Is m43 ready for men’s fashion

You decide…

ALEX_1067045

Full disclosure – I have never shot a men’s fashion spread before (as I am a specialized product shooter) so this was a wonderful opportunity to collaborate and interact spontaneously – a fabulous learning experience! It was a real privilege to work with Michael Wilson, publisher of Stingray Magazine to make these photographs for an article just released at stingraymagazine.com. He had seen my work and felt that I was a good fit for what he wanted to create – and he is format and brand agnostic.EDDY_1067265

BTW, the two models are Eddie Fu @itsfuman and Alex Shin @jazzlex and they are both signed with and provided to the shoot courtesy of Matineemodels. The stylist (and publisher), Michael Wilson @silverscreenstylist1, coordinated and styled the shoot for Stingray Magazine, a brand new publication that seeks out the hottest trends in men’s fashion and lifestyle while still chronicling the vintage looks and products that never go out of style – all with a huge emphasis on quality! I hope to be invited to contribute again soon…Stingray_BTS_1047375

Yes, I have been shooting in studio all my adult life (44 plus years) and have a reasonably large one with all the stuff needed to satisfy my gear cravings. In the past, when I have shot people (numerous times a year actually) I have always used my FF Canon but this day I wanted to use my Lumix G9. I have become very comfortable with the quality of the images and knew it would perform well.ALEX_1067307

I think the images speak for themselves, but in case there are questions lurking, here are some details –

First the lens choice – Olympus Pro 45mm f1.2. – I shot almost exclusively at f5.6. It is a first rate optic that just gets out of the way. Since I was using my ultra reliable Elinchrom strobes (a decade old or more, so nothing fancy) with a 27 inch beauty dish and an opposing soft side fill, I was shooting at ISO 100. There was also a light accenting the background. Note that I had my Chimera 10×30 ft soft box on the whole time with ambient light for the BTS video (even though on, it did not interfere with the strobe exposure for the stills). It also made it easier to see focus (and auto focus was fast and accurate in AFS mode). The G9 was in single shot mode and though there was some movement, nothing that required continuous focus with tracking.EDDIE_JUMPING_1067115

Whenever I shoot – in or out of the studio – I concentrate on the subject, composition, lighting and graphic perspective ( I like to shoot people from a lower angle). I don’t want the equipment to distract or intrude in any way. The G9 performs in such a way – it allows me to focus my attention on the shot – the subject – and not on the camera. It is also really great that it is less than half the weight of my Canon 5DIII and 5Ds and the 85 f1.2L.Stingray_BTS_1047430Stingray_BTS_1047457EDDIE_1067064ALEX_1067185Main takeaway – while we need gear to make our photographs – the type of gear should be based on personal craft, equipment familiarity and vision and not on sensor format or brand – all of today’s current photographic gear is more than up to the tasks we pursue.

So is M4/3 and a Lumix G9 ready to take on the men’s fashion world? I think so and so does the client for this shoot. I think the images speak for themselves.

For the magazine article visit – https://stingraymagazine.com/fashion

As always, feedback, questions and comments are welcome. All images and content are ©2020 by Bill Deuster. All rights reserved. Thanks for viewing!!

Art from an iconic brand – Ferrari

FERRARI_BTS_DEU4449_BLOG

In the world of professional photography, the success of the final image is often about style, and what is more stylish than the legendary (and iconic) Italian brand, Ferrari. I love cars, have a studio designed to shoot cars and, finally, a willing and beautiful subject in the 2015 Ferrari 458 Spyder – white with a stunning red leather interior.

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In my photographic world, after having worked for over 44 years, one thing has remained constant – you are only only as good as your latest images. And this is a story about the process of conceiving and creating a set of photographs (and final conceptual graphics using them) that might have an impact on a specialty clientele to whom I want to provide my services.

To those who ask me what it is like to make ones living shooting pictures commercially, I reveal that, for me, the most important aspect of the job is the subject matter and how it is to be staged and presented. Once that is established, my craft and lighting skills and then my gear (cameras, lights, grip, etc…) are to be considered.

FERRARI_BTS_DEU4441_BLOG

FYI, I shot these images using a Lumix G9 in high resolution mode with an Olympus Pro 17mm f1.2 lens mounted to it. The lights are two ARRI L7C’s (providing the gel colors), a Litepanels SOLA 6+ (projected through a pattern onto the background), two SOLA 4+ lighting the wheels/tires and a number of scattered Aputure AL-H198C’s (at 3200K for warmth). I also have a Chimera 10ft x 30ft light box that is populated with LEDs to light from the top when needed (positionable with ropes as it is suspended from the ceiling using a pulley system). Note that the Chimera can also be very helpful when turned off, acting as a broad reflector.

