Tangerine Tango

Image-by-Michel-Leroy

Michel Leroy goes Orange [...]

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Uplifted by Loreal Prystaj

The feeling of vertigo is rare in the what-you-see-is-what-you-get photography world, until you see Loreal Prystaj‘s work. I met Loreal at an opening in Dumbo and instantly fell in love with her work. As if Moving in a different world, the work accelerates what you think you know to a place changed by movement, as though your next step toward the gallery wall may not land on solid ground.

A personality as bold as the work itself, Loreal has a gravity of her own. I contacted her about living in a different plane and sharing her Self portrait Nudes, Especially with the “being” series!

Reality is perception, and my perception of the world around me becomes reality through my photographs. I find myself seeing illusions in my head, that when I pick up a camera the world around me disappears, and I am able to create my thoughts and ideas into reality instantly, with one click of a button. Being the only one who knows exactly what is in my mind, I have become part of my own masterpieces; to fulfill my imagination.

It reminds me of the John Mayer song, Gravity, “…Oh gravity, stay the hell away from me”.

Keep an eye out as Loreal’s work finds it’s footing the photo art world.

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New Issue of VENEER – Rally Bikers hits news stands

VENEER – Rally Bikers

This issue of VENEER represents the diversity of bikers through the people who keep the spirit and legacy of the community alive. The style is unrelenting black and white images that reveal texture and detail beyond the casual glance by Michel Leroy PHOTOGRAPHER.

Meeting Rally Bikers as we pass on the street, in a parking lot or at a car wash, I photograph riders in a portable studio to capture that moment just after we meet, that point of simple truth while the shared humanity is still in our eyes. The studio serves to remove visual distractions and allows pause for a more intimate portrait, a brief moment to reveal the truth and the veneer of identity.

See the Preview at MagCould.com

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Travelers Interactive WallFX Ads

Today, I saw an interactive advertisement in the 34th street subway station for Travelers Insurance. It’s not Minority Report caliber yet but we’re well on our way to advertising that “reacts” to viewers. It’s a projection of an umbrella that gets whisked away as you walk by. Very fun, very simple and an ad that actually made me stop and go back. Not many ads have that kind of stopping power. Advertising with customer interaction.

michel-leroy_travelers

michel-leroy_travelers

INTERACTIVE WALLFX CAMPAIGN
Agency: Fallon & Monster Media
Advertiser: Travelers Insurance

http://www.gesturetek.com/

If you want to check it out go to the 6th Ave subway entrance, between 32-33rd streets, West side. Just below the Manhattan Mall. I saw something like it at the Minneapolis airport a few weeks ago.

It’s worth a visit.  From static to dynamic.

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Adobe fights Apple with LOVE

Adobe loves Apple

Adobe loves Apple

An ad on the NTimes.com site sparked my interest this morning.  Two weeks ago when Steve Jobs at Apple wrote an unusual open letter blasting Adobe’s Flash product and listing a slew of reasons why his iTool family of hardware will never use Flash it stirred up a PR battle royal.  Adobe claiming that they are open source while Apple claiming they aren’t.  Who’s going to loose this one, customers for sure.  Luckily we all have ring side seats to the battle for the hearts, minds and apps that will decide if it is the hardware of the software that wins in the new mobile touch device world of web v3.0.

Lets feel the hits and share the love.

Letter from Steve Jobs at Apple.

Letter from Chuck Geschke & John Warnock at Adobe.

Reactions:

SF Chronicle

Seth Weintraub @ 9to5mac.com

Street Insider

Steve Tobak @ bnet.com

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LiveBooks, Flash and the future of the web HTML 5

LiveBooks was making super cool Flash web pages long before the newest iDevice.  When I signed-up for a LB site it was over $3000 and it was worth it.  Today it’s $39 a month – hmm.  Admittedly, they are not customized.  Over the six years I’ve been a customer LB has held their ground in the template web page world we now live in.  However, innovations like full-screen images and streaming video have been a challenge for LB to integrate, often reaching the editSuite too slow for those of us who are constantly trying to tweek our sites and keep pace with our integrated media driven clients.

