Sunday, March 30, 2008

lima and fashion : the sean john section at the local macy's

i've been recently fascinated by these behind-the-scenes peeks at fashion shoots that have been posted by newspaper photographers i admire. they include tales of planning meetings, model castings, studios and software and other fancy things that can come from collaborative creativity. all so interesting especially considering my only brush with fashion shoots for the paper was one that was thrown at me half an hour into my shift and limited to an hour of shooting at the macy's at the mall.

the assignment was to shoot something for a feature on men's basics. john the model was a very nice boy who worked in a the men's department at macy's and volunteered his lunch hour to pose for us in some merchandise the store's manager had selected.

no location scouting, no stylists, two lights, a chair snagged from the dressing room and reporter/hottie kate the great to hold a reflector for me every once in a while.

i picked the sean john section because it had this goofy looking fence and i thought it would be easier to hide the fact that we were shooting this at the mall like a bunch of goobers. i was kind of happy with the way it turned out given the circumstances, but at the same time i don't know if i was trying too hard.

this was a while ago, since then, blog surfing has shown me the light.
erik lunsford posted an audio slideshow on his blog describing all the really cool work the staff at the st. louis post-dispatch did to produce LUXE. its great to see the people within the bureaucratic-ish system at a huge paper like that really value each other's contributions -- time and talent -- and employ teamwork to really work a concept.

yoon byun has also been providing really great examples of these kinds of efforts on his blog that only emphasize how great things can be when the newspaper you work for uses their resources properly. he has got this great, clean style and it is showcased well in work like what he contributed to the globe's
25 most stylish bostonians.

their efforts are especially impressive to me because it totally breaks the very simpleminded perception ive had of underestimating the potential for incorporating techniques and efforts typical in glossy high-end fashion, something i thought was a world apart, and translating that on to medium like newspapers, a medium whose that ink rubs off on your fingers.
im pretty sure this kind of stuff isn't really my thing. i would much rather photograph overweight old ladies in moomoos petting cats on their porches than gorgeous women in expensive clothes. but seeing the creative and conceptual development in these examples is really inspiring and while i've been mostly embarrassed with my attempt, it was kind of fun.

where the sidewalk ends

desperate to capitalize on a warmish, sunnyish day, i went on a parka-clad bike ride in my hood and cut through the cul de sacs that outline the growing elida suburbs. these are only a few blocks behind my house and are presently still developing and inching into the country.

it was like 11 am on a thursday so no one was really out in this residential area. everyone was probably at work or school.

this little pup was the only other life i encountered while rolling through there. he was sitting on the front yard and when i cruised by he sprung up with the momentum of an attack dog and started yapping in my direction. i thought maybe he'd run beside me while i rode around, but as soon as he got to the edge of the sidewalk, he halted abruptly.

thats when i realized that he had this goofy electric collar on his little cotton-y neck. poor little guy.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

the wildkittens

from the start of the basketball season, it was clear that these girls were going to succeed. during warm-ups, they were so disciplined and graceful, almost choreographed in their exercise. it was definitely a sight that helped the bath girls basketball team rise above the other teams in the area. every week for the last couple months, i was assigned to cover their games following them through sectionals, regionals, tip-off classics, etc. when they made it to state, i found myself feeling very attached and requested to shoot the game, even though it was on my day off. girl sports are fun and rewarding to shoot as a girl because its one of the few times you see high school ladies genuinely supporting each other in their highs and lows.

a few days before the road trip to columbus, i was assigned to shoot one of their practices. coach mauk and the girls were nice enough to let me hang around as much as i wanted to that day, presumably because of my fairly consistent presence on my knees at the baseline of their games. trying to seize on the established relationship, i asked to tag along on their trip down. coach said they needed "team time" which i understand. it seems like that kind of time has been instrumental in their success.

unfortunately, the wildkittens lost in the state semifinals in a crazy ass game that had me struggling to focus on shooting. they went into overtime, tied and tired. the opposing team, a team from an all-girls school that was much taller and much bigger than the bath girls [their biggest player is 5'10], was a tough match. and in the end, after playing so very hard, they were shuffled off the court to make room for the next semi-final game. no time for reactions. it was a great season ladies, i'll be lucky to cover a team this lovely again.

Monday, March 17, 2008


happy st. patty's day, yo.

strange things on the wall at a catholic school

first there was this poster explaining how poop is made.

then there was the school's prinicipal duct taped to the wall.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

wintery homies.



Thursday, March 6, 2008

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Monday, March 3, 2008


everything but

i'm losing it. yes, my canon stuff has given me problems with backfocus before, but those were mostly the fault of my erratic shooting patterns. this nikon gear seems to be self-loathing. like freaking hates the successful execution of photography. it spitefully disregards my desperate commands --

please focus on the play. i have my focus point set right on the guy's face. i'm carefully following him. my breathing is controlled, my hands are steady, i'm totally zen. please don't give me more photos of the gym walls or some wayward referees or that mom in the audience with fifteen pins on her seasonal knit vest or that cool looking dude standing in the doorway of the gym.

whatev. t-minus three days until my camera comes back. i miss you, darling.

edit: now that i think about it, all those things i listed that i don't want photos of actually sound kind of cooler than some of the games i have shot.

every few weeks, we get a day with clear skies and a nice sunset. yesterday was one of those days. i almost drove into oncoming traffic staring at the sunset out my driver's side window coming home because it has been a while since i realized how much horizon you can actually see and how nice the landscape looks on the good days. its crazy what the orange glow will point out to you -- like how scary looking the hissing oil refinery just south of downtown i drive by almost every day really is.