Monthly Archives October 2009

Fellow Forty – Lexi

I knew that Lexi was expecting her third child, but had absolutely no idea she was forty. When I found out – I knew she needed to be included in the 40@Forty Project. We wanted to create something cool that wasn’t the traditional maternity portrait that you see every day. It occurred to me that my abstract profile concept – which I used for my self portrait a few weeks back – would be a perfect way to show off her pregnancy. We went with soft colors – with a dominant pink- then added a soft, whimsical pattern to give it a little depth. I ended up cropping it much looser than my self portrait. I wanted it to still have an abstract feel, but still be very clearly a maternity portrait. I love the way it turned out!
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Week 33: Vanishing

Week 33: Vanishing Years ago, my friend and mentor Gail Nogle created an image of her mentor – Jay Stock – bent over a camera with his white hair suspended above the viewfinder. That image has always stuck in my mind and I decided to try and put my own spin on the concept. I wanted a scene that was almost totally dark – with the main light source coming from inside the camera – illuminating my face. I had to toy around with several different ways of achieving this – but finally figured it out. It had a very old-time feel to it, so I went with that. I added some cloudy texture and a warm tone – along with some grain. To me, the image seems to be fading away – much like the film camera. This is one of the images that makes the 4040 project fun: trying something I’ve never done before and actually pulling it off.
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Austin 2009

I just returned from visiting a couple of great photography guilds in south Texas. Last week, I flew down to McAllen to speak to the Rio Grande Valley Professional Photographers – and of course take in some great Mexican food! Yesterday, I drove down to Austin to speak to the Austin Professional Photographers. What a great bunch of people at both locations! We talked about operating the home-based studio and how to bring it to the next level. The bad part was that I had to be back in Dallas this morning, so I went ahead and drove back home last night – right after the meeting. I didn’t get in until almost 2am and I’m about to fall asleep sitting here at the computer as I type this.
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Week 32: Red

Heather was flipping through a Richard Avedon book this weekend and was pointing out some of the images. There were quite a few where the subject was blurred and had crazy colors – very sixties-looking. Since following Heather’s suggestions is always a good idea, I had worked up an image in this psychedelic style. I took several images – all with me moving around to create blur – then I tried playing with the different colors. I finally came up with an ok image and started deciding how to crop it. I accidentally double-clicked on the face, causing the image to zoom in and crop very, very tight – much closer than I would have ever attempted. Strangely enough, I thought it was kind of cool. It almost has the abstract feel of the Week 26 image.
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Week 31

It is hard to believe that I am down to the final ten weeks of the 40@Forty Project. The year is flying by – but I guess that is what happens when you get old! This weekend I was browsing through my iTunes library and I came across a Paul Simon album cover that caught my attention. It was a very stark – almost geometric – portrait. I decided to take the basic concept and create something for this week’s portrait. It took a few attempts to get the light how I wanted it, but I finally got it. I loved the high contrast black and white look, along with the drama created by all the negative space. It was tough for me to crop it so tightly- because it isn’t what I’m used to – but I think it really helped the composition. I loved the graphic, black & white feel – which was quite a departure from the images of the past few weeks.
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Heather

Of all the portraits I have done this year, this has to be one of the ones I am most proud of! When I started working on my Masters of Photography degree several years ago, I decided I would try and get it with at least one image of each person in my family. After a few years of competition, I had gotten merit prints of myself, my two boys and even our dog Annie. The only one I had to go was Heather. The problem with doing Heather’s portrait was that I was too worried about coming up with the “perfect” image. I would come up with an idea, then set it aside – waiting for a better idea to come along. When I started on the 4040 project this spring, I knew I would have to come up with a grand concept to use for Heather. After months of thinking about it – I finally came up with the concept while watching Heather get ready at her vanity. I am a big fan of a painter named Pino who does these extraordinary paintings of somewhat everyday scenes. We put everything together, painted it with a very impressionistic, loose
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Week 30: The Formal Portrait

Week 30: Formal Painting After last week’s high-tech look, I decided to go the opposite direction with this image. I wanted to create a very antique – almost Old Master- look with a strong, directional light and a limited color palette. I tried to be very aggressive with the brushstrokes, getting increasingly loose as I moved away from the center of the image. The final image has a dramatic, but subdued look – which I liked.
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