Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hot Bartenders, French Maids, Wedding, and Bank Robbers.... OH MY!

Wowsers what a week and weekend last week provided for me. Once again too many diet cokes, too many fast food dinners, and not enough sleep. Wait, that sounds like more of a normal week than I thought it was. Really though working overtime on the Hottest Bartenders in Indianapolis really isn't the worst thing I have to work on at the newspaper. My point being this:

(Canon 1D Mark II ISO 250, Canon 70-200F2.8L IS @130mm F4 1/50th. 580EX Speedlight on a pocket wizard at a quarter power at camera right through a 42" Umbrella, 580EX Speedlight at Full power into the wooden walls of the bar about 30 feet to camera left, to give the background some light and a little bit of a warm glow)

Yea it's definitely not the worst thing I have to do, but it is a rather challenging project. When I get started I get a list of bartenders and the bar they work at. There are only a few problems with this. First is that bars are only open in the evenings, and not normally on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. The second major problem is that any bar in their right mind won't give out the phone number of their bartender to just anybody that asks. Especially if they are a hot bartender. So out comes my ability to be a stalker. Leaving message after message at the bar until someone gets back to me, I slowly work on my list of 40 Bartenders. In the end, I ended up with 27. It's a little short; but it's the most we've ever had.

(Canon 1D Mark II, ISO 250, 16-35mm F2.8L @32mm, F4 1/40th. 580EX speedlight on a pocket wizard set to a quarter power through a 42" umbrella above camera right.)

(Canon 1D Mark II, ISO 200, Canon 70-200mm F2.8L IS @200mm F4, 1/100th. One Canon 580EX Speedlight triggered by pocket wizard set to half power shot through window in the hallway, another 580EX speedlight on pocket wizard at 1/16th power shot into the right side wall mirror from camera left)

(Canon 1D Mark II, Canon 16-35F2.8L @24mm. F4, 1/50th. Single 580EX speedlight triggered by pocket wizard set to half power shot into a 60" white reflector to camera left)

(Canon 1D Mark II, Canon 70-200 F2.8L IS @140mm. F4, 1/80th. 580EX speedlight triggered by Pocket Wizard shot through a 42" umbrella to camera right, 580EX Speedlight set to 1/8th power triggered by pocket wizard placed directly behind Sarah)

Like I've said twice now; not the worst project I've ever worked on. You can find the rest of the Hot Shots here, on Indianapolis Metromix. You will also see we have listed where you can find whomever you feel is a hottie. Don't forget to vote either. Of course there was a nice break inbetween the bartender shenanegans. In the last post I spoke about the Hardee's French Dip French Maid Team stopping by the newspaper. You can find the final gallery of images on Metromix here.

At about 10:30PM on Friday I got in the car and went to Elkhart for Kenny and Sarah's Wedding. They had the most beautiful church I'd seen in the longest time. It was like a castle. Except a castle with pirates, and lasers and Ninja's and stuff. Freakin amazing it was. Big BIG congratulations to them. Of which; this is them:

(Nikon D3,ISO 800, Nikon 70-200mm F2.8VR@180mm, F2.8, 1/60th)

Last but not least, after I got back on Sunday from the wedding, I headed towards the south side of Indy to shoot a page out of the 2010 Roller Derby calendar, and successfully destroy an SB-800 flash unit. I may exaggerate a bit, I have not seen the destroyed remains of my SB-800, but it was in the engine compartment of a an open engine 1929 Ford V8 Hot Rod as it drove away. As it rounded the corner, I asked where it was and.........yea.......apparently it was last seen headed towards Canada. Or at least the West Side anyway. I can't say much about the Derby calendar page except that these girls looked SMOKIN! Super HOT. Just to give you a general Idea though, I'll leave you with a photo of the culprit, and it's owners. Snapped a shot of them with their baby to thank them for letting us use it. I'll tell you right away, this is NOT what you can expect for the Derby Calendar. Also, I believe you can see my SB-800 hard at work inside the engine compartment....More Soon.

