month: July 2010

Sunrise Over Cadillac Mountain

If you get up early (try 4.30 am) and head up to the top of Cadillac Mountain you can be one of the few people to catch the first light of day on the Continental USA. When we arrived there must have been a dozen photographers lined up all taking similar pictures. I wanted something that didn’t look like a postcard, so I headed to a remote location off the beaten track. It paid off! I found a rock formation that gave me what I wanted in the foreground. I call this picture “New Light, New Hope” and I’ve dedicated it to the Jackson Lab

A Visit To The Jackson Lab in Bar Harbor Maine

Jan and I been in Bar Harbor this week working with the Jackson Lab, a wonderful institute dedicated to finding cures for some of the worst diseases that plague humankind. They have been working hard toward establishing a facility in Naples Florida. We’re so excited at the prospect, as we’ve seen first hand what a tremendous asset to the community they are in this gorgeous part of Maine. We wanted others to know how well they have integrated with the local community, so we have created a short video of local business people expressing their feelings about The Jackson Lab and how it has impacted their business and the community as a whole.

The Jackson Lab, Bar Harbor Maine

Two years ago we took a trip up to Maine so I could start shooting an idea I had for a series of photographs called “Coastline”. While we were there we met up with our good friends Scott and Renee Relf. They were visiting the Jackson Lab and exploring the facility during “Discovery Day” a time when the institute opens its doors and it’s arms to the public. It’s a way for people to see first hand what goes on and also get a chance to talk to the scientists about what they do. We shot a number of photographs and put a short web show together in the hope it would bring a little of The Jackson Lab back to Naples Florida.

Third Eye Web Videage

Third Eye Management came to us to help them with “just the right piece” for their website. The solution for Third Eye’s challenge was videage – a concept we have developed that blends video with a collage of moving stills set to music.

Karl and Adrian were very clear on the concept as to their objective and it came as no surprise that they had very strong opinions on the content!  “We don’t want graphs and charts.  We’re not graphs and charts kind of guys.  We want something different, but not so outlandish that we alienate people who do not know us.”  So in true Third Eye fashion we started to download ideas and story board different options including the ‘message,’ the relationship to the website and other collateral, location, balance of video and stills and finally the shooting date and time.  It was the last element that proved most challenging as both Karl and Adrian would need to be in Naples and block out a whole day which, as we soon discovered, was not as easy as we had thought as their schedules are very tight.

We began the shoot at our studio.  First job, new headshots.  It was essential to achieve a look that reflected the videage as well as the traditional corporate requirements so as to convey Third Eye’s brand.  We then moved to the beach – yes that’s right, the beach.  Not a stuffy board room or library but the beach – the perfect location to illustrate creative and out of the box thinking!

The weather and the light were perfect. We had chosen to incorporate time-lapse images into the videage.   A traditional movie uses 25 still frames per second. With time lapse, you take a photograph every second or more depending on what effect you want. So, if one second of movie takes 25 stills, then a ten second clip is going to need 250 still images. The time-lapse process condenses time and it looks like people are speeding, often blurred, while inanimate objects, like the pilings in our shot, remain sharp. The key to success was to shoot it in a way that Karl and Adrian didn’t appear frantic but in the way we know them to be – hard working, professional and different.  Directing the guys in the scene, I felt like the director of a silent movie – able to speak directions instead of dealing with “quiet on the set”.

All of the elements were in now place; 350 studio stills plus 2,500 time-lapse images!  Now the real work begins because just like an iceberg, you never get to see two thirds of the mass; bringing all the elements together, editing and creating the videage is the two thirds of our work that the client doesn’t see!

How the heck were we going to open the show? The first image is so important. It sets the tone for everything that follows. We had an idea that we put together and showed it to Karl. He went quiet (so I knew we were in trouble) and pointed out (in that way only he does) that “your creativity may be getting in the way of the message”.  He was right of course, so we shared with him a piece of video and suggested that if we run it backwards, it would have the desired effect.  That was all that was needed to get the creative juices flowing and for us to bring the whole show together.

When we presented the first cut to Karl he was pleased… but we both knew there was something missing – music.  Ahh… the music.  The one consistent element that can make or break any show, and one of the most difficult elements to please everyone.

We felt that jazz was the perfect genre for Third Eye. Everyone knows, that to play jazz well, you have to be a great musician. We found a piece that gave a laid back but sophisticated feel that at the same time, was fresh and contemporary. It worked. This was a perfect metaphor for what Karl and Adrian do for their clients. They bring years of experience to a situation and apply that knowledge in a unique and creative way. Play it again maestro!  The result – well you can judge for yourself!

Amanda and Mark

We recently shot a cool wedding at the Ritz Beach Resort here in Naples. Boy, the bride was so much fun to photograph!

Filming with the Herenzumi 2

This might seem crazy. I just bought a small video camera from Japan called the Harenzumi. It’s completely low low tech. It blows out the highlights, over saturates the colors and has a slight stutter on the frames. It does, however, seem to have the feel of the old Kodak Super 8mm film… I should hate it, but I don’t. I love it in a crazy kind of way. Anyway I thought I would check it out when I had a breakfast ride with my new riding buddy Glen Cole who owns Salon Mulberry here in Naples. Let me know if you think it’s fun or just simply a bad video camera!