It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since the the last “No-Show Black Tie” fund raiser. The Bottomless Toy Chest delivers art projects, crafts and interactive games to hospitalized pediatric cancer patients. Toys are the subject again. It sorta fits. This is a Mr. Potato Head year. It was lots of fun playing toys and taking photos. We should all be heading over to The Bottomless Toy Chest do donate. Do it!
I love photographing shiny things. Kinda doesn't matter what it is. Cars, jewelry, industrial parts or tools, as long as it’s Shiny. I photographed this tap on a white background and put in the blue handmade paper in post production. I’m always interested in what you think.
Who knew surgeons used torque wrenches? I don’t think about it that much, but I guess it makes sense. Surgeons are sort of body mechanics. True, the stakes may be higher than a brake job on your car, but a bad brake job could be fatal too. Anyway, we spent the day working and collaborating with an excellent art director and ended up with a bunch of nice images and had a good time as well. Let me know what you think.
They aren’t selling sandwiches, or bread, or meat. It’s just a photograph of a sandwich that has meat in it that uses their sausage casing. It’s been called a copy warmer. You can call it what you want, I call it Tasty! Let me know what you think.
In the commercial photography world, schedules and deadlines are paramount. We are usually awarded photography projects a few days or a couple of weeks in advance, but for this project for WABCO, we were requested to shoot with less than four hours advance notice! Fortunately I had no other photography bookings for the day so I was able to pack my gear and rush off to location. The directives for this shoot were to photograph a WABCO truck in an empty lot in the correct perspective to strip into this stock photo background the client had purchased the rights to that very same day. After some late night retouching, I was able to deliver the finished project the next day in order for the client to meet their deadline.
Photographing very small things can be challenging. The product in this photograph is an abrasive, but to be honest, I don’t know how it is used. I imagine that it’s similar to sand blasting. The largest of the stainless steel balls is about one millimeter in diameter. For comparison, a BB is about 4.5 millimeters in diameter. So these are pretty small. As always, I am interested in your thoughts and comments.
I was recently awarded a project to photograph professional models for a medical device maker in Michigan. Stryker is a Fortune 500 company whom I've worked with numerous times. This particular shoot was done in studio with an emphasis on building a library of images the client could use for future marketing needs. It was an enjoyable photography session, as our talent pool was exceptionally good. Likewise, I had great art direction and a knowledgeable staff that knew the medical nuances of surgical wear. All in all, it was a great team effort.
I photograph executive portraits frequently, in studio at Blue Sky Photography in Troy, along with shooting on location at client's facilities. Although I enjoy both studio and location portraits, shooting against environmental backgrounds can often be a bigger challenge. There is more involved than just a simple portrait lighting set-up against a seamless backdrop. In the photograph above, the client desired a very shallow depth of field which required shooting through nearly three stops of neutral density, even with the strobe lights set to their lowest settings. And to complicate matters even further, I had to deal with reflections from the conference room glass walls. But that's why I like shooting environmentally; bigger challenge, bigger reward.
I really enjoy shooting in the studio. On this day, we had a great team. The client, models, stylist and I were all working well together. Fortunately the studio is large enough the there was no problem pulling in a large truck. Then it was a matter of staging the scenarios that told the client’s story. Working together we made photographs that pleased the client. As always your thoughts and comments are welcome.
I was awarded an assignment recently to photograph semi trailer trucks. Shooting big rigs isn't that much different than photographing cars on location, except that they're BIG! Whether its cleaning and detailing them, or scouting for a location, one has to keep in mind their enormous size. They are far less maneuverable than your typical car and require space; lots of space.
This project was for Point Dedicated, with an emphasis on their dedicated team of drivers. I did several different photos with their team members, including interior cab portraits, using a mix of ambient light and auxiliary strobe lighting.
Living and working in metropolitan Detroit, its hard to get much distance from the automotive industry. There are not many degrees of separation. Although I'm acutely aware of this phenomena, it was brought home to me once again when I was awarded a multi-day photography shoot for Pentastar Aviation. Upon entering the terminal lobby, one cannot but notice the numerous photo enlargements depicting the historical connection between the Ford Motor Company and the aviation industry. And its no wonder that they're on display, as Edsel Ford, the great-grandson of Henry Ford, is the chairman and sole owner of Pentastar Aviation.
