Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year: What's In Store



So, this is it for 2009, and good riddance to such an awful year. But now isn't the time to air our grievances with what has passed, it's time to look to the future and try to expect the best.

I want to take this time to thank everyone who has read this blog through the course of this year and who has followed me on Twitter. The online community is great because it can bring people together from across the planet and I am grateful that so many of you have been appreciating my work and coming back regularly to see what's new.

I also want to apologize for not being as active on social media as I had wanted to be. This has been a trying year for me on the personal front and professional front alike, and I am sorry that I let it get in the way of keeping people informed on what's been going on with DIGImmortal Photo.

2010 is going to bring some big changes for DIGImmortal. I've been spending the last few months researching the best uses and practices of social media services as well as traditional marketing techniques and I plan to hit all of them pretty hard this coming year. It's time to take that next step and really push myself in everyone's faces. I've got some nice job prospects on the horizon that will allow me to round out my portfolio even better but I am also taking Zack Arias' advice and will try to be more selective about what kind of work I show. I will also be applying much of what I learned at a recent Joe McNally seminar to my location lighting techniques.

I've basically been sitting around this year wondering why my business hasn't grown in the ways I want it to, and as it started to come together for me I realized that I need to stop admiring some of these big-time photogs that I follow and start embracing what it is they put out there for us to learn from. At the same time I finally started that 365 project that I had been putting off for so long, and so far I'm very happy with the results. Not only the results I get from the photos themselves but from what it's been doing for my discipline and creative eye. I will be doing this thing until October 2010, so I've got a long way to go, but it should continue to be both trying and fun all at once.

Anyway, there are only a few hours left in 2009, and I want to wish you all a safe, healthy, and happy new year. Let's all focus on what good can come in 2010 and put our collective conscious together and make it happen!

Happy New Year, and thanks for everything!

More soon.
-Rob

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

5 Years: How it came to be

Intro
This isn't going to be an easy entry for me to write, nor will it be very short. All I ask is that if you enjoy any aspects of my photography, whether it's my concert work, still life, nature, anything, please read this. This isn't going to be me trying to get you to buy anything or support a cause or any of that. This post is a page right out of my life and I've torn it right from my heart to share it.

This entry deals with a matter of loss and gain, and explains how DIGImmortal Photo came to be, right down to the name. So without more useless introduction, here we go:



"Becoming"
In March of 2003, my desires of working in the music industry, coupled with the same desires shared with me by my best friend, and accompanied by my family printing business, led me/us to start Paragon Music Magazine. Our very first issue was 2 sheets of paper, printed in black and white, stapled and folded to make 8 whole pages. We had a centerfold article which was a review of Black Label Society's "The Blessed Hellride," an interview with a friend of ours who was in a Hardcore band, a local comedian who I met through a friend, and my own column that I called "The Vent Column" where I would bitch and moan about anything and everything pissing me off at the time.

We started putting out issues once every month and driving them around to local music hot spots where people could pick them up for free. We did OK for a while, the issues got bigger and we started to network and make real connections in the music industry. We started doing interviews with bands whose publicists saw potential in what we were doing. We learned everything as we went along. We made many good decisions, and we had some slip-ups as well. I don't remember what interview we were trying to book when the PR agent asked if we wanted tickets and a photo pass to the upcoming show. Free tickets is a no brainer, but photo credentials would be awesome! We took them up on it and I shot my first show. The photos were awful because the camera was awful. To put it in perspective, it was a 0.3 megapixel Sony Mavica. Yes, 0.3 - not even one whole megapixel. Cell phones took better pictures 4 years ago!

Even with crappy pictures, it was fun, and it gave us something exclusive to run with the feature, instead of the same old press photos that were going around at the time. I did a few more shows with that Mavica until I rationalized that if I was going to be taking my own pictures for Paragon's features, I'd be better off investing in something a little better. So I got myself an Olympus 4 megapixel point and shoot, or Prosumer, as they called it, because it included some manual controls that would make it appealing to pro photographers.

That was the camera for me, I was sure of it, that would be the one to get me awesome pictures of awesome concerts and it would help me put Paragon on the map. Now I just had to figure out how to use it. You see, most people use the creative modes, or Auto, to take their pictures and they are happy with them. But shooting concerts in low, constantly changing lighting conditions, without flash, takes much more know-how of the camera system and its abilities and weaknesses. So I would figure it out as I went along. Until December 2004.



