I’m in the process of designing a Jiminy Peak wedding album for next month’s bridal fair and wanted to share this brilliant behind-the-scenes shot that my friend Toby Gelston took as I was setting up a group photo. It’s one of those candid magical in-between moments that happen, and often have the most impact. Stay tuned for the album link, and also check out Toby’s photo geekdom at: https://photorec.tv/
Very happy to spread the Jam with my friends Ross and Danine of Jamtastic, for their new Website http://www.jamtasticjam.com.
I wanted to share a shot from today’s shoot in the studio for the folks at The Real McCoy Spirits. I found this old door under our camp this past summer and it’s been getting a lot of use lately. I love composing shots and seeing where they end up. I really like how this one is looking.
I wanted to share a few photos from a recent assignment in New York City to cover the media event Terroir & Meroir, an exploration of wine and oysters with Kim Crawford winemaker Anthony Walkenhorst. Shucking lessons and pairings by Zadie’s Oyster Room Chef Devon Dearden and Oyster Sommelier Chris Maslowski. I was impressed with the staff (who put up with me shooting in the prep areas and behind the bar) as they cracked and shucked hundreds of oysters for the assembly of writers and reviewers. My favorites were the amazing prepared oysters (see menu below)—which were baked, broiled, fried, and poached—with complex layers of flavors that paired beautifully with the Kim Crawford wines.
The first week in May has been declared by President Obama as National Teacher Appreciation Week, and tomorrow—May 3rd, marks National Teacher Appreciation Day.
For many of us we can name that one teacher or professor that had a notable and profound influence in shaping our professional lives, and for me there was one professor in particular that inspired me in my work even today—Dr. Fred Johns. Even though I was an English Communications major at North Adams State College and he was a professor of Biology we crossed paths in the campus photo club in 1994. At the time I was still learning the fundamentals of B/W darkroom techniques of exposing film and paper to chemicals and the photojournalism basics of composition and telling a story with an image.
Fred (he insisted we call him Fred and not Professor or Dr. Johns, but many still did) was immersed in all things to do with the Macintosh computer platform and especially photoshop and photo editing software and other beta photo editing sharewares. I took one of his computer graphics classes in 1995 where we scanned our photos into simple photo editing programs and learned to draw clipping paths and create compositions and digital manipulations like solarization and embossing on clunky and slow Apple II machines—and my mind was blown.
Early on he saw the possibilities of the platform and before long with his help we transitioned the school newspaper, The Beacon, from film and prints to film scanners and a 100% digital workflow. Computing power and graphics software for the non-professional user was still in the early days in the mid 90’s and Adobe, Quark and Corel were just starting to make a push into the publishing field.
Fred was like a little kid with a newly discovered set of tools in his smoke-filled and cramped office with its cluttered stacks of books and papers on biology that were quickly giving way to multiple Power Macs and the early versions of Photoshop for dummies books that he would readily share with any student who showed interest. He would give away copies of 3.5-inch floppy discs with the latest shareware or photoshop filter download that he handed out for students like me to try out. Many of the informal “classes” he taught was either in his office after hours or out in the parking lot while he was smoking his ever present cigarettes that ultimately took his life in December 2009. He didn’t teach his knowledge of photography and emerging computer graphics technology for the money or the academic prestige, but to pass on his enthusiasm for the subject onto his students at a time when e-mail wasn’t even widely used yet.
To this day, whenever I am doing a particularly tedious clipping path for a commercial product photo composition or retouching of a portrait or digital reproduction of an old family photo for a client, I think foldly of Fred and how his enthusiasm for photoshop and the Macintosh platform influenced my early publishing and ultimately photography career.
I wonder what he would think of the gadgets and gizmos we have today, no doubt he would be holed up in his office all ours of the night tapping away on an iPad or standing in the parking lot with a smoke in one hand and an iPhone in the other—quick with a grin and positive word preceded by, “Hey Greg, have you seen this new software!”
I have been photographing R. John Wright Dolls for a few years now, and I’m always amazed at the level of intricate detail that their dolls entail—each one painstakingly hand-made and painted in their factory right here in Bennington, Vermont. I sometimes shoot at their factory, but mostly here in the studio and John’s wife Susan has the un-enviable task of trying to get them to pose just right without falling over, yet looking animated. We hem and haw about each shot while the hi-res camera sensor shows every flaw in glaring detail under the lights, so we fidget and fuss over each shot. I’ve started photographing them on set and wanted to show a few shots from our most recent session which included the newest and final member, the Cowardly Lion. This past December’s issue of Dolls magazine featured the shot of Dorothy with the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and of course Toto.
Filed under: Commercial, Misc | Tagged: Commercial Photography, Cowardly Lion, Dorothy and Toto, Greg Nesbit Photography, Product photography, R. John Wright Dolls, Scarecrow, Studio Photography, Tin Man, Wizard of Oz | 1 Comment »