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Posts Tagged ‘Self Promotion’

Antelope Island is, as I mentioned before, one of my all time favorite places. It sits in the Great Salt Lake and looks pretty Lord-of-the-Ringish. It has a healthy fauna with plenty of antelopes and buffalo roaming around. The way to get there is by a long very straight road that traverses the lake.

On the second day of our Giddy Up shoot we met again at my hotel downtown Salt Lake City. Again we had three riders, Tate and Cameron from the day before and as a new addition David Orion Thompson. We also had hired Hillary, a female model from Craigslist, her though for only half a day.

Once we got to the island, we ran into some problems. We had called a few days earlier about a permit and were told to just get it on the day of the shoot, that it would be a matter of minutes. I confirmed this again the day before, but of course once we got there nobody knew nothin’ and we had to make a slow march through state park bureaucracy. It would have been pretty frustrating except for the fact that the van with all the BMX’ers had broken down along the way and we wouldn’t have had anybody to photograph anyway. In the time it took us to get the permit, the boys somehow managed to get the broken heap off the road and to organize a new vehicle. When we all finally made it to the location we decided to play it like rock stars. Who really starts working before 11 o’clock anyway? In any case it helped my nerves considerably that the shoot the day before had worked out so well.

For the first set-up we picked a little dirt road at the south side of the island and started with Hillary since we would only have her for one more hour thanks to our earlier adventures. She and David definitely looked like they could be a couple and we tried to create a shoot that was half hipster, half Norman Rockwell.

After that we went to a patch of reeds near the lake. I always loved playing in these things as a child since this was probably the closest a German kid would come to a Tarzanesque environment.

After the girl left we went back to the dirt road with the riders. I had told them before the shoot that I wanted to incorporate Western iconography into the images of them riding. Cam didn’t need much prodding, he had an extensive collection of old time country music on his i-pod and a fine variety of cowboy shirts, but he went far beyond the call of duty by bringing a bona-fide bullwhip to the shoot.
He was very good at making the bike ride by itself even on a bumpy dirt road, and so here he gave it a push towards the camera, grabbed the whip and and gave it a good smack at precisely the right moment. Yeeh-haw!

After the dirt road shoots we broke for lunch at a few nearby picnic tables and noticed a small plane circling low and slow overhead as if looking for something.

After lunch we moved to the next location where David performed a bit of rodeo inspired riding. As with the other set-ups, we shot everything on a Mamiya RZ with a P25 Phase One back and lit the scenes with Profotos 7b’s. We usually arranged the heads with regular reflectors in as much of a circle as we could get away with.

For the last set-up of the day we moved to the access road to the island. Usually a sleepy stretch of blacktop were you can see oncoming traffic for miles. On that day it was far from sleepy though. We had set up our lights and had just started shooting when we saw police lights flashing in the distance. After a few minutes a huge Suburban police truck came flying by at 90 miles an hour, a few minutes later another police car with lights and sirens shot by followed by fire trucks, ambulances and more police cars. We kept shooting through the whole parade because even at their break neck speed, we had minutes to get out of the way. Cameron was manning the radio and finally found out that a private plane with a lone pilot went down on a remote part of the island earlier in the day. The plane we saw at lunch must have been looking for the missing aircraft.

Despite a bit of nervous energy on the set from all the racing emergency vehicles the shoot turned out very nicely. We had Cam (who also brought some nice suits beside the bullwhip) jump “over” the rental car. The image is a simple composite to get both the bike and the car in focus, I didn’t change the height of the bike at all. Cameron really could jump.

These two images are the only ones we really used photoshop on (besides color, contrast, blah, blah, blah) to showcase a bit of the different riding styles. Where Cam could really get high (aw, c’mon, you know what I mean) Tate could really go low. His ability to dip the bike and pop it back up was a thing of beauty. We had to hurry up with these images because at the end of the day the light was changing fast and we needed consistency for the composites.

After that we turned the set-up around to get a shot of the three of them with a nice sunset.

The images we produced during the two shoot days were pretty well received. Fab Julie Grahame picked the Bonneville pics for a feature on aCurator.com, David’s bucking bike made it on the American Photography contest website (and, as I just realized, disappeared again thanks to their low notch web maintenance), and the series placed second at the Internation Photography Awards (the Lucies) in the self-promo category, also clearly visible to an archaeologist on their engaging winner’s gallery.

Unfortunately at the same time the whole market for stock photography turned to and I decided to hold back with submitting the images until they have a better chance to make money. Hopefully the market for stock images as well as photography in general will rebound, but I do have a queasy feeling that the last pic of the day might have been a premonition.

Giddy Up-Bonneville
Giddy up-Intro

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To everybody’s relief the great Sultans-Spam of 2011 is nearing it’s end. All in all there was an accumulation of over 40 inches in Facebook entries, blogposts, postcards and emails in January alone. More than 3 times the average.

The good news is that the exhibit finally opens tonight. The images are hung (hehe), the white wine is warmed and the red wine is chilled, for that authentic art opening feel. I even had my prerequisite nightmares about another blizzard tonight or nobody showing up just for the heck of it, in which case I hereby solemnly swear to never be on Facebook again. Never. Ever.

