Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Drive By #2, New York, NY

This is another one of the shots where I put the camera in the backseat of the car, pointed it out the window and drove down the street. I would calibrate the RPMs in my camera to match the speed of our car as we drove down the road.
I especially like this image because of how sharp that yellow taxi is. And I love the lady at the intersection who has the exact same pose as Sasquatch in his famous "walking in the forest" shot!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Long Beach Triathlon

This was shot at the Long Beach Triathlon on a beautiful, sunny morning in September. I was actually out in the water in my wet suit, my tri pod in PVC piping to protect it.
As the athletes entered the water in groups, I realized that these groups were not going to be quite large enough to fill the entire strip of film. I quickly decided that after the athletes ran into the water, I would pan the camera back toward the shoreline. This allowed me to capture this one of a kind image--the tri athletes running into the water, as well as the spectators on the shore watching the start of the race.
I really had no idea what would happen or how it would turn out.
I did this several times....and this was the result!
I am really pleased with how great the image turned's such a unique shot.

Friday, October 12, 2007

San Diego Mission Bay Hydroplane Boat Race

This was taken at the Unlimited Hydroplane Boat Race held in Mission Bay, San Diego, Sept 16, 2007. I have wanted to shoot this race for years though I had no idea how it would look or if it would even be a good shot or if I'd even be allowed to shoot.
When I got down there Julie, the press relations person for the race, immediately gave me a "Super Pass" to attend the entire three-day event. I scouted all the possible locations around the 2 1/2 mile oval race course and found the closest I could get to the boats was at the start/finish line. The race officials there were so unbelievably accommodating--they allowed me to go up in the starters tower and even provided me with my own scissor lift to shoot the race from the ideal point of view!
I am really pleased with the way the images turned out and look forward to shooting more of these events.

Monday, October 8, 2007

60th Hollister Motorcycle Rally

These images were shot at the 60th annual Hollister Motorcycle Rally in Northern California. These classic Harley Davidson bikers photographed with the DistaCam are terrific. Just imagine 20-30 thousand bikers taking over this sleepy country town!
In 1947 the town of Hollister was invaded by thousands of bikers and when the police over- reacted all hell broke loose. The film "The Wild Ones", starring Marlon Brando was created after the chaos in Hollister.
This year the town was near gridlock and it was very difficult to find a spot to shoot with the DistaCam. Actually, the roads were more like a parking lot. I still managed to get some pretty amazing images. Motorcycles might just be the ultimate subject for the DistaCam technique. The riders' character and their machines are fascinating when captured with the razor sharp quality of the DistaCam. I hope to make it to Sturgis, South Dakota for the biggest gathering of bikers in America next month to shoot more incredible DistaCam photos.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Tour of California 2007, Long Beach, California

This was shot last February on the last day of the Tour of California as the cyclists raced to the finish on the streets of Long Beach. The Amgen Tour of California was won by Levi Leipheimer.
Levi can be seen wearing the yellow jersey in the long format image.
This shot was the complete opposite of the Tour de France that I attended in 2004--easy access to the course, full cooperation of the officials and I was able to find a great place to set up my camera to shoot this event.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Walking Stary Arbat Street, Moscow, Russia

Though this image may not seem extraordinary, it was fascinating to be in Russia! Several policemen came by and told me I could not videotape this particular street because President Putin often drives down this road. One by one I assured them that we were shooting stills and they allowed me to continue to take the photographs.
I like this image so much. I love the juxtaposition of the cars and the bus and the people. And, to see what IS extraordinary about this shot, look very carefully...there is a very strange effect that this camera--and no other camera--will do. Take a look at the shadows of the people--they go in both directions! The camera reverses the travel of some of the cars and the people making them ALL go in the same direction! I just LOVE the converging and crossing and all the different directions of those shadows.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sugar Cane Train, Maui, Hawaii

This is a classic old train in Lahaina on the island of Maui. It was once used in the Sugar Cane industry and now it is a tourist attraction. I would set up the camera, took a radar gun reading of the train (about 5 mph) as it was coming, measured the distance to the tracks, and shot the picture. Then I would throw the camera in the car, race down the road about a mile or two ahead of the train, take a radar gun reading, measure the distance, shoot the picture and then do it all over again!
Trains are an ideal thing to shoot with this camera.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Walking In Times Square #1

While doing a job for Mercedes in Vermont, I thought I would venture over and see what kind of shots I could get with the DistaCam in New York City. I went down to one of the busiest sections in Times Square, set up at a busy intersection and waited for the light to turn green...
I love to see the faces as people look right at the camera. I especially like the compression of the taxis in this shot and the way this camera renders the motion of the feet on the people as they walk across the street--the "paw" like feet on some and the "snowboard" looking feet on others! The distortions are so entertaining...this is one image where you can really see the "fun house mirror" effect of the camera.
I had one of my assistants walk back and forth across the intersection throughout the shoot. You can see him, in the brown shorts, showing up several times in the image.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Bicycle Race #1, Irvine, California

