HAPPY HALLOWEEN FROM ALTPICK :: VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE ARTIST !

How would you describe Halloween?  Spooky, haunting, supernatural, eerie, scary, fun, creepy, ghostly?  Well, here’s your change to pick your favorite Halloween image(s) that best expresses how you feel about “All Hallows’ Eve”!  Add your comment to the image.

©Nick Nacca

©Nick Nacca

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VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE HALLOWEEN IMAGE!  Add a comment to the image .  To see more work from these fabulous artists, go to Altpick.com!

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Michael Gellatly Illustrates Maps for George R.R. Martin’s World of Ice and Fire

©Michael Gellatly

©Michael Gellatly

 

Recently writer Alex Piskin and artist Michael Gellatly discussed Michael’s 7 year map project for the upcoming release of George R.R. Martin’s World of Ice and Fire.

A.  Can you give us a brief explanation of the World of Ice and Fire book?Cover

M. As is rarely the case in the fantasy genre for any need or interest in a history, George Martin, along with Elio M. Garcia, Jr. and Linda Antonsson have compiled the whole history of Westeros and some of Essos. How this book further expands the genre, is how the story is told. Along with a factual history (or as much so that you might find in fantasy), it’s a compendium of stories, myths and legends told by a maester roughly 100 years before the events of the ‘Game of Thrones‘.

A. How did you get involved with this project?

M.  As a freelance illustrator, I’d been working for Random House for some time before George came around in search of a map illustrator.  He too already had a long past with Bantam Books (imprint of RH who puts out his books).  By that time through commissions from Bantam, I had assembled a few sets of maps for various titles.  It’s funny, thinking of it now, the maps he saw then of mine which made up his mind, were a few I drew for a book called Ironfire, a story of the last Crusades. (Ironfire, Ice and Fire,…should I be worried about pigeon holing here?)

What might be interesting too, is this was 2006 when I was first commissioned to do these maps, kicking around some visuals based on a lot of uncertainties. But for reasons that are standards within Martintime, the real production of things didn’t get roll’n for me until 2011, when HBO’s series opened up all and any stopgaps.

©Michael Gellatly

©Michael Gellatly

A. Did you, or any other authors, work with George Martin at any point and to what extent?

M. What contact I had with George was early on in the project when we were introduced through Random House – a few phone calls, and a few emails. As for other illustrators, I can’t say. I believe there were 22 of us involved. I do know that Ted Nesbath, the painter of all those fabulous castles in the book, has worked with George on quite a few projects.

A. Did you use the novels’ map artwork as a guideline?  How much deviation was there from the source material?

M. When acting the cartographer, typically one abides by what is stated by the church and state (in this case the author), having the power to adjust land mass according to the level of power, or unless of course you’re currently involved in rendering boundary maps between Israel and Jerusalem. Initially, George provided me with all his earliest sketches of Westeros and the other worlds. There was a lot that didn’t exist at first until George got more writing into the heart of these places, which then were passed on to me.

The Known World in place In the book

A. Tell me about your passion for cartography and botany.  Any other projects in those fields?

M.  I’d say that maps are a slow developing passion of mine, by now a much more realized one in my practice.  I’ve always liked and understood maps, found early on that besides the geographical form of a place, a lot more of its story could be told right there within the picture plane. Bingo, a means to get through school without always having to write reports. It was amazing to me, the ease to which my maps were accepted in a variety of course. So it’s no surprise to me (well it is, but for different reasons) that only recently (10-12 years) maps would come back to me. I love it. The Botanicals, lengthy as well, another time. But I will say, it’s an odd bit of art behavior to take on the study of Ice Plants in Miami. (more on that on my blog… www.bamboo2studio.blogspot.com

—Contributed by  Alex Piskin

 

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Simon Puschmann’s 365_2014 :: California

Simon-Puschmann-365-2014-day-268

View from Morongo Casino Hotel. ©Simon Puschmann

Simon Puschmann uses his Leica Monochrom and a 2.0/5mm Summicron for his ongoing project 365_2014. Simon simply documents his life, travels and what he sees and feels. Here’s Simon’s California segment.

