Posts Tagged ‘Photography’

2018 in Review

January 6th, 2019

I haven’t been doing a very good job of blogging. Here is one photo from each of my shoots in 2018.

In March I photographed Abigail and her aerial hoop. She’s an amazing athlete.

In April, India was next as part of my food series, covered in modified corn starch. Look at how it wrinkles the skin when it dries.

August was a busy month. I got a new lens, the Zeiss Batis 85mm f1.8, and asked Melissa to shoot so I could try it out. We spent 4 hours walking around downtown Madison and the UW campus.

My trip to New York City in mid-August worked with three different models.

Anna Russel is a professional ballet dancer. We had an amazing morning in Central Park.

Dane Halo is a Canadian model who was visiting New York, we spent the afternoon in the Meatpacking District.

Jo Patrice was able to secure this amazing rooftop location in Brooklyn.

In September just before classes started Maria was the next in my food series, with a new product from Wilton called Color Mist Food Coloring Spray.

Angie Marie, a model and photographer stopped by in August and was covered with Lemon Pie filling.

And in December, Natalie was back in Madison visiting family and we got in a quick shoot.

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Posted in black and white, color, nudes, Photos | Comments (0)

Headshots

July 16th, 2012

 

So I took some headshots today.  I think they turned out pretty well.

 

A.  

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B.

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C.

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D.

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E.

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Three requirements I have for a mate.

March 7th, 2011

I’ve put off writing this post, and the series of posts that will follow it, for about 4 or 5 months now.

It’s not that I don’t believe what I’m about to write.

It’s not that I know it will be a lot of work to get all the topics covered.

And it’s not that I don’t really want to get this out there.

 

It’s that I think that too many people are going to take it the wrong way.

 

This post and the ones following are about what I look for in a woman.

What this series is NOT about:

It’s not about all women.  Many, probably even most, women are not what I am looking for.  It doesn’t mean that most women are bad, or wrong, or inferior.  Just different.

It’s not about how women SHOULD look.  Yes, I’m going to talk about physical attributes.  Yes, I generally have a specific type.  No, that does not mean I want need or expect all women to look that way.

 

Most things that can be compared between two people (two women) I have a preference.  Or at least an opinion.  Generally I’m open to different things and not too tied to specifics.  There are three things though that I’ve come to realize that I require in a woman that I’m considering for a mate or a serious relationship.

Number 1.

She must be attractive.

A lot of people are going to read that, put their own prejudices and ideas on it, and think I mean a woman needs to look a specific way.  They’re going to call me shallow, a male chauvinist and a misogynist.  Fine, if that’s the only way you can see that statement then it’s done it’s job.  I wouldn’t want to be with someone who thought those things.  But really think about how you choose a mate.  Would you really want to choose someone who was unattractive?  That’s what I’m saying.  I need to be attracted to her.  However she looks if the question “Is she attractive?” can be answered with a “yes”, what more do I need?  And I’m certainly not saying that other people need to think she’s attractive.

 

Number 2.

She must think of herself as attractive.

Because if she doesn’t think she looks good, why should I?  I’ve been around too many women who put themselves down, who are never satisfied, who can’t even accept a compliment.  And that’s just draining.  Yes, you could certainly take this one too far.  I don’t want a narcissist, or someone with no desire to better themselves.  But in general she should be happy with how she looks.

 

Number 3.

She must enjoy posing nude for me.

I think this one is going to be the most limiting.  But it is very important to me.

From a leisure standpoint, photographing nudes is something I enjoy.  And I enjoy it even more when I can share it with someone I’m in a relationship with.  This is no different than someone who enjoys motorcycles also wanting their mate to like motorcycles.

From a practical standpoint, someone who knows what happens during a photo shoot should be less likely to feel any jealousy or fear when I photograph others.

Personality wise, women I have photographed nude have been more confident, independent, daring, open, and comfortable with themselves.  All of these are qualities that I feel are important.  I’m not saying that a woman who doesn’t pose nude can not be those things, but I have not met a person who has posed nude who doesn’t have these attributes.

This requirement will also weed out a large number of women who allow others to make decisions for them.  There are many people and organizations in our country and elsewhere on our planet that feel that nudity is wrong and should be limited to a very small set of circumstances.  For a woman to decide to pose nude, and possibly go against the wishes and views of her parents, family, friends, religion, public opinion, and even the law; shows a remarkable ability for independent thought and decision making.

 

So those are my three requirements.  In the next post I will talk about what exact physical attributes I prefer.

 

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Advertising’s Image of Women

September 20th, 2010

My friend Kelly posted the video above today on her Facebook page. I started to write a comment on Facebook, but it got longer, and longer…..and longer. So I decided to write a blog on it instead.

