Archive for October, 2008

Smashed for a good cause…. Bid on Ebay

We are selling off TG’s masterpiece, the hammered G10 on Ebay. All proceeds go to Boarding for Breast Cancer. Own a piece of history! click here


Lil’ chat with Photographer Kevin Zacher pt.1


Kevin Zacher Pt.1 from alex mertz on Vimeo.

Kevin has been long time snowboard photographer along side Trevor for years. He stopped in to say hi and give a little insight into the transition from snowboard photography to commercial/advertising photography. Good, insightful information, enjoy!


Revarie from Vincent Laforet

Revarie is a short film by NYC photographer Vincent Laforet. What makes this film Unique is that it was filmed entirely with Canon’s new EOS 5D Mark II. Which up until recently had just been a DSLR. Now they have added the capabilities of 1080p HD video to its feature list. I think we’ll be seeing more of this crossover of mediums. Which is pretty exciting to think of what is next to come. Who knows any of us photographers could be a closet videographer and we just don’t know it yet! Check out the video on Vincent’s site here.


Canon G10- New but not improved

G10 review.

This is the review I have been excited to write for months. I have read the rumors on the blogs about Canon discontinuing the G9 and all the new and improved features for the G10. I pre order the rig on Amazon and sure enough it delivered today October 3rd, 2008. With the excitement of a 10 year old I ripped open the box and unleashed the new toy.

That is where the excitement ended.

Being intimately familiar with the G9 I intuitively reached for the Video function of the G10 as I have heard about the new and improves DIGIC 4 chip and the ability of it to produce HD quality video on an SLR. How exciting to have better video!! Wait, what’s this, small video format and NO TIME LAPSE feature. WTF??? I pay $50 more and Canon drops features that turned me onto the G9 in the first place. WTF!!! I am pissed! Who was the genius at Canon that is living in a bat cave to loose sight of what makes the G9 wonderful in this new world of bloggin! Was the decision maker a frustrated SLR engineer that wanted to gets rocks off on a 14.7 megapixel CCD senor? Why even have the G10 at all. Other point and shoots are smaller and have a large enough meg for decent prints, the larger SLR have better quality and better everything so why go with this G10 product that has nothing more to offer than less noisy images in low light and a faster processing speed that is negligible to the end user any way. WTF??? The over under dial is handy and more convenient but come on guys, I can tweak that exposure on the back end in photoshop and the G9 over/under function wasn’t that horrible. Shit even the lens cover looks cheaper than the original G9 lens cover. I bet this one scratches the lens in its poor construction too. WTF? You could have at least made that better for $499.

Sell me more hokus pokus BS features like Image Stabilizers and make me thin k I am getting an upgrade.

Mr. G10 engineer, you go thru the whole mechanic of moving the over / under dial on the physical body of the camera and the programmers can’t even make the RAW feature of the camera up front and easy to use. Get out of your retro film mentality and get on the digital age.

i-Contrast doesn’t even exist on my camera; I can’t find it to test it and who does this stuff in the camera anyway. This is all done in Photoshop. Come on guys. WTF??

Face Detection- come on. That’s all you guys got for advances in the G10.

Here is why I like the G9 and where you can go with the G11 to make this camera rock!

1. The G9 had a metal chassy that made it more durable for hard-core adventures like mountain bike rides and punk rock concerts.

2. The retro styling gave it a hipster flare that mad subjects feel important yet relaxed. A traditional SLR is too much camera for intimate setting where the goal is to capture amazing people being real.

3. It was a 12 megapixel camera that has the ability to shoot RAW. The fact that it shoots RAW implies that the user has Post Production skills and understands the art and craft of developing a digital image. How big a file do we real need? 8 meg is more than enough for most output use; I am not impressed with 14 meg over 12 meg as an added feature/ function in the G10. This just means I have a larger storage needs over the long haul.

4. VIDEO. This is where the G9 broke thru. It has the ability to shoot more than a 30 second clip of low res video. The convenient QuickTime’s were easy to flow into an I- Moive blog post. I am so sadden by the removal of the TIME LAPSE. You work hard on blowing up features that are needed in the chassis and better used in postproduction on a computer. The video you give me in trade on the G10 is 640 when I had 1080 on the G9, I feel ripped off. Its like you did get the whole magic of the g9. The G9 was able to switch back and forth from digital to still so quickly and efficiently. The G9 is a bloggers dream come true and the G10 proves that Canon has lost sight of its end user.

