Women Leaders in Consulting cover shoot

This year, and for the past decade I have had the pleasure of shooting the cover for the WLA issue of Consulting Magazine. Each year, I’m amazed with the brilliance, power and grace these women bring to the table. Though I don’t get to be a fly on the wall as they navigate the corridors of power, their peers present them, each with a story of commitment, humbleness and dedication unparalleled. This year nonetheless seemed even more pertinent given the political gyrations and social upheaval we’re experiencing.

Those who know me as a left wing nutjob or libtard might a different attitude in my interaction with the subject set but this isn’t about me, the companies they consult for or my shallow understanding of their world. Honestly, after listening to them and their peers it seems they get to the stage because of the good they do as much as the team spirit they bring to the table.

I wish them all the best in the coming years and to continue to bring a greater perspective to the C-suites of the world.

Congrats Debbie Simpson and everyone who stood before the camera this year, and thanks to whoever bought the wine and scotch. Unwinding after fast high pressure shooting is easier with a single malt and truffles.

For the tech side, this year we had 12 women on the deck, that means 12 portraits and the cover shot all in about an hour with an hour to set up ahead of time. This year I opted for DC powered strobes, Elinchrom as I have had issues in the past with blowing circuit breakers and I just can’t afford down time when there’s so much to do in the allocated time.

Thanks Rob for keeping me from jumping out a locked window and running away and for hauling all my stuff.

 

Do I look fat in these pants?

Oliver Lucenay 20180616 (David Neff/davepix.com)

More than just guys in suits here at Dave takes Pictures! I’m starting a project, yep another project. Since it’s hot out, I’m going to wrangle some talent to stand outside in the heat and sweat in front of the camera. First shot, into the gym, an A/C’d private gym on the East side with Oliver. I really just wanted to test a new softbox and computer. Now that I’ve started, why not!

It’s a bit of a throwback to an older shoot with a similar feel. The original below was film, illuminated with fluorescent tubes, cross processed and scanned. My recent test was simpler in some ways, digital using lightweight DC strobes, the new octabank, strip bank and a bare head.

Major differences in shooting the two. I could see pretty much what I had captured on a laptop immediately after shooting the digital yet using strobe you have to imagine how your light will look as you can’t see it when you’re shooting. when I shot Athalon Group collateral below, I could see almost exactly my tonality in the camera but wouldn’t see the film finals until a day or so later. Either works for me.

 

 (David Neff)

Oliver Lucenay 20180616 (David Neff/davepix.com)

 

By the way, Oliver hates this photo, he thinks it makes him look fat. I remember when my abs might have looked fat like that, that was probably 25 years ago.

Do you want to sweat in front of the camera? Drop a note, let me know what you have in mind. Mistress Eliza included wherever you are…

 

Anyway, if you’re looking for a personal trainer in NYC, Oliver is 6’5″ or something like that, can pick up a horse, speaks mean French and might be able to make you look like him. Drop a note I’ll pass you on to him. I’d link back but they he might see the fat picture and track me down.

More or less Snow and Ice

Just a day or two before The Great Blizzard of 2018 we were scheduled to photograph The Wizard of Blizzard: Joe Costanzo for Snow and Ice Management/Snow Business Magazine.  Oh the perils of scheduling ten days out, and having other jobs on the calendar include missing out on an opportunity to photograph a snow plow with snow rather than a snow plow on wet pavement.

Joe was a trooper, gloveless after dark on a cold and windy day. As much as I would have liked to have snow on the ground, shooting in a blizzard would have posed some interesting challenges not the least of which would have been getting to the location when orders are in place for essential vehicles only to be on the streets and the prospect of gigantic hunks of snow dropping from the sky at a hard angle with 50mph gusts doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun. Well, if I hadn’t already been booked I would have done it. Thanks Consulting Mag for keeping my warm, dry and well fed instead!

Thanks Joe for pulling it together, thanks Rob for hauling my crap around, thanks NYPD for not noticing my car double parked illegally across the street, the tripod, lightstands or my 100′ driving through Fulton St. Mall to get to the location instead of driving over the sidewalks.

ASMP Annual winning entry! NJTP

Back again, from the garden tractor pull series   my submitted image to the ASMP 2017 Annual is about to hit the streets. Here’s your jump start, you can say you saw it here first! Woo Hoo! Look out, I just scooped the Daily News!

Feel free to toss me some dough to continue the series, I’d love to keep it going.

Thanks,

David

Happy New Year

nuff said

Kognito Shoot

Some new work just went live, results of a two day shoot for Kognito. 

Kognito is “a health simulation company that believes in the power of conversation to inspire and inform, impact how people think and act, evoke empathy and change lives. How do you say that in pictures? The assignment was to get environmental portraits of the leadership team and a set of images from around the office to put a face behind the technology. Pretty fascinating and innovative place in my opinion.

Challenges we faced were working in a live workspace using real people while working, minimal styling and a pretty loose shotlist. Though the office usually has nice sunlight, the week we had to shoot turned out to be very wet so everything was lit using four Elinchrom Ranger Quadra packs. We had a small crew and did a whole lot of hustle. Usually keen on a tighter shotlist but can manage fine on the fly if we have to.

 

 

 

 

 

Refrigerator Improvement Day!

 

Space Improvement Day... for two months at The Curated Fridge

Space Improvement Day… for two months at The Curated Fridge

I love having my photos refrigerators & cubicles, making this one of the most fun exhibits I have been in. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to hang a show in MOMA, maybe it will be hung on refrigerator doors?