I created the photograph shown above, a Falcon aircraft interior, showing the quality of custom work Pentastar's Interior Design division can do. Whether its automotive interiors or aircraft interiors, Blue Sky Photography is up to the task. Thanks for viewing.
Recently I had the opportunity to photograph a customized Impala. Silver is one of the easier car colors to light. All the breaks and shapes in the sheet metal almost define themselves. They added 6 inches to the back seat for a little more leg room. The grill was heavily modified too. More to come! As always I am interested in your thoughts.
As a commercial photographer, I'm often awarded a location assignment without the opportunity to do a preliminary scout prior to shoot day. In these instances we really don't know what perils may await us. We hope for spotless factories with pristine machinery and well groomed operators. However, those hopes are usually dashed moments after arrival. The facility photographed above , EPIC in suburban Detroit, was an exception to the norm. We were welcomed into an almost sterile-like environment, showcasing a meticulously clean assembly line. Not all industrial photography projects will be as clean as this one, but we can always hope.
I recently had the opportunity to photograph an Outlaw Mustang. Black cars are challenging to shoot, but that makes it more fun. Defining the complex shapes of a shiny car with light and reflection is only part of the goal. It’s also necessary to evoke an emotional response. This story is about how the chin spoiler, rocker sills, low profile rear spoiler and lots of other enhancements make it loads better! Let me know what you think!
Shooting on location at the office of an investment advisor, my task was to take photographs that would reflect his business. As he collected antiques related to investment, my job was simplified. The antiques project a timeless stability, and the knowledge and experience to guide clients through the difficult world of investing. It was a busy day photographing still life vignettes and portraits. Please let me know what you think.
As the current year ends and a new year begins it’s a good time for introspection. Personally, I have family, friends, and health to be thankful for. A wider global view reveals many people working hard to make a better world. This includes people designing medical devices that perform well and protect health care workers from dangerous toxins. I don’t imagine advertising photography is saving the world, but hopefully, it’s more pleasant to look at. Thanks to all of our clients and suppliers for a wonderful year. May 2015 be even better!
One of the great benefits of being a photographer, especially a "location" photographer, is the opportunity to make a living and be outdoors at the same time. Granted, many location shoots can be in corporate offices or noisy factories, but sometimes the weather gods are with you. That would be the case for a recent photo shoot I did on the west side of Michigan for a synthetic lumber distributor (marina decking). It was a perfect temperature day with sunshine and beautiful cumulus clouds for our marina backdrop.
This photograph was accomplished using the sun as our key source of light, obviously, but with a simple strobe chimera for fill, just out of camera view, we were able to avoid too much shadow on our talent's face. Not all location shoots have as ideal weather conditions as this one, but that great unknown makes on-site photography all that more interesting!
I enjoy working alone. When you finish, you have a sense of accomplishment; you know the photograph is yours. Fortunately, I also enjoy collaborating with clients. Working with a designer or art director to create images that work for the client, and solving the visual problems to communicate their story can be enjoyable and gratifying. Collaboration is at the core of commercial photography. It’s my job to make real the image that lives in my client’s head. This is one of several photos we captured for a medical technologies firm. Working with a wonderful art director and writer/account person, it was a terrific day.
Since Chicago is one of my favorite cities, I was delighted to be awarded a photography assignment there earlier this month. I was hired to photograph a new Maserati / Fiat automotive dealership just weeks after they completed final construction. The dealership was unusual as it had two distinct showrooms; one for the value conscious Fiat customer, and one for the Maserati shopper, where money doesn't seem to be an issue.
It was an interesting dichotomy as I watched the Fiat shoppers inevitably make their way over to the Maserati side, just for a glimpse of what money could buy! Either way, they came for an Italian built automobile.
Who could love stop valves? Well, I guess plumbers, or photographers. I do; because I love to photograph shiny things. A big part of shooting any product is getting it clean and prepped. It’s much easier and faster for stop valves than for tires, but it’s crucial for any product photography. Everyone is in a hurry these days, but sometimes it’s necessary to slow down and do it right. As always, I’m interested in your thoughts.