Archive for the ‘News’ Category
Adorama, the camera store, took a plunge into the wild world of fashion this past week. Yowza.
Seems the store had a vacant space, big enough for a runway, chandeliers, and a press lounge, not to mention dozens of impossibly tall women wearing everything from sequins to feathers. In a city where there are lots of folks trying to make a statement, every day, nothing takes a back seat to Fashion Week, which explodes this time every year, colorful as a Carmen Miranda headdress. This year it’s been a refreshing splash of vibrance and life in the midst of a burg traumatized by a Polar Vortex, desperate for winter to be over, and so bored with waiting for a sliver of sunlight as to become heated over the way the new mayor eats pizza.
Getting the management of Adorama, whose sartorial tendencies favor black and white, on board with the wild and wooly nature of the fashionista crowd, was an interesting leap, indeed. My wife, Annie Cahill, who runs the Adorama Pro Department, is nothing if not fiercely determined, saw the possibilities of the empty space, and fashion folks who needed to display their wares, and made the match. It’s also been an opportunity for multiple communities to get together…..the photo folks, the fashion folks, and even the whole neighborhood of Chelsea. I tried to get a coffee at a local bistro I drop by every once in a while and forget it, the line was out the door. Busy, in a word.
So, it’s been nothing short of fantastic! An otherwise vacant storefront on 17th St. is swirling with life, color and clothes that I guess some people wear, sometimes, quite likely well after I go to sleep. And of course, where there’s designers, gowns and models, there’s photographers. Lots of them. Some, admittedly, more professional than others, and some who look like they belong on the runway on the other side of the lens, but photogs galore, and pictures by the thousands.
I dropped by after straight after getting off a plane the other day, stupidly, without my DSLRs, and just an Iphone.(Which actually made me fit in quite well with all the other fancily dressed swells and assorted hangers-on.). And of course, my bud Peter Tsai snaps Numnuts here chimping on the damn smart phone. Sigh.
Thankfully, without too much travel, at least right away. Have a local job over the weekend, and next week, down in DC for the annual National Geographic Seminar. Photographers don’t have too much of an opportunity anymore to gather as a group, so it will be fun to see friends, long time shooters and colleagues. In between, on Tuesday, 1/7, I’ll be at Adorama in NYC. Starting off the year with an irreverent, impromptu, seat of the pants (is there any other way?) floor of the store small flash demo in the Adorama pro department. It’ll be a hoot. I’m giving away about a dozen books, pocket guides, a few t-shirts in response to important, impertinent, rash, insightful, goofy or otherwise interesting questions. Here’s the link.
Speaking of Adorama, while in Mexico, in December, I did a shot at a tailor’s shop for Ado TV. Here’s the link to that episode. As you might see in the video, it’s a simple pic, done with one Elinchrom Ranger from across the street, firing through a bed sheet hanging in a door way, and minimally tweaked with a bounced light inside the store.
I was in Guanajuato, working with my dear friend, Hector Segovia, with PhotoXperience Mexico, which is rapidly becoming the go to learning center for photography in all of Mexico. I kept passing this tailor shop, with the whir of ancient sewing machines and feel of long time family ownership, and I asked Hector if we could go in. And, it being Guanajuato, we were warmly received, and made arrangements to do a photo session in there.
The Adorama TV segments, by necessity, go very quickly. After finishing up, I decided to pull the camera angle a touch to the right, to pick up a weird/interesting store mannequin, off by the doorway to the back of the shop.
Now, I really liked the mannequin guy, with his studious glasses and ascot, but the big black hole of the doorway was bothersome. And, rightly or wrongly, I do believe in lighting through a shot, however minimally, to create interest and detail for the viewer’s eye all the way through the three zones of a photo–foreground, middle ground and background. So we stashed another Elinchrom back there, sporting a full CTO gel to simulate the bare incandescent bulb that was already existing in the room.
