Friday, December 23, 2011
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Today I did a photo shoot with my friend Winona Kamman. She's a great model and we had a lot of fun. In case you're wondering, I added the background later, digitally. I live in Florida and it was in the 70's today. Happy Holidays!!
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Tonight I watched the annual Fort Lauderdale Boat Parade with my family. We were on my brother's small boat which he anchored in one of the side canals of the Intracoastal. Although we had front row seats, it wasn't all that exciting. Maybe I had seen this parade too many times and I was tired of the same thing every year. But wait! There WAS something new. Between two garishly decorated yachts, was a person flying what appeared to be a jet pack!
I did some Googling and the company that makes it is JetLev.com. I found a number of videos on YouTube including this one. How does it work? In a nutshell, you are tethered to a small boat by a flexible hose. The boat has a 200 horsepower engine that pumps water through the hose to your jet pack. The water spraying out of your jet pack lifts you off the water. Ever play with a Water Wiggle when you were a kid? Well its basically the same thing, except you sit on top of it and control it. Sadly, it costs a little bit more than a Water Wiggle. Prices start at $99,500.00 USD.
In case you're wondering, those weird colored shapes to the right of the guy with the jet pack are the result of "lens flare". Lens flare is caused by a bright light (usually the sun) pointing directly at the camera, that makes reflections on the glass elements inside the lens. The spotlight pointing at me from the lower left is causing the lens flare in this photo.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Just a little video I made at my friend Kellen's apartment. I used my Nikon D7000 with a Nikkor 35mm f1.8 lens. Sound was recorded using the built in microphone. Exposure was f1.8 1/30s @ ISO 800.
Friday, December 2, 2011
That's right folks, its a real, fully functional microwave oven, and its only $79.99 at Target. I wonder what age group this thing is targeted to? It certainly couldn't be safe to give your 6 year old daughter a 700 watt microwave. Maybe its meant for college students? I wonder how many college girls really want a Hello Kitty microwave in their dorm room or apartment? Does a microwave oven become cute just because its painted pink? Seriously, what is wrong with people? Its a microwave oven. Its a byproduct of radar technology developed for World War II. It heats food by saturating it with microwave radiation! The door has a protective metal layer with small holes punched in it so you don't fry while peering inside to see if your frozen pizza has received enough radiation. Personally, I don't use a microwave. I can't think of any healthy food that needs to be heated in one.
This photo was taken with my EVO 4G.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Here's one of the otters in the new wing of the Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I was hired by the museum to photograph the interior and exterior of the new building, all of the new exhibits, and of course, the otters! The otters live in an open air habitat with a lake and waterfalls. On the inside of the new building, there's a glass wall where you can watch these playful creatures diving and swimming around underwater.
Nikon D7000 with 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 lens. Exposure: f/4.8 1/125 ISO 800. Weather: cloudy
Saturday, November 19, 2011
That's a good question. I really don't know. I also have no idea what this piece of advertising is trying to accomplish. I remember seeing this in a store window but I don't remember the store or what they were selling. Frequently, I see advertising that goes out of its way to be clever and memorable, yet fails to sell the product. So the question remains. Was it a clothing store? A liquor store? A dentist? An adult video store? Anyone have any clue?
This photo was taken with my EVO 4G.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Today I installed a camera for a 9 month time lapse of a construction project. The camera is mounted to the outside of a parking garage that faces the building under construction. Just below the bumper of my car, you can see the weather housing I built for the camera. The housing is mounted to a small platform that I attached to the side of the garage. I brought a good selection of stainless steel and aluminum hardware, and I fabricated the mounting brackets on site. All the gear you see in the photo used to be in the back of my truck. Now it all fits in the back of my car.
If you are interested in a time lapse film for any purpose, please contact me at www.Design215.com.
Friday, November 4, 2011
In case you didn't already know, QR codes (Quick Response codes) are those funny looking little boxes filled with a pattern of tiny square "pixels". Normally you see them in print advertising and when you scan them with your smartphone, you can receive more information about the product. Here's one on the door of this van. I took this photo with my phone while we were stopped at a light but I think giving people another reason to do something with their phone while they're driving is a REALLY BAD idea! If you agree with me, call the company and tell them to take the QR codes off their vehicles.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Here's my friend Sheyenne Rivers at Bull Bar in Delray Beach, singing "Zombie" by the Cranberries. Homero Gallardo is on guitar. I used my Nikon D7000 with a Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 lens and a Zoom H2 recorder for the sound. Exposure was f1.8 1/30 @ ISO 1600. Considering how loud the crowd in the bar was, I'm actually surprised at how well the sound came out. I had the rear mics on the H2 turned off. I think the video quality of the D7000 is excellent, especially at ISO 1600. Watch any of my other videos and you'll see what I'm talking about. I'm usually shooting at night, in some poorly lit venue. Everyone raves about using the Canon 7D for video but I think the D7000 surpasses it for low light capability.
