Video location scout for fashion shoot in Brooklyn "Dumbo" area

by JamesNYCJuly 30. 2012 12:30
Several weeks ago I worked on a shoot in Brooklyn "Dumbo" area.  While hair and make up was being done we took a stroll and did a little location scouting of the area. This proved invaluable when the art director ask were the location was that they saw with "BLAH BLAH BLAH" features. I had listed the streets a d locations in the audio track of the video.  Yes it hand held but if you pause the video in most instances you get a very clear view of the locations.


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Location over view of Chelsea Hotel roof top

by JamesNYCMay 27. 2012 08:44

Chelsea Hotel NYC - Location over view of Chelsea Hotel roof top.

The Chelsea Hotels long history of being the playground and home to the artists of the past and those to be determined in the future are now long gone.

The hotel has changed hands yet again and is currently being completely renovated.

The art and images that had previously adorned the hotels enterance are gone.

The footage of the roof top in the coming months will no longer be valid as the development company has plans to strip all of the existing 'Character' of the roof in order to bring in a more corporate presence on 23rd street.

If anyone has any desire to shoot at this location you had better do it soon; before the remaining elements of this historic Hotel are stripped and sold off.

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Sigma Corporation of America’s 50-150mm F2.8 APO EX DC OS HSM now available

by JamesNYCMarch 30. 2012 08:22


*Lens Construction:21 Elements in 15 Groups *Angle of View:27.9-9.5 degrees *Number of blades:9 pcs *Minimum Aperture:F22 *Minimum Focusing Distance:80cm / 31.5in. *Maximum Magnification:1:6.4 *Filter Size:Diameter77mm *Dimensions:Diameter 86.4mm×Length 197.6mm / 3.4in.× 7.8 in. *Weigh:TBD

 . It’s been long-awaited, and will be available starting in Canon mounts for a street price of $1,099 next week. Sigma and Nikon mounts will be available at the end of April.


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Mike Tyson and Me - David Harry Stewart

by JamesNYCDecember 15. 2011 07:48



Mike Tyson

Everyone has an opinion about Mike, most are not good.

When I got the call from the NYTimes Magazine that they wanted me to photograph Mike Tyson, my first thoughts were of self preservation. It so happened that the call in when I was on set photographing David Blaine, also for the Times Magazine. Of course I said something to David, and it turned out that he and Mike were friends. Even weirder, that David Blaine, Mike Tyson and Michael Jackson were all friends. Go figure. Word was Mike was a total sweetheart, I had nothing to worry about, which is not something I took to heart, as Mike had just eaten a man’s ear on live television.

My assistant and I fly to Maui to meet Mike at his training camp. The first thing is that we have to attend a “media session”. This is when Mike’s PR people (can you imagine doing PR for Mike Tyson?) laid out the ground rules for what was cool and what was not. This was not really meant for us, but more for the 20 or so TV teams that were there. The short version was just keep it to boxing and stay out of Mike’s private life. Yea, right.

Our session was scheduled for the next day, after the TV interviews, which took place every 10 feet or so going around a large banquet room. Everything is fine, Mike going from station to station talking boxing until he gets to the FOX Sports station. They of course are the only ones with a female reporter. The first thing out of her mouth is ” Why do you hate women?”. It escalates from there and within a couple of minutes Mike is screaming, fist raised, quite seriously going to kill the woman. Only 2 very big very strong guys are saving her life. She had been sent there to bait Mike, so that FOX could get a circus moment on the evening news. Mike gave it to them in spades.

Knowing that I was in the very near future going to be inches away from one of the most dangerous men on planet, who was now mad as a hornet, was not a particularly comforting thought. Bad of me I know, but at that moment I was thinking it was a shame about those two big handlers being there to restrain Tyson.

Back to the hotel, we wait and practice what we will be setting up. The call may come at anytime. I was on the phone with Kathy at the Times letting her know the situation. For some reason, they had me pegged as the go to guy for the dangerous, the felonious and the transgressives. Some other lucky photographer was pegged as the movie star shooter, me, I get the toughies.

The call comes in at noon the next day. We were given directions to Mike’s secret training facility. The scene was disconcerting. From the fighting ring, which has been set up in a closed building, we hear loud rap music and the occasional thump of pain. The area outside is littered with huge bleeding men, sitting in stunned silence. I get a glimpse of the Mike boxing. He hits a one of these monsters in the gut with an uppercut and lifts him off the ground. We are talking a 300lb guy. Terrifying.