I hate being the hater. In true good sportsman ship it is only fair to include some constructive ideas to help my consumer experience and I am sure other fans of the G9

In this world where Nike ID allows me the consumer to go online and design my own color way shoes, products are called the IPhone, HP has a customizable computer called the Blackbird, why can’t we have a camera that is also customizable? The experience idea is like this:

The “I-camera” comes a 14 meg CCd sensor. It comes with the ability to shoot video and RAW images. Instead of pre loading the feature/ functions at the factory, include on the CD with the camera pre loaded bundles of feature/ functions that the I-camera loads up off their computer. The bundles could pre arranged for specialty shooters. The “Blogger” package has 72 dpi setting, good audio features and a range of video choices. The “Friends and Family” package includes more face recognition; in camera filter packages and the ability to upload to Flickr from the camera. The “Pro-sumer” package has RAW features up front and easier to adjust, action auto tracking, a better zoom lens feature. The “Landscaper” packing has filters with split ND for better sunsets; auto bracketing is up front and easy to use. The point is you already have these configurations on the camera from the factory yet you include it all and it comes off like you haven’t thought about anyone’s specific needs. Then you don’t drop a feature and discontinue the old model is sheer arrogance. Dropping the Time Lapse video feature along with the compact video feature was a huge mistake. Why not let me as the customer choose my experience with your product? I promise to break multiple cameras to insure that I continue to stay in your consumer circle and feed your corporate hunger, if you promise to appear to care about how I use your camera and the personal experience I want to have with it.

It feels like the Canon G10 team forgot what made the G9 cool and focused on some lame film throw backs with the design. It’s a digital camera, why bracket in 1/3 stops when in a RAW images you have plenty of latitude to adjust the exposure. Why not have the consumer choose their firm ware option and have an iCamera experience. It would be a unique palc ein the market place, it is easy enough to install and we are not robot consumers that will but what ever you put in front of us. Consider the user experience and give the people what they want!

Canon G10 review – New but not improved from Dave Allen on Vimeo.


Warren Miller’s “Children of Winter”

I haven’t seen this yet but looks pretty sweet. I was fortunate enough to shoot with these guys for a week at Mt. Bachlor last season. Give it a lil look see!


Downtown Throwdown goes off in Seattle,WA

Qwest stadium hosted the 3rd annual Downtown Throwdown in Seattle this weekend. Krush Kulesza of Snowboy Productions headed up the show With over 8,000 dollars in loot to be given out. All riders were determined to snag that top spot. Up to the challenge were some of snowboardings best up and coming jibbers. Jesse Burtner ruled the crowd with an iron mic, on hand to judge the event were Pro shreds Sean Genovese, Jon Kooley, Darrel Mathis and Austin Smith. Hammers were thrown bodies were broken and when the smoke cleared, Jed Anderson was the only survivor. Taking 1st place a bag of loot back home. Click ahead to see some eye candy I snapped of the action! (more…)


www.kevinzacher.com

Photographer and StudioNemo’s good friend Kevin Zacher has a treat for us all, in the form of his new website. Check it out, make sure you got a good hour of nothing to do because its all too easy to get sucked into his site checking out all the amazing eye candy. Have fun! www.kevinzacher.com


Sarah- Jane Lynagh

Sarah-Jane Lynagh

Surfing CPLUV this morning I stubbled upon the work of Sarah-Jan Lynagh. The metaphor of the shot and the actual production of this images are overwhelming. Who would have thunk that a dead cow heart, a hot model and technical lighting could flow thru a creative mind and come up with these solutions. Her bio talks about her work revolving around a cluster of issues chief among which are sexuality, death, identity, abjection, the monstrous feminine and loss. Either she is a Damien Hirst shock jock or a tortured child expressing her in most demons.

 

Sarah- Jane Lynagh completed a degree in Fine Art at the Crawford College of Art & Design, Cork, Ireland in 2003. She has just completed a MA in Fine Art photography at the University for the Creative Arts, Rochester, UK.


Maybe you can’t make money doing what you love.

 

Maybe you can’t make money doing what you love. Is that really the right question to ask yourself?

 

Today, it is so much easier to get your images out there for the world to see. That hidden talent may find a long tail fan willing to hire you or purchase a print. Awesome.

 

You have gotten your college degree.

 

You have done multiple internships.

 

You have paid your sweat equity assisting asshole shooters just to gain more experience.

