We’re getting blasted with a blizzard as I write this blog entry. As the storm was taking some time to organize, I as able to get out into the night’s snow. This is the receiving dock at what remains of the Pabst Brewery.
During the ’50s and 60’s many commercial buildings incorporated some sort of lattice grille into the front of the office building in an effort to simplify the geometry. Some attach this technique to the mid-century architectural movement, popular at the time. It’s been a long time since 1960 or so and the grille is showing it, but the effect is still striking.
The Charles River runs through some of the most beautiful, rich and exclusive Boston area. Take a walk down below some of the bridges that span the iconic river and you see a different, equally stunning part of Boston.
There’s a fella that liked this bridge just south of MIT so much that he decided to call it home. Just on the other side of the bridge is a NASA facility.
I was up early this weekend shooting in downtown Milwaukee during the earliest light before sunrise. Once I was finished before the civil dawn, I thought I’d take the time to capture the sun rising over a low cloud-deck above Lake Michigan. This landmark Art Museum building, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, makes an interesting foreground subject for a lakefront sunrise.
Here’s what the inside of this building looks like from a photo I took earlier this year:
This is what the building looks like when the wings are lifted:
I’m not normally taken to mentioning products, plug-ins, or presets. FocalPoint 2 from onOneSoftware is an exception I don’t mind making. All of us don’t have the resources to buy $2,ooo f1.2 or tilt/shift lens that provide ultra shallow adjustable Depth Of Field. This plug-in for Photoshop gives you tools that you otherwise might not be able to afford. Here are a couple of examples where DOF was adjusted in post -processing using this plug-in:
I recently took a trip to the International Crane Foundation – near Baraboo/Lake Delton, Wisconsin. All fifteen of the world’s Cranes are housed in this facility. These birds are indescribably beautiful and graceful. No other opportunity or venue exists, that I’m aware of, allowing such close examination of the birds in surroundings that are comfortable for the animal and human visitor.
Here are a couple of photos of a Sandhill Crane, the most common crane in North America.
The bird that I found most compellingly photogenic is the Siberian Crane. This bird looks like an evil monk:
I searched for a set of black window blinds to use in a couple of ideas I had for a noir-ish look I was trying to get. You can’t get them at the hardware store – just shades of white and wood. Amazon had some for about 8 dollars. Then came the hard part – light shot through the blinds didn’t create a focused shadow the way you’d expect. You need a hard light either a long distance from the blind or focused with a lens to get a strong shadow. I tore apart a very old slide projector and created a focusing “nose” for a snooted strobe. Here’s the kind of shadow I wanted to create.
The shadows and hard light creates a noir look that I really like. My model was very co-operative and helpful with a very appropriate hair-do, dress and facial expression.
Taking one of two focusing lenses off allowed the background to hold the blind pattern, but smoothed out the light on the model. The snooted, gridded strobe still provides a nice key light.
I thought it would be fun to shoot through the blind. Good eyes!
I wanted to test out an idea I had of shooting an Alien Bee through a porch shade, behind the “subject”. I am using a 60″ Photek SoftliterII directly above the “subject”. It’s new to the studio and I’m liking it’s bigness and softness. I have a gridded flash unit hitting the top of the “subject’s” head – providing some edginess. A large white foamcore board reflects enough light to barely see the “subject’s” eye(s). Great expression on the “subject’s” face.