(Nikon D3, ISO 250, Nikon 70-200F2.8VR@95mm, F5.6, 1/30th. Dynalite 400JR with reflector and 20 degree spot grid triggered by pocket wizard set to full power shot through a fence to the left. Dynalite 400JR 20' high triggered by pocket wizard with regular reflector pointed down on the set set from camera right like a street light, set to 1/8th power. SB900 Flash unit dialed to 200mm with a snoot set to half power on SU-4 mode aimed at the head of Kevin. SB-800 Flash Unit snooted and dialed to 105mm set to half power Fired by SU-4 mode aimed at Julie's head. SB-800 set to 1/8th power Fired by SU-4 mode sitting in the engine of the car)

Saturday, July 25, 2009


So I promised a few folks a blog update today with a preview of the Hottest Bartenders in Indy. Problem is that It's almost 2am, and I've got a 30 minute drive to shoot a wedding starting at 8AM. That means that I FAIL, and am not posting about the hot bartenders until later this weekend. So instead of the Hottest bartenders tonight, I've got something else. Meet the Hardee's French Dip Maids.....

For all intents and purposes this image is straight out of the camera. The colors seem much more vibrant in photoshop than in Firefox, but oh well. Once the gallery comes out you can see the girls in their Fully Glory. Canon EOS 1D Mark II, 100ISO F11 1/125th/sec @17mm. There is a single solitary 580EX speedlight set to show stopping full power being shot through a Lumiquest Softbox 3.0 to camera left. You can actually even see it in the frame. Shows that this is untouched. Those hands on the bottom belong to my buddy Ben at the paper. He was a great voice activated light stand.

Anyway, I got the call to shoot these girls on Thursday afternoon this week and what can I say? I couldn't think of a better thing to do on a Friday afternoon. That and I'm a guy, hot chicks in French Maid outfits? Heck yea! So sure enough, the girls got to the newspaper at a little after 5, and we went to the circle to take some shots. I wish I'd have had more time to spend with the girls because they were all really cool. Unfortunately I had to bolt so I could shoot some more bartendres. I mean that about them being cool though; not just hot girls in maid outfits, but cool girls. We talked about Chuck Norris, Sugar Free Red Bull, Genetic's and a few other off topic things. I know a few people are going to PM me asking if I got phone numbers and the answer is no. I know, I know. Damn professionalism; once again I fail but whatever. It was a good time. Thanks again ladies!

Anyhoo.... There will be a full gallery of pics at www.indianapolis.metromix.com in the next day or so. The Hot Shots hottest bartenders will be up there by Monday at 5pm too, so keep your eyes posted for that. I did promise a few I'd have some online before then, so keep your eyes peeled on here for that. Everybody likes some hot bartenders..... Until then though, Tomorrow I'm shooting Kenny and Sarah's wedding and then Sunday I'll be shooting a Dillenger themed month for the 2010 Roller Derby calendar. Busy weekend. More Soon.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Artistic Blog

It was brought to my attention recently that I don't post a lot of my more artistic works; either on my website or anywhere for that matter. This blog entry is dedicated to remedying that I suppose as the most recent to tell me this was my friend Dr. X.

Primarily a debate was launched about the difference between photographic styles. Dr. X Fancy's himself as a much much more artistic style photographer, experimenting with Depth of Field abstract forms and ect ect. Dr. X makes me realize that having a release is very necessary in order to survive having a profession that is 95% of the rest of the worlds Hobby. In honor of Dr. X's and my conversation I give you a few of: My Trees.

As shooting info, the first image of the blog was shot with a Canon 1D Mark II ISO 200, 1/50th at F14 @16mm. THe second image in the blog was the Nikon D3 320ISO 1/40th sec, 28-70mmF2.8@58mm F2.8. The last frame was the Nikon D3 ISO 100, 28-70mm@70mm F16, 17minute and 4 second exposure.

