September self portrait: “Under Water”. Theme: reflection.


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For September, I chose the theme of the shoot.

I chose reflection.

I developed different ideas, but landed on the above as my submission photographed in our tub at our condo.

I thought this particular image of me immersed sideways and looked at camera with big red eyes and upside down bulgy eye bags reflected a sense of fatigue from the insanely busy month we’ve had. We’ve shot beautiful high-end furniture, an editorial, a catalog and several interiors.

Our tub is very small, doesn’t hold water when the stopper is pulled and we never use it, so to get this image was a good challenge.

My original idea was to be completely submersed in a tub and I would be facing camera for a bust/neck up shot (as opposed to this shot from the side). The reflection of my face would fall directly above my head like a growth coming out of my hair.

This month turned into one of our busiest ever, and finding the tub/whirlpool large enough to house my torso down proved difficult.

My first attempts at this shot proved even more difficult because I tried laying a black plastic bag down in the tub, as I wanted a moodier atmosphere and something not tub like.

The bag floated, and made all kinds of stupid bag hills that blocked my face.

The other challenge was finding something to give the shot an underwater look without renting an underwater rig. I used a glass vase that proved difficult to use as well.

Difficult is definitely the theme I’m trying to present here.

I’m also turned on by treatments that people like Billy Rood do to photos, which is why I tinkered around with multiple images at multiple exposures and angles.

A big thanks to Tina for pulling the trigger on this one and putting up with my crazy water antics by risking our gear’s deadly demise if we slippery/sloppity dropped flashes and cameras in the water.

Just a reminder: I’m working on this self portrait challenge with fellow photographer Sunny Lee, whose completing her challenge in the great state of North Carolina. Her submission this month is a motion picture. Check it below and read her rationale here. By the way, you NEED to read the rationale. It’s moving and beautiful:

 

Advice from the top: ANTHONY BOURDAIN: HOW TO TRAVEL


Tina and I are traveling to Turkey and Italy in October/November.

Travel is food for the brain. It nourishes the body in a way that food cannot.

So gobble up travel tips. I don’t agree with all these tips from Anthony Bourdain, but I can’t help but highlight a few here.

The one about not eating, I disagree with only because some of the longer trips I need a bite. That doesn’t mean I finish the damn thing. But I eat the bread and a bit of the meat, despite how nasty it looks.

These are my highlights. The rest are here. Enjoy.

I check my luggage. I hate the people struggling to cram their luggage in an overhead bin, so I don’t want to be one of those people.

I don’t get jet lag as long as I get my sleep. As tempting as it is to get really drunk on the plane, I avoid that. If you take a long flight and get off hungover and dehydrated, it’s a bad way to be. I’ll usually get on the plane, take a sleeping pill, and sleep through the whole flight. Then I’ll land and whatever’s necessary for me to sleep at bedtime in the new time zone, I’ll do that.

There’s almost never a good reason to eat on a plane. You’ll never feel better after airplane food than before it. I don’t understand people who will accept every single meal on a long flight. I’m convinced it’s about breaking up the boredom. You’re much better off avoiding it. Much better to show up in a new place and be hungry and eat at even a little street stall than arrive gassy and bloated, full, flatulent, hungover. So I just avoid airplane food. It’s in no way helpful.

Taking Back Sunday at Riot


 

At Riot Fest Saturday night, I photographed Taking Back Sunday. I imagine that their lighting techs/publicity folks decided not to give us nice bright light on purpose, for whatever reason. It’s pretty common, because as we walked away, the lights were bright and beautiful.

Usually, I might turn the images black and white, but I kind of liked the crappy colored lights, so I left it. There’s a shot of the bass player enveloped in light that I particularly found fun.

Enjoy.

Taking Back Sunday  Riot Fest 2014

Taking Back Sunday  Riot Fest 2014

Taking Back Sunday  Riot Fest 2014

Taking Back Sunday  Riot Fest 2014

Taking Back Sunday  Riot Fest 2014

Taking Back Sunday  Riot Fest 2014

Taking Back Sunday  Riot Fest 2014

Taking Back Sunday  Riot Fest 2014

Taking Back Sunday  Riot Fest 2014

Taking Back Sunday  Riot Fest 2014

Taking Back Sunday  Riot Fest 2014

Taking Back Sunday  Riot Fest 2014

Taking Back Sunday  Riot Fest 2014

Taking Back Sunday  Riot Fest 2014

Taking Back Sunday  Riot Fest 2014

Taking Back Sunday  Riot Fest 2014

Taking Back Sunday  Riot Fest 2014

Taking Back Sunday  Riot Fest 2014

Taking Back Sunday  Riot Fest 2014

Taking Back Sunday  Riot Fest 2014

I will tease you with these photos from our recent catalog shoot


Tina and I shot a catalog last Sunday, and I’m still working on edits, but I figured you’d appreciate seeing some of the images that don’t reveal too much of the gowns.

The ones of our blonde model in her sweater were outtakes that I asked her to shoot. When I asked, she said, “Ooo, do you mind if I sit down?”

Of course I didn’t mind!

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