Posts Tagged ‘Canon 5D Mark 2’

Creativity Restoration

Saturday, April 13th, 2013
Classic Triumph

Classic Triumph

It happened slowly, in a seductive manner. The devil that is responsibility to project fulfillment, had worn me down creatively. I could feel it, and understood what was going on, with far greater comprehension than one knows the proverbial back of their hand. (Does anyone really spend time looking at those?)

This does not happen so frequently as one might suspect. Most Creatives know how to keep themselves in the flow of energy that births new work that matters. Unfortunately, lately it seemed that the performance required of¬† me by some projects had begun to make me feel like a heavily laden beast of burden. (Okay, let’s just agree to call me a jackass.) It happens.

I knew what to do. Funny how in my work, things just seem to fall into place, in perfect timing.

A couple weeks ago, I had dropped by my wife’s little retail showroom-cum social salon-meet up location (Betty B) to say hello, when Jeanette Ortiz walked in the door. Big hug. It had been awhile since the two of us had seen each other. At 22, J had recently finished her degree work at Cal Poly and was pursuing work opportunity, weathering relationship changes, the stuff of life that can drag one down a bit. In fact, as we spoke, it hit me that we were in similar places creatively.

She and I, like many of the women who lend time and efforts to the various Photographic and Cinema projects which wander in the door, are not photographer and model. Far from it. We are co- creators. So it did not surprise me when Jeanette said: “You know, we have not made anything in a long time.” The subtle suggestion sparked a shoot I had roughed out over a year ago, to light up in my mind’s eye”.

“You are right”, I said. “Lets. How about tomorrow? “¬† “Sure, what did you have in mind? ” “You, naked. Remember that high key type shoot we talked about long ago? Let’s do that. Be a good way to spend some time together, and make something different”

Both of us know that sometimes you just go engage a project, for no other reasons than because you can, and want to. We both did. In short order,  I had dragged Donna into it to style and help Art Direct, called my friend Richie up, done some location pre planning, lighting design and cursory wardrobe work.

The next day the four of us assembled and dressed out a uniquely funky basement, I ran down to Paradise Pantry to grab a couple of bottles of wine for set dressing, and because Jeanette is a Vitticulturist-budding wine maker-chemist, and we got down to it.

4 hours later we emerged from our simulated multiple locations and settings around the world, taken there by our imaginations, and the efforts of four highly skilled friends. Creatively lit to replicate what one would really experience, were you to ply a small cellar apartment, a dimly lit alley in Europe, or just a charming home, in the historic Oil-Cow town of Ventura, California.

We all had needed that. Cobweb removal was complete, and the repression and constraints on our creative lives were once again, pushed back a bit.

Creative work is interesting in that yes, it really IS work. You assemble and place a lot of balls into the air. But you refresh in process, rather than degrade. It sort of feels like a dam has been removed, with debris and clutter able to flow out and down stream. Flow re-establishes. Without the element of flow, you learn first hand what stagnation is.

Here is an abbreviated gallery cull of the 24 final images in the new collection. Some of them should be available through Corbis Images soon. All work was shot on the Canon 5D M2 system, using high ISO capability, continual light sources, combined with focused bounced strobe, and were processed and developed in Lightroom 4.

 

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BMX

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011
Hans

Hans

I had been immersed in a swimwear shoot and building more imagery was the last thing on my list of things to do. But Hans call came on the heels of a 16 hour day on the computer and the passage of a cold front which left a rather dramatic sky.

So I made my way out to Chez Rathje, and their private custom BMX track which somehow, had not only survived the torrential rains here on the coast, but now had a couple new ramps as well. With Spring in full bloom we managed a quick shoot with the Canon5D M2 on a boom with the strobe set to high speed synch and had a little fun.

Liquid Militia

Liquid Militia

Hans was wearing a Liquid Militia shirt. Always thinking. Liquid Militia is an apparel company which is action sport centric. As the other guys were hurriedly packing up the car for a road trip Hans got to do laps for the camera. No crashes in spite of oxygen debt.

High As It Looks

High As It Looks

Life is what occurs in the short strokes as we are busy making other plans. I love spontaneity and talented people.

Flying

Flying

Here is a Red Bull production of the amazing Danny MacAskill in, “The way back home.”

Three

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011
Galaxy Borne

Galaxy Borne

The third in a series on Loves.

Surfers. Yes, those who ride weather, water and wave. I love them.

The rapid thunk thunk thunk of footsteps atop the wooden stairs that led up to the flat I had rented that morning at Currumbin Beach, Queensland, jolted me out of my jetlag induced reverie. I had been in Australia for less than 12 hours and had somehow managed to get from Sydney to Coolongatta and into a flat with a rental car in that time. Not bad, but I was tired. It was the second leg of the 1978- 1979 Pro tour for me.

An insistent pounding at the door, had me curiously opening it to a tall tanned guy, who looked at me, smiled and said: “Hey, my name is Peter. I hear you are from the States, here to surf the Contest. The surf is good today. Let’s go!” And in ten minutes I had thrown my 5’9″ Progressive twinfin in the back of Pete’s brown Holden wagon, and we were off to my first surf at Duranbah, a punchy beachbreak. As I paddled out, I saw Rabbit threading a crystal clear, aqua blue barrel. Wow. Welcome to Oz!

Pete and I became fast friends by the time I had to leave to make the trek down to Bells for the next event.