The next two months, “Space Improvement Day” is being exhibited on “The Curated Fridge”  if you’re in Boston, you can see it live, otherwise see it online. Fun exhibition. If you request one, you might just get your own postcard copy in the mail.

 

Photoville 2016 NYC… I’m in!

2016 Photoville ASMP container, Charlamagne tha God made an appearance selected as one of about fifteen or twenty images from the New York chapter to represent. Quite an honor, the image was also selected for the 2016 annual to be delivered tomorrow to a few hundred creatives across NYC. I hope everyone enjoyed browsing images on a lazy August weekend between the bridges.

Max Mercury Neff (David Neff)

Max Mercury Neff (David Neff)

Max Mercury Neff (David Neff)

Power Racing Series test

 

Power Racing Series at Bellworks 2016 (David Neff)

just one step above spit & chewing gum

Another day working with Power Racing Series teams….

We went out to the legendary Bellworks Labs in Humboldt NJ for a mini Maker Faire where the PRS was having the first exhibition race to help local new and old teams tune up their rides. Two major teams I have already worked with were there and a few new entries below working out the quirks in their new cars. We ran some tests and will hopefully get some fun race shots at the big race this Sept in Queens!

Power Racing Series at Bellworks 2016 (David Neff)

a student entry with a cardboard body held up with duct tape suspenders. Maybe they’ll work that out for the races!

Power Racing Series at Bellworks 2016 (David Neff)

qualifying lap crash… hay bales are good… for me.

Power Racer Dave 2016

Midway through a fun day shooting the FUBAR Labs Power Racer Series team in New Brunswick NJ, Rob and I got to take a few cars out for laps. Fun day! I probably should be wearing a helmet here, they are not slow! Now why didn’t I think of handing my camera to someone instead of waiting for a bad cell phone shot. More to come soon, have to edit down quite a bit!
Power Racing Dave 2016

Bad cell phone photo of me… not to be mistaken for picture by me but just to illustrate that I want to have fun too!

FUBAR Power Racing (David Neff)FUBAR Power Racing (David Neff)FUBAR Power Racing (David Neff)

Advertising and Marketing

Round 18 begins!

Beginning of 2016, I’ll be partnering with Agency Access to do promotional legwork and planning. The beginning, a potential revamping of my identity, promos and some edits to my website, compiling new target lists and calls will start again. It’s been quite a few years since I sent out anything other than social media so it will be interesting to see how things have changed.

Step one, editing images…. this is intimidating though I have done it many times before… starting with a library of over 300,000 images, culled down to around 35o. It doesn’t look as difficult to edit when reduced to .5″ cells in a grid?

Question is, where do I focus on the promotion… advertising, corporate or editorial and even then how much more focused will we go. It seems as though I have become rather focused in the past decade but it may become more narrow for the purpose of the campaign. Anyhow, this is the starting point!

PortoLib

Where the wild things are

Source: Max Mercury Neff | David Neff Photography 2015

If you don’t know about Max’s wolf suit, you missed out on childhood. Max is Max, of course he should have a wolf suit and of course it should be furry and soft and he should get pizza and dirt on it to make it authentic. Max loves his wolf suit though it seems other kids love it even more as he becomes a big fuzzy animal toy. Is peeing in your wolf suit a good way to show love? Ask your dog. Is my kid cute or what? Rhetorical question.

Max Mercury Neff (David Neff)Max Mercury Neff (David Neff)Max Mercury Neff (David Neff)

A few weeks ago, Max’s wolf suit was a blanket. Nice to be handy and creative at times. Sorry no pattern to post for you, didn’t use one and it really didn’t fit perfectly either… nor will I pass it on for another year’s use to someone else because I don’t want to be liable for pin sticks, the trip hazard tail or heat stroke. Still, next year maybe I’ll do another, better version because if you’re a kid named Max, your wolf suit always be a good standby and it only cost about twenty bucks to make it.

 

Kona Ute in New York City

Source: Max Mercury Neff | David Neff Photography 2015

Benefits of self employment, I’m getting to spend some quality time with my boy. A few days a week, he gets to run errands with me, indulge in my cookie addiction and see the sights of NYC. I pity the kids that get stuck on the subway every day. We have a Kona Ute, I did a previous write up a while back if you want to know more about cargo bikes/long tails. A Ute is probably tougher to handle with the current config. but it’s what we have… Maybe a HaulADay in the future? We bought apples too, Max loves apples!

29Lbs. Max with a 7Lbs. camera

Source: Max Mercury Neff | David Neff Photography 2015

Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat forever, teach a kid to take pictures and he’ll eat dollar pizza and spend all his money on equipment.

We went to Maine, this wasn’t the first time I let Max hold a camera, but the last time he was sitting on a bed, not on the beach near the water. The fun part about getting this was that we had to run back and forth to try and stay in the frame as Max shot away, having the time of his life and not paying much attention to where he was aiming. Great shots Max, maybe competition worthy.

