At the end of 2013, I’d been living with my now-wife’s family in Yorkshire, England. With my 30th birthday quickly approaching in January, she asked me what I wanted to do for the occasion. “I want to have sushi for dinner”, I had decided. I’ve done this every year on my birthday since I was a kid. With there not being very many options for Japanese food in Northern England, our plans evolved to the point where we’d decided to spend a week in Paris. I took all the camera gear the Eurostar would allow me to cram on board (the timelapse dolly kept in a ski bag, as skis travel for free), and so spent the week filming time lapses in Paris’ rainy January weather.
After a few days of carrying camera gear around in the rain, Lizzy asked me “Do you really want to spend your whole birthday trip filming stuff?” I paused, thought about this question for a second, and replied “Yes. Yes I do,” before clamping my 6D to a metal guard rail on the roof of Printemps.
And yes, we did eat sushi on my birthday.
All but a few of these clips were shot in one week in January of 2014. A small handful were shot on a previous trip to Paris in October of 2012.
I had the pleasure of photographing Jo Celso and Erin Gunn, the two fastest women on fixed-gear bicycles — possibly in the world — for Wolfpack Hustle last week. Shot with two 2400 watt Profoto heads in the middle of a Downtown street on Sunday morning. No retouching.
I just spent the last week at iStockalypse London learning from fellow iStock and Getty Images staff and contributors. In between seminars, lectures, and drinking, I managed to squeeze in two days of lugging two cameras and a motion control dolly through the tube to capture the patterns and pulses of human and vehicular traffic in the city.
After letting my body recover for a few days, I processed the scenes I shot, and edited together this little video. Have a look, and let me know what you think!
This is a still frame of a vertical time-lapse I shot last week in San Francisco. The final product will be part of a physical digital installation in San Francisco’s SOMA district. I’ll share more when the project launches!
This past Sunday, I joined a quarter of a million other Los Angeles residents for CicLAvia, and rode my bicycle with a handful of friends from where I live in Downtown out to Venice Beach. CicLAvia is prettywellcoveredaroundtheinternet, so I won’t elaborate too much, other than: it was awesome, if a little too popular for it’s own good, and definitely needs to happen more often and run later.
When I got to Venice, I met up with several other friends, including my good friend, colleague, and extremely taleted cinematographer Richie Trimble. Riche had, only the day before, completed building a new bicycle from scratch, albeit one that was 14.5 feet (4.5 meters) tall.
Note that the other two bicycles behind Richie are other “tall bikes”, albeit ones of standard size made from two bicycle frames welded together.
I can’t imagine it would be possible to build a bicycle any taller and still ride it. As we rode around Venice and Marina Del Rey, Richie was constantly ducking under bridges and power lines only a few inches over his head.
At some points, other riders would ride ahead and clear pedestrians and vehicles out of the way to make a path, so Richie could ride under parts of obstacles that had more clearance.
I’m sure you’re thinking “how does he get off?” “How does he stop?”. These are all very good and valid questions, so I will direct you to this very fine video, shot by Richie himself from the GoPro strapped to his chest. If you think it’s scary to see photos *of* the bicycle being ridden, you should see the view from the driver’s seat from the man himself:
I did a photoshoot with the amazingly talented Kenneth Hill several months ago at my studio in Los Angeles. I had some electricians in at the time doing some work that took a whole lot longer than I expected, so we didn’t wind up using the studio part at all.
This was shot on the building’s fire escape:
And a few in my living room:
And then a few on the balcony, in front of a typical, bright Los Angeles sunset:
That final image was picked by one of my editors and appeared on iStockphoto’s homepage for a few months after that:
I’ve found myself defending my use of Instagram to other photographers.
I’ve heard the saying that goes “the best camera in the world is the one you have with you”, which oftentimes is just my phone. Even when I’m carrying a full SLR or two with me, I’ll still take my phone out and take pictures, to the amusement of people around me.
Below are some photos I took in Paris on a recent trip there.
On this flight, I was required to check all of my camera gear, so the only camera I had was my phone. This is a moment that wouldn’t have been captured otherwise.
Often some of the photos I take are relevant in the moment, but having a small, ubiquitous camera allows for capturing images that have a feel all of their own, a feeling of spontaneity. If I were to take a full DSLR out, meter, get the settings right, the moment would be over. Sometimes, there are just situations where it’s just not really appropriate to whip out a 5D.
Sometimes I just like the aesthetic, and the instant filters available. Half the time I can have a polished, processed image right away, something I’d be happy with if I had later edited the image with the computer.
And other images I don’t think I’d have bothered to take out a DSLR to shoot, but in the moment, seemed like an interesting composition, and later, I was glad I did.
These I took while bored and waiting for a train:
These I took because it didn’t seem appropriate to take out my DSLR at the time, although in hindsight I wish I had:
I think the “tilt-shift” filter can be super cheesy sometimes, but when used in certain contexts, has a really nice effect:
And, of course, I seem to have a strange obsession with stairs.
I borrowed a really neat vintage Super-8 camera from my friends at the Hand Prop Room, a massive warehouse full of all kinds of film and TV props. It covers two floors, and has everything you’d need to make a room look like the 1970′s, or to make a team of dozens of unthreatening extras look like a police SWAT team with assault rifles.
No SWAT team today, but I thought this old handheld movie camera looked pretty neat, so I took it back to the studio and spent a few hours lighting and shooting it.
Up-close with a tilt-shit lens:
I love the little details, like the visible shutter in this lens, and the etched-in focusing points. It’s got the same aesthetic as a Swiss watch, except it’s a bit grungy with age.