On a shot like this, radio triggers are required gear, pretty much. The two power packs don’t really see each other, and neither see the camera, so a radio is the way to go. We’ve been using both the PocketWizard Plus III units, and the PlusX units with a good deal of success for simple stuff like this. Not too much in the way of interference or range issues. We do use the Multi-max units, but they have much more capability than is needed for a shot like this, which, from the get go, is aimed at making it look like no lighting was applied at all.
Looking forward to going to the city on the 7th. My wife Annie runs the Adorama Pro Department, and of course Daniel and Efraim will be there, so it will be like family. Maybe we won’t do any flash demo, and we’ll just get together and sing some songs. Uh, no….I’ll stick with flash stuff.
All best for 2014! More tk….
Today’s post is about….shopping.
Just think about the latter part of this week, when lots and lots of folks, freshly fueled by the consumption a large, flightless bird, stuffed with a nearly lethal mix of bread, spices, sausage, amphetamines, and Ripped Muscle X Factor, head for the malls. Their congenial, green, family car has been retrofitted to be menacing enough to suit that well know warrior of the wasteland, the Lord Humungus. I’m thinking some sort of scythe-like snowplow blade, enough armor to put a Humvee to shame, and a port in the back to drop buckets of nails on the tarmac, should someone in a competitor vehicle be angling for that object of desire, a prime parking spot at the mall. The car rumbles to life in the garage, and instead of the sprightly cry of, “Let’s go shopping, kids!” the mom, sitting in the navigational seat, with traffic pattern screens glowing in front of her, kitted out for all the world like she’s going to roller derby practice, says simply, ala Joan Allen in Death Race, “Release the dreadnaught!”
And all that happens before you even get into the stores.
There are many things that identify a city–the location, the food, the weather, the music, the culture, the pace of life. All solid, wonderful indicators of the character and soul of a locale. Another one of those indicators, and often a big piece of the puzzle of any metropolis, small or large, is the local sports teams. It’s incontrovertibly true. You don’t even have to be a sports fan to acknowledge it. When the ball team does well, the heartbeat of a city quickens. Read the rest of this entry »
Last year, about this time, I taught at a conference called Luminance, put together by PhotoShelter. It brought a hugely diverse group of talents and interests together under the same tent. One of those very talented people was Allen Murabayashi, the CEO of PhotoShelter, and orchestrator of the conference. His neighborhood in NY is lower Manhattan, and in 2001, he actually lived just by the Trade Towers. We got to talking, and he showed me a picture on his Iphone he had made on 9/11, with the crisp blue sky, and the fires arching upwards, bent on destroying the buildings. It was like a punch in the gut, as pictures from that day are, I’m sure, for many, even now.
A year later, both Allen and PhotoShelter have stepped up on behalf of the collection Giant Polaroids known as the Faces of Ground Zero, and are partnering with me in preserving the collection, and hosting my website. It is a welcome, welcome partnership.
I have managed, sometimes just barely, to keep this collection of huge images, consisting of portraits made of people whose lives intersected the events of that day, together, and safe, in museum quality storage, for 12 years. There are numerous large crates, some weighing in at about 2,000 pounds. Storing 24,000 pounds of anything carries a price tag, especially artwork that requires certain atmospheric parameters. What PhotoShelter has done has been to step up and help, and to individually sponsor two of the images into the permanent safekeeping and care of the 9/11 Memorial Museum.
I look forward to many years of collaboration, not only in the realm of portfolio displays, internet presence, and projects with this group of creative folks. If you go to my website, you’ll see new work, and an updated look to the pages.
My thanks go out to Allen, Andrew Fingerman, Chris Owyoung, and Drew Gurian for orchestrating this new website in such smooth fashion. And to the entire PhotoShelter organization for helping to preserve these pictures. They join with Adorama, who has been a friend of the collection for many years, in this ongoing dozen year effort. The museum will be a reality shortly, and with this boost, we might just make it.
This type of wonderful collaboration reminds me yet again that the photo community is indeed, a community. More tk….