ISO comparison Canon 5DMKII

ASAtest5DMKIIISO 1001-60 sec at f - 14

ASAtest5DMKII ISO 100 1-60 sec at f – 14

ASAtest5DMKIIISO 8001-60 sec at f - 20

ASAtest5DMKIIISO 4001-60 sec at f - 20 ASAtest5DMKII ISO 400 1-60 sec at f – 20

I’m a few weeks off of bringing home a new camera, likely the Canon 5DS over the Sony A7RII. I decided to do some testing of my own so I really know what I’m getting for my dough. As I mentioned in the previous post, I use a 5DMKII and love it. Nearing the point where my backup DSLR really is obsolete, upgrading to make my beloved 5DMKII the backup seemed like more fun than buying a new backup. I invited Heidi Klum over to stand in for the test but she got a last minute booking so I had to do the test alone. The following series of images were shot with studio strobe varying the power as much as possible to maintain consistency in camera settings though I had to stop down at the high ASA end and open up a little on the low. What I’m really looking for is excessive noise and funky colors at the high end and creamy smooth low end. I’ll shoot the same series with the new camera in a few weeks. Images were processed to JPG 65 using Lightroom. There is a default amount of color noise reduction which does make a big difference on the high ISO files but as I use it on all my files regardless I left it on. There is no applied luminance noise reduction. The images are reduced cropped sections, click on them to inspect at full resolution.

ASAtest5DMKIIISO 16001-60 sec at f - 20

ASAtest5DMKII ISO 1600 1-60 sec at f – 20

ASAtest5DMKIIISO 32001-60 sec at f - 20

ASAtest5DMKII ISO 3200 1-60 sec at f – 20

ASAtest5DMKIIISO 64001-60 sec at f - 20

ASAtest5DMKII ISO 6400 1-60 sec at f – 20

ASAtest5DMKIIISO 128001-60 sec at f - 20

ASAtest5DMKII ISO 12800 1-60 sec at f – 20

ASAtest5DMKII ISO 25600 1-60 sec at f - 20

ASAtest5DMKII ISO 25600 1-60 sec at f – 20

ASAtest5DMKIIFFISO 1001-60 sec at f - 14

ASAtest5DMKIIFF ISO 100 1-60 sec at f – 14

ASAtest5DMKIIFFISO 8001-60 sec at f - 20

ASAtest5DMKIIFF ISO 800 1-60 sec at f – 20

ASAtest5DMKIIFF ISO 3200 1-60 sec at f - 20

ASAtest5DMKIIFF ISO 3200 1-60 sec at f – 20

ASAtest5DMKIIFFISO 64001-60 sec at f - 20

ASAtest5DMKIIFF ISO 6400 1-60 sec at f – 20

ASAtest5DMKIIFFISO 128001-60 sec at f - 20

ASAtest5DMKIIFF ISO 12800 1-60 sec at f – 20

 

Camera comparison

 

I’m shopping for a new camera, why? I skipped a generation, the 5DmkIII as it was only 1MP higher and I didn’t see the need for top end ASA increase. Sony and Canon recently released the next generation Sony A7RII and Canon 5Ds & 5Dsr. My backup camera is rather obsolete, I fear my main camera going down on a shoot, probably a time to invest again. Caught up in the buzz surrounding the Sony A7RII, it seemed for a while that I might be leaning towards a platform change. The prospect of buying new lenses again $$$ was enough to get me to scour the internet for reviews. In the end, well, almost the end, It looks as though I’ll go against the flow and get the new Canon 5Ds.

I used DP review’s camera comparison tool to look at the Canon 5DMKII, 5DMKIII, 5DS and Sony A7RII at ASA’s from 100 up to 12800 and pushed the cameras capable of higher ASA’s up more for grins. Though the 5DMKIII and A7RII are capable of higher ASA’s, and possibly can resolve the same as the others at another stop of sensitivity, the gain once again probably doesn’t matter so much to me. What surprised me most was that my existing 5DmkII really wasn’t as bad as I had assumed at the higher ratings. Other considerations were, do I really need 50Mpixels? Should I get the 5DmkIII instead? I’ll post a follow up on my choice perhaps next month, though the deciding factors are as follows. The Sony mirrorless line is always on “live view” and has a battery half the size. You get about 300 frames on a battery. It’s not uncommon for me to shoot over 3000 exposures in a day. Do I really want to manage 10 batteries in a day? Dual battery grip and charger aside, it’s one more thing to go wrong. On Mega pix, why wouldn’t I want  50Mpx? Sure it will kill my computer and stuff my server with files, but then I can crop with reckless abandon? Oh yeah, and it costs more too!

DP Review Camera Comparison tool… yes the 5DS has more noise… but then it’s also about 18% larger

Pros and cons

 Canon 5DS Sony A7RII
Price $3,899.00 $3,198.00
Mpx 50 42
ASA normal ISO 100-6400 max 102,400
Shots per battery 750 300
Tether USB 3 USB 2 micro
Size Big Cute

Another set of close ups from DP review, this time at 6400ASA, a more likely top end for me. Notably on the target test, the solid grey has more noise on the Canon. I’m not thinking it’s a problem for me. When I shoot product, it’s with strobe, with people it just doesn’t matter as much and additionally, these are supposed to be RAW files processed without noise reduction which in my tests using Capture One and Lightroom give a whole lotta latitude more in capability. There’s a chance that the camera itself has some noise reduction prior to writing the RAW file as well so comparisons aren’t always so simple. That in mind, nevermind the comparing color below, they are RAW files which need profiling/correction. For the record, I use both C1 and LR, noise reduction is added by default. I’ll go into this more on my next post, the 5DMKII benchmark. Guess I should have shot my original 5D too… oops.

