on the wall, making relationships, printing images in magazines, and moving on to the next subject. these ideas inspire me.

so what does this all have to do with these images? well… while looking through my hard drive to find more photos to pitch to the ad agency, i stumbled upon a bunch of random shots. these just happen to be the ones that jumped out at me.

speaking of jumping… in the future, if given the chance to tell a story with my photos, i’m gonna jump all over it. JUMP ALL OVER IT. this is a turning point for me in my career, not just as a photographer on the move but as a human who is clearly setting his sights on a goal and my god, you really should get out of my way lest you get trampled. oh… and i bought a new iPad2. so you know, i’m really on the move now…

don’t get me wrong, i love my current job but these are future aspirations, goals to strive for, bars to reach. we all need something to believe in. i believe Poison taught me that…

the music:
if i were to pass away today and my wife was forced to marry someone, i think she would choose Andrew Bird. and it’s not because his music is so amazing (because it is) or that he’s such a good looking dude (because he totally is) or that because he plays most shows without shoes on (because he does)… it’s because he’s all of these things wrapped up in a shaggy haircut and a vintage suit with a shy demeanor and a perfect chin.

did i mention that his music is phenomenal? i first saw Andrew play the Intonation Festival (Pitchfork Fest before it was called Pitchfork Fest) and he was truly an incredible musician to watch. andrew mixes live guitar, xylophone, and world class violin with looped sounds of all three that he creates on the spot. not to mention that he has some of the classiest speaker systems on the planet to back him up.

if you get a chance, buy all of his music and see him live as much as possible. he’s my generation’s best musician. and my wife really crushes on him. hard.

unique portraits

| currently listening to: Radar Gun, The Bottle Rockets, Brooklyn Side, 1995 | LINK

the photography:
taking photographs is a process. i don’t think anyone would argue with me on that point. and it’s process that is constantly evolving. i can boil it down each portrait session i have worked on to the simple dialogue between subject and photographer. as the photographer, i engage the subject on many levels and rely on my personality, my body language, and my conversation to create the right environment for the subject to feel any number of emotions that i want them to evoke. the more photos i take, the more i refine these conversations so that i can (essentially) get the subject to feel the emotion i want them to feel for the final picture. nine times out of ten i want my subjects to feel relaxed and calm but every now and then i aim for sexy and seductive, angry and sad, mad and unhappy. it all depends on why i’m taking the photo in the first place.

lots of times, great photos are the karmic explosion known as ‘dumb luck’. but hey, as a photographer, you had to be in the right place, at the right time, with your camera to your eye, AND with your finger on the shutter. it’s never really cut and dry but you can give yourself the best advantage by knowing how/where/and when those moments are going to be captured.

the more photographs i take, the more i learn about myself and my personality. looking back throuhg my nearly ten years of getting paid to take photographs, the more people i meet and shoot, the more i catch a glimpse of how i act and react to strangers and friends alike. each portrait sitting is a lesson in manipulation and control, in creating a sense of comfort or a sense of uneasiness depending on what reaction you are looking for from your subject. if you know what outcome you want to achieve, then you should always be ready to set the subject in motion to get there. sometimes, it’s a strange ride.

each shoot is a learning experience. i’m not the photographer who blows through 15 head shots in a day so my favorite question to ask myself after a shoot is, ‘what would you have done differently?’. to be completely honest? i answer that question a dozen different ways every time. ‘i could have asked the subject to move slightly this way’ or ‘i could have chosen a different lighting technique’ or ‘i could have dropped my point of view about three inches to hide that gigantic forehead’. bottom line: photography is a business where i will never be completely satisfied with every shoot. i AM a perfectionist in my head but i MUST BE a realist in my output. the client wants it one way, their budget allows for it to be a different way, and it’s raining out, so make it work (thanks Tim Gunn…). as long as everyone is happy with the final outcome, i have done my job and i can lay to rest the over-amped OCD voice in my head. or i can at least drown it in beer.

the music:
when i was 17 years old i couldn’t decide if i wanted to be in Uncle Tupelo or The Bottle Rockets. it was a toss up between the band that would define the great mid-90’s movement known as ‘Y’all-ternative’ (Uncle Tupelo) and just another band from the St. Louis bar scene that kicked total ass (The Bottle Rockets). amazingly, i never got into either as Uncle Tupelo famously imploded and, well, The Bottle Rockets are still an amazing bar band from St. Louis. but my goodness does this song rip. 15+ years into their career, the Rockets still get up there and extend their brand of midwest grit to our ears. love it. bob yer head. raise a shot of jack. enjoy.

