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FAVE PHOTO: Upside Down

Updated: Nov 1, 2022

JUMP TO: CITY SCHOOLSTHE PATIENT ON HULU1st PLACE ART PRIZEQUESTION

My recent trip to Rhode Island to visit my old roommate (Mike) and his wife (Erika) yielded some pretty sweet photos. We took a hike on the Cliff Walk in Newport which was only a few blocks from their house. Some more pics below show off the scenery both towards the water on our left and the majestic homes on our right. Wow!


But I want to talk about why this photo stood out. We stumbled across these swings and my girlfriend (Lindsey) and Erika hopped on them and immediately began pumping their arms and legs to get maximum speed like the kids we all are inside. I quickly got my camera out and knew this could be a cool photo. I wasn’t sure how long they’d be swinging and trying to find focus on moving objects can be tough. I was’t sure which angle to take - to the side, in front, or behind...so of course, I tried them all. How much was in focus was another question to wrestle with - I had plenty of sunlight, so I had options to adjust the f-stop (aperture) to get more in focus, but I also wanted to blur out the background enough to let the focus be on them and not the boats. I caught them in a few different positions mid-swing, but this one stands out with Lindsey completely upside down and Erika’s hair flying on the upswing to match the vertical composition of Lindsey’s body. I will admit to cropping the photo to center them. Sometimes in my rush to capture a moment I forget to consider everything that is in the shot...so, a little post-production edit got me my fave photo of the weekend.



VIDEO PROJECT: Baltimore City Infants & Toddlers Program



I am incredibly proud of this video production project that I produced for Baltimore City Schools in conjunction with the Baltimore City Health Department. It’s a great example of a fantastic client interaction meshed together with a superb team of production professionals. One of the highlights for me was being able to enter into folks homes and show them in real life. The result is a video that gives a true taste of this service available for children and families in the city. This production included three separate shooting days (one for the interviews with staff and one for each of the two homes we visited). We managed to work with natural light inside the two houses. Each shoot included a 3-person team with 2 cameras and up to 3 microphones.


4 TIPS ON WHAT MADE FOR A GREAT CLIENT:

  1. Multiple meetings before we began production with all of the key people in the client’s decision-making community.

  2. Sending me two sample videos including what they liked and didn’t like.

  3. Outline for the video content and scripted quotes for the interviews before we began shooting.

  4. Having one point-person to coordinate with me through the whole process. See her review here!


VIEWING RECOMMENDATION: The Patient on Hulu


OVERVIEW: The Patient is an intense series about a mental health therapist working with a patient who has murderous intentions.


WHY I LIKE IT: I’m a huge fan of intense dramas where you are also trying to figure out character backstories.


MY RATINGS

Intensity: 0-100 Genre: Comedy or Drama Writing: 1-4 Pencils

Acting: 1-4 Oscars Cinematography: 1-4 Film Reels


SPECIFIC SCENE REVIEW: Season 1, Episode 3 (SLIGHT SPOILER ALERT)

The therapist, brilliantly portrayed by Steve Carell (yeah, the quirky boss from The Office), has a recurring vision of making a weapon out of a broken pot and stabbing his patient. It’s like something between a fantasy and a possible future incident actually happening. I haven’t watched the whole series yet--so I don’t know what may happen. The scene reminds me of those moments when I think about one way I could handle a frustrating situation.


Recently this happened to me while carrying a pizza walking down the street towards my car and a random man walking towards me says, “Hey, I’ll let you punch me in the face for that pizza.” It was such a bizarre statement, so I just chuckled and kept walking. And then just as he was passing me, he hit me in the jaw. It was hard enough to jolt me, but not so hard that it felt like a full-on punch. I was shocked. Like, genuinely in shock. I walked the half block further to my car and once I sat down in the driver’s seat I had a moment of anger and visualized myself driving down the road and running him over in my car.


The way the TV series portrayed that visual of rage was spot on for me. Even though this show is beyond believable as something any of us would encounter, it still could happen, and a scene like that draws me into the real ways in which we interact with our minds every day and not just what only happens in the physical world.



PHOTO ARTWORK: Reach


I recently won first prize in the Overlea Arts Festival juried section for photography for this image I created. Scott Burkholder generously volunteered to be my model for this unique series I produced called Home Body. This was my first attempt at directing a nude subject. It was a little awkward...but we managed to find a level of comfort that progressed as we moved through the space. From there, I reviewed approximately a thousand images and began combining and layering the different poses that worked best. I used Lightroom and Photoshop to adjust color, tone, contrast, transparency, etc. to create a style that I used for all of the final images.

This was the first fine art photo series I developed and can see how 40 years of photo making went into this project. I’m excited to share the work and look forward to taking what I learned from this process and applying it to my next series. If you’re interested in posing for or collaborating on a future project, let me know. And if you’d like to purchase this photo, I’ve got an original print professionally matted and framed with museum quality archival paper. It’s signed and available for $250. I can deliver it to you! Email me at: michaelivan@loud-communications.com with your interest. Also, please send me any feedback, reflections, or questions about this blog post or anything else!





QUESTION: Have you ever been punched in the face or punched someone in the face?


Send me your stories and perhaps I’ll share what I hear from you next post! I’ll keep your name a secret if you’d like. And if I do post your story, I’ll send you a small artsy gift.


Email me at: michaelivan@loud-communications.com

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