January 5, 2022

Winter Aerial

Aerial view of ice skaters enjoying the late afternoon sun. This is a composite image, representing about 20 seconds of time. I've been working on some photographic concepts that show the passage of time within on single frame. This is an example. Within this one image, you're able to see a few stories unfold. A mom and dad encouraging their daughter to attempt skating without assistance (middle of the frame), boyfriend trying to get girlfriend off her phone, giving up and skating solo (top), another man steadying himself and making his first few steps (bottom).

I made this in RAW, with a DJI Mavic Mini, using EV values to keep consistent exposure on the ice and shadows. Each sequence was then composited in Photoshop with a ton of masks, and layers.

Now that winter has arrived, I'll be exploring scenes like this where I can document the passage of time and movement of people in a single frame.

December 10, 2021

Portrait Emily Balsley

Emily Balsley portrait
Emily Balsley environmental portrait

Environmental portraits of Emily Balsley, a Madison, Wisconsin based illustrator, muralist and author. View her work at www.emilybalsley.com and on Instagram as @emilybluestar.

These images we made for the Collaborate Forever Podcast Episode 06 featuring Emily. Anxiously watching the radar, Scott set the studio in front of a massive mural Emily designed and painted next to Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream store, 2531 Monroe St.

I covered her creative background, designing for large spaces, her latest book "Every Cake Has A Story," Posca Markers, daily drawing challenges, and the Madison mural scene.

View more of my headshot and portrait work here.

December 10, 2021

Headshots with Taylor DiRienzo

headshot portrait of taylor dirienzo
Portrait of Taylor DiRienzo

Headshot and portrait session notes

Portrait and headshot session with professional actor and dancer Taylor DiRienzo. View his portfolio on Instagram. Our session covered two hours, two wardrobe changes, and two camera setups. My digital camera was a Canon R5 tethered to a MacBook Pro. Along with the R5, I used the RF 15-35mm F2.8L and the new RF 100mm F2.8 Macro.

Next to the R5 setup, I had a Mamiya RB67 medium format film camera, a roll of Kodak TRI-X black and white 120 film, and a roll of Cinestill 800T color film.

I had a Godox AD300 strobe, Godox XProC TTL Wireless Flash Trigger, and a Godox AD 200 for the Canon and had to use Pocket Wizards to fire the Mamiya RB67.

Lessons learned

We decided to dash the studio lights for reasons unknown, leaving only the modeling light on the AD300. Trying to pull focus on the Mamiya RB67 using only the headshot modeling lights is a mistake. I struggled thru both rolls but thankfully was shooting closed, around 5.6, where the field of focus was wide enough to keep things in focus. I'm wondering why I continued burning thru two rolls of film while not confident the frames were adequately in focus. Experiences like this reinforce my decision to shoot on film. Aside from the rich and imperfect images film yields, you'll always learn. In particular, learn what not to do next time. Like shoot in a dark studio.

Looking at the black and white headshot above, you'll see where the focus landed somewhere around the collar of his shirt and neck. His eyes and nose are out of focus, not by much, but enough for me to wonder what-if. No harm, no foul. The film shots were utterly experimental, and a slightly out-of-focus medium format film shot and infinitely more interesting than a digital file any day.

See more of my headshot and portrait work here

September 15, 2021

Podcast notes: Francesca Hong

Chef, politician

Collaborate Forever sets up on the Wisconsin State Capital Building lawn to talk with chef and politician Francesca Hong. She discusses her Madison roots, pivot from broadcast journalism ambitions into the food industry, career path to Morris Ramen, foodservice industry rights and advocacy, collaborative efforts during the pandemic, and ultimately her entry into politics.