There’s always been pressure on women to look a certain way, the Victorian era had extreme corsets, ancient Romans used makeup, the Chinese bound the feet, the Kayan Lahwi place brass rings around their necks.  To imply that advertising is the cause of how women feel about themselves today is disingenuous.  All of the above examples and many more were done decades and centuries before modern advertising.  Before TV, magazines, before books, and I’m sure there were ways that women changed how they look before we even had writing.

Second, where are women in this?  Is the speaker saying that women are so easily manipulated that a mere image destroys their self worth?  That women and girls don’t know and can’t be taught that what they see in advertisements is not real?  If the problems stemming from advertising are so inescapable why aren’t they more prevalent?

Third, “The person is dehumanized and violence becomes inevitable.”  Um, no.  While making a person an object may be the first step in violence against that person, I strongly disagree that it is inevitable.  To agree with that statement you would have to believe that humans are violent against all objects.  That because I think of a tree as an object I have to fight my natural urges to violently attack it?

You know what I think is causing all the self esteem problems in this country?  It’s the dichotomy between what we show and what we do.  We surround people with sex but then we tell them not to do it.  That a women’s body should be looked at, but not touched, even by her own hand.  If the only way you’re allowed to be sexual is through what you look like and what you wear, of course you’re going to take it to extremes.

We need to teach women (and girls, and boys, and men) that sex and masturbation are not bad things.  That feeling good is not something to be ashamed of.  That loving yourself physically is loving yourself mentally.

I think this last part relates to two recent posts by Katie West.

Women are sexualized and objectified to appeal to others.

and

Women who report masturbating score higher on a self-esteem index than women who do not report masturbating.

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Keesh Lorraine

September 16th, 2010

Keesh Lorraine is an amazing model in the Madison area.  You can see some of her other work on her Model Mayhem site.  I first contacted her about working with gold leaf, such as the ones I’ve done with Rebecca.  We ended up going a slightly different direction doing outdoor nudes at Devil’s Lake State Park.  While not the first time I’ve visited the park (many times as a boy scout), it was the first time I’d photographed there.  And I hadn’t been there in quite a few years.

After stopping at the Visitor’s center for a vehicle sticker, we went to the south side of the lake to climb the east bluff.

SONY DSCIn the far left distance you can see the lake, about a third of a mile away.  At this point we’re about 200’ above the lake, though we’d only gone 75’ horizontally.  I’d wanted to go higher, but, um, I’m not in that good a shape.  So we stopped here and got quite a few pictures.

SONY DSC  As you can see we’re above the tops of most of the trees.  The colors of the rocks, and the lichen really match well with her skin.

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC This next pictures is my favorite.  The diagonals of the rocks, the matching angles of her arms and legs, the straining of her muscles.

SONY DSC On the way back down, we took a little side trail, and found a boulder field much closer to the ground.

SONY DSC SONY DSC To me it looks like she belongs there.

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Round and round we go…

September 16th, 2010

So it’s been a few months since the last update on my Robert W. Kastenmeier courthouse experience.  After not hearing from anyone for about 6 weeks, on February 10th, 2010 I called the offices of Representative Baldwin and Senator Feingold.  Two days later I received a letter with a number of pages from Representative Baldwin.  Click the picture to read it full size.

Representative Baldwin letter February 12th In it she recaps what has happened so far and then says that her office received a reply letter from the Department of Homeland Security on January 6th.  Would have been nice if they would have forwarded it to me when it was received. 

Apparently the Federal Protective Service, part of DHS, provides security at the vast majority of US courthouses but not Kastenmeier, which is protected by the US Marshall service.  The current U.S. Marshal told an aide to Representative Baldwin that he considered the case closed because of Judge Crabb’s letter (page 1, page 2) from November 5th.  It should be noted the the Marshal the aide spoke to is Mr. Steven Fitzgerald, who is different than the one interviewed by Bill Leuders for his Isthmus article.

The letter to Representative Baldwin from DHS is below, click to see it bigger.

DHS to Baldwin First, the letter reveals that the Federal Protective Service has “no record or contact with Mr. Zytkiewicz".  Well, that’s good because I never gave anyone my name, they’d only know it from the letters.

It goes on to say that while FPS provides security for 800 courthouses, the Robert W. Kastenmeier courthouse is one of seven pilot facilities where security is provided by the U.S. Marshal service.  Well, isn’t that interesting.  How many parts of our government don’t know what the hell is going on with other parts of the government?  First it was GSA, then it was DHS, now it’s the U.S. Marshal service with is under the Department of Justice.

The letter then goes on for almost a paragraph about the often repeated lie that terrorist use photography. 