50 Portraits – 36

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| currently listening to: Modest Mouse, Ohio, This is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About, 1996 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #36 is brad

well well well. post-child 50 portraits project post? don’t mind if i do… brad is the brains/brawn/style behind one of chicago’s best local websites, Windy Citizen. Windy Citizen is a news site that asks for readers to link to their favorite or most interesting stories and post them for other readers to rate. the higher the stories rate, the closer they are to the top of the page with the highest rated story on top. sometime late last year, i was lucky enough to have this very blog (blog.idmphotography.com) be chosen by a reader to be posted on Windy. it was an honor and a privilege to have readers fight for my words and photos to be at the top of the page. power to the readers!

earlier in the week, brad had contacted me about taking some head shots for him to use professionally. the silly thing is my interactions with brad started back with theresa who had mentioned that brad would be perfect for the 50 Portraits Project. i can’t remember if we emailed and things fell through or what but alas, he is here, finally, and he is standing and being counted. so to brad’s name (not this brad), i attach the #36. and i also set him up with some sweet hi-res pics that he can distribute when needed.

since brad and i were already in the photographing mood and had spent a few minutes smiling and clicking off head shots respectively, i decided to fuss around with my own method of shooting portraits. for if anything, this project exists for me to broaden my horizons and to explore new ideas, methods, and styles. so here’s my take on the photos:

a. i injected my own framing into the shots i took (as i have trained myself to do, ie. my own style) but instead of publishing just one image from a set of 5 or 6 example photos of said framing, i published almost all of the images in order. the biggest example of this being the last 6 photographs, shot in succession within a couple of seconds as a garbage truck rolled by.

b. it was about time someone took some black and whites around here. since it was such a blindingly bright day, i figured what the hell, let’s lose the color and crank the contrast. i think it worked quite well considering the subject, the color of outfit, the shadows and highlights, and most of all, the urban terrain with it’s bricks and concrete and metal.

c. i didn’t edit myself as strongly as i have in the past. there are two (count them… 2!!!!) out of focus images in this set. this is coming from a guy who is so infuriatingly anal and technical about how he uses his gear that it’s unfathomable to use such a wasted piece(s) on such a pristine set of images. but hey, i took a chill pill and look where it got me. these blurred images work artistically with what i was trying to accomplish, which was to create a coherent and expressive set of images of brad. maybe someday i’ll turn the camera around and take a vertical image… but don’t cross your fingers.

the first two images were taken with the 24-70mm f2.8L as we were working on professional head shots for brad. the rest were taken with the 28mm f1.8. all images were shot with the Canon 5DMKII

the music:

modest mouse is one of those indie rock bands that has been around forever. they started small and ended up getting huge. but you know what? their small records with all of the blips and scrapes and out of tune guitars are what i love about modest mouse. the high-gloss mega records they make now? they’re pretty decent. but they lack the authenticity of their early work. when i first saw issac brock in person he was skinny, drunk, and worn out from being on the road for eight months straight with the same three guys in their cramped econoline van. five years later? he was still drunk, but now he was well fed (read a bit pudgy), he was smiling, and you could tell that he was happy to be traveling across the country on his pair of tour buses with his numerous roadies and his six band mates.

i’m not putting issac down for making a living at his art. in no way am i doing that. i applaud him for all that he has rightfully earned. but as even issac knows, the sense of urgency in his playing the guitar, the gut-wrenching heartache that drove his lyrics, and the bombastic personality that led to public band implosions have all but been replaced by personal happiness and leisure. brock is not the first to stumble upon feeling good about themselves after spending so much of their artistic careers feeling shitty. it is why, when artists like the shins, modest mouse, the promise ring, when these bands wear their hearts on their sleeves as twenty-somethings, people can relate to them. fans were there man… they felt that pain in person, in the front row, in the pit. but ten years later, when you try to write happy music about happy times with happy sounding instruments, your early fan base is gonna cry foul. not because you sold out, but because the very thing that hit home with so many of your contemporaries has suddenly been erased for you as an artist. but your fans? they still burn for your misfortunes. they still cry for your breakups. and they still want to get in fights with you at the bar. because when you’re unhappy issac brock, we all can relate to you.

