A Contrast In Altitudes

On a recent visit to Palm Springs California, I spent a day hiking and photographing the local landscape.  In the morning, I started out on the desert floor.  The temperature was already in the 90′s and quickly got hotter.  By the end of that hike, it was well over 100 degrees.  The topography reflected this harsh environment with dry river beds, dusty trails and desert plants struggling to survive.

I did eventually come upon an oasis of sorts, a waterfall and shallow pond with cool water from the mountains above.  I had been to this location before, and knew this would offer some relief from the heat.

After spending several minutes cooling off and enjoying the magnificent views, the arduous task of hiking back was underway.  The second half of this journey rewarded me with wonderful photographic possibilities to the point where I almost forgot about the heat!  I loved the way the light fell on the incredible rock formations lending to such visual interest and shadow play.

Later that afternoon, I took the Palm Springs Aerial Tram up into the mountains.  It’s a two and a half mile ride, elevating 8500 feet above the desert floor to pristine wilderness.

Here the temperature was at least 30 degrees cooler, and the topography was much different.  Pine trees replaced the cactus.  Lush grassy plains replaced the dusty desert floor.  The wildlife was abundant with birds and squirrels galore.  It seemed like Spring was in the air.

Photographing this area was a much different experience than what my morning hike produced.  It was fun to experience such a contrast in a short span of time, and I was rewarded with a diverse set of images.

Posted in Landscape Photography Tagged , , , , |

Heidi

Some of my favorite projects involve working with athletic models.  It’s fascinating to me to document,  in an artistic way, the human form in top physical condition.  For the model, to capture the results of their training and dedication can be quite rewarding as well.

I have worked with body builders, runners, dancers, gymnasts and the like with wonderful results.

When you have an opportunity to photograph a subject who is not only athletic, but also possesses natural beauty and abundant enthusiasm, the results can be magical.  That is the case with my recent project featuring Heidi, a wonderful model referred to me through a mutual friend.

As a runner and yoga enthusiast, Heidi has honed her physique into a lean and statuesque form.

Capturing classic figure studies was a given as part of our project, and I feel the results were quite successful.

I also wanted to challenge her with some emotive portraiture (something that can be difficult for new models),

and even a water set (which she took to in a spirited way!).

I really enjoyed our creative session, and feel there is more to accomplish in future collaborations.  I certainly look forward to our next project.

Posted in Artistic Nude Photography, Figure Study Tagged , , , , |

Brooke Lynne

In September of 2009, I had the pleasure of working with Brooke Lynne, one of the most sought after and gifted figure models in the art community.  

Brooke is from Minnesota, but is always traveling throughout the United States and Europe.

She contacted me as she was planning a trip through Ohio, and wondered if I would like to work with her.  Of course I was honored, and jumped at the opportunity!

She is passionate about her modeling, and always gives her all.  Brooke is the type of model that requires very little direction.

Given a very basic concept,  she will explore so many facets that the original idea can become something that one has never imagined.

I just love this type of collaboration, as all involved contribute to the final creation.

Brooke has been featured in many publications by several wonderful artists as well as gallery exhibitions.

She is truly ant artist’s muse, and I look forward to the day that we can create together again.

Posted in Artistic Nude Photography, Figure Study Tagged , , , , |

Claudine

During the Summer of 2009, I was contacted by Chicago based model Claudine about possibly collaborating on a project.

She’s a professional commercial print model by trade, but is also well-known in the art community for her fantastic work as a figure model.

She was planning on doing some boating in Michigan during the Summer, and thought we could work together during one of her visits.

I was familiar with her work and just loved her natural grace, flexibility and ability to create dramatic images.

The fact that she trained in classical dance was a huge bonus.  I knew I could not pass up the opportunity to see what we could create together.

Upon meeting her, I found Claudine to be  professional, yet very down to earth and friendly.   Additionally, she was extremely photogenic!  She knew just how to pose to create beautiful lines in a seemingly effortless manner.

Her passion for the arts was clear with every concept we explored.   She contributed immensely by expanding on basic ideas to create a true collaboration.

Posted in Artistic Nude Photography, Figure Study, Modern Dance Tagged , , , , , |

The Classic Figure Study

Being a fine art photographer, I always struggle between trying to create something unique and new verses paying homage to the classics.

I have a huge admiration for contemporary photographers who forge ahead with creative visions all their own.  At the same time, I  wish to emulate the styles of the old masters.

Legends such as Edward Weston, Ruth Bernhard , Horst P. Horst and others have influenced me tremendously.

I suppose that since my photography is produced utilizing today’s technology in the digital realm, it is a far cry from how the classics were made.  It is in the spirit of these old masters however, that I often find my creative energy.

This is particularly true when it comes to the figure study.

Exploring how light and shadow fall on the nude subject can bring almost endless possibilities, exposing textures and forms in such a way as to create a human landscape.

It is a very basic approach to art nude photography, but I find the results quite rewarding.

Posted in Artistic Nude Photography, Figure Study Tagged , , , , |

Voodoo Lily

Last night, I had the opportunity to photograph a Voodoo Lily.  It’s a flowering plant from the genus Amorphophallus.

The term Amorphophallus originates from the Greek amorphos, meaning deformed and phallos, meaning male sex organ (I’m not making this up!).

