Selfie Fun With Capital Metro

Did you know that one of the earliest references to the word ‘selfie’ was in 2005? I was surprised it was that early; I would have guessed around 2009 or 2010. 

Although I’ll do my fair-share of self portraits with DSLRs, I hardly ever take them with my phone. I would guess this is because my wife doesn’t like the face I make when I take one (which borders somewhere between confusion and extreme indifference). Needless to say, the selfie culture is now a huge. part. of society. 

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to jump into the selfie pool with Capital Metro. They were launching a brand new mobile app and wanted to show that you could now use your phone for more than just selfies. Door Number 3 was the agency tasked with developing hilarious selfie scenarios which would be used in both print ads and video commercials.

We narrowed down our scenarios and did the whole shoot in one day, spread over three different locations. Once we were done taking stills, Aaron and his video team from Onion Creek Productions filmed a short video segment. The video would become the story leading up to the creating of the selfie, and all of our selfie models did a great job playing the part. Later in post, we made an extra effort to make these look like phone images by adding a lot of noise, strong contrast, color casts, etc. 

I love how all of these came out. We could have easily shot another 10 scenarios as we had a ton of great ideas! Thanks to everyone involved for helping make 2014 start off with a bunch of laughs.

Capital Metro Selfies

 

Here’s the fun commercial that Onion Creek Productions put together:

 

And here are some BTS shots:

karate selfie

Cat Selfie

20140326-selfie-bts3

20140326-selfie-bts4

 

 

Client: Capital Metro
Agency: Door Number 3
Video: Onion Creek Productions

Introduction To Compositing With Peachpit Press

Introduction To Compositing Book Image 1

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:

Introduction To Compositing Book Image 2

Introduction To Compositing Book Image 3

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. ***

Anthony

Austin Music Composer Portrait

Artists are always looking for promotional images that reflect them on different levels. For this shot of Anthony (a composer here in Texas and the owner of Tranzducer Music), I wanted to create an image that worked well with the electronic, almost electrical, style of his music.

We had some discussions about options. We would get the standard head shot images for his promo kit, but I also wanted to explore this electrical idea a little further. Electronic music is based a lot on ‘modifiers’, meaning that you might start with a particular sound, but then you spend a lot of time tweaking frequencies, cutoffs, gates, etc to get the sound you want. And all of those variables change throughout the song. It can be a very hands-on/performance-based approach to music. When you see 50 little dials on a Nord keyboard, you can get an idea of all the parameters you can change in real time.

I pitched him on building a small set to illustrate this:

just a good ol’ boys

So, it’s been a while since I posted on the DB. An incredibly long while. Part of it has been that I’ve been busy on various projects, and part of it is my ‘writer’s procrastination’ feature that I was gifted with at birth. Anyways, let’s get things back into gear with some images of a shoot I did with an actual General Lee from the Dukes of Hazzard.

The shoot happened because a local family wanted the car as a backdrop for their one-year-old’s birthday announcement. I’d been working with them for the last several months off and on to locate one of these vehicles in or around Austin. It turns out that there were several hundred of these use for the tv show and the film. Some were just used for close up shots, and others were set aside to be ‘jumped’. This particular vehicle was going to be a jumper for the movie a few years ago, but ended up not being used. Needless to say, it’s amazing to see this car still turning heads after all these years. After we shot for a few hours at a farmhouse outside of town, we headed into town for some lunch. Cellphone cameras were out everywhere as people were taking pictures of the car. Sometimes I think that people believe this is ‘the car’, as in, there was only one, and this is it.

This was a great shoot, and a welcome new addition to my Gears and Fuel section.

dukes-of-hazzard-general-lee-1

 

dukes-of-hazzard-general-lee-2

Here’s a little shot of me setting up.

dukes-of-hazzard-general-lee-3

 

can you still be creative in today’s world?


photo sketchI’ve been thinking about this the last few days. It’s a challenge, to say the least, and it’s not just limited to photography. Think of every creative service industry that’s been affected by a transition to digital: photography, music, art, advertising, etc. They’ve all been inundated with new talent that’s able to learn and produce at a rapid pace. If you can see the results of your work right away, you can progress through those 10,000 hours much quicker. The baseline for what is considered acceptable work changes as well. As an example, look at audio. When the digital revolution started, audio professionals slammed MP3 for it’s crappy compression and frequency response. And where are we now? The pros still slam MP3. And MP3 is the dominant audio format. Not “cd quality” files. Not HD audio. This kind of market ‘attitude’ adjustment has happened in every field affected by digital. And it’s not completely a bad thing. It’s great, for example, to be able to get a beautiful print out of today’s printers without worrying about CMYK or color separations or any of that stuff.  So how can you stand out in your field among all this change?

A Live Studio Audience

I had the honor last night of taking part in something special. If you are on Google Plus, you probably know that the first-ever Google Plus Photography Conference is going on right now. This conference is being run by the Scott Kelby’s crew (the same one that runs Photoshop World), along with Google.

I wasn’t able to make it to San Francisco, but I was asked and excited to be a part of it (albeit remotely). For a lot of the presentations, the conference team ran live hangouts and displayed the video on a large screen. This brought a unique element to the presentation (which already was in front of a large crowd). For the first time, a presenter could give a talk and also field questions/input from the hangout members.

I was happy to be one of those hangout members for Jeremy Cowart’s presentation last night. During the event I kept thinking “Cheers is filmed before a live, studio audience.” That’s what it felt like. I was an observer, and also a participant. I was far away, but close, because I could ask a question at any point. If I did speak, my face was immediately shown on the huge screen in the conference hall. I’m glad I brushed my hair.

If you’d like to watch Jeremy’s presentation (which is awesome btw), I’ve included it below. It will leave you, like me, feeling both inspired and unproductive! Dang you, Jeremy. I’ve also included some stills that my friend Frederick Van Johnson sent me from ‘behind the curtain’. Literally, behind the giant projection screen.

Congrats to Google and Scott Kelby and his team for pulling off this new conference, and congrats to Jeremy Cowart for a great presentation!

 [yframe url='http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=xmLgqjzju90#!']