"I'm Broken"
It was December 4, 2004. It was a rainy night but I was on my way out the door to a concert I had been waiting on for weeks. Just 2 nights prior I was able to set up an interview with the singer. The band was Damageplan and I was interviewing Pat Lachman. I would have loved to interview Dimebag Darrell or Vinnie Paul, since Pantera was such a huge part of my life for many years and I always drew strength and inspiration from their music, but getting to interview Pat was just as awesome to me because I would get to hang with him backstage before the show. I got there a little late, but still early for their performance, got escorted backstage and met with Pat. We did the questions, he was nice enough to take a picture with me and sign my Damageplan CD booklet, and then we did a shot of Jagermeister and he gave me a beer. It was so awesome to be there, I couldn't even describe it to you. Mind you I was still new at this but trying not to look like the newbie, so I didn't wanna be all "Where is the rest of the band?! Can I meet them!?" - So I just played it cool and we wrapped up because Pat was going up on stage in a few moments to do a song with The Haunted, and I hung out by the side of the stage.

I stood there in front of the crowd barricade, watching as they hauled in Bob Zilla's and Dime's amps, set up Vinnie's drums, and did all the usual mic checking. The lights went low and the band took the stage. I think I did more singing along than picture taking, but I also blame the incredibly slow autofocus for that. I stayed right in front of Dimebag the entire time. I got a bunch of shots of him, some shots of Pat, one or two of Vinnie, and unfortunately none of Bob Zilla. I did the allowed 3 songs with no flash and was led out of the photo pit. I hung out for the rest of the set, discreetly snapping a few more shots from the side of the stage while Dimebag played his guitar solo that led them into 2 Pantera classics to close the set. As he was playing I remembered why Pantera meant so much to me. The power in the music and the energy in the lyrics, they just drive you, and when that drive is positive you feel like you can move mountains. As the band was leaving the stage, I reached out for a high-five but all I got was Dime's arm. Fine by me, the man is a legend and a hero to me, I'll take grabbing his arm over nothing at all.

I hung around for a bit while they set up the stage for Shadows Fall, but I didn't really intend on staying for them because I was fighting a pretty bad cold and wanted to get home and look at the photos. On my way out I was flicking through the LCD previews and they were much less stellar than I had originally hoped they would be. A lot of blurry shots, either from motion blur or flat out bad focus. In the end, there wasn't really much besides maybe 2 or 3 photos that I thought would be acceptable for print. But there was hope because now I had a contact at their label who could hook me up in the future, and during the interview Pat told me that after the tour they'd be in the studio recording the second album. I figured, hey, it was still an awesome night, and maybe next time I can meet Dime and Vinnie backstage if the label was impressed with the quality of the interview (because they sure as hell wouldn't be blown away by the photos).



"Shattered"
5 days later I wake up and go online before work, only to see what I thought was a terrible joke. A headline on my homepage said "Rocker Dimebag Darrell Dead" - my jaw dropped and I felt a sinking feeling overcome me. This couldn't be true! No way! Dimebag isn't dead, this must be a different Dimebag Darrell, maybe some dummy in a tribute band crashed his car or something. Sure enough though, the article went on to read that Dimebag Darrell of Damageplan, formerly of Pantera, was killed the night before, December 8, when a crazed fan got on stage at the start of the band's set in Ohio and put a bunch of bullets into him.

Silence. That's all there was for a minute. Dead silence in my head. A man who meant so much to me was just killed in cold blood doing what he loved to do, doing the thing that people loved him for. How could it happen!?

I tried calling the tour manager, thinking that I'd be able to act like some big-shot press person or something, but got no answer. I found out later that day that the tour manager had also been shot. I called a photographer friend of mine who knew Dimebag personally, no answer. It was impossible to deal with, I was so shocked.

In the months that followed so much had been going on in the Metal community. Tributes, news pieces, interviews. You name it. If it had to do with Dime and his legacy, it was out there. All I had to offer was an interview with Pat and some blurry photos that didn't deserve the time it took to try posting them online.



"New Found Power"
I was depressed and angry for a long time, it took years to get over it. Some people would call it silly and childish, but when someone you could only wish to ever meet was inches away from you, or maybe just in the next room, and you blow your chance of meeting them, the last chance you'll ever have, because you're trying to look professional and play it cool, you find it hard to forgive yourself. I could have told him how much his music meant to me, or how his previous band got me through some pretty crappy times in my life. I could have told him that I loved the new album and couldn't wait for the next. Or maybe I wouldn't have had the guts to say any of that, maybe it would have just been one of those speechless "I'm a big fan" type situations, totally starstruck with nothing useful to say. But at least I would have had the chance.

