Radical Feelism – new video art with Corie Shannon

Corie Shannon is a model who I ended up working with based on a fun, talkative video posted on YouTube where she outlined some of her core beliefs.  We had the opportunity to shoot around Phoenix a bit and I finally got to use my Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera, though it was on a completely unfamiliar steadicam so my work was less than steady.  The title of this, “Radical Feelism,” is based on a tattoo you can barely make out on the inside of Corie’s arm, and she goes into much greater detail in the actual video.

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Maggie at the Petrified Forest/ Painted Desert

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I’ve always had a problem: I live in the Southwest- surrounded by exotic, beautiful environments like the Painted Desert- but it’s just far enough away that it’s not feasible to take a pro stylized model with me to shoot out there.  Enter my daughter Maggie, who at age 8 has been in enough of Daddy’s shoots in her lifetime to finally get styled and shot way out amongst the petrified wood.  Hair and makeup done by her mom/ my wife Vesna Miller.  We’re going to make this a routine thing- once a month- with the goal of building up a youngster to be an ultra stylized look.

All images done with Fuji X-T2 and either the 35mm 1.4 lens or 23mm 2.0 lens.

Feast of Fury

Feast of Fury! – a short film created for the Independent Filmmakers of Phoenix Breakout Challenge!  One month to write, film, edit a 6 minute piece with a randomly assigned prop (tennis racket) and phrase (”Quantum mechanics are easy…”).  Featuring @luxbotlacheln Olivier Zahm, Jessica Kelley + her baby, Patton Werner, my wife and children, and a bunch of puppets.

This was a lot of fun to make, and it was an enormous learning experience for me.  There’s a showing alongside all the other films involved in the challenge this Thursday in a Harkins movie theater and just the opportunity to have my kids see themselves on the big screen will make it all worth it.

Lightroom 6 CC’s Amazing Panoramic Function at Papago Park

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When we get a great cloudy day in Phoenix, I usually forgo whatever plans I had for the day to go hiking in Papago park on the Phoenix/ Tempe/ Scottsdale border.  It’s gorgeous red rocks with small caves that don’t look quite like any other local place.  I put this together Lightroom 6 CC’s photo merge function, one of the few things I had still used Photoshop for in my workflow.

Hiking Video #1 – Tonto Natural Bridge

It’s probably the call of the GoPro that has me being more physically active in my photography and videoing this year.  Or the desire not to die unhealthy. Whichever it is, I’ve been hiking more than I ever have in the last few months.  One of my favorite places is the Tonto Natural Bridge north of Payson, Arizona.  My family acted as tour guides to my inlaws earlier this month and I made a short video combining footage from the GoPro Hero Black 4 strapped to my chest and the Fuji X-T1 in my hands.
My only regret is that I didn’t get good ambient sound of the day.  The GoPro audio had a lot of sharp jostling sounds that made it unusuable for the final piece.  Since then I’ve picked up a Tascam DR-05, a phenomenal audio recorder that captures really quality audio and is teeny tiny enough to fit in a pocket.
If you enjoy any of this work I encourage you to like it and share it!  For more photoworks goodness peruse my Etsy shop, follow on tumblr and twitter and instagram, and rummage around on my full site.

TechShop Chandler – Art Making for the Maker Artist

Roughly a mile from my house in Chandler, Arizona, is the ASU Techshop.  It’s about a year old and chock full of machines that I had no idea how to work or what art I could make if I got my hands on them.  As a Christmas present to myself I bought a membership and signed up for a few classes, and those few weeks since have yielded some creative results.

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One of the new tools I’ve made use of is the Universal Laser Systems’ laser cutter.  It’s about as easy to use as any regular xerox machine except sometimes a fire starts in it.  Basically I can etch, engrave or cut a huge variety of materials using whatever designs I create.  There’s not much more than convert photos to a pure black-and-white design using “threshold” and “layers” in Photoshop, save as a PDF, import that into Corel Draw and that’s about it for prep.

My current favorite material is an acrylic plexiglass with a mirrored back.  It makes my images look like large Daguerreotypes.


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I’m also quite fond of this black acrylic.  This is my first etching on the laser cutter, converted to a vector drawing in Adobe Illustrator CC.  Check the video for the “making of” process…

The other tool I’ve been using non-stop is the 3D printer, the MakerBot Replicator 2.  I feel about this machine the way I felt the first time I could burn CDs, or the first time I saw Amazon’s commercial for a Kindle.  Last year I photographed a bunch of models “in the round” to make 3D models of them, and though the process of getting an interesting object out of those photos wasn’t as simple or satisfying as I thought it’d be- currently I have a bunch of half-heads in my Meshmixer folders- I have been making objects that are actually useful to me.  From Thingiverse I’ve created some GoPro mounts and a plastic pinhole camera…

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…still yet to be shot with yet!  If you enjoy any of this work I encourage you to like it and share it!  For more photoworks goodness peruse my Etsy shop, follow on tumblr and twitter and instagram, and rummage around on my full site.

AZ Opera exhibit preview: “Western Zen”

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I’ve got work in 2 exhibits opening this November.  One is a set of masks as part of a sculpture exhibit at the Hive Gallery in Los Angeles, and the other is a trio of canvas prints for the Arizona Opera.  These are two of those photos, shot around 2008 for a series I called “Western Zen.”  The premise was these were all images of Asian gardens within California, Arizona, Washington and Oregon.  They were shot on medium format film with whiteout/ liquid paper brushed along the edges of the negative for a “sumi-e” effect.

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I created a Blurb book of the work, and it never really went anywhere.  After 7 years I’m still proud enough of the images that I figured nice canvas prints, in an open floating frame, would look really cool as classy wall decor, and thankfully the AZ Opera agreed.  It’s always been of big importance to me that the work I make finds some kind of public space to live, even if it takes years, and currently I’m in the rare position to get everything printed and presentation-ready the way I feel the work needs to be.

If you enjoy any of this work I encourage you to like it and share it!  For more photoworks goodness peruse my Etsy shop, follow on tumblr and twitter and instagram, and rummage around on my full site.