The black-and-white project…

I have to admit, I love black and white photography.   Either film or digital coversions, there is just something about the rich tonality and simplicity of a well-executed black and white photo that speaks to me.  Not that I’m a “purist” or anything, I just like the aesthetic 🙂

However, for some reason I’ve done almost *no* black and white work recently… Why? I have no idea… but almost everything out of my camera for the past 6 months or so has been color (not that there’s anything wrong with that!)   So… to “break out of my rut” as it were, I’ve decided to do a month of exclusively black and white shooting.  Starting sept 1, I’m setting my default import preferences in Lightroom to apply a b/w conversion on import.  I’m not going to change my normal shooting habits, keep on working as I always do only it will all be b/w.    It’s always good to shake things up a bit to get the creative juices flowing 🙂  Pictures from the project will be posted here in the coming weeks…

Philly Strobist meetup – 6/1/08

Had a fantastic strobist meetup this past weekend in old city. Buncha fellow strobists showed up – Myself, Dan, Peter, Eddie, Eric, Ryan, Ray, and Gino (I think that’s everyone, if I left anyone out email me!)

And of course, our wonderful models who endured our shenanigans with poise and humor for almost 5hrs, Stephanie, Marina, Svitlana, and Elitka.

We met at my studio on in old city, and after assembling (along with tons of gear) we ventured out into the wilds of independence park
We started off at a the nice “cobblestone-y” area around the Ritz, and used a set of beautiful curved staircases for backdrops, with wide angle lenses to practice balancing flash/sky exposure. Got some nice shots, and then moved over to the picturesque little alley next to the old city tavern.

We then moved over to the steps of the first bank of the US, where we proceded to take over the sidewalk (and even the street!)

One of the best surprises of the evening came around 7:15 – we were still shooting on the steps, when the sun hit just the right spot in the sky, turning the glass building across the street into one giant reflector, throwing this beautiful *intense* warm light everywhere! We did a bunch of non-strobed shots, taking advantage of the spectacular natural light. It’s these little surprises that really make an event like this!

We wound down the evening in the park, doing some shots with greenery etc… and then to Buffalo Billiards for the survivors for the celebratory post-shoot beer (the most important part of any shoot). All in all a great time, and I’m looking forward to doing it again.

And of course the results: check the FLICKR THREAD as we post our shots from the meet! Looks like some really great stuff!

Joe McNally speaks at google

This is part of the “authors@google” series – Joe McNally, speaking at google.

Not only humorous and inspirational for aspiring photographers, but there are some real pearls of wisdom there. Definitely worth watching – over an hour, and I honestly wish it were longer.

New Project – “Shades of Life”

A new project I’ve started. I wanted to play with the idea of what a “flower picture” is – we think of florals as so much about vibrant, saturated color I wanted to see what would happen if we removed color from the equation entirely. Not just as a black and white conversion, but totally removed. I began by getting some wildflowers, and spraypainting them white, they were then photographed against a white seamless background. I also began including the same flower *in color* to juxtapose with the white version. I am calling the project “Shades of Life” as it deals not only with issues of color and form but on a more abstract level, with the juxtaposition between life and death.

Photography and Encaustic painting

Recently I’ve been playing with a new way of combining my mediums of photography and painting. Basically I am taking photos, printing them on rice paper, and collaging them into encaustic paintings – the rice papers is thin, so when it is covered with wax, it disappears, leaving only the lines of the image showing through.

Here are the first two pieces, just as “proof of concept” I will now be starting a series I am tenatively titling “Stories in Wax and Pictures” as a collection of portraits incorporated into encaustic works. Should be an interesting project!

(click the images for larger versions)