Blair Bunting Recreating Top Gun

Celebrity Advertising Photographer Blair Bunting re-creates Top Gun with fighter jets in California.

Celebrity Advertising Photographer Blair Bunting re-creates Top Gun with fighter jets in California.

It all started with a conversation and a napkin… Standing in the pilot’s lounge at Miramar Base, the very spot where Top Gun filmed the “love and feeling” scene, an idea began. It was a conversation between some friends, myself and one of the pilots (Rob “Scratch” Mitchell) from the Patriots Jet Team. We waxed poetic for hours, drawing out ideas of what it would take to film Top Gun’s scenes without the luxury of the Hollywood green screen. At times the conversation was tense, and at other times we were crying laughing at the ludicrous idea of recreating them ourselves. Unfortunately the latter won out, and this photoshoot was born.

I wish I could go into all the details, but in my attempts to hang with a fighter pilot’s drinking ability left me a bit fuzzy on what was discussed. However, I still had the napkin that outlined a shoot that was dangerous, painful and would become reality in the coming months.

Celebrity Advertising Photographer Blair Bunting re-creates Top Gun with fighter jets in California.

Celebrity Advertising Photographer Blair Bunting re-creates Top Gun with fighter jets in California.

It wasn’t long before I found myself sitting in another fighter jet, the engine starting to whine as the auxiliary power wakes the beast. Moments later the ignition happens and all that enters my mind is “oh fuck, this is happening again.” My mind was flooded with a world of thoughts, everything from checking settings on the camera once more, to the more unnerving one of, “if something happens, I have to jump out of this jet because we disabled my ejection seat so that the camera wouldn’t accidentally hit it and send me and my pilot into the jet we are inverted over.” Even now I look back at that one and it freaks me out.

Back in the cockpit, and the three jets begin to jerk forward, as if they are thoroughbreds fighting the gate to be let out. Within moments, we are screaming down the runway, but unlike my previous flights, there is a jet right beside mine as if we were drag racing, watching the world fade off into a blur. I hear my pilot call for rotation and we are flying. The jet that, only a moment prior was mere meters away from my plane, moves into formation and is now merely feet away. The sight of it is absolutely breathtaking. For those that have not experienced it, I would liken it to being on a boat and watching a large whale jump nearby. It is mesmerizing to see something so large perform so gracefully; I was in awe, both due to the sight and the respect for the men flying the machines. What never crossed my mind in all the years that I have watched planes fly in formation at air shows, is just how much they are moving. Fighting undulations, air pockets and sheer physics, what looks smooth from the ground is nothing less than the last true cowboys carving the air in a dance that in one wrong move could become deadly.

Another thing that was different from my previous flights, was that on this flight I didn’t have a g-suit helping to keep me conscious as gravity tried so hard to take the blood from my brain. Add this to the weight of the Hasselblad H6D with a 35-90mm lenses attached, and my body was getting destroyed at a rate that no gym workout could compare to. Don’t get me wrong, I was having fun, but I was in an immense amount of pain. This was apparent after we landed and saw that the capillaries of my shoulder had exploded from the pressure.

Thirty minutes into the flight we found ourselves at the moment of truth, it was time to find out if we could capture the image that Goose took in Top Gun. In order to do this, my jet would roll inverted at 500 feet off the ground. The second ship would roll in and ever so slowly creep closer, as I tried to take the photo all while calling out positioning to my pilot who relayed the info to the ever closing jet below. If this sounds insanely complicated, that’s because it is.

The preparation that had taken place before this point was equally as immense. I had spent hours laying upside down off the side of my bed in my hotel room the night before so that I could learn how the camera operated while inverted. I went to the gym six days a week and exercised with a trainer that helped me build my endurance while being on top of my hick breathing to stay conscious (check out AGSM for fun). For an hour before we got in the jets I went through neck exercises to see if I could loosen it up enough to look behind myself more or less. All of this work boiled down to a shot that still would be 90% luck.

