Last week a few students from the Art Institute of Austin came to my studio to learn stuff. In addition to telling them about stuff, I also showed them some stuff, like a lighting demo. This is a thing I pulled out of a scrap pile behind a barn. Larry (the head of the photo department at the Art Institute) informed me that is was an irrigation pump. I’m obsessed with the gauge on this thing.
Two nights ago, after some dinner conversation about art and personal vision and crap like that, and maybe a cocktail or two, my wife gave me an assignment. One I’m very excited about. Each week I will study an object in light and composition. Sort of an exercise in ‘exploring’ objects. It’s one of my favorite things to do, and my first love in photography. Also, this will help shorten my internal list of things I need to photograph!
My first object was found on assignment for Texas Monthly. They sent me to Llano, Texas to photograph an antique shop among other things. The store was filled with little vignettes and groupings of objects. One table was filled with doll parts. Only parts. A bowl of arms, a basket of torsos, etc. I found a pair of cowboy boots in the shop I still dream about, but they were too small. So I bought this doll head instead. It’s been sitting in the studio (usually by the coffee pot) as a sort of joke ever since.
Our pals at Texas Monthly asked for some help on their ‘Mexican Food’ cover. And if that wasn’t great enough, they asked me to shoot eight different beers for them. That meant I had to buy eight six packs. And lucky me, they wanted to make some changes. So we bough eight more. Anyone like Corona?
I was doing a light test with my bulldog Catfish. Super famous writer Alex Hannaford showed up to drink my coffee and steal my pens. His dog Scruff was with him. Catfish has a man crush on Scruff. You can tell. This is what was going on while Alex was stocking up on sharpies.
A couple years back Robin & I did a food shoot with art director/designer Josh Kramer (http://joshuakramer.com/). It sparked a whole slew of food ‘studdies’ we’ve made since. When Rare magazine (who features an artist in each issue) was working on their food issue they asked us to help out. We handed over a bunch of old stuff and made a few new images just for the heck of it. The image they used for the cover is a shot Josh doodled right here in my humble little studio. It’s one of my favorites.
Per their request, we crated the ESPN logo and froze it in a block of ice. The letters are carved from balsa wood and dipped in plastic, then frozen in ice. We reticulated the block of ice with hot water and dry ice. Dry ice is fun. It makes snow form on things.