“Therefore, as a precautionary measure, FPS personnel may approach individuals photographing Federal buildings in an attempt to ascertain their reasons for photographing the facility, so as to protect against security compromises.”

This is just so ludicrous.  Much better writers than I have written pages and pages about why idea’s like this don’t work.  Just a few days ago Stephen Haynes wrote a wonderful piece about Security Theater.

Now the last sentence of the paragraph is very interesting.  It may even be useful to photographers to print out this letter and carry it with them.

“Unless there is a reasonable belief that criminal or terrorist reconnaissance activity is involved, FPS guidelines regarding this issue prohibit FPS personnel from taking any enforcement action, including detaining persons or seizing cameras or film.”

Now, I’m not a lawyer, and have no legal training.  But I do know that reasonable belief, and reasonable suspicion are closely related.  Meaning that FPS personnel and law enforcement officers must have specific evidence that would lead a reasonable person to believe that you have committed, are committing, or about to commit a crime.  I highly doubt that taking pictures of a public building, standing on public property, making no attempt to conceal your actions would lead anyone to believe you are a criminal.

So now I guess I write some letters to the Mr. Fitzgerald, the U.S. Marshals service, and Attorney General Eric Holder.

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Homeland Security knows my name.

September 16th, 2010

So a few things have happened since I wrote my last update on my experience at the Robert W. Kastenmeier Courthouse.

First, on December 4th I was interviewed live on the radio by Sly on Sly in the Morning 1670 WTDY-Madison.  You can hear the segment here.

I’d like to thank Dylan the Executive Producer of Sly in the Morning.  He converted the recording of my encounter with the guard into a WAV file and tweaked the volume so it’s easier to hear.  You can find it here.

I’ve also received a follow up letter from Representative Baldwin’s office.

GSA to Baldwin It seems that the GSA is not responsible for the security of federal courthouses, that task belongs to the Department of Homeland Security.  So Ralph Conner, Acting Associate Administrator of the GSA has forwarded my letter to Phillip McNamara, Executive Secretary of DHS.

GSA to Homeland Security And lastly I received a copy of a letter sent by Senator Russ Feingold to Chani Wiggins, Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs, who is also with the Department of Homeland Security.

Feingold to Homeland Security I particularly like the Senators letter for phrases such as “street view photographs” and a request for a “response detailing any restrictions on the photographing of federal buildings”.

One interesting piece of trivia I found when researching the Department of Homeland Security was this organizational chart.

Homeland-security-orgchart-2008-07-17 It appears that Mr. McNamara is only two steps away from the Secretary of Homeland Security, and Ms. Wiggins is only one step away.  Since the Secretary of Homeland Security reports directly to the President I can’t go much higher.

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Lyjya

September 16th, 2010

Lyjya is a new model here in Madison.  She contacted me on ModelMayhem

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“I’ll get a hold of Madison PD, they’ll come talk to you.”

October 15th, 2009

“I’ll get a hold of Madison PD, they’ll come talk to you.”

That’s a threat that I received from a security guard at the Robert W. Kastenmeier United States Courthouse in Madison, Wisconsin.  Here’s the story.

I rented a Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 APO G SSM lens to shoot a wedding on October 3rd.  This is the second time I rented this lens and I’ve taken thousands  of pictures with it but they’ve all been wedding pictures.  I wanted to try some other things with it and since I wasn’t able to find any models available I decided to go to downtown Madison.

I started my journey in front of the Madison Municipal building.  They were hosting an exhibit of photography from Chernobyl by Michael Forster Rothbart.

Afterwards I walked the two blocks north to the Wisconsin Capitol.  About the only attention I got was from this guy.

Squirrel on the Capitol Grounds

Squirrel on the Capitol Grounds

I entered the Capitol building through one of the public entrances.  There are at least 4, one on each end of the 4 wings, none of which are guarded or secured in anyway.  I say at least 4 because I think there are upper and lower entrances on the stairs between each of the four wings.  The first “official” person that I saw that day was one of the guides at the information desk in the Rotunda.  I was able to walk freely and photograph throughout almost all of the Capitol.

Liberty Mural

Liberty Mural, one of four murals just below the dome.

I didn’t go into any of the private offices but I was able to enter a small conference room.

Small conference room

Small conference room

And the North Hearing Room with it’s wonderful murals by Charles Yardley Turner.

Detail of Mural in the North Hearing Room

Detail of Mural in the North Hearing Room

After leaving the Capitol I walked down State Street.  Not seeing anything that interesting I turned towards the Robert W. Kastenmeier United States Courthouse.

