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Posts Tagged ‘Location’

Now, I know for a fact that not every reader of this here blog is a starving artist or commercial photographer. No, some of you have regular jobs with employers like a big soulless corporation or New York State. And as I imagine you sitting in your penthouses, country estates and castles, contemplating your next fur coat or stretch limousine, I’m wondering why you don’t hold off on that Beverly Hills mansion and give the $85.000.000 that you saved to Claudia Hehr?

Claudia Hehr, as you might remember, graced the pages of The Heavy Light once before and has another interesting project in the pipeline. This time she wants to photograph the orphans of the Good Hope Center in Tanzania and document the work of Artists for World Peace, which is not Ron Artest‘s new name, but a non-profit that works with above mentioned orphans. And for this she needs your help.

To find out more about the project, see a video interview with Claudia, and donate the $85.000.000 go to

http://www.indiegogo.com/claudiahehr

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As I have mentioned in an earlier post, the Missus and I recently made a trip to the left coast of Amurrrica so I could finally relax from my mediterranean lifestyle. As usual I decided to bring the shabang (2 7bs, 4 heads, and the Mamiya RZ) on our road trip from San Francisco to LA and back.

The project I had in mind originally was to find and photograph motocross riders in the hilly desert of Southern California. It would have worked out great, if only they were there. Even though I found plenty of tracks, I could not rustle up one single rider in the time we were there. Maybe they needed a vacation, too.

So faced with the depressing possibility of schlepping (and paying extra luggage charges for) all my gear without getting anything noteworthy out of it, I sent an SOS call to my good friends Jerry and Laurel in SF. J & L worked already on several other bay area shoots of mine, one of them detailed in great detail in an earlier post here.

Laurel told me about her friend Isabella, who is a passionate mountain biker, though injured at the moment, who could hook me up with other riders. It was very short notice, unpaid, and the shoot was happening on Monday afternoon. Somewhat close to ideal conditions.

After a location scout in different parts of the city, the tourist in me won, and I decided to shoot on the Marin side of the Golden Gate. Obviously it’s one of the mostest oftenest photographed locations ever, but the beauty of the span is just too damn hard to resist. During the scout, we went to some of the military installations in that area and the one closest to the bridge had some interesting structures that provided for good riding and angles without tourists in the background. I tried out different lenses and liked the slightly abstract (safari) look I got from the 250mm tele.

On Monday we started setting up for a one o’clock shoot. We didn’t know how many models would come, but we knew that they wouldn’t have a lot of time. When three riders finally arrived an hour late, the fog rolled in. Initially I was ready to kick something small and innocent, but the fog turned out to be not really solid. Every so often the veil would lift and the bridge would appear in highly attractive half-visibility. Laurel was standing on a little hill, telling us to get ready when a hole in the mist would blow our way. When we got the timing right it looked like this:

…and when we got the timing wrong it looked like that:

The rider in this picture is Remy, who is not just an all around good guy and very skilled rider, but also the owner of the tip-top Mojo Bicycle Cafe in San Francisco. A very nice combo of bike shop and cafe.

We did a quick group portrait (Ralph, Remy, and Isabella),…

…and moved up the hill for a second location. This is how our first spot looked from above:

The second location was on the other side of the hill and had a little patch of spectacular trees. We placed two lights amongst the trees behind the rider, one head pretty much from the front and left of camera and one head from the sharp right aimed at the rider but skimming the gnarly tree next to her. The rider had to start in the background, get some speed, duck under that big branch, get photographed, and roll down a sharp little hill while avoiding the camera. The two guys went first, but then Isabella’s competitive side kicked in and she went for it, too, freshly surgically repaired knee or not, giving me the best image in this spot (and possibly the day).

It was a short little shoot, but more than justified the schlepp.

If you’re into bikes or coffee or both I highly recommend to check out Mojo if you should find yourself (or lose yourself) in San Francisco (with flowers in your hair).

