30 September 2007

To the Amateur

September didn't turn out like I had hoped. Two models, I had conversations with and interviews backed out and I didn't get to shoot anybody. My plans for outdoor shoots are about to end pretty soon when it gets cold. So my scouting trips may have to go on the back-burner til spring. Regardless, I will keep shooting though it may be more landscape and portraiture than nudes, but we will see. These things happen when you use amateur models, but thats okay. My business background has conditioned me to allow for shortages and mishaps. These are costs of doing business. So far business has been good, so I am okay.

I hope my would-be models get a look at this post and know that its all good. I am certain most photogs who use predominately amateurs understand that these things happen and for one reason or another models have to reconsider their commitments. I definately defend my use of the amateur. I love the initial shoot where the amateur seems to awaken for that first time in the lens of my camera. When I look through my viewfinder and release the shutter to capture that first image, I can see a dramatic difference between that moment and the last time my shutter actuates. I get to see a moment of courage triumph over fear AND that initial hesitancy from the realization that they are about to take a step into another realm of expression...the nude. In most cases, even models who are comfortable with their bodies experience that realization that they are about to reveal all to someone they really don't know very well, whom they trust to present them artistically and gracefully to the world. So even despite being slightly disappointed in not getting to shoot, let me take a moment to thank "the girl in the bookstore" in particular for at least being courageous enough to consider taking that step with me; and I thank all the amateur models who have worked with me for helping me present my dream works to everyone with an IP address.

In fact, these posted images are two of my first projects doing nudes. So here you get to check out Terrell in the beginning. Have I improved much? I certainly hope so. I wish I had the opportunity to shoot these women again just so they can get a much better quality of work than what they got from me at the time. Again, who knows.

27 September 2007

More on Zion

Tough week! I hadn't gotten to shoot all month. Two scheduled model interviews ended up having to cancel. Each of these ladies have some interesting styles that I had really looked forward to getting to shoot. The experience provided some content for a good blog post, but I am going save it for this weekend.

As promised, here are a few more pics of my hiking/scouting endeavors from this past weekend. I think I am going back out to do the original trail I had intended to do, up in Kolob Canyon, but the Rangers advised against it due to the recent rains. Angels Landing was my alternate. So this weekend I will revisit Kolob Canyons.

In the spirit of climbing and hiking large red rocks, I thought another image of Natalie would be in order. I intend to try to do some more work with her before it gets cold. I think I will still try to get some fresh faces, shapes, and looks first. Kolob was starting to get pretty chilly in Utah. The weather is already starting to change. I was actually glad I went with Angels Landing. They are both considered to be in Zion National Park, but Angels Landing was considerably warmer and I was not dressed for arctic conditions. Anyway, here's Natalie....Enjoy.

24 September 2007

Still Scouting...Angels Landing

This is probably the longest to date I have gone without posting. I blame it on a paper for a telecommunications class I had to write. Its gonna get worse, but I'll try to keep up with my postings for a least a two times a week update. Anyhoo, I have been scouting my butt off for potential photo sites. I have made my third trip to Zion Nation Park in Utah, which is about 2 hrs away from me. Last weekend, the 15th, I hiked the Emerald Pools trails. I liked them, but I have found that right now is not the best of time to shoot. Its a way too public place as everyone does those trails. I still had to see it so it wasnt a wasted trip. In fact, I am certain, I could get some shots in if I hit them early in the morning. The upper pool was the best place to shoot if you're going to attempt it.

This past weekend, the 23rd, I did Angels Landing. My initial goal was Taylor Creek Trail out at Kolob Canyons, but the rain had made the trails nasty, so we opted to turn around and head back towards the main entrance. Angels Landing kicked my butt and then some. Its about 4 miles round trip, but the ascent is ridiculous. It zig-zags straight up about 1500 feet before you even get to Angels Landing. If you can picture a mountain with the sides sheered off leaving a narrow strip that leads up to the top and rounds out to the other side...thats Angels Landing. I know the pic does it no justice but it gives you an idea. I will post some more pics of the trip later in the week. My girlfriend went with me this time after she got tired of me hitting the road without her so much. Ironically enough, her name is Angel. We joked that we didnt want the trail name to have any new meanings!


