Sunday, December 13, 2015

Christmas Card 2015

Christmas Card 2015-Front

Here is our Christmas card this year! I guess after doing this for seven years, I learned a thing or two about compositing because this one went together pretty quickly. The hardest part was getting into that dirty chimney to get the santa part just right...couldn't figure out if it was easier to climb in from the bottom and turn around inside the fireplace, or to squirm in already upside-down. In the end I just climbed up to the roof and dove down the chimney headfirst!

Christmas Card 2015-Inside

We shot this picture for the inside of the card. I figured we should counter-balance the dark and weird front of the card with something light and cheeky. It was hard to get the kids to sit on Santa's lap, but once we all got on the bench together magic happened and everyone ended up looking pretty good!

Here is the "making of" video so you can see the process at work if you don't believe me!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

View our previous year's cards here:

2014: Wrapping Presents
2013: Getting the Tree
2012: Santa's Workshop
2011: Walking in a Winter Wonderland
2010: Topping the Tree
2009: Catching Santa Claus

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas Card 2014

Christmas Card 2014

Here is our Christmas card for 2014! It may be a little less ridiculous than the prior few cards, but working with two kiddies now makes things about four times harder to coordinate! Hard to believe that this is our sixth year making cards. Time really flies...

Our new little guy is about five months old here…and less happy to be in that box than you'd think by looking! We used this picture for the inside of the card.

Christmas Card 2014-Inside

I threw all the pictures that we took making this card together as a video…I think it's entertaining to see just how many shots it takes to get everything to come together. Once everything is all set up, I always err on the side of taking more pictures since once I move the tripod out of position the entire composite is done and we would have to start from scratch if I didn't get what I need. (Hint: lock down the tripod on the floor with a heavy sandbag and put gaffers tape on the legs so that nothing can move even a millimeter!) The truth is that with so many variables, until I put it together in photoshop, I really don't know what I am going to get. The final picture ended up being somewhere around forty layers in photoshop. Goes to show you just how crazy I am after all…

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!

(Now crank up those speakers!)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Card 2013

Christmas Card 2013

Here is the Christmas Card for this year. No time for behind the scenes or anything, I am lucky we had enough time to even make the card! Life is great and I am keeping (too) busy. Just bought our first house and we are in the moving process. Baby and Mrs. GWC are great. Work is going well and I love what I do.

There is not enough time for the camera anymore. There will never be "enough" time for the camera again. Those few years I had to play around were a gift, before "real" adult life started. Perhaps GWC will become prolific again when I retire, so I will see all of you in 50 years, right? :)

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Card 2012

Merry Christmas!

If you've been following this blog even occasionally, then you probably know that for the past four years we have been shooting a family Christmas card that is a little, um...non-traditional. Every year I think it gets better, and now with the baby in the mix the possibilities are endless!

My wife thought up most of the idea for this one, I wanted to add the elves (it just wasn't ridiculous enough), and my mother-in-law supplied most of the "props" including the two dolls on that back table that she made by hand when she was younger. My wife and I supplied the cute little baby!

Shooting went remarkably well, the baby was great and only cried once! The actual shooting part only took a few minutes once the lighting and everything was set up. The compositing in Photoshop took more than a few minutes, but was totally worth it. I strung together all the test shots in a little movie below just to do something with them, and since it's kind of funny to look at them all then see the card come together!

Merry Christmas!!! Thanks for reading!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Best project ever.


We have been working on this project for over nine months and it's our best work yet! Of course, the credit mainly goes to my beautiful wife, however I did have a small, yet important, role in the pre-production stages of this project! :)

Emma Josephine was born about 7 weeks ago and is doing great! She is starting to smile now; undoubtedly getting ready for a long life of getting her picture taken by yours truly! Maybe I will change my name to DWC...Dad With Camera.

In usual GWC fashion, my wife took behind the scenes pics of this fancy setup, which utilized a sheet and the sunlight coming in a widow behind me. We tried other setups, light-colored blankets, warm fuzzy things, baskets, etc, but Emma managed to poop or spit up on all of the other "sets" except for this one. And to top it all off, she wouldn't sign the model release! That being said, she was still the cutest little model I have ever had the pleasure of working with!

We love you Emma!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sometimes when you need it to, it all comes together

A preview of my last shoot in New York City!


So here is the deal...remember that post I wrote last month about GWC coming to an end? Well that was an April Fool's joke, but it wasn't entirely false.

In the last month things have been really busy and I have had some exciting life changes going on! So busy, that I went an entire month without even taking my camera out of the bag! So busy, that this blog has been auto-updating for the past month because I knew I wouldn't have time to write every week.

What happened is that I am starting a new job out on Long Island, and in April our lease in NYC was up so we moved out here early! My new job doesn't start until July out here, so I commute into the city on the train like the rest of Long Island does. It's not terrible, but it takes up the free time I used to have for fun stuff like photography! We have been unpacking boxes for the past month on the weekends, while also trying to do all the other things that come with living in a house, such as hanging up stuff over the windows, and getting new furniture, etc. My wife and I are almost done with the major unpacking but there is still a ton to do and we are more exhausted at the end of the weekend than on Friday night!

And about this new's really a big change in my life, and there are more serious "adult" responsibilities involved than pretty much any other job I can think of. It's going to be the busiest I have ever been, and any free time I do have in the first few years is going to be spent with family. So needless to say, I won't be arranging any more model shoots out here on a regular basis! It was fun while it lasted, and in NYC it was very simple to just find someone that wanted to shoot, but out here it will be a little different. I don't have the time or patience to coordinate models, MUAs, and assistants for the 2 hours on the one off-day I might have per week. I definitely won't have time to edit a whole bunch of stuff from a shoot afterwards. I'm getting too old and have too many responsibilities now to continue to give away all of that time for free. I never really looked at it like that before, because I enjoy the process so I didn't think of it as "free" but regardless, I just don't have the time any longer.

I still plan to shoot on a regular basis, and maybe I will in fact have time every once and a while to coordinate a real shoot out here on LI, but the days of shooting a few times per month and at a whim are over. Friends, family, food, and my life will continue to be subjects that I shoot, and what I am going to do with all those pictures is anybody's guess. I shoot family and other stuff all the time, but I usually keep it from this blog since people don't want their pictures up here and if you're reading this you probably don't come here to see my family pictures either! But maybe that will change? I don't know. Maybe I will find a new muse, or show less pictures and write more words...who knows?

But for now, there are still the pictures from my last shoot in NYC to show you! This was the perfect last shoot...I tried to coordinate a MUA and assistant, but at the end of the day couldn't find anyone that was available. Model and photographer only, the way I started doing this thing, except the only light I used was the sun. Not even a reflector. It was an unseasonably sunny and warm day in Central Park, with the flowering trees blooming early this year. I have been trying the technique of putting things right in front of my lens and shooting wide open to make some interesting blurry shapes that frame the model with limited success in the past, but this time the flowers on the trees were perfect and it worked out great. Couldn't be happier about the final shots...all the magic came from the camera and the sun, not from photoshop!


If you noticed, the flowers on her top match the real was meant to be!

More to come next week...

Model: Yelizaveta Naumenko
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