even though i have a mortgage, a child, a wife, a dog, a car, and a 2.5 car garage, i still relate to the traveling musician who stuffs their entire life into a beat up mini-van. don’t get me wrong, modest mouse has payed their dues. i just like the music they made while doing so, much better than their new stuff.

this song is a great ode to Ohio. ohi-o-o-o-o-o-so.

looking back at my 20’s in polaroids part 2

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| currently listening to: Black History Month, Death From Above 1979, You’re a Woman I’m a Machine, 2004 | LINK

the photography:
so polaroid is making a come back huh? awesome. as some of you may know, i collect antique cameras and i own a 4×5 portrait camera. maybe it’s time to spend some more money and make some new memories for my 30’s so teddy can see what kind of household he was born into. my guess is that he’s gonna be pretty non-plussed about how chill we have become. let’s replace the keg tossing contests and bad shiny green short sleeved shirt for a hoodie and a glass of bourbon on the back porch all while sporting a baby bjorn cuddling mister you-know-who. life moves pretty quick sometimes…

more polaroids, more memories. as i look through these it’s hard to not be overcome with my own emotions. jon gilmour, my old roommate, is pictured in many of these. jon (or J-Boy as his father called him or Gilly Gally as some of us were known to utter) passed away 4 years ago. you should check out jongilmour.org if you get a chance. jon was one of those one-in-a-million personalities. and i don’t use that phrase lightly. it still stings to know that i will never run into him at my college reunion or see him at some random zoo with Teddy. i will never be able to say, “hey Tedkins, you see that man over there? the one with the gibbon wrapped around his body? that’s my friend john. we’ve been friends for ages. he’s in a video game, how cool is that”. that sorta shit hits hard.

but that’s the thing about memories and (what i will now mis-name) historical images; you will always have you positive and negative. holy crap, is that some cat’s ass? how did that get in here?

again, the images above are full of people i know, people i knew, and silly things. including one cat’s ass. sorry about that. i hope i burned that green lamé shirt… enjoy.

the music:
death from above 1979 came and went. like a ship in the night, if you blinked, you missed them. if you ever saw them live, you never forgot. is that drummer not wearing a shirt? is it only two of them? is that dude gonna play bass AND keyboards? that drummer is singing? there’s only TWO OF THEM? where is all that sound coming from?

one of my favorite live music photographs happened when i was watching DFA 1979, it is on my website located here. click on the third thumbnail from the left, second one down. that’s right, i’m gonna make you work for it.

drums and bass and amplifiers. dirty distortion. love it.

looking back at my 20’s in polaroids part 1

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| currently listening to: Ruins, Aloha, Home Acres, 2010 | LINK

the photography:
for a few years in the late 90’s and early 00’s, besides shooting b/w and color film for school, i spent much of my time toting around a polaroid instant film camera that i bought for $19.95 at an upstate new york CVS. the height of my polaroid fetish can be pinpointed some time around 2002 when the house that lived in was perfectly suited for a polaroid wall. one such wall was created in the kitchen. every photo i (we, as guests often snagged the camera) took went up on that wall and some word or phrase was written on the photo in Sharpie about what was happening, who was there, wtf, etc… in hindsight, we should never have written on those polaroids. said wall can be seen in some of these images. someday i’ll scan those in as well… but for now, here are the clean ones. at least the first part of them.

as teddy marches forward into life, i am struck by how his new experiences drum up my old ones. nostalgia creeps up in many forms and sometimes it’s fun to go back and see where you’ve been so that you can make some choices in where you will be going.

each of these images is a documented memory linked to something in my life. and looking through them makes me happy to know that teddy will be given the opportunity to make his own set of memories. i am floored and humbled by that idea.

i just hope that when teddy is old enough to document his life, he doesn’t waste as much money as i did on cigarettes and polaroid film… holy crap. what i would buy today…EDIT: ok ok ok… the photos were well worth the cash. i should have stopped smoking 5 years before i did. Teddy, if you’re reading this, spend money on film and beer, not on cigarettes and 3 card monte.