This is one of my earliest shots--a bicycle race in Irvine, California--and I think it's one of the best bike shots. I set up in a corner so that I could see the bike riders as they were coming around the corner and leaning in so it's more of a 3/4 view... a lot of the shots that I do are more of a side or profile view. This is one where I am actually pointing right into the bikes and cropping a little more aggressively. I really like the way this one works.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Rollerblade Disco In Central Park, New York

This is actually a Rollerblade Disco with people roller blading and dancing around a DJ--in the heart of Central Park, New York. The "ribbon-y blur" effect that runs the entire length of the image is actually one guy standing in the background dancing! His image was captured this because as he danced in the background he moved in and out of the vertical slit viewing area that this camera is based on. This slit covering the film only allows a small vertical slice of the scene to hit the film. Whatever is not moving has a very consistent, linear blurred effect. If the subject is moving in and out of the small vertical slice of the scene, I get that ribbon-y motion effect. If you really look close, you'll see feet and arms show up periodically of this guy who happened to be dancing in just the right spot of the background.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Kart Racing, Oxnard, California

This is a really fun shot. It was taken at the Jim Hall Kart Racing School, where I have raced for many years. I thought it would be great to get a group of Jim's students and racing customers together and take a shot of them. (Jim Hall, kart #2, was the World Karting Champion.) Very rarely do I get to do a "controlled" shot like this, meaning that I was able to tell them how fast to go, where to drive, etc. With most of my DistaCam shots I don't have the luxury of controlling the subjects speed and distance....and that's what makes it a challenge.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Walking in Tokyo, Japan

This is actually a series of images taken when I was in Tokyo, Japan with my daughters a couple of years ago.
I love the first image--full of color and details...take a look at the hats, the amazing eye contact of so many people as they walk by me, especially the one guy with the scary eyes and the two women that look like sisters looking at the camera.
The second image is really interesting to look at closely. I was set up on a part of the street with a subway beneath us, so the ground was not stable. You can see at the start of the image there is kind of a "shaking" effect because as the cars would pass over the unstable ground--the camera would shake. That's why you see the vertical lines there. As soon as the cars pass, and the pedestrians begin to cross the street, you can see that the shaking effect is gone. I am further away from the people with a long lens in this shot so they are not looking at me. It's more of a voyeuristic kind of feel in this image. Toward the end of the shot you see the shake of the image one more time as the cars come through the intersection again.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Indy Lights Race

Taken several years back at the California Speedway in Fontana, this was one of my earliest motor sports images. Each of the cars are doing more than 200mph. The three cars that are diagonally lined up are all going the same speed but you can clearly see the distortion which is because of the different distances that each car is from the camera.
Notice that the near car is compressed a bit and the wheels appear vertical oval because it is closer to the camera. The middle car's wheels are round because this was my measured distance from the track to the camera. The far car is a bit stretched and the wheels appear horizontally oval, because it is further from the camera.
Even though they are all going the same speed...that's the effect of the camera if the distance is a little further away or a little closer to the camera.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Exhibitor Magazine's Feature on DistaVision

What a great month for DistaVision's press. I just received the July issue of Exhibitor Magazine today and it looks great. Earlier this year I attended the Exhibitor 2007 trade show in Las Vegas where I met Exhibitor magazine's staff writer, Janet Van Vleet. Janet took time to look at my DistaCam images and she loved them. She even made a point to stop by the booth that I designed for Triga featuring DistaCam images. Janet mentioned that she wanted to do a feature on DistaVision in the "New Tools" section of the magazine. I think trade show exhibits will be one of the best uses of DistaCam imagery. Thank you to Exhibitor Magazine and Janet Van Vleet for her vision and interest in DistaVision.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

WIRED Magazine

Wired Magazine is on the news stands with a terrific feature on my NASCAR images and the DistaCam. The author, Erin Biba, interviewed me for hours several months ago and the article looks great. Please check out the magazine available at newsstands now. The Transformer cover is beautiful and I don't believe there is a better publication anywhere. Here is the link for the online version:
There are additional DistaCam images online with Flash animation similar to my website.
Thank you to Erin Biba and everyone at Wired for this wonderful opportunity to showcase my work to the movers and shakers of our future.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Lance Armstrong's record 6th TDF victory!

This shot was the culmination of my travels to France. I followed the Tour de France over a period of about three days but didn't really feel like I had come away with anything usable during that time. I knew that the last day, when they do eight laps around the Louvre and the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs Elysees, I would have eight opportunities to capture Lance as he rode past in the peloton, one roll per lap.
I showed up at 4am and walked around the Champs Elysees in the dark and cold trying to figure out where I could get the best shot, where I was allowed to shoot and to assure that I would be in a spot where a ticket would not be necessary! I finally found a perfect front-row spot and had the approval of three security people to set up the camera and shoot...but around 2pm, the gendarme came around asking for tickets! Thankfully, in the 10 hours I had been there, I made lots of friends and there was a wonderful couple--Dick and Ann from Albuquerque, New Mexico, who helped me out and finagled me a ticket to show the gendarme! To this day, Dick and Ann are good friends....they saved my Tour de France shot!
Interestingly, was actually able to meet with Lance Armstrong this last year and show him this image. When he looked at the print he said, "This isn't real. This can't be real...this isn't real!"
I assured him that it was, most definitely real...I gave him a copy of the image and he signed a copy for me.

