Tuesday, August 23, 2011

There are enough hours...

"There are enough hours — you just need to figure out how to use them to make your dreams into reality." - Janie Hewson (Marketing Creatives)

It always seems like the opposite of the above quote is true. Being busy can drain the life out of you, and the next second you look at the clock, the day's over and what was accomplished? Probably quite a bit, but always seems as if you needed more time.

This blog post, and the posting of any blog entry is one of those things that I always find the time to NOT do. To post-pone blogging for a couple of months is alright if you haven't anything to talk about.

There is one photographer that I've been itching at assisting for the past year, and it is definitely an opportunity I'd like to share.

Do you know what it feels like to pursue someone, after multiple meetings, phone calls, emails and to finally get the job? I'm pretty sure thats called marketing, am I right Janie?

What you sort of learn in school is how to market, but not always being taught how long marketing to someone can take. In this instance, almost an entire year to finally assist Tom Bonner, another Brookie who photographs architecture (Tom Bonner Photography)

How'd I manage that?  I had known who Tom was since I started getting into architecture photography and had been referred to him by one of my professors, Rob Winner, who had went to school with Tom.  I started calling him back in early 2010, and just two weeks ago did I finally get to assist him.

The project was an awesome school down in South-Central LA, not one of the neighborhoods I'd enjoy driving through, but I'll go anywhere if its for some cool architecture.

What makes an alright overcast day into a great day?  The sun coming out just in time, the project being modern, a great easy to talk to and active photographer, and finally, a client that helps move chairs, tables, books, and gives great input into every shot.

We got all the shots, the tripod never got bumped, and most importantly we had fun the entire day!

I'm looking forward to seeing what more LA has to offer both architecturally and photographically.  I am here to stay.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Blogger just released a mobile device feature for your templates to be able to be easily read and viewed on mobile devices!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dome Rock

Down time. I recently had the amazing opportunity to visit and stay in the beautiful city of Blythe, CA. Never heard of it? Neither had I until there happened to be an architectural project located there.

If you don't know where Blythe is, let me give you a little insight. Located in the middle of nowhere about 2 hours outside of Palm Springs, and 3 hours away from Phoenix, AZ it lies on the border of California and Arizona…a desert. That's where I was stranded for 3 days! From what I'd heard about Blythe, it usually is a truck stop for truckers or a pit stop to get gas before one heads into the outskirts of Arizona. Blythe was my destination!

The shoot had been postponed due to an unpredictability of low cloud cover and the early Wednesday school schedule that would have deprived our shoot of all the little kids that needed to be in our photographs. What do to in Blythe, CA? There is a really cool diner, some geoglyphs (whatever those are), and a movie theater…that was out of business.

I would have to say with 20,000 people living in Blythe, the only thing to do is drive aimlessly into Arizona and explore the desert. What's great about not knowing where you're going or doing, you always find interesting and creative adventures.

Ours was rock climbing!l We climbed Dome Rock to the very top to see the mountainous and desert terrain. Running into cacti and dodging rattle snakes weren't the only high points of the climb. Stumbling into a desert tortoise, finding a very deep man-made tunnel, and climbing steep rock to get to the peak made our trip out to Blythe worthwhile.

(Dome Rock, Quartzsite, AZ)
(Sagurao Cactus, Dome Rock, Quartzsite, AZ)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sodium Vapor

I discovered something new today.  It came to me because I was retouching an image that happened to only be illuminated by one high pressure sodium vapor light directly in front of the building.

Have you ever shot sodium vapor and tried to correct for it?  I have but not to this extent.  What do you do when you don't know anything about sodium vapor lights?  Google it.

I came across a forum on dpreview.com or something of the sort that pointed me in the right direction to correct my white balance.  Well not particularly, but it did give me the idea to play with the RAW files in Adobe Camera Raw and use the HSL/Grayscale section.

In order to even get started with correction, I had to know what colors sodium vapor produces when it is fully warmed up, and that is where the forum came in.  I knew Sodium Vapor was orange, but didn't know the light has a hell of a lot of yellow.

After a couple of different techniques in ACR to get the orange/yellow out, I finally figured it out.  Reading that SV lights are around 2100-2700K a very cool light temperature almost approaching that of a candle flame.  2700K looks disgusting so I decided to jump up to 3350K, why?  Because it looked the best.  Color temperature in ACR can only correct for 4 colors, blue, yellow, green, and magenta.  What it doesn't do is only take out yellow and keep blue.

This is the magical part of my 3 hour retouching adventure.  Take 3350K one step further and desaturate under the HSL section, all the yellow, and for my situation -30 orange.  That was only the beginning as there was still a ton of orange on the asphalt, which I used just a simple HS layer and desaturated and masked back in the parking lot.

