Sunday, February 21, 2010

This Dulcolax ad left me unrelieved (a lesson in Photoshoppery)

In the spirit of the hilarious blog, Photoshop Disasters ("Have you seen a truly awful piece of Photoshop work? Clumsy manipulation, senseless comping, lazy cloning and thoughtless retouching are our bread and butter..."), I spotted these disasters in a commercial for Dulcolax Balance during the Olympics.

(click for larger)

As you can see, rather than flipping the image the "artist" turned it 180 degrees before pasting it, also seen again in the screen capture below. And I'm no specialist in optics but the reflection of the bottle in the glass of water didn't look right to me so I tested the concept with a glass of water and a box of Triscuits. The only way I could come close to duplicating that image is by placing the glass quite a distance in front of and to the left of the box and even then the refracted image of the box in the left side of the glass is reversed.

(click for larger)

Check out some more reflection disasters at Photoshop Disasters and let me know if you find any!

Update: Admittedly, upon further - ahem, reflection - the image wasn't simply turned 180 degrees otherwise the little glass would be located more to the right on the Balance bottle (below).

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Transferring editorial skills to advertising

Sheridan and Suzette
Sheridan and Suzette
Hip and Humble
9th & 9th Neighborhood
Salt Lake City, UT

I first met sisters Sheridan and Suzette at their Salt Lake City boutique, Hip and Humble, during an editorial assignment for Wasatch Woman Magazine about sisterhood (see "Sisters with Style"). Not only was the store an amazing setting with its collection of interesting items and bright colors but Sheridan and Suzette both bubbled with an infectious enthusiasm that made for a fun-filled shoot!

A month or so after that shoot I received a call from Suzette to hire me to return and take more photos for their own advertising. Suzette told me that Delta Sky Magazine wanted to profile their boutique and she thought it would be good to also have an archive of photos to use for future advertising. Seeing as we shot mainly editorial portraits for the Wasatch Woman article, we decided this time to take more photos of the store itself as well as some candids of Sheridan and Suzette at work.

An interesting part of that conversation was hearing that Suzette had a hard time finding photographers who specialised in advertising photography for small businesses. After exhausting the Salt Lake phone book/web searching she decided to ask me if I did that sort of work on the side. Until that time I had not but this really got me thinking about a niche that wasn't being filled. Unfortunately we relocated to Denver not long after and I wasn't able to capitalise on it there but now that we've settled in here in Colorado I'm going to give this another try, as I see an opportunity in this same niche market.

Shh, don't tell my competitors. ;)

Have any other photographers recently shifted their *ahem* focus? I'd love to hear about your experiences, especially any editorial photographs who may be looking to supplement their magazine work with private work as magazines either cut back or close down.

Anyway, here are some of my favorites from the series:

Sheridan of Hip and Humble Suzette of Hip and Humble

Hip and Humble Sheridan and Suzette of Hip and Humble

Technical info
Nikon D700 and various lenses

Natural light did most of the heavy lifting in these photos but I also shaped it using Nikon SB-800 and Nikon SB-600 Speedlights for fill and accenting. All Speedlights were triggered with the Nikon D700's pop-up flash using the Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS).

Finally, the Wasatch Woman Magazine cover (May/June 2009)


And a slideshow of the whole series

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Top 10 Albums of 2009

As some of you may know, in addition to having a passion for photography I also have a passion for music. As such, here are my top 10 list of albums released in 2009. Each album links to their MP3 counterparts where you can sample all the tracks.

Elvis Perkins In Dearland - "Elvis Perkins In Dearland"

Eilen Jewell - "Sea Of Tears"

Soweto Gospel Choir - "The Sounds Of Soweto Gospel Choir"

Ida Maria - "Fortress 'round My Heart"

The Panderers - "Mucho Diggo"

The Felice Brothers - "Yonder Is The Clock"

Fanfarlo - "Reservoir"

Slow Club - "Yeah So?"

The Heartless Bastards - "The Mountain"

Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears - "Tell 'Em What Your Name Is!"

My runners-up, both released on the web:

Max Tannone's mashup of Radiohead and Jay-Z (a free download!)
Max Tannone - "Jaydiohead: Jay-Z vs Radiohead"

Kutiman's amazing mix of songs compiled of various YouTube clips

Kutiman - "Thru You"

In return I ask the same of you: What are your top albums of 2009? Either share a link to your own blog post or list them in the comments section, thanks!

So, what are yours?

p.s. My Top 10 Albums of 2008

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Latest Denver Drive-By Shootings

[man y pedi]
[man y pedi]

[photographer in action]
[photographer in action]

Denver, CO

Nikon D700
Nikkor 50mm f/1.8

[Part of my "Drive-By Shootings" taken-while-driving street photography series]


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Final update on the Toyota / Saatchi & Saatchi Infringement Case

Blog readers and fans have been asking me for the latest news in my ongoing copyright infringement case with Toyota and their ad agency, Saatchi & Saatchi. To quote fellow infringee and phenomenal landscape photographer, Buck Forester:

Just got word from our copyright lawyer that the infringement case against Saatchi/Toyota by a group of us Flickrites has been settled. Our lawyer made it clear the settlement terms must remain confidential, but let's just say I'm rather elated! I still have to work for a living, ha!, but still, this is welcome news.

Like Brian, I am happy with the settlement and with Saatchi & Saatchi's response to this matter. Beyond that I can't say much more. I've learned a lot about copyright during the course of this issue and highly recommend that those of you who are interested in learning more about protecting your intellectual property take a look at the original post below to find great tips and links in the comments section.

More background on this case can be found in the blog post, Found my photo used without permission.

Found my photo used without permission

Thanks to jakerome, who saw this Tuesday night, I found one of my photos being used on Toyota's new 4Runner web site without my permission.

For the record, I was never contacted for permission or licensing, the image is (and has been for some time) licensed All Rights Reserved...