 

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 1.51.18 PM

And one more test group, because rarely do I shoot anywhere outside of 100-400 ASA, as I mentioned, I’m a user of strobe as a primary lights source, people use me for my particular style so why would I start shooting available light portraits at 6400 ASA? First impression, 5DS has more noise, more contrast and more resolution… but once again, Lighroom or Capture One would likely make that comparison moot. Only in some extreme situation would I expect one to look better than the other that extreme being full resolution use in which case the 5DS would pull ahead or extreme low light situation where the 7RII has the advantage.
ASA 400 test group

ASA 400 test group

And before the smartphone, before the selfie…

Fact: I shot this shortly after the bagphone’s obsolescence.  I had my first flip phone which may or may not have had text message ability. I was digging through a box of chromes today cleaning off a shelf and ran into originals from this set. Unfortunately scanning the originals wasn’t going to happen today for a quick post but I did have some copywork from a print on an archive drive from a decade ago. This was my first big job, PSINet shot in NYC, Toronto, Hong Kong and Paris, a three week stint with five primary locations. The individual shots were stripped into the stack of flat panel monitors we shot in Toronto in the second row. Caption was something like the internet is knocking are you there? They were a big deal, at about $10K/monitor, shipped in from some rental somewhere at a time when a 21″ monitor was a 60Lb CRT that cost $2K.

 

Tech & notes:

  • Ektachrome E200 pushed up to 3x
  • Bronica SqA with 35mm f3.5
  • Norman 400B with umbrellas
  • f22  because suffering is good

Things I learned on the trip:

  • sleep whenever you can, melatonin doesn’t work
  • your bag should fit under your seat, it doesn’t matter if you’re on the road for 3 wks
  • first class doesn’t suck, biz is sufficient, don’t look back.
  • Glenfiddich tastes better in a hot tub overlooking the hong kong harbor while smoking a Cuban cigar
  • flights over 24hrs are really agonizing, make that 8.
  • people seem to have trouble knocking on imaginary glass
  • what I retained from 7th & 8th grade French class is useless

Startling Truth About Kim Revealed by Former Housekeeper (clickbait works?)

7 Celebrities Who Can’t Stop Cheating

I can’t help but to notice my last blog posting reached and converted almost 4x more than the last FB promo and converted 16x more than the last. When my first website was posted in HTML, I populated metadata with words stripped out of a porn site to increase hits. It was a bit of a joke to me at least, thinking people might go there for #boobs and find a bald fat guy in a nasty wifebeater playing guitar on the toilet.

Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 4.21.34 PM

After a bit of a hiatus, I have returned to my blog, with a backlog of material to fill in and release. I’m not really good with blogging as I go, maybe I’ll get better this year. Encouraging as it is to see hits to my words, I went into the stats today thinking I’d figure out some pattern to success and amp it up a bit but it’s hard to see where Moby would only get 59 hits to my random model in a towel getting 78 hits. I have to find out what exactly the reach means. Doesn’t everyone getting my feed get my post on their timeline? Has something changed? Is FB broadcasting me more since I’m posting more? What gives? I want to see it give more! At the risk of giving my competition a trade secret or even worse, motivating them to do the same, I ask you… was it the clickbait that drew you in? Did you just happen to get caught up in the statistical cloud and drawn in? Was it the photo?

Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 9.07.23 PM Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 9.07.42 PM Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 9.08.22 PM Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 9.08.30 PM  
Horrible CGI Effects That Movies Need to Stop Using

Avoid these food to get rid of stomach fat

You Must See These Historical Rare Pics That Will Leave You Shocked

Ugly stars that had plastic surgery

Hidden innuendos we totally should’ve noticed before

 

Assisted Selfies – the flip side of the OOVOO shoot

Though the shoot had four main images to be composited into to three final images that would rotate on the site, there were oodles of selfies that had to be taken to fill in the quadrants on the phone screens and to be scattered in various places on the website. It took about four days to shoot the groups in enough varied locations that they could be reassembled on screens without much redundancy in the talent. We discussed shooting the images with an actual smartphone but shutter lag and the inability to sync a smartphone easily with strobes made it impractical. Sure I could have probably done the lighting with Kino’s or other but the impracticality of redundant grip outweighed authenticity. SLR it was, and it gave us the advantageous options of cropping and RAW files.

For the record, this is my 95% smiley face happy edit, look at the ads in the previous post to see OOVOO’s selections to their concept.

 

The OOVOO selfie grid

The OOVOO selfie grid

** See the edit full size on davepix.com here **

Technical & production notes

  • 7 locations, four days
  • 2 assistants
  • 1 producer
  • 1 P/A
  • wardrobe stylist
  • hair stylist
  • makeup stylist
  • set stylist 2 days
  • Shot with Canon 5DMKII
  • Lit with
    • Dynalite
    • Profoto
    • Elinchrom
  • Previews on Ipad using CamRanger
  • RAW processed on a Mac using Lightroom

 

OOVOO me

A whole lot of pictures in pictures was the plan… action packed week of production and  location shooting made this one up. The plan was to show a bunch of teens/twenty somethings slacking about and chatting on the phone app, having a good time with their peeps. The shot list was pretty packed, the producer had to watch the checklist pretty closely to be sure we had every option we needed to use each person on the screen as a possible chat mate for each landing page scenario so things multiplied quickly.  I shot this in 2013, why now write about it? It’s been sitting in a folder on my desktop for two years waiting, Max was born in the middle of the production so it kind of slipped my mind. The site was recently overhauled, not quite as conceptual I’d say. Just checking in? I’m going to do another post on the selfies. Nice collection, may as well use it.

 

calling cards again!

Not calling cards like AT&T but Biz cards. Another round. Address changed, I decided it was time to make the small print easier for people that don’t carry around a magnifying glass with them all the time. Here’s a few of the candidates that rose to the top jumbling around elements of the original ID done by Axiom. I know the “Dave Says” version is over the top busy but I always loved my tape and just wanted to see it live on. If I ever get a silly enough image to put it on, I may do a version with it on the face.