On another note, I have still been getting inquires about Trisha, but I have also gotten a few about this girl in the water. Many like her vivaciousness. Someone said the photo was refreshing! This was done with a friend I dont have much contact with anymore, so I probably wont have any more pics of her in the near future, but who knows. If I get the chance to shoot her again, rest assured I will. I didn't get many good shots with her. I did maybe two rolls with her for a spontaneous shoot. I guess you can tell by looking at her that she'd be like that. In the meantime, I will try to get word to her that she's been reqested and see if we can make it happen. See, I try to accomodate.

16 September 2007

A Morning with Dave Rudin

This was indeed a good weekend. I need to give my sincerest thanks to Dave Rudin for making it so. I was pleasantly surprised to get an email from Dave last Sunday informing me he would be in town and asked me to breakfast on Saturday. All week was a build-up to that morning. Don't get me wrong...I am not the sort to idolize celebrities and swoon over any experience to be close to them. I don't think Dave sees himself as a celeb, but he has been one of the photogs who's work and blog postings, (Figures of Grace) I have tracked on nearly a daily basis. I began to identify with his photographs originally because of his dedication to the use of film in a world that is increasingly becoming digital. Also, I can see my work developing closest into what his already is moreso than any other creative work I know. In fact, you can see some of his best work in the premier issue of the NEW MAGAZINE Carrie Leigh's Nude: The Art of Women, that has just been released in the newsstands. So pick up a copy and check it out.

So, as you can imagine, it was a high point in my photographic endeavors to receive such an invitation from someone of his credentials. We spent about 4 hours having breakfast and discussing photo. I tend to have to guard against overwhelming someone with photo-speak. This was not the case with Dave. He gave just as well as he got. Four hours passed as if it was one. I had a goal of wanting to listen more than speaking but Dave didn't let this turn into a monologue where he lectured like a mentor schooling a pupil. He was charming in his mannerisms. He was polite and treated me like a peer. He called again this evening just to wish me well and to expect return visits in the near future.

What did I take away from this experience? First, it was a dramatic outlet which I seldom get. I am not amongst a pool of photog fanatics here in Vegas. There is a big difference between the photography resources and communities in New York and that of Las Vegas. I got to talk photo and get advice from someone who knows the deal. Second, I gained a friend. Thirdly, I got an experience that I won't forget. I can tell you he speaks highly of his friend Dave Levingston. Dave L.'s name was referenced often when it came to advice Dave R. wanted to pass on that did not include his own personal experience or when he wanted to lend more creditablity to his own. I can imagine I'll tend to do the same using Dave R. as my source. I can most respect the fact that Dave took the time to get to know an up and coming photog and admirer and offer some help and inspiration. Anyone can send an email with advice. Dave showed up.

15 September 2007

Email subscription confirmations...click yes!

This is just a quick update....

If you have signed on as a customer for my website, I have taken the liberty of switching you over to my blog email update notification system. You will get a confirmation email to complete the process at which point you will be added to the my blog list. I chose not to do newsletters by which I would let everyone know of updates and new information from my website. At any time you choose, you can always UNSUBSCRIBE and just visit my blog when you want. I just think this is much easier to work with than using a newsletter. I also enjoy the blogging process more. You are still listed as a customer on my site which affords you the opportunity to use the lightbox feature as well as the ability to have a private gallery assigned to your log-in name. So click the confirmation link to recieved the email notifications or if you so choose, just disregard the email all together. In the meantime, stay tuned for my next entry. I had a good day today. I got to spend almost an entire morning with a noted and celebrated photog. Stay tuned!

14 September 2007

Too Hard at Work

Nothing real important to post right now. I just have this insatiable need to shoot somebody...with a camera, that is. I have just been working as a project manager for a short term project, but its taking a lot of time out of my day. I like it all except for the drive out there. I work with a great bunch of people who are dedicated to getting the job done. I have just not had time to set up a shoot. Now its the weekend and I don't have one planned. I should be spending the time doing a paper for my final telecommunications class. I got my MBA last year and have this last class left for another masters of science in Telecom Sys Mgmt. Instead, I am spending the weekend at Mt Zion again to hike all 3 levels of the Emeral Pools. Insane, I know. My paper is due next Friday. Enjoy these shots of Natalie from my last shoot.