Simon-Puschmann-365-2014-day-279-F

Somewhere over the state of California. @Simon Puschmann

Los Angeles Freeway.  Somewhere. @Simon Puschmann

Los Angeles Freeway. Somewhere.
@Simon Puschmann

Santa Monica.  One last glimpse from my hotel room. @Simon Puschmann

Santa Monica. One last glimpse from my hotel room. @Simon Puschmann

Santa Monica. 2 dogs. A touch of Elliott Erwitt.  @Simon Puschmann

Santa Monica. 2 dogs. A touch of Elliott Erwitt. @Simon Puschmann

Santa Monica.  View from the car. ©Simon Puschmann

Santa Monica. View from the car. ©Simon Puschmann

Inglewood.  Chevrolet Escape. ©Simon Puschmann

Inglewood. Chevrolet Escape. ©Simon Puschmann

Bathroom at Rocking Thai.  Hollywood. ©Simon Puschmann

Bathroom at Rocking Thai. Hollywood. ©Simon Puschmann

View from hotel room. Santa Monica.  ©Simon Puschmann

View from hotel room. Santa Monica. ©Simon Puschmann

Never try.  Compton, CA. ©Simon Puschmann

Never try. Compton, CA. ©Simon Puschmann

Nicola. Compton, CA. ©Simon Puschmann

Nicola. Compton, CA. ©Simon Puschmann

Morongo Casino. Shower divider in hotel room.  ©Simon Puschmann

Morongo Casino. Shower divider in hotel room. ©Simon Puschmann

Simon-Puschmann-365-2014-day-267-A

Palm Springs. ©Simon Puschmann

Between Palm Springs and Morongo, CA. ©Simon Puschmann

Between Palm Springs and Morongo, CA.
©Simon Puschmann

Cloud over Morongo Casino, CA.  ©Simon Puschmann

Cloud over Morongo Casino, CA. ©Simon Puschmann

Where to spend eternity?  Morongo, CA ©Simon Puschmann

Where to spend eternity? Morongo, CA ©Simon Puschmann

Morongo Casino.  ©Simon Puschmann

Morongo Casino. ©Simon Puschmann

Los Olivos, CA.  ©Simon Puschmann

Los Olivos, CA. ©Simon Puschmann

Vista Point, Los Olivos, CA. ©Simon Puschmann.

Vista Point, Los Olivos, CA. ©Simon Puschmann.

Joe's Parking Lot.  Downtown Los Angeles. ©Simon Puschmann

Joe’s Parking Lot. Downtown Los Angeles. ©Simon Puschmann

Los Angeles. ©Simon Puschmann

Los Angeles. ©Simon Puschmann

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To see more of Simon Puschmann’s photography, go to his blog, website and Altpick page.

 

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Altpick :: Pics of the Week

To see more of the artists work, please go to Altpick.com or click below.

, , Cade Martin, , , , , ,  Leah Fasten, , Jim Fiscus, John Kuczala, Mark Smith, Matt Kalinowski,  and Rob Wilson.

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Mud and Guts with the Wildcats by Andy Mahr

©Andy Mahr

©Andy Mahr

Andy Mahr photographs his son’s football team the “Wildcats” as a personal project. This is the same league as “Friday Night Tykes”, the TV series that is currently running on Esquire Magazine TV network.

 

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To see more of Andy Mahr’s photography, go to his website and Altpick page.

 

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Jim Fiscus Creates Portrait Series in His Hometown of Athens, Georgia

Eddie.  Photo by Jim Fiscus

Eddie. Photo by Jim Fiscus

Orginally posted on Stockland Martel’s blog.

by Kristina Feliciano

Jim Fiscus is a pro at photographing characters who have sprung from other people’s imagination. He’s shot key art for series like Downton Abbey, Dexter, The BorgiasShameless, Episodes, and Penny Dreadful, masterfully photographing the actors in costume and often on set to capture the story, emotion, and tone of each show.