 

When what you do is what you love, you’re able to invest more effort and care and time. That means you’re more likely to win, to gain share, to profit. Being a parent can be what you love in life but it doesn’t pay. Sometimes the price we pay to do the things we love has a price that might be too high to pay. Be careful what you wish for.

 

The commitment it takes to be a professional photographer is all consuming. Artisans in many ways are selfish little beings. The paycheck as a shooters comes with some strings attached.

 

The pitfalls:

1. In order to monetize your work, you’ll probably corrupt it, taking out the magic in search of dollars. Eating cake is great; eating cake everyday can be a drag.

2. Attention doesn’t always equal significant cash flow. Be sure you understand the market place in which you are working. Shooting for charitable causes feels right, but it’s hard to pay the rent with a hug.

3. Life will pass you by. That 80th birthday for grandma, a close friends sudden death and even opportunities for a relationship are samples of emotional parts of life that will miss because you are location in a remote place or on a plane going to the remote location. Are you ready and willing to let part of life go by?

 

Along the way to being that professional, take time to look around you and embrace other ideas that can pay the bills.

 

Maybe you can’t make money doing what you love (at least what you love right now). But I bet you can figure out how to love what you do to make money (if you choose wisely).

 

Shoot everything. But don’t wreck your art if it doesn’t lend itself to paying the bills. That would be a tragedy.

 

 

 


The agency for me?

As a photographer I judge agency’s on the works and skills of their selected artists. Santucci & Co who just launched their new site, have some excellent photographers. However, they don’t seem much different than your average agency. Their selection of photographers have a well connected yet individual (artsy) ascetic but not one of them really stands out in my mind as an artist I’d admire. Yet. If i wasn’t living it up here in the heart of Portland and this oasis we call studionemo I’d sign with MS Logan in a heart beat. I am whole heartedly an inspired admirer of every photographer they rep. Santucci & Co falls just short of that edgy and hip agency they undoubtedly aspire to be. I was shocked to see that they aren’t even representing the best photographer on their site. Her name is Flora Hanitijo and she is in the emerging talent section of the site. Check out her personal site shes pretty amazing.


New Sony BRAVIA comercial… where have I seen this before??

Back around 05/06 I stumbled across an amazing Sony commercial for their EU brand BRAVIA, It was titled simply “Balls” directed by Nicolai Fuglsig. (we’ll get back to him in a second.) It has to be the most stunning commercial I’ve seen to date for a mainstream brand. (its better viewed in High Def, not youtube quality.) The best part, no computers were used to add CG balls at anytime! What you see actually took place on the streets of S.F. Bravia commercials have always been massive productions, exponentially pleasing the eyes of their European consumer with each ad while never losing site thus keeping it creative and unique along the way. See more here.

Fast forward to 2008. Sony has extended their colorful BRAVIA branches to the Asia Pacific market. Seems fair enough they hire a production Co. from the region expect to sell to. Enter Bates 141, out of Singapore. This being their inaugural commercial for BRAVIA, a lot is riding on a project like this. One would think, all stops must be pulled, bars must be raised and need to squeeze all creative juices out to make a banger of an ad, right? Wrong.

Take a look at their ad HERE. Hmm, slow motion shots coupled with pretty, soft vocals and acoustic strings. Strange how that seems all too familiar. Just coincidence right, yeah… Until I started doing a little digging and found this little number. (click here) Strange, another ad with a domino theme, just another coincidence…sure. But I found it odd that the director of both the BRAVIA “Balls” and Guinness’s “Tipping Point” happen to be Nicolai Fuglsig! Wow, I find it hard to believe Bates 141 did not do it’s research, this is just damn embarrassing. Oh, I love how the Bates slogan happens to be: “Change Happens, When You Look At Things Differently.” Really Bates? Come on.

OH, P.S.! Half the domino shots were CG… Booooooo!


That’s It, That’s All

I got in to work today not in the best mood, possibly from the spontaneous rainstorm I peddled through on the way in. But that’s just Portland, right? Boo hoo. All that changed when I saw Itunes was selling That’s It That’s All, the new snowboard video from Travis Rice and Curt Morgan, without batting an eye I bought it. I ended up watching it almost twice through before I forced myself to shut it off. I am at work, and should be working. I can only tell my boss I’m “researching” the video so many times before the jig is up.