This is absolutely one of my favorite shots.

Mercedes AMG, Hockenheim, Germany

Having done several jobs for AMG Mercedes, the editor for the magazine became enthralled with the long format technique of my camera. AMG Mercedes was doing a story on the entire line up of AMG Mercedes cars and they asked me to get a long format image of the line up.
We went to Germany and we were able to get access to the Formula One Track in Hockenheim. There was an AMG Mercedes club event happening at the time where American customers were paying for the opportunity to drive these cars around Germany and out on the Hockenheim track. We were actually able to get these customers to drive around the track for our shot. They gave me 10 minutes. And 10 cars.
As the editors looked at the image of the 10 cars, they were somewhat disappointed. I told that in order to make the shot more compelling, they needed more cars! They quickly arranged it and we went out the next day--this time with 20 cars!--and we shot it again to get the image above. They were very pleased.
A funny side story to this one is that two pieces of my luggage were missing when I arrived in Germany and one of them contained the battery for my camera! I notified the magazine that I was missing the battery, but assured them that I would figure out a way to make the shoot happen. I actually ended up dismantling my hotel room lamp, taking out all the wiring so I would be able to wire up some batteries and hook them up to the camera if necessary!
My luggage actually arrived--with the battery--but, I had to be prepared...

Outrigger Canoes, Waikiki, Hawaii

I specifically went over to Hawaii with the "vision" of photographing the Koa Outrigger Canoes--the top of the line canoes--complete with large, tattooed Polynesian rowers rowing them. When I started to talk to people in Waikiki about doing this, they laughed at me. I was told that the Koa Canoes are so priceless, so valuable that they are rarely even taken out!
Still having the dream of getting this shot, I found out that some of the outrigger teams practiced in the Ala Way Canal behind Waikiki beach. I headed over there and found a team of rowers who were willing to help me get the shot.
Shooting on the water is so difficult because it's so hard to measure the distance--and knowing the speed and distance is so critical with capturing these images. I radar gunned the speed of the rowers, which was about 7 mph, and then set up a couple of "buoys" I had made with water bottles and sand. The rowers were able to aim for--and repeatedly go back and forth between--the exact measured spot between these buoys, keeping them at the correct distance.
Thanks to the outrigger rowers' amazing cooperation, I was able to capture the image.

Drive By #1 New York, NY

This image is the complete reverse of the other images--most of the time the camera is stationary and the action moves through the frame. This is one where we actually put the camera in the back seat of a Lincoln Town Car, pointed it out the window and drove down a busy road in New York City. The cars in the foreground are compressed because they are driving through the frame so close. That compression is the 'fun house mirror' -type distortion inherent to this technique.
I like the candid, natural street life look of this...almost a 'survey of the neighborhood.'

Friday, June 22, 2007

Inline skate race

Shot on a foggy morning at sunrise, this race at El Dorado Park in Long Beach was the first time I shot inline skating--and I think it's one of the best things to shoot with this camera. I shot seven rolls of film--one for every lap of the two-mile course. I like this image the best because of the guy out in front--he's looking right at me! Eye contact is one of the things that really makes these shots...nobody else in the image is looking at me. Just that one guy...looking straight at me.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Walking In the Rain, Paris France

While shooting Lance Armstrong's record breaking 6th victory of the Tour de France, I wanted to take advantage of being in Paris and set up this shot near the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs Elysees. I had hired a French photography student to assist me while I was there and as soon as we began to shoot this, it began to rain and my camera stopped working. As I stood in the rain attempting to fix the camera, I realized that I needed a straight pin to "poke out" a part. This young student quickly set out to find one for me.
He came back with a pair of earrings...and it worked. I was able to fix the camera, but was still unsure if I was going to be able to salvage the shot. It was a complete technical challenge, the rain, the camera being uncooperative...I really didn't think I was getting anything at all.
But after all of that, it's ended up being one of my all-time favorite shots. The wet surface, the colors...there's just so much neat stuff going on in this image. And it's got a great story behind it.

Monday, June 18, 2007

NASCAR Racing, #1, Talladega, Alabama

This is my top-selling NASCAR mural image from Taladega Super Speedway. Cars are doing a little bit over 200mph. I was fortunate enough during this race to make a connection with the NBC TV GPS timing people and I was able to call the TV compound and get an actual, acurate read out of how fast the cars were going. That is a big help for me, as the result of knowing the exact speed is a much sharper image. I am able to adjust the camera's RPMS to the distance and exact speed of the cars. I used to just guess.
Today I am able to get the exact speed read outs of the cars through NASCAR's "Pit Command" website as I am actually standing on the side of the track shooting the race.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Walking In Time Square #2

Another great shot in Times Square.
This image was purchased for a "building wrap"--the image is actually wrapped around three sides of a building which houses a car wash in Bakersfield, California. It is 270 feet long by 7 feet high.
It is the building that is behind me in my picture on the top of the blog and on the DistaVision website.