Something changed the morning of December 9, 2004. I looked at my little bitty, virtually unknown magazine and my just-ok-camera differently. We put out a tribute issue featuring the interview with Pat. A year later we did another tribute issue that featured interviews with some of Dime's friends. We had Dean Z. from Dean Guitars, Chad Lee of rockconcertfotos.com, Nick Catanese of Black Label Society, and comedian Jim Florentine; all were close friends of Dime's. We got them to share some incredible stories and I ran some of the photos that I didn't really think were worth looking at when I took them.

But from the moment I knew Dimebag was really gone, I knew that I couldn't just take sub-par photos. I idolized a lot of these people, and I was DAMN lucky to be able to have the access to them that I had. I could not waste these opportunities. I started focusing on my photography much more seriously. If a concert came to town, I wanted to be there. Even if I didn't care for the band, and even if I didn't have a feature to run on them, I wanted to photograph them because someone, somewhere out there, idolized them as much as I idolized "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott.

I needed a place for people to see these pictures that I would take, though. I needed an identity as a photographer. Paragon was getting harder to keep publishing on a regular basis, and the gas prices were killing me. When you drive all over the state to give out your hard work for FREE, it gets hard to justify it. I decided I would make myself into a pro photographer somehow, someway. But what would I call my business? My name is Italian and it's hard enough for people to pronounce when it's in front of them, forget about trying to spell it on their own. So I wanted a cool company name. It came to me in part through the music, and part from my heart. I was looking for a name that would really exemplify what I do: I take pictures, digitally, that I hope will last forever and stand the test of time. I wanted to capture performances, bits of instances that people want to remember because they were at a given show. I was listening to Fear Factory at the time and one of their album names struck me - Digimortal - Yeah, that's it! The name is exactly what I want to convey. Well, sort of exactly. The way they spelled it and were using it, it was intended to describe a melding of human and machine, a digital mortal. I wanted something a bit different than "man meets machine," so I added an extra M to make it Digital and Immortal. After all, that was my intention, to make photos and memories that last forever, digitally, Digitally Immortal, DIGImmortal.

Since taking on that state of mind and determination, and coming up with an identity for myself, I've found myself in the photo pit in front of so many people that I admire, and even though some shows give me better pictures than others, I know I'm lucky every time. Every show is a reminder of why I do this, because everyone idolizes at least one musician out there. I have many musical idols, Dimebag was just one of them, but his death taught me to get off my ass and do something with myself - Take my artistic vision, bring it to a stage, and then put it out there for other music fans to see.



"Breathing New Life"
My styles and subjects have broadened over the years as I grow as a photographer, and my equipment and knowledge thereof has grown quite a bit, but with every single concert that I shoot I remember why I'm there. Every set of concert photos that I put out there, good or bad, is a tribute to the late Dimebag Darrell Abbott. He may be gone but he'll never be forgotten, and his inspiration will always be here with me.

It's been 5 years now since he was killed, and it still feels like yesterday. Sometimes I still get that sinking feeling knowing that there will never be a new album from him. No one loved fun like Dime did, and anyone who knew him or even watched his home movie DVDs will tell you that he was a great person, genuinely caring and light hearted and always wanted people around him to have a good time, no matter what the cost. So with or without him, let's all raise a Blacktooth Grin and be thankful that he was here at all. His time was too short, but he left us with so much. Here's to you Dime, getcha pull!

You can click on the photos in the blog entry, or go HERE to see the Damageplan photos, as I've recently re-uploaded them for the public to see.

Paragon Music Magazine is still alive and well, however in 2007 we decided to switch to an online-only format. It allows us to publish issues in full color instead of black and white, and it requires no physical distribution, which makes it less of a strain on our gas tanks as well as the print shop. We put out around 4 issues each year now, you can check it out HERE.

More soon, as always
-Rob

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Help Wildlife Rehab This Holiday Season




I've been involved with a wildlife rehabilitation facility for about 2 years now. Animals, whether domesticated or wild, are very close to my heart. I started volunteering cleaning out a raccoon enclosure and feeding them. It was by far the most hands-on I've ever been with an animal of that kind. Everyone is afraid of raccoons, and reasonably so when you consider the risks, but it didn't matter to me. These little guys needed help and that's what I was there for. For lack of an effective way to put it any nicer, I was picking up poop, being bitten by bugs, and feeding them all kinds of things from apple sauce to frozen pinky mice and chicken bones, all while stuck inside a backyard gazebo sized structure. There was nothing between their teeth and my flesh other than a pair of jeans, but not once did they bite or scratch at me, they were just grateful that someone was caring for them.