 

I set the camera to it’s max shutter speed and used the first pass to dial exposure and distance rather than try to get the shot. Dangling by my shoulder straps looking straight down at the Earth speeding by below, a large jet started to emerge. I would call “forward, forward, forward,” and I could see the pilot below as he slowly dialed his plane faster all while looking me right in the eye, it was one of the more surreal moments I have ever been in. From there I would place the front element of the lens (which we had put layers of black tape around) flat against the canopy and shot as fast as the camera could shoot. All the while I was getting a countdown called by my pilot (Scott “Banker” Ind) telling me how many seconds of fuel we had left in the tanks that power the plane specifically while it is inverted. Then he said, “rotation in 10, 9, 8, 7…..” I knew at 3 seconds I had to pull away from the canopy and brace the camera, for if I stayed in position and swung the camera back too hard, I could hit the stick and accidentally fly the plane into the one below. We did this many times, going back and forth over the Northern California terrain until the call came across, “we are at bingo fuel, time to return to base.” To be honest, I had no idea what kind of shot we had, nor did I even look on the flight back, I was too damn tired. At that moment I wanted nothing more than a bottle of water, followed quickly by a glass of scotch.

Looking back on it, I am overwhelmed and grateful. To all the incredible people that put in so much time, effort and money, just to see if something drawn on a napkin was possible, I am eternally grateful. There are so many people that worked on the planes, rigging GoPros to them, making sure they were safe and piloting them, each and everyone of them worth their weight in gold as I consider them family. This job has given me opportunities that I could never dream of and showed me the kindness and support of strangers that I have never earned. I know I say this a lot, but damn do I hope you know how much you all mean to me.

Celebrity Photographer Blair Bunting

Celebrity Photographer Blair Bunting

 

 

 

As you can imagine, this project would not have been possible without the help of many organizations and people I am grateful to call friends:

The Patriots Jet Team: Thank you all so much. You are one incredible family of the kindest people I have met. From Randy to Rings, you are the people that made this possible and I will forever be grateful.
Rob “Scratch” Mitchell: Thank you for standing at the bar table and helping me think up ways to make this happen, planning the flight and piloting it.
Jaron Schneider: Thank you for shooting this one for me. I know the idea of flying in a jet with a hole in the canopy is not the most comfortable situation, but you handled it well while somewhat staying conscious .
Toby Harriman: You are a drone master my friend and a damn hard worker, I genuinely appreciate it.
Hasselblad: Thanks for the camera to use on this one. I hope I didn’t break it as much as it broke me…
Bremont: Thanks for the timepiece that was fitting for this piece. Grateful I didn’t earn the MB the way some have.

Nikon Advertising campaign

by Blair Bunting

To see more of Blair’s work visit his website and Altpick.com page.

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

Lowden Adds Depth To Photo-shoot With Touching Back Story

©Scott Lowden

©Scott Lowden

Sometimes, a good back story can help a photo-shoot immensely, adding emotion and sensibility to images in a way that makes the viewer stop and wonder about its subjects. This is something that photographer Scott Lowden did late last year for a personal project, where, except for exercising his ability to shoot high quality photography while keeping the production value as low as possible (in this case limiting himself to only two reflectors), he used a made-up back-story to help come up with shots and video-editing. The result, as can be seen in his video, stills and supporting video files compliment each other, telling the story of two people coming together, despite their very different personalities.

If you’re interested in learning the complete back-story, Scott tells it best himself:

“She’s a writer, he’s a daydreamer…

They were introduced at an art opening, after which they spent the entire evening talking and walking. They’re an about-to-be couple, but they haven’t realized it yet. He’s distracted by work and life and travels, and not giving her the attention she wants. She feels distracted by him, and heads out-of-town to concentrate on a nearly finished project. She has a favorite place, a retreat, where she can concentrate. It’s a hard to get to place, and more importantly, hard to get out of. The kind of place you can only get to by hitching a ride on a friend’s boat.

He woke up on a gloomy morning and she wasn’t around. He realized not having her in his life created a void, something left undone. And it’s not like him to plan, to feel a hole. He’s daydreaming about their time together, and the future…traveling with her, waking up with her, fighting with her. She’s not answering his texts, a few days pass. He knows kind-of where she is, but not exactly, so he goes in search. The drive, the boat, the walk, the retreat.

