I spent this past weekend hanging out at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre to listen to good music and see some talented acts. I shoot a lot of live music to hear new music and meet cool musicians. Here are some photos of what I experienced this past weekend. Feel free to leave comments and feedback if you went or go to similar festivals. Thanks for stopping by!
It’s week two of the 8 Week Portrait Workshop, and the focus is on Yousuf Karsh. You can see the full gallery of images posted by other photographers of the AMAZING group I’m proud to be associated with over at Lighting Essentials. The portrait work of Karsh, as well as his lighting style resonate well with me. In looking back at some of my older work, I can see the similarities to his typical style of lighting. Karsh was one to photograph people as they are, capturing their true self. Looking through Karsh’s body of work, it’s like looking at history unfold. He’s photographed icons such as Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King, Winston Churchill, Adrey Hepburn, Pablo Picasso, Fidel Castro and the list goes on and on.
I took to this weeks assignment full steam, using some of my style mixed with Karsh’s principles. First to be photographed was the wonderful Sailor Cher of Sailor Cher Tattoo and Piercing, where my better half works. Sailor Cher has a unique yet captivating look and presence about her. I had to photograph her for these reasons. I positioned her in her tattoo chair and built up my lights around her to highlight the wall behind with some of the work and images of her past. I then added a light camera right for my key light; an Alien Bee 800 with a 50″ softbox. Just behind the chair camera left I set up a speedlight (SB910) to add a little rim light. This set up didn’t take long to construct, as I had the idea of what I wanted before even setting foot into the shop. Looking back, there is nothing I would change about this image, i love how it turned out. I feel I truly merged some Karsh with some Tucker Joenz.
The next subject that I wanted to capture happens to be a good friend, Alex Peramas, a local musician that plays solo, as well as with the talented band “The Young Step”. If you are local to or visiting St Augustine and Alex or The Young Step are playing, you NEED to see them. Alex is a very cool, outgoing guy and I wanted to capture this characteristic in this series of photographs, so I asked him to come over to my home studio where we could do just that. We started out with typical poses and as we both warmed up, and then after a few beers and light tests we started to come up with some incredible images that I feel capture the fun and spontaneity of Alex. In this scene, I set up my key light almost directly above my camera with the 50″ softbox on the AB800 and then behind the subject, camera left, I set up the SB910 for the highlight of the subject and then set up a stand with a SB700 to camera right behind the subject, cutting the power back by one stop to give just a little highlight. I’m very pleased with these images, and again, almost effortlessly see a great deal of Karsh’s style in my work.
In summarization, this was week 2 of the 8 Week Portrait Workshop with Don Giannatti. Thanks for reading and please check back for other posts. Next week I’ll be sharing my experience on a study of Sarah Moon. Her work is brilliant, and I am a little nervous on how I’m going to tackle it.
If you’d like to see more work and info on Yousuf Karsh, checkout this page here at Artsy.
I am so excited to announce and start my journey this year with the 8 Week Portrait Workshop, my fellow photographers of Project 52 and the extremely helpful and talented Donald Gianatti of Lighting Essentials.
This 8 week workshop takes us each week to discover, research and study some great photographers of portraiture. Week one starts with Victor Skrebneski of Chicago, Illinois. His lighting style and denotation of motion is unconventional, yet he is one that has made his name all over the globe in fashion and celebrity photography. It’s amazing that Skrebneski’s style came by chance, entirely accidentally, as he didn’t understand that the camera had to be kept still during a shot. His images came out blurred due to the motion, but he liked the end result, and associated himself with this new ‘style’. This unorthodox idea captured my attention; I never thought of it as an option to keep blurred photos, much less intentionally move the camera and cause this distortion intentionally. So with that in mind, my first image for the week was a self portrait done exactly how I would have never done before.
Since this is a self portrait, I couldn’t move the camera-and instead moved myself. Some descriptives from my peers that I have shared this image with are -creepy-, -disturbing-, and -scary- .. and I love that my face is still somewhat recognizable. You can see my nose, and barely my eyes and mouth. This was pretty fun to play with. Now to re-do all the photos in the house of me with a blurred head, that’ll really scare the heck out of my girlfriend.
I love the sense of drama in his lighting with the heavy contrast. I have never used this style of lighting. I placed the light far above the subject with an umbrella and let the shadows fall, shot the image, and fell in love. In the next few shots you’ll see my take on his fashion style with a female and male…male being myself and the female was my semi-reluctant girlfriend.
Below is my lighting diagram for the images. The umbrella was above camera and subject slightly tilted and about 4 feet above.
I enjoyed this week’s study in trying a different approach to my photography with Skrebneski’s style. I do plan on adding this to my bag of tricks again in the future.
Thanks for checking out my post and stay tuned. This is only the start. Next week I’ll share my studies as we move to Yousuf Karsh…big fan of his work!!
Here is what I started with, the actual photo taken at the bar with the guys from Hot Tub Limo.
And here is the final after the processing was done and splashes/drinks were shot.
I wanted to show a little of how I made this photo and the processing techniques I used. This is a really rough look at the way I tackled this. I plan on doing more in the future but it’s a start. Some of the techniques are picked up from Phlearn tutorials as well as some CreativeLive workshops and ALWAYS just experimenting with what looks cool to me. So nothing is set in stone but I have had people message me about how I went about this. It was definitely fun, throwing around drinks and glasses in the studio 😉 There will be more to come but here is a look at what I did!!
These guys are damn amazing and talented. I not only get to work with them on promotional things but they are friends. I was super excited to shoot a few promo photos for them a few months ago and since I’ve been in the studio, at multiple shows and now working on a video and possibly a website. Check out Love Chunk here.
I was honored to be a part of and volunteer for the Clean Water Music Fest this year here in Ponte Vedra at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall. There were a ton of amazing people and artist/musicians that gathered together for a great cause, and that was to support and help raise money and awareness on getting clean water to the people around the world that don’t have access or means to have clean drinking water. Flagship Romance, Jordyn Jackson and Shawn Fisher, single handedly put this event together and with the support raised over 25K for this amazing charity. Please go check out their page and you can see more info on everything about this event and ways to spread the word and help out. Also check out Charity Water there is more information there about helping to get clean water to people in need.
Here are some photos from yesterday that kind of highlight just a portion of this event.
I was honored to be able to work with local radio talent, Tank, of 102.9FM on a project he’s working on. This is a podcast highlighting local musicians. As you may know I’m a huge music junkie so this is great to meet and hear some amazing new bands in the area. This week it was with Sunspots out of JAX. These four guys jammed out and had a really cool vibe. You can listen to the podcast here.
Infographic provided courtesy of the Sigma Corporation of America.
I was able to get out for a bit after a shoot on July 4th and shoot some fireworks. Although, when I looked for a place to set up two things occured to me. First, I couldn’t find “that spot” I wanted to take the EPIC shot from. Two, I noticed that it was more interesting to me the people that were out and their reactions to the fireworks. Or better yet, the observance of how people watched and took their own fireworks photos. As I looked around the sea of people watching the show of explosions, I saw a similar trend. Almost every person in the crowd had their hand or hands in the air with devices, taking photos. At this point, I figured it would be more fun to shoot the people and not so much the fireworks. I mean, I think there were only a billion or so images captured of fireworks just in the area I was in on the fourth. So here are my observations of the fireworks show…