This video sets the bar I had no clue existed for snowboard flicks. I got a sneak peek of some stills late last season from Tim Zimmerman who was photographing all the action along the way, those alone were making me drool to see this film. The film itself is a work of art, using the same camera rigs as the Discovery Channel’s Planet Earth documentaries they captured some of the greatest shots Ive seen in a long time or ever! The selection of riders is without compare and the tricks are amazing, who knew double corks could be done in so effortlessly? I think this video came at a great time in snowboarding, with Mack Dawg out of the game, someone needed to set up to be the “it” production company for snowboarding.  T.rice and Curt took that step…  in to a helicopter, blasting Maiden, and looking for the next pow line to film. Can’t wait to see what you guys come out with next!


Fear and loathing of PHOTOGRAPHY

Many cultures long viewed photographs with fear, worrying that a piece of the soul disappeared when a photo was taken. Never mess with a man’s religion.

 

Those cultures that retain a belief in ‘sympathetic’ magic (where something that was a part of the person, like nail clippings, hair, blood or even an article of clothing) could be used to cast a spell or curse. A part of the ‘victim’ is essential in creating a ‘voodoo doll’. As a courtesy, it might be nice to let these people own their souls. There are plenty of celebrities giving away their souls as paparazzi “Canon fauder”, get it? Canon….the cameras, forget it, I digress.

Some museums forbid all photography, even without a flash, for no other reason than fear. Clearly a famous painting is worth more than an unknown one–and just as clearly, the artist who painted the image probably wanted other people to see it. There is some evidence that over time the camera flash will degrade the properties of the art work. They may want to protect the right of children is the background of your selfsih shot as illustrated in the post from PhotoShelter. ” If you are on private property and are asked not to take pictures, you are obligated to honor that request. This includes posted signs.”

What a missed oppritunity to have the visitors shooting images of the art work to spread the word of the amazing work. 

Even worse is the hypocrisy of serikotik1970’s on Flickr. It is obvious he broke the rules of the museum and poached a few shots because he felt entitled. He posts them to the Flickr site and locks them down so no one can “steal” them with out his consent. Oh like that is going to work, if someone wants something online it is way to easy to lift it. Wouldn’t it make more sense to properly tag the jpeg and like pollen on a bee, use the audience to spread your creative? You obviously have a need to be acknowledged or you would have gone so far as to put up a PRO Flickr account. I had to do a lot of extra work to get the image I lifted from your Flickr account, to link back to you so you can benefit from anyone in our studionemo audience that may want to work with you at some level.

Back to why I started this post. 

The inspiration for this piece was a photo student inquiring about being “ripped” off by a website that used his photo with out his consent. He felt he was due compensation and maybe rightfully and legal so. If the same situation was looked at differently could it be a positive marketing situation, no money needs to exchange hands let’s face it the fee is so small and by the time Uncle Sam gets his 40%, it wasn’t worth the conversation). Could there be lessons in other industries that would could look at and adapt to photo to help our Fear of being ripped off?

 

Head into the food court of any mall and the Chinese place will be handing out free sample so of the Orange chicken on a tooth pick. They could charge a quarter for a bite size snack like the candy bar world does, however, they know that once you have the customer in your “web” then the stats go up that they are ready to purchase. With may other choice right there; a lot of energy is used to reel them in for the final sale. Could a web photo usage e considered similar to the Chinese free give away model?

Food Court

 

Lets look at another similar industry, the music industry. With the MP3 the traditional business model of selling a physical CD has tanked. My friend and business partner at Pamplemoose, Dave Allen has this to say in a post on the Moose, A Five Point Plan to Save the Music Business.

 

“Free doesn’t mean no money: The music industry should not fear free. It needs to embrace it. The culture of the net is free or at least feeling free. But money can still be made from other sources: everything from advertising supported services, to brands paying for an association with the artists to newspapers paying for giveaway CDs”.

 

Back to the original situation. Can we look at this web usage as a form of “free” marketing that “reels” a potential customer in for a larger, smarter, business opportunity? The world is a changing market and if we as shooters don’t keep up and leverage new outlets then we get left behind and Darwin-ism puts in our place, out of business.

 

Here is a short tail to the long tail answer of do I give a photo usage away for free? Any photo posted to any website anywhere should be considered a marketing seed for your photography business. The old cliché goes, you need to spend money to make money, posting a jpeg is nearly free marketing dollars. The jpeg is out there with a hotlink to your website, meta data with your copyright that leads to your website and as a seed, it will populate across the web and lead potential customers to your website, your Chinese food stand. The big sales can be with custom prints, day shoots, and license fees for advertisement needs. The “free” sample actual can be considered as “free” promotions for your photo businesses. It makes sense to kiss the hand that feeds you and not bite it.