The writer comes out to say hi mentioning Mike is in a foul mode from the day before. To work it off, he was training particularly hard and had already thrown up once that day. This is not good, not good at all.

About 2 hours and half dozen bleeding monsters later, Mike comes out walking straight towards me followed by a phalanx of handlers. I go directly up to him, show him a polaroid of what we are doing, and tell him this is for the NY Times Magazine. First thing I notice is that Mike has a rather high pitched voice, the second is that he is quick to smile. My anxiety level is reduced from near death experience code red to something more like normal pre-shoot anxiety. But Mike doesn’t want to shoot the picture at the training camp. Because it is the Times, he wants to look sharp, get his hair cut and clean up. Off to Mike’s seaside condo to set up again, a new problem enters my mind. We need to be on an 8pm flight out that night to be in Paris for another job the following day.

We setup and the first thing Mike does is start running his ” I am a very bad man” rap on me. This was a test, but happening 3 feet away it was a very scary test. My adrenals surging, I reach out, slap Mike on the shoulder and say ” Come on Mike, you’re not so bad”. Suddenly the whole vibe changes, I passed the test, and Mike thinks I am ok. Slapping Mike Tyson when not knowing what will happen, is on a fear level with blind bungee jumping. Turns out, Mike is great, super nice and chatty guy. The man is fascinated with world politics. We talk about Mao, about Che, about Osama and Bush. I discover he is covered with political tattoos. Who knew? What strikes me as most unusual about Mike is that he really wants people to think he is worse than he is. Anyone else I have ever photographed, killers to movie stars to politicos, always want me to think they are better than they are. We do 2 setups, quickly, very quickly. At the very end I see Mike in his boxing trunks cradling his 6 month old daughter. A shockingly tender moment, a picture I knew would be worth a lot, and one that I knew he would let me take. But I passed. Somethings are better left alone, and after seeing the FOX baiting, Mike’s private moment with his kid seemed like one of those. The whole shoot took about 30 minutes, then STP, straight to plane.

The lesson I have learned from years of doing portraits is that the bad guys are never that bad and the good guys are never that good. Everyone is somewhere in that grey murky area in the center.

Posts from Blog: David Harry Stewart, Photographer/Director for 12/15/2011

Copyright (C) 2011 *David Harry Stewart|* All rights reserved. Used by permission

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Fix localized image distortions fast with Puppet Warp.

by JamesNYCSeptember 22. 2011 10:49

Quickly fix image distortions — and achieve more realistic results — with the intuitive Puppet Warp tool. Perform subtle manipulations like straightening bowed horizon lines or correcting perspective distortions in architectural images.

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Vincent Laforet’s Premiere Pro Workflow Tutorial

by JamesNYCJuly 31. 2011 17:25

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Behind the scenes video for Sharper Image

by JamesNYCJuly 29. 2011 07:36

Here is a behind the scenes look at a video that I worked on for Sharper Image. This footage never ran in the U.S. but some of the final 2 - 3 seconds that was actually used in the final AD can be found on the internet


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by JamesNYCJuly 11. 2011 14:18
If you have not yet seen the latest Thierry Mugler video that has become the talk of the internet, your clearly not spending enough time online.  We've posted both the short edited version and the long form erotic version. Regardless of your sexual proclivity, this is a really great video production.

00:48 version

04:25 version

MUGLER | "Brothers of Arcadia" Brothers of Arcadia is a video directed by Branislav Jankic under the creative direction of Nicola Formichetti for the new Mugler men's ready to wear summer 2012 campaign. Models: Matthieu Charneau, Travis Cannata, Esmir Redzepagic, Alex Eroe, Peter Pagan, Justin Barnhill, Ellie Ross and Nomi Ruiz.

"Brothers of Arcadia," a new short film for Mugler and its creative director, Nicola Formichetti, best known these days as Lady Gaga's stylist. New York's Nice Shoes handled editorial and color-grading on the project with director Branislav Jankic, Formichetti, and reps from the agency, Moving Image & Content. The teaser, above, was cut for a debut at, and two different versions of the spot
The editor is Moss Levenson and the cinematographer Frank Stanley. For more on the job, see Trust Collective's publicity page for Nice Shoes.

