Posts By scott

An experiment in synthetic lighting.

While random-surfing through various comp-sci sites looking for something vaguely photography or graphics focused that would also satisfy the programmer in me, I came across a series of articles from the 90s about synthetic lighting.   The premise is that you separate out each light source in a scene, including a shot of ONLY ambient light in order to allow you to do neat things with the lighting in post.   Reconstructing lighting in a physical scene within a digital scene, alterations of light levels, colors, intensities, etc…  even creating ‘negative’ lights that subtract light from a scene.    All of this is the bread-n-butter for 3D artists, mainly because their  entire world is synthetic.   However, for photographers it’s a bit more complicated.

After reading several papers and blog posts about it, I decided to try my hand at a simple demonstration of the technique.   What I did was take a static object and shoot three shots of it.   One ambient, one with a strobe on the left, and one with a strobe on the right.   Then, using some photoshop magic, created an interesting synthetic lighting setup that let me do somethign I could only have done with gels and a lot more fiddling with light levels.

Rather than talk about, let’s get down to the fun.  Get your camera out, take an ambient shot and a shot with each of two lights individually lighting the same object.  LOCK DOWN the camera, lights and object.  You’ll be compositing all three shots together a couple of times during all of this.  Everything has to line up perfectly.

A night of low-key photography – part 2

With every shoot I do, I make an effort to revisit the shoot after some time has passed in order to look at the shots with a fresh eye.   I’ll also do this after developing a new technique or just to experiment and see if I can come up with anything neat or show worthy.

I added quite a few images to the gallery of my low-key experiment shoot with Corrie back in January.   Some of the new images are, in my opinion, my best low-key work to date, though there is one stunning high-key image included.  I just can’t seem to get away from bright lights and hard shadows.

So, sit back and enjoy the show.  I’d love to hear from all of you with comments, criticisms, suggestions or anything else you want to say or ask.

The gallery is behind the cut because, as you should already expect from me, they’re Not Safe For Work (NSFW).

A few quick edits of photos from LibertyCon 28

LibertyCon is held at the Chattanooga Choo Choo hotel in Chattanooga, TN in late June every year.   This year was the 28th anniversary of the convention and the first time they sold out.   They have a hard cap of 700 tickets and they capped a few weeks before the convention.

I haven’t had time to do more than log the photos into Lightroom and pick a few that really jumped out at me to do a basic edit and export.  Many, many more will follow over the next couple of weeks, including the wedding that happened Thursday night.

Enjoy.  And for a change, they’re all work safe.

Back in the Studio with Pris

I shot this lovely lady mid last year in a relatively impromptu session. We had a hell of a lot of fun and talked about another session.  Life, as it does, gets in the way sometimes and it took until April of this year to get back together for another evening of fun and photos.

Rather than go on and on about this beautiful, vibrant and awesome woman, I’ll let the photos speak for me.  Enjoy.

Kerstin at T-minus 3 weeks and counting.

My step-niece, Kerstin is about 2-3 weeks from unleashing the next generation upon an unsuspecting and unprepared world. May the gods have mercy on us all.

Enjoy the photos.

The Stories Written Upon Our Skin

Billions of dollars a year are spent on advertising in this country to teach us one thing; that we are invariably Stupid, Ugly and we Smell Bad. That message starts when we are barely old enough to talk. We are taught what to buy and what to use to give us flawless skin with nary a blemish or a wrinkle; never showing a single sign that we’ve aged.  We’re told to go pay professionals to remove the scars that are the signs of our adventures and misadventures.   We’re told we must smell like flowers or citrus or spices, but not like people.  And most of all, we are told that we don’t get to decide what is pretty, or what smells we enjoy or what things we believe. The bright shining loud people in the flat box attached to the wall get to tell us that.  We’re too stupid to know, to decide, to live without their aid and comfort and most importantly, their products. The real sin in their message, though, is that it teaches us that our life’s story isn’t one worth telling.   We can write things down on paper or make movies or tell stories, but that’s only a description of a story.  The real story of our life is written in the blemishes and the scars on our skin.  The real story is in the textures and shapes of our bodies.  The real story of our lives is written on the parchment of our bodies and those blemishes and scars and shapes and stretch marks and baby chewed breasts are the words that story is written with.

The ultimate beauty of a person can only be seen when you can read that story and learn to love that story.  Why would we let some talking head in a box or manipulated lifelike manikin in a picture in a magazine keep us from letting that story show forth in our skin, our posture, every wrinkle and sag and roll and stretch mark and blemish?  Our life is sacred, our stories are beautiful, our lives are worth living and loving and sharing.

I have the incredible privilege of knowing a woman who has never been taken in by the bright people in the box.  Her life is a hard one that if written out in a script, it would make you weep.  But through that struggle to survive, she learned not just to cope, but to *live*.   She’s had spouses and divorces. She’s had children and struggled to feed and clothe them.She’s been as near destitute as you can get and nearly lost her life to a simple, common infection.  She survived all of that and lives today with that story written upon her body.   It’s as beautiful and as harsh and as soft and as stark as the marks and blemishes and scars she’ll carry with her the rest of her life.

I have attempted to capture a few short phrases of that story here to share with all of you. Her identity is hidden, by her request, and by my choice. Her name is not her story; it is a label. The photos exhibited here are purposely stark, textured, even harsh. No attempt to pretty them up and in most cases very minimal processing was done at all. Who is she? She is every-woman. She is your sister, your mother, your neighbor, your child.  She is you.

As you view this gallery of photos, look at her not as a model in photo studio, but as a book begging to be read, to be deciphered, to be experienced. I will not put my own labels on these photos. I want you, the viewer, to read this story and find your own symbols in the blemishes, in the scars, in the stretch marks.  Then, when you’re done, go find a mirror and start reading your own story and loving and experiencing your own life.   You’re too precious a being, too holy a person,  to divine a soul to do anything else.

The photos here are of the nude form and not safe for work in most places. View them at your discretion.

Waterfalls in Asheville, NC

I found this beautiful spot just off the highway on my way to Asheville a few years ago.  Enjoy.

An experiment in low-key photography. – Part 2

I took some time recently to complete my finishing touches on the first shoot of 2015.  There may be a few more gems buried in the shoot, but I am extremely pleased with the results so far.  I hope you will be too.

As you probably already knew, the images past the cut are NSFW.

Expressions of Beauty at Alchemy 2011

The spirit of creativity and the joy of free expression is the foundation of Burning Man and the regional festivals that have formed from it’s inspiration.

With that spirit in mind I asked this lovely woman to let me capture her expressions of that freedom and her inner beauty at the Alchemy burn in 2011.

Images behind the cut and as you already know, They’re NSFW.  Tasteful and beautiful nudity abounds in this set.

First shoot with a brunette Valkyrie.

2015 has definitely started off with a bang.  Two full days of shooting in a row behind me and now I get to edit and finish the sets.  In the mean time, here is a teaser for the several sets I shot of a new model; Valkyrie.  As always, nudity behind the cut because people are prudes.

(NSFW)