Walling McGarity

Animated Life: Sharon spent years preparing for a life in botany

We recently had the pleasure of shooting stills with Sweet Fern Productions co-founders Sharon Shattuck and Flora Lichtman, filming a segment for their science video series for the New York Times Op Docs.  LSA magazine reached out to us to document a day in the life of and here is the article with our behind the scenes images.

I highly recommend checking out more of their work.  Here is their finished video about the paleoanthropologist Mary Leakey, who discovered footprints of human ancestors on the African savanna.. Not only is it artfully shot but you just might learn something as well.

sharrons2.jpg

 

Having a bit of fun with stop motion animation

A most curious bunny finds the camera is our latest personal project. We shot this video as a stop motion frame by frame and edited together in Adobe Premiere, after effects, added our own sound track along with motion graphics that provide the opening and credits.

For anyone reading this and doesn’t know how stop motion is created here is a brief explanation. Stop motion is an animation technique that physically manipulates an object that appears to move on its own. The object is moved in small increments between individually photographed frames, creating the illusion of movement when the series of frames is played as a continuous sequence. While some may think that sounds like a tedious endeavor the end result is that much more exciting considering how much effort it took.

 

 

Our At Edge Campaign Spotlight for Summer 2015

“Showcasing innovative online photography portfolios, at-edge.com is the online partner to AtEdge, a continuing series of publications that connect active creatives and photo producers with the most talented advertising and editorial assignment photographers working today. Participation in AtEdge is limited to 155 hand-picked photographers per year. Each one has been invited into the program because his or her work communicates a unique and independent vision.”

Here is some of our recent work:

Advertising campaign-spotlight for the Travel Channel

Editorial campaign-spotlight of Alexa Ray Joel for Social Life Magazine

Video campaign spotlight for the band Not Blood Paint Featuring Katie Buckett

A move into motion: The music video we made for Not Blood Paint

For the last few years, we have been told many times, by many within the photo industry, that offering video in addition to still images would create more appeal to a client than stills alone.

Not Blood Paint – Particles (Official Video)

Admittedly, at first we found the suggestion a bit frustrating. It’s hard enough to keep a proper photography business going and continue to produce strong, effective images as stills without adding the daunting task of the moving image. Fortunately, my time in undergrad was spent studying film and video (as well as photography) while Tiffany concentrated on photography and digital imaging. I spent a lot of time in dark, hot, windowless rooms cutting 16mm film on Steenbeck editors, manipulating that film on optical printers and rotoscoping stands. I also did a good bit of editing video in 1/2″ (VHS) and 3/4″ tape formats where you would load 2 video cassettes, 1 source and 1 record, into decks with shuttle dials used to find in and out points to set up your cuts. This is what is known as non-linear editing and it was a very laborious process that took up large amounts of time and effort (not to mention caffeine). By the time Tiffany and I were out and working in the world, we were pursuing still photography as our career path and therefore left the moving image behind.

With the new pressure to add video to our list of talents/ services, I undertook the process of teaching myself about digital video and non-linear editing. Even with my (distant) background, the learning curve was steep and a bit overwhelming, but I quickly discovered how much I loved it and how so much of what I had learned through photography, digital imaging and even painting could inform this new endeavor for me and our business. I’ve started small, teaching myself Adobe Premier and After Effects. This is still very much an ongoing process, doing small motion tests, modest edits for personal projects, etc. We did  manage to wrangle a small paying job or two as I fumbled around with this new medium, learning as I go.

Being in Brooklyn, and in particular the neighborhood that we’re in (East Williamsburg/ Bushwick…yeah, that one), there is no shortage of fellow creatives. So, a few years ago we were fortunate enough to meet a group of musicians from Michigan with a band called Not Blood Paint. Great musicians, great band and now, great friends. After a year or so of hanging out, having drinks, seeing them play live, and having them come by my painting studio, slowly talk developed of how we could work together creatively. Our eye(s), their ear(s). After much talk, the band came up with an idea to have Tiffany and I make a music video for one of their songs “Particles”. This was a big leap of faith on their part as they had only seen our photo work and my paintings, but very little video. We nervously took the project on. We all spent a weekend in a friend’s house in Hancock, NY and shot for 2 days with an additional day in Brooklyn to shoot the greenscreen that I could use later for compositing. This was an unusual project in a few ways, but in particular because they had a guest vocalist, Katie Buckett of the London based band Jingo. Unfortunately, she was unable to fly to New York for the video shoot, so we had Jingo’s videographer, Charles Barclay, shoot some footage of Katie lipsynching her vocal parts and I was able to composite that into the final edit of the video. The video link above is the final video cut that we released earlier this week (go to YouTube to see it in HD). Take a look. This was a great project for us. We learned so much and would like to thank Joe, George, Seth, and Mark from Not Blood Paint for their faith in us and their creative collaboration. There will be more projects with them and the completion of this project finds us about to start production for a new video for another Brooklyn based band.  More to come… Stay tuned.

