Sunday, April 24, 2011

May 2011 Art Opening "Form & Figure"

"Form & Figure"
2011 - Art - A - Whirl Gallery Show

Come see my latest work on Opening night, Friday, May 20th, 2011 from 5-10pm. 

I hope you can join me as we celebrate the opening of this year’s ART-A-WHIRL, North East's Open Studio and Gallery Tour. I will have more than 30 new images on display, which will also be available for purchase.

This year's show is a diverse collection of "Form & Figure" captured using new and old techniques. Last year's show was intentionally focused on strong colors and had an obvious theme and character. With this show, I wanted to once again embrace my diversity and the multitude of methods I have developed over the years, while still presenting a cohesive collection. I have divided the show into groups of images with a similar approach. Some sets explore the near abstract forms of the close cropped human figure that I have long explored. While others dance with intimacy and even touch, slightly, the erotic. 

This year's title is a bit of a play on words. I place great value on emotion and heart in my work but have always taken more of a fact and figures approach. The 'figures' matter as it is the math of the ideal proportion which the human mind is so pleased and drawn to. Whether you know those proportions as the Fibonacci sequence, 1.61803, or 36-24-36, you see them and you feel them. 

If you can't make it Friday night, the gallery will be open Saturday, May 21th - Noon-8:00 p.m. and Sunday, May 22th - Noon-5:00 p.m. in conjunction with all of the ART-A-WHIRL activities. Come see my work, and then make a day of exploring the more then 500 artists throughout the buildings participating in AAW2011. 

The gallery is located in the Grain Belt Bottling Company building at 79 Thirteenth Avenue NE in Minneapolis. The Bottling Company building is located just north of the big brewery building and my show will be inside the main entrance, on the second floor back and to the right, Studio 219. I hope to see you there.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Light Painting White Balance

Last week I got some lovely new flashlights from a WootOff.  I'm not sure the brand or maybe they just don't have a brand, but they are 3 watt, chip LED and although they don't have focus adjustment, they are pre focused beautifully.  While adapting one of them for my LP filter system I notice the large disparity in white point across the selection of LED flashlights I use.  Of course I have long used and known about the white point difference between the LED and Incandescent  lights I use, but there is quite a range even among the similar light sources.  I decided to inventory it a bit and just make sure I knew better what I have been working with.  Also thought it might make an interesting blog post for the more geeky photog types who may or may not ever read this blog.. lol  

I perceived a greeter degree of difference in color temp with my eyes then the camera recored.  But I tried to take some pictures to illustrate the differences.  I actually paint with several other lights, but theses full sized flashlights are my main lighting choices.  

The Line Up:

left to right : 
4D Xenon Incandescent MAG-LITE  (focusable)
3D Xenon Incandescent MAG-LITE  (focusable)
2 x 3D Krypton Incandescent MAG-LITE  (focusable)

2D LED CHIP MAG-LITE (Seems like about 1.5 Watts)  (focusable)
2D New Woot Special Mystery LED 3 watt
2X 2D Old Woot Special Brinkman (seems to be about 1.5 watts)
Note the these two are the same brand and same age but have a large white point difference… Hmmmm
3AAA LEDLENSER (not compatible with my LP filter  system, but I use it a lot so I included it to compare)  

Incandescents - Tungsten WB
Flash WB
Fluorescent WB
Saturation Enhanced to show the difference more clearly.

I tried several camera setting white points to try to illustrate the color differences, and also boosted the vibrance of one test to really show it.  I know it still seems a bit subtile, but I've noticed the effect before in finished work.  

As for the Incandescents, I can see that the Xenon Incandescent are somewhat cooler in color temp then the older Krypton bulbs.  When using a red or warm gel the small brightness advantage the Xenons provide is likely null.  I suspect the bulbs produce about the same amount of red, and the brightness difference is made largely in the cooler side of the spectrum.   