Robert W. Kastenmeier United States Courthouse

Robert W. Kastenmeier United States Courthouse

Robert W. Kastenmeier United States Courthouse  Main entrance

Robert W. Kastenmeier United States Courthouse Main entrance

As you can see the Robert W. Kastenmeier United States Courthouse is a very visually interesting building.  First off, it’s blue.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a blue building.  Designed by architect Kenton Peters of Madison, it’s covered in blue metal, with red accents, some of which are neon.

So I started to photograph the building.  Some wider shots, some close ups, from all different sides.  On the west side of the building there’s a small alley between it and the City of Madison Overture center parking ramp.  (In the picture at that link, the blue line just above the head of the two gentleman is the back of the courthouse).

Courthouse on the left, parking ramp at right

Courthouse on the left, parking ramp at right

There are no fences, no signs, nothing limiting access to this area as being off limits.  I walked straight ahead in this picture and come out on the other side where I took this picture.

Robert W. Kastenmeier United States Courthouse - Rear

Robert W. Kastenmeier United States Courthouse - Rear

I turned a little to my right and snapped this picture

Wisconsin Capitol Dome

Wisconsin Capitol Dome

when I heard someone calling “Hey, Hey, Hey”.  A security guard was approaching me.  At this point I turned on the voice recorder in my iPhone.  Here’s a transcript of our conversation.

Guard:  Hey Hey
Guard:  Hi how you doing?
Me:  Pretty good
Guard:  What you shooting pictures of?
Me:  Whatever I want
Guard:  Well yeah I understand that.  For what?
Me:  Just ’cause I was out today
Guard:  Ok. What’s your name?
Me:  Why do you need to know?
Guard:  This is the federal courthouse, we like to know why you’re shooting pictures around it.
Me:  There’s…
Guard, interuppting me:  Relax man, no one, no ones in trouble.  We just, we like to know.
Me:  There’s no law that says I can’t take pictures.
Guard: No there’s not.
Me:  So, what’s your deal?
Guard:  I want to know why you were taking pictures and what you were taking pictures of is all.  That’s it.
Me:  Well.  (I shrug, looking at him)
G:  Okay, have a nice day.
Guard walks away, I shoot a picture.  He turns around.
G:  But you won’t take one of the building.
M:  What was that?
G:  Don’t take one of the building.
M:  Why not?
G:  Because…..security procedures.
M:  What security procedures?  There’s no law that says I can’t take pictures.
G:  I’ll get ahold of Madison PD they’ll come and talk to you.
Guard walks away.  I stick around shooting pictures of the building for another ten mintues, no police ever show up.

Guard:  Hey Hey

Guard:  Hi how you doing?

Me:  Pretty good

Guard:  What you shooting pictures of?

Me:  Whatever I want

Guard:  Well yeah I understand that.  For what?

Me:  Just ’cause I was out today

Guard:  Ok. What’s your name?

Me:  Why do you need to know?

Guard:  This is the federal courthouse, we like to know why you’re shooting pictures around it.

Me:  There’s…

Guard, interuppting me:  Relax man, no one, no ones in trouble.  We just, we like to know.

Me:  There’s no law that says I can’t take pictures.

Guard: No there’s not.

Me:  So, what’s your deal?

Guard:  I want to know why you were taking pictures and what you were taking pictures of is all.  That’s it.

Me:  Well.  (I shrug, looking at him)

G:  Okay, have a nice day.

Guard walks away, I shoot this picture.

Robert W. Kastenmeier United State Courthouse

Robert W. Kastenmeier United State Courthouse

He turns around.

Guard:  But you won’t take one of the building.

Me:  What was that?

Guard:  Don’t take one of the building.

Me:  Why not?

Guard:  Because…..security procedures.

Me:  What security procedures?  There’s no law that says I can’t take pictures.

Guard:  I’ll get ahold of Madison PD they’ll come and talk to you.

The Guard then walks back towards the building.  At this point I’m not sure if I’m standing on Federal or City propery so I walk to the sidewalk but continue to take picture.

Robert W. Kastenmeier United State Courthouse

Robert W. Kastenmeier United State Courthouse

Robert W. Kastenmeier United State Courthouse

Robert W. Kastenmeier United State Courthouse

I stick around shooting pictures of the building for another ten mintues, no police ever show up.  On the way back to my vehicle I spot this outside the Central Library.

On the sidewalk outside the Cental Library, Downtown Madison

On the sidewalk outside the Cental Library, Downtown Madison

Lets just hope that someday the federal government will learn to trust it’s citizens.

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Sydney Max has super powers

October 2nd, 2009

That’s right she has super powers.  She can defy gravity.  She can fly.  I have the pictures to prove it.  These were taken in the hallway next to the Memorial Union Theater.

So this is a very large post in terms of the amount of pictures.  Depending on your connection it might take a while to download them all.  We took these pictures just after the last set.

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