Since I already have a good idea of how my studio can be used to create an environment to stage a car like the Spyder, when the car arrived, I spent my time studying the lines/shape of the car and the best vantage points to capture and enhance these attributes. In this case I had no specific application for the images (just fodder for the portfolio) but my subconscious is always at play as I shoot, so my general shot list grew a bit as I learned more about the graphical nature of this beautiful car. Also, I have a passion for prints and posters in general, so my graphic designer hat is always on and working in the back of my mind. As a result, concepts began to emerge….

Below are the two posters (digital versions) that I created from this afternoon of shooting. In real life, they are 24in T x 36in W and 36in W x 53in T – to be printed on a Canon Pro 4000 11 color printer.

Ferrari_458_Spyder_POSTER_BLOG

ITALIAN_STALLION_FERRARI_POSTER_BLOG

To emphasize points that come up in most forums, – is it the gear, the craft, the idea or just dumb luck? While it is sometimes all of the above, it is first and foremost about the idea and how well it is staged and executed (and craft and gear help facilitate the staging/execution). But there is another important component that generally is completely overlooked and one that I often struggle with myself – ingenuity and imagination. Training your eye to truly help translate your imagination (using your craft skills) into an effective finished photograph is not a trick, but rather is built on experience and experimentation. The ingenuity part is how quickly you can visually problem solve when an obstacle arises to challenge (and possibly negate) your vision. Imagination is not easily acquired (it seems innate to me) but ingenuity can be improved and even learned (in my opinion).

Thanks for taking the time to look. Please don’t hesitate to leave a message. If you have questions, I will try to answer them. All images and content ©2019 by Bill Deuster. All rights reserved. (Note: the posters are not for sale, but rather created to demonstrate style and capability and for my own personal use inside my studio.)

Artomatic

I am a denizen of the greater Washington, DC metropolitan area. Though I live in MD, I have the priviledge of participating in an event called Artomatic – organized and produced by Artomatic.org.

Anyway, the 2017 even starts this coming Friday (March 24th) and is being held at 1800 Bell St in Arlington, VA (Floors 3-9). The area is also known as Crystal City and there is a Marriott right next door. There is a lot of free parking in the area that has easy underground access to 1800 Bell St.

What is Artomatic? It is an event that allows artists from the surrounding areas to showcase their work (I am showing large format ink jet prints) – whether 2D, photo-based imagery like my stuff or any other creative art including oil painting, water colors, sketches, sculpture, photography, music and some performance art. The last one I visited in December of 2016 was quite amazing and very much worth the effort to attend. The mix of art (and crafts) was staggering and the quality superb!!!

The artists have been setting up over the last couple of weeks and you will find my installation and some of the work I am showing in the photos that follow. If you are local, I hope to see you there. I am on the eighth floor.

ARTOMATIC_2017_1150743

I am showing three different groupings of my work. The largest prints have been done very recently. They are fairly obvious in the pictures of the installation and are somewhat self explanatory. The four images of “Discarded Faces” (a family of about 40) have been done over the years starting in the mid nineties, with the last one of that series completed about 2008. Then there are two small prints of a series I call my “Geometric Abstracts”. These were done from about 2004 to 2010.

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Leaf Faceleafface_blog

Face in a FrameFaceInAFrame

Rotary Face

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Rusty Disk ManRustyDiskMan

Geometric FurnaceGeometricFurnace

Primal GeometryPrimal Geometry

Images are copyrighted by the artist:  Bill Deuster ©1998-2017. All rights reserved. All the images are available as archival ink jet prints produced on a 12 color, pigment-based Canon Image ProGraf 4000 printer. Inquiries and comments are welcome. Images may not be printed (you must purchase a print), but may be enjoyed for personal use only. Please tell your friends!!  🙂

Conscious Weavings

I have long pondered a curious dichotomy in nature -that organic compounds have a profound ability to organize, replicate and proliferate while inorganic ones get battered – and scattered – about by entropy and all the random forces of nature. Organic organisms, however, coexist resiliently within this chaotic, inorganic world, buffeted by many of the same forces. But the organisms themselves seem to have deeper origins that defy the laws of entropy, even if only for the syncopated rhythms of their short lifespans.

Ponder this –

ConsciousWeavings_CSC2492

What do you see
In a tree,
Beak-crafted from loose findings
Woven into a protective vessel?

On first glance, you may see
A simple bird’s nest….
But I see deliberate strands
Of Conscious Weavings.

I wonder if we are
Too familiar
And lazy in our
Daily Observations.

