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How I love to go up to Napa to shoot. I’ve been very fortunate to shoot for a few wineries up there.  I just got back from shooting for Regusci Winery. The Regusci Winery was established in 1932 after the family bought the winery and piece of property from Grigsby-Occidental Winery. The hand-cut , two foot thick, stone facade was built in 1878, and it has all the character you would expect from such an old structure.

These images are going to be used to update their web site: http://www.regusciwinery.com/. In just one day, we shot many frames, but here are just a few of my favorites.

On the tech side, you will see I pushed the HDR (high dynamic range) to some extremes for effect, some more subtle.

After a long shoot day, it was awesome to sit down to a home cooked dinner with Jim Regusci and his friends, while sipping on his terrific wines!  Life doesn’t suck in the wine country.

Cheers!

 

Chef Angel picking vegetables for dinner from garden

 

 

Jim Regusci in his vineyard

 


Shooting above the vines

This is beautiful. Shot by  director/videographer Tom Lowe at Salton Sea, CA . For all the gear heads, shot with the Red camera, 5k resolution at 96fps.

Watch this at FULL SCREEN and turn up your speakers!  For those of you that remember the famous scene in Apocalypse Now, where this famous  song by Richard Wagner was playing and the helicopters flying over the beach. Robert Duval said his famous line of ” I love the smell of napalm in the morning”….. After watching this video, I would say , “I love the smell of the Red Camera in the morning”. Great stuff Tom.

 

BritWeek 2011

Okay, I’m really getting bad on keeping up with this blog. The last couple of months have been really busy shooting, so I guess I don’t sit down here as often as I should.

One of the things I love about this business if the mix of things I get to shoot. Over the last several weeks I ‘ve been shooting for a large medical client, an international high-tech company and for BritWeek. They all are so different in their photo needs. Below are some images from the BritWeek 2011 events. Soooooo different then my normal commercial clients where I have total control of what I’m shooting. This shooting brings me back to my roots, of really trying to get the story telling images as they unravel, and I better be quick. Lighting is always a challenge at these events, as you can see, the lighting I’m dealing with is often extremely dark, which adds to the challenge. Thank god for these newer DSLR’s where I can kick up the ISO to incredible levels, i..e 6400 sometimes, otherwise there is no shot at all. Yes you might get a little noise, but honestly that doesn’t bother me so much. Finding the story telling image is way more important then a little noise.

These images of Seal onstage were just a kick to shoot, due to how I was practically on stage with him. What a performer!!

Enjoy, and I hope not to wait so long in between posts.

Seal

Seal and British Consul General enjoying a concert

American Idol finalist Lauren Alaina

American Idol top 6

Actress Minnie Driver

Actress Amelia Jackson-Gray

Actress Amelia Jackson-Gray

Singer/songwriter Daniel Bedingfield

I was really pleased to be able to shoot one of the iconic hotels in Los Angeles , The Beverly Hilton. This hotel opened in 1955 by Conrad Hilton with great fanfare as you can see from the video above. Merv Griffin took over owner ship of the hotel from 1987 until 2003. So much history has passed through those front doors. Now days, the hotel is most known as the home of The Golden Globes for the past 35 years.

I’ll bet you didn’t know that when Zsa Zsa Gabor and Conrad Hilton were married, Zsa Zsa always traveled with her poodle. On one of their many trips, the couple went to Chicago where the manager of the hotel (a Hilton of course) informed them that dogs were not allowed – and there would be no exceptions, even for the wife of the founder. Apparently this situation turned into a learning experience for the hotelier. When he opened his flagship property, The Beverly Hilton, dogs were allowed from the first day – making it one of the first pet-friendly hotels in the United States.

After several scouting trips, I knew we need to do some extensive lighting and compositing as you can see from some early scouting shots of the front.

Sun Seeker App in use!

Existing fountain lighting

I think we're going to need some lighti

Always enjoy putting our heads together with my clients

To view more of my Hotel and Resort work, visit:  www.rexgelertproductions.com

 

 

 

We’re just off a shoot for The Beverly Hilton. I feel very fortunate to have been asked to photograph such a historic hotel. This is one of Beverly Hills Iconic hotels. We did three long days of lifestyle and architectural shooting. Although very cold at times (well at least I wasn’t the one in the bikini ) and some quite long days, I had another great time.

These are just a sampling of some behind the scenes photos. We’re in the process of retouching the group of images. I certainly will be posting the final images soon.

Art Project by Google

Uffizi

 

This is just an amazing use of technology. Google has created a web site with their Google Street Map technology that will take you on virtual tours of some of the most famous museums in the world. You will be able to navigate through the halls of the Uffizi Museum in Florence Italy with a point and click of your mouse. Use the map of the whole museum to find what room you might want to visit, click on the painting to see the most detail brush stroke of Van Gough!

I recommend watching the two videos first to get acquainted. The first one shows the basics of using the site, the second is a little behind the scenes of them making the site.

 

 

 

 

VERSAILLES

 

The only disappointing thing I can say about this site is we can’t view it on our Ipad’s due to the use of Flash. There are some museums that aren’t on the site, like the Louvre in Paris, but I’m sure they’re working on those right now.

Grab a cup of coffee and go stroll down some of the most famous museum corridors on the planet!

http://www.googleartproject.com/

 

 

 

Directing your models on a shoot can be one of the more challenging aspects of a shoot. For the record, there is a huge difference posing and shooting fashion as opposed to lifestyle, which I shoot. When shooting lifestyle, I’m always trying to find the unexpected “real” pose the person in front of my lens is portraying. In fact, I don’t even like to use the word “pose,”  it’s more the reaction to something that is happening in a real situation. So many times when shooting people, especially when shooting “real people,” not models, the subjects will get in front of the lens and say,”so what do you want me to do.” Yes, valid question. The trick is to set an environment as to where they are free to move about, and not think about actually “posing”. Again, this is true in a lifestyle shoot, not so much in a fashion shoot. This is one of the challenges I love about shooting lifestyle. The trick is to make it look REAL.

Now the reason behind this post. I love to observe people on the street, or where ever, and study their body language. Just using my iphone, I’m starting to build a library of real people, in real situations with “poses” I love and would find challenging to use in a commercial situation .

This takes me to this iphone image I just grabbed at a bookstore recently. I love all the subtleties of the boys “pose”, his little hand cupped on his lap, crossing of his legs, his pant leg a little dis-shuveled  showing his white socks, and his head buried in the book. Now if I was shooting a lifestyle image for a client, and we wanted a very “real” look to it, not overly styled and posed, this is what I would try to re-create. Maybe it’s an ad for child education and the need to keep kids interested in books. Don’t you think this would be a stronger image then one where the kid is sitting straight in the chair with perfect posture, his pant leg is perfectly pulled down and he has a fake smile on his face., I think so.

The trick is to really set the mood on the set where the actors/models can feel comfortable to move about and let them play a role in the scene. This is the main reason I prefer to cast actors as opposed to fashion models for my lifestyle shoots, let them ad-lib, thats what they love to do. Here are just a couple of examples from a shoot I did for cell phone provider. I just directed the talent to have a good time taking pictures of themselves with the phone, and let them come up with the actual body positions. It will ring much truer if you don’t over direct them too much.

Now just for fun, I Googled, “posing tips for photography,” It found, 210,000 items, Wow! Here are a couple of images I found interesting.

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