But for his latest personal project, shot on location in his hometown of Athens, Georgia, Jim supplied the characters himself. For “Athens,” Jim first searched for evocative locations, studied the quality of light and the stories he could tell there, and then did a mix of street casting and enlisting friends to find people who he thought would suit the locations.

Some of the portraits, like “Kimberly” and “Gwinny,” are classic black & white character studies, but others have Southern Gothic streaks—something of an outsider quality, or maybe it’s that it feels like the rest of us are not part of this club.

Below are more portraits from Jim’s “Athens” series.

Gwinny. Photo by Jim Fiscus

Gwinny. Photo by Jim Fiscus

Wilfong.  Photo by Jim Fiscus.

Wilfong. Photo by Jim Fiscus.

Kimberly. Photo by Jim Fiscus.

Kimberly. Photo by Jim Fiscus.

Twins.  Photo by Jim Fiscus.

Twins. Photo by Jim Fiscus.

Photo by Jim Fiscus.

Photo by Jim Fiscus.

Photo by Jim Fiscus.

Photo by Jim Fiscus.

Photo by Jim Fiscus.

Photo by Jim Fiscus.

To see more of Jim Fiscus’ photography, please go to his website and Altpick page.

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Ali Smith :: To Aid Children’s Cancer Care, Mothers Go Bald

©Ali Smith

©Ali Smith

motherlode-alyson-tmagArticle

Alyson Weissman, shaving for Jared. ©Ali Smith

Allison Smith, shaving for Jackson. © Ali Smith

Allison Smith, shaving for Jackson. © Ali Smith

by Ali Smith

A mother stands in front of my camera. “I don’t know what I’m supposed to do,” she says anxiously, so she smiles stiffly, as you might in a school picture. “Just be yourself,” I encourage. When she leaves my makeshift studio, set up at the Prudential Center in Boston for the occasion, I feel I’ve failed. The images reveal nothing about how she was feeling. Instead, I’ve taken a smiling portrait of a woman with no indication that she was about to undergo a serious, emotional transformation.

Kris Doyle, shaving for William. © Ali Smith

Kris Doyle, shaving for William. © Ali Smith

Lisa Giguere, shaving for Hailey. © Ali Smith

Lisa Giguere, shaving for Hailey. © Ali Smith

Audra Wilford, shaving for Max. ©Ali Smith

Audra Wilford, shaving for Max. ©Ali Smith

Lisa Sanders, shaving for Rayley. @ Ali Smith

Lisa Sanders, shaving for Rayley. @ Ali Smith

 

On Monday this mother will return home, where she will stand out in her office, at her local restaurant, at her kid’s playground, as “the bald mom.” Wherever she comes from, that will take some nerve. And it will, by design, inspire questions.

April Hawks, shaving for Spencer. ©Ali Smith

April Hawks, shaving for Spencer. ©Ali Smith

Sarah Betz Bucciero, shaving for Carter. © Ali Smith

Sarah Betz Bucciero, shaving for Carter. © Ali Smith

Carina Shaw, shaving for Conlan. © Ali Smith

Carina Shaw, shaving for Conlan. © Ali Smith

Nicole McPherson, shaving for Eleanor. © Ali Smith

Nicole McPherson, shaving for Eleanor. © Ali Smith

Each weekday, an average of 46 American families receive the unenviable news that their child has some form of cancer. At this event, part of the fifth annual Shave for the Brave Campaign organized by the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, mothers of children affected by cancer shaved their heads in solidarity with their children to help raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer research as part of the 46Mommas team.

Allison Smith, shaving for Jackson. ©Ali Smith

Allison Smith, shaving for Jackson. ©Ali Smith

YvetteVelez Rivera, shaving for Nayelis.© Ali Smith

YvetteVelez Rivera, shaving for Nayelis.© Ali Smith

Leslie Woodstock Jermainne, shaving for Brian. ©Ali Smith

Leslie Woodstock Jermainne, shaving for Brian. ©Ali Smith

Linda Berthelet, shaving for Alyssa. ©Ali Smith

Linda Berthelet, shaving for Alyssa. ©Ali Smith

I took their pictures, before and after, a record of what was lost, and what was gained.