This could have been a FREE promo. Don\'t let a false sense of security prevent you from promoting yourself as a photographer.

 

 

 


Go check out “Wild Beauty” at the Portland Art Museum

Boring poster I know, but if your in the PDX area you should go check out “Wild Beauty” at the Portland Art Museum. Its put together by the Northwest Photography Archive. It’s a collection of photos from various photographers such as Carleton Watkins, Lily White and Sarah Ladd. Its a look in to Oregon’s past and growth during the post industrial revolution era, pristine scenery captured on film at a time when people were just beginning to harness the Columbia for economic growth through trade/fishing, power etc… A definite must see.


Let Them Eat Crack! Banksy round 2

My friend Mikey H. in NYC just Ichatted me saying he just saw the Banksy show mentioned below (Which he said was rad.). He asked me if I have seen photos for the giant rat pieces Banksy did in Soho, they’re all legal too since they are commissioned pieces. Simply put, amazing stuff. Click on for more!

Photo cred: Mikey’s friends Iphone! (more…)


Banksy new work

When I was in NY last, I picked up a book for TG on Banksy’s art. His street art is really amazing, but this newest venture may take the cake. It’s so bizarre!!! The “Village Pet Store And Charcoal Grill” is a tiny storefront that opened without notice or fanfare in NY. It has drawn confused crowed to its “animals” displays such as chicken mcnuggets, drinking from a communal bbq sauce, hot dogs under heat lamps in aquariums, and a leopard in a tree. Read more about it at the Wooster Collective or check out the photos and video below…


FAT FLAKE PHOTO CONTEST!

Call For Entries

Fat Flake Photo Contest

Categories: Ski and Snowboard

Prizes: $1000 for the best photo in each category.

Deadline for Entry: November  1, 2008

Rules: All entries must have been photographed in Utah during the 2007/2008 season.  Images will not be returned.  In consideration for participating in the contest, participants agree that Ski Utah, or it’s designate, may publish images without remuneration to the participant in the Fat Flake Photo Contest, in displays associated with the Fat Flake Festival, and on our websites.

Submissions:  All photos must be submitted in digital format to fatflakephotos@gmail.com in either RAW format or a minimum 300 ppi and 8×10” .jpg or .tif format.  Maximum 2 entries per category.


Happy Birthday Universal Declaration of Human Rights

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Cool Hunting’s Seth Brau recently brought the words to life with motion graphics. The Declaration was written by Eleanor Roosevelt 60 years ago. It’s nice to see such an important piece of work reinvigorated by technology. And it’s a nice reminder that leaders of our country were once useful and smart. 


 


Sexist or just plain Sexy?

Big buzz of this photo making its rounds on the internet. People are up in arms, blah blah, saying this photo is sexist. I think of it as more distraction from actual issues that the “McPalin” team are not exactly facing head on. But really folks, who cares about politics when you have Miss Alaska ’84’s “gams” to look at? AUUUUUGGGAAAAA!

p.s. 5 bucks says the kid in the photo is more worried about the inflation in his pants than the market.


Kenny Bloggins is back!

Josh Letchworth has recently revived his blog and it’s worth a read. He also has a great photo submission thing going. Check it out here


Badass Portrait photo of the day…

A photo of one of my favorite people by one of my favorite photographers, Cass Bird. The bird is the word!

 


Older than My Little Pony…

Both My Little Pony and I celebrated our birthdays this past weekend. She hasn’t aged a bit, just more stylish (wish I could say that about myself)!
In honor of her 25th birthday, the Chelsea Art Museum held The My Little Pony Project:25 Ponies for 25 Years.

My favorite of the show was a Pony designed by Catalina Estrada , who is a Columbian artist out of Spain.

 


Spraygraphic.com ARTWALK Photo Assignment

Spraygraphic.com, the community for creative minds has a photo assignment for all of you! Venture out to your local art walk,1st Thursday, Last Friday, whatever it is, and document it along the way. Capture the art, the people, the galleries and atmosphere of your local art scene. Submit your best images to info@spraygraphic.com will post them on their blog at Sprayblog.net


I Went to a Rodeo.

I’ve hijacked Merzy’s account to take Studio Nemo up on their kind offer of letting you know I went to a rodeo. With a small arsenal of gear and my requisite Coors Light, I spent 3 days with the hosses and hossettes of the Pendleton Roundup. What I found was a fantastic blend of spurs, cheddar fries, complementary whiskey and flags on everything. Collected here.