Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lytro - Pros & Cons

Last week I raised the question is "Photography Going To Change Forever?". Writing about the company Lytro creating a breakthrough new technology using a microlens array is stirring a buzz amongst the photography world. With 50 million in start up capital and recruiting a 45-person staff from top companies such as Microsoft, Google, Apple, Intel and Sun Microsystems. It appears that Lytro could be on to something.

Lytro is developing a point-n-shoot camera comparable to the those made by Canon and Nikon with a rumored price point of a few hundred dollars. In conjunction with the camera you will need the sophisticated software to decipher this new light field "Living Images" and to use the unique select focusing feature.

PROS: about the technology:
- NO lag time with the shutter release
- NO concern about where you are focusing cause you don't have to
- 2D or 3D imaging capture
- Images are interactive
- Video capable
- Hologram capable

CONS: about the technology:
I base this upon the Lytro Picture Gallery
- It appears there are only 2 focal planes
- Some shots do not have an authentic depth of field characteristic.
- I am seeing some pixelation in some of the shots. Possible output quality issues
- To get the full effect of the "living image" users will have to compose their images differently. Most people take a rather flat 2D composed image meaning their subjects are mostly on the same focal plane.

There has not been a release date set for the camera. However, will the images live up to the hype of the technology? For me I want see this baby ( camera ) in action! Lytro, get it in my hands!

Monday, June 27, 2011

2011 4th of July Photo Contest

Enter to WIN a Nikon Camera Bag.

Submit your best patriotic images of fireworks, BBQ parties, candid photos of family and friends showing a July 4th celebratory theme.

Upload your photo to Spencer Gordon Studios on Facebook. The most "Liked" image will win.

Share this photo contest with your family and friends.

Winner will be announced August 1st 2011.

Tripod Pt 3 - How it works.

This episode Spencer will go over how a tripod works and it's set up. Also in this episode is a quick tip about using the camera's self timer to avoid getting camera shake in your images

If you missed Tripod Pt 2 click here.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Photography Is It Going To Change Forever?

[caption id="attachment_293" align="aligncenter" width="590" caption="The point-n-shoot of it's day Kodak's Brownie Camera."][/caption]
How many of you out there remember the cute little camera called the Brownie? When it came out it was the modern day version of a "point-n-shoot". Well hold on to your hats boys and girls.

The technology of photography since it's inception has been constantly evolving. Now there is a new technology on the horizon by a company called Lytro. The light field sensor may be the next leap in the photography timeline. The light field sensor captures the color, intensity and vector direction of the rays of light. What does that mean? Well the light field sensor processing with give the user the ability to change the focus of the image after the shot is taken. YEP... you read that right. If you prefer the subject in the background to be in focus instead of the subject in the foreground it can be done. Light field cameras offer astonishing capabilities. They allow both the picture taker and the viewer to focus pictures after they’re snapped, shift their perspective of the scene, and even switch seamlessly between 2D and 3D views. Astonishing really... I can't wait to try one!

LYTRO has invited me to try out their light field camera on Dec. 14th at the Wired Store in NYC. Would you like hear a straight-up honest review? Let me know if you have any specific tests you want me to try out with the camera.

Looking for photography, video or web design solutions?
Contact Spencer Gordon today!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Client - Bike By Me - New Amsterdam Bike Show - New York

Building the show case at New Amsterdam Bike Show, NYC 2011.

Bike by Me, a Swedish bicycle company, launched their new collection of custom-on-demand-bikes on the 30th of April in New York City. By shipping 26 bikes from Sweden together with a home made truss and carpet. The show case was something out of the ordinary. More on this on www.facebook.com/bikebyme.

To see all the details click HERE

Bikes Bikes and more Bikes

Recently I did a shoot for a really cool bike company called Bike By Me. Bike By Me, a Swedish based company, has a great interactive website where the user actually customizes their bikes' color. The plan for the shot is to be on the company's website as a rollover interactive image and when the user clicks on a particular bike that bikes' color combination is prepared for you automatically.

Johan, the owner of Bike By Me, contacted me about photographing his bikes. His goal was to show his bikes in a New York City setting. Bike By Me was going to be attending the New Amsterdam Bike Show and they were very excited about their USA debut. Johan and I had brainstormed some ideas via Skype before his arrival in NYC and we came up with a playful concept using an iconic NY background out in DUMBO near my studio.

We shot 20+ bikes on location in all kinds of wacky situations. It was crazy and fun all at the same time. Hustling bikes in and out of the shot because after a bike was shot it had to be broken down and packed in it's box to be shipped to Sweden. We made it in the nick of time cause the shipping company truck that was picking up the bikes right from the Brooklyn Bridge Park location arrived as we place the last bike in it's box. Johan's team: Renee, Negar, Fran and Jens worked like a well oiled machine.

Here's a shot of all of us at the end of the shoot. I was run over by bikes!!!
[caption id="attachment_285" align="aligncenter" width="590" caption="Running over Spencer the photographer!"][/caption]

Click HERE to read the article about Bike By Me's exhibit at the New Amsterdam Bike Show.