Nicole Blakely, shaving for Layla. © Ali Smith

Nicole Blakely, shaving for Layla. © Ali Smith

 Originally published in the New York Times’ Motherlode column.

To find out about Ali’s Award-Winning book Momma Love, visit MommaLovetheBook.com @mommaloveAli on Twitter and Instagram Momma Love The Book on FB.  See more of Ali’s work at alismith.com and altpick.com/alismith

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Beauty and the Reef with Photographer George Kamper

©George Kamper

©George Kamper

by George Kamper

I’m often awed by personal projects my advertising photographer peers shoot.  I’ve seen fashion shooters display documentary images shot in Nicaragua, still life guys shoot action and sports at the Olympics…And often, I’m more enamored by their personal work.

Being an advertising photographer has been a wonderful journey for me throughout the years. I’ve been fortunate to travel around the world and meet some interesting people along the way.

I’ve been producing personal work since the beginning of my career. It’s especially rewarding to have the opportunity to produce images with my vision and the support of a great benefactor or client.

I’ve been a scuba diver, lifeguard, lover of swimming pools and the water ever since I can remember. I also love a good challenge and often, I’m the guy the agency calls when there’s a challenge that needs a creative approach and solution due to a difficult environment, logistics or tight budget.

©George Kamper

©George Kamper

A year or so ago, I came up with the idea to shoot some underwater imagery. Not of fish and coral, but of people, playing sports, fashion, or dancing. I hadn’t yet decided what the final scenarios might be, first I had to do my homework.

Shooting stills underwater sounds easy. Grab your Go Pro, jump in the ocean or pool, and there ya go!  Well, that may be  true for some, I wanted to shoot a story with higher quality, more thought out, with an awe factor that would leave people asking how were these done?  And, at the end of the day, I wanted to end up with a stunning and unique series of images!

©George Kamper

©George Kamper

I faced several challenges, most importantly; I had to come up with an idea that hadn’t been overdone. Though I love long flowy fashion, and how it looks when shot underwater, it’s been done. I wanted my shots to be more than that.  I wanted the images to have an organic quality and not feel cliché’.

I came up with the idea to shoot underwater wrecks coupled with dancers, athletes, or to create a lifestyle situation on the wrecks with models. Once I came up with the general direction, I handled this shoot just like I do my advertising shoots. I began by doing extensive research, homework, and practice.

©George Kamper

©George Kamper

First I had to learn to shoot underwater, with and without tanks and diving gear, in a pool and in the ocean. I needed to practice in the environment with camera housings that were new to me and of course, I needed a muse that would be willing to put up with me. As I do on most of my shoots in one capacity or another, I tapped my wife to pose for me and a neighbor to allow us to shoot in their pool. Here’s a couple of my “practice shots” utilizing my wife Sherryl, my always willing muse.

©George Kamper

©George Kamper

©George Kamper

©George Kamper

©George Kamper

©George Kamper

Secondly, I had to come up with a way to gain access to underwater wrecks and procure the gear needed to shoot them. I also realized the wrecks were in water over 100’ deep in some instances. To prolong my dive time safely, I needed to get Nitrox certified along the way.

I wanted a great fashion stylist with access to interesting wardrobe and props. Both props and wardrobe would be subjected to saltwater or chlorine, which could potentially ruin them.

We needed great make up and hair and knew this would be a major factor to contend with, both for aesthetic and technical reasons.

©George Kamper

©George Kamper

Additionally, I needed talent that would be good with holding their breath, opening their eyes underwater and acting naturally while contending with being in the water for prolonged periods of time.

©George Kamper

©George Kamper

After a year of homework, gathering the right gear, testing in pools and the ocean, I had the opportunity I’d been looking for.

