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

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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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Altpick Members :: In the News

Binkley

©Gina Binkley

Gina Binkley adds NEW Photographic WORK to her portfolio, “Lera”.


 

Stauber

©Guy Stauber

Following his recent move to Cleveland, Guy Stauber illustrates a tribute to Lebron and his time with Miami for Richard Solomon Artist Reps.


 

scholl

©Heather Scholl

Heather Scholl’s “Salt of the Earth” – Dedicated to the Bees – mixed media on wood
36″ x 36″.


 

Ponzi

©Emiliano Ponzi

Emiliano Ponzi illustrates for La Repubblica for an article which presents the question does art pieces really change the environment?


 

Pifer

©Brook Pifer

The latest from photographer Brook Pifer is her new beach version series of the Lady Adventures.


 

Osborne

©Neale Osborne

Neale Osborne’s latest illustrations continue his pictorial tribute to ‘The Fantastic Four’ – and, of course, their creators Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and (fellow Birmingham-born) artist John Byrne.


 

OBrien

©Tim O’Brien

Tim O’Brien’s recent assignment for Reed College Magazine was to illustrate Emilio Pucci, the Italian fashion designer.


 

©Otto Steininger

©Otto Steininger

Otto Steininger adds a new illustration to his portfolio “Flying Exercise No. 3″.


 

Nacca

©Nick Nacca

Photographer Nick Nacca found this spot in the hills of California and had some fun lighting up the campsite.


 

Nabaum

©Alex Nabaum

Alex Nabaum illustrated a preview in Chicago Magazine for the play “Native Son” by the author Richard Wright.


 

Moden

©Kari Moden

Kari Modén’s illustration for Red Magazine’s feature story was on the 2014 technology trends, for example, Google glasses and Samsung gear watch.


 

Martin

©Cade Martin

Cade Martin  photographed a fresh brand identity for our Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company’s 35th Anniversary Season.


 

Logan

©George Logan

Photographer George Logan shoots HSBC campaign for JWT.


Kuhlmann

©Brian Kuhlmann

 

Brian Kuhlmann adds some new portraits and fashion to his portfolio with his new series “Hannah K”.


Hauff

©Kevin Hauff

Kevin Hauff had an interesting commission for the Radio Times where they needed an image for the magazine radio pages to accompany a Radio 4 drama called Psalm – about the playwright Ben Johnson.


Gritti

©Lorenzo Gritti

Lorenzo Gritti’s Portrait N.28 from The Book of W.W.2 Italian Resistance W.I.P.


 

Edel

©Edel Rodriguez

Edel Rodriguez illustrated one of the covers for Margarita Engle’s books, “The Lightning Dreamer”.


diani

©Stephanie Diani


Photographer Stephanie Diani recently photographed actress and writer Judy Greer for a cover story in Backstage magazine.


Buelow

©Alicia Buelow

Alicia Buelow’s latest design work for Adobe: Hero illustrations for Adobe CC Learning.


Bliss

©Phil Bliss

“Rarely am I moved by the loss of a celebrity the way I am with this man. He battled demons as many creative geniuses do. He gave us all so much”, comments illustrator          Phil Bliss.


To see more Altpick artists’ work, click here.

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Art, Commerce and What Comes Next

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When Miami artist John Lacko found himself on the receiving end of a corporate pink slip, he did what most of us do – packed up his post-its and headed for the door. After years toiling in a cubicle, he was ready to face whatever happened next with a sharpened pencil and a pretty unique online portfolio. Setting up a home art studio, he decided to embrace life as a freelance-starving-artist to see where fate (and the internet) might lead. In the months that followed, he was tasked with a number of projects from the music industry, a branding exercise for a notorious horror movie director and quite a few t-shirt designs for surf & skate companies.

He never looked back.

The economic downturn definitely took its toll on his bank account, but his stylized illustrations appeal to enough people to keep the lights on and his spirits high. “If I never see the inside of a conference room again, I’ve already won,” he laughs. “The life of a freelance artist is harrowing on a good day but at least the days are mine and the opportunity to work with a lot of very crazy people is never boring…”

When the local news reported that art supply mecca PEARL PAINT – which is headquartered in South Florida – would be liquidating its inventory in advance of shuttering the last two stores, local artists shared their rememberances on Twitter and Facebook.  The brick and mortar source of esoteric elements treasured by architects (tiny plastic people standing, walking or seated), scrapbookers (colorful scissors that scallop or zigzag edges), and embroiderers (skeins of thread in silk, cotton, wool, rayon) started out at 30%, then 40% and finally 70% off before there was nothing left to sell.

4

 

Like many, Lacko started wandering the dusty aisles trying to figure out what he needed, what he wanted and what he might require some time in the distant future. But what he found at the going out of business sale was a lot of people just like him who were facing an uncertain future when PEARL PAINT handed out their final paychecks. He started chatting with a woman named Rose, a veteran of the Oakland Park location, as she sorted through the boxes to set up the clearance tables with ten cent treasures and dollar deals.

6

On the first visit, at 40% off, Lacko tested the waters with a few boxes of his favorite blue pencils and then loaded up on the oddities priced under a dollar. He got tape, metal clips, a mechanical waxing machine once used for pasting up columns of printed type before computer graphics rendered the process obsolete. He had no use for an automatic waxer, but at a dollar it seemed a shame to leave it to the landfill. The store’s vast inventory of things no one seemed to need any more may have led to the closing.  Selling anything online requires little more than a digital image and an e-commerce website. PEARL PAINT still had a vast and expensive portfolio department long after artists started showcasing their work on the web. The industry moved forward, PEARL did not.

3

When the sell-off hit 50%, Lacko found Rose stocking the aisles. She smiled less and seemed overwhelmed by the frantic energy of shoppers emptying entire shelves into red carts. Stacks of stretched canvas and boxes of markers, spray adhesive and x-acto knives rattled out the door. Even at half price, many items in the PEARL inventory were barely competitive with Dick Blick and the popular online sites. Still, the ability to touch and test, to shake and rattle made the hands-on shopping experience appealing to many. The people working at the store offered great advice and many had art studios of their own.

1

When the staff at PEARL in Oakland Park sent out the late night tweet that Monday August 18 would start the 70% off sale, the atmosphere at the store was bedlam. A uniformed Broward County sherriff stood at the register to help keep calm and the lines to check out ran right to the back. Someone came through and bought every single paintbrush in the paint aisle, another guy gingerly loaded up all the stained glass, a man and woman filled seven carts with such fervor it seemed they were auditioning for “Supermarket Sweepstakes.”

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The air conditioner had long since failed and the remaining PEARL staffers did their best to facilitate every transaction. Lacko finally splurged on a few big ticket items and then wandered around the aisles for the last time. The place felt a lot like his corporate job in the hours before the final closing. People seemed weary, a little frightened, but glad the chaos was finally winding down. As he pushed the wobbly shopping cart out to the car, he waved goodbye to Rose and wished her good luck. The store may be gone, but it seems like a lot of local artists will have all they need to do some amazing new work.

If they do run out of anything, new paint is just a click away.


To view John Lacko’s work, go to his website and Altpick page.

 

Posted in Altpick, Illustrations | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
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