Barter with the Band

Nadia Ackerman
Bartering can be a great way to not only get what you need, but to make new connections that may lead to new business opportunities.

Nadia Ackerman, an amazing singer songwriter, is seen in the shot above with her band. I needed a custom music piece for a fun magical silent film I did for 145 Antiques, Nadia needed the shot for some upcoming gig promotions. We did this shot in a matter of minutes… literally.

Nadia’s band was rehearsing at Euphoria Studios in NYC. The objective was to photograph the entire group, however, there was not enough room in the rehearsal space. Meanwhile a band was gathering outside the studio door to use the space when Nadia’s rehearsal ended. I asked David Sokol, the owner of Euphoria, if I could shoot the band in the lobby, without even looking at me he said “NO”. I waited a little while as David and his manager were busy turning over some of the other rehearsal spaces. As things calmed down I asked David again if I could shoot in the lobby, once again he said,“NO”, proceeding to point to photographs on the walls that he didn’t want included in my shot. I stated that I was going to get the band to lay on the floor for the shot which would not include the photographs, David then said he’d have to approve the shot, so I said “Ok”.

As I begin to set up my camera and the one Nikon SB900 speedlight needed for the shot, David is observing my set up and talking to me about his photography. Nadia’s band walk out of their rehearsal space. The elevator doors open and another band walk into the lobby and shuffles past us into another rehearsal space, the lobby is now quite crowded. I explain the shot to the band and they get into position quickly. I start shooting while David is still talking and asking questions, and the elevator doors open again to spill out yet more people, but Nadia’s band is laying on the floor in front of the elevators so they can’t get out. I’m giving direction to the band to run through various facial expressions, and in two minutes we had it! PHEW! Nadia’s band get up from the floor smiling, laughing, and poking fun at each other. David asks to see the shot on the
camera and said, “that was a great idea for a group shot.”

If you want to hear the music that Harvey Jones and Nadia did for my silent film click HERE to see some Magic.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Portfolio Review Days - Conclusion

[caption id="attachment_326" align="aligncenter" width="590" caption="Where did it go?"][/caption]
Last week I attend the NYC Fotoworks Portfolio Review. So with the launch of the new website I wanted to get some quality creative feedback about what works and what doesn't. Now there is one thing we need to remember when getting any feedback about our art. Someone's critic is subjective. The key is in the listening... For example one creative told me my "work is too diverse", while another creative told me they "like the diversity of my work". However the first creative told me I needed to "tighten up the work I am showing", while the second creative told me I "need to narrow down my work to my strongest pieces of work". From this example I will continue to show my diversity and I will re-edit my portfolios down to the best of the best.

Always follow your vision listening to the world around you. If one person calls your work "a dog" you can generally dismiss that comment so keep wagging your tail. If two people call your work "a dog" start sniffing around for poop. If three people call your work "a dog" then you better start barking.

Thank you to all the creatives that took the time to meet with me:
Smart Magna - Michael Moore
Barron's - Adrian DeLucca, Photo Editor
Giorgio Baravalle of de.MO
Wonderful Machine - Sean Stone
Lucky Magazine - James Morris, Director of Photography
Freelance Editor - Paula Trotto
Clare O Dea - Agency

Monday, June 20, 2011

New Blog Location


Sorry I've been M.I.A.

I've been working on a completely new website that incorporates my blog.

Here is the link info to NEW Blog.

I hope you will check it out.

Get out there and shoot!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Portfolio Review Day

One of my goals this year was to learn more about the photography industry. After 18yrs most would say you can't teach and old dog new tricks. Bulls@#$t. Part of learning about the industry is learning about yourself. So over the next few days I am attending a Portfolio Review via NYC FotoWorks. I'm really looking forward to meeting new people and getting some constructive criticism.

The new webiste site I've been working on is a bit precarious, just a few more glitches to take care of but the portfolio section is up to speed. So hit me with all you got! I can take it.... be gentle NOT.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Victoria Secret - Smoke Screen

[gallery columns="1"]
I was asked by Victoria Secret.... well not Victoria herself but their creative team to photograph a few of their ladies. How could I say no....right? The challenge was that the models were going to be in a smoke screen. Actually it is a vapor mist curtain that will have rear projection graphics they tell me. The trick is to light the models properly without washing out the graphics on the vapor curtain. These shots were done all in camera, no post manipulation. Yep.... lighting ratios are my forte.

For the company that does this kind of thing, this is tiny compared to what First Fountain can really do.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Candid Snap Shots

[caption id="attachment_188" align="alignleft" width="950" caption="Girl Chasing Bubbles"]Girl Chasing Bubbles[/caption]For the last month I've been participating in a Candid Snap Shot project hosted by Chase Jarvis. I've been shooting new stuff with my Nikon P7000 gotta love it's size and power! I've also been pulling images from my library of images for the project. I gotta tell ya it has been nice. We have been working really hard on getting the new website ready and the Invitation to Hang project has been a fun and freeing project to just shoot some pictures.

Tripod Pt. 1 - What & Why

The basics about a tripod, what is it and why would you want to use a tripod.
Directed and filmed by Spencer Gordon www.spencergordon.com