the images above are full of people i know, people i knew, people who are not alive anymore, old girlfriends, old co-workers, old friends, random strangers, binge drinking, music playing, too many self portraits, too much shaky picture taking, poor focus, scratches, road trips, parties, random people who my wife was friends with before i knew my wife, musicians, a couple of airplanes, a cat, a dog, halloween (in general), thanksgiving, a couple of kegs, poker night, roommates, roommates friends, neighbors, fire, one boob grab, an infamous red wall, friends ex-girlfriends, raleigh north carolina, boston massachusetts, saratoga springs new york, bartenders, bar owners, bad haircuts, bad outfits, and three nipples of the male variety.

the music:
ok ok ok… i know… Aloha is the same band i talked about last post… but they are that good. for real. this record is unstoppable.

this is the last song on the record. the chorus is:

waiting for the get-away car that never came.

giving thanks

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| currently listening to: 1, 2, 3, Party, Mission of Burma, The Sound The Speed The Light, 2009, | LINK

the photography:
as my family gets used to the constant click-click-clicking noises that surround me like dust to pigpen, their guard is dropped (like galileo dropped the orange? beastie boys reference? check). i knew this day would happen. i just knew it. sometime during the first 2 hours of the thanksgiving family get-together in providence, rhode island, my family forgot all about the fact that i was wondering around with a camera. moments like this have happened sporadically with individuals but never with the entire family. it was like i was a ghost. perfect.

there was one little hole to this theory. my ghost like qualities were only applied to those over the age of 20. my twin nephews, ages 3 and 3 respectively (cause they’re twins, duh), could see and hear me the entire time. even if i was real quiet and took my shoes off to lower my chance of audible and visual distractions, they would always pop up and look right into the lens. “unkie, e, you’re taking a picture!”. damn you little brilliant dudes, damn you!!! i am always so excited to see my family. this was no exception.

as the pictures DO NOT prove, we are a happy bunch, jovial and cute. i just like the quiet moments, long pensive looks, and very little screaming. you’d be amazed how much screaming 3 year olds do… they can do no wrong in my eyes though. no wrong.

photos are with the 28mm and for some reason, i took lots of pics of my grandfather. he is a wonderful man indeed. as a fifth generation farmer he has put his time in. this summer, along with my beautiful grandmother, we will all be celebrating their 65 wedding anniversary. a great party will commence. getting four generations under one roof is special. i love my family very much and i can’t wait until march when i can add my own little one to the fray! that makes me smile widely…

Pro tip: ISO rises slightly as the light gets dimmer.

the music:
my love of mission of burma grows with each passing record. they make me smile so big and so wide. support the arts, support local musicians, support your local emperor (that’s right, that’s a Blues Traveler reference, you’ll never see one again… i promise). these guys keep getting better with age. rock and roll, punk, and art house music would not be the same without these bostonians. do yourself a favor. like them.

i turned my camera on itself

Exposure: 1/50 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 70mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/30 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 70mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 62mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 63mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/50 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 70mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/50 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 70mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/160 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 70mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 70mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/125 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 70mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/160 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 70mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 57mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/40 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 62mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 62mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/160 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 62mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/250 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 62mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/100 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 62mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/50 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 70mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 70mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/125 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 70mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 70mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 70mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: The Sword in the Stone, Ted Leo and The Pharmacists, Tell Balgeary, Balgury Is Dead , 2003, | LINK

the photography:
every 10 months or so, i take a break from photographing whatever it is that i’m currently enamored with (these days it’s mostly people, traveling, and quick road trips outside the house) and bring myself back to photographing old cameras in the macro. i know i know, it sounds weird but i really enjoy taking photographs of cameras. i think my love of the of mid 20th century camera construction (specifically craftsmanship and materials) draws me back to my antique camera collection. it’s a little fetish-y but hey! i’m not hurting anyone. plus it gives me a reason to take the older cameras off the shelf and give them a good dusting.

i created a little seamless studio floor and backdrop with some white printer paper and a manilla folder (for some structural balance) while natural light poured in through the tv room window. it’s amazing how easy and inexpensive it is to create professional studio environment when you don’t feel like going to the studio! the camera i chose to photograph is an old minolta 16mm stainless steel contraption. it’s tiny and i have a couple of them (this one is the larger of the two as i have an 8mm slightly smaller version). i like to think that if i was a spy, i would carry one of these everywhere. this particular camera was purchased at a farmers market/swap meet/flea market in the town square in healdsburg, ca in the spring of 2005. pretty awesome. it’s classy yet fashionable, small but heavy.