The production of the show turned out to be more fun than I had expected. A big part of that was the help of dedicated professionals like David and Hashem at Printspace (printing), and George and Eric at Digital Plus (mounting). Another big part was the help of friends like (fellow photographers) Myriam Babin who schlepped and advised at pretty much every stage of the process, and Neil Beckerman who flouted every child labor law and made his seven year old daughter Lindsay help us hang the show for free.

I’m also thankful to the bloggers (always lovely) Julie Grahame at a.Curator, Stefan Falke, Fotocare, and the mighty Jackanory for spreading the word, alongside all the good people who sultanized Facebook with reposts and such.

In any case tonight’s the night. Be there, near Washington Square.

The Sultans will be on show at NYU’s Deutsches Haus from January, 28th to February, 25th, 2011.

The opening reception will be on Friday, January, 28th from 6 to 8 pm.

Deutsches Haus at NYU
42 Washington Mews
New York, NY 10003
212.998.8660

http://deutscheshaus.as.nyu.edu

Hours of operation:
Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu: 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
Fri: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sat: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

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There’s a new gallery on my website with some of the fixie (fixed gear bicycle) riders I photographed during the summer in Red Hook, Brooklyn. To my enduring surprise I actually shot still lives as part of the project, and liked it. I guess stranger things have happened, but it can’t be many.

The title “One is all you need…”refers to the fact that fixies have only one gear, just to clarify it for people living under a rock or outside of Williamsburg.

Anyways, I’ll do a post about the shoots soon and I’ll keep working on this project, so there will be more images coming.



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There is a new portfolio on my website that came out of a pro bono shoot I did earlier this summer for Upstream Arts in Minneapolis.
A blog post about the shoot will follow sometime in the (possibly near) future.

And while we’re at it, here’s a little reminder that Stephen Mallon’s show opens tonight at the Front Room Gallery in Williamsburg.

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From the Shameless Self-Promotion Dept.: After a good summer with lots of travel and some interesting projects, it’s almost enough with the fun now and back to work. But let me start the long, dark drudge towards winter by bragging about a few good developments here:
Recent Heavy Light interviewee Stephen Mallon made it to the finals at Critical Mass,

© Stephen Mallon

and so did our pal Manjari Sharma.

© Manjari Sharma

My good friend and office mate Myriam Babin won with her blog New York Kitchen at a contest that will be officially announced in the near future, but can not be named just yet. It will be juicy, though.

© Myriam Babin

Julie Grahame (recent guest contributor for The Heavy Light) got a big shout-out from PDN in their last print issue for my favorite internet photo magazine aCurator.com,

© M. Sharkey

and yours truly placed second at the International Photography Awards (The Lucie Awards) with the Giddy Up series (Advertising/Self Promotion),

got an honorable mention for The Sultans (People/Portrait) again at The Lucies, (unfortunately the IPA galleries look a bit like they were designed by a blind squirrel),

and placed second at the Grand Street Cup Soccer Tournament with the Kaledonian Klowns (yes, be careful, when you let a Scottish bar owner name your team!).

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Second day:

After Cappadocia we traveled on to the southern coast where we stayed in a little village named Cerali. We asked Ali, the owner of the pension we stayed at, if he could recommend a local helper and he volunteered to do it himself. After walking around Cerali for a day we got the strong impression, that old men were in short supply and Ali explained to us that the older population leaves the sea side for the mountains during the summer, but that he knew where to find them. After a few days of swimming and lounging, Susie, Ali and I made for the hills. We climbed about 1600 meters ( 5250 ft) during a 45 minute drive which led to some nervous giggles amongst the non-locals.

The first people we met on the mountain top were Mehmet and his wife, who graciously invited us for tea in their “summer shack” before we started setting up.

Field Editing Station:

As our shoot with Mehmet was winding down, we saw 2 gentlemen drive by in a pick-up truck. Tied up in the back was a stately billy goat. Ali flagged down the car and asked Yusuf and (another) Ali if they would have their portraits taken. Without any questions or hesitation the two got out of the cab and climbed on the cargo bed where they immediately started posing with their (very impressive) angora goat.

I snapped a few frames with my Canon G10 and was seriously considering bringing the lights over for this scene, but I quickly decided against it. I usually try to start with the stuff that’s most important to me especially when I shoot “real” people. You always have to expect a short attention span and if you don’t get what you want in the beginning you might not get it at all.




Shooting on that mountain was one of the highlights of this trip. We would have never found this place on our own and the people we met during the shoot were interesting, gracious and very hospitable. At it’s best photography is a door into another world that you would not find without it. Plus: Another great thing was that they did their own styling.

The Sultans-Magcloud Magazine

The Sultans-Issuu

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I’m proud to announce that one of my Giddy Up pics got chosen for the American Photography website. Yeehaw again.

http://www.ai-ap.com/cfe/APss/APSlideChosen.html

3rd one from the top.

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