Why do I shoot trees? I have no idea. It just started one day on a shoot for the newspaper when I saw one, that I simply had to photograph. It was a strange thing, but that's how it happened. I don't go looking for my trees, but if I see one I definitely take a minute to snap a few frames. It's not that Tree's are my only outlet for creativity it's just the one thing that I do for no purpose. I shoot the Trees just to shoot them. Not for anyone but myself. I have this one hanging as a 24"x36" hanging above my computer at home:

(Nikon D3, 500ISO 60mm AF-S Macro @F10 1/60th)

I want to thank Dr. X for showing me that just because you shoot something just to shoot it doesn't mean someone may not want to see it. I'd never really thought about selling prints of my trees, or setting up a gallery out there for people to see. Maybe someday if I have quite a few of them I can make a coffeetable book out of them or some jazz. I don't know. I've got about 15 of them now, so slowly but surely I suppose. We'll see if I even find any more to shoot after this. That would be my luck anyway now wouldn't it?

Anyway, this week is more Bartenders. I'd post one, but I've got about 30 left to shoot this week, and that sounds like a nice surprise for next week. Next week also I've got another Roller Derby calendar shoot. Speaking of the Roller Derby, last night was the end of season Banquet. I was awarded the "Quentin Tarantino" award. 'd say it was coveted, except I don't think it existed until about 8pm last night. I also am not positive as to what it means, but all I have to say is: COOL! THANKS LADIES! Exciting week ahead indeed. Until then though, I leave you with one of Dr. X's shots. Instead of Trees, he shoots doors. More soon.

(Photo by Dr. X)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Derby Heavy Summer......at least for a few of us.

(Nikon D3, 200ISO 28-70 F2.8@F11 1/80th. Two Dynalight 400JR's behind the truck straight reflectors. Lighting for Michelle is coming from the open Firehouse bay doors.)

The Summer is known as Derby Off Season for most, but not for me. The summer inches on, and shoots are planned and exectued so that we can launch the Roller Derby calendar to the public on time at the end of the year. There is a giant list of girls, and a Giant list of concepts to be planned out. Several Photographers, Stylists, set coordinators, assistants, and fast food restaurants get together and are potentially injured in the making of this product. The shot above is a test shot from the first shoot of the 2010 Calendar. The woman in the shoot is Michelle.... AKA:Red Rocket. The test shot isnt the final light setup for this position, but I liked the shot so that's what ya'll get.

Michelle is a fellow photographer that offered to help out with the shoot. She's an awesome shooter that is responsible for most of the InTake, Indy.com, and Metromix print covers here in Indianapolis. Also I couldn't have picked a better model to be in the test shot. Waaay better than this dude.....

(Nikon D3 800ISO 28-70F2.8@F5 1/640sec. 1x SB-900 and 2x Sb-800 flash units set to high Speed Sync. One set to fill front, one side, and other back.)

This wasn't the only derby event over the weekend though. Amber, AKA Strawberry Jam got married on Saturday. I was honored to be asked to join in the festivities as well. Originally I was just going to take some shots at the reception, but Red Rocket asked me to lend a helping light hand with holding lights n'such for the posed wedding photos. I was more than happy to help; after all my ADD wouldn't have let me say no to helping out either Red Rocket, or Strawberry. Not that I didn't shoot some of my own either though.....

(Nikon D700 200ISO, 50mm F1.4 @F2)

Amber made a beautiful bride. She was sort of self conscious, and kept saying "It's my day to be a girl, remember I'm a girl today". I expect nothing less from a Derby wedding. Scott, the groom, cleaned up nicely too. The wedding was beautiful being on the canal here in Indianapolis; and the reception was a hella good time for sure.

(Nikon D700 400ISO, 18-35mm@F5 1/3 a second.)

That's SJ and her Hubby. I just kind of liked this shot, even though most of the frame is dark. it seems very intimate in the middle of the party. A least to me anyway, my camera takes better pictures than I ever could. Sometimes I feel like I'm just pushing the button. I'll tell you what though, there are definitely reasons to love being a photographer. We got some great stuff at the firehouse, and I really look forward to the next calendar shoot I'm planning out. I believe it's going to be a Film Noir detective theme. Freakin Sweet.