That we no longer
See beyond the familiar;
To recognize and acknowledge
A more complicated reality.

A fertile abundance
Of cues and hints
That demonstrate
A magical complex at work.

When we see this nest
We think of a bird.
When we see a person,
Many accept the accident of selective evolution.

When I see a person, however,
I infer ultra-complex sophistication –
A bio-mechanical machine, so complex and willful,
That none appreciate or understand it.

Pathways to whose origins
Have so far completely
Escaped our ability
To discern them.

If molecules naturally organize,
Why only into complex, living, functioning structures?
Why do we not see this same level of organization
Across the inanimate world as well?

Thanks for visiting! Your thoughts and observations are most welcome – please don’t be a stranger. May be enjoyed for personal use. ©2017 by Bill Deuster. All rights reserved.

IMAGINE

I cannot speak for others, but life has proven to me that it has a way of creating noise that can be quite overpowering – even stressful at times. I am not talking about the obvious events like lack of money, health issues, divorce and death. I am talking about simpler stuff that can wrap around our consciousness like a damp towel soaked in rotten eggs – stuff that can make us mentally nauseous – enough so that we want to flee the room screaming and pulling our hair out. And usually it is stuff that we could and can deal with if only we stepped back and took a deep breath.

When I wander wilderness landscapes I can easily let go of all the nuisance energy. When I meditate, I can do the same thing. The poem that follows is one way I examine and describe this experience.

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Imagine,
For a moment,
A world
Free
From its legacy patterns.

A world
Where
Thoughts are
Released
From prejudicial energy.

Consider
A Mind
Made from
Opposites
With
A desire for
Resolution….

Ponder
Feelings
Of Love,
And
Of Hate…

Of Respect,
And Disdain.

Of Attraction,
And Revulsion.

Of Experience
Contrasted with Imagination.

Close your eyes;
Blank your mind;
Calm your heart;
Relinquish your legacy prejudices…;
And experience a profound moment
Of Peace.

Rest quietly, for a period.

Open your eyes,
Carefully.
Consider
This Reflective
Peace;
The Neutrality,
That this calm space provides.

Introduce your mind
To you heart;
Breathe in
The delightful scent
Your heart emits.

Temper your mind
With your heart
And coax your heart
With your mind.

Close your eyes again.

Bring forth
Images of beauty
From your memory,
And from your Spirit….

Enjoy, revel in them.
Celebrate the Beauty!

 

Beauty is a very big word. It is a word that honors and describes an infinite range of sensory and spiritual experiences. For me, the word”beauty” is a modifier – a gift that is offered by a divine power beyond our ability to fully understand the experience. We cannot ever fully define this gift with words, but we have a sense in our hearts that it is the most appropriate compliment for the experience itself.

Thanks for taking the time to visit. Your thoughts and observations are most welcome!! May be enjoyed for personal use. ©2017 by Bill Deuster. All rights reserved.

Disassociated Distopia

Sometimes it seems as though all energy is disconnected and disruptive; that all thoughts and communication are disassociated as though haunted by a hidden consciousness bent on destruction. The poem below is my first attempt at wrestling with this state.

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It is a peculiar energy
That magnifies our importance
As reality shows no favorites.

It is sometimes
An argument between
Illumination and darkness.

But more often
An internecine quarrel among
Brothers and sisters.

A collective Hubris
Fogs what little passes
For objectivity.

Data collectively
Overwhelms some
As it seduces others.

Human failings create
An abstraction
That passes for genius.

Inflated self worth
Replaces patience
And all access to knowledge.

Disjointed streams of thought
Crash together
Or never meet.

Consensus and compromise
Create a false
Sense of calm and equilibrium.

Is it possible
An impasse
Is desirable?

I am tired troubled –
Words are quibbles
And ideas sift away.

 

Ripples reveal
Expanding patterns
Of evolving possibility

Light charges
Indiscriminately
Until its captor capitulates.

It is as though a truth
will be revealed
In spite of its prison.

Organic upheaval –
Testing and torturing
On a cosmic scale.

What observer will
See the patterns
And interpret them correctly?

What is knowledge
When few of us can
Tolerate dissent?

 

Your thoughts and observations are most welcome!! May be enjoyed for personal use. ©2017 by Bill Deuster. All rights reserved.

Found Natural Details as Inspiration

In addition to purposeful photographs of flowers, flowing waters, unusual rock formations, natural textures, broad landscapes and the rising or setting sun, I often uncover interesting details to capture that inspire other types of art in my mind. The images that follow are such renderings with the core elements all derived from the images I collect on my various wanderings. Each piece is composed from different parts of origin – see if you can discern/guess the most important component(s) in each one….

