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We had a great day back at Work N’ Gear yesterday.  It was a nice mellow day shooting cloths on seamless.  I really like shooting for WNG because we have such fun with their people.

We spent the afternoon with Chris Capella, one of their designers/art directors.  (Thats him holding lazily holding the ladder making sure I don’t tip over… I think)  Chris is actually going to be running a marathon a bunch of Sundays from now.  And he’s never run before!  Kick some ass Chris!

Chris is also a partner with our friend Gary Hedrick.  The two of them run Elefhantworks, a design firm here in Boston.  They too have a blog that is worth checking out if you are into design.


CB has found his soul mate…

Of course a day at WNG wouldn’t be the same without CBK.  He makes the day run so smooth… Especially in the laugh department.

(BTW, I can only show the above photo as the blog is PG13.  Keep it up CB!)


Chris laying down spring

A lot of folks have been following the Dominican Republic job that I have been posting about and really liking the photos.  (thanks BTW…)  But the thing to always remember is that it is the clients like Work N Gear who are the most important.

These jobs might not be as glamorous, there is no travel, no helicopters, no SCUBA gear, but they are the cleints that stick with you year after year, trust what you do, and love what you provide.  It is important to never forget this, and take care of them FIRST, becuase they will be by your side long after the helicopter and sun drenched model jobs fade away.


As I posted briefly, last Thursday we had the opportunity to photograph our friend Shepard Fairey.


Shepard is in town for his show at the ICA or Institute for Contemporary Art here in Boston.  If you have a chance to come out to Boston to check it out… you will NOT be disappointed!  You can also watch him on the Colbert Report, listen to his interview with Terry Gross of NPR, and catch him on Feb 2nd on the Charlie Rose Show. Shepard’s Obey Giant work can be viewed at his site, and his commercial work can be found at Studio Number One.


For those who are unfamiliar with his work, Shepard has been influencing pop culture since 1989 when he came onto the scene with his early Andre the Giant screen printing.  Personally, Shepard’s work has influenced my own artistic direction since high school when my good friend Eric Freedman (now at Modernista) gave me one of the early “Andre The Giant Has A Posse” stickers.  Since then, I have followed his work and have purchased several of his original pieces.  Recently, the buzz around Shepard has been associated with his Obama Hope poster, which then lead to a commission and then donation by art collectors Heather and Tony Podesta to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery.

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Our good friend Gary Hedrick of Elefhantworks (who has also been working with the studio as our in-house designer) played a show the other night at the Middle East in Cambridge, MA.  Richard and I went in to cover the show, and I thought I would talk briefly about the “down and dirty” lighting with SB-900 Nikon flash in tandam with the Nikon SU-800 Commander.

This is a trick I was exposed to when I taught down at the DINFOS workshop from my colleague Joe McNally and has been discussed at length by both Joe, and also David Hobby of Strobist.  Both of these guys have posted many many great articles about how they approach this technique with far better skill than I, so I wont get too into the process other than to point out how easy it was to use the system.  I must admit, if I am working on a commercial job and need portability, there is no question that I would much rather be working with my Profoto‘s for many reasons.  But for this instance of wanting to work casually in a bar setting late at night with minimal gear, the Nikon Creative Light System fit the bill.

(I must also give credit where credit is due and admit that even after Joe explained how to work the 900 and Commander together, I totally spaced and had to call up my friend and fellow photographer Tom Sperduto and have him remind me of just how simple it is to use.  Thanks Tom….)

You can learn more about using the Nikon system here at Joe’s blog, and also here at David’s blog.

Anyway… With the SU-800 on top of the camera, I was able to set the SB-900 on its side resting on an amp up on stage.  This allowed me to walk wherever I wanted and shoot freely.  Great set Gary!

SB-900 loosly placed on stage

SB-900 loosley placed on stage

gh2_2465Over the weekend, we got the whole crew together and shot the principal footage for our first annual holiday video.  The short is basically a going to be a spoof of an early 90’s music video where we all sing “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” by the Eurythmics.

The entire film will be in slow motion whilst singing the song in real time.  To do this, we imported the song into Final Cut, sped it up %200, and made an audio film with time code.  To make it easier to listen to, Richard then decreased the pitch so Annie Lennox’s voice was close to normal, but sped up much faster.

The first step was to do testing so that we could figure out how to do the effect.  By the third test, we had it down pat.




The .mov file was then uploaded to our server so we could all practice singing the lyrics at a faster rate.

You can see that clip here… Give it a second or two (actually 10 sec as we needed a blank leader to work with)




Of course, the day had to start before the sun came up, so Richard and I met at the studio at 6AM to prep and gather gear.  At 7:30 the rest of the guys showed up, and we headed over to the playground in Cohassett, MA.

All told, we had six of us.  Richard (runs our video post production department and assists,) myself, Chris (my first assistant,) Andy Locke (a good friend and client from Linear Air,) Chris Hren (my brother) and Gary (our newest member (co-founder of Elefantworks) and is now our in-house designer and creative director.)




Richard came up with a pretty cool idea.  We exported the song in a .mov file with time code to the iPhone.  I ran over to Walmart and picked up an Orbit-MP3 by Plantronics.  This is a battery operated speaker, and the idea was to have the music come right from the front of the camera in a portable fashion as we filmed.  To do so, we stuck some industrial Velcro to the top and side of the matte box of the Sony HVR-Z7u.  The speaker was stuck to the side, and the iPhone was stuck to the top.




At the beginning of each take, we placed the iPhone screen in the shot, captured the time code, and then shot the take.  This allowed us to easily sync up the music in the timeline.


From there, it was just zaniness.  We each sang the song 3 or 4 times into the camera, and then ran around playing in the playground for some “B” roll footage.   Keep an eye out for the final film.

Its not like we have the time to devote 40 hours to editing a holiday film, but I thought it would be worthwhile, and that our clients would get a kick out of it, so I put Richard on it!


Chris Hren (R) and Andy Locke (L)

Chris Hren (R) and Andy Locke (L)





Stay tuned!!!!

I just got a sketch from our good friend Gary Hedrick from Elefantworks.  He is going to do one of his crazy cool paintings based on a photo I had shot out at Burning Man.

Thanks Gary for choosing one of my photos to work from.  You rock!!!

Here is his sketch and the photo it was based on…

Preliminary sketch by Gary

Preliminary sketch by Gary

My photo from Burning Man

My photo from Burning Man


August 2020