Otherwise this week is filled with another reason to love being a photographer. This week is the beginning of the Indy's Hot shots Hottest Bartenders. Thankfully that's my territory, which has me leaving you with an image and a word of advice: Always tip your bartender........More soon.

(Canon 1D Mark II, ISO 200, 70-200 @150mm F4. Single 580EX speedlight set to 1/4 power through a 42" umbrella to the left)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Dark week....

Anyone who has ever worked in corporate America knows there is a risk of losing their job for any reason at all. To combat this risk, people formed Unions, which then protected employees as a group. In today's day in age, unions are becoming a thing of the past though, and unfortunately they can not protect people the way that they used to. Thursday July 9th 2009 was a dark day for Gannett, and the Indianapolis Star. The Indianapolis Star had to let go of 37 people who had done nothing wrong, except been deemed to hold a position that was no longer necessary by "higher powers". All of those employees will be dearly missed. One of the hardest parts is continueing to do your job as it happens; continually wondering if that dreaded call will come to your desk. To my friends who are no longer with the Star, or Gannett. The best of luck, my heart goes to you. The sun has set on your time with the Star, but not on your time over all. We're all here for you.

(Canon 1D Mark II Canon EF 16-35mmF2.8@16mm F6.3 320ISO)

Reading what was posted above, you can imagine it's been a very tense week. The shot above was shot on the "Black Thursday" mentioned above. It is for an Ad for Z's Oyster Bar near 82nd Street in Indianapolis. They wanted to illustrate the water, and the porch in one shot. This was my solution. I have a feeling they will be happy with the set of shots I provided considering the shots they had already were shot at noon on a Sunday....For the non photographer readers; yes lots of light is good, but the brightest light possible coming from directly overhead? bad...

The rest of the week I had some Nursing shoots to keep my mind off of the Thursday that all of us at the Star knew was coming. I went into St. Vincent's hospital on Tuesday to shoot inside of the Surgery Ward. It was one of those moments where you wonder how you got to where you are at, because I had to go through preventative measures in order to be back there. They must have seen me eat or something because I had to wear this white body suit, blue booties and a hairnet. If I'd have had a box of Junior mints with me, the scene would have been complete.

(Above Photo by Joe Soria)

(Canon 1D Mark II Canon EF 16-35mmF2.8@16mm F5 1/80th 200ISO)

It just so happened that Joe was wearing a white suit just like mine while he was in the Surgery Ward assisting me. Had him hold an 580EX pointed directly at himself. Instant bounce card. Best Voice Activated Light Stand ever....

Really in the end I guess it has been a productive week. Many know that I'm a gearhead and I've got a great new gadget that I'm hoping to play more with by my next post. It's made by Delkin and it's the Fat Gecko camera mount. Basically it's two large suction cups that attaches a camera to any smooth surface. Does it work? Hells yea it works! Attempt 1 proved to be effective enough, but I'm still looking at other applications for the device. I'm really looking forward to mounting lights to it, in awkward spaces. Whoa baby.

(Above Photo by Brad Clampitt)
That setup stuck to Brad's trunk helped me to grab this:

(Nikon D700 Nikkor 18-35mm@F8 ISO 1600 1/3sec)

The guy on the Bike is my buddy Tom. He's a good shooter here in town, and he's another one of the Staff shooters for the Roller Derby. He also happens to be about as off his rocker as I am; always willing to try something a little new and different. One time he and I convinced two ladies working in a Subway that we were fraternal twins despite the 13 year age difference....

Whew, so yea I've been busy this week and it's not over yet. Tomorrow I'm helping out a friend who is shooting a wedding I was attending already. How many times in your life can you say you went to and helped shoot a wedding for someone named Strawberry Jam? Seriously. Awesome. Then on Sunday is the first month out of the 2010 Roller Derby Calendar, and the launch of Episode 2 of the "One Woman One Million" webseries I've been working on which is why I'm up right now at 5am. Sometimes video just takes that little bit of extra time. That and I went out and shot a little bit on the canal. Brad's been hankerin to do that for his girlfriend Melanie in Canada, and tonight seemed like nice enough night. SO yea, busy week, I'm exhausted. More Soon.

