Archive for October, 2009

New, Bigger: Better?

Saturday, October 24th, 2009
Better

Better

I just spent the better part of the past week bouncing back and forth between post production and producing a richly diverse amount of new imagery. Multiple subjects, 7 days, in both motion picture and stills. I truly redlined my Canon 5D Mark 2, and utilized every facet of the camera learned from the last six months usage.

Throttling back, yesterday I pondered my Google alerts. I set alerts on Google for new technology. So I get e mails which carry the keywords that I am concerned with.  Here is the deal. For the first time ever, tech is working, and doing it pretty much seamlessly. That being said, we are on the brink of even newer tech. So part of my job responsibility is researching what is up and coming, and sorting out a path that will keep me from over investing or actually even send me down a road where potential new tech failure can cause loss of time and waste of effort.

I am cautious in a way that I have never been before. Why? Because things are working at long last. My product output in motion and stills offers the maximum amount of creative freedom, and minimal amount of office time while rendering THE MOST economical and highest quality work I have ever produced. That means great benefit can be imparted with a maximum of return and the highest quality of work  ever.  I could actually OWE the IRS something some day soon. The last 10 years have seen a  perpetual investment in new tech and equipment, just so that creative quality could stay ahead of the global curve.

The other day my Google alert showed two interesting items. One a new tech Mac (right as I was about to push the “buy now” button on a Nehalem Processor machine) and the new Canon 1DS Mark 4. I am now waiting on the new 6 core Mac which should arrive around the first of the 2010 year. I will never own the 1DS Mark 4. It sends me in the wrong direction for the type of work I do. Thankfully I know enough to NOT jump on new and bigger (read that: more expensive) as being better. Though for some, the streamlined work flow the 1DS Mark 4 offers and high FPS firing and unlimited ISO settings will be a boon, those things will not be for me.

The market in editorial, commercial and art is in exactly the same quandry, as they look at the work produced. Inevitably some new person comes along and for awhile cruises to the relative top of the heap. But in short order the market levels that climb and the new guy is often sent off the back of the competitive global imaging pack. The thing is, that my colleagues are remarkably bright, talented and driven. We all moderate each other. It is part of the reason for me doing this blog. We sharpen each other. So that being said, here is a small selection of imagery from this past week. I stored over 1200 finals in edit.  I left out the Architectural, American Lifestyle, and Fashion work shot the past seven days, out of concern for theme and not wanting to dumb down the over all beauty that I saw on my local coastline this week. I really want to share THAT,

Right now it is all sort of New. Thanks to the Canon 5DMark 2 it is Bigger. Thanks to Apple and Adobe it is definitely Better.

Seth Godin writes on a related topic here.

Improvements keep coming down the pipe. I appreciated this blog here.

An excellent leading edge computer hardware company, Other World Computing, is right here. Read their blog. Go ahead. As we all seem to say these days: “Embrace your inner nerd.” You really have no choice. Then go create something new!

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Gregory Schell

Gregory Schell

Larry Ugale

Larry Ugale

puu-4760

Hans Rathje

Hans Rathje

Gregory Schell: Anticipation

Gregory Schell: Anticipation

Hans: Golden Laugh

Hans: Golden Laugh

Larry Ugale: Progressive

Larry Ugale: Progressive

Larry Ugale: Committed

Larry Ugale: Committed

Hi Def Windowpane

Hi Def Windowpane

Lars Rathje: Zuma Blue

Lars Rathje: Zuma Blue

6'1" of Power: Hans Rathje

6'1" of Power: Hans Rathje

Lars: Cobblestones Pano

Lars: Cobblestones Pano

Lars: Nope

Lars: Nope

Lars: High Contrast-High Def

Lars: High Contrast-High Def

Hans Rathje: Technically Perfect

Hans Rathje: Technically Perfect

Hans: Deeper

Hans: Deeper

Hans: Hang Time

Hans: Hang Time

Hans: Curtain Call

Hans: Curtain Call

Mary Osborne: Home

Mary Osborne: Home

Shutter Stall

Shutter Stall

Invitation

Invitation

Touch

Saturday, October 17th, 2009
Message

Message

It is not something I have any complete understanding of, but for some reason I recognize the touch of my friends and what may be affecting them. It often comes in the form of a subtle whisper. I have found that if I shut the heck up and just listen, the process applies quite dramatically in my work. I will experience new things as a result. That affects what I communicate to the world.  It changes my perception, as the imprint broadens who and what I am. I need that. My life would be cold porridge without it.

Last night at dinner, Donna and our friends Violeta and Korina were discussing travel and the ups and downs of the process. Sometimes we can be made to become quite uncomfortable by our situations and surroundings. Korina had just returned from Bali and been suffering a bit due to jetlag, culture crossover, and a few intermittent bouts with Bali Belly (the term for all ailments alimentary). She said something very wise. “I have learned that when I travel, it is not just about my experience. It is about the experience of the people who I meet, and the impression that I leave with them”. Touch. There it was. To have it, you must give it. You give when listening. Her wonderful blog is here.

As I work through the tremendous amount of post production from our Balinese trip, I am constantly reminded of how listening allows us forms of contact with a world we would normally never see, hear, taste or feel. I see exactly what I was listening to as I ply the pixel waters of this huge ass file. And I remember what the touch felt like.

