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PHOTOjournalism, duh.

September 24, 2009 Published by . Leave your thoughts

Yesterday my second article in C-U Confidential was published as part of a hopefully long-running column on the independent film scene in Chicago. The article is here.

C-U Confidential is an online publication with a print counterpart, run and edited by Jason Pankoke- a totally swell guy who really loves movies and loves bringing people together with them. He started the magazine to track the activities of independent film in the Midwest. It’s a very tiring project: there is quite a lot of indie movie action around these parts.

My second article is a profile of a new documentary by Logan Futej and Jared Hoffa. A film about their biker gang grandparents. Don’t worry, they’re safe people and I was not harmed during the interview. This photo is the photo I took of the duo just before they held a test screening at Columbia College Chicago to get some feedback for the film. And a stuffed panda bear. His name is Panda Bear.

I plan to include my own photos of everyone I interview for the column. Duh, right? I’m a photographer. I love photography and I love independent filmmakers, so this column is a chicken-egg puzzle for me. Did I agree to write for it so I can learn more about independent film in Chicago? Or so I could just take photos? For my first interview, I took the photo after I asked the questions… but for this one I took the photo before the interview. Hmmm… egg? Bawk?

"The Swooning Shadow" and other tales

September 18, 2009 Published by . Leave your thoughts

If I could change my middle name, I think I’d change it to “rim light,” because I like rim lighting so much. (Or I’d probably change it to “superhuman destroyer of evil,” but that’s a post for another day.)

Maybe it’s because of my background in cinematography and filmmaking that gives me an affinity for rim lighting, aka edge lighting- films use it a lot to add dynamics to a scene. A light placed behind the subject to light the edge of his or her hair, shoulders, etc., really makes the subject stand out from their background and gives them a solid look. It splashes light all over their edgy parts, but also creates new shadows and gives their features depth. Hand me a shovel, because I dig it.

I took this photo last night as a comp photo project. I snapped the subject’s photo with a simple lighting setup, then another of myself for the shadow, and replaced his shadow with mine in Photoshop. (Sounds simple enough, but my mouse-using wrist is still sore and my eyes are watering from staring at the screen for so long…) Special thanks to Dave Hamner for modeling for the photo, and for being so awesome!

From the land before iPods

September 11, 2009 Published by . 1 Comment

I was looking for something in my computer and came across this photo I took a few months ago. I was walking through an outdoor lumberyard and spotted this amazingly bright red “boom box” thing that has obviously been the still-working radio of choice for lumberyard staff for at least 15 years.

I think it’s so pretty. I want to throw on a pair of matching Reeboks and jam to some George Michael or something. Who’s with me? Boom box. Max boom for your system.

The giant lumber shelves it was sitting on went back at least 20 feet. Even though it was a beautifully bright sunny day, the light was directly overhead and couldn’t reach into the depths of the shelves, so the camera really caught exactly what the scene looked like: bright light on the front of the shelf with a fast drop to pitch black toward the back. It was really pretty- the kind of sight that looks like a still-life photo even if you don’t happen to have a Canon 5D in your pocket. And it makes you want to jam to George Michael or something. Anyone? Hello?