Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Photographer

November 16, 2009

Pittsburgh PA Photographer | Music CD Cover Session | Rachel Vere

Filed under: Uncategorized — terryclarkphoto @ 8:23 AM

Sunday afternoon I had the pleasure to collaborate with Rachel Vere on cover and inside photos for her latest upcoming CD release. We talked about a few different ideas, the type of music she writes (alternative-folk-rock) and just some
general get-to-know questions.   We were very fortunate, just as were started shooting the sky opened and the sun started to shine.   It didn’t last long, but we got our shots.  Thanks RD and all the best for continued success!

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October 16, 2009

Clyde “Red” Hare dies at 82

Filed under: Uncategorized — terryclarkphoto @ 5:42 AM

It’s with a heavy heart I share the news of the passing of Clyde “Red” Hare.  Red was a photojournalist at the beginning of photojournalism.  He worked for Roy Stryker and the FSA.  Life Magazine, too, and National Geographic.  He was a master of the craft.  And he always carried a camera.  One time I saw Red in an elevator at the USX Tower.  He was carrying a HUGE print case and a camera slung over his shoulder.  I asked him what was up and he said he was just showing some of his work to a client.  In his 70’s and still pushing his portfolio around.  Pointing to his Nikon, I asked what he was shooting today.  He just smiled that famous Clyde smile and said “you never know.”  Nuff said.  You can read more in today’s Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

October 9, 2009

It’s all about the prep

Filed under: Uncategorized — terryclarkphoto @ 1:07 PM

Someone asked me, “what’s prepping?”  Good question!  If you don’t understand ‘photo-speak,’ prepping means what you do to get ready for your upcoming shoot — all the stuff you prepare to be ready for anything and everything.  In my case today I’m prepping for a wedding.  This is what I did / am doing…

Unpack my primary case of cameras and lenses, clean lenses, check CF cards — 6-16 gig cards; 8-8 gig cards, check cameras (3 primary, 5D/5DMarkII; 2 back up, 1DMKII), time sync all bodies so the photos can be put later into sequence without tearing out my hair.  Put camera batteries on charge.  Repack case.

Open lighting case, pull out all gear, pack new umbrellas purchased on Thursday, re-pack all stuff, charge flash batteries, wait, wait, wait for batteries to charge.  Charge more batteries.  Wait, wait, wait.  Pull out all Pocket Wizards and check.  Charge batteries….  Pace.  Look out window, raining, dang.  Think about all the shots I want to take after ceremony.  Bring out another camera case and pack more gear — tilt / shift lenses; super speed lenses, macro lenses.  Look out window, not raining.  Yeah!  Put more batteries on charge.  Wait, wait, wait, pace.  Quadruple check directions to brides house.  Check Google Maps for umpteenth time.  Pace.  Think about lighting for group shots, reception, etc.  Pack stands in car.  Charge more batteries (you can never have enough of those things).  Add some last minute items to my Bride Emergency Kit (more on that later).  Pull change from pocket (don’t need change rattling around at a wedding.  Toss change in piggy bank.  Pace some more.  Zip up main camera case after one last check.  Zip up secondary camera case.  Unzip secondary camera case, add one more item.  Re-zip and set in line for packing into car.  Charge last four batteries.  Check lighting kit.  Again.  Finally ready for packing in car.  Open up all cases, just once more before leaving…

Obsessive?  Yeah, it is, but once I leave the studio I’m committed to doing the job with nothing more than I have with me so I must to be as careful (obsessive) as possible not to forget that simple looking widget that could spell the difference between an awesome shot and no shot.

Hope you enjoyed my prep.  Now I must go and pace some more…

October 1, 2009

No gimmicks No photoshop

Filed under: Uncategorized — terryclarkphoto @ 12:17 PM

Seems the new picture editor for the New Statesman Magazine, Rebecca McClelland, has a hard line stance on digital manipulation.  Simply stated she is insisting on “no gimmicks and no photoshop.”  Really?  Why?  Oh yeah, it’s because people in the digital age just can’t control themselves to not muck up a photograph by over photoshopping the pictue into a surreal altered universe.  Nuts.  Manipulation of images in one sort or another has been going on since I first picked up a camera 30 plus years ago.  Digital did not create the monster, people are the monster.  It’s the same thing they say about guns — guns don’t kill, people do.