(Sony A700 ISO 200 F9 20sec, Sigma 16mm Fisheye)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Blog: Vacation Edition

Everybody likes to have some time off, and I got to experience that Rarity last weekend. I got to spend some time with some of the best friends anybody could ask for, that I never get to see. I studied Photography at Purdue, and I'll tell you what. There weren't many of us that did. Not that I'm saying I'm special, it's just that there were 3,000 engineers for every 1 photo student. Needless to say, all of my friends are engineers that live across the country doing various things to keep us safe, or make sure our ketchup stays red. We are able to get together maybe once a year if we're lucky. They know I'm a photographer for a living, so when I pull out the camera they all attempt to act normal, but are all interested in learning about things like depth of field, and things that I don't really think about anymore. It's really great to be accepted into such a smart group of friends, and be able to contribute to some sort of technical mumbo jumbo conversation that comes up.

That's Doug. Doug is easily one of the smartest people I know, and is definitely an asset to Boeing and the proejcts he works on. Doug is also very easily excited, and yes his wetsuit is on backwards in this photo. This oversight was quickly corrected, but Doug and I had several conversations about depth of Field over the course of the weekend. (intermixed among other conversations regarding how many beers were in a keg, and how much each person in a 12 person group would have to drink in terms of cases to comlete the keg, if it was in case form). Doug is the kind of guy that if asked, and gave a number to a decimal I'd believe pretty instantly. Anyway, Doug was intrigued by being able to isolate an object through a camera optically.

D700, AF-S50mm F1.4 @F1.4, Ambient light.

Even though it was vacation I am more than willing to talk photography, and I only hope that I was able to answer Doug's questions regarding Depth of Field. Unfortunately I didn't have any long glass with me to demonstrate lens compression as well, but if I'd have done that I'd have also tried to set up a speedlight, and then probably take the entire shoot out of control over a simple explanation. I'm sort of a Nut like that. My buddy Brad knows this; He has a brand new Sony A700 and will call and email me at all times of the day with questions. Brad is the kind of guy whose imagination was last seen dry humping a bug zapper. This is more than likely why he and I get along. Brad has been known to assist me from time to time because he's interested in learning anything he can get his hands on; and I greatly appreciate his help. Last week he helped me film some video for Express Effects Cosmetics; the company that makes THINgloss. The owner has launched a new campaign to be a ray of hope in our current economic situation. You can learn more about it here. She is going to put a webisode up every week charting her progress, in a very similar fashion to Reality TV.

I've got some more video to shoot later this week, and this next weekend will start the shooting for the 2010 Roller Derby Calendar. If I can find time and I end up doing something worth writing about I'll be sure to do so. Until then, find something you want and be diligent about it; work for it. If it's really as great as you think it is, the prize will be worth the fight. More soon.

Tony eagerly awaits the time to bulid a campfire.
D700 AF-S 50mm F1.4@F1.4.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Aunt Martha.....

Last weekend my Great Aunt Martha passed away. I received the call on the bus to Louisville with the Naptown Warning Belle's roller derby team. My grandfather found her in her apartment Saturday when he went to check on her.

She had the thickest Croatian accent you'd ever find. I think most people will remember that she always had a smile on her face, even though nobody could understand a word she said. She referred to everybody as 'young X'. Replace the X with whatever you may be. Young man, young woman, young dog, young car, ect ect. She was also especially known for her Christmas Cactus. (which I now own the offspring of). If I had a photo I could post of this, I'd do it; but unfortunately I can't even find a photo of her currently. But anyway, she used to put Christmas lights on a cactus every year, because she was getting too old to carry or assemble the Christmas tree. Honestly the idea is brilliant, keeps us kids away from the presents before the big day for sure.

Despite all these things, she was layed to rest today. Our family, will miss her. My grandfather especially, who I believe is her only living relative here in the US. They were cousins. Since I can't find a photo of her (and she didn't like to have her picture taken anyway), I think I'll end with a photo that she would have smiled at. A photo of my grandfather from last christmas, sharing a bite to eat with my sisters dog. More soon.