Posts Tagged ‘Photography’

Rebecca in her Red Dress

September 16th, 2010

No real comments on these, from the same day as Rebecca on the Prairie and New Picture of Rebecca.Rebecca_DSC7885 Rebecca_DSC7885bw Rebecca_DSC7886

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

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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Posted in color, Life, Photos | Comments (7)

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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Are you part of the conversation?

October 1st, 2009

So JimmyD (http://twitter.com/pgshooter) tweeted the following article From Polanski to “Big Love”: Hollywood’s Twisted View of Child Sex Abuse by Marci A. Hamilton.  Some of the article I agreed with, some I didn’t.  I read a few of her other things and again, some I agreed with and some I didn’t.

This post isn’t about any particular view that she and I share or differ on.  It’s about her apparent non-desire to communicate with her readers.  There is no comment system.  I could not find an e-mail address anywhere on the site.

I, and many others, especially of my generation and younger, have come to expect the ability to interact with content creators.  Be it a musician, photographer, writer, etc., the idea that you’re finished once you’ve created something is very much a last century idea.  I know that sometimes in the blogs I follow the comments are more interesting and informative than the original work.  I’m not saying that to be detrimental to the creators.  The original work is generally outstanding, but the ability to question, appreciate and criticize, especially when paired with the different views, experience and knowledge from people all over the world, makes it better.

Creators that I can’t communicate with seem to be saying “This is what you should think (do, look at, listen to).” rather than “This is what I think (do, look at, listen to).”  It’s the difference between a lecture of 300 students, and a discussion with the professor at his/her home.  It’s the difference between radio and iTunes.  It’s the difference between being passive and being active.

And I would much rather live in a world of active people, who are part of the conversation, than passive people who do exactly as they’re told.

Sydney Max being active

Sydney Max being active

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Rebecca on the Prairie

September 21st, 2009

The Biocore Prairie that is.  So this is the first set from my shoot with Rebecca on August 22nd.  There are a LOT more sets from this shoot.  We stared shooting at around 7:30pm.  We planned to start an hour earlier, but someone was late.  She made up for it though because we took our last picture at 3am.

To find out more about the Biocore Prairie just click the link above.  It’s a really amazing place, along with the rest of the Lakeshore Preserve.  I just discovered most of it last year.  I’d been out to Picnic Point for the first time about 6 or 7 years ago, and have visited a few times since then, but I’d never explored the other direction.  There are some amazing places that I’ll be showcasing more of, especially for University Nudes.

And now on to Rebecca.

This is the very first picture I took for the day.  It's rare that the first turns out so well.

This is the very first picture I took for the day. It's rare that the first turns out so well.

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I love the mood in this one.  And the coloring looks almost 70's film like.

I love the mood in this one. And the coloring looks almost 70's film like.

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If your monitor is not calibrated correctly this one may not look good to you.

If your monitor is not calibrated correctly this one may not look good to you.

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After the sun had gone behind the trees on the horizon Rebecca climbed the tree to get more light.

After the sun had gone behind the trees on the horizon Rebecca climbed the tree to get more light.

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My next post will be either Sydney Max defying gravity, or Jason my newest University Nude.

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Posted in black and white, color, nudes, Photos | Comments (5)

In response to PixSylated

September 16th, 2009

Syl Arena over at PixSylated posted a blog on where the photography industry is headed.  I started to comment, but then realized my comment was getting long enough to be a post so here it is.

I think that some segments of photography will be effected more than others.

For example, sports. Currently you have still photographers and television cameras at most major games. Television cameras are only 1080P at the best. But what happens when they start using a Red One or something better? Why would you pay for a still photographer when you can pull a single frame from a video guy who’s already there?

Portrait and wedding photographers I think will see less of a change. Take the pictures in Harry Potter as an example where these industries are headed.  There not really movies as there’s no storyline or anything.  I’ve been calling them motion photographs, and the new profession a “motion photographer”.  And you don’t even need a video camera.  Check out this post by David Hoby at Strobist.com.  He highlights a music video that was shot using a DSLR at 10 frames a second and lit with strobes.  As David says, “The vid is, technically, 16,000 still photos.”

I think the still image, whether from a still camera or single frame will be around for quite a while. First a static image of a scene in many ways has more impact. When you hear Tiananmen Square you think of the photo of the man standing in front of the tanks, even though there is video available.

Second is a question of bandwith, not so much of our devices but of our minds. Humans can speak and listen at about 150 words a minute. But we can read almost twice as fast, 250 to 300 words a minute. This is one of the reasons I don’t watch TV news anymore. I can get more information in less time, and my understanding and enjoyment is enhanced by a relevant still image.

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Sydney Max on the Memorial Union Terrace

September 12th, 2009

This is the second set with Sydney Max.  Again, these were shot on August 20th.  The weather this day was difficult from a photographic standpoint.  The temperature was good, but the sun kept moving in and out of the clouds.  In one frame the sky looks like it’s about to storm, in the next frame it’s a beautiful summer day.  To try to compensate for that we moved to the chairs under a small tree.

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Samantha

July 30th, 2009

So I’ve been wanting to do some pictures at night.  The colors, the locations, it seemed like it would make really good pictures.  And it did.

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Who should you compare yourself too?

March 27th, 2009

Lin over at Fluffytek said in her latest blog:

On photography blogs, certain standards are inherent. The pressure to be as good as your peers is intense.

It reminded me of something I’ve been thinking about for the last few days.

On Monday I dropped off the three framed pictures at Cafe Montemarte.  (see my previous post)  The woman in charge was surprised that I’d never shown any of my work before, she really liked it.  It got me thinking about why I didn’t think about it in the same way.  I decided it was because I compare my work to others that I see most often.  Because I regularly read the blogs listed in my blogroll, and see a lot of excellent work on Model Mayhem, I compare myself to them.  These are some of the best photographers in the world.  On the one hand it’s good to compare myself to them, it makes me want to emulate the high quality that I see in their work, makes my work better.  On the other hand it does make me think that my work is inferior.  I like the work I’ve done and am proud of it, but I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s up to the same level.

Thinking about this is the first time that I could empathize with women who say that beauty magazines give them lower self esteem.  Prior to this I thought “how could a magazine do that?”.  Now I kind of get it.  There is a difference in that I have greater control over the outcome.  I can learn and change what I’m doing to improve my work, where as a woman is limited in how much she can change herself.  Yes, she can wear make up, dye her hair, even go to the extreme and get plastic surgery, but that can only change so much.  She’s not going to get any taller, you can only get so thin, and every day you get older.

Getting back to photography, I now realize I am better than the vast majority of people on this planet.  I’m not bragging, I just am.  Even when comparing “people who take pictures” I’m better than average.  I guess I’m just saying be more aware of why you do things.

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