Behind the knits…

So the blog has been kinda extremely light the last two weeks, and it’s for good reasons; I’ve been busy.  In fact the blog has been so empty it hasn’t even been filled with re-runs, repeats, or just old content.  My grandfather used to love the slogan, “If you haven’t seen it though, it’s new to you!” and this post is a great example of that.  I’ve mentioned a few times that last year I was hired with my good friend Tom to shoot a knitting book named Knits for Nerds, by good friend Joan Dark, aka Toni Carr. (I think it might be reversed, but she goes by either so I figure it’s ok).  It was by far one of the coolest things I’ve done photographically as well as it was definitely an intense couple of days on the road of shoot after shoot.  I loved every minute of it.

(Nikon D3s, 320ISO, Nikon 70-200F2.8VR@145mm.  Dynalite 1000XL set to 1/2 to camera right shot through some wesott 6’x4′ translucent panels.  Dynalite Uni400JR with a beauty Dish above the front of Michelle set to 1/4th power.  Single Dynalite 1000xl shot through a 24x24x softbox to camera left set to 1/4th power.  All lights fired by Pocket Wizard Flex TT5’s from a Pocket Wizard Flex TT1 on the camera.)

Primarily, all of the photos for the book were shot up at Neil Gaiman’s estate, which according to one review; gives the book “Nerd Cred”.  I couldn’t agree more; even if Shannon had to fully explain to me who Neil Gaiman was before we went up there.  The shot above of course was made in a studio.  Michelle was the cover girl for the book, as well as she had this killer Catwoman outfit.  Joan thought that nothing better would go with her Catwoman Hat; and the photos turned out to prove it.  The one above is almost straight out of the camera, and lots of people will notice the background isn’t bright white.  Reason for that is that her suit was super duper reflective and I’d have lost the edges with the white reflecting from the background.  I felt a little bad for the art director over at Andrews &McNeel who did all the editing; but the books looks smashing; so it must not have been that big of a deal.  Really though, I’m glad we were able to do this shoot now as opposed to when “Dark Knight Rises comes out, where Catwoman will look more like THIS, instead of with the shiny suit of the Michelle Pfifer era. All that withstanding, I like many others, am incredibly excited about Christopher Nolan’s conclusion to the trilogy, but that’s a story for another day.

(Nikon D3s, 800ISO, Nikon 28-70F2.8D@70mm.  Nikon SB900 Speedlight set to iTTL shot through a 32″ umbrella to camera right.  Single SB900 Speedlight set to iTTL shot into the ceiling from behind the camera to the left to provide a bit of background fill.  All lights fired by a Nikon SU-800 from on the camera)

Speaking of a big deal.  The photo above is of Loraine.  The Fabulous Loraine to pretty much everybody.  She was our liaison to the area around where Neil lived.  She made sure we knew where to find things, people, places, beer, horses, bacon, extra knitting supplies, and Beer.  We couldn’t have survived in the area without her.  She was kind enough to pose for the photo above for the book.  Below here is a behind the scenes:


Loraine was being very patient with everybody, especially me who was trying to figure out how to balance taking pictures, while holding the camera to my face.  Tom was in charge of wrangling Princess and Coconut the Cats, and Joan was in charge of making sure Loraine and her chessboard were set up perfectly for the photo.  This of course was not our only interaction with the cats that weekend.  Tom even used them for photo critiquing purposes after his shoots as you can see here:

One of my personal favorites from the book though didn’t happen at Neil’s house.  It happened at Joan’s.  Tom and I got to Joan’s house incredibly early that Sunday morning to shoot the Dance Dance Revolution  frame which featured the “Big Bang Theory” inspired his and her sweater vests.

(Nikon D3s, Nikon PC-E 24mmF3.5 set to make the room level from roughly a TV level perspective.  Single Dynalite Uni400 with a Dynalite BeautyDish set to 1/4 power set on the floor at about my feet slightly to the right shot directly at the Nerds to give that TV shadow on the wall behind them.  Camera white balance was set to 3200 Kelvin to give the room a blue TV lit glow.)

The talent was a bit late that morning, but that wasn’t as problem as we entertained ourselves by launching a racoon dog toy of a t-shirt canon.  Yup.  This is why I like these people.  So yea, as always working or hanging out with this group is a blast.  As I’ve said in past blogs Shannon was beside herself that we went to Neil Gaiman’s estate for the book project, and I was incredibly happy with a lot of the stuff that I shot over the course of the two weeks.  I was honored to have been asked by Joan to work on the project, and I know that Tom definitely was too.  If you’re a knitter, then you should definitely check out the book.  You can find it on Amazon, at Barnes and Nobles, Walmart, and many many other places.  So if you see it, and you’re a knitter; you can’t beat it.  Joan put her all into the book and was so into it she let other things suffer; like watching where she was walking.  In the photo below her husband Dan (Aka Dill), was helping her while recording some behind the scenes video.  Supposedly there’s still some footage out there of me falling on my face in the snow while running through said snow with a Sword.  But that’ll be for another time…. More soon.