Fujifilm Square SQ10 Unboxing/ Review/ Samples!

Fuji’s latest instant film camera, the Square SQ10, gets unboxed and road tested in a shoot with model Alina Lee aka Thumbelina in a pool and a jail. We show how the hybrid digital/ analogue camera works, see sample images, showcase the unique features of the camera, go over the pros and cons of the camera, and do our best to answer all your burning questions about the Fujifilm SQ10!

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.

Surreal Pop with Gel Lighting Techniques

One of my favorite ways to get the kind of surreal pop I love in my photography is to use the simple combination of colored gels and LED lights.  Here we look at a few ways to use gels and why they are a valuable addition to any art and portrait photographer’s toolkit.

All images in this video shot with the Fuji X-T2 and the Fuji Neo Classic Instax Mini 90, models include Shasta Wonder, Kaila Stone, Mckenzie Eckels, and L. Shima.

Minimalist portraiture with Mckenzie Eckels

I was in LA earlier this month and had the opportunity to shoot with a model long on my wishlist, Mckenzie Eckels.  One of my gimmicks during this trip was a diffusion filter roll bought 2 years ago but never used; I was inspired to chop holes in it by 1950s Vogue photographer Erwin Blumenfeld, and we took advantage of messing up Mckenie’s makeup towards the end on the diffusion.

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This ended up being one of my favorite images from the trip, one that barely shows the model but shows a lot of personality.  Shot with the Fuji X-T2 with the magnificent Fujinon XF35mmF1.4 R.

Bernardo – new video art with Meredith Adelaide

Some video pieces grow out of a plan, and others form organically; “Bernardo” is definitely one of the latter.  I had shot with artist Meredith Adelaide, and it went so well we scheduled another day the following week.  I had used up my more fully fleshed out concepts on our first day, so we ended up visiting the Phoenix Art Museum and shooting around the Salt River based on 2 ultra-basic FX ideas I had written in my notes (“light painting in firefly room” and “hovering with trampoline”).  There was a random encounter with a frog at the Salt River that seemed to shape the experience- Meredith randomly dubbed him “Bernardo”, and somehow he ended up being the focus of this particular video art piece.     A random encounter between a woman and a frog leads to a cosmic experience for both.  Filmed on the Fujifilm X-T2 Mirrorless Digital Camera> and effects in Adobe After Effects.

Alternate Versions

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model Liilii in a vintage swimsuit – monochromatic graphic approach, emphasizing tone and the period nature of the swimsuit

One of the best benefits of photography is that multiple iterations of an image are possible, and all are equally valid. I shot and processed this image in June and still don’t know which is the “preferred” image.

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model Liilii in a vintage swimsuit – modern color approach, emphasizing the contrast of pastels on the suit and natural tones surrounding the model.

My usual advice to students is, if a image has no prominently featured color scheme, there’s no reason for it to be in color, and it’d be more effective as a black and white. A strong case could be made for either approach here.

The Pre Shoot

Merrique 1  Last week I had a shoot with model St. Merrique and I was thinking about how I operate before a model shoot. It’s exclusive to model shoots because these are the kind that usually require special planning in advance. If I’m traveling, it’s all about being open to the experiences presented to you; if you’re doing a family shoot or a wedding, those are pretty by-the-book. But an artistic model shoot is different.

1. I have to establish what category the images will fall under. If they are going in my “pop” or “mythology” categories, then it’s digital and the D700. I take this camera no matter what, but there has to be some conciousness as to what I’m going to do. The images I paint on or Vesna does embroidery on, those need to be composed a certain way.merrique8-2

2. When I have my category, I look over what I already have shot and what I could add to the series. In the case of the scanner series, I have quite a few that prominently feature squished faces, boobs and hands, so if I want the series to be any more than that the next people I scan have to do something different. Scanning St. Merrique, we did some of her back and swirly hair that looked special and unique.

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3. At this point I may do a sketch or two, gather props, but the most important step seems to be…

4. Forget most of my plans or anxiety and let instinct and experience guide me during a shoot. So often a prop, or some other element of a “plan” doesn’t work, but there’s amazing light over thataway, so let’s go thataway and take the good photos rather than struggle.

Trust in your own talent. You’ll get more good pictures that staying driving concepts into the ground.

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