Knits for Nerds…

Knits for Nerd’s is finally here.  The long awaited book by the one and only Toni Carr (AKA Joan of Dark), has arrived in bookstores today and is also shipping from Amazon as I type this.  I’m not a knitter, in fact if you handed me a ball of yarn I’d be more afraid one of Shannon and my cats would eat it completely and require a very expensive trip to the Vet.  I am however a nerd, so when Joan called me up and said she wanted me and Tom Klubens to work on the Photography for her new book, Knits for Nerds, you can only imagine my Excitement.  Shannon was super amped too, but that was for other reasons which I’ll have to get into another time.

(Cover Artwork by Andrews and McNeel Publishing)

I hinted at this project last year with my post named, “In the Barn…”.  For those of you who read that post, previously or just now, the photo of Shannon is still my favorite, and is still my desktop wallpaper.  It was also our Holiday card this year, but that’s besides the point.  The shoot as mentioned in the “In the Barn” post was weekend two of this project, and gosh was it epic.  I shot the cover photo in the studio with good friend Michelle Pemberton as the model along with several other photos inside the book that night.  The studio work was a few weeks before all the location stuff in which we rented a 15 person van and drove all night up to an undisclosed location in Minnesota or Wisconsin. (I don’t know where exactly as I wasn’t driving for that leg of the trip).  Our goal was to arrive at Sunrise to capitalize on the “Magic Hour” of light and get the most of the view off of this particular Peak.  Tom Klubens was large and in charge of this shot and decided since we were in the magic hour to shoot ambient.

(Photo by Tom Klubens)

That first shot is a shot that I took of Tom in Action, and the second is the final image that he took which leads off the first chapter in the book: Fantasy.  My colors in the behind the scenes pic are super off as it was a bit overexposed shot at F2, brought back in camera raw.  Not my finest moment in behind the scenes photography, but we had been up all night to get to this location for the shot directly above. While I think we were all hoping for a slightly more epic sky, I also think we are all pleased with the outcome as this image did run Double Truck.

That was my Detail shot of the Dragon Rider Gloves that ran in the book from Tom’s shot above.  The entire book is filled with fun, Sci-Fi related things that Nerd’s just love.  Things from Comic Books, Science Fiction and Fantasy alike.  From the Dragon Rider Gloves as seen above, to Tank Girl Socks, an Aim to Misbehave Brown Jacket, and the Light of Earendil Shrug, the book is just filled with cool stuff that you can make for yourself, or your loved ones.  There’s more than one shot of each item in the book and even more that didn’t make it into the book at all.  There’s also quite a few stories to go along with this whole project and I hope over the next couple of weeks to go through a few shoots that we did to show some of the other images (and of course shooting info) from that weekend, as well as tell some of the adventure. (There may or may not be a video of me running through a snow bank with a sword and falling flat on my face….  Nobody ever said I was the brightest lamp on the Marquee…).  It’s no secret that Tom and I don’t see eye to eye all the time (I think he’s taller than me, but that’s not what I’m talking about).  Sometimes I think things should be shot differently than him, and vice versa.  In some cases we both shot some items to see what might have worked better.  That may seem like a waste of time, as we could have just fought to the death let Joan decide, but after driving all night and then shooting all the next day, we were all somewhat out of it.  Sometimes that happens though when it comes to projects like this; you shoot until you drop and holy moley  did we did just that.

From Sun up, until after sun down we made the most of our location, and all it had to offer; which included a fantastic library, a couple of cats (that yes made it into the book as well as most of our beds over the nights we were there), a forest similar to the hundred acre woods, as well as the Fabulous Lorraine as our guide to all things of awesome such as the hollow tree seen above.  Speaking of the hollow tree, you can see it above with the Lovely Shannon modeling the “Light of Earendil Shrug” for the book.  It was up for debate as to if I was nuts, but putting my lights inside the tree seemed like the right play to me.  I’ve been itching to post this shot since last March when it was shot, as I just flat out just really like it.  Not just because I love the model in it either (which I do more than anything), but I was very happy with how the picture turned out here.

As you can see by that shot above, there’s lots of goofy behind the scenes stuff, as well as lots of outtakes from the several days spent shooting in the woods of WisconsinMinnesotaland.  As much as I’d like to claim the Foux Hawk in the photo above by Tom Klubens, but I really should give credit, where credit is due; a pillow.  Pretty sure this was the first shot we did this day, and sure enough as opposed to shower I can apparently be found reading after setting up the lights in our location for the morning, unlike the morning below where this was the scene early in the light test.  Moments after this shot we launched a stuffed squirrel out of a t-shirt cannon while waiting for our models.

I wish I could tell everything about that weekend here in this post, but it’s just too much for one post.  All I can tell you for now is that if you’re impatient then you should just order the book.  Actually, you should just order the book anyway, because it’s really very cool and everybody knows a knitter.  Whether a parent, a grandparent, a friend or just yourself it’s a neat, book filled with some pretty solid imagery if I do say so myself.

That shot above is of Summer and it’s not actually the shot that ended up in the book, but I liked it.  That’s going to be the fun of the next few weeks as the books start hitting the UPS Trucks, or hopefully your coffeetables.  Continue to check back here for more information on one of the coolest projects I’ve ever worked on.  Special thanks to Tom Klubens, Summer Keown, Megan Gill, Loraine Garland, the one and only Shannon, Dill Hero (AKA Dan Carr), and especially Joan Dark (aka Toni Carr).   Andrews and McNeel Publishing is also a big thank you, as they made our trip to “Other World”, “The Village of Wall”, or any number of other names for our  magical location possible.  I’d also like to especially thank our host whose identity will remain secret for now, but has seen the book, saw many of the photos that weekend and now actually has one photo hanging in his house; in Scotland I believe.  There are many more people to thank, but too many to list right here. Don’t worry though; More Soon.