Photos from Japan

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Occasionally I go back through my photos from Japan and process a few that I overlooked when I was actively processing them after the trip. Here are a few I worked on last night to wind down after working on a freelance assignment.

New ways to mock-up old projects

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I go through occasional bursts of preparing older projects for display on my website, always driven by one thing or another, usually a job application or AIGA get together (assuming any of my old friends or acquaintances decide to see what I’ve been up to lately). The question always comes up: how to present them?

Most of my personal projects were never printed or put into production of any kind, they were just exercises for the most part, and even if they were printed, my photography skills are only now starting to come around. Like the World Champ poster I made one night when I was thinking about Tony Martin wearing the rainbow jersey during the Tour de France. It was just a dash to get an idea onto the computer. It was never printed but I still thought of it as a “poster.”

I nearly forgot about the Moonhead poster I made in 2013 until a couple nights ago when I was digging through files. That one actually had a purpose, a group exhibition, but I donated the only print (which cost over $45 at Kinkos believe it or not) to the organizers. It went to a good home at least.

These old projects are good candidates for mocking-up in Photoshop. It’s funny to see a span of skills represented in a single image, like the ones above. I didn’t know enough about Photoshop the year I made that calendar poster to even come close to mocking it up with such subtle tones and custom-drawn drop shadows. Now I do, and it helps give these old projects a solid presentation after all these years. More to come.

Siam Square

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The other night I had a couple minutes before picking up food at Siam Square, the Thai Restaurant connected to the Victory Inn Hotel across from Arbor Land, so I took a couple pictures. Certain parts of the building are quite nice looking with its long orange walls and pointed roofs... and its prominent but nearly invisible “3750.”

Light Trails

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A few nights ago I started experimenting with slightly longer shutter lengths than you’d normally use when hand-holding a camera at night. I was only trying for soft focus or hints of movement but the most interesting parts of the images were the light trails so that’s what I tried to highlight. I kept feeling out duration versus impressions on the sensor. The images here are the result of a few night’s worth of trial-and-error. I like this style. I like the flat black backgrounds and the way they swallow up any remaining bits of detail. I might work with it for a while and see where it leads. It's not officially a series yet—at least in terms of what I like to achieve through set of images—but it’s probably leading to that. I just need to introduce some other element. Maybe another color, a type of split-toning, or an artifact of the slow shutter.