I was so excited to get a call from the creative team over at BTHtwo again this year! I thought last years project with them would be hard to beat, but I think it’s safe to say we pushed the envelope just a bit this time around. There’s nothing like ending the year off with image involving Santa, an African Elephant, a genuine African “elf”, and a whole lot more! I need to give a shout out to Habib for being such a good sport, he really made the image, thanks man. So please, sit back with a tall glass of egg nog or sausage string, and enjoy the final image. As usual, this took an insane amount of planning, patience, props, and of course POST. Thanks again for everyone involved, including my awesome assistant Gage Thompson, and the entire crew at BTHtwo for working with me again! Here’s to another great year!
A while back my lighting sponsor Dynalite flew me out to New York to shoot the backdrop of an upcoming ad in PDN. I usually stay in Midtown, but because of the nature of the project, I decided to make my home on the upper east side of Harlem. My stay was just under a week, as I knew I would be dodging a few spots of rain, and I needed the perfect backdrop.
The images below are screen-shots from the second half of the production, after I got back from New York. We used a full prop set of stairs to match the set I found in Harlem. The image is destined for an upcoming issue of PDN, and I will be posting the behind the scenes video of the production as well. Keep checking back here for updates on this crazy image, and the madness that went into creating it.
Recently I flew out to Los Angeles to create an ad for one of Southern California’s pest control giants Ventura Pest Control. This production, like many before it, was an extremely fun project, and allowed me to once agin stretch my abilities beyond what I had done before.
I actually created a miniature set where the termite was dining, complete with a tiny extinguished candle, thimble full of wood stain, wood shavings, matchboxes, rubber-bands, and tin cans. I wanted to portray the termite as if he was a member of the “Pest Mafia”, hiding out behind the wall, having just rushed over from the table.
Helping my client catch big business was the focus of this Reality Shoot!
Just before I left for Jerusalem, I had been scrambling to pull together this small production. After driving all over Ventura -talking to every fisherman, as well as every fish n’ chip restaurant owner we could- and after being directed from one place to the next all day long, we finally got the tip we’d been waiting for. This incredible Yellow Finned Tuna was actually much larger than depicted. Funny thing though, we had planned on having to photograph a smaller fish and enlarging it in post, and this tuna was so huge I actually had to scale it down so it didn’t dwarf Rudd. I am excited to finally be able to share this mage with you, as I had a lot of fun creating it!
Be sure to check out this ongoing post, full of photos and short video clips from my travels throughout Israel!
Click on the images below to see them larger! Then click the new larger image, (mouse cursor icon may show as a plus symbol as you roll over the enlarged image), to see their optimal size, depending on your screen resolution. These are all shot with my Leica and –other than splicing some of the panoramic images together– are basically right out of my camera.
-Please note the fact that I am wanting to share my EXPERIENCE with you, and hope you will respect the Copyrights Laws, and leave my images where they are, THANK YOU.
Flying over the ocean, just before we landed in Tel Aviv
This is a sunset scene from my rooftop apartment.
I saw this “toy store” my first day, as I wandered random streets, trying to cut through the city.
South West corner of the Temple Mount, including excavated courtyard, ritual baths, “First Century Street”, and of course more of the Western Wall. In the far background a portion of the Mount of Olives can be seen, now covered with gravestones of the large Jewish cemetery. To the far right, below the moon, is the City of David.
City of David
Cloudburst over the Old City, from the Mount of Olives. This is one of the stills from the day I lost video footage.
These Muslim boys started throwing rocks at me as I was shooting up inside an ancient tomb in the Kidron Valley, near the City of David. I asked them if they could help me with something, to get them to stop, and by the time I left, we were buddies. “Bye U.S. American” they shouted.
I had to hurry and snap this one off as I came around the corner. The boys running out in front had started a commotion and were looking back as the guards patrolling the gate ran to see what had happened. I don’t know if I would have been “brave” enough when I was that age, to tease large men with M-16’s around their necks.
Thought I would share my breakfast with you. This is a fresh baked pita with hand seasoned hummus, a side of chilled cottage cheese, rich creamy milk (best milk I have ever tasted), and a butter-flaked, chocolate-rolled croissant to finish the meal.
My first morning in the Old City, they allowed me out onto the Temple Mount, and I was able to get this shot of the Dome of the Rock.
This was down near the excavations by the Western Wall. It is an ancient ritual bath that was used to cleanse before entering the temple. It had two sides to the stairs divided by a stone railing, so you could enter “unclean” down one side, and exit “clean” up the other.
I was telling my wife that the weather here is pretty much the same as it is in Southern California’s in-land areas. I was pleasantly surprised.
This pillar like many others has survived thousands of years near the southern gates of the Temple Mount.
I had been shooting on the Mount of Olives most of the day, and still had not been inside this old basilica near by. I finally went inside and as usual in a place like this it was VERY dark, so out came the tripod. This kid next to me kept shooting over my shoulder in multi-burst mode, with his 5D Mark 2, like he was a press photographer. I kept thinking to myself, “well, he must know what he is doing”, and minded my own business. Soon I began catching glimpses as he zoomed into his darkened images on his huge LCD, and figured he needed a little help. I was set up on my tripod with my camera in “bulb” mode, using a shutter release cable, and had my shutter open for almost 10 seconds, so I wasn’t too sure how much help he needed.