Friday, October 14, 2011
Tonight I went to Rocco's Tacos in Fort Lauderdale for some of their guacamole. They make it fresh, in front of you, when you order it! You watch them cut open fresh avocados and mash them up in a cool looking, stone bowl. Next, they add fresh cilantro, diced tomato and onion, fresh lime juice, and some spices. As many of you know, I try to make raw food a substantial part of my diet and guacamole is one of my favorite raw foods. When I order it, I always ask for extra jalapenos. The chips are certainly not raw, so I try not to eat too many of them. The staff probably thinks I'm crazy because they always return to find my guacamole bowl empty and my basket of chips still full.
After I finished eating, I was talking to my friend Thea in New York. Thea is a dedicated raw foodist who is also studying photography at Columbia. I told her the guacamole story and she prompted me for a photo. It was pretty dark but I didn't use a flash or a tripod. Thea likes taking pictures at night so I added the captions so she could see how I set my camera. I have no idea why I used that font.
Friday, September 30, 2011
Tonight, I was working on my laptop at Starbucks, across from the Galleria Mall in Fort Lauderdale. The sky was really dark and there were numerous flashes of lightning. I stepped outside to get a few shots. I took around 20 pictures, all handheld, and this was one of them. It might have been a better shot if I had used a tripod. I could have combined several different exposures into an HDR image. Maybe next time.
Nikon D7000 with 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. Exposure: f4 1/50 ISO 400.
Friday, September 23, 2011
Tonight I went to Monterey Club in Fort Lauderdale to shoot my friend's metal band, The Shovel and the Fury. My friend Dee Mulligan is on the left, playing lead guitar. Watch as I try to hold my Nikon D7000 steady in a mosh pit, lol. Personally, I think I did a pretty good job of holding the camera steady with no tripod. I used my old school 24mm f/2.8 prime lens for a wider view than my 35mm f/1.8. I knew I wasn't gonna have much room to move around. I used my Zoom H2 to record the sound. The built in mic on the D7000 would have been WAY overpowered by the sound at this show!
I had an organic tomato that was going bad so I thought I would put it on a plate and let it sit another week, lol. This is actually my second attempt at a rotten tomato photo. I did this one in 2008. I wonder if I should try to sell this shot to RottenTomatoes.com?
Nikon D7000 with Nikon 35mm f/1.8 lens. Exposure: f/8 1/125 ISO 100. Studio strobe with 36" soft box.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
This evening I did a shoot for Exceed Wetsuits and photographed a few of their updated wetsuit designs. I shoot all of their wetsuit catalog photos against a white background, with a live person wearing the wetsuit. I get rid of the head, hands, and feet in Photoshop. These shots were done outdoors in the late afternoon. I used a Nikon SB-800 on a stand with an umbrella, triggered with a wireless remote.
Nikon D7000 with Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 manual focus lens. Exposure: f/5.6 1/125 ISO 200
Thursday, August 18, 2011
This was a little exercise I created for myself, kind of a homework assignment. I wanted to shoot a number of street scenes, at night, using only available light, then edit them together like a television commercial for the area. I selected Clematis Street in downtown West Palm Beach, FL. Its an older area of town that has been transformed into a lively destination for tourists as well as locals. There are upscale restaurants as well as pizza parlors. There are wine bars, a tequila bar, nightclubs, and various shops along Clematis that all stay open late on certain nights of the week.
For this video, I used my Nikon D7000 and Nikon 35mm f/1.8 lens. This lens has become my favorite for shooting at night, whether stills or video. For sound, I used a Zoom H2 digital recorder. I'm learning to edit in Adobe Premiere and like I said, this video was a homework assignment. Working on this project, I learned simple transitions, syncing audio tracks, and the overall pacing of the different shots. I realize I still have a lot to learn but I think it turned out pretty well. I also learned that you need to shoot a LOT of footage to have enough for editing. The more you shoot, the more creative choices you can make later. I invite all constructive criticism so please leave me comments. =)
Something that's already been brought to my attention is that I should use a tripod. The irony is that I frequently carry a tripod with me to shoot still images at night, but it didn't occur to me to use a tripod for this video. For some of the shots, like the fountain, I simply set the camera down on a wall. Also, I need to buy a pan/tilt head for my tripod. Anyone have any suggestions for a good DSLR pan/tilt head?