Client: Mugler

Agency: Moving Image & Content
Agency Producer: Mark Mayer
Director: Branislav Jankic
Creative Director: Nicola Formichetti

Editorial/Color Grading: Nice Shoes
Creative Director for Editorial: Brian Bowman
Sr. Producer: Christos Mountzouros
Lead Editor: Moss Levenson
Editor: Mike Cerullo
Assistant Editor: Tony Dolezal
Lead Colorist: Lenny Mastrandrea
Compositing: Bryan Rosenblum

IF your personal, political or social sensibilities prevent you from appreciating a great video production then please do not click here to view the more explicit version: More...

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Cell-Phone Visuals Drive Kurt Vile Video

by JamesNYCJuly 8. 2011 14:15
Clip Shot in East L.A. Debuts in Windows Phone Me Series
Fashion photographer Todd Cole shot this video for "Baby's Arms" from Kurt Vile's album Smoke Ring for My Halo on location in East L.A. using a cell-phone camera. It's part of the Me series, which collects short films shot using Windows Phone cameras.

For more about the shoot, including a look at the Manfrotto Fig Rig that held the phone throughout, see this behind-the-scenes video.

Behind the scenes with Todd Cole on Kurt Vile's "Baby's Arms" music video
For more information: Todd Cole. Kurt Vile.

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Sigma Corporation’s New, Optically Stabilized 120-300mm F2.8 Now Shipping in US

by JamesNYCJune 1. 2011 12:18

Sigma Corporation’s New, Optically Stabilized 120-300mm F2.8 Now Shipping in US

Fast, fixed aperture telephoto zoom is ideal for sports and wildlife photographers 

RONKONKOMA, N.Y., June 1, 2011Sigma Corporation of America, a leading researcher, developer, manufacturer and service provider of some of the world’s most impressive lines of lenses,cameras and Flashes,has announced that its updated 120-300mm F2.8 EX DG OS APO HSM is now available for purchase in the U.S. for the MSRP of $4,700.

The upgraded version of the Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 EX DG OS APO HSM will replace its predecessor as the essential Sigma lens for sports and wildlife photographers. The fast, fixed-aperture telephoto zoom will now feature some of the company’s new “F” Low Dispersion (FLD) glass elements and a splash-proof design which protects from “water spattering” as buttons and connections benefit from O-ring sealing connections to prevent dust and water getting inside the camera body. It also boasts Sigma’s proprietary Optical Stabilizer (OS) system, which will enable handheld photography and the use of shutter speeds approximately four stops slower than would otherwise be possible.

"This lens is a must-have for sports and wildlife photographers," said Mark Amir-Hamzeh, president of Sigma Corporation of America. "Think of this as a prime 300mm F2.8 in terms of its ultra-high resolution, with the added bonus of it being an F2.8 constant-aperture zoom lens that allows the photographer to recompose the scene anywhere from 120mm to 300mm without having to change their capture position. There's really no other lens like it."

The versatile lens is designed for use with full frame digital SLR cameras but may also be used with smaller APS-C size sensors with a corresponding effective increase in focal length to approximately 180-450mm with most cameras. The Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) ensures quiet and high speed auto focus, while allowing full-time manual focus override. The maximum aperture remains constant at F2.8 throughout the entire zoom range. The addition of the optional Sigma 1.4x APO teleconverter effectively makes this lens a 168mm to 420mm F4.0 lens. Adding the Sigma 2x APO teleconverter makes this lens a 240-600mm F5.6 lens (full autofocus operation is possible using the Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 EX DG OS APO HSM and either the 1.4x APO or the 2x APO teleconverter in Sigma, Canon and Nikon mounts).

One SLD and two FLD glass elements, which are comparable in optical performance to fluorite glass, provide maximum correction of chromatic aberrations. The super multi-layer coating reduces flare and ghosting, and the lens design incorporates an inner focusing and inner zooming system to ensure sharp images throughout the entire zoom range. Improved optical performance provides excellent correction of sagittal coma flare and ensures ultra-high resolution, comparable to a fixed focal length lens.

To locate an authorized Sigma dealer near you, visit To use Sigma’s new Lens Finder Tool to find the best glass to suit your needs, visit

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