I also got to prepare meals for opossums and bottle feed infant squirrels, as well as help out on the eventual release back into the wild of a baby bunny and 3 raccoons.

It's not some people's idea of a fun and leisurely time, but for me it meant something much greater. I will be honest and tell you that I haven't been back into the raccoon cage since that first season, but I've been helping out behind the scenes in other ways when possible.



Right now you can help dozens of needy raccoons, rabbits, skunks, squirrels, chipmunks, bats, opossums and groundhogs. All you have to do is purchase any print from any of my Online Store galleries and use checkout coupon code "SMWRC" and 30% of the profits from that order will go directly to the shelter.

You can order from any of these galleries:
Nature
Architecture
Conceptual
Fine Art

You can also order photos of cute cats from this gallery:
PATCH Cats
365 Project

This rehab shelter is independently owned (not a government facility) and runs completely off of grants and donations, and the hard work of its volunteers.I will run this promotion until the end of the year and then in January I will donate any applicable proceeds to the South Mountain Wildlife Rehab Center.

Please consider buying some prints for yourself or as holiday gifts this year. Your friends and family will thank you for the gift, and the animals you help will thank you for the second chance they get at life.



More soon.
Rob

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Rock Neck Park



It's been a while since I updated this blog with anything pretty or useful. Things have been going 100MPH around here, I just wish I knew which highway I was on.

A few weeks ago we took a trip out to Connecticut and stopped at Rock Neck Park for about 2 hours while killing some time in our travels. There is something so liberating about nature photography. Even though you feel pressure to "get the shot" the scenery is usually nice and calming. Maybe if I did it professionally I would feel differently, because I know pro landscape photogs probably pull their hair out trying to get something groundbreaking (no pun intended), but for me it's a welcomed change from my usual line of work.

It was my first time in this park, and the last and only other time I'd been in CT was when I was a little kid. The park is absolutely beautiful, and even though we didn't get to see the whole thing, we took a nice relaxing walk around the lake and snapped some nice pictures.



I don't usually share a lot of my personal photos that I take during my downtime, but I decided that these would look great in my Nature gallery. So if you know anyone who enjoys a really nice landscape photo, now's the time to pick up an early holiday gift. Actually, I'm not so sure I can even say "early" since most retail stores have been pushing the Christmas stuff since, oh, Valentines day! More like September, but it feels like they never even put the stuff back in storage. I'm not a Winter kind of person, so when I see holiday decorations out and Football season has barely even kicked in, I start to panic!

Click on any 3 of these images to check out the gallery and browse what I have to offer. I'd think that they'd make an especially nice gift for someone who has possibly spent a lot of time in this particular park, or in the general CT area.



More to come...
-Rob

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

365 Project Begins

I know it's been a while since I've put anything up here, life has been in the way. I've been busy with some personal things, as well as some charity photography I've been doing for a local cat shelter that I volunteer at. All this leaves very little time to keep up with blogging.

However I wanted to let you all know that I've started a 365 Photo project to keep the creative juices flowing. The idea is that you take at least 1 photo each day for a full year. It's supposed to help you develop your creative eye, as eventually you run out of cool things to shoot and have to make the most, artistically, of your bland everyday surroundings.

I hope this will enhance my skills, and I'm going to share the results with the online community on either a daily or weekly basis. It's hard enough to shoot something and post it online daily, it's even harder to write blogs and announcements and things, so I'm thinking I'll shoot daily, and update my website gallery daily, but maybe will post the results on here, FB, Twitter, and my business blog weekly, so as not to overload everyone.

I'm open to suggestions of what to shoot during the next 365 days, just don't be offended if I don't get to your request. Shots will range from ordinary things that border on snapshots, to full on studio work, to concerts and other things.

The first photo is online now, it's a photo of my new motorcycle sunglasses sitting on the headlight of my new (used) motorcycle.


Swing by and see, then bookmark the gallery or just look for updates on here. Most of these photos will also be for sale, so if there is something that catches your eye pick it up and help support independent art!

-Rob

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Vulcan Death Grip In The Woods




Well, not really. Not even close; but when you have a bike with a model name like Vulcan, you just kind of go with whatever catchy, nerdy phrase you that comes to mind.

