James Porto

Showtime-Jacobs vs. Quillin Poster

What a thrilling assignment from Showtime! The challenge was to create a photorealistic composite of Daniel Jacobs and Peter Quillin portrayed as giants battling high above downtown Brooklyn. Billed as the Battle for Brooklyn, these two warriors are poised for a legendary face-off to settle the score once and for all. Capturing the background was accomplished with a helicopter charter at sunset  over the East River and the contenders were photographed in a makeshift studio in the Times Square Millennium Hotel. I am deeply grateful to Showtime and creative director Ethan Callender for calling me in for this exciting and satisfying project.

Meeting and photographing these two athletes was humbling and inspiring; both of them overcame incredible odds to arrive at this moment where they are competing for the title of Middleweight World Champion. Follow the links on each of their names above to hear their personal stories and you will see what I mean. This fight is not to be missed! Catch it on Showtime at 9pm this Saturday Dec. 5.

Here is the billboard version and a few behind-the-scenes shots from the copter ride. Seated to my left is my good friend Marc Bryan-Brown who so generously came along for the ride as second camera.


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New York Mag.-The Age of Iron

If you live in NYC you must have noticed the seemingly hundreds of skyscraper projects rising in every neighborhood. This photorealistic composite that exaggerates this trend features many of the current projects and is running this week in New York Magazine leading the real estate feature. Check it out, best image I’ve made in a while.

At-Edge interview-Is it REAL or is it Porto?

At-Edge, the monumental photo industry sourcebook that features only 155 select photographers in their illustrious collection of global photographic talent, has honored me with a blog interview. It features the latest major project I was involved with, The Real Cost, a nationwide anti-smoking campaign awarded by FCB NY ad agency and their client the Food and Drug Administration. It also delves into several other projects that I’ve been involved with lately (Powder, Overload, and  Rockettes); this is some serious eye candy folks, don’t miss it, feel free to check it out here, and of course share if you are inspired.

Anti-Smoking Monster Campaign

When Jackie Anzaldi and Mike Lubrano from FCB/Garfinkel NYC called us for FDA’s Nationwide Anti-Smoking Campaign it instantly seemed a strong possibility for a great project. I am thrilled to share the final results of our collaboration; The Real Cost Campaign is running in most major markets across the country as large posters in Bus Shelters and in Subways.  It is designed to dissuade young people from starting cigarette smoking and to remind others how toxic and dangerous nicotine addiction is.  The Monsters were created by the most amazing effects company I’ve ever worked with, Legacy Effects.

It is especially gratifying to make powerful images such as these in the service of making a positive difference in the world. If a single kid sees these images and decides not to begin smoking this campaign is a smash success.

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Blacklight and Centaur at Photoplace Gallery

I will be exhibiting two prints in the Dreams, Fantasies and Illusions Show at Photoplace Gallery in Middlebury, Vt. They chose one of my images for the banner. The jurors for this exhibition are the amazing photographic team of Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick. After years of concentrating on work that is published in books and magazines I’m making a greater effort to exhibit my personal work in galleries.  If you’re nearby, stop in and check out all the work.

Blacklight and Centaur at Photoplace Gallery

Blacklight is a collaboration with the brilliant artist Micah Lee, fashion designer, cartoonist, writer, empowerment coach and all around genius.

Blacklight and Centaur at Photoplace Gallery

Centaur is a conceptual portrait of the brilliant musician Ray Ippolito who is also a powerful activist for Animal Liberation.

History of Photo Compositing 1983 edition

Back in 1983 before the invention of Photoshop it wasn’t quite as easy for a photographer to illustrate his dreams and visions as it is today.  The process of making the image shown here involved shooting the elements to scale on 4×5 film, mounting each element in position on a sheet of 11×14 exposed, processed Kodalith film (essentially a piece of solid black film) that was punched with pin registration holes, making photographic masks of the city, cutting a frisket by hand and opaquing all the city detail but leaving the edge photographic, and then once all that was prepared, exposing the elements in sequence followed by their masks on Ektachrome 6121 Dupe film, balancing the exposure and color balance of each element.  It’s actually much harder than briefly described here because getting perfect masks and perfect image registration was an art in itself.  The reward was making an image that stood out for its uniqueness in its time.

Another advantage of having to surmount such a laborious and time consuming process to realize my vision was that I had to be very certain that the idea I was forming into an image on film was going to be worth the time and energy expended.  It only took a few times of going through this rather insane process and coming out with a facile or boring image that I was able to focus my energies on only the best ideas, and with only well executed photographic elements as ingredients.  I’ve carried this practice into my Photoshop composites.

Saints and Sinners at BAU

The Guardian, one of the images from the Winged Women series, is on exhibit at Beacon Artists Union in Beacon, NY in a group show titled Saints and Sinners.  The print is a 16″x20″digital archival pigment print in a 20″x24″ frame.  There is a show closing party on Saturday, January 4, 2014 from 6-9pm at BAU gallery, 506 Main Street, Beacon, NY 12508.  Please join us for music, conversation and a great exhibit.

The show description from the BAU website follows:

Saint is a word used to describe a believer who is virtuous and will have salvation. Sinner is a word used to describe a breaker of laws, that’s headed for destruction. This season, often a time for self reflection, brings out the best and the worst in people. Even children worry about being on the naughty or nice list. From Saint Nicholas to the Krampus there are many ways to depict good and evil.

This year we had the pleasure of inviting to jury this exhibition, Carl van Brunt. Mr. van Brunt is a digital artist in his own right, a Beacon Gallerist from 2002-2010, and continues to curate numerous venues with van Brunt Projects and is currently the Director of the Wood Stock Artists Association and Museum (WAAM) in Woodstock, NY.

Adobe Photoshop Master Class

James_Porto_Adobe_Photoshop_Master_Class_1This beautiful art showcase book from Adobe Press, entitled Adobe Photoshop Master Class,  features 30 established and emerging Photoshop artists, their masterful work, and tutorials demonstrating their techniques for using Adobe Photoshop. Curated by renowned photographer and educator Ibarionex Perello, this book features an inspiring collection of innovative Photoshop artists and their amazing artwork.   The images represent a mix of techniques and styles and are field-defining works that demonstrate technical excellence and awe-inspiring aesthetics.  I am honored to be included as one of the featured artists.  I highly recommend this book if you have an interest in manipulated imagery.  If you follow this link you can buy this book at a 35% discount by entering the coupon code-PHOTOMASTER.  Enjoy!