Film is dead.
Digital is flat and boring.
Film is tedious and time consuming.
Digital has no life and lacks depth.
Blah blah blah.
My friends at Hanlon-Fiske Studios put together an event that brought together some colleagues from around the Rochester/Buffalo region, to spend the day shooting nothing but film. Each of us had our own beast to shoot. Graflex Speed Graphic. Hasselblad 501C. I used the old tank, Pentax 67
Having been 10 years since I shot film on a job, every time I loaded a new roll, I fully admit I fumbled around like a new-born Gazelle.
Argue all you want about Film VS. Digital. I had a fantastic time shooting on one of the first, warm and sunny days of the year. I’ll keep shooting film as long as it’s still manufactured and someone is still processing it. Sure it has it’s practical limitations when shooting a commercial job, but the sky is the limit when you’re just out to have fun and create some new art.
There is a certain raw (Not RAW) quality I like about these pictures that you might be able to duplicated with Photoshop filters.
But then, what’s the point?
My mind is always racing. Always on something else. I forget to play sometimes.
It’s the playing that informs my work. It’s why I do what I do.
We just got dumped on, here in Buffalo, NY. It’s a gift. We’re lucky. I’m lucky. I have a backyard full of beautiful snow. I’m physically fit and I can go outside and throw myself around. I did that tonight. I did it without thinking. Too much shit rattling around in my head. Too much information. Too much everything. Turn it off.
The snow finally flew. I’m loving it.
Go outside and play, my friends.
I was recently contracted by Account-One to shoot a campaign for 5.11 Tactical, a company out of Medesto, CA that provides clothing to law enforcement, military and firefighting professionals. Trish Phelan, who was working production for the shoot, was my initial contact. Thinking I would be a great fit for the style of the campaign, Trish gave my name to the folks at Account-One.
5.11 was looking to expand their line of clothing to retail outlets like Dicks Sporting goods and Gander Mountain. The images were used in their catalogue, web and free-standing adds. The campaign was to feature their TacLight Pro Pant. Wanting to feature the pants from the ground level, I shot most of the production on my stomach.
Photo: Lisa Ellen Cooper
Check your volume before you watch this first production video.
Video: Andy “The Boosh” Buscemi
Our first attempt at smoking the tires threw specks of hot melted black-top all over my forearm leaving me with small, spotted second degree burns. It was definitely worth it.
Video: Lisa Ellen Cooper
The overall production was amazing. I had more fun than you can shake a stick at. Working with Creative Director, Pete Ahl and the Agency President, Neal Davis, Trish and her production crew and all the talent was a joy all around. Folks, I asked for fresh fruit and Lindsay Cave Sisting got it for me. Fruit I say! I was well taken care of. I can’t wait to work with them all again.
I work for bananas…
Here’s some out takes and edit concepts from the production.
Over the past six years, I have been back and forth to Moab, Utah many times to shoot and ride trails. I won’t go on about Moab and what it does for the spirit. If you’ve been there, you know. If you haven’t, I highly suggest you get out there and experience one of the most beautiful places on our planet. The five hour drive out of Denver on I70 will slowly build images in your mind that you will never forget for as long as you live. Don’t think. Just go. Trust me. On your way, stop in Fruita, Co and eat at http://hottomatocafe.com/. Slices as good as any I have found deep in Brooklyn and New Belgium brews on tap. Pure genius.
On my last trip to Moab, I was finally able to shoot my favorite portion of Porcupine Rim trail that overlooks the Colorado River. I asked around for someone with better than average riding skills and all fingers pointed to Tyson Swasey who works as a mechanic at Poison Spider bike Shop. If you are familiar with the biopic 127 Hours about Aron Ralston then you might recall the opening scene where Aron is riding out in Canyonlands. In the 1st clip, that is Tyson riding as James Franco’s stunt double.
While Tyson isn’t a professionally sponsored rider, he was as a good a trail rider as any pro I have ever shot. A bit of a photo buff himself, Tyson was easy to direct. It also helped that he was born and raised in Moab, so he knew the exact spot I wanted to shoot.
Low sun + bicycle + Tyson + Moab + trail – Aaron forgetting anything like his CF cards = Aaron make good picture = Aaron Happy
To celebrate their 25th anniversary, Crowley Webb decided to give away a full scale marketing campaign, through a contest called the 25 Hour Work Day. The winning business was You and Who. You can read about them at the links.
Working with Crowley Webb was an amazing experience. Everyone was enthusiastic and even at Midnight, 15 hours into the work day, they were all still full of energy. I can’t wait to work with them again. They were very much like a happy family. If I ever decided to leave the life of a freelancer and become gainfully employed, these are the kind of people I would want to work with.
Here’s a few production shots from the job.
Everything was going just fine, until this thing showed up and the entire office of 40 people started melting. Myself included.
Thanks to my intern, Liz Bukowski, a photo student at Villa Maria College, for her hard work during the shoot and getting these next few shots to me so quickly.
I have always been fascinated by what drives peoples passions as they endeavor towards perfection. There is beauty in perfection. Or what we perceive as perfection. Wisdom. Enlightenment. Super-galactic, omnipresent oneness. For many, that pursuit is life long. Some would argue that by virtue of it’s existence, a thing is flawed and therefore, not perfect. I would tend to agree. But the journey to achieve perfection through one’s passion is what’s important.
Be it a hobby, job or philanthropic endeavor, The Passion Project celebrates those that strive for perfection. My hope is that my passion for what I do, in some way, matches the passion of my subjects.
Each subject’s post will accompany a short bio and the definition of passion as defined by the subject. (Bio and definition to follow in this post)
With that, I give you the boys of Vera Pizzaria. I have always had a great love affair for the perfect cocktail. When owner, Cameron Rector, told me he was opening the kind of place that served prohibition era drinks, I was ecstatic. Upon my first visit, they didn’t disappoint. Jon Karel and Marshell Scheuttle are two of the finest bartenders in the city, and quite dapper, I might add. With each fantastic concoction, the gentleman will educate you on the history and myths that surround the cocktail. The drink menu is incredible, but if you’re feeling a little adventuresome, tell your bartender what your favorite liquor is and let him take it from there.
My love for capturing movement and action doesn’t stop with mountain biking. I have a passion for capturing dynamic movement of all kinds. Break dancing certainly fits that bill.
Battle@Buffalo is a monthly breakdancing event hosted by, Verve Dance Studio. Last month, New Era, welcomed, Verve, as the main sponsor and host for this epic outside battle. There’s not a lot I can say about these photos that they don’t already say for themselves. The day was beautiful and the skies were more than I could have asked for. Thanks to New Era …
I was recently hired to photograph Emmanuel Lewis, A.K.A., DJ Sike, for a promo campaign. When my studio partners, Luke Copping and Scott Gable and I renovated the space, we decided to leave one of the brick walls exposed. I’m glad we did.
Manny had a great sense of humor and was a blast to shoot. I hope to work with him again soon. You can catch him spinning records, Saturday, at this months Battle@Buffalo. I’ll be there all day, capturing some amazing dancing.
Here’s a few out-takes and edit concepts from the shoot.