But banning Photoshop?  To me, that’s ignorant.  So, what it seems now is to stop people from over using the technology we should just stop using our digital darkrooms completely and hand in pictures straight out of camera.  Hellllooooo, has anyone seen what digital images look like straight out of the box?  Flat, dull, blah.  And that’s putting it mildly.  Images need to be processed to bring out the proper color, vibrancy, contrast and tone.  Some areas of the photo need to be dodged and others burned.  Maybe the contrast is too much so it needs to be reduced, maybe it’s too little and needs to be increased.  These are things now outlawed, at least at McClelland’s magazine.

Yes, it’s true, people have overused the available technology.  Back in the 70’s photographers would burn the corners of photos in the darkroom to absolute black.  It was called “The Hand of God.”  And yes, it looked as silly at times as the leisure suites of the day.  It was not groovy.  but it was the “technology” available at the time.

Skip up  to the dawn of digital.  Photographers scanned their film, usually color negative for the working class news photographer.  Then we sent it off to the digital tech who employed a massive machine (Pre-Photoshop) to tweak the image.  At that time it was a joke around the industry that some papers (who used color photos) always had bright blue skies.  The Orange County Register in California was a chief culprit.  Someone even coined a phrase for it, “Register Blue.”  All was well in sunny Southern California until one day their was a situation — an accident with a car in a swimming pool was photographed and the well meaning digi tech made sure the sky AND the pool water was brilliant Register Blue.  Only the pool wasn’t blue.  Something was released in the water turning it bright red.  With well meaning intent the digi tech severely altered the news value of the photograph by turning the actual red water to a “natural” blue.  Oops.  The public caught them with their hands squarely in the cookie jar and the world has never been the same.

It about control.  Control over the tone, color, contrast to make the image stand on its own vs. self-control by the photographer / digital tech / art director / designer to keep from going too far into another realm — photo illustration.  Photoshop makes it easy to do “just a little more” to enhance and elevate the image to something beyond it’s intended meaning.  It’s easy to layer, add beams of light, spot light certain areas, darken sections, eliminate distracting elements, or add more elements than were present at the moment of exposure.  Subject blinked?  No problem, we’ll clone the eyes from another frame, or we’ll just chop off the heads and switch them around.  Someone step into the frame?  No problemo, swish, swish and they’re gong.  Oh, you want someone else in the background to “add” to the meaning, again no problem, cut cut paste paste and whamo! instant background element added.  Easy as pie.

At what point does honest enhancement become dishonest representation?  That’s the five million dollar question.  Some say if you could do it in the (wet) darkroom then it’s OK in the digital darkroom.  Not so fast there, what about the work of  Jerry Ulsmann?  He does photo constructions seamlessly in the wet darkroom.  If Ulsmann’s work wasn’t fantasy based you probably couldn’t tell it was altered.  Guess that yardstick is broken.

My vote is, as it has always been, for common sense and honesty.  If you are adding or subtracting elements to the image then stop, that’s dishonest.  Bumping contrast, dodging or burning a little, fine.  I really think everyone knows via common sense when it goes to far.  Whether image handlers employ that most uncommon sense of common sense is a matter of character.  Some, the dishonest ones, will always take it to the extreme to beat the competition or elevate their own skills as an image maker.  Then again, some people will always use guns for wrongdoing, too.  Photoshop doesn’t kill images, people do.

If you want to read the full article from the BBC you can find it here.

September 14, 2009

Pittsburgh Renaissance Fair

Filed under: Uncategorized — terryclarkphoto @ 9:54 AM

Sunday we broke away from the usual autumn work schedule (24/7) for a little birthday (mine) R&R at the wonderfully fun Pittsburgh Renaissance Fair in West Newton, PA.  Of course, I couldn’t just walk around gnawing on a turkey leg, I had to take some pictures!  Here are a few of my favorites…
0001-090913You can’t have a Renaissance without a wench

0010-090913The best storyteller in the business

0012-090913Most unusual show at the fair, and most interesting, too.  This fellow played the bells.  Not those little bell choir twinkle bells, tho, we’re talking huge brass bells weighing into the tons!  The sound was incredible.  This is worth visiting the fair all by itself.