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
I just finished updating my 35mm Lenses Tutorial for anyone learning photography. I started this project to help my friend Thea, who's studying photography at Columbia University in New York. I decided to expand it and post it on my web site for everyone. When it comes to lenses, there's a lot of information out there, not to mention a bunch of confusing jargon. In my tutorial, I've tried to simplify everything and make it as easy to understand as possible. Let me know if you have any questions. Enjoy =)
Monday, August 1, 2011
I was running some errands in the Boca Raton area and I noticed a thunderstorm rolling in. I drove around, looking for a good vantage point and finally found a spot on Spanish River Boulevard where it crosses over I-95. I had to park some distance away and walk to the top of the overpass with my camera and tripod. I took a few shots, then headed back down to my truck. Less than a minute after I finished loading my gear, the heavy rains of the storm reached me.
Nikon D7000 with Nikkon 12-24mm f/4.0 lens. HDR processed.
Monday, July 4, 2011
I took a break from working at Budget Video and stopped by Hiro's Yakkosan for some late night raw food. Hiro's isn't a typical sushi restaurant. It more of a Japanese tapas restaurant. I had a salad and the guacamole roll, pictured above. Notice there is no rice. Nom nom nom.
Nikon D7000 with Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 lens. Exposure: f/1.8 1/30 ISO 400
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Once upon a time, before digital cameras, professional photographers in Fort Lauderdale would take their film to Color Lab of Florida to have it developed. Many photographers, including myself, loved to shoot transparency film, also known as reversal or "slide" film. You could get deep, rich colors with slide film that you couldn't get from color negative film. The process for developing color negative film is called C-41, while the process for slide film is E-6. Consumer photo labs like the ones in Wal-Mart or CVS only had C-41 machines because the general public didn't buy slide film. If you brought a roll of slide film to your neighborhood drug store, they would send it out to a lab. Professional photographers used to rely on local labs like this one to develop their film quickly.
Many years have passed since Color Lab closed its doors, never to open them again. Today, the building still stands on Dixie Highway in Fort Lauderdale. Sometimes I miss shooting film but now I can use HDR techniques to create images that weren't possible with film.
Nikon D7000 with a Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 lens. ISO 200. HDR processed.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Wednesday, I was invited to shoot Steve Aoki at Club Cinema. I photographed DJ Aoki at the Ultra Music Festival earlier this year. Club Cinema in Pompano Beach used to be a multi-screen movie theater before it was converted into a club several years ago. As you can see, its a fairly large venue. For this video, I used my Nikon D7000 with a Nikon 35mm f/1.8 lens. I also used a Zoom H2 digital recorder for the sound. Unless its been a big, multi-camera production for television or film, I haven't seen anyone else capture the live sound at these events. This is probably because the music is so loud, it overpowers most built-in mics. After a little trial and error, I learned how to set the levels on the H2 and I think the live sound is so much better than simply adding some random music track to the video later.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Tonight I was at my office scanning some of my old slides. Those of you who have only used digital cameras may not know what I'm talking about. Before digital cameras, I used different types of 35mm film. I used black and white, color negative, and slide film. Color negative film was used by most consumers. It was cheap, and you could take it to any drug store to have it processed. When you returned, you would get a set of prints along with your negatives.
Slide film, more accurately known as transparency or reversal film, is a special type of film that produces a positive, not a negative, when its developed. In other words, you didn't pick up prints and negatives, you simply picked up your developed film. You could hold your developed film up to a light and there were all of your pictures, in beautiful, rich color! You would cut your film into individual frames and load each one into a plastic holder called a slide. Slides could be put in a slide projector and shown on a big screen, you could have prints made at a special lab, or they could be scanned.
This particular image is from a slide I shot 7 or 8 years ago. I was on I-95, returning home from a photo shoot. I saw this amazing sunset, pulled over to the side of the road, and took this picture. This image has not been adjusted or modified in any way. This is exactly the way the slide looks when you hold it up to the light.
Nikon FM2 with Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 lens. Fujichrome Velvia film, ISO 50. I didn't record the exposure.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Tonight I walked down to the beach on the south side of Hillsboro Inlet. I brought my camera and tripod so I could shoot this panorama. While I didn't use a dedicated panoramic head on my tripod, I did have my Manfrotto 503HDV head which allowed me to slide the camera back so the center of rotation was directly below the camera's entrance pupil. This point is usually just in front of the aperture diaphragm in the lens. If you don't rotate the camera around this point, you'll get parallax errors and the images will be much harder to stitch together.
This panorama is made from four 16MP images. I used Hugin to stitch the images together, then I did some minor retouching in Photoshop. The final image is more than 14,000 pixels in width.