13 September 2007

Childhood memories

A couple of days ago, I was in a discussion with a co-worker about writing endeavors. She was telling me about a young adult book she was in the process of writing. I write as well. I do poetry, short stories, and oh yeah...a blog. Her tale brought to memory a story I was in the process of writing when I was in the 7th or 8th grade. I had gotten deep into the plot when I left the spiral bound notebook on a church pew while on an out of town visit with family over the summer. My mom had no idea of what this notebook meant to me. I begged her to turn the car around but this didnt happen. My story was lost and there was no reproducing it. I didnt have a backup on a disk somewhere. Nobody even had personal computers then and I no longer had a heart to do it again.

What was interesting about this book was the storyline I had developed at that age. I am probably around 11 turning 12 since it was the summer. First, recall in my letter to Domai.com titled "A Soldier's Story". In it, I recollect the moment when I first became aware that there was indeed a difference between sex and nudity and how I was able to see the nude female form from a totally different perspective. Well, I may have to retract that statement. My co-worker brought to memory my scripted imagination of a world of another dimension where clothes were not a concern, fashion, or lawful requirement. In a sense, it follows the same idea as the Chronicles of Narnia, but in my story, two young boys and a girl find their way to another world where everyone is nude.

As I recall, I expounded upon the difficulties of the boy's inability to become used to the ideas of being around naked girls as well as seeing grown up women nude for the first time. The story goes into how they finally adjust. Therefore, I could surmise that I had the subconscious mindset of [a sort of] understanding about the difference between nudity and sex even then. I just hadn't aquired the needed practical experience to deal with it. Maybe that's why I was able to point out in my letter that the girls I talked to were suprised at my ability to adjust so quickly.
Maybe...maybe not. Its still good to learn something about yourself. Enjoy these portraits of my friend, Katherine. We did these last year in the Black Canyons, Colorado. You can see a few more of her images on my site.

08 September 2007

Laura... plus some interesting links

I came across some new links that I wanted you to know about dealing with modeling and photographing the nude. The first is a link I noticed from Art Nudes Blog which deals with one of the most prolific art nude models today, Kat Love. I have seen her all over the place. Maybe one day I will get an opportunity to work with her. She has a very well written website which gives information to both photog and model. Her FAQ is highly detailed and you should visit it at this link: Kat's FAQ for Models. On this page there is another link for photogs as well.

Another interesting lady I came across is Tantra Bensko who wrote two articles of interest. The first is titled How to Be a Truly Great Artistic Model. She definitely has her own ideas about this but its worth a look. The other article she wrote was funny to me so I thought I'd share it. Its titled, Going Nude on Berkeley Campus to Save the Trees. Personally, I had to check it out because it deals with two of my favorite things to photograph...the nude and trees. I hope you will find it interesting too. I copied the links to the "printer friendly" versions of the articles.
This particular set is model, Laura, who posed for me a few months ago out in the hot Valley of Fire. She was a real trooper hiking over rocks and through canyon walls along trails that were scenic and historic. Her bronzen skin tone worked well with the red rock formations. She blended in with her surrounding but not so much that she was no longer distinct. This was a fun shoot. It was another early morning sunrise shoot. Actually, this was the first of my summer time Valley of Fire sessions.
One commentor on my website said that it looked like I put my models through some tough poses and arrangements. He lauded my efforts to make the model work within my artistic vision as opposed to just taking shots of a naked girl and for making the model secondary to the art. I indeed my ask alot of my models, but my artwork is more of a collaborative effort between my models and me. I am very eager to shoot with Laura again. We have a few things in the works already, so stay tuned.

07 September 2007

Trisha...

I am still receiving requests for more images of this model. Well, then let me introduce Trisha. In all actuality, I am in much the same boat as you. I am an admirer of her's as well and would also like to see more images of her. Unfortunately, Trisha is pursuing her education and has endeavors that aren't allowing for more modeling at the moment. Trust me, we have discussed it. She is a fan of my work and has indeed expressed an interest to continue modeling for me, but for now, the time and circumstances simply don't allow for it. Maybe at some point in the NEAR future that could change, but until then, you'll have to just keep checking back as I post more images of her from my current stockpile. We did alot of shots...

We still talk often and I have relayed to her the fact that I receive several requests for her image as well as the fact that she normally occupies the all top 12 spots of most viewed images on my website. Normally, the count for her will range anywhere from 8 to 12 images in my top 12, but its been quite some time since she was below 6 images. I would appreciate some comments on what exaclty you all like about her. She has been quite surprised by this and has asked me, but I can only guesstimate as to the minds of my visitors.

Most of the comments mention liking her images, tell me I captured her well, I have an excellent composition or speak to the technical aspects of my images of her, but I cannot recollect any specific comment as to why you all like her images so much. So please feel free to either comment here or on my site so I can relay this info to Trisha.