It has a most unusual jungle-like appearance with intense dark colors, wonderful textures and beautiful flowing shapes (a perfect photographic subject!).

The most striking feature however, is that the Voodoo Lily emits a pungent and intense odor of rotting flesh.

Apparently, flies and other insects are attracted to this stench of decay thinking that they are in for a meal.  Instead, they inadvertently provide pollination services for the flowers.

Within minutes of bringing the plant into my studio, the smell of death permeated throughout.

I spent about an hour photographing the Lily, mostly using the technique of light painting  (using a small flashlight to illuminate the plant during 30 second exposures) . Before long, I just couldn’t take it anymore!  I hastily wrapped up the session and cleared the plant out of my studio.

It was a very unpleasant experience during the process, but I think the results were worth my sacrifice!

Posted in Floral Still Life Tagged , , , , |

Primal Performance

Whenever I work with the beautiful and talented Marlo  Dell’Antonio (model, actor, choreographer and dancer extraordinaire), I know I am in for an inspiring session.  She always brings wonderful ideas to the shoot, and our latest project was no exception.

Marlo has a love for the dramatic, so when she asked me if I would mind getting the studio a little dirty, I was certainly intrigued.

Inspired by the choreography of modern dance legend Pina Baush,  Marlo wanted to pay homage to Baush’s interpretation of “Le Sacre Du Printemps“.

After spreading several bags of potting soil on the studio floor, I set up some lights, backed out-of-the-way (camera in hand!) and became speechless as Marlo did her thing!

Her expressive performance was raw, powerful and positively primal.  Just what I would expect from this talented artist.

Without a doubt, every collaboration with Marlo has been amazing.  I look forward to future projects as well.

To view more images of Marlo’s performance, visit my Facebook page.                                                   Also on Google Plus!

Posted in Modern Dance Tagged , , |

Raelyn: The Shoot That Almost Didn’t Happen

I’ve admired the work of local model, Raelyn for some time.  Her portfolio is quite diverse, and she has a propensity for the unusual.

What strikes me the most however,  is her  inclination to create noteworthy images.  I thought she would be a perfect collaborator in creating beautiful art.

We had been in contact back and forth for some time, but for one reason or another, we could not get together on a project.

Then unfortunately, she moved away.  I thought I had lost my chance.

In the Spring of 2008, Raelyn contacted me and said that she would be visiting the area for a couple of days and wondered if we could arrange a shoot.  Finally, we settled on a date for what I anticipated would be a wonderful project.

Three days before our shoot however,  Raelyn informed me that she was having some sort of allergic reaction to something which resulted in some swelling and a rash on her face.  I thought our plans were doomed again!

By the day of our shoot, things had fortunately cleared up enough that she was willing to give it “a go”.

The results were everything that I had hoped for, and then some.

I have since lost contact with Raelyn, but have hopes that she will make her way to my studio once again.

Posted in Artistic Nude Photography Tagged , , , , |

Kaleidosmoke

As a kid, I always loved the psychedelic art that was so popular with the counter-culture of the late 1960′s and early 1970′s.   Although I was too young to understand the LSD laden roots that inspired this art, my bedroom resembled a hippie hangout.  I had it all:  Black lights, a Lava lamp, one of those fiber optic lamps that would change color, a rotating lamp that projected moving patterns across the wall,  and of course; psychedelic posters.   Under the influence of nothing but music through my headphones, I would sit for hours and get lost in the wonderment of all this visual stimuli.

I’m sure this background had some influence on my latest series: “Kaleidosmoke”.

It all started with some photographs of smoke that I was making for another project.

From there, I added some brilliant colors to the mix.

Lastly, with Photoshop as a tool, I gave it that psychedelic effect that I loved so much as a kid.

Well, I must admit:  I still love it!

Posted in psychedelic art Tagged , , , |

Visions Of Xaina

It was April of 2008.  A group of local photographers and models got together throughout Detroit to create what we called the “Photography Jam Sessions”.

It involved fourteen photographers, fourteen models, eight locations over four days.  All the models and photographers planned out who they would work with, at what time and where.  From there, it was a collaboration of artistic visions that resulted in wonderfully diverse results.

Several of us met up at an incredible Bed and Breakfast for a day long shoot throughout the   property.  These images are just a small sample of the results from my work with the beautiful and talented model Xaina.

I first simply wanted to capture Xaina in various settings while allowing her grace to shine through.  It quickly became evident however, that Xaina was a bundle of energy and full of ideas.

We would start with a general concept, and just let the creativity flow from there.  It was a quick shoot, and I wish we had more time, but I was thrilled with the results.

For the following images, I simply had Xaina react to the music being played through the headphones. She really seemed to enjoy herself, and I loved capturing it all.  We called the series “Lost in the music”.

I call this next one “Through the Portal”. Xaina and I discussed portraying a ghost-like figure moving throughout a room. -The room itself being a passage to the spirit world.

We did some infrared photography as well.  I love the effect it had on Xaina’s hair.

Xaina’s enthusiastic efforts were a pleasure to capture. She really seems to love the process of taking on a roll and exploring the possibilities. I enjoyed every minute of our energetic session.

More results from my experience during the photographic jam session will be explored in future posts.

Posted in Artistic Nude Photography Tagged , , , , |
UA-35667603-1