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.