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My good pal and office mate Myriam Babin is an interior and travel photographer, who branched out a year and a half ago into the blogging business. Her blog New York Kitchen shows her photographs depicting the hustle-bustle and set-up of New York City’s restaurant kitchens. Addressing the inherent frustration that comes from seeing delicious food on a computer screen while sitting in an apartment with a fridge that has nothing but expired condiments, Myriam decided to stage an art event called “On The Line” where you can see her photography as well as taste the food from some of the restaurants shown in the images. So what better time to have a little interview with the New York Kitchenette herself.

Dirk Anschütz: First things first: How did you get started in photography?

Myriam Babin: Originally I thought I wanted to be a painter, but after taking a few classes I came to the realization that it was not meant to be. I hated waiting for the paint to dry. So I started taking photography classes during my second year in art school and was instantly hooked.

DA: How did you get into the profession?

MB:  After college I did several cross country road trips and did a photographic series of motel rooms as an art project. That’s when I became really interested in interior photography. I had a solo show of the motel images at Elizabeth Cherry Contemporary Art in Tucson, AZ, where I lived briefly, and a German editor came to see my show – we had met at Art Santa Fe where I had some work. He hired me to shoot some fashion spreads in upscale hotels for German Cosmo and then for GQ Germany. Then I started showing my book around and a French correspondent for Vogue France assigned me to shoot hotels, boutiques, and restaurants in New York where I had moved back to in the meantime. I started shooting travel photography when this writer became the editor in chief of Air France Madame and brought me along. At Air France Madame I had the chance to shoot travel, interiors – and restaurants – all over the world.

DA: What made you start your blog New York Kitchen.

MB: I live in New York and I wanted to have a project that would have me shooting interiors locally on a regular basis, while giving me visibility in this town that I just didn’t get from being published in Europe. The reason that I picked restaurant kitchens is that they’re utilitarian spaces that nonetheless display a vibrant culture, especially in a food-crazed town like New York. And of course it’s exciting to have the opportunity to see behind the scenes of places where I might love to eat.

DA: What equipment do you use?

MB: I shoot with a Canon 5D with a 24-105 lens. I shoot the establishing shots on a tripod and the details and action shots handheld, using available light for everything.

DA: So tell me about the upcoming event.

MB: The idea is to bring the blog to life, to bring it from virtual to actual. George Uenishi from Digital Plus (a fine printing and mounting place in Gowanus, that did the mounting for The Sultans exhibit I had earlier this year. DA) asked me if I wanted to create a show for the 411 gallery, an exhibition space that’s adjacent and connected to the Digital Plus workshop. I started thinking about how I could create something more than just a photography exhibit. I liked the idea of giving the viewers a chance to not only see images of food being created, but also to experience it. Often times a gallery space can be austere, almost sacred. For this event I want to turn it into something more lively, so I asked restaurants that I’ve photographed if they would be interested in providing food for the event and quite a few were really into the idea. During the show’s opening Market Table, El Quinto Pino, Txikito, Gramercy Tavern, and Chef Gregory Torrech (formerly of Brown and Sixth Street Kitchen) will be serving up their food, some of which will be cooked on the premises.

There will also be a silent auction where one can bid on prints from the show or on dinners at participating restaurants. All the proceeds will be donated to “Share Our Strength” a non-profit dedicated to ending childhood hunger in America.

 

DA: How has the blog affected you business so far?

MB:  I’ve met lots of people including my fiancé who is a chef, and some new clients who have hired me to shoot their restaurants and menu updates.

DA: Thanks a lot for the interview and good luck with “On The Line”.

411 Gallery @ Digital Plus

411 Third Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11215

To RSVP for the event Click here: www.eventbrite.com/event/2275959456

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So the good news is that that image above from my Dead Indian Pass series received an honorable mention at the International Photo Awards (the Lucies), but the bad news is that nobody mentioned it to me. I had to find that out all by my poor pitiful self. The same thing happened already last year. My Giddy Up series placed second and I was definitely told about that. I even received an official certificate that I could frame or fold up and keep in my wallet in case I’d ever run into an art director. So last year I was checking out the winners’ gallery and, still basking in my own glory (even though my old coach said placing second only makes you the first loser), moved on to the honorable mentions gallery just to stumble upon The Sultans there.