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0019-090913WARNING — kids, do NOT try this at home (or anywhere else!)  And by kids I mean anyone under the age of 90.

0024-090913 A good old fashion joust completed the days events

0025-090913And if the joust doesn’t get them, the swords will

0028-090913And so, after a lovely day at the fair we bid our new friends adieu until next time.  The Festival runs through the beginning of October so their is still some time to visit.  We big kids had a great time, you will too.

August 23, 2009

Moon Golf Club

Filed under: Uncategorized — terryclarkphoto @ 11:49 PM

I had a great time Saturday morning photographing Adrienne and James.  After the “usual” photos I suggested something I’ve had in my minds eye for some time.  I’m still refining the image but I think I like where this is going.  What do you think?

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August 7, 2009

A Fair to Remember

Filed under: personal, Photo of the day, Travel — terryclarkphoto @ 8:23 AM

It was great to get back to a personal project I started three years ago.  I guess that would make it a “long term” project!  I grew up going to county fairs, then as a news photographer I lived at county fairs for many weeks every summer trying desperately to find new images.  It took a few years back then, but finally I just sort of burned out on fairs.  Three years ago I decided it was time to revisit that part of me, the part that loves fairs, carnivals and side shows.  Last night I was at the Fayette County Fair.  It was just as I had hoped.  Certain fairs are more fertile ground for photos than others and Fayette ranks among the best.  I’ve got at least half a dozen fun images to begin the post work on to enhance and enlighten the images into what I had in my minds eye when I made the exposure.  Here is the first possible final.  These are always a “work in progress.”

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August 5, 2009

Phipps Conservatory

Filed under: personal, photographer information — terryclarkphoto @ 12:06 AM

Monday was a wonderful day — perfect weather and free admission to Phipps Conservatory!  I LOVE making pictures at Phipps, it’s one of Pittsburgh’s shinning jems, which I’m sure is why President Obama is hosting a dinner there during the G-20.  But Monday I had a job to do — scout Phipps for a weekend shoot.  Of course I would be grossly remiss if I didn’t satisfy my creative desires and make a few “pretty pictures” too.  So, nothing earth shaking here, just color, light and composition.  It was a great hour and a half of wandering around, relaxing and making pictures just for the love of the image.  Enjoy!

Photographic notes:  All images were made hand held with a Canon 5D and a 100 mm Canon macro lens, ISO 400.  Images were processed exclusively in Adobe Lightroom and are presented here full frame.

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July 27, 2009

Harold Betters at Stone Villa Winery

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — terryclarkphoto @ 2:01 AM

Sunday was a perfect day for relaxing, sipping of vino and taking in some good soulful music.  It also just happened that our good friend Harold Betters was playing at Stone Villa Winery in Acme, PA.  If you haven’t heard Harold you’re missing one of our country’s premier jazz trombone artists.  It was a great end to a wonderful weekend.  

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July 24, 2009

Advertising photo shoot

Filed under: Advertising shoot, photographer information — Tags: , — terryclarkphoto @ 12:39 PM

Wednesday (7/22) I had a fantastic shoot at SteelGateStudio on Pittsburgh’s Southside for one of my favorite clients.  Our stylist for the day was the incomparable Shui Ziegler.  When you work with Shui one thing is for certain, you are guaranteed success!   It was a very long day (19 hours portal to portal) but we finished within 15 minutes of Shui’s schedule. Now THAT’S successful planning!  

For contract reasons I can’t show images from the job just yet, but here are some additional images I shot of one of our models, Michael Goulis.  Mike has some great tats so after the client shots were in the bag I asked him if we could go off set to a corner window to knocked off a few frames.  If you’re interested in booking Mike for a shoot he works through The Talent Group.

 All in all it was a great job thanks to an awesome crew, terrific talent and very cool clients.  Can’t wait to do it all again, thanks guys!

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