Early on the morning of April 3rd I was at my local Apple dealer, Tekserve, getting to know the new iPad.  As an iPhone user it took me all of 3 seconds to get the feel for it.  The first thing I looked up was naturally my photo web page and it looked like a Photoshop web gallery circa 1993.  Ugg, why can’t Apple play nice with Adobe?  Surely there is more to the Flash discussion than soft-headed sentimentality to photo and video based template sites like LiveBooks and A Photo Folio.  Steve Jobs seemed to think so and put out a no-holds-bared general letter, “Thoughts on Flash“.  NPR had an interesting story on why Jobs hates Flash? Jobs thinks it uses too much  battery life, causes crashes and is not designed for the mobile touch environment.

So who’s driving the future of the user environment, the hardware or software developers?  Perhaps the two are the same thing and always have been.  Google and Microsoft are selling smart phones while Apple is controlling the software that runs on their devices at the hardware level.  I use my iPhone everyday, all day and haven’t worried about how bad my web page looks because even I don’t really surf the web with my phone – it’s just too small.  Until now, what the iPhone lacks in a real web experience has been mitigated by the iPad.  Every day I walk past the Flatiron at lunch and see iPad users all buzzed out on free wifi surfing the web.  Web surfing has never had it so good since the advent of mobile touch technology.

After my web page letdown at the store I reached out the the support team at LB to ask them how they were going to deal with the Flash vs HTML5 issue and more importantly, my iTool toting clients.  I wasn’t given a date but was told it was under development and on the way.  Yesterday, it happened.  LiveBooks updated the HTML mobile site for LB users.  Jericho at LB posted a How To on the forum.  While the HTML site is better it’s still pretty late 90′s.  Incremental progress.

So what will the web v3.0 look like now that it’s small enough to carry with you everywhere and big enough to enjoy?  I’ve read and heard everybody give their two cents about the rising phoenix of journalism and the adaptation of the page.  I know all my ‘surplussed’ friends and colleagues in the publishing world are proof of the shifting industry.   However, with ad dollars exponentially pouring into the web I know it’s just moving from one piece of technology to another.  Neil Postman’s book Technopoly says it perfectly.

Anyone who has studied the history of technology knows that technological change is always a Faustian bargain: Technology giveth and technology taketh away, and not always in equal measure. A new technology sometimes creates more than it destroys. Sometimes, it destroys more than it creates. But it is never one-sided.

What will mobile touch technology give and what will it take?  Steven Levy’s Wired Magazine (3/2010) feature is the most informed long-view projection about the impact of the tablet and what the technological change will mean to the future of computing.  You can read the article on your laptop, smartphone or with the new WIRED app on your tablet during lunch hour grifting off the Madison Square Park wifi.

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Retouching Budget Cuts?

As a photographer I have a dirty little secret – I love to find retouching mistakes that slowly creep past every set of eyes from the photographer, retoucher, agency, client and focus groups into the public domain.  Like those savant friends of mine who are thrilled to watch movies and spot inconsistencies in camera angels, set design and wardrobe.  One of my favorites is a guy walking through a background shot of Gladiator carrying a cup of craft services coffee.

Anyway, I saw this image online today.  AWESOME.  Check out the top right side.  I think they overlooked the ProFoto P-50 reflector.  I guess budget cuts are effecting even Acura’s Photoshop Intern Dept.

Photoshop Disasters Blog

Photoshop Mistakes

HongKait Blog

Still more

Retouching Mistakes

Retouching Mistakes

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Nikon vs Canon File Comparison (ISO 12800… really)

I’ve been shooting Canon since college. I purchased the T90, top of the line at the time – Hoo la la.  When Canon PRO went digital in 2003 I didn’t look back.  Then, I went to the Eddie Adams Workshop and was reintroduced to Nikon.  There were so many superstars using Nikon Digital and the file quality was amazing in my initial tests.

