Modern farming takes many shapes. The small farms I've been introduced to are fascinating. Some are urban farmers growing their own food or trading with friends, some sell at farmers market and others grow for restaurants. Most are a combination of all that.
Continuing on the farm theme. I am finding many young farmers in the the Bay Area who love what they do. What do they do? They farm small plots of land, for farmer's markets, restaurants and I am sure, a great deal of satisfaction. Sophie Bassin and Thomas Aaron Dinwoodie have one of these small plots in Sunol. They are #the new face of farming. These images are outakes fro a recent editorial shoot.
Up in Winters the farmland is everywhere. And many different crops.
I stumbled upon this field of safflower. Used for oil I believe.
This is back to the fields at the small farm run by Mike Madison. He is educating some young farmers on his land.
And some fruits of his labors.
Farming. It has many faces these days and they are ever changing. I have been spending some time with some local farmers and hearing their stories. I am getting the sense that people want to get out from behind their screens and back to the earth, simplicity and get their hands a bit dirty. Stay tuned for more.
This video shoot for Wallace Church's introduction to their new web site was so much fun. Everyone involved was terrific to work with, especially the young talent. We shot and edited the piece. I got to use my FS700 in super slo mo in a couple spots and Premier Pro CC is a dream to edit in.
I recently had the pleasure of shooting some modern cuisine with Chef Jordi Guillem of Spain at #theproducersloft. Check out my New Work page for some more examples of his delicious creations. This image is olive oil somehow encased in a spun sugar sac. Amazing!
Stay tuned for the video we shot!
We got a lot done on that sunny saturday. And we rolled with the punches… The orange shot here was shot outside in the open shade of the studio. The light seemed perfect for this deceptively simple shot. The marmalade canning shot proved to be a little complex and I even had to do some composting in post to remove fill cards. The light on the front of that spoon was the culprit.
I had the opportunity to do some shooting with the great stylist Leila Nichols who is represented by Aubri Balk. We had the idea of shooting some before and after images, playing with a light and dark surface. Shot with natural light I could not be happier with the results. Here is an example, there is more to come, so stay tuned!
Of course the above is a version. We would have been remiss if we didn't shot the carrots upright.
Back to my old world style still lives. (Is it lives or lifes? Auto correct thinks its lives… maybe it's just life?) A free afternoon in the studio. This is natural light. Again, the light here is just so terrific. It usually requires some modification and shaping but this time the only thing I did was to make the light source a bit smaller than the door, this gave it a more natural looking window light, with an "above" direction...
Berkeley Bowl Market always has terrific produce. The shear volume and beauty of the heirloom tomatoes was just too much for me to pass up. And you know what they say… the best camera is the one you have with you. (Shot on my iPhone.)
PDN put me in their top 10 picks. Pretty cool and in good company too.
Well, we hit Maine at just the right time. Beginning of August. Weather was brilliant. The waters calm and warm. Who knew Maine had such great beaches? I have been to Maine exactly once before. I was probably about my sons age. 10-11? From that trip I remember craggy coast, lobster and most of all blueberry pie. Not sure what my son will remember 40 years from now, but I suspect it will be the wide warm beach and the pick-up soccer game with the locals (Mainers). Even though they didn't have a club they took it pretty seriously! Me? I still like the blueberry pie.
I wanted this image to have as little retouching as possible in order to keep a more natural and organic feel, the drought is very real here is California. So here is my 12 step program.
1. Breathe. This one shot is going to take a lot of preparation and forethought. Sketch, visualize, make lists.
2.Hunt and Gather. This image evokes a natural feel. So we wanted a green surface and blue sky looking background. The green was the trickiest, and I ended up using a green grass mat for model trains and the like. Some shopping was required to get the proper vessel surface and good size plexi for the background. I also needed some monofilament line to hold the lid in its position. (The fine line was shopped out later.)
4. Collaborate. Many phone calls with the Art Director for guidance, inspiration, and collaboration.
5. Set-up. A day of painstaking set-up. Lighting will be tricky. Lots of reflections and at least 5 lights. 3 lights for the background. A soft box with a blue gel for the color wash, then two Picolites with snoots to shoot white light through the plexi and give a glow. This will be the primary light for the water. Two more Picolites for the foreground. Again I was attempting to get everything in one shot.
6. Test. I shot a test of the overall set up and lighting. Again, sending it off to the Art Director for input. I was good to go!
7. More set-up. Of course every little change on set requires tweaking of each light fill card etc. I flew in a large white card to give an overall fill on the set. Flanked on either side of the vessel was a large black flag. This creates contrast and cuts down on unwanted reflections and highlights.
8. More shopping. The pour needed to be just right -- large enough to give a nice looking pour but not so large that it would be impossible to hit the opening even time. That meant a trip to the store to find just the right thing top pour from… turned out I found a pitcher that worked just great when turned so the water flowed off the side instead of out the spout. Go figure.
9. Get technical. I use my Broncolor packs for this kind of shoot. The key is the fast flash duration. If you dial down the power you get a faster duration, so the water motion is stopped. Problem is you're on low power. I wanted to shoot at a little deeper focus, so I pumped up the ISO. This allowed me to shoot at f8.
10. Stand back and get wet. I actually shot this with one hand on my Nikon shooting in the continuous mode while my left hand was pouring into the jar.
11. Clean up and repeat.
12. In the end I used one image for the surface, one image for the pour and vessel, and one image for the background.
Very excited to be in my studio. It has beautiful north light. My favorite for shooting natural light in the studio. So I dug a few props put out my boxes and did a little shooting today.
We have been receiving eggs from a farmer that brings them direct to my son's school. Delicious and beautiful!
On a recent trip to Santa Cruz we had to try some purple ice cream at Loard's. The flavor is ube. Didn't tell me much from the name… so we gave it a try. I suggest you do the same!
Diffuse and specular. Just a couple of the "qualities of light". We have have been discussing all the qualities of light in my still life class. This week I decided to demo lighting a still life using different "hardnesses" of light..... Here are the fruits of my labor along with a couple set-up shots form my iPhone...