I was asked by an editorial client if I’d be interested in photographing members of the Miami City Ballet for an editorial UNDERWATER. We had talked about doing an underwater fashion story in the past, but I wanted it to be more than girls swishing around in gowns.  I presented the publisher and editor with my idea and a couple of practice shots of my wife, combined with the wrecks. They loved the direction, and we were on!

©George Kamper

©George Kamper

I knew that the dancers could give me the right form I was looking for and that they are very disciplined with control of their bodies, but I had no idea if they could work in the water.

I followed up with them sending over a “How to Guide” to holding your breath for longer periods of time, and asked them to read up and practice.

The day of the shoot finally arrived, I had decided to shoot the wrecks prior to the dancers, keeping in mind how I would like to position the dancers in post. I decided that shooting the dancers in a pool in Miami, and editing them into the wrecks, would be the safest way of producing this. Additionally, we had a very small editorial budget to work with. Hiring all the support services I would need to get my dancers 100’ down and onto a wreck in the ocean, while safely posing, wasn’t the right approach in this instance. Even so, shooting around and under the water is not very forgiving. Every aspect has to be thought out as little mistakes can exponentially grow and become major issues.

Our shoot came of seamlessly. We used the sun as our main source throughout the day with strategically placed reflectors to maintain an organic consistent look to match what we were getting in the ocean on the wrecks.

©George Kamper

©George Kamper

I take my hat off to my retoucher Christine Craig, who is much more a partner in vision, than a retoucher. We’ve been working together for over five years, mostly over the shared networked internet tunnel we have created so we can each see what the other is working on in real-time.  She’s lived in various locations around the northeast since she started as my intern in Miami and has since settled in SC. Christine had been excited by the idea of shooting underwater from day one. We did research and tests to come up with the best approach to match our vision. She’s the kind of girl who doesn’t give up easily and every time I challenged her, she exceeded my expectations. I’m lucky to have her and so are my clients.

©George Kamper

©George Kamper

©George Kamper

©George Kamper

I started this as a personal project and I was fortunate to have it evolve into an editorial that came with support from the magazine and amazing talent. The editor on set was wonderful and took care of the crew, talent, and politics. The dancers were enthusiastic and very willing to jump through hoops to make this happen. My support staff worked for free or a small stipend, they believed in the idea and wanted to be part of creating some cool and unique images. I take my Hat off for all involved, Thank you!

©George Kamper

©George Kamper

To see more of George Kamper’s work go to his website and Altpick page.

 

 

 

 

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John Lacko x Recording Artist Andy Grammer

©John Lacko

©John Lacko

When platinum-selling recording artist Andy Grammer set out on his Back Home Summer Tour, he reached out to Miami artist John Lacko to create the graphics for promotional tees, hats and totes that are such an important part of funding any musical road trip. His management team admired the work Lacko recently completed for Diplo’s Major Lazer project and wanted to capture some of that same energy for Grammer’s promotional gear.

©John Lacko

©John Lacko

The design elements had to feel like home and homecoming, part of the theme of Grammer’s first single, “Back Home” [ http://tinyurl.com/nsbjo6r ] with sentimental lyrics about friendship, minivans, and the enduring nature of returning to where he started. The first video for the song includes sunny shots of friends and bandmates traveling together, playing cards and singing songs on the way to the next gig. Once Grammer reaches the stage, the audience sings and dances under clouds of colorful smoke. As the song hits its final chorus, Grammer stage dives out into the crowd.

©John Lacko

©John Lacko

Lacko set the project in motion with a goofy band bus that’s kitted out with giant speakers, filled with miles of tangled wires and Grammer’s dog at the wheel. The van has cheap sunglasses across the headlights and a wide grin spreads along the grill. To give the sloppy jalopy added appeal, clouds of smoke belch from the twin tailpipes that billow into happy clouds of music. The van bounces across the highway making a joyful noise wherever it goes.

©John Lacko

©John Lacko

See more of Lacko’s work at http://altpick.com/lacko

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