On Location With Four Great Photographers: Tumbling Into Tumblr

Tumblr (www.tumblr.com) is a free microblogging platform that lets you post text, images, videos, quotes, and audio using a short-form blog called a tumblelog. Using free or modestly priced templates, it’s the easiest kinds of photoblog to produce and you can literally have a blog up and running within minutes. With 6.8 million weekly visits the site ranks as the 10th largest social network so it’s a good way to keep clients and friends up-to-date about the kinds of photographs you’re making. You can see my own attempt at http://joefarace.tumblr.com. Give Tumblr a try and send me a link to your blog because I plan to have an all-Tumblr Web Profiles in the near future.

© Joe Farace

Adam Rose is a TV and movie set photographer with an impressive body of work that’s collected into 15 different galleries. Be sure to look at all of them because you’ll be impressed by his versatility and technical skills in creating images that leap from the screen. The work in TV & Film: Action/Drama is notable because of his exciting compositions that enhance what’s going on in the frame. Peek into TV & Film: Behind the Scenes for a unique combination of warm portraiture (Two and a Half Men) and real, working production shots that are oft-times as dramatic as the action being depicted.

Check out TV & Film: Portraits to see images from Glee, portraits of Ozzy Osbourne and other celebrities, including a wonderful low-key portrait of Clint Eastwood playing the piano. When you look at personal work, such as in the India Color gallery, you’ll be bewitched by Rose’s virtuoso performance blending color, creativity, and sense of place into a dazzling potpourri. As Al Jolson says in The Jazz Singer, “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” The Worldwide Bug Experiment is not what it sounds like. Instead it’s photographs of new and old VW Beetles colorfully captured with a sense of style—and Rose’s trademark use of color—in a dazzling celebration of a car that like the Energizer Bunny, “just keeps going.” Less whimsical is Rose’s sensitive Portraits of the World gallery that demonstrates that there is no one perfect lighting style for every subject and by varying it to match the subject, Rose photographs everyday people in oft-surprising ways. These images are warm, human, and show the Family of Man as only photography can do. Adam Rose is a photographer’s photographer, equally adept at capturing images in the glitzy world of Sunset Boulevard as he is on an obscure street in China.

© Adam Rose

Chris Wehner is a talented young Oklahoma photographer whose elegantly designed, simple-to-navigate site puts his prodigious talents center stage. How talented? You’ve seen the TV commercial where Ron Howard will make a short film based on a photograph? Well, Wehner was one of the eight photographers selected, something that I didn’t know until after I selected him for profiling here. Arriving at the site’s front door, you’re greeted with a slide show featuring a combination of landscapes, architecture, and cityscapes often visualized in a nostalgic and painterly style with just a dab of HDR. This includes a phenomenal image of flying ducks and the photograph of a gate to Tulsa’s Memorial Cemetery that won the contest and, like many of these front-page images, embraces an enhanced reality.

Wehner then takes you up, up and away in his Aerial gallery with stunning images of architecture, aircraft on the ground and in the air, and surprisingly (a word that often pops into my head when looking at Wehner’s images) boats! Some of his architectural and boating shots appear to have been shot using a Tilt-Shift lens, which must have been a challenge when working in a chopper. He comes down to earth with his Portrait gallery featuring contemporary, tightly composed photographs of young people, including young racers in the cockpits of their cars. You can tell by their expressions that they like and trust Chris Wehner. All this is from a young photographer who I’ll bet is only going to get even better as he gets more experienced.

© Chris Wehner Fine Art Images

Mark Richards’s understated liveBooks-based (www.livebooks.com) site is a lot like his images that at first glance seem subtle but upon a second look have a deeper message. Using a feather instead of a hammer, he creates arresting photographs that demand to be seen and are collected in three portfolios that include Scene, People, and Science. There are few people in Scene but in one image there’s part of a person in a collection that focuses on shapes and spaces—scenes if you will. In People, it’s all about people with water playing an important role in compositions that are populated, fun images of people at play. There is also an interesting mixture of formally and crisply posed portraits mixed with photographs filled with spontaneously joy-filled moments.

Compare two images of men at work in their yards: the left photo has a loosey-goosey candid feeling, while the right-hand one could have been shot in a studio (maybe it was) with precise lighting and tight composition. Both are similar but opposite in execution, which plays to the dichotomy in much of Richards’s work. In Science he combines on location and studio portraiture to tell stories that are either colorful or lacking color. Projects contains four collections, including a brilliantly executed black-and-white photo essay on running that is shot with incredibly diverse points of view. In Land the essay moves from visceral to cerebral, something he continues in Core Memory using computer bits and pieces to form objet d’art. Mark Richards uses his unique view of the world to create images that are at once familiar but soon take on a life of their own.

© Mark Richards

This month’s Blog-of-the-Month is from Blake Marvin, a talented architectural photographer who takes that genre to new heights. His blog uses a WordPress template from Graph Paper Press (http://graphpaperpress.com) that produces templates for “serious photographers” and one look at Marvin’s blog tells you he is nothing if not serious, yet in some of his resort images there is a certain lightness and joie de vivre that fits the subject matter. The blog is crafted and structured to show the kinds of images he makes but sometimes takes you along for the ride as in his description—with photos—of a journey from a sunny San Francisco to a snowy Utah to shoot a newly opened ski resort. Enhancing that you-are-there spirit are video clips he calls “Behind the Lens” that show what it’s like behind his lens when shooting an assignment. These videos are extremely well produced and are a wonderful marketing tool demonstrating Marvin’s considerable technical skills.

And if you think architectural photography of resorts is all mai tais by the pool, check out the Personal section that features, among other things, a post on his racking up more than one million miles on just one airline. It’s touching and shows the kind of classy guy that Blake Marvin is as well as the mindset required for this kind of life. Before you leave, bop over to his Portfolio that features nine different galleries ranging from hospitality to entertainment. Don’t miss the Hospitality: Urban collection that includes some of the most beautifully crafted nighttime architectural images I’ve ever seen.

© Blake Marvin