Anyway, down to the picure details:

A friend of mine has this bike that I always hear about yet never see because he never takes it out when I see him and whenever I'm over at his place his garage is always closed. So I started working on this Automotive project for myself, trying to build a portfolio to create a brochure from. I shoot him an email and he's up for letting me take some photos of the bike.

We head out early on a Sunday morning, get all the way to our destination, and I realized I broke the cardinal rule of portable flash. CHECK THE BATTERIES BEFORE YOU LEAVE! - No problem, I have spare AAs in my bag right? Wrong! Oh man... The entire purpose of this was to test mixing available light with flash in broad daylight. So I do what anyone in this situation would do: I switch gears into shooting nothing but available light and I save what little juice the batteries have (they weren't totally dead, just not recycling fast enough to beat out the power save mode on the flash) for when it realy counts.

We put the bike in a cleared area surrounded by woods and let the sunlight do it's 'thang while I did my 'thang. Came away with some nice shots like the one above and this one here:



You can see more photos of the bike as well as other automotive work I've done in the Automotive Gallery on DIGImmortalPhoto.com

I also did some shots of the owner on the bike. This is where I brought out the flash again and hoped for the best. I knew with failing batteries I would only get off a limited number of shots before I risked doing some kind of damage to either the batteries or the flash itself. So I worked quickly, or at least as quickly as the recycle time would allow, and got some nice photos for my friend to add to his photo albums.

Here's what a little mixing of available light and flash can do:


And here's a little HDR that I did:


I'm about to go from one extreme to another with my next entry. This one was motorcycles, the next will be fluffy things.

More soon!
-Rob

Friday, September 11, 2009

Vote for me in Billboard's Ultimate Music Moment Contest



Just a quick request to anyone reading this blog. I recently entered a few of my shots of Cradle of Filth guitarist Paul Allender into the Billboard Magazine "Ultimate Music Moment" Contest.

While the main categories are awarded by a panel of judges, there is a Fan Favorite section where the public can vote. The winner will be published in Billboard Magazine and the Photo District News publication when the contest is over. I'd really appreciate it if everyone could take a minute and sign up with your email address to vote.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE IMAGE.

I need lots more votes to beat out the leader right now. Every little bit helps. If you have a Facebook or Twitter, or any other networking site, please urge your friends and family to vote as well.

You can only vote once per email address.

Thanks!

More soon!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

No More Pins In Me




Sometimes we just gotta put what we feel down on paper. I prefer to put it down on pixels.

The above image is the result of a few things. One of them being some personal struggles that started to manifest themselves into large mountains of frustration. Another being procrastination.

When I originally got the idea in my head for the above photo, it looked very different in my mind. In fact the only thing that remained the same was the little wooden man and the green backdrop. But since I put it off, little by little things started happening in my life that made me change the idea around. It evolved slowly into what you see up top there.

Everyone struggles with things from time to time, and we all have our own ways of coping. I'm very thankful for the abilities I've got when it comes to photography. Sometimes it's the only way I really know how to express myself and what's going on in this crazy head of mine.

I'm posting this here because I think it's something we all can relate to in one way or another. It means a few different things to me, and I'm sure everyone will have their own interpretation of it and how it relates to them personally.

Some basic symbolic elements for me (and this is the thought process of how the shot was built):

  1. The green background and the very tight spotlight on the subject: It was meant to show how people's jealousy and greed (both represented by the color green) can hold you or other people down. Jealousy can be crippling, while greed can cripple other people.
  2. The chains: Obviously the feeling of restraint. The chain slowly disappears into the background to show that the restraint goes on indefinitely. The idea that the subject here, or the viewer, may never completely feel free. It's a depressing thought, but I'm not Disney, I'm realistic. It symbolizes being held back, something that the previous themes of jealousy and greed also contribute to.
  3. The pins: Some of us have many things going on at once that we wish we could just tear off like a band-aid. We begin to feel helpless, like a voodoo doll, just waiting around for another pin to be plunged into us. The red pin is going right into the heart and I specifically chose that one to go there, to make it stand out. Heartache is always the most standout pain, there's no medication to make that go away; no way to numb it out of your mind.
Every time we get used to a situation or a struggle we're stuck with another pin, while feeling helpless and held down, under the heat and pressure of outside forces which sometimes we can't stop ourselves. Even optimistic people know deep down that this happens to them.

