"Boys in the desert with guns" our interview with photographer David Harry Stewart

by JamesNYCAugust 8. 2010 22:38
Recently we interviewed lifestyle and advertising photographer David Harry Stewart.

Davids Bio:
David comes from a small town in western New York. He started taking pictures at the age of 8, first with a plastic Kodak 126, then a Polaroid Swinger.
He did his first national ad campaign at age 23, then moved on to Paris to work for fashion magazines. Returning to New York he has a successful and award winning career, working for magazines like Interview, GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire, New York Magazine, Time and The New York Times Magazine. Agency work includes Saatchi, Deutsch, BBDO, Leo Burnett, and Ogilivy, for clients such as American Express, Nike, Coke, Corona and Bank of America. Awards include Communication Arts, The Art Directors Club, Photo District News, The Living Photograph Motion Awards, and American Photography.
He splits his time between Los Angeles and New York.
In this installment David talks about his recent video 'Asia Mon Amour' , Changes in his work since moving to La. and how these changes relate to changes in the photo industry.

In this installment James askes David about a past job they worked on together for Marlboro Japan, as well as the 'Boys in the desert with guns' images shot in Moab Utah.

David talks about job budgets, his portraits, getting to know your subject, and the dance of motion capture.

James asks David what compels him to shoot, and comments on the photographers commitment to his images and his client.

David's thoughts on photo assistants, digital techs, & new photographers making the transition to shooting & the level of commitment needed. His early influences & current photographers he finds interesting.

James asks David what he would like to be known for, about teaching, info on his blog, the special projects on his site: Olympic divers and rescue dogs. And thoughts on Photo consultants.

David talks about the business of photography, model releases, property releases, copyright. Motion capture work, the equipment he's using; & the importance of hiring qualified photo assistants & digital techs.

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Interviews

The cycle begins again and the photo history repeats itself.

by JamesNYCJuly 10. 2010 21:48

I saw this link on a twitter post and thought I would share it.

It seems every 15 years the photo industry retreads the stuff we used to do and call it new.
this is a perfect example of what we did in studio 20 years ago.
And we did it before computers.

Back then,...in the olden dayz,.. like 18-20 years ago,... photographers called it "Photo Illustartion"
In fact some photographers whole business and marketing plan was based on their photo inllustartion and nothing else. Suffice it to say that they did not last long and the smart ones rebuilt their business model and managed to stay in business. Others were stubborn and not so lucky. (Names witheld to protect those now out of business)

Some of you, older than 20, may recall when Chip Simons began his career and was one of the first to introduce the concept of light painting for editorial and commercial photography. This was around 1990 or 1991? I can't recall exactly. Those interested in photo history can dig up an old copy of PDN to see the article they did on him.
Next came Aaron Jones and his invention: the 'Hosemaster' which was an interesteing marketing gimmick along with the instructional videos that so many ran to invest in. kinda like those guys you see buying up all of the latest crap at the Photo Plus Expo that will help them become "Pro Photographers".
Even earlier Man Ray Pablo Picasso was photographed in 1949 doing a quick sketch in the air.

SO why did this trend never last?
Because it is time consuming, labor intensive, and th eresults can not be duplicated exactly every time.
As we know clients want it yesretday, they want dozens of shots a day, and they want it cheap. Light painting, when done properly ain't cheap. Shooting digitaly certainly speeds things up but even so your still looking at long time exposures and if your using strobe your doing multi-pops of the stobe. Amazing results but not something for those not tech savvy.
We also as in the Youtube video used non-standard forms of strobes and lighting. ("And I'd be happy to sell you that information.")

For any photo school students I would suggest spending a weekend playing around like this. It will teach you invaluable lessons in lighting and exposure.

I should also add one more thing, anyone can do this type of photography. Very few can do it very well.

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4X5 Film loading & 4x5 holder cleaning

by JamesNYCFebruary 4. 2010 10:59

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Shower Series by Manjari Sharma

by JamesNYCDecember 28. 2009 08:43

[vimeo:7658177]

See more from Manjari Sharma

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This weekends Digital Tech Workshop featuring Capture 1 Pro was a great success

by JamesNYCSeptember 25. 2009 22:27
This weekends Digital Tech Workshop featuring Capture 1 Pro V.5.0.2 was a great success.
We even had a photographer that came in from Hawaii.
That's the furthest yet someone has come to take one of our Capture 1 pro workshops.
Thanks to Sand Box Studio, Schiempflug Digital, FotoCare Rentals, &CSI Rentals for their production help this weekend. We couldn't do it with out you guys.
Thanks to Mac Group US for the X-Rite EyeOne display2 that was our door prize.
Our next Digital Tech workshop featuring Capture 1 Pro V.5.x.x will be in late Feb early march; watch the site for details.

