The power of the personal relationship is a great way to forge and strengthen your path to future opportunities. Case in point, Ransom & Mitchell had the pleasure of showing at Patrick Kahn’s gallery Snap! in Orlando, Florida as part of the Art Attacks co-curated show this summer. Stacey made her way back to where she spent the bulk of her childhood and had an opportunity to hang out with Patrick a bit. One of the subjects they touched on was about my new nude series Dream Away. It was my impression that he would enjoy the work, and that hopefully the aesthetic would fit in with his offerings (or at least he could help point in the right direction).
Turns out my gut was correct, he responded well to the series and has asked for three pieces to be in a selection of contemporary photography showing along side All About Warhol at CU-1 Gallery in Miami, Florida. The reception is Friday, September 19th from 7pm to 10pm — please stop by if you get the chance. I’m quite pleased that so far this series has been finding open doors in the fine art world.
Excellent news came in the other day that I have been selected as a finalist for Photolucida’s Critical Mass 2014. I submitted the Dream Away series with a great edit of the available works that I’ve pulled together so far. From here, my portfolio will be reviewed by 200 industry folks as they consider the individual merits of each of the finalists. The idea behind it is to generate a load of exposure for the artists, and put them in front of a number of the people guiding the industry today. This includes art periodicals, fine art galleries, photography festivals, photo editors, book publishers, and other people of note.
I must thank my friend Rudi Dundas for pointing me to Critical Mass in the first place, as an important opportunity to get my work into the world arena. This is part of the the importance of having personal relationships with your peers. The cost of a refreshing beverage can introduce you to wonderful new ideas, and encourage you to try and open a few new doors. Huzzah for clinking glasses.
I’ve been working on a new nude series this year called Dream Away. The images are light, floaty, dreamy if you will, and capture a certain otherworldly spirit. These started off as an ethereal vision that I had floating in my mind, something that I wanted to materialize. I was also drawn to it as it seemed like a project I could mull over, shoot a few sessions, play with it a bit, shoot more — something that I could both explore different facets of, while refining a core thread of the series. Already I have a decent idea of a concrete variant that may become it’s own series to develop.
Part of the inspiration for the series was to approach them much in the same way as a pencil sketch — focusing on an interesting form, developing strong lines, and letting other elements go. The technical approach is more subtractive that additive, in that I begin with a full figure and reduce it to the core spirit. This is augmented by the use of blur to let certain elements go, while employing careful dodging of the image to continue to draw the eye in.
The results are beginning to get some notice, and I’ll be showing one next month at ModernBook Gallery in SF as part of the APA SF Curator’s Voice show. I’ve already received a positive response on the series as a whole from the guys at MB and am looking forward to them possibly handling a few more pieces in the months to come.
We have been enjoying a rush of showings at the moment, with three major ones hanging in October. As this spooky time of year approached, we were hit up to help celebrate the season with our fine art work.
Anthony Luzi at Bash Contemporary put together a great group show Hallow Be Thy Game that mixed our digital art with that of Larissa Kulik, Danny van Ryswyk, and the dolls of Stefanie Vega. In this show, we presented our largest printed work to date: a 60″ x 40″ of It Will Be Ours ornately framed — the details in the piece were stunning to see. Kaytee Papusza brought in a model to wear her fabulous dress during the opening, and Doug from SaveNature.org arrived with a collection of the insects used in the piece for everyone to handle and enjoy.
I’ve been working on a figurative nude series in the studio that I think is coming of age. It’s contorting the nude form to challenge the acceptance of physical beauty and idea of eroticism. I’ve been having a great deal of fun working with all sorts of models on this unconventional concept, and the models have been enjoying doing a little some thing different. You can see a gallery of images on this site.
The added bonus is that this work has been informing my other processes and helping to hone and shape ideas. And I feel an adaptation developing that can make it even more surreal (and I do hope so). 🙂
Stacey discovered a great paper for these to print on … Moab Slickrock Metallic. It’s a metallic ink jet paper that lets the high end of the contrast remain reflective. It gives the highlights an absolutely dimensional feel. If you’d like to see them, there is a book at our show at Varnish Fine Art … just ask.
We’re prepping up for our artist portrait of Charmaine Oliva, and in exploring ideas figured this was both a still and motion portrait. Her work consists of lovely young ladies in luscious tones on dark, velvety backgrounds. She has a show coming up at Shooting Gallery that further helped to guide our look and feel to keep it relevant. The resulting approach to her motion portrait includes tight captures of shallow depth of field, moody motion, and over cranking. In other words, the perfect opportunity to do a really good work up on our new Epic.
The camera is set up for 4K over cranking (so no lens match math) up to 96 fps, more than enough for most of our needs. The smaller body and configuration will allow me to move the camera faster, closer, lower and with less effort. And with the new SSD drives I won’t have to worry about the drive hanging off, being in the way, or taking a knock and dropping frames. (I also took this opportunity to upgrade our Red to SSD for many of the same reasons.)
I will give a bit of handheld a turn in this, but without the side module and another handle config I fear this will be less than its ideal config for this. As we’re just capturing little scenes I’ll most likely just use the top handle, as balanced as I can manage, for most of this work. I’d also like to see the Nikon mount come to fruition so I can take advantage of my Nikon G series lenses. These fast, good looking primes could make a super lightweight, full-frame setup. And I could get this whole rig in a 1650 case to make transport easy.
So this brings me to the other part of the equation, matching up the pulled stills from the Epic with the digital captures from my Nikon D3x. Red swears by the application of the Epic for still photos (of course they do, it’s their job). But they have focused on its editorial use which requires a smaller capture than what my 24.5 megapixel D3x is capable of. I am more interested in how big these can blow up to for commercial and fine art application. Bigger often equals more money, especially for fine art. We’re already looking at switching our personal fine art work over to medium format so we can get larger print sizes from it. I know Red trotted out Peter Lik and his stitched landscapes, but — believe it or not — I usually want to capture our images in one frame as often as possible. This part of my test will be easy as I’ll pull a frame and hand it over to Stacey. I’ll get the feedback soon enough on how she’s able to push the pixels around.
My assumption going in are that for some instances the epic will be fine for both still and motion like in our portrait of Rachel Brice for Coilhouse 06 — perhaps also in small commercial applications. But even so, I may still favor the compact, lightweight, higher res, uncompressed RAW of my D3x. Especially as I’ve grown more fond of Lightroom’s RAW processing speed and ability, even on my older laptop. I’ve taken to doing a good push on the shaping and exposure control there in RAW before dumping it in Photoshop for cleanup and finishing.
Keep an eye on Tumblr for the fruits of our adventures with Charmaine and the Epic.