Wednesday, December 31, 2008

10 Day Mark, Halfway there and we not turning back... Hawaii Shoot

The halfway mark in anything I do is loaded with a range of emotions depending on the project.  Often it's a time to take account of what I've accomplished and definitely see where my short comings fall, tally-up my success stories, and analysis how I can improve on both.  My latest project here in Hawaii is no different.  The weather, logistics and technical aspects of the job have drained an incredible amount of time from our small, but very talented crew, and definitely stretched our resources, but everyone is staying very focused on making this shoot succeed.  
The center of our piece, Jamie O'Brien, is a pro as well and one hell of a surfer.  The big waves are coming and their timing could not have been better.  To see a sample of our shoot please click on:Vincent Laforet
Vincent Laforet  

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Pro Surfer Jamie O'Brien Hawaii Video Shoot with Laforet Visuals

Pro surfer Jamie O'Brien, the waves of the North Shore located on Oahu, Hawaii and a one day power failure equal the recipe for my latest adventure with the crew from Laforet Visuals.  The ensemble cast of characters consists of Vincent Laforet, Mike Isler, Tabb Firchau, and Ryan Hughes,  and myself.  We've been working with the new Canon 5D MarkII, which records 1080p in addition to the RED One (4K HD) camera with a special Wicked Circuits Canon EOS Smart Mount that enables us to shoot the RED utilizing the entire line-up of Canon lenses. 

The day we left NYC for the beautiful shores of Hawaii it looked something like this:

The shoot has gotten off to a great start and working with just about every lens Canon makes has been interesting.  Vincent has crafted a great story for us to shoot and has provided an equally impressive array of toys, toys, and more toys.  He's pretty much Santa this year.  To make matters even better Jamie O'Brien is a really chill character and a pro all the way around.  I look forward to seeing what we get done.

I've been shooting Steadicam utilizing the Flyer with both the RED and Canon 5D.  The detail of the RED is absolutely stunning.  It's been pretty exciting and to take a look at some of the latest footage check out Vincent's blog posting at: Laforet Visuals

One week down, two to go...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

HSBC Private Bank portrait series for the Designers of the Year

Earlier this year my client, HSBC Private Bank, approached me with an amazing opportunity to create an unlimited number of portraits during an event in the first week of December in Miami, FL, called Design Miami 2008.  Miami is bursting with a colorful  characters from around the world during this time because this event coincides with Art Basel Miami.

Armed with ProFoto Lighting, a Hasselblad H1 & P25 PhaseONE digital back my team and I began pre-lighting the day before the opening.  The portraits ranged from the very well known to the passerby, but all of them will be compiled into a coffee table book to honor the 2008 Designers of the Year, the Campana Brothers from Brazil.

It was a great experience and the images the Hasselblad H1 captured were amazing.  I am most impressed with the Phase One software's ability to rescue the detail in the highlight areas of each frame.  Thanks to everyone at HSBC, the Campana Brothers, and Design Miami for all your help and support with this project.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Meniscus Short Film Shoot, North Carolina - Part I

For several years my friend and talented Director and Musician Jorge Rubiera has been writing his short film Meniscus. Today we embarked on bringing his story to life on the farms of Fayetteville, North Carolina using the Panasonic AG-HPX170. We have a young but talented cast lead by Jorge as we trod through the streams and cow pastures of the rural countryside. I'm the DP and steadicam operator on the shoot, which will be done over three months. Down home fried chicken, friends, and a great location (I think that's what Jean-Luc Godard said :)

After one week of shooting we shall reconvene in Miami, Florida at the Gold Coast Railroad Museum to shoot the opening of the film on the historic trains

Friday, November 14, 2008

Times Square Shoot starring "The Heights" performer

It was a great day when I photographed Joshua Henry of hit Broadway musical The Heights for Miami Magazine in Times Square on a beautiful Saturday morning in November. We used a Canon 1Ds Mark II and 2 ProFoto 7B packs cranked to nearly full power and a beauty dish for a soft fill to illuminate ?. The sun was slowly sneaking out behind the skyscrapers to the south and we quickly worked to capture the pic before the exposure I was hunting was lost.

This was the 3rd situation we shot that morning and he brought an amazing amount of energy to each situation. I'll be sure to publish the final images once the magazines gets their turn first.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Canon 5D Mark II Demo Shoot on a Steadicam

Cameras, Acrobats, and Contortionists OH MY!

A couple of weeks ago fellow photographer and friend Vincent LaForet, a Canon Explorer of Light, mentioned he wanted to shoot another demo video with the highly anticipated CANON 5D Mark II in New York City after the incredible success of REVERIE, his first video shoot.  

The Catch... We wanted to be the first to ever fly the still camera on a professional STEADICAM rig.  This was my first major production as a steadicam operator since attending the SOA certification course and to be able to shoot with such incredible performers in Manhattan was a total thrill.  Flips off monuments, BBoys busting moves on the subway, and contortionists in Times Square are just some of the highlights.  