I didn’t make much of it. I figured it was an honest mistake or maybe they didn’t think I could handle two successes at the same contest without my head swelling up to a grotesque size and exploding and soiling that nicely framed certificate on my wall.

But this year they did it again, not mentioning my honorable mention that is, and now I think they might be doing it on purpose.

I know, it’s not exactly earth shattering news (to be the 7th loser in the 32nd category) and they would have to send out a lot of emails (my picture is about # 1487 from the top) but still, every little bit counts and that’s why we enter contests:  To brag about winning (or being mentioned, honorably at that), to go to an editor or art buyer and proudly proclaim: I’m not just something the cat dragged in, no sir, I’m an award winner, you can trust me with your multi-dollar shoot.

For every photo contest already out there, there are 3 new ones springing up, blunting the effect of all of them.  Generally they charge quite a bit of money and it’s becoming very questionable if entering (and winning in some fashion) any of these is actually worth it, but what’s not questionable to me is this:  If you decide to have honorable mentions in your contest than you should put in the effort to let the mentionees know.  You’re welcome, don’t mention it.

You can check out the winners and honorable mentions here.

 

 

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While putzing around on the Internet (which seems to be my day job) and keeping a semi-interested eye on this year’s Tour de France, I came across some old images of Eddy Merckx. Like many of you will know, Eddy Merckx isn’t just the owner of the coolest name ever, he was also the most dominant bicyclist of his generation. So dominant was he that his nickname was “The Cannibal”.

He also had a way of looking larger than life in pictures. His suffering was of religious proportions…

…his crying on the bed put every teenager to shame…

…and when he got his white socks dirty he didn’t stop at light grey.

I also think that the old guard knew the limits of effective advertising…

…while this picture above makes me want to write with a Bic pen, drive a Peugeot on Michelin tires to a BP station and drink an ice-cold Salvarani (or whatever that is), this picture of the poor (modern day) Schleck brothers only gives me a headache.

There are 28 logos between them just above the belly buttons. Imagine the horror if they were triplets! I mean, is anybody buying a Skoda because it’s the seventh company from Andy Schleck’s left nipple? I don’t think so either.

In any case let’s finish the post with a great picture by Stephan Vanfleteren of the older Merckx and let’s all have a Molteni in his honor.

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During a short and sweet road trip with the missus through Wyoming last year I noticed that there were a lot of bikers out and about and after a while it dawned on me that they were on their way to the big yearly meet-up in Sturgis, South Dakota. Most of them have been on their bikes for days and you could see in their faces the effects of the wind and the sun. It seemed like we could do a nice little portrait series.

The first day we wanted to do the shoot was too rainy and we decided to use the time for a thorough location scout. We drove out of Cody and took the Chief Joseph Byway to the Beartooth Highway, which took us all the way up into Montana. One road was more spectacular than the next. We decided to set up shop the next morning at a place called Dead Indian Pass.
The spot overlooked a beautiful valley where Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce faked out a pursuing US Army on their (painfully close but unsuccessful) run towards the Canadian border.

We set up lights at a pull-out and asked the bikers that stopped there if they wanted to sit for a portrait. I think we got a nice collection of Amurrrican (and a few Canadian) archetypes.

To check out the entire series, click here.

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There is a new gallery called “At the Races” on my website.  I spent a day at a messenger track race in Kissena, Queens which has a velodrome (what doesn’t New York have?).  The images were taken last year on the glorious, glorious day when Germany whooped Argentina 4:0 at the World Cup which might explain why it took me so long to post them (I’ve just stopped celebrating).  In any case there will be a longer post about the nuts and bolts of the shoot soon.

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