August 2013

Motorcycle Mike

My friend Mike has (had actually, he sold it the day after we shot it – pretty good timing) this really cool vintage Kawasaki Motorcycle. a ’78 KZ 650 SR to be exact. Mike and his buddies like to get old mororcycles and fix ‘em, tune ‘em up and get them looking nice and pretty again. Well, that’s exactly what he/they did with this bike. I saw it in the parking lot and decided that I needed to do my first “guy on a motorcycle” shoot. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to shoot it until I saw an instagram image that his fiancé took of him on it. Something clicked (pun intended) and we set out to  shoot under a bridge. As it turns out, under the bridge (insert red hot chilli peppers song) wasn’t as cool as I thought. We ended up inbetween two old factory buildings and it worked out great. He found access to an old garage and that was a great find too.

There was this ongoing joke that I was “breaking new ground” that night with the photos I was taking. Hence the tagline. Ya know, a gungy alley and there were train tracks in some shots too.  It doesn’t get more innovative than that. Haha.

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Cartoon Portraits – Toontraits

I’ve been playing around with a new processing method for some of my images. They’re cartoon portraits, or Toontraits as I’ve named them. A combination of a photograph and post processing (I use Lightroom and Photoshop) techniques that give the look of being hand drawn/3D cell shaded rendering/old style comic print.

It’s a look I’ve been trying to achieve for a long time, ever since I started playing around with photoshop, some 8+ years ago. I finally feel like I’ve reached the style and level of quality that I want. Some of the images are studio portraits and some are environmental and the process changes depending upon the elements in the image. This technique is totally manual and I don’t think an ‘action’ would allow me to achieve the same results. I played around with amplifying the toon effect by distorting some body parts and I think it works.

I’ve included some cropped in versions to showcase the detail.

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