Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Wonder Woman Wet Plate Collodion Photograph

OK, so I'm a little late to this party.

I just saw "Wonder Woman" a few months ago as we checked it out from the library to watch with my oldest son as he just had his tonsils out and needed to be taking it easy. We all enjoyed it.

I watched some of the "extras" the following day, and there was one called "A Photograph Through Time" which was about the photograph that started the movie. (And the same photo was seen in "Batman vs Superman" as well.)


Present-day Wonder Woman looking at the photograph from Bruce Wayne.


The photo seen in a collector's book about the movie.

The man who plays "Charlie" (far right in that photo) talked about shooting that photo as the first day on set:

That was the first thing that we shot, before we’d even shot a scene [for Wonder Woman] we shot that photograph. It meant that when we eventually got around to shooting the scene that the [photograph] is from, we had to really painstakingly recreate it. Because we [took the photo] against a half-built set, in a way sets were still being built at that point. So by the time we came around to filming that scene, probably around five months later, the sets were much more developed. So we had to find a way to recreate the exact same image after half a year had gone by.

Anyway, the "extra" about the making of the photograph is pretty interesting. They worked with photographer Stephen Berkman and actually shot a traditional wet plate collodion photograph with (approximately) a 5 second exposure. They shot about 20 versions to get one that worked the way they wanted it to. There's a LOT more on the DVD/Blu-Ray, but here are 2 short clips about the photograph in Wonder Woman, and the 2nd video shows a lot more of the actual photograph (and the director and producer discussing it):

Here's a little more about the making of this photo from Screen Rant and from Cinema Blend. But I recommend watching the DVD or Blu-Ray and seeing a lot more about this in the extras.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Last-Minute Drone Save

This last minute Drone catch from 2015 might be a bit more epic, but this one posted on YouTube yesterday when Dave's battery died was pretty dramatic too:

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Additive and Subtractive Earrings

Wet Paint (our local art store) recently posted this on Instagram:



Caption: "Our staff lives art every day! If we’re not making art or selling art supplies, we’re wearing it! Today Kristina wore these awesome CMYK and RGB color mixing earrings from Yellow Owl Workshop! Three cheers for color theory!"

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

DMA Senior Showcase

Some of my former students are in the senior showcase at Hamline University later this week:



Stop by and check it out! "Anderson Center" is at 774 Snelling Ave N in St. Paul (1 block north of Minnehaha). I may swing by with my boys.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

"Ten Days of Murals" at 4 a.m.

At the very end of 2017, I did a little side project on my Instagram page. I posted some 4 a.m. photographs for 10 days straight, and I called it my "Ten Days of Murals." On the first day, I added this mini statement about the next 10 days:

Usually I photograph very public and scenic areas of the city that are quiet (and therefore sometimes unusual) at 4 a.m. But for the next 10 days, I want to show some murals I’ve been photographing. These public pieces of art are meant to be enjoyed during the day, and they take on a new life under the streetlights - a way they maybe aren’t intended to be viewed.

Here's what I posted over those 10 days:

[click each photograph for a larger image]


Day #1: near Snelling Ave in St. Paul.


Day #2: a Minneapolis neighborhood mural on the side of Falls Liquor on Minnehaha.


Day #3: the side of Classic Retro at Pete’s on University Ave.


Day #4: a Midway Murals mosaic piece on the side of Star Food Market from the Taco Bell parking lot.


Day #5: along Snelling Ave in St. Paul.


Day #6: an in-progress mural on the garage doors outside of Can Can Wonderland.
(Sidenote: when you view this image on your phone from your Insta account, it's a 2 image panorama.)


Day #7: another Midway Mural off of Snelling Ave.


Day #8: the side of Dunn Bros. on Grand Ave depicting the two downtowns of the two Twin Cities.


Day #9: Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox on the side of the (now permanently closed) St. Clair Broiler.


Day #10: the 5-story Golden Spiral by Ed Charbonneau Jeremy Szopinski in Pedro Park.


Bonus mural photo: this one helped inspire the "Ten Days of Murals" as I made
this photo from the side of Creative Lighting 2 weeks before this mini project.

