Sunday, August 30, 2015


I have a small backlog of posts I need to write up. Here is  one I got to finish: a mini shoot I have done while helping  Kate Powell (art director)  and Adrian Rae (main photographer) on their main assignment. The theme was centered on the  moon and so we selected a full moon night and shot at different locations. For these simple images I used a speed light with a very very long snoot, hand held on a boom. I used gel to color balance the light (the filter was actually a light orange, as ambient light  very orange due to street light).  The speedlight turned out to be a good alternative to more powerful systems, as the area to be lit was very small and I did not want any spill. Exposure times were  long, a good chunk of a second. Colors were shifted around in Lightroom. The superimposed nature  prints are from 19th century Japanese artists. Last but not least, Michaela (HMUA) and Mikayla (Model) did a great job. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Oh magical Teapot grant me a wish.

Like a magic lamp, this (magical?) japanese iron teapot sits on a pile of black sand. This is a portfolio shot I did some time ago. Softbox from above, if slightly behind. Ringflash for fill and f2.8. The reflections on the handle come from the softbox and a few cards. I accentuated the nice turquoise hue in post.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Flash Jump.

Import/Export is a Seattle band that put me in charge of moving their image  'past the classic shot of musicians in alley'. The band and I  shared a love for the  documentaries of the explorer ship Calypso (which features in one of their songs).  We tossed ideas back and forth over a couple of sessions  and we decided  that a key concept was to add movement to the image.  The rain laden sky would provide a sense of  `unfamiliar' and `being away'.  The main image was obtained superimposing two shots and having the musicians jump on a little portable trampoline  (got the idea from a Dior shoot). The trampolines were removed in post and then the image was colored. Shot with  a softbox to the right and a ringflash as fill. f4.0/1/125/17mm/ISO160. This is the first time I used this set up in the field!

And the dog? Si the Dog, just literally walked by the set, on a  jog with his owner. Never say never to a free prop.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Annie Ford Band. And that chicken.

Annie Ford Band is a great group of  Seattle based musicians.  We shot this last Summer, with
a simple backlight sunset setting + soflighter setup. My valiant assistant doubled as chicken wrangler. Here is the link to the Annie's last CD:

Saturday, August 31, 2013

That Class of 2014 look.

Every now and then I get invited to give a seminar on lighting tecnniques  at the excellent Commercial Photography  program SCCC, (Seattle Central Community College).  This is the result of this year effort. The program gives me  access to some seriously Pro level equipment,  a whole class of  excellent assistants and... some seriously talented and hipster looking subjects. Profoto strobe mounted on a Soflighter, high on a  boom high on camera left. On camera ring flash for fill  and screen on the right to block some the light from a very  sunny Spring day. What I like in this shot? The triangular shape created by  the shadows that nicely frames the subjects.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Under the Spotlight.

These images were inspired by a recent portrait of Elizabeth Olsen appeared on W Magazine

I wanted to experiment with two studio set ups but maintaining the same overall atmosphere of the original image.  The top one is taken with a close and up Beauty dish, just off camera right.
The rapid fall off is obtained by adding a grid and  a diffuser. The second one uses a ring flash
as front fill light. The differences (softer light the first, punchier the second) are highlighted in post.
The model: up and coming actress Mariel Neto. Make up and styling Tiffany Parente Connors.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Take the Bread and Run

Last Spring I went to the Painted Hills, OR with a small group of friend photographers to shoot some new images for our portfolios. These are a few from my set.  They are  good examples of a current
trend in commercial photography  and short videos, suggesting a mood rather than telling a clear story. The landscape, the colors and the key objects combine with the movement of the subject to originate tension and create an image able to hold attention long enough to be remembered.  However,  the details of the story are best left to the viewer's imagination.  Why is our hero running through a door frame, holding a red bag filled with bread? Why is he carrying a camera? What role is the woman playing? The point I am trying to make with this image is.. he could be holding anything as long it is colorful or shaped in a way to immediately capture the attention of the viewer. The other clues (the camera, the old cowboy boots) just further enrich the image, without being too distracting. This is what a commercial client 'd require from a set like this.

The lighting is similar in all three images , a softbox to camera side, high and close to the subjects, scene cross lit with the sun. However the images look very different. In the first and second photos the flash overpowers the Sun. Coupled with some post processing that alters the original palette it creates a dreamier,  more staged look. In the third  image the  flash is used only as fill,  to give more of a structure to the floating vest. I noticed that often clients love the first set up and then ask you to 'tone it down' a bit to achieve the second. So it is good to show that one can create a range of images with the same tools and set up.