D.NEFFCRD NYC2015

 

And the finalists for the backsides of the cards….

BizBacksRez

Elvis has left the building

 

Elvis Duran and his production crew

Elvis Duran, Danielle and Bethany

One fine morning we got to play in the studio with Elvis Duran and his production team. Having recently slimmed down a bit, Elvis was ready to show the world his new image and boy did he look great. Thanks to Sophie, Sophia and Yasu for getting them all prepped for set and thanks to my crew for keeping things moving. We shot at Elk Studios, Chelsea for the day and the wonky large Chimera seemed to do the job just fine. Another two feet of ceiling would be nice but hey, it’s NY.

Thanks Elvis for smiling when repeatedly calling me an asshole. It truly was a fun day and I got to take home a bag of almonds!

Elvis Duran and my production crew

Elvis Duran and my production crew

 

And if you are reading this post and wondering why it suddenly appeared backdated… I promised I wouldn’t release images until publication so… here you go.

Technical & production notes

  • Rental Studio – Elk Studios Chelsea
  • 2 assistants
  • Digital Tech
  • wardrobe stylist
  • hair Stylist
  • makeup stylist
  • Shot with Canon 5DMKII
  • Lit with Profoto
  • Tethered to Mac via USB
  • RAW processed in CaptureOne

Breakfast in the subway

They’re back! DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne, in a subway near you. No, not the store, the L train, Corridor from 6th ave to 7th, etc…. I get a kick seeing my image unexpectedly appear when scurrying from a subway car. Last sighting, Broad St. at the end of the J & Z. If you come across a poster, send a the location and a selfie for giggles. Bonus points if the poster hasn’t been defaced. There should be some billboards up in other markets, maybe stop the car if you’re going to selfie at them and especially if you’re the driver.

 

Max Mercury Neff (David Neff)

 

Max Mercury Neff (David Neff)

 

The original post:  Breakfast for lunch  just in case you are super curious and want to see more.

 

Cheers… send selfies to neff@davepix.com or hit me up on facebook or whatever…

 

Oh yeah, I’m a dad!

Perhaps there should have been an “It’s a Boy” post this past, ahem, May. Being aware that parenthood suddenly zaps all your free time away you may just give me a pass on that one. On the other hand, if you were following me on facebook you have seen a selection of the thousands of images of Max already online. Make him a marketing machine you say? Without further adieu, Max Mercury Neff, at 10 months. I’ll backfill a bit in a few posts then go forward again as I try and reclaim a bit of time and get things out there.

 

 

Fun, outgoing, athletic, stylish and handsome.  That’s my boy!  You should see him roll over!

Rewind ten months, back to May 21st. Sometime about 11pm Max had his debut breath of fresh air.  Here he is right after having his footprints done thus the inky feet.

Max Mercury Neff (David Neff)

Max Neff, 5 minutes new. 21 May 2013. 24 hrs of labor all forgotten in an instant. Life has changed. (David Neff)

 

So, if you really want to follow progress, there’s a gallery in personal for Max where I’ll be updating his face regularly.

 

Cheers,

David

 

 

3D printing with The Great Fredini

Fred Kahl - The Great Fredini with his Rostock and Printerbot 3d printers in his Brooklyn NY workshop (David Neff/David Neff - davepix.com)

 

I dropped in on Fred a few weekends ago, and talked shop a few hours before he pulled out the sequined tux for a few photographs.  If I had thought of it sooner we could have pulled the Stanford bunny out of the hat but print time for a big one could easily be a day.  Having first encountered “The Great Fredini” as a performer at Coney Island’s Burlesque shows, his enthusiasm toward 3d printing seemed out of place.  Fred is the longtime Creative Director at an interactive/gaming company Funny Garbage, with a history of putting sharp objects in his head, Brooklyn resident, living just a little closer to an undeclared Superfund Site than I.  Maybe it makes a little more sense to me now.  I was introduced to Fred by a friend Keith who works for 3d Systems. He and Keith collaborated on the trophies for last summer’s Mermaid Parade.  It turns out, Fred, has become quite the 3d printing enthusiast as you can see here, working on a scaled reproduction of Coney Island’s famed Luna Park.  On the Rostock to camera left is one of Fred’s scanned people.  Off to the right is his first machine, a Printrbot.  The recent launch of his new pet project, Coney Island Scan-A-Rama portrait studio is a really fun project using some stuff from the hardware store and a hacked Kinect Controller.  See his blog for more info, go get scanned!  Alice and I are scheduling our scan in the next week or two…. follow up to come.  Knowing Fred what I have seen people under his spell perform, we should be seeing some interesting works!

Wondering what that strange Rostock thing is?  quick explanation, it’s part of an open source project to build 3d printers at low cost out of common materials.  The Rostock is an original approach in the way it moves the print head on x,y and z axes.  I’d hate to see the math behind it but it’s truly entrancing to see one in operation much as most of the machines on the market.

 

Interested in more images of the Early Adopters of 3d Printing photo series… the project began here.

 

 

Fred Kahl - The Great Fredini with his Rostock and Printerbot 3d printers in his Brooklyn NY workshop (David Neff/David Neff - davepix.com)Fred Kahl - The Great Fredini with his Rostock and Printerbot 3d printers in his Brooklyn NY workshop (David Neff/David Neff - davepix.com)Fred Kahl - The Great Fredini with his Rostock and Printerbot 3d printers in his Brooklyn NY workshop (David Neff/David Neff - davepix.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lunch with Breakfast

 The Breakfast Club Power 105.1fm

The Breakfast Club, Angela Yee, Charlamagne The God, DJ Envy

The Breakfast Club, Angela Yee, Charlamagne The God, DJ Envy in NYC

Sometime last month, and kept under wraps until the client had a chance to release images, I had an assignment to photograph Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club.  If you follow my work, note, this is not a bunch of guys in suits.  The image to the left is an outtake, they were going for lighter smiley shots.  After four hours with the club, the image to the left I can relate to more.  Between wardrobe sets we took the club out in the lobby and picked up a few extras with backgrounds.  Bonus rounds!  Images are just filtering into the web… http://www.power1051fm.com/pages/onair/tbc-weekends.html  If anyone catches a billboard out there, send me a snapshot and a location, I’d love to see it.  So what did we feed The Breakfast Club?  Bubby’s!    I love Bubby’s, reminds me of Bubby.  Davepix.com, more than guys in suits!

The Breakfast Club, Charlamagne The God

Charlamagne The God

 

The Breakfast Club, DJ Envy

DJ Envy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Breakfast Club, Angela Yee, Charlamagne The God, DJ Envy

Thanks to Hosea for making the call,  Thanks to my crew Sophie, Sophia, Yasu, Maegan and Simon.

 

 

 

 

 

Featured again… Marni and my laundry… DesignTaxi

Give Us Your Best Caption: “The World Is Your Stage”.

Marni & my laundry

DesignTaxi posting of CreativeFinder page with my image of Marni with my Laundry

Marni & my laundry does it again, pulls in some traffic to the site.  Shot many years ago as part of a series on ballerinas it’s gotten a whole lot of mileage and been in and out of my portfolio for years.  This was shot in Charlotte NC using one of my first pro digital cameras.  Recently I reprocessed the file using Lightroom 4 and put it back in the portfolio.  Amazing how reprocessing has improved the image but you would have to see a high res print or screen detail to really tell.  Thanks again Marni for a fun shoot wherever you are.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ride behind me… Say Cheese! Saturday Morning Die Hards…. POV with a new view!

 

Another NYCC ride, when it should be 15° out and snowing, here in NYC this January we got 44°F instead.  Left behind the tights, balaclava and winter gloves, instead went for leg warmers, beanie and lighter gloves, none of that you will see in the video, at least not me.  Thanks again to the Harry & Co. for getting me out of bed 7am to tie on 80 mi and cross the state line four times.

Once again, the POV camera tagged along for a new view.  This week I designed a mounting bracket to hang onto my seat bag so we get faces instead of backsides.  Don’t mind the debris and water coming off my tire.  I’d considered a fender but that would have meant taking off the seat bag… and a different bracket.  Next time, I’ll just put in for a sunny day in the 70’s?  More likely, next week will be more the same but I’ll go for the helmet mount.  Without further adieu, 2.5 hours of the ride in 3 minutes, starting from Rockland Lake.

20130112 SaturdayMorningDieHards from David Neff on Vimeo.

Saturday Morning Die Hards, the return: Rockland Lake back to Manhattan

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    I think I love photography as much for the gadgets as the art.  Playing with open source and free 3d design and manufacturing has enabled me to play engineer and make some simple problem solvers that in the past I might have used standard grip gear for.  Of course there is no substitute for a magic arm, mafer, superclamp or cardinelli when you’re hanging a seven thousand dollar camera on something but when your camera costs just over a hundred, why not hang it on your own prototypes.

    Once again, the technical part.

    • Camera: Swann Freestyle on Full auto (no other choice)
    • Resolution: 8MP
    • Capture rate: 2sec
    • MP4 composed at 720p with Adobe Lightroom4
    • Homemade seat wedge bracket
Neff seatbag bracket for Swann Camera system

bracket for a swann freestyle camera to mount on the seatbag of a racing bike. Extra credit if you put it on a Landshark!

 

 

POV Camera trial#2 Saturday Morning Die Hards ride to Bauvelt 2013 Jan 5

  • Saturday Morning Die Hards ride to Bauvelt 2013 Jan 5 from David Neff on Vimeo.

    My father introduced me to cycling, not just by taking off my training wheels, but by showing me his trophy and a newspaper clipping of his thanksgiving prize turkey won at a Philadelphia Criterium back in the early 50’s.  I did my first century ride with my dad when I was 13 but it wasn’t until my late 30’s that I would make them a regular weekend Saturday ride.  The last time I got dad on a bike was three years ago, and unless modern medicine gets a whole lot more scifi, it’s unlikely that we’ll have his bike out for another century.  About every Sunday, I speak with my parents and when I tell dad about my ride, I always wish I could share a bit more of it.  Round one, seems batteries only last for the first 35 or so miles, it’s a start.  This week, tested my first iteration of a handlebar mount fabbed at home on a 3d printer.  If you don’t mind staring at backsides in spandex, not so bad.  Helmet mount is a little better but not quite as comfortable.  Maybe next time.  Also in the works, maybe shooting a seat mount.  Ride behind me?  Say cheese!

     

    Tech

    • Camera: Swann Freestyle on Full auto (no other choice)
    • Resolution: 8MP
    • Capture rate: 3sec
    • MP4 composed at 720p with Adobe Lightroom4
    • Handlebar mount… 
Version D Swann handlebar mount

Version D Swann handlebar mount

This is the first prototype for the mount, with 65 miles on it, I have a few mods in mind and will print out another maybe tomorrow.  The part I fabricated is the silver clamp on the bars, it integrates with the proprietary mount that comes with the Swann Freestyle camera system.

Please wait while we reprocess your files…

It’s been a long time, almost fourteen years since I shot my first RAW file.  And thanks to Lightroom 4, suddenly some of thouse images shot with obsolete cameras look a whole lot better.  I just may be putting a few “retired” images back in the book soon!  Looking at the images above and details below, you might just think a little adjustment in Photoshop is all the difference between them but it isn’t so.  The image on the left spent plenty of time in processing and was limited at the time by moire patterns and ugly color artifacts when you tried to zero it in.  In print (CMYK) it looked pretty good, but on the monitor, no comparison.

Better detail and color without loss of tonal accuracy
Notably improved color and detail without sacrificing tonal rendition in LR 4

A couple weeks ago during Photo Expo, I was sitting in a seminar on Adobe Lightroom, a product I know like the back of my… well,  maybe my head?  Really, I’m quite proficient with it but these days without a good solid manual to read over all the features, you’re just guessing that the latest release is better as you occasionally find a feature here or there.  Oh yeah, the point, Bryan O’Neil Hughes, the guy running the seminar, mentioned that lightroom 4 algorithms are so much better than the previous versions that you should go back and reprocess your portfolio.  Being that I am not the heaviest Photoshop manipulator and prefer to do not much more to an image than you might have done in the darkroom of yesteryear, it seemed like a good idea.  now, two weeks into the project, I’m saying, maybe I should be more selective with my edit!  Crap, hate to not have all the finest be as fine as they might be but really, this is taking forever.  Below is a selection of what I have worked on the past few weeks.  Even with uber powerful super duper Macintosh running LR4.0, its an ordeal searching a library of a quarter million images spread over a bunch of drives.  So, Josh, you’re looking even finer in those panties these days thanks to LR4.0.  What can I say, Victor’s Secret was one of my most hilarious series, hated to see the files become obsolete, and really had no desire to do that series over again… unless someone wants to jump up with a checkbook!

My Calling Card (another one for the checklist)

The question of the day, and perhaps I should be sending this by my long lost designer Brandon Scharr, but I thought I’d give it a shot…   Is there any reason for me to have a street address on my card these days?  I do almost all my transactions on the web and only occasionally send out a hard drive via FedEx loaded with high res files so it really comes down to design.  Can the card stand on it’s own without an address (and slightly larger type than I have used for the past fifteen or so years to adjust for aging.)  Ten years ago, I dropped having a fax number on the card, it took the text down from four lines to three.  Does anyone have an opinion? Feel free to let me know.

 

 

to have address or not to have address

to have address or not to have address

Perhaps there should be more background here, maybe you know, maybe you don’t and soon likely I’ll have more in depth ramblings.  In summary, I spent the past two years on a hiatus from my freelance to help out a friend with his startup, Makerbot Industries LLC.  After a year of hard work growing the company as General Manager, I moved into the marketing department to let the new investor installed management take over the place.  Maybe not so voluntarily but somehow I guess I was rewarded.  A year later after building their library of images for collateral I am back out on my own again.   Ahhhh, what a relief.

 

 

 

Penthouse!

A title chosen for impact though likely unrelated in any way to what I hope you were thinking.  Remember, I’m trying to sell a photographer, they’re saving the world…

I did a gig a few days ago, not like my usual kind of photoshoot.*  I was hired to photograph the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority for The Israel Project. It was amazing to be surrounded by such an intellectual and accomplished group of people as they discussed ideas sure to be in the headlines of coming months.

Salam Fayyed, Prime Minister of the Palestinean Authority and TIP President Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi in a Roy Lichenstein scene. Great space, just a strange backdrop for such a serious discussion.

The photoshoot took place in the amazingly well appointed 10 million dollar penthouse apartment of… well, I’ll just say Raoul Panache?**  I would feel like it was an invasion of privacy to post this and the accompanying images if there weren’t already image online so here goes.

I’m looking for an apartment in NYC, something no normal person would ever wish to endure.  By normal, I’ll define that as a  person near median national income levels and moderately sane?  Not only are the art pieces in the place probably worth much more than the apartment buildings I am looking to buy into, they wouldn’t fit on any of the the walls.  Should I trying to collect smaller art pieces?  Okay already, I’ll share the photos.


Mel Ramos – Candy, Victor Vasarely to the left… and something familiar to the right

* Note I say “photoshoot” and not “shoot” on this one, I had to practice for my ineveitable encounter with US Secret Service where I was sure to be asked why my assistant and I had just arrived with several cases of strange equipment.  I would not ever suggest casual use of the word “shoot” with Secret Service.  They tend to be literal and are not known for having a sense of humor.  Also to be avoided, expressions like, “you da bomb!, You’re Killing me or show me your guns.”

** I made it up in an attempt to not piss of some really wealthy and powerful people that could make my life miserable if they wanted but probably wouldn’t because they were really nice and are saving the world while I take pictures to pay my rent.

Moby’s toys

Moby in his studio

This past June I had the pleasure of photographing Moby for a Japanese publication, Illustration Magazine.  Though short on time, Moby wasn’t short on character.  A wall of fame adorns his Lower Manhattan studio with another wall of analog electronics that will make any tech head drool let alone one with musical inclinations.  Setting up in Moby’s ultra cool loft, my urge to play with electronic toys was squelched when I was shut down in an attempt to move an extension cord out of the frame.  Yuko (designer, illustrator and reporter for this one) and I decided on a tag team approach, or would it be bait and switch? Interview a bit, shoot some available light, come up with good angles for lighting, pull him into a lit set, ask a few more questions, shoot a few frames.  Moby wasn’t having it.  He’s media savvy, experienced, and quite an energetic showman.  Not that we didn’t get what we needed, but in his own, gentle way, Moby ran the show.  He gave us what we wanted, and then some.

Thanks, Moby, for the 45 minutes.  I wish we had noticed before we wrapped, but we finished 15 minutes early and didn’t even know it until we entered the elevator.  Maybe he’ll give us that 15 minutes another time?  I promise I won’t try to play with the synthesizers.  Thanks, Yuko!  We should to this more often.

Oh yeah, and about that phone number… 212-243-1895 it’s still the same but if you were using my 917 number that one is no more so please make the change.

Centerfold

Glowcamp – RGB Lighting Control… by me!

29::GC-6

29::GC-6, originally uploaded by M::R::I.  find them here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/m–r–i/4882082967/

Presentation day! So I made something nifty, a lighting control unit for and RGB LED strip. It’s been a conversation piece and accent light in our dining area for the past half year and today it got some street cred in the techie world and was used for a photographic lighting tool too! More to come on that one. Neat things I spoke about but not in the notes, it’s easily programmed to do whatever lighting effect you want. Additional controls can be added as there are plenty of pins left on the microcontroller. Also there are plenty of unused outputs so dream as you wish. You can see the full presentation here: Glowcamp if you follow the link in the description my presentation will pop up in a new window. I’ll try and post a few shots here later but I wanted to get something in writing before a wild night in the East Village distracts me from such important things.  Part of the fun at Glowcamp, a couple of photogs that go under the handle M R I wanted to do some time exposure portraits with people in camp… nifty LED Strip controller turned out to be quite good for the show.  Perhaps I should get a few hundred thousand of them made in China and bring the cost per unit down from the hundreds to something marketable?

Saranac in a Kayak


 

A much-needed vacation!  Abs and I took off last week and headed up to the Adirondacks with a rough plan to paddle part of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail.  Equipped with a pair of Feathercraft folding kayaks and a bunch of backpacking gear stuffed into dry sacks we set off to do about 34 miles in four days of paddling.

 

Late Monday evening we put in at Floodwood Pond and paddled only a few hundred yards to our first backwoods water-access -only campsites.  We hired a shuttle from St. Regis Canoe Outfitters in Saranac Lake  to shuttle our car to our endpoint the following Friday.   They were amazingly helpful in our trip planning and had a very well-stocked shop where we picked up a few last minute supplies such as a nifty dehydrated dessert for Abby’s birthday dinner on Wednesday, replacement deck bungee, and a rental dry box (you will likely see in every photo I took) for my big camera.

 

Late Monday evening we put in at Floodwood Pond and paddled only a few hundred yards to our first backwoods water-access -only campsites.  We hired a shuttle from St. Regis Canoe Outfitters in Saranac Lake  to shuttle our car to our endpoint the following Friday.   They were amazingly helpful in our trip planning and had a very well-stocked shop where we picked up a few last minute supplies such as a nifty dehydrated dessert for Abby’s birthday dinner on Wednesday, replacement deck bungee, and a rental dry box (you will likely see in every photo I took) for my big camera.

 

We rushed to assemble the boats in the early evening on Monday, and found our site just before dark with fear of being eaten alive by bugs.  Waking up early Tuesday to get out on the water, I realized that we had landed in paradise.  Our very own island, free of trash, broken glass, and people!   After bowls of instant oatmeal and packing up the boats, we set out into the wilderness, stopping to swim in the amazingly clear and fragrant ponds whenever the urge arose.

 

Day Three: paddling in Middle Saranac Lake, a few hundred photos taken and a few pages could have been written. Here we approached a tiny island smaller than our Manhattan apartment, er, maybe.  Our next campsite was just a quarter mile ahead, but how could I pass up an island that mimicked the shape of my bow?  Stopped for a snack, tied Abby’s boat to my stern, and she swam the last leg to camp (sans swimwear).

 

Yes, paradise once again.  Our very own cove with amazing breezes coming from the west across the lake and blowing the bugs into the woods beyond our tent.  Cooked an amazing birthday dinner (from a package…  just added hot water) and a strange birthday dessert that after paddling all day we devoured like wolves.  As the sun began to set, we paddled out on the lake to watch the constellations appear in a moonless sky.  The wind and waves died down, and the lake became smooth as glass.

Day Four: out on Middle Saranac Lake, early in the morning before the breeze chopped the surface, but this time there was enough light to take a few photos.  Yes, amazing still, and the trip kept getting better!

And the winner is…

We’re Robot Finalists!

The NY Regional FIRST Robotic competition happened last weekend, and somewhere between amazed and elated, we found ourselves frantically preparing to compete in the Championship Round!  With a robot originally designed with low goals, literally, we competed for high scores!  The uniqueness of our design, its reliability, simple functionality, speed, and maneuverability were enough to get chosen to compete in an alliance for the finals.  I’m still amazed.  When I began working with the team, the participants had hoped that other teams would have no luck going for the high goals and would not score well.  Our machine was well-designed to get respectable point scores in the low goal.   We were surprised with the level of engineering demonstrated by some of the machines.  On the other hand, there was a lack of engineering on some, or maybe you would say a lack of sportsmanship on the part of one team that didn’t score any points, but successfully tipped over our machine– an incident deemed accidental by the referees.  See the replay, and you won’t agree.   All in all, a frantic and fun day.  It was great to work with the kids, see them compete, and even better to see them with ear-to-ear smiles holding the second place trophy at the end of the day.   Anyone at all interested in the FIRST program, feel free to contact me.  Mentoring a team is a rewarding experience!