to make things even more exciting (i.e. to work on my photo chops), i used a Canon 12 extension tube with my 24mm-70mm to achieve some serious depth of field, some seriously close focusing, and some serious camera shake! when you are this up-close with this tiny amount of depth of field, any little camera movement will cause severe blur. it takes patience. i rarely have any. but when the mood grips me, i like screwing around with my gear. you all should try it. i also set up a funky little tripod made out of a tabletop microphone stand and a foldable strobe/umbrella head. i own a couple of tripods but none that is only 7″ tall. and man, stainless steel looks really good in black and white.

the music:
ted leo. every time i hear this song, i think back to 2003 when i sat on the side of the stage at a Middle East Downstairs (in glorious Cambridge, MASS!!!) ted leo show next to my friend the hahn. after playing this song solo (you better walk around, ’cause no one’s gonna drive you…), ted busted into a solo version of the pogues classic, dirty old town. hahn and i looked at each other and went (simultaneously) “POGUES!”. it was a great show indeed. i love me some ted leo.

freelance portraits

Exposure: 1/160 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 35mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/100 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/100 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 500 – Focal Length: 63mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/160 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 500 – Focal Length: 65mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/160 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 500 – Focal Length: 43mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/125 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 51mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 45mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 42mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/250 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/160 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 40mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 55mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 500 – Focal Length: 55mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: Your Old Love is Dead, Stars, Set Yourself on Fire, 2007 | LINK

the photography:
i have been filling in my days making ends meet with various freelance jobs from here and there. the largest of these projects is a bit of work that i am doing with the MFA creative writing department at Columbia College in chicago. i’ve been taking portraits of various contributors for the student run Fictionary magazine. it’s a great opportunity to take portraits of people i have never met before and it’s a great opportunity for me to hone my art direction as I need to put all of the portrait-ees into places and positions from scratch. each of the writers and editors that i have met have been so relaxed and pleasant about the entire process that i wish the rest of the client side of the world would be so kind. the only real guideline that was set before i started was that the images be in black and white. so i’ve been playing a bit with trying to find some really diverse natural (and unnatural) places to shoot. it’s been fun. up next? more portraits. enjoy.

the music:
i absolutely love watching and listening to bands that have fun when they make music on cd and in a live setting. montreal’s Stars fit so nicely into both of those categories. ever since i heard their breakout first record, heart, these kids from canada have been killing it abroad and slowly gaining fans in america. it helps that they are indeed a part of the greater collection of canadian artists known as the “broken social scene”. those crazy socialists in canada actually give money to their artists because it’s a way to progress as a society. society, socialists, communists? while you sit on your hands and try to make a case against socialist tendancies, i’m moving to montreal to get paid to make stuff…

vermonted 2

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: F4.0 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 47mm
Lens: EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/500 sec – Aperture: F4.0 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 65mm
Lens: EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: F4.0 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 105mm
Lens: EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/250 sec – Aperture: F4.0 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/640 sec – Aperture: F4.0 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 24mm
Lens: EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: This is Not How Forever Begins, Swearing at Motorists, Last Night Becomes This Morning, 2006 | LINK

the photography:
here are 5 B&W photos of what i have come to call a tree nosher. it’s actually a machine known as a logging skid. this one is pretty beat up. ahhhh. can’t you just smell the northeast kingdom of vermont? the problem with black and white on a super sunny day is that the green grass and the blue sky are almost the same amount of neutral gray. also, the harsh overhead light creates bad harsh underbody shadows. oh well. this thing was cool.

the music:
this might just be a swearing at motorists marathon. you all should support your local heroes. dayton has the motorists. what does your town have?

