Thursday, July 10, 2008

Fisherman's Gloves, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

Let’s delve into the archive once again. Like any photographer that’s been shooting for a quarter of a century, I have a lot of photos, and as the cliché goes, “Every picture tells a story.”

One summer, while visiting my friend Pete, in Maine, my wife Lori, Brother-in-Law, Chris and I, decided to drive to Bar Harbor, and take the Blue Nose Ferry over to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. The name Blue Nose comes from the nickname for people from Nova Scotia because they eat so many blueberries. The term also means: a person who advocates a rigorous moral code. The Original Blue Nose was a Schooner built in 1921 as a racing ship but when it wasn’t racing it worked as a fishing vessel, gathering scallops and other seafood.

We parked our car in Bar Harbor and rode our bicycles into the cavernous belly of the ferry. Once on board, we where told by a crewmember to tie up our bikes securely, a hurricane was coming up the coast.

As we made our way across the ocean, the weather continued to worsen. Increasing winds made for spectacular waves and sheets of sideways rain. We had not considered the possibility of a hurricane when we planned our excursion. Spending the night in a tent was out of the question.

After landing in Yarmouth, we unloaded quickly, donned our rain gear, and rode to the Visitor’s center hoping to find lodging for the night. After several phone calls we were able to book a room in a motel not far outside of town. We set off on our bicycles, arriving at the motel just before dark.

Once safely in our room, we turned on the television. A special news bulletin had pre-empted the regular programming. There had been a Coup in the Soviet Union. Mikhail Gorbachev was missing! My first thought was, “Who has control of the Button?” You know, The big red button that will initiate WWIII bringing about a nuclear Armageddon? “Damn, I can’t even go on vacation without the world blowing up!”

There was nothing I could do about the situation. I turned off the t.v. and crawled into my sleeping bag. If the world was going to end, let it end while I’m asleep!

To be continued……

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Sunday, July 6, 2008

Bernard Katz Glass

I got a call from Bernard’s wife and business manager, Katie. She said they were looking for a photographer to photograph her husband’s glasswork. The photographer they had been using had taken a full time position and was no longer available. She asked if I had ever photographed glass. I answered honestly, “No, I hadn’t,” and added that the majority of my work involved photographing people. To my surprise, she asked if I’d like to try. I said, “Sure.” We set up a meeting to look at past marketing materials, the new pieces to be photographed and to meet Bernard in person.

After seeing the actual pieces, previous photographs, and then discussing in detail what Bernard was looking for, we both felt confident enough to begin shooting the next day. The shoot went well and I’ve been back several times to photograph new pieces. Bernard introduced me to several other glass artists and now I shoot for them as well.

Click here to visit to Bernard's website.

Photographing Bernard’s pieces involved a considerable amount of equipment and set up. We started with a 4x8 sheet of plexiglass on sawhorses and a Photek black fabric backdrop.

I used Chimera strip lights on each side of the plexi and a boomed strip light overhead. I placed a gridspot on the background and a boomed snoot, over the plexi, projected a pool of light behind each piece. Another head was fitted with a gridspot and placed on a stand so it could be moved around to accent certain parts of each piece. I used 4 Dyna-Lite 1000 packs with 2040 and 4040 fan cooled heads.

The camera was mounted on a tripod and tethered to my Mac laptop. White foamcore was used to fill shadows and black foamcore blocked stray light from striking my lens.

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