That’s where our story begins, he grabs his 50s Sea Maid boat and heads out to make his intentions known, and convince her to spend some time with him. He’s a bit melancholy as he’s making his way to her, with a flicker of happiness when he’s with her. It’s like that perfect early evening when the gloom clears and the sun peeks though the cloud cover as they head off on his boat…”


Credits:

Scott Lowden. Photography and Director
Ryan Dickie. DP/Operator
Aurelie Jezequel. Producer
Elodie. Ozanne. Wardrobe Stylist
Pascale Poma. H/M
James Slater. 1st Assistant
Pedro Marti. PA
Kyle Bliss. male talent with Wilhelmina
Svieta. female talent with Marilyn Model Management
Captain Pat. boat captain with sailnewyork.com
Ed Jimenez. Lighting and Grip, Playground Industries
Amy Rosenburg. Editor
Zach Wolfe. Color Grading
Music. A&E (Maps Remix) by Goldfrapp
Shot in Patchogue, NY

For more images and information, please visit Scott Lowden’s website and Altpick page.

Posted in Altpick, Art, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Altpick.com Reports :: July 2016

©Sergio Baradat

©Sergio Baradat

Altpick members news spotlights includes Sergio Baradat, Eddie Guy, Keith Barraclough, Kimberly Wiseman, Ryan Ketterman, Urs. J. Knobel and Paul Garland.  To see more, visit: http://altpick.com/allnews

 

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 2.01.39 PMAltpick News:: http://altpick.com/reports/071216/

Altpick.com :: http://altpick.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

American Illustration 35 – Selected and Chosen Winners Announced!

©Eddie Guy

©Eddie Guy

It’s that time of the year! No, we’re not talking about Christmas, but the annual list of illustrators that have been selected and chosen by American Illustration. This year, we’re proud to announce that the list contains as much as 21 Altpick-members! The full list of members that have been picked are as following:

©Alexei Vella

©Alexei Vella

©Daniel Bejar

©Daniel Bejar

©David Plunkert

©David Plunkert

©Edel Rodriguez

©Edel Rodriguez

©Edel Rodriguez

©Edel Rodriguez

©Ellen Weinstein

©Ellen Weinstein

©Emiliano Ponzi

©Emiliano Ponzi

©Mark Smith

©Mark Smith

©Lara Odell

©Lara Odell

©Ken Orvidas

©Ken Orvidas

©Jon Krause

©Jon Krause

©Joey Feldman

©Joey Feldman

©Hanna Barczyk

©Hanna Barczyk

©Sarah Ferone

©Sarah Ferone

©Mark Smith

©Mark Smith

©Tim O'Brien

©Tim O’Brien

©Oivind Holland

©Oivind Hovland

©Otto Steininger

©Otto Steininger

©David Plunkert

©David Plunkert

©Emiliano Ponzi

©Emiliano Ponzi

©Red Nose Studio

©Red Nose Studio

©Richard Borge

©Richard Borge

©Sarah Ferone

©Sarah Ferone

©Tim O'Brien

©Tim O’Brien

©Tom Cocotos

©Tom Cocotos

©Vlad Alvarez

©Vlad Alvarez

©Ellen Weinstein

©Ellen Weinstein

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Vlad Alvarez
Hanna Barczk
Daniel Bejar
Richard Borge
Tom Cocotos
Joey Feldman                                                                                                                                       Sarah Ferone
Eddie Guy
Oivind Hovland
Jon Krause
Tim O’Brien
David Plunkert
Lara Odell
Emiliano Ponzi
Ken Orvidas
Red Nose Studio
Edel Rodriguez
Mark Smith
Otto Steininger
Alexei Vella
Ellen Weinstein

To learn more about who and what illustrations that have been selected and chosen this year by AI-AP, be sure to follow this link: http://www.ai-ap.com/slideshow/AI/35/#9

