Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Location Ideas

Been doing a lot of walking around with my camera since the weather started warming up and besides some nature shots I've also been looking for interesting locations to shoot in. Here's a few that might interest people.

Top Part of O'dell Park

Off the Prospect Street Entrance, I so want my next fashion shoot to be in here.

Under the Westmorland Bridge and Surrounding Area

This could make for some epic Steampunk group shots.

These are all along the walking trail, therefore easy to access.

Anyway, just wanted to through that out to the internet and see who bites.

-Larry M. Holder 

Artistic Process - Painting and Photos

Hey everyone, by now many of you have seen my piece at Charlotte Street Art Centre, if not, the show is up till the 30th of April. I thought I would share a few process shots I took while making that piece, "Monotony" and more recently it's "sister" piece "Living Machine". I'll start with "Monotony".

First I start by taking the photo, this a long exposer image using the "bulb" or "mirror up" setting as it's called now. It's taken by popping several bursts of flash units with coloured gels over them. That creates the colour and the sense of motion (interestingly I don't use this technique anymore since digital is so light sensitive you can get away with a lot less time and light). This was one of the last film images I made before jumping to digital last year (minus pinhole that is). So once I had the image scanned off the negative I adjusted the lighting and printed out the image.

Once that is done, I move to the next step, mounting and painting.

My last major series like this was mounted on matte board, I wanted something heavier and different this time. I went with MDF board (most people call this pressed wood or self board). I use an acrylic gel to mount the images, it has the same texture as acrylic paint but dries (mostly) transparent. I love this medium as it nicely blends the paint to the photo and makes a more consistent piece. This photo was taken after the first coat of the gel had dried and I started the first layer of paint around it. I'm sure any painter looking at this will find my techniques horrendous, I've never been all that skilled a painter or drawer and that may be the whole reason I started making these style of images. I love the act of drawing and painting, but I could never make a realistic style and in many was I don't really like total realism anyway, but I do want people to look like people if you know what I mean. 

From there I would slowly add layers day after day till I got to the final image.

The last step is an application of the gel over the entire surface, thus completing the piece.

Once it's dry it's ready for display. I had issues with finding out how to hang the piece however. Since this was my first experience using this board for mounting a bought a cheaper thin piece. There was no way to put mounting hardware on the back. I ended up glueing a thicker piece of board on the back and screwing hardware into it. 

Hanging a piece like this was very awkward, especially on the stairs. But we got it up and it looked awesome.

So that is the story of that piece. It's been very good to me so far, even got me an article photo in the Brunswickan (UNB's newspaper).

To say the least, despite it's dark overtone, I find this piece extremely beautiful. Here's my studio shot archival image (which is on my website) for a better view.

I know this post is long, but I won't talk about the next piece very long. Originally I was going to hang "Living Machine" along side of "Monotony" but didn't finish it in time. I shot the photo for this before the "Monotony" image, and it was originally just a refresher into this style since I had not made any in a few years at that point. I think the original idea was about internet addiction and it still sort of shows. I wasn't a huge fan of the image till I became more familiar with H.R. Giger's work again and really wanted to make a biomechanical person in an image. I thought of this image and then decided it would work very well to represent that. This was never intended to copy Giger's work, but rather it was inspired by it. It's the same process as "Monotony" so I won't talk about each image, but I did use a thicker board this time, which I'm also using for my, currently in development, steampunk project "Steamed Vision". Enough talk, here are the pictures.

In a way I used the "Space Jockey" image Giger made for the movie Alien as my starting point. So if you see that in it, there is a reason.

One really cool thing to mention that doesn't come off to much in the photo, is the fact there was a lot of metallic acrylic paint used in the image, so it actually changes slightly in the light as you walk by it. It's inspired me to use this medium in future work.

A little weird and dark I know, but for some reason this kind of art has an intoxicating lure to me. I know this was a long read, but hopefully you found it interesting!

-Larry M. Holder 

Monday, April 2, 2012

New Cosplay - Bronwen Robbins Designs

I did a shoot on the weekend for Bronwen Robbins' line of cosplay fashions. This was my first actual shoot in which I got to deploy my ideas for location lighting. This setup of two flash heads will be my setup I use in Toronto this May at Anime North, with a few tweaks along the way. Fairly simple to set up, one flash head(the main light) has an umbrella and the "background" light has a homemade modifier with a gel over it. I did three colours, orange, pink and purple, the orange being the most visible and actually adding some really nice light to the model. The model, by the way, needs huge props for this shoot, as she(she being Laina), walked up the rocky, muddy and icy hills in those custom made high heels. What a trooper, though she vowed never to do it again, and I don't blame her.

Anyway, enough ramble, on to the photos!

I'm super excited by these results, I can only imagine what a solid surface outdoors using this lighting will produce! I'm also happy to hear that both model and designer are happy with the photos. If your interested in Bronwen's work please visit her blog!

One more thing, in case you were wondering, we shot this in O'dell Park here in Fredericton.

-Larry M. Holder

Pottery photos - Valerie Jean

These are some photos I took for Valerie Jean, you may remember me photographing her work from late last year. These images are for a grant application, and although it was a little rushed getting them done, I put no less attention and care into making them. I'm happy to see comparing these to my older images I did for her, a big step in lighting control on my part. This is extremely compelling work that she makes, hope you enjoy it.

I also tried some different things, like the view going inside the bowel. Wish I had thought to do close ups of the masks though.

-Larry M. Holder