This was just my way of summing up the way people can sometimes feel when they have more going on than they are able to cope with. Hopefully through this piece of art I can help someone understand they are not alone, and that people out there do understand what they are going through, even if we've all got our own experiences and our own levels of pain. We're all in this together, we're all blades of grass in one large field, and the field only looks good if all the blades are standing tall and bright.

More soon.
-Rob

Unrequited



Last weekend I had a great group of guys come over for some band portraits. They're Unrequited and they play pretty frequently in the Northern NJ (Bergen County) area.

They're still in High School but they've got the professional chops and attitude that is needed these days. I see too many bands strive to be something but lack the discipline (and the thick skin) needed to make it in the music business.



It's such a breath of fresh air to meet a band with no attitude problems, no egos, no bullshit. Just a bunch of friends who enjoy making music together.

I was introduced to them by my good friend Steve Bello, another local area musician who makes some amazing Instrumental Metal geared towards total guitar-heads and fans of musical styles that range from Prince to Steve Vai to Pantera.

It's very cool to be surrounded with genuine hard working musicians. Unrequited just played a show last weekend but I'm sure they'll have more lined up soon. They also mentioned they've been writing a lot of new material, so we might be able to expect a full-length album from them in the near future.

I have a feeling these guys are going to really take off in the local scene, so here's to them making it as big as they push themselves to be.

You can visit them on Myspace and Facebook

You can also see all the photos from the session HERE



Sunday, September 6, 2009

Heaven and Hell in NYC



So after all these years of being a huge Black Sabbath fan, I finally get my chance to photograph them live. Well, technically it's not Black Sabbath, but technically it is. It's actually Heaven and Hell, the name that they go by when they tour with Ronnie James Dio and Vinny Appice. 

It doesn't matter to me what you call them, if it's got Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi, it's Black Sabbath one way or another. They could be calling themselves the Purple Polka Dot Butt Plugs for all I care, I'd still be as excited as ever to see them live and shoot them.

We got the usual 3 songs that all concert photogs get, but the great part about it is that their songs are all slightly longer than most bands, so I was able to snap over 500 images in just 3 songs time. 



I know they opened the show with E5150 going right into The Mob Rules. From there though, I was so wrapped up in shooting that I didn't even really get to pay attention to the other 2 songs. Unfortunately for me I could not stay for the whole show, but I did get to catch about the first quarter of "Bible Black" from the bands latest release The Devil You Know and it sounded even better live, as if it were possible for that song to sound any better.

Faced a few problems while shooting, like the fact that the stage was so deep they rarely came to the front very often, so there was a lot of missed focus opportunities and blurred images from composition difficulties. Also, there had to be at least 15-20 other photographers there that night, which makes it hard to move around. Not having a long enough lens for the depth of the stage was also hard, but that falls into the composition problem. All in all, though, the shots came out great and I'm more than proud to show them off.

To view the entire gallery, just follow THIS LINK

And remember to visit me on Twitter




More soon!
-Rob

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Follow me on Twitter




Yeah, I know, anyone who has seen my writing over the years knows I hate "social networking sites" like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, etc...

But like I've said already on those sites, you can't fight proven marketing techniques. You eventually should at least try them and see how they might help. This is true when you're not getting much attention or just want more than you've got.

So I caved, again, and got a Twitter account for DIGImmortal Photo. You can click here to follow me

I'm slowly integrating all these different kinds of updates to form some sort of marketing plan. How it'll pan out, I have no idea, I'm just kind of shooting from the hip here. But if you're a reader of any of my sites or my work at Paragon, or a fan of my photography, don't be shy, come on board and follow me, leave me a tweet, join our Myspace and Facebook friends. Just reach out and let us know you're there.

That's all for now but I've got some great photos to share later today.

More soon!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Start Your Engines!



Been doing some automotive photography recently. Thought I'd try my hand at photographing really large reflective objects. What can I say? I'm a glutton for punishment.

Quite a lesson in patience though. You would sometimes think a 3 hour photoshoot would be for a really picky client, or maybe some really big celebrity with lots of different looks and wardrobe changes. You don't typically think it would be for a car. But in reality, the picture above was the quickest shot taken in the whole Corvette series.

Inspired by a shot I saw on http://www.strobist.com/ I decided to do something more complicated. Oh boy, complicated, just how I like things! A few hours later and about 18 or more frames, I wound up with all the building blocks of this shot:



It's not the most layered shot from the set, but it's the one that I like best. You can see more of these in the Automotive Section of DIGImmortal Photo's website

The next stop was a Mini Cooper. I took the shots dark, like the Corvette, and boy was that a lesson in patience. Large reflective objects are one thing, but large reflective WHITE objects.. whoo boy!



