Jun 10

Hello, San Francisco

I’ve been in San Francisco for almost two weeks now and I just finally found a chance to get out and see what I could find. It ended up being a great night for a few hours of exploring this incredible city.  Photos are from Corona Heights Park, Buena Vista Park, Land’s End and Marin Headlands.  Hello, California, it’s going to be fun.

Jun 10

Let There Be Light

Here’s a nice comparison showing how different kinds of light can affect a photograph.

I was shooting two winters back with a whole bunch of lights in the Jackson back/sidecountry with snowboarder Don Watkins and skier Andrew Whiteford, and Andrew happened to catch a shot of Don coming off a cliff at nearly the exact same moment that I pressed my shutter.  Andrew’s shot captured the scene with the ambient, available light, and my camera captured the scene with the help of three off-camera flashes.  Here are the results:

That’s me in the foreground of the first shot, camera in hand.  It was still pretty bright out at that point, but I was hoping to knock down the ambient light and make it the scene look much darker than it actually was.  Photography is about light, but it’s more about relative amounts of light.  My strobes are a bit brighter than the ambient daylight, so with the right camera settings, they can make it look dark out.  Makes sense, right?  It took me quite a while to wrap my head around proper flash exposure and how it differs from ambient light photography…

Just a few tech notes – you can’t see any of the lights in the first shot, but the main light is on the right, an Elinchrom Ranger probably at full power.  There’s another Ranger up the hill to the left, probably 3/4ish power, and there’s a Sunpak 622 up behind the cliff as a rim light, not sure if that was half or full power.  All triggered, of course, by Pocket Wizards.  Manual exposure, 1/200 sec, f/13, ISO 100 on a Nikon D300.

Jun 10

Nike Football – Write the Future

First big weekend of the World Cup – Germany and Australia are playing now, it’s halftime, and Germany has just been electric so far.  This Nike Football spot debuted a few weeks back and it’s kind of old news now, but it’s a stunning production and deserves another share.  The logistics of planning and shooting a piece like this are kinda overwhelming to think about. Watch in fullscreen 1080p HD for full effect!

Jun 10

Pitchfork – Cat Power Interview

I came across this 2003 interview with Chan Marshall, better known as Cat Power, the other day on Pitchfork and it really spoke to me.  I’m not really that interested in writing about music, but just to qualify my curiosity in Chan, she has an amazing voice (can’t say enough about that) and artistically she makes a lot of interesting – and particular – creative decisions.  She talks and sings about very human things, and it seems like she says whatever she wants and tries not to get caught in the music industry PR machine.

Anyway, since it’s from 2003, the interview probably has very little relevance to where she is now, but I think I like it because it’s a very intimate look into where she was at that moment in her life.  Sort of, in that regard, like a photograph where you have the luxury of hearing how and where and when and why it was made.  There are a lot of interviews out there, or articles or whatever about creatives, artists, musicians, or whatever and they’re sometimes just a little bit too polished and sure about things, if that makes sense.  Here, Chan is sort of in this place, mentally and physically, where she’s just making music and traveling and doing what she, at some point, set out to do, and is reflecting on where she is without a clear map of how she got there, or what direction she’s going, or why.  I like the idea that things aren’t always so clear, or so formulaic, or linear, and that you can be this incredibly talented, loved and well-known artist, and yet you still aren’t sure.  About anything.  And you aren’t afraid to say it.  Or that you are making things, creating things, but you can’t really say why, or what the meaning of it all is, and don’t really care to think about it much more; that it’s just the doing that matters.  That’s very human to me, it’s very encouraging…

Cat Power – January 2003 Pitchfork Interview

Cat Power on The Hype Machine

Jun 10

Teton Pass

I spent some time on Teton Pass last weekend with Jackson athlete Andrew Whiteford, shooting some biking in the rain and snow on Parallel.  It was pretty muddy and I was trying to shoot without setting up a bunch of lights, so results were kinda mixed.  I’ve been on a kick lately to experiment with different Photoshop processes and I’m a HUGE fan of the vivid, vibrant color the 5D MkII cranks out, but I’ve also trying and to shoot and process for a more muted, subtle output like you’d get if you were shooting with a portrait film like Portra 160NC.  I really dig the look when the shots are on black, but not so much here on the white background of the blog.  The creamy, blown out skies really look too yellow for my taste.  I also went back and re-processed a shot from the JHMR bike park last summer – especially dig that last one…

Also, here’s a great video from the Fox website, showing a little behind-the-scenes of a shoot for their 2011 36 160mm fork.  You can download wallpapers on the website too.