Thank goodness for the Internet enabling me to search for sodium vapor light color correction and the knowledge I gained from spending 3 hours in front of a computer, blending, retouching, color correcting, and more retouching.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The City of Goodwill

I never got to appreciate Washington for what it was when I lived there for 20 years. After moving to California I only got to go back up north every so often. Just recently I had the opportunity to visit and work in Seattle, a city I haven't really spent much time in.

1 block away from the job site, 2 blocks away from the Space Needle and the Frank Gehry EMP, and 5 blocks away from one of the best places to eat in Seattle, The Hurricane Cafe, or simply, "The 'Cane."

Most of the trip was spent assisting a photographer for a ceiling manufacturer that had product up in Seattle needing to be photographed. Ceilings? How cool can that be right? It was awesome!! The site is under construction, so the entire time shooting we had to specifically wear a hard hat, steel toed boots, pants, safety vest, and safety goggles.

I had never been on a construction site until this past week, especially one that was just about ready to be turned over. On all floors we had to wear booties for our boots and use the Honey Bucket's outside of the complex. What a great experience to have stepped in a building before hundreds of people that will be working there.

On top of all the regulations we had to abide by, we were given very strict security guidelines since we weren't involved with the construction company. What would you do if the head night foreman didn't think you were suppose to be holding a photo shoot? Pull out the hard copy email that has the most recent dates and correspondence with all of our contacts!  That is exactly what happened to us, at the end of the first day of shooting.

Seattle is simply another amazing city that I have had the pleasure to live in for longer than a day and experience the Emerald City.  Getting to see family and friends while enjoying great food, extremely nice people, and not seeing the sun for a week was an enjoyable get away from the City of Angels.

BGF, Seattle, WA from the Space Needle. nbbj/Sellen

Monday, March 14, 2011

Who's Hungry??

February was a hard month. A different lifestyle in Downtown Los Angeles.

I was able to assist for a different style of photography, food photography. A goal for me as a freelance photographer assistant is to help photographers in a variety of photographic applications.

Since the beginning of March, I have had the privilege to assist food and beverage photographer, 
Lew Robertson in his studio. The great thing about the Internet is that there are so many resources to find good photography. Work Book is where I came across Lew's work. 

Turns out he's a Brookie!

I had a lot of fun being on set and learning an entirely new studio, new equipment and new ways of lighting both food and beverages.  I enjoyed myself because there are so many technical aspects of photography that overlap between the different genres such as food and architecture photography.

Being aware of the different genres of photography is very much similar to a student of architecture being familiar with the various styles of design.  In order for anyone to acknowledge a specialty and become a professional, there needs to be an awareness as to what others are doing in their profession and how they are succeeding and getting business.

Two completely different professions such as architecture and photography have a tremendous amount of similarities from going to school, interning with a successful business within the industry you're going into, and ultimately becoming your own successful business.

The month of March has already brought about a good amount of assisting work, lets hope that the rest of the month plays out positively.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A New Home

 Here’s some introduction as to who the heck I am, and where I came from.  Hailing from the southeastern corner of Washington State, I came from a desert.  A desert?  Isn’t Washington mostly evergreen trees with rain and snow?  HA!  We see snow during winter, rain during fall, flowers blooming during spring, and HOT dry heat during summer.  Why do people think it rains a lot? Seattle.  Kennewick, WA, population roughly 60,000, is where I was born and raised.

What I care about most about my background and what makes me who I am is how I was raised. I was given guidance but, with a lot of freedom.  My parents supported my ideas without dictating who they wanted me to be. 

When I arrived in Santa Barbara, I was stunned by the beauty of the place.  School in Paradise was amazing. Then I graduated.

Now I am -- Design-orientated. Polite. Well-behaved. Respectful. Responsible.  Hardworking.  And reasonably smart! --all by the age of 23.

LA. Los Angeles, California.  My new home. 

I am working my way up in the freelance assisting industry.  Assisting for product, architecture, people, and automotive photographers is the game.

I have cool dance moves but my main focus is directed more towards the creative industry of photography.

 Los Angeles, CA
Kennewick, WA


I've never been to any southern state besides Florida.  And I must say I am missing out on so much good architecture.

The mid-south states such as Texas are thriving in the architecture industry, where land is relatively cheap compared to the price per square foot in Los Angeles or New York.  That could be one reason why so many firms have offices there producing remarkable work.

I recently discovered the Wyly Theater in Dallas, TX.  An unbelievable building.  When viewing the images without looking where it was located, I immediately thought it was constructed somewhere abroad in Europe, China, or Korea.  These types of buildings are somewhat rare in the United States.

I'm sure there are so many regulations and panels of approval that a building must go through in order to begin construction.  The United States is extremely conservative on behalf of crazy, interesting, and unusual architecture.