The LEDs on the other hand are all over the map.  Some are very magenta and some a bit green.  Since adding LED flashlights to my arsenal, I have usually chosen them when using a blue gel, because the incandescents contain so little blue that they don't provide enough brightness.  The opposite can be true for red gels as well, the LEDs have little red.   The white point difference between the Magenta tinted ones and the Green tint is not that much really, but it's more then enough when not gel'd to give an unfortunate green cast that may have consequences to correct with a overall image white point adjustment in post.  


I have in the past usually set the camera for Incandescent white point when light paining.  Usually the 4D MAG-LITE is my 'main' light, so that does a good enough job of getting it to be white for the camera.  After this examination however I have decided to toy with setting a white point for the new wootoff flashlight.  This gives me warm tones from the Incandescent which is a nice option, as the red gels look very good in this color space..  Which begs the question, what is the white space of the LED lights?  Well not that surpassingly its a little unique.  Most White LEDs are technically fluorescent so that works out kinda ok, and there are pretty close to flash, so that works ok too.  It's really just important to that the camera preview is close.  I know I could do a custom white balance, but I'm lazy and I'll make the white point where I want it in post anyway.  

    Maybe I'll just work in B&W and forget it.. lol
A reject image that I kinda still love from last Sundays shoot (Model Brooke Lynne)

Monday, February 28, 2011

Shoot Report

   Today (yesterday as it's 2am) I had the pleasure of working once again with Candi.  We worked her pretty hard, I suspect she'll be sore tomorrow, but I hope not :)  .  

   Mid week I decided that I wanted to work in silhouette.  I not really sure why.  Candi has a few tattoos and just got another one so that might be why, but I don't actually think so.

   I wanted to have the light wrap far around the body and have the model basically in contact with the light source.  So once again I looked to my trusty, very veteran, piece of white lycra.  I have long thought of getting a far bigger piece and using it instead of seamless background paper.  (Anyone who knows where I can get a 10' wide 30' tall piece of Lycra, please tell me)

Here's the setup :

   The Lycra isn't quite diffusing enough to hide the bulbs directly behind it, so I eventually settled on this double diffuser arrangement.  The lower light is pointed up into the surface of the handy panel and the 16" dish is shinning through it.  The result is very smooth, with a smooth hotspot in the center.  Between the two I have about 500w/s in back.
   Plans never survive contact with the enemy (actual implementation in this case) so I added the 22" BD above and a strip light close to the left, and setup the flash computer to cycle between the three options.  The silhouette option didn't need any fill, the other lights were not used supplementary.  
   Due to the setup I had Candi up very high.  I spent most of the shoot standing very tall to get the shot.  Candi isn't as short as she looks.  lol..  

Here's examples of the resulting three light options:

  Candi had the energy to work later then planned so after the strobe lit shoot we worked with light painting.  Recently I attended a gallery opening for Gary Welton with Brooke and was inspired to re-explore the roots of my color theory.  Last year and the year before I spent a lot of time exploring widely saturated colors.  Although I loved the results, I was ready to explore something more complimentary.  Tonight was the first LP I've done since I spent some time playing with crayons.  I'm very happy with the feel of it, both in it's captured color space and color corrected to the white point of the main light.

Here's a color sample of both color spaces:

  All together it was a fantastic shoot.  Candi worked hard tonight, and so did I.  Especially since I got banged really hard on the head, Saturday, by a falling 6" diameter 10 ' long piece of  PVC pipe while changing the spool of black seamless (which I didn't use after all).  Everything seems ok..  but now when I think of Yugoslavia I hear the declaration of independence as spoken by quartet of singing toasters.  Hope it's not permeant, I think of Yugoslavia a lot.

I'll post something finished from tonight on deviantArt in a few days, if I get nagged properly.

So this is my actual blog post..  not sure if this is the kind of thing I'll put in here.. time will tell.


Friday, February 11, 2011

It Begins

photo by Brooke Lynne

For many reasons I have finally given in to peer pressure and started a blog.   I am normally quite a wordy fellow in person, however I don't really write much normally.  I intend this blog to be a bit of a mix between an image post blog, and a essay blog.  We will see.  If I get enough nagging it might actually happen.

For people stumbling across this who might be curious who I am should look here : Multithought