Again, click each image to see it larger, and follow me on Instagram for more of my 4 a.m. work.

Monday, April 09, 2018

"Phases of Matter" at the Minnetonka Center for the Arts

My boys and I went out to the Minnetonka Center for the Arts last Thursday for the closing reception for "Phases of Matter." Linda Gammell (a former CVA professor) was one the artists featured in the show. Here are a few pics:


Walking the halls with my boys as we got there early.


Charlie posing by lots of looms. They thought this classroom was amazing.


In the gallery. Some of Linda's pieces (and her husband).


This huge piece in the middle entranced my 1st grader.
He watched all the gears until he had everything figured out.
Beautiful subtle movement that made the boat seem like it was on a lake.


The gallery starting to fill up.


More people.


More of Linda's work.


Roaming the gift shop before heading home.

Linda and I got to say hi (we had seen each other just a week before at an art event here in St. Paul), and I also got to briefly catch up with long-ago CVA professor Linda Rossi. I need to make it a point to stop in to the Minnetonka Center for the Arts when we're driving by to visit family by the lake over the summer.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Talent or Practice?

Here's an appropriate comic for certain situations by Stephen Beals:



Sunday, March 11, 2018

Advice from Alex Soth

I came across this article in Format magazine nearly 2 years ago, but I had it buried until now. It's some quick "no nonsense" advice from Alec Soth:



Film or digital?

Alec Soth: Use whatever tools that best suit the project.

Social media: For personal updates or professional work?

Use social media if you feel like it, but not out of a sense of obligation.

Travel: A good way to start new projects?

Travel can be a way to avoid distraction and heighten engagement, but it can also be a crutch.

What’s the best way to approach strangers to take their portrait?

As Wegee said, ‘If you want to be a professional, you can’t be a Nice Nelly.’

Should photographers have a diverse body of work—portraits, landscapes and still lives—or just stick to one thing?

Having limitations is essential, just don’t box yourself into a corner.

Your project with writer Brad Zellar, The LBM Dispatch is a secondary outlet for your work. Would you recommend other photographers to start a project like this?

One of the things I like about photography is that you can have dozens of outlets: books, magazines, galleries, websites, etc. It’s a good exercise to maintain ownership of some of these outlets, but I would find it extremely limiting to put all of my eggs in my own basket.












Part of The LBM Dispatch is collaborating with Zellar. What’s the benefit of building a creative partnership?

Photography seems like a solitary art form, but all art eventually requires some form of dialog and collaboration. Building strong relationships makes your work better.

What’s the differences between presenting work in mediums: books, exhibitions, magazines, etc.

Everything changes by virtue of the context in which it is seen. I see my role as a photographer as not just making pictures, but as engaging with the contextual relationship of their distribution.

Do you plan and research your ideas before starting a project?

I think of planning my work similarly to planning for a road trip. I like to know that there are hotels and restaurants where I’m going, but I don’t like to book too many reservations in advance. I want to feel free to wander around the outline.

Do you have any lasting advice for staying creative, inspired, focused and productive?

Never stop working. When things get tough, try to remember the first time you got excited about making stuff.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Camera Quilt

If you're a quilter and into photography, check out this free pattern:









Monday, February 12, 2018

Favorite Week of Class

Last week was possibly my favorite week in any Photo I class: I call it my "nerdy week."



Thursday, January 25, 2018

"Making the Leap"

From Grant Snider:



Thursday, January 11, 2018

Student Feedback

Yesterday, I looked at my class evaluations from last semester at Hamline University. I thought it had been a good semester, and the feedback backed that up: there were positive comments everywhere. This one was the best final note a student made:

I can confidently say that Steve was one of the best professors I've ever had at Hamline University. He was very talented at explaining esoteric ideas. He was respectful to everyone, fair, and hilariously sarcastic which kept everyone engaged with the material. He was also incredibly passionate, creative, interesting, and dorky, all good qualities of an influential professor.



I'm happy to see "hilariously sarcastic" and "interesting and dorky" in my evaluation...

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