Nikon D7000 with Nikon 35mm f/1.8 lens. Exposure: f/5.6 20sec ISO 400 (all four images)
Friday, February 25, 2011
Tonight, I went to see my friend's band, The Necrophiles, at Monterey, a small bar in Fort Lauderdale. I brought my Nikon D7000 and Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 lens. I really think the D7000 is superior to the Canon 7D for shooting video in low light. I've been a professional still photographer for over 10 years but I'm just getting started with video. I shot some video with my D90 but I wasn't impressed. With the D7000, I can shoot in situations like this dimly lit bar and it looks like something from a movie set. Take a look at the establishing shots of the bar at the beginning of the video and see if you don't agree. I just started learning how to edit video in Adobe Premiere so my skills are very basic. My lesson for this video was adding titles and fading them in and out. I'll get better. You have to start somewhere.
I recorded the audio using the D7000's built in microphone. While it isn't horrible, its a good thing the band wasn't very loud. The D7000 has a stereo input jack so I definitely need to look into an external recorder like a Zoom H2 or H4N.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Go ahead and laugh at my video! I know its odd to say the least. If you're wondering what I was thinking when I made it, please read on. First, I'm exploring the capabilities of my Nikon D7000 camera. It seems to be an excellent tool for making high definition, film quality videos. I have a number of super sharp, Nikkor prime lenses and I'm excited about working on some short film projects in the future. Before I can do that, I have to learn the camera. Obviously, the camera work for this video was simple. I used a Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 lens and my exposure was f4 1/30 and ISO 800. The incandescent fixtures in my kitchen were the only light source so I set the white balance to 3000K. The camera was on a sturdy tripod and I manually focused the lens.
Second, I'm learning how to edit video. Each time I make a video, I create a homework assignment for myself. Naturally, my first few videos won't be winning any prizes. This particular video was a lesson on editing sound. I recorded the sound AFTER I shot the video and ate the sandwich. Nothing was recorded with the video. My narration consists of about 10 separate pieces of audio that I arranged to fit the action in the video. At 02:57 you can hear the grinding of my pepper mill. This was also recorded separately and added at the right moment. Finally, I added a dubstep track so it seems like I have music playing in the background while I'm making the sandwich. If you watch this video and it seems like everything was recorded at the same time, then I did a good job with my homework. =)
Finally, if you want my raw bread recipe, go to my Facebook page, open my photo albums, select the Raw Food album, and find the recipe under the photo of the raw bread.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Its my birthday today and I'm just about a year older than I was last year. My friend Michelle asked me if I wanted to do a lingerie shoot on location at some big mansion in West Palm Beach. I usually don't make plans on my birthday so I accepted the offer. I've known Michelle a long time and we always have fun when we shoot. A few years ago, she was the model for my fine art print, Circles of Thought.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
My friend Kellen did a watercolor sketch based on artwork by Alberto Vargas. I took Kellen's finished sketch and made this composite with the help of my friend Sheyenne Rivers. I asked Sheyenne to be the model for this project because her curvy body matched the sketch almost perfectly. I set the lighting and posed Sheyenne as close to the sketch as possible. We actually did about 30 shots, making small adjustments in posture, camera angle, etc. Finally, I scanned Kellen's sketch and combined it with the best matching photo of Sheyenne. It was a fun project and I hope to do more like it in the future. I also added this photo to my web site.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
This is my friend Thea, in a zombie apocalypse. First, I took a picture of her while she was in Whole Foods, deciding which organic vegetables to buy. Next, I found some preliminary artwork for the movie, "I Am Legend" and I created this mashup. In case you're wondering, she didn't have a bloody hand print on her shirt when she was at Whole Foods. Her clothes were much cleaner too.
One last thing. Usually, the date on each of my blog posts reflects the exact time I TOOK the photo. On this one, it reflects the time and date I saved the final image in Photoshop. =)
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
click photo for larger image.
Raw Avocado Spinach Soup v1.6
This delicious, creamy soup packs more nutrition than 10 salads! Not feeling well? Have a couple bowls of this soup and you'll feel better in no time. This is a raw soup, best enjoyed chilled. You could warm it slightly as long as it stays below 105 degrees.
- 5oz. package of organic baby spinach (I use Organic Girl brand)
- 1/2 medium sized organic cucumber
- 2 organic hass avocados, fully ripe
- 1 bunch organic cilantro (cut off the roots)
- 2 tbsp. organic sweet onion
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed, organic lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. Bragg's liquid aminos
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 2 tbsp. raw, organic honey (I use Really Raw brand)
- 2 cups distilled water
- handful of organic sunflower sprouts
- fresh ground organic black pepper
- pinch of organic cayenne pepper
Mix all soup ingredients in a blender until smooth. Top with garnish. Makes 3 to 4 servings.
Nikon D90 with Nikon 35mm f/1.8 lens. Exposure: f/8 1/125 ISO 200. Studio strobe with softbox.