Summer in Maine, Part 1

A summer trip to my home state of Maine is just about the best thing in the world, second only TWO summer trips to the Maine coast.

In Part 1, the Rakolas spent the 4th of July holiday at The Colony, a rental cottage community that's been a Mount Desert Island Institution since just about forever. From there we poked around the Acadia National Park region:

But, why not mix business and pleasure when both are, you know, fun? Betsy and the boys left on a Saturday and I stayed around to shoot a project at the Acadia Institute of Oceanography, which I attended when I was just a wee little lad. So, on a beautiful Saturday morning, we made some images. Here's a sampling:

Stay tuned for Part 2, coming very soon.

Michael Douglas for Science News

No, not that Michael Douglas. 

Here are some outtakes and "sketch" images (see below) for the last of a three part shoot I did for Science News earlier this spring. Michael Douglas, who was adopted, has a genetic disease called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. As a result of this, his blood vessels don't constrict properly and he has had a constant migraine for over years. Using three different testing companies and some sleuthing, he found his birth family in southern Maryland, and was able to learn more about his family's medical history. We shot these images on a perfectly cloudy day on Solomon's Island.

I like to "sketch" images from shoots. These are basically just quick stylistic treatments that aren't necessarily how I imagine they'll be used by the client, but nevertheless provide a good way to explore different "feels". Increasingly, I am previsioning shoots with different post production styles in mind. (Look at me getting all artsy!)

Most often for these sketches I'll use Analog Efex Pro 2 by Nik software (recently purchased by DxO). I rarely save recipes because I want to avoid being in a rut, utilizing the same "tricks" time after time. Having said that, I do have a few basic recipes that I start with as a base and I will individually salt to taste each image afterwards.

Big thanks to assistant Steven Wesley for humoring me, arriving 2 hours early to scout the location and listen to me mutter, "it's gonna rain any second now..." Also big thanks to Erin Otwell at Science News for the assignment and for being so open to creative interpretations on this and the first two parts of the assignment.

Tech specs, because people ask: All of the portrait images were made with a Canon 5Dmk4 with the amazing Canon 85mm f1.4 IS L series lens, EXCEPT for the first image, which was made with Sigma's 35mm 1.4 ART lens. Both of these lenses are really really pretty in their own way. Lighting was via a Profoto B1 and their collapsible 22" beauty dish. The latter of which, while it feels flimsy, is a pretty nice little modifier. All images put through CaptureOne Pro and processed in Nik Analog efex Pro 2. I don't think any of these ever hit Photoshop.

So I shot a book...

Here's a super sneaky advance preview of my third (of five) books that I've shot for National Geographic Kids. It's called Dog Science: Unleashed and you can pick it up August 7th. Very big thanks to Lori Epstein who has been the photo director/editor on all five of my books for NatGeo Kids. If you get a chance, write to her and suggest that I shoot a book in Australia. Just saying. Also thanks to all of the pooches, their kids, and everyone who helped make this a great book.

 

 I smile every time I see the cover because I can remember each dog's unique personality.

I smile every time I see the cover because I can remember each dog's unique personality.

 Scarlett just has the prettiest eyes! (Take my word for it or better yet– buy the book.)

Scarlett just has the prettiest eyes! (Take my word for it or better yet– buy the book.)

 Seriously?? Daisy was one of my favorites. (Just don't tell Daisy#2, Buddha, or Chloe or...)

Seriously?? Daisy was one of my favorites. (Just don't tell Daisy#2, Buddha, or Chloe or...)

 I've always said that it's not a real day on the job until I'm lying on the ground making a picture. Wiping dog slobber off the lens is just an added bonus.

I've always said that it's not a real day on the job until I'm lying on the ground making a picture. Wiping dog slobber off the lens is just an added bonus.