I was excited to hear that my giraffe image picked up 2nd place in the Fine Art/Personal category of APA’s 2013 photo contest! There were some great winners in the various categories, and you should check them all out here. While I don’t really enter contests, I do enter and support ones from the big names like APA, PDN, etc. I love seeing the amazing work coming out of those contests.
One of the prizes for my category was a copy of the software BlinkBid. If you are not familiar with it, it’s sort of the de facto tool for estimating commercial shoots. I use it for all of my estimates and it has support for almost anything you could imagine needing to include. Need to have a line item for striking a set? Do you shoot film and want to make sure to bill for developing your B&W 8×10? Blinkbid has you covered. The estimates you print out are great too – you can customize them to fit your studio’s look.
Since I already use Blinkbid, I have this extra license sitting around. I asked the Blinkbid crew and they ok’ed me giving it away. So, let’s do it! If you are interested in a chance to win the software (a $229 value), leave a comment below. I’ll randomly pick a winner on Monday, November 18th using some sort of fancy web-based random number generator thingy.
I’ve been waiting to talk about this shoot all year. When REAL Magazine asked me sometime in March if I’d be interested in shooting Rob Thomas, I jumped at the chance.
Now, I know exactly what you are thinking. No, not that Rob Thomas (although he’s on my list too). This Rob Thomas is the creator of the show Veronica Mars. You probably heard about him in the news earlier this year, as he and Kristen Bell led a Kickstarter campaign which raised over 5.7 million dollars for the production of a Veronica Mars movie. Since then, other high-profile film projects have gone the Kickstarter route (most notably Zach Braff’s “Wish I Was Here“), but no crowd funding campaigns so far have been as successful as Rob’s.
Talking with the creative people at REAL Magazine, we decided on something fun to match Rob’s personality. I sketched up several ideas, one of which involved him at a lemonade stand selling props from episodes of the tv show to help fund his film. Rob liked the idea, so we scouted locations around town that could serve as our neighborhood house.
Right before the shoot, I thought it would be funny if we added in a Ferris Bueller reference and played off the “Save Ferris” idea with our own “Save Veronica Mars” riff. In the Ferris Bueller movie, an iconic scene is the “Save Ferris” water tower that appears in the film. We added that to our image below and the scene was set.
Rob did a great job with a variety of expressions and poses, and after our shoot we took some additional shots that his agency could use for promo purposes.
Below is a great little BTS video that the crew from Reel Visuals put together. I loved working with Terrell, Lauren and Richard on this, and if you need something similar, you should definitely look them up. A big thanks to Bert Mclendon and Justin Leitner who helped out on this shoot, and a heartfelt thank you to Nell at REAL Magazine for the opportunity.
I’ve had this image in my head for a while now. I’m not sure where it started, but I remember that I photographed the ocean in Hawaii last year. Once I had the idea, I started collecting giraffe images where I saw them. Some of the giraffes here are from Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and some are from the San Diego Zoo (which, to me, feels a lot bigger than Animal Kingdom).
This was a fun personal project I came up with, and I might do more animal shots like this in the future.
I am very excited to announce the launch of my first collaboration with Peachpit Press. We’ve been talking off and on over the last year or two about doing a project together. We’d hash out ideas, and then we’d decide to wait a little while and revisit the possibilities later. When they called recently saying that they were releasing a brand-new series of e-books, I thought it was a great opportunity to put something together.
We’d decided on an introduction-to-compositing book. To me, compositing is the last, ultimate expression of a still image. Photographers today are very good at natural light shooting, using flash, etc. But how many do you know that design a shoot in their mind, photograph all the elements, and then bring it together in Photoshop later? That’s what this e-book teaches.
You’ll learn how I created the above image, step-by-step. You’ll get all of the files I used, and I’ll walk you through such topics as:
- Why I specifically shot in open shade for this image.
- The pitfalls to watch out for when photographing elements.
- The importance of matching angles.
- Which background paper to use, and why.
- How to mask hair and the insides of water bottles.
- How to match colors in your scene so the elements look right.
Plus a lot more. In fact, over 50 pages of more:
And the best part? The e-book is available for just $5. I know that I could easily trick out a mocha and spend $5 on it (especially if I’m in a state that starts with CA). It’s also $2 cheaper than Minecraft.
If you are interested in compositing, but don’t know where to start, give this book a try. More details are at www.CompositingBook.com. And if you have any questions along the way, feel free to reach out to me!
*** As part of the launch, I’m giving away 2 free download codes. Just leave a comment on my Facebook page here in the next 24 hours (ending 8/20/13). I’ll pick two people at random. ***
This time of year, it’s about 105 degrees in Austin. Spending any significant amount of time outside just drains my energy. A few days ago, while downtown, I swung by the Cow Tipping Creamery bus near the U.T. campus. This is some of the best ice cream I’ve had in Austin, and I started to feel my internal temperature drop a few degrees after the first few bites. I highly recommend that place if you are in the area.
Speaking of delicious frozen treats, here’s an image from a shoot I did for Walgreens a few months ago. This is Joel Quintanilla (or “Q”, as he’s known at work). Q works at a Walgreens store in New Braunfels, Texas, and has the distinction of having sold the most of Walgreen’s “Delish” brand of ice cream in the country. With this heat, I’m not surprised (although I bet someone in El Paso or New Mexico came in at a close second).
We photographed him at his store for Walgreen World magazine, and we had fun setting up stacks and stacks of empty ice cream containers for this image. Surprisingly, only one real container of ice cream was opened for the whole shoot (we did a good job of making it last).