The video will be released this week and I will be posting the video link here as soon as it's edited.  


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Steadicam Operators Course: Exton, Pennsylvania

Working out shot with fellow student Alex Floris from Paris, France.
After taking an overnight flight from a commercial gig in Vancouver, Canada, I found myself at the Steadicam Operators workshop certification in Exton, PA. Steadicam operating is a the process of flying a video or movie camera with a graceful fluid motion through a scene. Movies like Rocky, Carlitos Way, Boogie Nights, and Kill Bill and the Shinning serve as some of the best examples of this technique. The rig weighs anywhere from 30 lbs -70 lbs depending on the camera being used. Some of the best world's best are the instructors. More later...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Acquiring a New Client

Throughout my short career (9 years now) I've continually been asked at various times how I've acquired my clients and new work, and I thought this question presented itself as a decent topic for the blog.  

First and foremost, as in many other businesses I would have to say that the "referral" has been a crucial element to my success so far... always be professional and never burn a bridge.

However, another method has been targeting the set of clients (magazines, corporations, or ad agencies) I would like to work for and tailoring a photographic presentation specific to their needs and interests.  In this case I'll be focusing my portfolio presentation on the Halls of Academia within the New York / Tri-State area.  

These institutions are like small corporations with talented in house design teams who often need fresh imagery specific to their University or College.  The assignments can call for large scale location or studio shoots as well as documentary / sports photography.

Over the next two weeks I'll keep you posted of my strategy, execution, presentation, and success (I never failed in school, except for Organic Chem, but that's a different story :).

BMW Advertisement - Summer 2008

The arts and entertainment magazine partnered with BMW Motors for a cross promotional web advertising campaign in five US cities for the launch of the new 1 Series Coupe.  I was commissioned to photograph the magic city of Miami, FL.  I was given complete freedom to communicate my impression of the Miami landscape...something that was totally liberating.  

My concept (without using photoshop) was to show how Miami has been engulfed within a major construction boom.  I've looked at the city as an ongoing development project for sometime... like a page from an urban planners notebook or a "living" scale model.  To visually convey this idea I utilized a series of architectural tilt-shift lenses and a shallow depth of field to create the "scale model" look I was going for.  

It was a terrific opportunity to look at the downtown area of Miami in a new light.  Both clients were both very pleased... always a good thing.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Times Square, Baby!

This is oldie, but I just found the clip.  I have to say that this was one of the highlights of my career..."The Big Picture" in Times Square.  The shot is of the 2007 NBA MVP Tony Parker and it was commissioned  by my client IWC Schaffhausen.  Tony is one of their brand ambassadors and was a real professional during the shoot.  We photographed him at the Bathhouse Studios in the lower east side of Manhattan, a really great place to shoot with an equally incredible staff.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Feature Film: "The Tested"

Yesterday I started on my second feature film "The Tested," shot here in New York City and New Jersey using the Panaflex Elaine 16mm .  I'm being prepped as the 2nd AC on this shoot under the guidance of Chris Scarafile (DP) and directed by Russell Costanzo.  This shoot is a change in gears from my last feature and focuses on the trials of a young man in the inner city.  

Feature Film: "Watching TV with the Red Chinese"

Ah! The sweet taste of "the wrap" on the final day of shooting on the feature film "Watching TV with the Red Chinese," directed by Shimon Dotan and shot in New York City.  I was the 2nd AC on this shoot as well as the Unit Photographer.  We shot on the Panavised F900 with a great set of Panavision zoom lenses.  The shoot was a great learning experience and an eye opening departure from the world of still photography.  My friends Mike Rossetti (DP), Eric Kim (1st AC) and Michael Fuchs (Steadicam Operator) did a great job on the set.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Video: KNIGHT Foundation - Miami Arts Initiative

This is one of four multimedia videos I shot for Common Machine Prod. of Miami, FL for the Knight Foundation.  Brett O'Bourke (Producer) and I traveled to Akron, OH, Albuquerque, NM, Duluth, MN, and Miami, FL over 2 months to complete this project, which encompassed video, still photography, and time lapse to create a multilayered presentation for the Knight Foundation's print and online annual report.  The foundation gives away more than $100 million a year in grants to meet the broadly defined mission of "meeting the information needs of communities in a democracy," though their reach is even more expansive than that.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Shake and Bake

In another homage to the legendary Mr. Will Farrell... Brett O'Bourke of Common Machine Prod. and I couldn't help but quote every line from "Talladega Nights," as we packed up the gear and embarked on our next project called "Disappearing Speedways."  Our destination was the Orlando Speedway on the outskirts of Orlando, FL.  NASCAR this is not, but that's exactly what gives these small tracks their charm and timelessness.  Over the course of the next year we will be shooting this documentary all over the South as we make our way around this disappearing circuit.  "Dear Lord Baby Jesus, I want to thank you for this wonderful meal, my two beautiful son's, Walker and Texas Ranger, and my Red-Hot Smokin' Wife, Carley," classic.