craptastic day in chicago

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: 50mm f/1.4L IS USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: 50mm f/1.4L IS USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: 50mm f/1.4L IS USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/250 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: 50mm f/1.4L IS USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/250 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: 50mm f/1.4L IS USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: 50mm f/1.4L IS USM – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: Good Morning, Captain, Slint, Spiderland, 1991 | LINK

the photography:
can i talk about how crappy the weather has been in chicago this spring? what have the weather gods given us this year? bupkus. nadda. zilch. nothing. where’s my 68 degree sunny day with a slight breeze? oh, sorry, the memo says that it has been replaced by rain, 43 degree mornings, and some serious wind. dag yo. i did get a chance to sneak out and walk around the block and document the crappy day. not always a fun subject, crappy days tend to end just as horribly as they begin. i think today will be different. the mrs. and i are headed to the gym, then back to the house for some lounging with the puppy. i think things will follow the natural course and we will see the sun soon, and with said sun comes our 86 degree days. i hope.

the music:
a crappy day outside deserves some serious ass kicking sludge. slint, from outta no where, in 1991, gave us one of the great indie records of all time. spiderland laid the ground work for anything and everything that was post-rock. oh boy is it good. the cover photo was shot by will oldham too which is totally sweet. anyways, you can google them and figure out what all the hub-bub is about. or you can just dive in.

negatives

| currently listening to: If You Can Hold Your Breath, Karate, s/t, 1996 | LINK

the photography:
sorting through old negatives is always a blast. i haven’t done it in a while but these couple of strips are from two very impressionable times in my life when i really wanted to be a budding photographer. the black and white shots are from my senior year in college when i was trying to impress my teacher by finding the prettiest girl i knew to look hot. it actually was pretty fun. we spent the afternoon in my living room with some very yellow, hot, and above all cheap(!) lighting from home depot before i decided that the photo shoot needed to be moved outside on the fire escape and on the roof. i got a B+ on the assignment. errica was a trooper. she’s done really well in new york as a musician. she’s friends with my wife.

the color photos are from my second incarnation as a budding photographer. i spent the better part of the three years after college taking classes at mass art, the only truly stand alone higher education public art school in the country. it was a fantastic couple of years. i had the best time using the school’s color lab, their 20″ x 24″ polaroid camera, and i met some crazy people in my art history class. i was working full time so my free time was spent taking evening classes. these photos are from my final piece for color photography III titled, “the artists i know: portraits”. it was a fruitless exhibit but a bunch of the photos stand the test of time. at least in my eyes. plus, it was a blast to work on.

the music:
what a ground breaking record karate’s s/t LP was. this music opened my eyes (more so than the pixies) to the local music scene in boston. i bought a used copy when i was a record dj in college and it really changed my idea of what independent music really was. it also fueled my love of the “post rock” sound.

karsh-ism

| currently listening to: How To Put It Down, Goner, Rock ‘N’ Roll Always Forgets, 2008 | LINK

the photography:
one of the sad technological losses in the race to deliver artistically (out of many many many sad technological losses in the race to deliver artistically) is the death of black and white film photography. i know that black and white isn’t “dead” per se but how many people are still holding the “i still shoot film” flag? very few of you. i thank you for doing so. from the bottom of my heart. but let’s be honest, these days photography is a digital game. and thus, gone are the little intricacies of lighting, shooting, and printing black and white photos. now that you can adjust everything (and i mean darn near close to everything) in post production, we have lost the attention to detail while setting up a shot, setting up a light, and with setting up a model to fill out the perfect gray-scaled cheek. gone are the days of using contrast heavy/grainy film, dark gray makeup, and pushing 1600 iso film to 3200 iso. well, i miss it. i like the way that black and white looks on my monitor, and if i spend enough time and money, i like how it prints out on my printer.

but today’s digital systems have got nothing on yesterdays black and white film and the printing process that goes along with black and white film. i saw the new Yousuf Karsh exhibit at the Art Institute in chicago recently. the man knew his film, his lights, and above all, how to engage his subjects. i fear that newer photographers have very little patience for all of the above. deliberate faces, hard lighting, and beautifully intricate backgrounds defined a man who ran a working studio for 60 years. if you have yet to see it, please go and check it out. it’s worth every minute, every penny, every ounce of energy that it takes to get there and to enjoy it. while you’re there, i’m gonna try to bring back my B&W habits. they are a bit rusty.

the music:
i designed the cover for this record for the band Goner from raleigh nc. they are three guys making great art without the use of a guitar (ok, an acoustic shows up on at least one track here). you should take them for a test drive. the vocals, lyrics and music are gonna make you want to tap your feet in applause.