For a few weeks I’ve been wanting to test my friend Jonathan Orenstein‘s Nikon D3s.  Finally, I had the perfect controlled situation to give it a try – I was doing a shoot for Bonnier Corp.  I had the studio for a few hours during the PreLight and went to town.  I shot my Canon 1Ds Mark II (older for sure) and the Nikon D3s with studio and available lights.

The first thing to know is that Canon’s ISO range is from 100-1600, but I never really shoot above 320 if at all possible.  Beyond 320 the color channel noise gets crazy and there is unwanted digital artifacts.  The Nikon’s ISO range starts at 200 and goes to 12,800.  That’s 12 thousand.

Shooting was similar between the two cameras but the glass has a different look.  More importantly, the RAW files don’t look anything alike.  I shared the RAW files with my retouchers at DOT Editions and they did a full comparison between the two.  Check it out.

http://doteditions.com/blog/2010/05/canon-eos-1ds-mark-ii-vs-nikon-d3s/

This makes low-light, high ISO, clean file photography possible with the new Nikon DSLR.

Canon vs Nikon

Canon vs Nikon

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Thinking about Magazine cover design…

I have an upcoming assignment that has cover potential and so I went through some of the mags I get (print Mag junkie for sure) to find examples of clean, simple cover treatments that I like to reference when considering composition and the use of design / typography on a cover.

What’s so great about this pair is they cover entirely different beats but they agree on good design; maybe too much.

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Digital Archiving and Catastrophic System Failure

A friend of mine called earlier today in a teary fever about the loss of her Drobo RAID after upgrading her Operating System. She was justifiably hysterical – I didn’t know what to say. A similar thing happened to another friend of mine about six months ago and he paid $6000 to get ‘some’ of his files recovered by a forensic data recovery company.

Imagine loosing “YEARS” of images in an instant. Too many of my friends and colleagues call when they have computer problems and don’t know what else to do. I hate to say it but I have seen this before and it kills me. The digital mantra is “not if you will have a catastrophic system failure but when”.

Since 2004 when I purchased my first Canon 10D I have shot 10 Terabytes of digital images. The first year it was a single 250GB drive, then it quickly became a 500Gb, 1Tb, 2Tb and looking forward to 2010 I am considering the driving force of Moore’s Law of exponential increase in my archive.

What used to be additional three-ring binders and more slide pages in the film days has become an incredible IT Department of escilating proportions. And I’m the IT Guy.

To anticipate the inevitable system failure I stick to a consistent workflow, validate my archive and backup regularly. Beyond that, I do my best to keep a second backup off site.

There are two resources that I would HIGHLY recommend to the non-gamblers amongst us who need a scalable and sustainable Digital Asset Management system: Peter Krough’s DMA Book and the best practices system support of Marc Mintz at The MacXperts.

I went to a lecture by Peter a few months ago and one of the things he made a point of was to ‘START NOW’. The idea of going back over years of images from multiple camera systems with multiple softwares is too much for anybody. If you start doing it better today you won’t be calling your IT friends in a panic tomorrow.

Krogh’s 3-2-1 Backup System:

  • 3 Copies of your Images
  • 2 Types of Media (HD and Online or DVD’s etc)
  • 1 Stored Offsite

My advice to my friend and to you, buy the best rated hard drives, always by two if you need one because you need a backup, format them correctly and backup often. To make the process of backing up, archiving and recovery easier I use all of the following software solutions.

SuperDuper – Bootable Backups, they really work. I’ve done entire photo shoots using the backup drive.

ChronoSync – File migration and backup. Validation is a huge advantage to this software.

Synchronize! Pro X – File migration.

Adobe DNG Converter – Data Validation is essential.

I am a Mac.com (now Me.com) user and they have online storage as part of the annual fee. I have a copy of my portfolio backed up there. There are also a bunch of good online Backup Services:
Mozy
Carbonite
Backblaze
DropBox
Spideroak

Catastrophic system failure will happen to you. Don’t let it become a cascading loss or your system, assets and archive. Get backed up NOW.

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