Here are my self portraits for Advanced Photo Media at Idaho State University. The assignment is to make 5 self portraits that tell my story while focusing on manipulating light. I had a lot of fun shooting this assignment. Doing so required me to branch out and experiment with new techniques. Each of these photos was made using a different work flow. Most of them using some blend of multiple off camera flash and natural light. Others are more technical. The “Ghost of a Classic” photo with the 27 Chevy is an example of on that was extra fun. I went out to Pass Creek in Leslie, Idaho and located this old car that I found when I was a kid. I shot the portrait with 2 speed lights and shoot through umbrellas synced to the natural light and 2 speed lights with blue or yellow gels. I then shot a series of shots with hand held flash and colored gels. I wanted to create some extra mood with the colored light in the shot and I wanted to split tone color grade the highlights and shadows in camera. I feel like it was a success, but I ended up with 4 gigs of photos to layer up…. nightmarish. The shot “Battle Station Status” was shot in my studio and is a combination of a 3 flash set up, natural light, HDR bracketing, and long exposure. It was really fun shooting all these photos and I learned a lot from the experience.
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This is a self portrait I made for Advanced Photo Media. The location is at a spot called Pass Creek in Leslie, Idaho. I have always loved camping around here, and one day I came upon this old ’27 Chevy rusting away in the mountains. There is no road leading to this area, but there are the remains of an old bridge made of 2×6 planks going across a small ravine that hints at how this car got here so many years ago. This image tells my story because of the link to the place, and because when I was a teenager I used to restore classic cars like this one with my dad and uncles.
This is a self portrait I made for Advanced Photo Media at Idaho State University. I shot this at McTucker Springs in Pingree, Idaho. I grew up here, and there were not a lot of places to skateboard. I shot this at sunset with two speed lights and shoot through umbrellas.
This is a self portrait I made for Advanced Photo Media at Idaho State University. This is a shot from within my lair. This is where I do all my editing and animation as well as record music. 5t31th Productions secret headquarters. I shot this using two speed lights with shoot through umbrellas. I slow synced to expose for the monitors, and overlayed a long exposure to get the ambient glow.
This is a self portrait I made for Advanced Photo Media at Idaho State University. This is the City of Rocks near Malta, Idaho. This is probably one of my favorite places to shoot in Idaho, or anywhere for that matter. The landscape is otherworldly with stone giants sleeping under mountain mahogony and pinyon pine. I have always been drawn here like a magnet so I had to include this shot. Shot with natural light and radio trigger.
This is a self portrait I made for Advanced Photo Media at Idaho State University. This location is an old alleyway in Blackfoot, Idaho where I used to jam with my first punk rock band. I shot this with three speed lights and slow synced to the natural light from a mercury vapor street light.
I went out Saturday night at midnight to shoot the lightning. The view through my viewfinder was pitch black, making things challenging. I set the focus to infinity and started playing with exposure settings. I wanted to keep the clouds as sharp as possible with out getting too much ISO noise. I settled on 5 second exposures. I set up Trigger Trap to fire every 7 seconds, giving me a 2 second interval between frames. It worked pretty well, and some lightning actually struck right where I wanted it a few times. This was a fun shoot.
This great strike hit right where I wanted it too.
This assignment was to find the essence of a place. That place was Lava Hot Springs, Idaho. We set out in search of the DNA of this area. I started out walking around town, and spotted the Lava Hot Springs History Museum. I spoke with the staff of the museum and learned that most of the historic buildings in town were destroyed in a fire, and then a flood. I explored the museum and took a couple shots there. I decided to find out what the modern town had to offer. The next stop was the water slide sign at the entrance to town. This sign pretty much says it all. Visitors to Lava drive under this water slide as they get off the highway and pass the Olympic size pool. Next I wandered up stream along Main Street. I found the Royal Bar, the oldest building still standing in town. Today it is a pizza parlor. I continued up stream to the Sunken Gardens Grotto. This location offered a great vantage point to photograph the hot pools. These hot pools are the main draw for visitors to the area, and have been since the town was settled in the 1800’s. After taking a moment to soak in the ambiance of the grotto, I followed the river back downtown. I came across a pile of tubes for rent and it hits that from end to end, and all through the heart of it, Lava Hot Springs is all about water recreation. The warm waters that flows through the basalt foundations of this town are the true essence of this area. The last thing I decided to do was to zoom up above the town with my UAV and shoot a panorama. I wanted to establish the spatial relationship of the town, the buildings, the river, and the water attractions to the highway, mountains, and railway. This project was challenging and rewarding. I would recommend that any photographer go out and tackle this sort of project next time you are in need of some inspiration.