A few months ago I got a phone call inquiring if I was interested in shooting the cast for a TLC show called Myrtle Manor. I spent five minutes watching some clips of the show online and I knew I wanted to work with the cast almost immediately. I can't say enough about how fantastic the cast and crew of Myrtle Manor were to work with on the shoot. It's hard to pick a few favorites, but below I have selected images of Bandit, Ms. Peggy, Brock, Brittney, Jared and Chelsey. Setup was a large Octodome camera right, two strobes with reflectors pointed at the backdrop and a single strobe bounced into a silver reflector camera left for fill. Be sure to check out the season premiere February 26th on TLC! Pt.2 Coming soon!
Worked out a couple of lighting ideas for an upcoming model shoot that I am very excited about. This is one of the test images that turned out well. Shot with a single flash, no attachments- in front of the test model while a fan was blowing her hair just below eye level.
My new book Below The Surface is now available for purchase below.
Below the Surface explores the tenuous balance of growth, transformation, death, and decay, using the magnitude of the seen as a gateway to the hidden and undiscovered. It calls to our most ancient and primal self, speaking of trails to be trod, hunts to be ventured, and dark leafy worlds to be explored—all just Below the Surface.
Read the inspired intro to Below The Surface by Joel Rudnick below.
The forest is a place where we find ourselves alone. A place where we feel compelled to explore, to search without a goal, and tread without apparent realization. It comes naturally to us, this pull. We do not wonder why we are in it, but succumb to it nonetheless—to the mystery of its depths.
This place of deep inquiry has no hierarchy, no authority of which to speak. In it we are confronted with the enigma of self, and its relations—foot to rock, eye to horizon, and nose to decaying, unfettered leaf. Our self is revealed and deconstructed in our succumbing to our journey. In this place, humanity’s primordial being developed and is summoned back to in its re-entry. We are re-exposed to our fundamentals.
We have learned much traveling the forests, and forgotten much in becoming sedentary. If our feet do not, our mind wanders and weakens. If we are not active, our bodies fall into disrepair. We encountered strangers in menace and strangeness by necessity, both threatening and sustaining our livelihood. We learned to remember where camp was, and its centrality of warmth and the promise of our kin’s embrace. We learned the dichotomies of life: territory known and unknown, friend and foe, order and chaos.
In this place where we formalized our behavior and its multiple intricacies, art deconstructs that formalization. Herein, the art of photography is most poignant: its abstraction is that of the artist’s visual space. Like memory that is a piece of time, photography freezes mutability into thin slices. The memory repeatedly revisited becomes an integral and implicit part of self, while one repressed is resisted equally so. The two, the repeated and the repressed, ultimately have equal weight in our behavior and decision, in who we are.
Likewise, Below the Surface explores the tenuous balance of growth, transformation, death, and decay, using the magnitude of the seen as a gateway to the hidden and undiscovered. It calls to our most ancient and primal self, speaking of trails to be trod, hunts to be ventured, and dark leafy worlds to be explored—all just Below the Surface.
Had a great time working with the cast and crew of Myrtle Manor Season 3! A cast of 18 is a lot of work to shoot in one day, I could not have made this shoot happen without the support of a fantastic crew including (but not limited to) Adam and Becky. I will post additional photos and share stories about the cast as we get closer to the season 3 premier. Be sure to check out Myrtle Manor Season 3 premiering February 26th on TLC!
Leaf Study LI, from the upcoming book Below The Surface.
A selection of two images from a architectural shoot for a client in Knoxville, TN. A man sorting letters at the Post Office and the foreshortened view of a vintage sign on a building.
A photo of an ornate headstone in the Old Gray Cemetery in Knoxville, TN. Appropriate for this time of the year. Shot in natural light, at sundown, with the Sigma A 35mm F1.4 (An exceptional lens).
Graflex Super D: Shooting Portraits
The Super D looks like a Franken-Cam but it's one of the most unique shooting experiences and by far the most enjoyable 4x5 camera for shooting portraits that I have come across. The moving cloth shutter provides a unique look as it moves vertically, exposing the film. Finding a working model can be a challenge (I had to rebuild mine) but I find the analog images it makes to be quite special in a world of digital sameness.
Ginkgo Leaves, On Tomb. Knoxville, TN. Some Ginkgo trees are female, others are male, they are considered to be dioecious. These leaves were from a tree that watched over a man's tomb, perhaps this tree is a female and the two knew each other in life. Now she watches over him, keeping him company through eternity.
Cadillac, Rust. Knoxville, TN. When I go out to shoot images for myself, I never try to pre-plan anything. I like the adventure of going nowhere to find nothing, but then, coming back with something, unexpected.