To see more of the artists’ work, please visit : Altpick.com

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

Nicolo Sertorio Photographs Nature’s Beauty and Mystery

12T 365265mE 4510194mNby Nicolò Sertorio

I consider myself privileged: I am white, male, educated, healthy, living in the Western world. I am, however, part of a ‘disenchanted generation’: born after WWII when globalization seemed like a great idea, a path towards one big happy family, only to be awaken to a hard reality of inequality and environmental abuse. Nowadays hardly a day goes by without some alarming news: ice melting, fresh water contamination, overpopulation, corporate greed, food poisoning, oil dependency, wealth inequality, the list goes on. It seems the world lost it’s mystery to become the playground of the very few at the expense of the rest. I believe the resulting sense of powerlessness has left us disenfranchised, resulting in a lack of social or environmental accountability.

But is this really the only way? Do we really need to follow this dead-end path?

I experience the context for the work as presenting the viewer with a world where humanity’s need for insatiable consumption has led it to the ultimate consumption, that of the consumption of the self. From this point we are brought to a world where humanity has disappeared and only nature remains. We are presented with a series of images that brings forth nature in it solemness. Nature has endured and now overcome the weight of humanity’s selfish orientation and we are reunited with nature’s beauty and mystery.

Presented as an hypothetical archeological study on the nature of coexistence, it is my hope that we can still assume both global and individual responsibility, that we can still change our path forward.

12T 365265mE 4510194mN

12T 365265mE 4510194mN

12T 365265mE 4510194mN

12T 365265mE 4510194mN

12T 365265mE 4510194mN

12T 365265mE 4510194mN

12T 365265mE 4510194mN

12T 365265mE 4510194mN

12T 365265mE 4510194mN

To see more of Nicolo Sertorio’s photography, please visit his website and Altpick page.

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

Why Style-Diversity Has Become A Necessity

©Oliver Wetter

©Oliver Wetter

by Oliver Wetter

When I started out drawing and painting things were different. When posting to art communities back in 2002 you either did photo-manipulation or fantasy art. Never both. I believe this is still rooted in the fine art community – that an artist has to have a certain style.

This style is what?

An indicator of expertise? Let me tell you what it is…

Specializing in one style only is a guarantee for a return on investment by art dealer and art collectors.

If you do illustration for a living, this mantra has no meaning because what you do is applied art, not fine art. You might  still have a chance to get into a gallery or even a museum in your lifetime. Look at Gottfried Helnwein for example, he has done that and still maintains at least 3-4 styles in artistic expression.

What many people fail to realize is that it is possible to reduce your styles, but not before you dive into the marketplace. If you do it right at the beginning, you limit your possibilities.

Another reason why style diversity is necessary is because of our technological age. We live in times where internet is mobile and looking up a name is just a fingertip away.

©Oliver Wetter

©Oliver Wetter

The internet is bliss for those with a bad long-term-memory.  But when it comes to artists’ names, how many of those can you name whose work you found on websites or Facebook? I bet no more than 10 initially, which is totally normal and this number will decrease in years to come.

What stays is distinctiveness. 

The artist who does skull portraits of superheroes, landscapes with Kaiju´s in it and a book cover with weird old people, might stick for a while, simply because there is no one else who does such a combination.

©Oliver Wetter

©Oliver Wetter

Another point that many fail to see is the endless possibilities. With the overwhelming showcase of work on every corner of the internet you think everything has been done before. Well, that might be the case, but combinations are endless. Very often it is the combination of things so unrelated that it will stick. Think about that and see where you can apply this to your portfolio.

©Oliver Wetter

©Oliver Wetter

I find it interesting at times to see people who really believe in ending capabilities. This is the worst mindset you can grow into.  I´m sure you have been there before. But in reality, nothing ever ends. A combination of 3 things is so specific, the possibility of someone else picking up the same topics is low. And even if he or she does, the outcome would be different enough.

There are many reasons why experimenting with new styles and techniques is beneficial. Business always wants you to repeat success (as Milton Glaser puts it) but the artist in you needs experimentation to grow as an artist. And the digital art is a great playground for exactly that.

