Archives for Personal

A Few Days By The Bay

We just got back from a great visit to San Francisco. I was speaking at the ProPhoto Expo over the weekend, so Heather and I decided to go a few days early for a little mini-vacation in one of our favorite cities. It is so strange to be on vacation in August and wearing jackets the whole time. Since we had been to SF a few times before, we decided to avoid the tourist spots like Fisherman’s Wharf and the Bridge. We stayed in a tiny hotel near Union Square called Hotel Rex (great place to stay – unless you want a good night’s sleep). We managed to figure out the Muni and took it to the SF Zoo on Friday, which was a lot of fun. Afterwards, we walked down the street to the beach and watched the surfers for a while. A guy was sitting there reading the paper and we asked him to take our picture. He proceeded to work his way through what seemed like an entire photo shoot, taking pictures of us from every angle. Here is one of the highlights from his portfolio! From there, it was off to the convention hotel to get
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Week 24

As daunting as it can be to have to create a self-portrait every week, there is one big upside to this project: I’m not really accountable to anyone except myself. I don’t have to follow any of the rules of traditional portraiture. I’m not restricted by any guidelines whatsoever. It really is quite freeing! As photographers, we are taught to not use this style of lighting (called broad lighting) in most cases. It tends to be less flattering, makes people look heavier, etc. Even though I set out to do a broad-lit portrait, about halfway through shooting I thought, “this might look better by switching back to a more traditional lighting setup.” I made the switch and it did look better – in most respects. Luckily, I came to my senses and reverted to the original plan. After all, the whole project is about branching out – so I had to proceed with the plan, regardless of the result. I chose my favorite image and went to work with adjusting levels and playing with the tones a bit. I even spent a lot of time adding several scenic elements to the background – but as the portrait progressed in Photoshop,
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Week 23: Candyman

My pal Gusi is studying theater at OKCU. Last semester she took this makeup class and learned all these crazy techniques. We decided it would be fun to use one of these for the project. This look was created by covering my face with little pieces of candy and cupcake sprinkles. Lots and LOTS of pieces. I thought it would take 30 or 40 minutes, but it actually took her 2 1/2 hours. Honestly, I don’t know how she did it- what a trooper! Creating the image was lots of fun. Taking off the candy and makeup afterwards… not so fun!
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Walter

Years ago, I took this great picture of Walter playing pool. I was just starting to really learn about photography and somehow – quite accidentally – got this great shot of him. I still have a copy of it hanging in my office and he has a copy hanging in his game room. Since I did the painting of his wife Tammie, I decided I would update his pool portrait. We setup the shot in his game room and tried to create a very moody feel. Here is what I came up with: Although it is pretty obscured, the original black and white photograph is hanging behind him on the wall. I love how the light coming in from the window creates such dramatic shadows in the image. We gallery-wrapped the canvas and came up with a perfect addition to their game room wall!
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Tammie

While visiting friends in Kansas City this summer, I decided to paint a portrait of Tammie to try out a new style. I wanted it to be a very simple, elegant portrait – but not overly formal. Here is what we came up with… We printed the painting on watercolor paper and matted it for a very fine art feel. I was thrilled with the final piece. Next up, I wanted to do a portrait of her husband Walter. Stay tuned for that one…
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Week 21: Back to Basics

While last week’s image was busy and colorful – this week goes in the opposite direction. I went with a very simple, high-key setup. No props, simple clothing and a white background – about as simple as plain as you can get. It is kind of like 40@Forty “unplugged.”
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Week 20 – Halfway There

Hard to believe I am halfway through with the 4040 Project. Turning 40 has never been so much work!!! Last week I displayed some of my work at a show in Dallas. Over the weekend, I managed to unload the paintings out of the car and moved them to the studio temporarily. When I went into the studio today to do my portrait, the paintings were in my way – all over the studio. I figured I might as well put that to use and incorporate them into this week’s portrait. Its kind of an artist’s “family portrait” … sitting in the studio, surrounded by a few of my babies. The difficult part was figuring out where each piece needed to be – since I couldn’t look through the camera while I was sitting there. I would take a test shot, move a painting a bit and reshoot. Once I got them arranged properly, I had to decide what kind of expression to use, how much of my face to show, etc. I ended up going with just the eyes…. to me it just made more sense. The funny thing is – all those different colors don’t look too bad
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I.O.Metro Show

Participated in a show at I. O. Metro last night. It’s a very cool furniture store near the Galleria in Dallas. If you are ever in the area, be sure to check it out. Had a great time meeting people and even had a few friends drop by… It was kind of a last minute deal… so I didn’t do a good job of getting the word out. As soon as I have another exhibit planned, I’ll be sure to let you know well in advance!!!
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Weeks 18 and 19

The past couple of weeks have been all about trying to take a regular headshot and turn it into something out of the ordinary. Last week, I took the portrait and turned it into a stone bust. My buddy Chase told me about this technique and I thought it would be fun to try. Overall, I think it turned out pretty good – but a little creepy. For this week’s image, I decided to pep things up a bit and go with a more colorful image. I followed a similar strategy… starting with a plain headshot, then adding and subtracting elements from it until it was much different than what I started with. I’m not sure what to make of it… so you will have to tell me what you think. If anyone is interested, maybe I’ll upload a few images to show how I progressed from the original image to this final image.
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