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Showing posts from July, 2015

Wild West Coast

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I have the fortune of living in the Pacific Northwest which has an abundance of wilderness whether it be mountainous, coastal or forested.   This photo was taken near Ucluelet BC which is on the West side of Vancouver Island.  My partner and I took advantage of this past May long weekend to load our motorcycles up with camping gear and of course camera gear and headed out to the windswept coast.  This beachy area is not exactly like the blue skied sandy and tropical spot that most people think about when they vacation, but it is our home and we love it. 
I feel like this image encompasses all that is the west coast.   It is rocky, dreary and wild.  We went for a coastal hike so I could “hunt” landscape photos.  The day was overcast and a little misty so details in the rock surfaces were a little subdued.  The cloudy sky was quite bright in contrast to the trees and crags on land.  I knew it would take a few different layered exposures and some Photoshop magic to bring out all of the …

Angelina Jolie

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Here is something you do not see everyday.  Angelina Jolie as a blonde.  Strangely enough it suits her.  Well let’s face it.  Everything looks good on Angelina Jolie.  This photo was taken in Seattle Washington on the set of “Life or Something Like It” in 2001.   It was an interesting experience working on this film because having Angelina on set turned a normal production day into a “Hollywood” adventure.  There were paparazzi hanging around every corner.  Tons of fans had to be held back by barricades so the crew could go about our jobs of making a movie.   I was still relatively new to the film industry as I had only worked on a handful of movies before this one so I was quite overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of activity that surrounds such a high profile actress.  On most of the sets I had worked on, I was free to shoot whatever I thought would make an excellent still image.  On this film, Angelina was in control of her public image and only allowed certain rare opportunities w…

Death Valley Dune

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I admit I absolutely love, love, love shooting the desert or anything dry.  It could be the minimalist aspect of it; or it could be because a barren landscape is very exotic compared to my home in the pacific northwest which is very wet with very big trees.  I find that a photo of a landscape lacking in plants or objects becomes a study of light, shadow and color which appeals more to the emotional side of the brain than the figurative or logical.  
I took this photo in  Death Valley Nevada.  I was on a climbing and hiking trip with my brother in May of 2011 when we drove from his home in LA to spots all over California, Utah and Nevada.  At the end of our trip we treated ourselves to a night of the not so civilized world of Las Vegas and then he went home to LA to work.  I stuck around another week because I felt like I had not taken enough photos of dry rocks so I rented a car and went to Death Valley.

I had a wonderful time wandering around the sand in over 40 degrees celsius with my…

Car Cannon

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Have you ever wondered how those cars in action movies get launched in the air and explode?  They actually get shot out of a gigantic car cannon.  Yes it is true and extremely cool.  I wish I could give you more details but alas I am not part of the special effects department.  I am the person with a camera sent to capture this awesome event.  There is a scene in XMen 3 where the character, Magneto uses his metal controlling superpowers to toss cars off of the Golden Gate Bridge.  One may think that this would normally be a Computer Generated Image,  however, why miss such an opportunity to actually toss cars through the air!!!!
Now shooting cars out of a cannon is not a very precise science however they do the best they can.   We spent many hours setting up for this iconic shot and there were many different motion camera teams there to catch as many camera angles as possible.  I was the only still camera so I needed to do a lot of research during the 8 hour set up to make sure I had …

Flamenco Dancers

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I am so fortunate to be the stepmother to these talented, young and beautiful Flamenco dancers.  They have been training since they were 6.  One of the choreographies that they have learned is called the Bata De Cola and it involves a large ruffled skirt.  It is a challenge to look graceful while throwing around all of that heavy fabric,  but the 13 year old girls pulled it off nicely.  I brought the ever so talented, Veronica and Thalia into my studio to take portraits of them wearing these gorgeous costumes.
Veronica is wearing a black top and Thalia is wearing a white one which meant I would have to change the lighting slightly for each one.  I chose a black backdrop for a more classic look.  To make sure Veronica's black top did not disappear against the black BG, I had to put a hard edge light angled on either side of her coming from behind.  These lights were set at about head height.  A light softened with a chimera at a side angle from camera right, illuminates her face a…