How are your experiences with this topic?

Let me know in a comment, thanks.


To see more of Oliver Wetter’s work please visit his website and Altpick page.

Posted in Altpick, Art, Branding, Design, Illustrations, Tip | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Valentine’s Day from Altpick!

Happy_PRINT1-595x800

©Elvis Swift

Some love this holiday, some not so much.  But what we all can appreciate is artwork that makes you smile.  So to celebrate the good things in life, Happy Valentine’s Day from the illustrators, photographers, animators and designers on Altpick.com!

Aaron_Meshon

©Aaron Meshon

SONY DSC

©Kristofer Dan-Bergman

Portrait for The Redhead Project

©Keith Barraclough

Michael_Morgenstern

©Michael Morgenstern

©Eddie Guy

©Eddie Guy

Lacko_Illustration2

©Lacko Illustration

©Kyle Dreier

©Kyle Dreier

©Federico Gastaldi

©Federico Gastaldi

©Neale Osborne

©Neale Osborne

©Keith Barraclough

©Keith Barraclough

©Jane Mjolsness

©Jane Mjolsness

©Jean-Manuel Duvivier

©Jean-Manuel Duvivier

©Mike Austin

©Mike Austin

©Lacko Illustration

©Lacko Illustration

©Gayle Kabaker

©Gayle Kabaker

©Kari Detagra

©Kari Detagra

©Randy Michael Korwin

©Randy Michael Korwin

©Marina Seoane

©Marina Seoane

©Kimberley Wiseman

©Kimberley Wiseman

©Catherine Huerta

©Catherine Huerta

©Vered Ganchrow

©Vered Ganchrow

©Danielle Bell

©Danielle Bell

©Teresanne Russell

©Teresanne Russell

©Tanner Griepentrog

©Tanner Griepentrog

©Paul Garland

©Paul Garland

©Lynne St. Clare

©Lynne St. Clare

©Jenny Catullo

©Jenny Catullo

©Colleen O'Hara

©Colleen O’Hara

©Leo Acadia

©Leo Acadia

©Tracy Mattocks

©Tracy Mattocks

©Tom Cocotos

©Tom Cocotos

©Alexei Vella

©Alexei Vella

©James Benn

©James Benn

©Andreas von Buddenbrock

©Andreas von Buddenbrock

©Angela Martini

©Angela Martini

©Ellen Weinstein

©Ellen Weinstein

©Lara Odell

©Lara Odell

©Caroline Tomlinson

©Caroline Tomlinson

©Mark Atomos Pilon

©Mark Atomos Pilon

Barbara_Kosoff

© Barbara Kosoff

©Studio Caswell

©Studio Caswell

To see more fabulous work from these artists, please visit Altpick.com.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Andy Goodwin Shares Details On His “Buehrle” Photographic Series

©Andy Goodwin

©Andy Goodwin

If you’ve been following Andy Goodwin’s work lately, chances are that you’ve seen his photographic series called “Buehrle!”, which features a young boy (Buehrle) and his hero pedal car in a number of different locations. Andy recently shared some details about the project, including how he bought the car on Ebay before casting his protagonist and how he knew right away that little Buehrle was the perfect candidate for the job. Andy says: “I had never met a kid that was so full of joy and wonder and so up for shooting in all of these crazy locations.”

Andy2
Except for the hedge shot (which was a little too far away to get Buehrle to), each shot was taken on location. “The snowplow was actually a bonus while we were shooting on a street near his house”, Andy explains. “We asked the woman plow driver to make a few passes and she happily helped us out… “

Andy5

As most children his age, Buehrle is growing quite rapidly, and has according to Andy already grown out of both his suit and his car (the shots were taken last year), which unfortunately means that the series might be getting close to its end. “Although”, Andy adds, “I do have a bunch of shots of him on white so we may be dropping him to other scenes this year.”

Andy3

Take a look at some more of the images from this adorable photo-series on Andy’s website and be sure to visit Andy’s Altpick.com page. 

