Now on Deck at Philly Reps!

I’ve known Stacy Swiderski for 6 or 7 years now, since her days at Wonderful Machine. She’s been editing my work for just about as long, currently under her own shingle. When I found out that she was starting a project based marketing and consulting house, Philly Reps, I was on board!

What makes Philly Reps different from the rest of the shops out there, and what really got my attention, was their focus. They promote and cultivate one body of work at a time, so it has a chance to sink in. For a happy generalist like myself this is perfect. I’m really excited to see where this goes!

Click the screen grab below to take a look!

My weekend in the Civil War

A few weekends ago I was helping out on a video shoot that would play at the upcoming American Advertising Federation D.C. chapter’s Addys Awards gala. No spoilers here, but the video tells the story of one brave lady’s journey through a Civil War reenactment. During some down time I had the opportunity to make some images of the re-enactors. I was incredibly impressed with their attention to detail, ability to take direction and do the little things to make the scene better, and their overall joy with what they were doing. If you ever find yourself with the need for Civil War or just period actors, talk to Guy over at Old Timey Casting.

Shooting Notes: The conditions on shoot were all over the place. We started with snow on the ground and uniform cloud cover. Over the course of the day, the snow melted, the sun came and went (and came and went some more), and the wind picked up. The only consistent element was that it was chilly! All images were made with either a Canon 5Dmk3 or 5Dmk4, and the Sigma 35mm ART, Canon 85 f1.4L IS, or the Canon 24-70 f2.8L. Some of the portraits benefited from a Profoto A1 shot through an umbrella. I had dreams of using the B1’s with a bigger modifier but the weather conditions were uncertain enough that I didn’t want to risk it without an assistant. All of these images were imported into CaptureOne Pro and “mussed up” in Nik Analog Efex Pro 2. If any of these make it to my portfolio they will likely get further worked in Photoshop.

A First Little Film...

Video, for me, is like going to the gym. I’ve dabbled in it for years, always dragging my heels, making excuses, and generally afraid to commit 100%. After all, I’ve spent 18 years honing my photography skills, and switching to a medium where you can’t even rotate the canvas just seemed… like running for an hour on a treadmill and realizing you haven’t actually moved.

In the past few years I’ve shot a few small projects, generally under the radar, and have been slowly building up my comfort level and equipment. I’ve filmed a few interviews and captured some B-roll; leaving most of it on the editing room floor. In December I took the plunge and purchased a Canon C100mk2, a dedicated video camera. (‘Cause hey? Why not go big?) I’ve been getting acquainted with this tool ever since. I’m still learning to edit, but I’ve come a long way since committing.

Here’s my first little personal project with the camera:

Tech Notes:

This was all shot with the Canon C100mk2. The lenses were either the Canon’s 24-105mm f4/L II, the 100mm L Macro, or the Canon 35mm Art. A few shots made use of this nifty little FLM tabletop tripod with a Manfrotto ball head. Editing was done on Premiere Pro. Music was licensed from

Climbing with Outward Bound

Earlier this fall I was contacted by a private school in Baltimore to make some images of students undertaking a multiple day hike in southern PA with the Baltimore Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound chapter. In the last year or so I’ve been focusing on kids’ science and exploration (hey, look here!) and this fit nicely into that niche.

We decided to shoot the rock climbing day at Shaffer Rock, in Michaux State Park, as it provided many opportunities for great images, unique angles and chances to show teamwork. This was a last minute shoot and we didn’t have the final go ahead until 3 pm on the afternoon before the 8:30 am shoot. This made things a bit tricky: there was no opportunity to scout the location and no budget for an assistant. And, because the kids were already on the trail by the and out of cell phone range by the time the shoot was formalized, there was no way to contact the trip leaders to ask any questions or work out any details. It was pretty much a show up at the rock face and hope for the best.

Luckily, I’m always up for an adventure.

Here’s a glimpse:

Special Thanks & Shoot Notes: (cause people always ask.)

First thing I have to do is give a big high five to Ben Worden and the Outward Bound team for being so professional and accommodating every step of the way. (Pun intended.) I’m very attentive regarding the safety of all of participants in a shoot like this (less so my own) and the trail leaders did a masterful job of managing the needs of one pesky photographer (me) while shepherding the kids through a life changing experience. Next time I’m stranded on the side of a mountain with 60 lbs of photo gear I hope they are there to rescue me.

Second, thanks to Subaru for making such great cars. The trail to the base of the rock face was closed, requiring a somewhat convoluted detour on some unmarked park roads to the top of the rock. My Outback isn’t a city car, but Roo just ate up the crunchy, gravelly, winding road. He seemed so… happy.

Gear Notes: I’m a prime lens fan but because of the uncertain location and weather conditions Canon’s phenomenal 24-70 f2.8L II and 70-200L f2.8 (v1) carried the majority of the weight this go around. I also used the 16-35 f2.8L to get into some tight corners. I shot on a 5Dmk3 and 5Dmk4. Oddly enough when I shoot the two cameras side by side I like the color on the mk3 better. Anyone else?

Scouting via park maps the night before revealed that the face was on the north (shadow) side of the hill so I lugged a Profoto B1 up and down the trail in a Pelican case, along with a big ol’ light stand and collapsible beauty dish. Everything is processed in Capture One 11.