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Pay the Writer (photograper) - Harlan Ellison

by JamesNYCAugust 23. 2009 21:59

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8X10 with out a net.

by JamesNYCAugust 14. 2008 09:39
I got a call last week from a photographer friend of mine for an 8X10 shoot.
This was to be a fine art shoot that would take place in a burned out building with out air-conditioning.
While we had plenty of film for the shoot (FUJICOLOR PRO 160S PROFESSIONAL), but we came to find that Polaroid 8x10 could not be found anywhere in or around NYC.

The lack of Polaroid and use of hot-lights for the shoot presented an interesting scenario.
This would require what some would consider the “old school method” metering every part of the set to see exactly where the lights were falling off, and where the hot spots were, and balancing the ratios across the set.
Now let me interject and respond to those asking “Why not just shoot digital?”
1) It’s what the photographer wanted.
2) 8x10 was the right tool for the job.

While this may not sound like much fun to some people, I live for this stuff
Since we didn’t have Polaroid we at least had some latitude that shooting C-41 offered. After metering we shoot ? stop open from meter, plus the ½ stop compensation for a slight bellows extension. So because we were essentially shooting blind we did do a 2 sheet bracket, plus ½ stop open for the second sheet, for all of the shots that day.
Did I mention that we were shooting in Jersey?
This meant that we wouldn’t have the opportunity to see the film until later the next day; and since we were again on set first thing in the morning we still didn’t have the option to view the results of the first day until we brought in the film later that day.
SO what we did was to have the lab contact print the negs and scan 3 with a flatbed scanner and email the JPG’s to use. This worked pretty well for the photographer as he got to see that he was getting what he wanted. While looking at the JPG’s I noticed that the even though the images looked great, I could still see a hint of the film base on the contact sheet. This meant that even with over exposing by nearly 2 stops we had to over expose more. Having this new information made shooting the second day a little less stressful.

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"I don't hire women" and other sexist comments.

by JamesNYCAugust 13. 2008 09:21
As I have stated in some of my other writings, based on my observations there is an unspoken fact about the commercial photo industry; that being the degree of sexism and racism that exits.
This despite it’s perception of being all inclusive and populated by progressive thinking artists’.

This was again brought to my attention about two weeks ago when a female assistant emailed me from the west coast.

While she didn't go into graphic details, the content and structure of the email conveyed the level of stress and anxiety she was feeling. I answered her email as best I could but suggested she call me to speak of her experiences further.

She called 2 days later. During the conversation, she recalled her experiences of the past year. She had been told "I don't hire women." Despite having the same level of experience and skill sets, was paid less than other assistant for the same job. Among other choice comments, she has even been told "..well, I pay the men more because they work harder.."
It should also be pointed out that women photographers are often just as discriminatory towards female assistants.
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Your Values, Your Business

by JamesNYCAugust 18. 2007 09:03

Building a business based on your values is one of the most important responsibilities that you have as a freelance photographer. It is also a tremendous opportunity.

Being awake to ideals that you hold as “true” creates a state of consciousness that will positively affect every aspect of your business.

As you develop a body of work from a state of true awareness of your talent and market needs you will be able to create online and print portfolios that clearly represent your visual value to buyers.

Your principles will also serve you well as you create your service goals. Making conscious choices about how you will meet deadlines, entertain clients and follow up jobs will guarantee your clients a positive experience.

Business and licensing practices developed around your standards can be clearly and kindly communicated to clients as needed.

While most photographers do have values that define their company, few take the time to pro actively examine, define and build their businesses around them. Have you built your business with your principles in mind? Do they guide your daily decisions? Are your business goals in synch with your family and personal values?

Ted Rice has been a successful photographer for many years. He is the person that comes to mind when I think of a photographer who is invested in building a business and a life from a position of being aware. He has recently made a life change that has temporarily taken him out of the mainstream photo world. He has made this decision in order to” live” the values that he has set for himself.

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More than 18,000 get naked for Mexican photo shoot.

by JamesNYCMay 7. 2007 00:07

It wasn't so long ago that Spencer Tunik was one of us.
A struggling photo assistant living and working in NYC. When I first move to NYC I spoke with Spencer on teh phone during the time that he was assisting for George Holtz. It was at this time that he was just begining his first foray into his nudes. Now he's makeing international news.
This is what happens when your willing to take the risks in order to get the photo you want.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/americas/05/06/mexico.nude.ap/index.html

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