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Archive for January, 2008

I thought I’d start out this blogging thing with a bang! Roll me into the 21st century and be kind to me because this is my first blog ever! I don’t even know if that is the correct terminology? (Gary just corrected me that it is my first post, not blog)
photo courtesy of Stephen Gilbert
First and foremost, I want to say goodbye and thank you to Ms. Dona Monroe. She is leaving me with a great foundation, an amazing team, and a shiny white studio. Thank you for all of your hard work, your faith in me, and good luck in everything to come. But, remember you’re still technically mine for the next 4 weeks. You will be missed!

Next… Prior to my post here at Nemo I was working freelance. One of the most recent projects I worked on was this Chris Walla music video. And the best part about it was that my assistant on the video was none other than the lovely Mr. Todd Templeman! He rocks!

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Well, after the 2nd attempt we finally got it right. Check out the photos below, they don’t quite do the floors justice though. They’re so shiny and bright!! Next step for the studio upgrade is the door and a new coffee table, stay tuned. Seoane should have it finished for us by this Friday. The new door will be covered in walnut paneling and have a horizontal strip two-way mirror. Let’s hear it for Voyeurism!

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I received an email recently from a photo rep agency named Cake Factory. It was a newsletter about one of their photographers named Michael Cogliantry. He’s having an opening for his show “Two Thousand Kilometers in Two Weeks” on January 31st here in Portland at Rererato. It’s a series of self-portraits he took while traveling in India ‘as seen through the eyes of a fictional character’. Some in the series are very reminiscent of Gregory Crewdson in their cinematic quality. While you’re on Michael’s site, definitely check out the Furry Kama Sutra project as well, they’re wild!
India, self-portrait, michael cogliantry

India, self-portrait, michael cogliantry

furry kama sutra

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Almost a decade ago I worked in the tech support/customer service department for a small online stock photo agency named Photodisc. It was a privately owned creative company located in Seattle Washington specializing in stock photos that were high-end yet royalty-free. Soon after starting there, we were acquired by a larger ‘umbrella’ company called Getty Images. At the time Getty had only been recently formed by the acquisition of Tony Stone images, a rights-managed stock photo company that specialized in high-end advertising and editorial photography. Not long after the PhotoDisc merger Getty moved their headquarters to Seattle from London. Over the next two years we were joined by many other smaller stock agencies that all specialized in markets in which Getty wanted control. Eyewire was a royalty-free font and illustration provider, Imagebank was owned by Eastman Kodak and represented one of the largest collections at the time. Swanstock represented art photography used as book covers and or corporate art. There were many, many more (including film, music, etc) after that until after a decade of acquisitions, most recently iStock, Getty now owned the largest image collection in the world. Finally beating out their only real competitor Corbis Images(owned by Bill Gates). For a much more detailed account of Getty’s history, check out this site.

Today we find out that Getty is up for sale. Getty was the first company to license images online but after a decade of climbing to the top their stock has been steadily declining over the past year, by 47% according to the NY Times article. During that time many new stock photo companies have started licensing more and more less expensive royalty-free images(you license the image once and can use as many times as you like model vs. paying for every use as in rights-managed imagery). Also, sights like Alamy.com that allow the photographer to upload already scanned images at will, have opened the market up to a much lower level of quality and cost. A friend of mine that runs a stock photo company has recently been hinting at the fact that the industry was in trouble so I’m not completely surprised that Getty is trying to get out of the game before the whole business model changes once again. Just as when stock photography was born and independent photographers would protest at Getty’s booth at trade shows calling the “end of commissioned photography”, it is once again a time of change. I’m not sure yet exactly how it will turn out but I have a feeling the independent photographer will somehow come out on top.

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HDRI: The experiment. pt.1

High Dynamic Range Imaging, I stumbled on this technique late last week on a random blog site. After looking at the stunning images and it all instantly clicked. Images I’ve seen in sports ads, fashion magazines, and even some recent movies all have used this technique to some degree. What high dynamic range imaging allows the photographer/filmer to do is really make use of all available light values and merge them into a single image.

Say your out on the beach, gorgeous scenery, got your babe or dude with you, and a beautiful fading sunset. Photo op! Problem is you only have your camera and tripod, no flash. There will be no way to properly expose to get your subject lit without blowing out the background. Bummer. That’s where HDRI comes in. Essentially you shoot for all exposures you think you will need to show up. Ex: your subject, the sky, the water, sand, etc… You take your images and run em through photoshop or any HDRI specific program, and after some toggling of values, gamma, highlights and shadows you come out with an amazing image of your sweetie pie, everything perfectly exposed in one image!

The fun thing about HDRI is you can take a would be crappy photo and take it to another world. You could use it as mellow or as crazy as you want. From getting the shot of your sweetheart at the beach, to taking your ugly boring backyard and making it look like a surreal nightmare dream-scape, which is exactly what I did for my little experiment in HDRI. (minus the babe at the beach, had to go for the backyard… sigh.)

backyard.jpg
(click image)

As you can see, looking pretty creepy. Mind you this was all solely for experimentation to see if would even work. I set up my camera took 3 exposures, quick and dirty, ran it through the software, toggled the values, and bam, a horrific moody backyard setting. This is only a taste of what I’ll post in the coming weeks.

Things like this always get me stoked on photography, it never gets old, there is always something new to learn. I get bored quite easily so taking something I love and giving it a fresh face, doesn’t get any better than that.

I’ll keep ya posted on more shots soon!

-Alex M.

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Monica Carlson By Trevor Graves

Life is a tangled web. A few years ago I had a shoot for Merrel shoes and had the pleasure of shooting with Portland Blazer cheerleader Moinca Carlson. She was kick ass and tons of fun to shoot. I saw her not so long ago at my sons school where she was dropping off her twin girls. Today I get a random text message about Amercian Gladiator and Monica.

“Monica Carlson is a 32-year-old mother of 8-year-old twins and a former Portland Trailblazer dancer. Growing up ‘American Gladiators’ was her favorite show. Her husband is a football coach and athletics plays a large part in the family. One of 11 kids growing up, Monica is in great shape and loves competition. She currently lives in Milwaukie, Oregon.”

monica Carlson, Amercian gladiator, milwaukie Oregon, nemo design, nemo production

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The studio is getting along with its Patrick Swaize facelift. I just got back from the CES show in Las Vegas and saw a billboard with Carrot Top. Carrot Top has a better (or worse) face lift than Patrick. Yikes.

The sanders are out in full force preping the studio floor for it’s new and shinny epoxy covering! Its going to look sweet!

Check out the men at work!

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