Ace Jumper

During an impromptu trip to Phoenix, AZ (read previous blog posting) Matt and I decided to do a quick photoshoot of an idea I had floating in my brain. In my circle of close friends, Matt is the one we all live vicariously through when it comes to thrill-seeking. When I first met Matt I mainly knew that he liked to drive (very) fast on mountain roads. Then he got a sport bike… then a bigger sport bike… then he started playing with rattlesnakes, then he started sky diving, then he started learning how to fly a helicopter… and now what seems to be the creme of extreme, he started base jumping. I forget the number, but he’s well over 800 base jumps and aiming to clip 1000 by the end of the year. He’s the kid on the playground that would swing as high as he could and then jump out.

Trail Blazing with Rudy Napolitano

If you know me decently, you should know I’m a road bike enthusiast. So it was about time that I did a serious shoot with a local professional biker. Rudy Napolitano of Team Helen’s was my first victim. He suggested a local Malibu road for the shoot, and it was amazing to say the least. Remote, twisty, breath-taking views, and 1-way traffic. Perfect. The original pics came out great, but you know me, I had to take them over the top with some photoshop love. This is my take on road bike photography:

The Great Recession

Clinton has now been in front of my camera 3 times. Previously with a gritty downtown LA theme, and a cowboy/western theme. This time he wanted a fashion theme. I wasn’t sure what he was going to wear until he knocked on my door… Pointed black shoes, grey wool slacks, leather gloves, and a matching grey wool beret? 1920’s here we come! Which would go PERFECT with my loft’s atmosphere since it was built in the 1920’s and well maintained since then.

From neat to street

Time to break in my new AlienBee lights (1 ABR800, 2x AB1600), and trusty PocketWizard transmitters. I feel like I’m just picking up the camera and shooting cars 5 years ago, and feel that inspiration and drive once again. So now it’s shoot shoot shoot shoot shoot shoot. Not all of my shots will be exactly what I want, but eventually I’ll get closer to that goal.

Ripping up Los Angeles Streets

Clinton Thompson’s everyday outfit usually consists of a bright pastel polo with plaid shorts and sandals. Easily one of the nicest guys I know. And oddly enough we’re the same height, weight, and he moved from South Carolina (Greenville) to LA just like me! Yes we knew each other before moving to LA. Small world.

This shoot was my first model photoshoot that felt real… As in… fully charged my equipment, scout locations, thought of a direction for the shoot, and had great help from my assistant Lauren and photo buddy John Batte. For the shoot I primarily used an Alien Bees ABR800 for main light, and a Canon 580ex for fill light. The goal for the shoot was to turn a real world nice guy into a gritty bad guy. Enough babbling, here are some untouched images:

The location had a power plant in the background, wicked power lines, and a pile of pavement rubble… All a few miles from downtown Long Beach, CA. The sun was just right to get a beautiful graduated sky. Cali never disappoints with pleasant weather and even more pleasant sunsets.

OK so even though I loved the location, and the sun was just right, I was still sticking to my original art direction of compositing him into a badass city background. Again the main goal of the shoot was to turn Clinton from a J. Crew model into a gritty character:

Look familiar?

Some dust added, with downtown LA in the background.

This shot is a compilation of about 8 different photos. No streets were harmed in the making of this image. Take a look below for some of the main images used.

All in a nights work… well maybe less if my computer had more RAM! I must say the most challenging part was distressing the pavement where his feet and hands once were.

All smiles after the shoot is done! See I wasn’t lying about us being the same height/weight!… though he could probably beat me in arm wrestling.

(Fashionable) Cowboy Up

OK right off the bat, I wasn’t jumping out of my chair when my buddy Clinton Thompson (great name) suggested doing a cowboy photoshoot. His enthusiasm for modeling an old west theme won me over. SO, first things first, LOCATION! This is where having the hobby of road biking comes in handy. You get to see all these places you’d never see whizzing by 50mph in a car. I’ve had this oil refinery in my back pocket for a couple of months, and I’ve been itching to have a good reason to shoot there. Bingo. This place had everything; old trucks, graffiti, steel buildings, oil rigs, dead vegetation… all of which looks like it’s been there for ages.