The last couple days I had been having a persistent tapping on my shoulder. A close friend had been on my mind and heart. I finally had left a voice mail on her phone.  Her cel was off, as it always is when she is working. I left a short message, something that I never do. She does not need a voice mail box full of hellos. She would know what it meant.  I would hear from her. I knew something hard had come down on her shoulders.

Shawn Alladio was working running rescue at the IJSBA World PWC racing Championships. She had been deathly ill prior. A bout with meningitis and a post illness bacterial infection had almost killed her.  Better just in time. Just.

Her team had flown in from around the world to work the phenomenally high risk event, where boats become rockets, guided by adrenalized, amazingly skilled athletes with nervous systems and skills that are beyond the ken of the uninitiate. I knew that she was in great hands at the venue at Lake Havasu, and that K38 would do it’s job well.

In working with Shawn, we are all tutored on how to be in times of great stress and death. We learn how to touch, care, and offer comfort when comfort and touch are all that is left to give. Bad things sometimes happen in spite of the best laid plans and training.

Her text was on my phone this morning. Summarized it said: ‘Had a fatal today. A friend died in my arms. Blunt force trauma.’ With those simple words, the scene I already knew about unfolded, and I felt what Shawn had in greater detail.

The story of the incident is right here. Who the man was is quite vital. I am so glad that Shawn was there for him. He knew that he was loved as his time came.

Shawn has penned something about the incident from her point of view. Read it here. Whew!

This beautiful example of touch was passed to me today by Donna Von Hoesslin. It best exemplifies how we ought to be as communicators: touched. I do not necessarily agree with all of the lecturers. The video says it best. We are all in this together. If you have never heard of Bioneers, the lectures can be quite remarkable and well worth your time.

As he typically does, Seth Godin writes well of the responsibility that comes with being a communicator.

Touch. It is what makes us better than human. Are you listening? Did you feel that?

Paradox

Paradox

Anchored: Jeanette

Anchored: Jeanette

Adrift

Adrift

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Shawn Alladio: K38 Rescue

Shawn Alladio: K38 Rescue

Shawn and Cesare

Shawn and Cesare

Listen, Touch, Breathe

Listen, Touch, Breathe

Vulnerability

Monday, October 12th, 2009
Hailey as Grace Kelly

Hailey as Grace Kelly

Everyone must learn to deal with issues involving trust. In our craft, or art, because a certain aspect of photography is subjective and it’s validity may be cheered or denigrated by a viewer, depending on where that viewer hails from morally, spiritually, or sociologically, it is des rigeur to put ourselves out on an emotional limb so to speak, when we share our work.

So there is risk involved. On many levels. Is my subject valid, am I good enough technically, am I going to be accepted by enough of the commercial market to get a return on all my freelance art based imagery? Will people think I suck? Does anyone care? Do people think less of me as a result of me showing my work?

These are all issues that arise with the advent of those very first efforts in Kindergarten with crayons. We all seek acceptance. But does acceptance indicate validity? Possibly not.

I remember the year I decided to wade into the pool of my new career in photography. S0rt of unwittingly, I simply placed my work in front of some of the best editors and art directors I knew. They seemed to respond and began offering advice and publishing me. Jeff Divine and Larry Moore, aka Flame were two surf industry editors who helped, along with a slew of entertainment industry people. It fueled my direction and in a few years my freelance based photography career expanded globally. I was pretty happy about this, especially since I had two young sons to support, having been newly divorced. (There was a lot on the line).

Knowing then what I know now about the business of photography and art interpretation, would I do it over again? Quite a telling question.  All of us must embrace and mitigate risk via personal artistic and fiscal vulnerability. It is part of the game we play when we endeavor to establish ourselves as being authentic.

Does a construction worker whose hobby is photography, have any more or less validity in his work than someone who risks all? (The answer is in Art History.)  We are all in a race of sorts. The moments of our lives tick by, and for an artist, those will be measured in the level of commitment they make in learning to communicate, and the willingness to embrace the discomforts of vulnerability and potential fiscal disaster.

Success is based on commitment. That first step into the void is a doozy. How comfortable are you with yourself and your decision making process? If you are not, you may be better off, (and happier) keeping that day job.

Seth Godin writes on this theme here, in a very appropriate blog.

Thinking I am telling you not to follow your dreams? Watch this.

I am finally at home. A huge pile of post production work is in front of me after the last two months worth of creative content acquisition. In working through two jobs yesterday, I ran across some images that disappeared in a blog crash last year. Curiousity had me dragging the RAW files into Lightroom 2, a program I had not been using at the time the original work was captured.

Here are some of the images. Hailey and Sierra Partridge in Downtown Ventura. Period 1940′s wardrobe. Styling by Donna Von Hoesslin. Jewelry by BettyB.¬† Whew, a total of 7 extra hours on the computer. What had I been thinking when I committed to acquire the wardrobe and shoot this in the middle of the night with no real client in mind?:

” This will be great”.

Is it? Only time will really tell. Tick Tock.

Hailey and Sierra

Hailey and Sierra

Sierra

Sierra

Sierra

Sierra

Sierra

Sierra

Sierra

Sierra

Hailey

Hailey

Hailey

Hailey

Sierra and Hailey

Sierra and Hailey

Hailey

Hailey

Hailey

Hailey

© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.

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