Feature for Ground Control

/ 10 December, 2014 /
Last week finally ran a couple of my photos that I shot of Ground Control Frames Team Manager and Rider, Keaton Newsom, as well as NYC rollerblader, Pablo Munoz.  Pablo I met earlier this year when visiting California, while Keaton I've only conversed with online.  Great to finally meet him.  It was an impromptu shoot which photographer Sam L Dean helped put together and I ended up running with it.  Turns out he had shot Bladergang the night before at the warehouse we were in.  No pressure to figure out a different setup. haha.

The shots had to highlight Ground Control's latest product, the "BIG" frames, while keeping the skater anonymous.  So I aimed to just do that.  You can tell who they are, but it isn't readily apparent. I think we did a great job setting that up.  
Here's one of the lit up portraits I snapped towards the end of the shoot after we got what we were looking for.

Capturing Echo Park for Golden Daze Album Cover

/ 17 November, 2014 /

I was puttering around and checked my email to see an invite on Facebook from Golden Daze, a band out of Echo Park.  I knew one of the band members from rollerblading (of course) and he had seen me shoot polaroid on the last few times I had seem him while blading.  A month or so later, I get asked if the band duo can borrow my camera to shoot their album cover.  I run them through where to get the film, the tricks to using an SX-70, when to best shoot.  I didn't hear back for another month.  I get asked what I'm up to and if I had time to come over that afternoon.

They have a rough idea of what they want.  Their home, standing on the doorsteps.  Combined with the polaroid, it would feel like like another time, with these musicians documenting their lives as just another day.  We went through a pack, with varying positions and exposures.  I left the images with them and said I'd scan whichever they preferred.  A few more weeks go by and I swing by to pick the photos up for scanning.  After 4-5 months, the above photo was their top pick, which I found out about on Facebook.  There's something to be said about taking an analog photo and having zero control over how it comes out, only to see the final results myself after an elongated time.

Creative Recreation 2014 Fall Line

/ 23 October, 2014 /

It's somewhat surreal seeing the photos you helped cultivate out in the world.  It's more surreal when you consider who the images are for.  In this case, it's Creative Recreation.  When I mention I was on set for this line, random friends came out of the wood work to tell me about how they rock a pair or their uncle works for distribution or they kick back with the owners in southbay.  So so strange!

This was my 2nd job as a Digital Tech, a 2 day excursion in downtown LA and a studio out in Venice, CA.  You suddenly realize how many looks go into a fashion line (answer: a lot!).  All in all, there were 14 looks per day, or closer to 30 for 2 days.

Still, it was something else working between a film crew and their schedule, 8 models, multiple stylists and makeup artists, the art director, and the countless other people on set.  What an introduction to the career as a digital tech.

For those who are curious, the shoot was mostly done at 1/160, F/22, ISO 100, with a 580EX Canon Speedlite (provided by me) shot anywhere from 1/8 to 1/2 power, zoomed in from 80mm-105mm for extra pop.  I was constantly adjusting the lighting for the photog, who wasn't too familiar using speedlites.

Now for the extra cool shots from the shoot:

Paloma Ford Featured on Creative Rec's Website 

Additional Gwen Stefani Photos Popping up

/ 22 October, 2014 /

How strange to see these photos with a desaturated skin, makeup and hair a dramatically neon hues, and a blue blustery sky in the backdrop.  Especially when we shot these against a black, glossy wall in a downtown LA basement in what used to be a slaughter house.  It was the last look of the night and everyone was growing thin...not that you could tell!  It's a surprise to see how much post production goes into album covers, let alone images used for marketing a pop star.

As before, it was just a single bare bulb Profoto head at 1/2 power about 8 ft up and centered. 1/160, f/10, ISO 100.  In case you were wondering.  ;)

Gwen Stefani's "Baby Don't Lie" Single

/ 21 October, 2014 /

It's strange to see a photo you had a part in making up online.  It's stranger when you think it's for a big name like Gwen Stefani and her latest album "Baby Don't Lie".

It was a 14-15 hour shoot where we were given 10'x10' space at a loading garage door to shoot her for 10 minutes at a time, while shooting the music video.  Which meant 4-5 hours off, 10 minutes on, times 3.  It did give me a perspective into shooting on a big production like that. There are 70+ people doing one thing or another, trying to coordinate what looks like a mess from the ground.

As the digital tech for this shoot, it was fairly straight forward.  No hiccups, just minor adjustments to a high up and center single bare bulb Profoto head as the sun changed and affected the fill.  In the evening, I placed a white v-flat for fill to make up for the lack of natural lighting.  Shot on a 5D MKIII at 1/160th, F/11, ISO 100.

The only thing that I had to be on the look out really was the lines causing the focus on the camera to go wonky, and blowing out highlights.  The highlights were troublesome due to the backlighting.  I'd have to keep the photographer aware of this and adjust for that seamless handoff, knowing at any moment, Gwen could come out and we'd have to shoot.  We just never knew when Gwen would pop out.

The above image though has had a fair amount of work done to it.  Mostly to affect the contrast of the walls and outfit, the pop in the makeup, tucking the clothing to keep from looking baggy.

Photo by Vijat Mohindra.

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