Posted in Altpick, Art, Photography | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Altpick Members’ Tribute to David Bowie

David Bowie has inspired so many over the last 40 years through his music, performance art, acting, film making, fashion and design.  Although he has moved on to his next journey, his legacy will continue to be a compelling force in the art community.  Altpick members pay tribute to Bowie through their art.

©Joey Feldman

©Joey Feldman

©Tim O'Brien

©Tim O’Brien

©Craig LaRotonda

©Craig LaRotonda

©Alexei Vella

©Alexei Vella

©Danielle Bell

©Danielle Bell

©Aaron Kober

©Aaron Kober

©Marco Melgrati

©Marco Melgrati

©Dung Hoang

©Dung Hoang

©Davide Bonazzi

©Davide Bonazzi

©Chris Lyons

©Chris Lyons

©Benedetto Cristofani

©Benedetto Cristofani

©Angela Martini

©Angela Martini

©Tracy Mattocks

©Tracy Mattocks

©Kimberley Wiseman

©Kimberley Wiseman

©David Cooper

©David Cooper

©Colleen O'Hara

©Colleen O’Hara

©Montalbetti + Campbell

©Montalbetti + Campbell

©Naomi Alessandra

©Naomi Alessandra

©Devyn Park

©Devyn Park

©Hanna Barczyk

©Hanna Barczyk

©Phil Bliss

©Phil Bliss

©Urs Knobel

©Urs Knobel

©Katrina Kopeloff

©Katrina Kopeloff

©Maliya Travers-Crumb

©Maliya Travers-Crumb

©KoFong Hsia

©KoFong Hsia

©Tom Cocotos

©Tom Cocotos

©Selina Alko

©Selina Alko

©Leo Acadia

©Leo Acadia

©Kari Moden

©Kari Moden

©Garth Glazier

©Garth Glazier

 

To view more of the artists’ work, please visit Altpick.com.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

George Kamper’s “When Night Falls”

Venice_Bonnet_2300_r1flat1-533x800

Dark, mysterious, haunted even? Styled by Danny Santiago with unique pieces from local designers and shops, here is When Night Falls

Venice_Bonnet_2193FLAT1-800x480

Venice Magazine and Photographer George Kamper had a different vision for the Bonnet House. What happens at night inside the Historic Bonnet House?

Venice_Bonnet_2476flatweb-526x800

Venice_Bonnet_2391_r1flatweb-533x800The Bonnet House Museum and Gardens comes alive at night with dramatic headpieces and wickedly beautiful ensembles.

Venice_Bonnet_2516_r1flatweb-667x800

Venice_Bonnet_2265_r1flatc1-667x800Venice_Bonnet_2735_r1flat1-533x800Venice_Bonnet_2654_r1flatweb-800x533Photographed for Venice Magazine

Publisher: Carlos Suarez Editor: Nila Do Simon Photographer: George Kamper Model: Marina Z  Wardrobe Stylist: Danny Santiago Stylist Asst: Alfred J. Barrera Make up & Hair: Eddy de la Pena Digital Tech: Zach Scheffer Photo Asst: Felipe “Flip” Patino 2nd Asst: Huston Ochoa PA: Kasey McCauley Retoucher: Christine Craig

Bonnet_House_History_Historic_Photos

The Bonnet House was purchased by Hugh Taylor Birch and was given as a wedding present to his daughter Helen and her husband, Chicago artist Frederic Clay Bartlett in 1919. Helen tragically died only 5 years into construction but her husband eventually was remarried to Evelyn Fortune Lilly and they continued to build onto the unique architecture of the home, lavishly decorating the interior and creating the astonishing gardens around the home. Frederic died in 1953 but Evelyn continued to return each winter until 1983 when she gave The Bonnet House to the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation. Her contribution-at the time, the largest charitable gift in Florida history-ensured that the site would be preserved for the enjoyment and education of future generations. Evelyn died shortly after at the age of 109. The Bonnet House is a now a Historical site and tourist destination in Fort Lauderdale Florida.

To view more of George Kamper photography, please visit his website and Altpick page.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
%d bloggers like this: