Thursday, September 30, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
I also recently shot a story for Birmingham Magazine called Best of Birmingham for which I made several portraits of the winners of different categories. My favorite of which was photographing Frank Stitt at Highlands Bar and Grill for three different wins: Frank for Best Chef and Best Local Food Advocate as well as Highlands Bar and Grill for Best Service (for which I also photographed a server, Goran, who has been there since Highland's opened their doors).
The main photo I wanted to get was a classic portrait of Frank shot on large format with simple, natural light. We chatted a bit about what we both wanted out of the shot and I was pleased to know he wanted his kitchen staff in the photo with him for his "Best Chef" shot. I went with the same natural light setup I'd thought about for the solo shot and applied it to the whole group with the goal of creating a photo I could visualize hanging in the restaurant's kitchen at the turn of the century. An image with a certain amount of pride and dignity to it. (I don't know that I could have pin pointed it like that in the moment, but thats the emotion that came with the idea of the group shot and the chef wanting to give credit to his team.)
Enough rambling. I ended up shooting the main shot with a Crown Graphic (127mm) on Fuji FP100C45, recovering the negative, and scanning that. It turned out super gritty and made my day.
While waiting on the kitchen crew to get ready we chatted a bit in the dining area during which time I shot much more casual frames of just Frank which, to my surprise, ended up running as the cover. Below is the cover as it ran for the September issue.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
I've had some excitement building for a while now about some new work that's been officially released and also for the new site that is on the way for my work.
I've been slammed with preparing images for different shoots and getting portfolios together for the new site which has limited my time for blogging but the plan is to step it up again once carynorton.com is officially unveiled.
For now I'll mention a project I worked on earlier this year that I'm really proud of. I partnered with Slaughter Group to create a new library of images for the longstanding local manufacturing bulwark M+B Hangers. I've never really thought about how hangers are made but I had my mind blown like a tiny child being in their manufacturing plants. It was like living the show How It's Made right in front me.
The first goal was to explore their Leeds, Alabama manufacturing plant—the last metal hanger factory in the United States—and get a sense of their lovely employees as well as document the process by which their various hangers are created.
Step two was to do the same process at their factory in Piedras Negras, Mexico and stop by their distribution warehouse in Eagle Pass, Texas.
Everything was photographed in a very simple way. Most shots are available light shot on a Mamiya 6x7, Canon 1V / 5D, or Leica. I had support in Alabama from Caleb who made it possible to manage all the gear, reflectors, and the occasional low-key light setup (total Strobist style..580EXII on manual shot through a medium shoot-through umbrella).
The process was legitimately fascinating to my science-and-nerdery-driven brain and I couldn't be prouder of the images we created.
Their are viewable currently on the M+B HANGERS website and there was some talk of a physical book down the road, but that's far from confirmed (though I'd LOVE to see these in print instead of just on the web).
Above is Phillip, an energetic and warm employee at the Leeds plant. Below I'm going to put together some of my favorite shots from both locations. We also put together a special advertising series for M+B, but I'll wait to talk about that for another post.
There are so many more I love that really fill in the story. Check out the site to see more.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Check out the revised shop at Chane.com! We set out to clean the place up and keep it modern and smooth. Let me know what you think.
Thank-you to Andrew Le for being my badass programmer dude. He is the best!!