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.
Here in Detroit we have Coney dogs, Coney Island hot dogs. Like our neighbor to the North's dish of poutine, there is no pretense of health. I suppose you could argue hot dogs themselves are not all that healthy. But when you smother them in chili, mustard and onions you reach a new level. And, like doughnuts, bacon, and all unhealthy foods, they are delicious. Chicago Dogs on the other hand at least have the air of being healthy, with their vegetables, pickles, and the like. Lots of fun to shoot with a super client and crew.
Without forktrucks, industry would grind to a halt. Since the early 20th century forktrucks have been the way things get moved around a warehouse, and trucks and railroad cars get loaded. Like everything else, technology has made them faster and safer. In my client’s case, industrial designers have made them easier to use and nicer to look at. My job is to find interesting angles and light that flatter the design. I am always interested in your thoughts and comments.
Visibility is important if you’re driving a fork truck. Vision is important in many jobs. I am generally not a fan of “straight on” shots, but in this case it’s kind of dramatic. The diagonals provided by the red forks are dynamic and the strong verticals of the mast create a sense of strength. And it all frames the eyes. Please let me know what you think.
The biggest of these little steel balls is about a millimeter in diameter, about the thickness of a dime. It’s called wire cut shot. It's used in industrial processes. I had to level the table so it wouldn’t all roll away. It’s challenging to get them into the shape you want and make it look natural and random. I love the little glimpses into otherwise invisible areas that commercial photography provides.
I was photographing jewelry for a catalog with my friend Richard when he slid some small rings onto a bit of rolled up paper. It didn’t work for the catalog we were shooting, but I thought it looked pretty cool. I enjoy spontaneous moments like that one. Because Richard created the jewelry, he has ideas about what it should look like in 2 dimensions. Collaborating on projects like this one is a highlight of my job.
Every now and then we need to photograph large products. Fork trucks are not the largest product we’ve had in the studio. We’ve had large trucks, turf maintenance vehicles, salt spreading equipment and truck bed liners in the studio too. These fork trucks are fun to photograph because of their excellent industrial design. Please, let me know what you think!
They're not jewelry, they're far more functional. The only outward similarity is that they're shiny metal. They nonetheless, feel kinda like jewelry, or at least that’s one of my goals. Despite the need for rigorous functionality they are surprisingly beautiful objects. Whatever their purpose, they're fun to shoot. 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.
Product photography is a ceaseless joy in my life. I just really enjoy doing it. You would think that photographing wine bottles would be more fun than industrial parts… It really depends on the industrial part. Still, shooting this project was fun as well as challenging and rewarding. Finessing the lighting and bringing life to all of the disparate textures and shapes. The most challenging part of the shot was the highlights – I had to play with them a little to get the contrast I wanted, but I think it turned out well. Let me know what you think.
Automotive parts are really important around Detroit. Statuesque is what I was going for. Big. Important. Grand. This part is cutaway so we can see inside. I like shooting industrial parts. You can see them for their functionality or you can see them as circles, rods or trapezoids; light and shadow giving them volume and shape. My job as a commercial photographer is to transform my client’s vision into a photograph, that is visually impressive and tells a story. As always let me know what you think.
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.
Ugly might be a little harsh. They are a long way from beautiful. Unless perhaps you are looking exclusively from a practical point of view. They do what needs to be done. I had to make them look interesting; give them a little visual flair. I put them on the board we ordinarily put under the jack to protect the floor when we jack up a car. I added a little contrast, and a little blue. What do you think?
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.
I've driven a few miles this year, primarily on three separate assignments to New York, including a side excursion to Philadelphia. These trips required a good deal of photographic equipment, forcing me to opt out of flying, and hitting the road. Its fortunate I enjoy driving, although admittedly, the days can get somewhat long.
This particular photograph was created at a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility that produces yogurt. I was hired by The Raymond Corporation to highlight their materials-handling equipment in action. I particularly like this photo due to the sterile and nearly monochromatic setting we were in. This shot was photographed using a mix of ambient light along with my well-travelled strobe equipment.
This customized Hellcat is a beast! Black cars are great looking, but they are a bear to photograph. You can’t make them black or they won’t have any shape. So they have to be gray, but look black, and shiny. It’s the challenges that keep this profession fun.