Farewell Photos, Part 4

Yep, there’s a lot of these. Starting to worry I shot enough of them that I’m going to disappoint whoever I forgot. Oh well.

My coworkers. Sally Neville, Delivery; Nancy Bible, Ad Sales; Natalie Berry (expecting young baby Berry near Christmas time. Woo-Hoo!), Classifieds, page design and a lot more; and Jennifer Lewis, circulation manager. Not pictured is Mike Linville, our sports editor. It’s not everyone I’ve worked with. There are some memorable folks missing who are no longer with the Advocate, but these ladies have been amazing to work with. I’m glad to call them my friends. They will be missed.

Yep. Pretty awesome coworkers. You want to know what they did for me on this, my last day there? Pizza, drinks, hanging out. Oh, and Jennifer baked this for me:

*Sniff* I’m gonna miss this place.

Chief John Nicholson of the Flora Police. The Chief has been good to the paper, always filling us in on what’s going on, as much as he can and still be doing his job, which I don’t envy. During the time I’ve been here, I’ve seen a full-scale SWAT demonstration, gotten to try a shoot/no-shoot electronic firearms simulator, and have gotten TASERed (willingly). They have given me some of the more fun stories I’ve been involved with. There have also been stories of tragedies that, necessarily, the police have been involved with as well. I may not remember these as fondly, but throughout it all, I’ll remember how Chief Nicholson and his officers conducted themselves: with courtesy and professionalism, qualities not all departments hold in such high esteem.

Marsha and Graham Dewsbury. Marsha and Graham are correspondents that write and shoot photos for our paper. They have been a joy to work with and most of the time, I end up blowing a lot of time chit-chatting with them. They’re really good folks. After one of the first assignments that I had them do, I came to the office to find a pen and a pin they had given me from the Shriners. I tried to give it back to them and they said, “Oh no, that’s for you.” It’s just the kind of folks that they are. Plus, Graham is a retired culinary teacher and gardener, so we always have a lot to talk about, including me showing him photos here on the blog of stuff I made.

Aubrey Eads. You’ve met Aubrey’s son and daughter before, here and here. Here’s there Mom. Aubrey is a single Mom working a full time job, who is trying to build her photo business too. despite all of this, she seems to have a better handle on things than Meghan and I do together, without kids. Well, without human kids anyways. Aubrey started out as “The red-haired chick at the Movie Gallery,” then became “The red-haired chick at the bank.” I actually got to know her when she took my class, and now shes a friend of Meghan’s and mine. She’s shot our wedding photos, and our anniversary photos as well. So basically, Aubrey rocks.

Kyle Shafer. Former Advocate-Press graphic designer, currently video game playing pal of Alex. Shaf’s da man. Wasn’t sure if I wanted to put this here, because though we’ll be further away, I WILL see Kyle some more. He’s my homeboy. Oh, and you’ve seen his art before too. Here, here, and here.

Here’s a little bonus for you. I sent that picture to Kyle. To show you how far it’s come along, here’s the original:

So I may have done a few things in Lightroom with it. Just auto-levels, really.

I sent him the final above and the original and then, I got this back. Can’t keep an artist down. Here’s Kyle’s “Banksy-ed”  version:

Skull house wants to eat you…

So that’s about it for my farewell pics. I’ve got two more I’m trying to schedule, so I’ll try to get those in. Thank you all for checking them out. Adios!







More Shafer Art

I feel I’m a patron of the arts and what better way to support the arts than to support those done by your pals. My pal and coworker, Kyle Shafer,

"Even I like Kyle," says an anthromorphisized sunset.

who I’ve featured here before, has recently seen reason to set himself up a portfolio page on FlickR. It’s pretty nice stuff and he’s got it well organized. It’s nice to see a FlickRPage that isn’t stuffed to the gills with random, like mine, which is up to like, 3,800 images now. The painting pictures on there are the ones I shot of his work and featured in the earlier blog post too.

This is art….and this is how we take pictures of it (the photo side)

My indy rock co-worker, who I talk about in my “about” section, is a fellow named Kyle Shafer. At the newspaper, Kyle is a graphic designer and ad compostionist, but outside of the paper, in addition to telling me what music is decent, Shaf paints. I consider myself a patron of the arts, mainly because I have been trying to drop hints to Kyle that I want one of his paintings. I also have given him some of my old art supplies and some surfaces to paint on, including a 20X30 inch print of the Daudi portrait I featured in an earlier blog entry.

Kyle has close to 10 years worth of art in his apartment, from high school, through college and up to his current projects, but has not documented any of it. This is bad, because, hell, what if there’s a fire. Honestly though, I just want to help my boy get his stuff out there more. With the image files I give him, he can put his stuff on his facebook page and on the web. If we’re really lucky, maybe he can sell some of it, because as far as my untrained eyes are concerned, this is some pretty good stuff.

Shaf works in multimedia, usually painting with acrylics onto whatever surface he can get his hands on, like the aforementioned photographic print, wood, cardboard, canvas, a wall clock and even onto t-shirts (which looks way cooler than it sounds). After work hours, when Kyle has finished creating lame ads for unappreciative clients, he goes home and drinks….er, paints. These are the fruits of that labor.

The entry below this has a selection of Kyle’s art, but  first, let’s go over how we do art copy photography. Originally, you would shoot this on slide film and then would send out the slides to get critiqued, or to get into an art show or a college. Slides also were the best way to accurately render colors. Now we shoot it digitally, and they can go pretty much anywhere, although I’m sure some schools and galleries are enough of stodgy luddites to stick with slides even now.

I learned this working with my first mentor right after high school, at a commercial photography company in Chicago. We used this technique to shoot slides of fabric swatches for a furniture manufacture trade magazine. It was bread and butter work, but it was good money for him and the art director was one of the nicest we worked with. The setup is something like this.

A copy photography setup. Kyle's not the only artist on this blog today, eh?
A copy photography setup. Kyle’s not the only artist on this blog today, eh?

We use umbrellas for a nice soft light. Ideally, you would also be shooting a gray card first for custom white balance. The same commercial photography mentor I mentioned above filled me in that 35mm cameras (and hence, 35mm sized digital SLRs) have a sharpness sweet spot between f5.6 and f11. I split the difference and shot this at f8. Shutter speed was 1/250 of a second so that I didn’t much have to worry about the room lights. ISO was as low as I could go, so that’s ISO 200 on my D70. Since I wasn’t shooting on a tripod, I shot this with a 35-70mm lens set at 70mm to minimize distortion and shot fairly far back. The larger pieces, I corrected perspective for keystoning in Photoshop.

With flat art, we usually try to light it flat, so the umbrellas should be pretty much straight on. The more they come at the work from the side, the more texture, and glare they will reveal. There needs to be some tweaking for shiny or highly texture pieces. With some of Kyle’s work, it couldn’t be avoided without drastically changing the light setup (A plastic wrapped piece), so I just minimized that glare.

Anyways, next entry down is Kyle’s stuff. Hope you like it.

This is art….and this is how we take pictures of it (The paintings)

So now, without further ado, here is the real art. Paintings are acrylic on mixed media, including canvas, cardboard, wood and even one of my photographs. See if you can recognize the silhouette from my portrait of Daudi in one of the paintings.