Thanks for looking – I hope you enjoy them!

theshapesofwater_flt24″ x 30″ 12 color giclee fine art print

outoffocusvision_flt47″ x 35″ 12 color giclee fine art print

buildingabstract_inblue_1060710_flt26″ x 35″ 12 color giclee fine art print

All images ©2017 by Bill Deuster. For personal use only.

History, Ideals and Sacrifice

It was back in the early 1980s that I had a rather humbling experience. It would be one that changed me a bit, though I didn’t fully understand its importance until many years later.

My girlfriend at the time wanted to take a day trip and suggested Antietam, the Civil War battlefield in Maryland where, in mid September of 1862, General Lee decided to move out of Virginia and north into Union territory. The 17th was to be the bloodiest day of the war and, though many thousands lost their lives, it was a battle that decided nothing.

It was a dreary, overcast day on this, my first visit to Antietam. At first we drove around the battlefield with no specific intent as I really had no idea of the significance of what I was seeing. After about 30 minutes of driving the park driveways, we crossed a highway that runs thru the battlefield – then down and to the right and up into a very large field edged with aged, rough wooden fencing that I presume was authentic for the 1862 time period. At the top of the hill was a tall stone tower with a place to park. We stopped and climbed up into the tower to look out over the battlefield in all directions.

The moment I reached the top, I felt something quite overpowering and as I began to scan out over the fields, I wanted to cry. I could feel a surging energy of sadness and sacrifice. Of unbearable pain, fear and anguish. I sensed regret and longing that life was cut short by the carnage that happened that day. No one personality emerged, just a torrent of collective consciousness that made me aware of how many were lost and how much potential was exterminated.

While this experience stayed with me, I did not revisit Antietam until a number of years later. And I did not begin to photograph the battlefield until after 2000. I now try to visit a military cemetery every Memorial Day to send prayers of thanks to those who have done the hard, sometimes thankless work of military service, especially combat in faraway lands.

I did the commemorative posters for Antietam and Gettysburg back in 2009. I wrote the poem about Gettysburg National Cemetery in mid 2008. This is the first time I have posted any of them in public.

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Hallowed Ground

Battlefield valor and the carnage of war
Renders ground hallowed; and burial stones mark
This sacrifice with enduring tribute to those
Who died for principles greater than themselves.

Gettysburg is such a place of honor.
Its fields and cemetery – quietly, serenely beautiful –
Assert a powerful homage to the efforts of so many
Who cried, bled and died for the betterment of others.

When I ponder the sacrifice, I consider this
Pain and suffering in a larger context of ideals
To which our inner voices persistently allude;
As though linked to an ever present source conscience.

What invisible intelligence renders our transient bodies
With a longing for justice, goodness and equality?
What hushed voice whispers such powerful ideals
That a human being willingly endures pain, even death?

hallowed-ground

©2017 by Bill Deuster. All rights reserved. For personal use only. Thanks for looking. Comments are welcome!!

The Definitive Psyche

Sometimes my mind catches a small wave of inspiration that sends me down a pathway that defies definition. This poem and its accompanying image is just such a journey. Sometimes if I am unable to meditate enough, I discover rough wrinkles of thoughts that create their own voice. I hope you will ponder this with me. Thanks for looking!!

 

Looking skyward elicits a sense of freedom
That begins in the eyes,
Journeys to the heart,
And rests fulfilled in the soul.

There is a quality of infinity
That opens the mind,
Expands the imagination
And rivets a sense of possibility.

I ponder a birds flight
That looks so playful and curious
So high up in the ethereal blue,
But is more likely task and duty bound.

Then I notice the intruding fence;
A symbol of boundaries,
Restrictions and limitation,
Of oppression and slavery.

I think of the history of the fence
And contemplate the duality of its purpose –
Protector or rejector
Enslaver or provider of safe harbor.

Then I reflect on the nature of the mind
And its ability to live within blurry boundaries;
Cordoned off by invisible ropes
That imply a certain sanity.

Denial and falsehood
Are hallmarks of a properly adjusted modern mind;
Wisdom and truth
The by products of wrestling with lies.

It is the fence and the sky
That symbolize a duality
So important to the battle
Between opposing opposites.

Truth is a lie
In the eye of the non-believer
And a lie is the truth
In the mind of the empirical slayer.

There is no resolution between
The sky and the fence;
Just an uneasy truce
That humbles even the wisest mind.

thedefinitivepsyche_j7a7968

All content ©2017 by Bill Deuster. May be used for personal use if so desired.