In any case she really appreciates your positive feedbacks and wants to Thank you all. I'll occasionally post more pics of her. So from both myself and Trisha...

Thanks!

Update: July 2010 Pics of this model have been removed.

03 September 2007

The Narrows - Zion National Park

So this is me, hiking the Narrows at Zion National Park on Labor Day weekend. The place was quite crowded until you hiked farther and farther into the Narrows. This is a section of the Virgin River which has carved its way deep into the canyon walls. The website says the hike is 60% in water. Don't believe it. I was easily in the water 93.7% of the time. Which wasn't bad at all if you like walking on bowling balls size rocks...and actually, I do. Well, maybe not for as long as I was in it for. You can easily roll an ankle.

The place is abosolutely beautiful. Beautiful is actually an understatement. You are awe-struck by the sheer magnitude of the canyon walls and are amazed at the power of the water to create such a gorge out of the earth and rock.

The purpose of this trip was a scouting expedition. I wanted to visit more areas that I know I want to shoot in. Zion is full of possible locales. Its going to take me a while to check out all the places I want to see. Emerald Pools, has 3 different trails and I want to do some at Angel's Landing. The Narrows takes priority. I can basically do the other trails anytime, but to do the Narrows, my model is going to have to get wet and thats not the best thing to do when it gets cold. I can handle one or the other, but I hate being cold and wet at the same time. I get flashbacks to my Army days.

I got to meet several people including two who want to consider modeling for me. I also met some new friends from Romania, Bogdan and his wife Irina (spelling may be off). We got to hang out for the last quarter of the hike and even afterwards, we did another mile hike at the canyon overlook. I did it barefoot because my boots had worn sores on my achilles tendons. It wasnt so bad. All in all, I got to see where I wanted to bring a model and place her. The trick is going to be in finding someone willing to drive out 2 hours away and then walk against the current and over huge rocks. Old women and kids were out doing it over this weekend, so its really not that bad, but we'd have to go deep enough into the Narrows as to avoid the public. Doing it during the week may help with that. I didnt do the whole thing which is 16 miles at an estimated 10-14 hours. I am not sure how far I did but I hiked for 5 hours. Any takers?



Another great post by Iris Dassault

I'm not even going to elaborate on this. The post speaks for itself. I've commented before on her ability to effectively relay thoughts and this is a strong one that sounds as if it carries passion that was motivated by something or someone.

So just read Iris Dassault's blog posting on 31 Aug for "An Obvious Indiscretion".

And of course, this is her blog link: Iris Dassault Blog.

Again, I fully recommend anyone who has or might consider modeling for me to frequently research Iris' site, her blog, as well as her work.

Terrell

01 September 2007

Introducing...NATALIE!!

I finally got these images edited. Sorry it took so long. This is another shoot in the Valley of Fire in Nevada. Natalie was a superb model for her first time out. This was an early morning shoot but we had to start wrapping things up by 8:30am. The heat was just like an oven even that early in the morning. We started out just before the 6 am sunrise. By nine or so we were on the road back. I can tell you for sure, Natalie is a real trooper. I am still getting used to shooting in the desert heat with the harsh morning sun. Several shots had the highlights blown out, but I was able to save many of them. If anyone has some tips on shooting in these conditions, make a comment. When I do it again, I will try it with a neutral density filter on my lens to see how that might make some adjustments. I may need to simply wait til the seasons are more favorable for photography out there. I still want to do one more shoot here with a model of a different body type.

It was a great pleasure to shoot Natalie. As always things started slow, as it normally does when I shoot a new model. This was more of a free for all session. I didnt have a specific concept in mind. Natalie gave me the idea when she made a suggestion about doing our second interview. Normally, I will interview twice before a shoot. In this case, our schedules simply didn't allow this so for the sake of time, we just went for it to see what we could get. When we got further into the shoot and ideas began to flow, I found myself already making plans for another shoot with her since I knew our remaining time was getting short. As I mentioned in a previous post, many photogs will not or at least prefer not to shoot models with tattoos. Natalie has several prominent tats, most notably the one around her neck. I love it and plan on another shoot which uses her tats as my central theme. Natalie has several attributes that make me want to shoot her again. One is her great attitude. She came willing to work and was open to trying anything. It was great fun. You can visit my website for more images of Natalie.