In basic English I asked him if he wanted to use my tripod, and if he needed help. He looked at me, and smiled. He placed his huge camera on my newly downsized tripod, and began to angle his camera towards the ceiling. At this point I was waiting to see him adjust his shutter speed at least, but after a few quick snaps in burst mode again, he looked at his LCD, and zoomed in. He smiled as he showed me the dark image but now with sharp interior lights, and some of the design near the ceiling. I smiled back, (I hope), as he unscrewed the camera, and nodded his head with a simple “Thank You” with a heavy accent. Well, I thought, at least he has a great camera;)
King David Museum after a storm.
When I was a kid my brothers and I would watch The Adventures of Robin Hood, staring Errol Flynn, with my Dad all the time. Afterwards, (I will only speak for, and embarrass myself), I would find some really tight green pajama bottoms, and a brown Sunday vest to wear, and pretend like I was sword fighting up and down the stairs, as if it was a castle. I’m sure I imagined Maid Marian was watching too, as I pretended to shoot arrows down at the enemy with perfect aim. Needless to say, the day I walked around inside the King David Museum near Jaffa Gate, in Jerusalem, you can imagine I was pretty excited. Sure enough, just like in Robin Hood I walked along the walls and climbed inside this small outcropping where marksmen would throw/shoot things down at the enemy, and took this shot at the buildings across the way.
This image was too hard to pass up. These four women were pretty sturdy gals, and they just bobbed around for hours, laughing and chattering away, until the sun went down. Regardless of your situation, it was great to take a load off at the Dead Sea for sure.
So yesterday, I made it down to Ein Gedi and the Dead Sea. It was so HOT, and I am so WHITE, but floating in the water was unreal… you simply can’t sink. Not only that but you can’t even swim… at least not normal swimming. The only real way to relax is to float on your back, and go limp. Any other way, and your body wants to twist and turn until its stable. Oh, and you better keep your head out of the water. If the water gets in your eyes nose or mouth you’ll wish you had never heard about the Dead Sea. So ladies, don’t even think about getting a bikini wax before you go… ANYTHING healing, raw, open, or sensitive will BURN. That goes for the guys too, with a fresh shave, yes my neck was on fire. I saw two little kids crying their eyes out because they got water in their eyes, and just kept rubbing, it was hard to watch. On a more serious note someone died last week after they swallowed too much… CRAZY! So as long as your smart, (and don’t put your little kids in) it is soooo fun!
I shot this just as I got down to the beach, and no other tourists were in yet. After about 20 minutes, it was like Zuma Beach California, only with much more “realistic” bodies, and unbelievably even less clothing;)
Beach tents over looking the Dead Sea.
So other than my chin burn, some parents that didn’t know any better, the occasional streak of, “I cant believe I just saw that”, and a common misunderstanding with adults shopping in the “juniors” section for bathing suits, (if they went shopping at all), it was incredible. I guess you’re bound to have some head turning occur when hundreds of people from all over the world, with varying ideas of “sunbathing”, go swimming on the same beach.
View from King David Museum. This was just before a storm, so the clouds kept sweeping across the city, and lighting up sections of it.
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Sketch by MIke Loveland
It has almost been three years since my first posting here, and I felt it would be interesting to share with you the amazing outreach Reality Shoot has been able to achieve because of you!
The other day I met a beautiful young woman named Nati who was visiting from Israel. As we talked I mentioned that I would actually be shooting in Jerusalem in May and expressed my excitement for being able to visit such a historical place. Nati was here with her family and friends to experience “Hollywood”, to see the sites, and enjoy all that California has to offer. She mentioned that she had already been able to meet Ryan Seacrest on the street, while she was in LA, and I could see how excited she was. As the conversation went on I began to notice something very interesting. Because I grew up here in Southern California, and having spent much of my high school years skateboarding in Los Angeles, and Hollywood, I guess I took those things for granted. Similarly Nati could tell how overwhelmed I was with the thought of walking the very streets and visiting the same places found in the Bible, thousands of years ago. As Los Angeles was for me growing up, so was Jerusalem for Nati, and I could tell she was pleased to see how excited I was to visit her homeland. After looking at some of my work Nati graciously offered to help guide us around the city she knew so well, while we were there shooting. Again, I was thankful for having met this wonderful woman and her family, and that there are such kind people in this world.
-Data courtesy of Google.
In this age of amazing technology, I am so grateful for all the exposure my artwork has been able to receive, and for the far-reaching effect it has had in such a short time. Above is a screen capture showing my website’s traffic throughout the world for the month of February. Thank you for your support over the years, and I look forward to many more years with all the exciting things happening with Reality Shoot right now!
I must apologize for how long it took me to get this video out, but I am very excited to finally be showing it now. Go behind the scenes with Go!
Because I have been swamped lately with projects, and with this past holiday season being what it was, I hardly had any time to edit footage from these past few productions. So, I am especially excited to finally post one of my more recent Reality Shoot productions I did, for XanGo’s Go Magazine!
Below is the final image, and here you can see the actual spread, as it was published.
Imagine darkness, cold night air, no cars, big city, lots of walking, and the usual random scenes, as can be expected in a huge city like this one. See what LA looks like when the lights go out, and everybody is asleep.
The other night my friend Shad asked if I wanted to come with him down to LA, late at night, while he photographed some things for a big project he is working on. I thought it would be fun to take a break from post, and the madness of my composite artwork for an evening and just shoot. Here are a few pics I snapped that night. The cool part about the photos below is that they were all taken within a couple hours of each other, at almost 2 AM… so total darkness, in fact we were there so late security even came around and turned off the lights on a few of the buildings we were photographing. That’s one of the things I love about photography! I can help people see what I see, what most people would simply walk past in the dark. Thanks for letting me tag along Shad.