Luckily, we still have a few people that love creativity and allow these types of buildings to be built here in the USA.

I can't wait to finally visit Dallas!

 Dee and Charles Wyly Theater, REX, OMA, Joshua Prince-Ramus

Sunday, February 13, 2011

In Your Own Backyard

It is amazing what one will find in their own backyard, let alone in your home town.

When I got into architectural photography, I didn't have a clue what kind of architecture I liked. I didn't know of any architects except for Frank Lloyd Wright and Frank Gehry (Experience Music Project).  The big hitters in the world of architecture, and both of them named Frank.

I lived in my hometown of Kennewick, WA for 20 years before I finally moved to Southern California for school and now my profession.  Being in one place for twenty years numbed me from seeing past the boring lifestyle in Kennewick which is part of a Tri-City area.

I didn't care about the architecture.  I had no interest or infatuation with buildings or interior design.  Furniture had no part in my life.  For the longest time I was satisfied with normal furniture, the type of furniture that isn't custom made and doesn't come from Herman Miller, Knoll, Design Within Reach, Modernica, etc.

It was crazy enough when I finally discovered the first modern building I wanted to photograph in Kennewick.  A 3-story, double building dermatologist building.

Now it has come down to an architect known as ZGF, based out of Portland, OR.  These guys are a huge award winning architect firm.  Designing projects associated with academics, healthcare, corporate, and much more, these guys are incredible!  Researching them a little bit, I found out that they designed the Kadlec Medical Center Critical Care Unit in Richland, one of the three cities in the Tri-Cities area.

This architect and many others that I am discovering are making me want to actually return to my hometown and rediscover what I couldn't when I lived there.  And interestingly enough, it could lead to working up in Seattle!

How amazing would that be!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Outdated Modern Masterpiece?

Who in god's name would ever think about remodeling this airport terminal?!  Eero Saarinen's TWA airport terminal has been closed for at least 10 years.  JetBlue replaced this terminal with a new Terminal 5, located directly behind this masterpiece.

I would like to know what people think is "outdated."  Maybe because it looks like a stealth bomber?  Or maybe because it is constructed of concrete where as most "modern" buildings today are in a race to get LEED certification; consisting mostly of glass, steel, and wood.

The word "outdated" is only established with the year this terminal was created: 1956.  Falling under the category of Mid-century Modernism only because it was constructed in the middle of the century.  What would people call this if it were constructed today?  Look at Zaha Hadid's, Chanel Mobile Art Pavilion, in New York City.  Obviously not the same type of building material but Hadid certainly didn't use any straight lines.  To me it looks like a spaceship.

Eero Saarinen's TWA terminal has been out of use for a 10 years.  Why?  I haven't the foggiest clue.  Now, it is in the process of potentially being turned into a hotel lobby that would be constructed in between it and the new Terminal 5.  Lets hope that whoever grabs this project won't completely ruin what Saarinen conceived of.

Zaha Hadid- Chanel Mobile Arts Pavilion, NY, NY
Eero Saarinen- TWA Terminal 5, JFK International Airport, NY

Monday, February 7, 2011

Compton anyone?

Church.  A place of peace and prosperity.  These are a couple of words that one might think of a church.  Somewhere people can gather and pray.  What happens when people abandon their church?  The best example is Rudolph Schindler's Bethlehem Baptist church in Los Angeles.

Rudolph Schindler was a master mid-century architect who designed a wide variety of buildings and homes.  One building still standing, Bethlehem Baptist church, is a historical-cultural monument in South LA, or at least should be.  According to the Cultural Heritage Commission, this church is the only mid-century modern building in South LA...

I have driven through South LA and I beg to differ because I have certainly driven through South LA and have seen quite a few mid-century modern structures.

Schindler is one of my heroic architects of modernism, and to see this building in shambles is hard to bare.

I have recently taken on a personal project for myself to photograph churches such as this one that are "modern" from mid-century to the present modern style of architecture today.  

This church of Schindler will certainly be one of the many churches LA has to offer in front of my lens.

Does anyone want to volunteer to repaint this church?

Rudolph Schindler Bethlehem Baptist Church, 4901 Compton Ave, Los Angeles, CA

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy NEW YEAR 2011!!!

Happy new year everyone! Its time to start the new year off right with a new blog post from the one and only: ME!

Things have been extremely slow with everyone being on holiday vacation and just now getting back to their computers to respond and ignore emails and phone calls.

My new years revolution: update my blog at least once a month with IMPORTANT information on what I am doing in both my photography and assisting work in Los Angeles!

Its going to be a tough year in 2011 but a fun and exciting one nonetheless.

I will be striving to become that pushy bird in the early morning that gets the first worm of the day.