Nice right? You should see the bruises on my forehead from banging into a wall until I got this just right.

The client for this shoot is Italian, from Italy, came here when he was young, and bought the car because it reminded him of back home. So I decided to do something nice for him and exercise my Photoshop airbrush muscles. Came up with this:



Finally, last weeks job put me in front of a 1982 Fiat Spider convertible. Wanted to do this one in natural daylight and take a break from the brain-twisting chore of setting up lighting. Found a nice location that complemented the color of the car and snapped away. With no lights to worry about and a nice overcast sky to diffuse the light it took all of about 30 minutes. Much better than my more complicated setups. Here's a couple from that shoot:





I'm currently available for car shoots for as long as the weather holds up around here in NJ. I'm willing to travel if expenses are paid. Contact me through here or through www.DIGImmortalPhoto.com with your shoot request. Make sure to include the year, make, model, and color of your car, and any extra details that are important, like any modifications or special paint types. Let me know what kind of look you're going for and if you have a location in mind, and I'll get back to you with a price. Every shoot includes 1 free 8x12 print, print prices are affordbale through my site.

Don't forget to check the Automotive Gallery on the site for more images from these shoots.

That's all for now, but more soon!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Meetwood Flack

Recently, I sent out a few dozen (probably few hundred) marketing emails to entice some local bands in my area to hire me for portraits and live shots. I got a few replies, which would probably count to more than a 1% response (that's a pretty great ratio, for those who never studied business). One of the first bands to contact me back was a local Fleetwood Mac tribute band, Meetwood Flack.



As it turns out they needed someone for a show coming up that weekend. We went over the details quickly and I got the job. The basic idea of the assignment was to shoot their hour and a half set and to take some photos of the band as a group as well as individual portraits.

Everyone in the band was great and we had a fun time taking the posed shots. The backstage area was very tight and crammed with gear and other things, so we opted to take them outside, around the back of the venue. There was a great green brick wall there, so I set everything up, took some test shots with my assistant and the band came over and we knocked out a bunch of group shots and portraits in less than 20 minutes.



Inside they played a great set that included some of my favorite Fleetwood Mac songs, here is an exact copy of the setlist:

THE CHAIN
DREAMS
SAY YOU LOVE ME
SECOND HAND NEWS
RHIANNON
OVER MY HEAD
BIG LOVE
WORLD TURNING
GOLD DUST WOMAN
LITTLE LIES
SILVER SPRINGS
OH WELL
LANDSLIDE
MONDAY MORNING
GYPSY
YOU MAKE LOVING FUN
EDGE OF SEVENTEEN
GO YOUR OWN WAY
DON’T STOP


Click the photo to see the band's MySpace page


I was also able to take some video of the band's performance. I decided to post the video for "Go Your Own Way" on YouTube

There are more portraits in the Portraits Gallery on my site, as well as live photos from the entire set in the Live Gallery.

Be sure to check out the full galleries, video, and the band's page. Check their upcoming dates for when they'll be playing near you.




More soon.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

New York: Jet

If only their band name was plural, it would have been funnier. Oh well.

Jet, the band that everyone knows for "Are You Gonna Be My Girl?" has a new album out, and have been touring recently. On July 8 they hit up New York City and I got the chance to shoot them live. Unfortunately plans that I had been making to shoot them backstage fell through because of prior engagements, and I wasn't given the typical 3 songs in the photo pit for them, and was then rushed out of the venue by someone who seemed to be working with/for the band. Found out later that it shouldn't have happened. Still not sure what went on with that, I just assumed it was the venue or band policy that night that all photographers were to leave after shooting. Should have known better because The Blender Theatre never did that before and I've shot 4 shows there so far, including this one. No big deal though, I would have stuck around and shot some more shots from the back of the room, maybe a video from the balcony, but instead I went home early. Probably better off for me because it was a long day already and I was pretty tired.

The band sounds great live and certainly know how to write some catchy ditties. The crowd was singing along with every word and you could feel the room pulsing and swaying with the music, even with your back turned and your eye to a viewfinder.

Here are some samples of what you can find in the
FULL JET GALLERY on DIGImmortalPhoto.com







Don't forget to check out the entire gallery.

More soon, probably today if I have time!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Staind Live in Asbury Park NJ

Well, it took me long enough, but I finally got some time to write about the headliners of the Stimulate This! Tour that passed through Asbury Park, NJ back on July 15th, 2009.