A few days before I left, a huge cyclone swell had hit. I had ridden large Burleigh Heads. Pete had said he would be at work, but that I should jump it from the cove up the point. The double to sometimes triple or more times overhead, looming rights, sort of reminded me of Sunset Point on Oahu. I somehow managed to stuff my little twin into a few of the bigger sets, and streaked across the massive azure walls to kick out in front of the swimming pool that was beach side.

That evening I saw Pete,¬† we had a couple 4xes, and I told him about the avo, bummed that he could not be there. “Ah mate, it was okay. I had a good day anyhow”.

A couple months later, back in Santa Barbara, just home from a day working at the surfboard factory, a large letter was waiting for me at the apartment my wife and I shared. It was from QLD. Opening the brown cardboard, I slid out a photo that was inside. It was of me streaking the inside on a triple overhead barrel at Burleigh Heads. There was a note. “Thought that you might like this” and it was signed simply: Pete.

He had been photographing me. I did not even know that he was a photographer.

What I learned from that year on the tour in general, and from Pete in particular, is that surfers are special.

I do not follow professional surfers around, in spite of having been one. To me, surfers are not necessarily the ones whose tax returns read “Professional Surfer”. But they are the ones who live by the laws of earth, sea and God, and having such an intimate acquaintanceship with those elements, frequently manage to show me something special.

Another World

Another World

So I have always welcomed them, and endeavored to live up to the example of my fine Australian friend.

Now about that photo…….

Click on any of the images in the gallery to toggle through this brief edit. Images were shot in the last couple weeks on the Canon 5D Mark 2 system and are part of a new collection of close to 600 images built over the past 5 weeks swimming every day. The surfers are Lars and Hans Rathje, Chris Vail, Larry Ugale, Donna Von Hoesslin, Jeanette Ortiz, Sierra Partridge, Dave and Mary Osborne. I am very grateful to them all. They remind me of Pete.

Two

Monday, February 7th, 2011
Dash

Dash

This is the second installment in this series on many loves. It is about Surfing.

Not many people know exactly why they surf. It just is what they do.

Point of view

Point of view

Surfing  gives a lot to the participant. It often gets to the point of  seeming to be a greedy avocation. The more you get, the better you become at it, the more that it drives you.

I have surfed all of my life. My Dad tossed me in a pool at 4. I swam. He then taught me to bodysurf. I never looked back. Only forward. It is still that way today for me. Indeed, for many of us. Surfing teaches one to look down the line. It can also bestow a certain level of gratitude, that sadly is often lacking in our culture today.

Sublime

Sublime

Not many people know these two things about me:

I have always been a surfboard builder. It is a part of my heritage. I have built close to 40,000 of them in my life. I have hand shaped 15, 999.

I did a surf and weather report on local radio in Santa Barbara for almost 15 years. Rising at 4:30-5 am each day I would do my weather work up, check the surf, and was a part of a live morning radio show. It was fairly common for me to phone the report in from my shaping room in downtown Santa Barbara. I did this at approx 7:20 am each day. Five and sometimes six days a week.

That is a lot of surfboards. And those were a lot of reports.

I did them both for the same reason:

To put something back in to the sport that gave me so much. It was about gratitude. It was about commitment. I do not know how much it mattered in the long run to anyone else, but it mattered to me. Because if surfing and the ocean benefited me, it could positively affect a  culture, and my community.

I am just wrapping my seasonal surf work. I have never produced so much high bar imagery in a series of 27 days swimming with a camera. The Gold Coast, where I live, that stretch of shore that extends from Gaviota to the Los Angeles County Line, has offered up water and weather conditions that were so pristine,  I set a new bar for my surf work.

I have a new editor at Corbis Images. It should be interesting to see if she gets this. Funny thing about raising the bar: you can never lower it.

Pristine

Pristine

It used to be considered common knowledge that you had to leave here to do high bar work. Hawaii, Indian Ocean, anyplace but here. I have proved that it is just the opposite. There is a reason I call my coastline Golden. It really is.

Seth Godin has this to say about where we live and work.

I have again, been amazed at how alive my stretch of ocean is. The number of sharks, seals, dolphins, bait balls, fish, pelicans and other sea birds I have seen is astounding.

The surfers who I have worked closely with the last month are:

Larry Ugale, Lars Rathje, Hans Rathje, Ted Reckas, Jeanette Ortiz, Sierra Partridge, Donna Von Hoesslin, Dean Hotchkins, Chris Vail, Sam Witmer.

The gallery below is a teensy slice of over 500 new works. Short boarding, long boarding, body surfing, skim boarding, SUP riding. Hope that it inspires you. Click on any of the images to toggle through as a slide show.

Everything was shot on the Canon 5D Mark 2 system and has companion motion picture to go with it.

One

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

I love the wave thing. Always have. Here are a few from this past week’s amazing sessions.

Maybe listen to this as you toggle through the tight gallery I have assembled here. Great video.

Seth Godin had this to say the other day, and it greatly resonated with me, friends and colleagues. You are your past performances.

This treatise on Tribes was sent along by Camille Harris. Ted Talk. I highly recommend it.

One thing is for sure: Love NEVER fails. Get to it.

Surf work shot on the Canon 5D Mark 2 using Tokina Optics and SPL water housings. Land based work, Canon Optics. Each of these stills also has companion work shot in Motion at 30 FPS.

© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.

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