On Inspiration and influence

Inspiration: a divine influence directly and immediately exerted upon the mind or soul.

Influence: A power affecting a person, thing, or course of events, especially one that operates without any direct or apparent effort.

Inspiration and Influence come from anywhere, anyone, anything. The process of making art needs both components in order to reveal itself from the creator/ artist. When considering the process of making visual art, one must do their research through looking and observing. This means seeing art as image/ object as well as seeing the process of those that create. For us, the creative journey has had many sources of inspiration that drive us to create as well as many influences that we look to that speak a language with which we connect and that we can process and translate into our own voice. For this post, we would like to highlight a few of those image makers that have inspired and influenced the creative process for us over the years. While this is clearly an incomplete list, we believe it offers a small window into what affects our artistic endeavors, which in turn, inform our commercial work.

A selection of favorites

Sarah Moon has an ethereal power.

Tom Baril sees the world in black and white.

Vaughan Oliver whose graphic work and collaborative efforts with photographers like Simon Larbalestier, Nigel Grierson and visual artist Shinro Ohtake have shaped a generation’s view on the relationship between music and visual art.

Paolo Roversi makes timeless beauty

Tintype photos with Kings Collodion

For this post, we would like to highlight a new business project that we are starting with our partner, Gair Wissenbach. The new venture is Tintype portraiture (also known as Wet-plate Collodion photography). So far, we have conducted 4 sessions at various events. The first two sessions were an experiment that was so well received by those who attended and those that were photographed, that we decided to create a business around it. The collaboration, now known as Kings Collodion, is very much in it’s infancy with promotional materials and a website in the works. We also have a small studio here in Brooklyn so we can book portrait sessions where the client can walk away with a one-of-a-kind tintype portrait. Stay tuned as we will be posting updates and information for session bookings as well as to talk about the actual process of creating these unique images from this 19th century technique. Below, are some of the results from the first sessions. Enjoy!

Tintype photos with Kings Collodion
Tintype photos with Kings Collodion
Tintype photos with Kings Collodion
Tintype photos with Kings Collodion
Tintype photos with Kings Collodion
Tintype photos with Kings Collodion
Tintype photos with Kings Collodion
Tintype photos with Kings Collodion
Tintype photos with Kings Collodion
Tintype photos with Kings Collodion
Tintype photos with Kings Collodion
Tintype photos with Kings Collodion
Tintype photos with Kings Collodion
Filed under: Photography Tagged: 19th century photography, 4×5 photography, alternative process photography, ambrotype, black and white, costumes, Halloween, photography, portrait photography, portraits, steampunk, tintype, tintype photography, wet-plate collodion

Allowing for the unexpected

Now that most of my creative world lives inside a monitor I decided it was time to work with my hands again. I remember an assignment while in college where our photo professor had us create images through the use of mixed media and I loved it. I decided to try my hand in this process again and realized how meditative it was for me to create images without thinking too much about it before hand and allow for the unexpected to happen which is so different from our commercial photography where much of that has been thought out and planned.

Click to view slideshow.
Filed under: Collage Tagged: christianity, Collage, death, feminism, world trade

Before and After: The digital darkroom

We were taught how to shoot, develop film by hand and then print in a darkroom setting.  We miss the darkroom. You could get lost in there and not care. It was a place for thought and meditation. However, understanding its importance, John and I embraced the digital darkroom from the beginning and haven’t looked back.

Travel Channel

Click to view slideshow.
Filed under: Photography Tagged: #BaggageBattles, before and after, Billy Leroy, cigars, retouching, the1896