It was a fun night, and I was exctied because not only had I never shot Staind before, but it was also my first time ever seeing them live. I've been a fan of their for a while now and just never had a chance to see them on any of the tours that they'd done in the past.

To be honest, the first 2 songs were a blur to me, the lighting was changing so furiously that I spend more time trying to get my settings correct on the fly than I did even paying attention to what I was actually seeing. Not the most adventurous shooting, or most exciting, but it certainly was an excercise. Now, I've shot in all kinds of conditions; I've shot shows that were so dark that a full second exposure at f/2.8 was still too dark, and then I've shot shows that anything less than 1/250th at f/8 was overexposed. Imagine the frustration in going between those 2 extremes, oh, about, every 3 or 4 seconds. - Oh, and in case you're wondering, the third song, "Falling" woke me up from my frustrated confusion because not only is it one of my favorite Staind songs, but the lighting finally normalized a bit.

Either way, whether you chalk it up to luck or experience I still walked out of there with some great shots, and some performance video, which you can find on my YouTube account.

Staind played a great set full of fan favorites and some new tracks from their most recent release The Illusion of Progress. Then came the encore that I wasn't expecting. Maybe it's something new, or maybe I'm just a loser who has never seen Staind live before. Anyway, the stage went dark, people did their usual chanting of the band's name, waiting for the next few songs before fighting their way out the door and into traffic. Suddenly a spot light starts shining on the sound booth and there's an empty stool, and then before you know it, there's Aaron Lewis junping up on the stool, armed with an acoustic guitar, and starts up "Outside" followed by "It's Been A While." After the 2 acoustic tracks, the lights go back to the stage where the other 3 guys are standing by and you start to hear the opening bass lines to "Mudshovel." The show ended with that tune, which made me happy, as well as the rest of the crowd.

It really was a great show, I'm a Staind fan, I'm a Shinedown addict, and it was great to finally catch Chevelle. I missed Lo-Pro because of rush-hour traffic, but Halestorm had the crowd going, as usual. Overall it was definitely a show you didn't want to miss if you are a fan of any of these bands. The high moment for me was actually being lucky enough to be in the photo pit during Shinedown's ".45" when Aaron Lewis came out to sing with them.

For now I only have one Staind video and one Shinedown video on Youtube. I will post some more when I get the chance, but for now here are some shots of Staind and a link to my video of "King of All Excuses" - Check back on YouTube often for new videos, and don't forget to check the blog archive below for entries on Chevelle and Shinedown.

YouTube: Staind - King of All Excuses Live

Staind: The Full Gallery on DIGImmortalPhoto.com



Johnny April, looking badass


Jon Wysocki, bashing things with sticks


Aaron Lewis, in a moment


Mike Mushok, ..."Hi mom"??? (couldn't think of anything witty for this one)



More soon, very soon, got a lot going on and lots to say.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Chevelle in Asbury Park, NJ

As promised, here are some quick photos of Chevelle playing in NJ on the Stimulate This! Tour. I have to admit I always like their big single "Red" but never listened to much of their other music over the years. I must say I wasn't disappointed. They put on a quality live show and their music is really good. I have been missing out all these years.


They did of course play the one song I knew by them and it was just as good live as I remember it being on the radio when I used to hear it all the time. I didn't get any video of this band, but I did get a bunch of really good shots, so CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE FULL GALLERY.


Here are some quick samples of what you'll see in the full batch:








I have one more entry to put up from the Stimulate This! Tour, and that is of course going to feature the headliners of the night, Stand. I'll save my comments on them for that blog, so keep an eye out as you never know when I'll be updating this site.


More soon!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Shinedown Live In Asbury Park

July 15, 2009 Shinedown came to Asbury Park, NJ with the Stimulate This! Tour which also featured Staind, Chevelle, Halestorm and 
Lo-Pro.

Being the 4th time I've photographed the band I knew what to expect. Well, everything except one thing: during ".45" Aaron Lewis from Staind came out during the second half of the song. Obviously the crowd went nuts, and I grabbed a bunch of shots. You can see them below. The entire show was great, each band gave the audience 110%. I don't want to go into too much detail about Staind or Chevelle because I'll be having separate blog posts for each of them, with their own photos.

Before I lose you in a crowd of photos, just

There, now that I got that out of the way, here are some pictures from the show, and a live video of "Call Me" which is also up on my YouTube account. So if you don't feel like commenting here please feel free to comment on YouTube.













































video