It’s Been A While

IT’S BEEN A WHILE

I was just going over my site to make sure everything is still in place and working properly, and I noticed that’s it’s been a while—like a really, really long time—since I updated my blog page with the latest news and happenings. LDM has been keeping busy since the beginning of 2017 with a variety of fun projects. I’ve mentioned on this blog before that I’m a huge fan of movies, both for the entertainment factor and the art that goes into filming and putting together a major motion picture. And over the past month, I’ve been working with Hollywood stuntman Corey Eubanks, shooting and editing together his Stunt Stories show. Each show features an in-depth interview with a stuntman or stunt woman, and the stories that these individuals tell are nothing short of pure entertainment. It’s cool for me to hear what they’ve gone through on the big budget movies that they’ve been involved with over the years. Corey himself has worked on just about ever major motion picture since he first got his break, driving the General Lee in the original “Dukes of Hazard” television show. In addition to Stunt Stories, I’ve also been staying busy with drone work, filming for some national television commercials and TV shows. You can see some of the work in the recently released Subaru commercial below. All in all, the beginning of the year has been all about filming/cinematography more so than still photography, which I’m pretty excited about. People that know me, know that cinematography is largely where my long-term goals are. If anyone cares… I’m going to try to update this blog a little more often—at least more than twice a year. Until next time…

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Pleasantly Surprised

PLEASANTLY SURPRISED

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It doesn’t happen too often when shooting photos, and I don’t always like to admit it, but every so often I luck out. The light is just right, the subject is easy to work with, and things just click. That was exactly the case when shooting some new Fasthouse/Cadence Collection cycling kits up in Mammoth a month ago. We didn’t even know where we were going to shoot; all we knew was that we wanted some cool scenery through the trees. When we left to head up the mountain from our condo, the light was dropping fast, and it was nearly lost as we finally pulled up to a spot that worked for what we needed. As I jumped out of the truck and built my camera, Terry got on his bike and found a suitable trail off the side of the road. With some excellent timing, we were able to knock out a series of shots before the sun went down. No strobes, no planning, and a lot of team work. I’m a big fan of using natural light to create a beautiful photo. There are a lot of photographers using tons of strobes nowadays—and there is nothing wrong with that, I even use them too—but there is something to be said about producing a shot without a lot of extra lighting. I was beyond surprised that we were able to come away with the quality of shots that we did, because we literally only had about 15 minutes to knock them out. I’m hesitant to admit that, but sometimes it doesn’t take a lot of pre-production to come away with amazing imagery. All it takes are some good people, a little luck, knowledge of photography, and the art of light.

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Aerial/Drone Work

AERIAL/DRONE WORK

Wow, it’s been way too long since I’ve updated my blog on here. And not that it matters, but I thought I’d catch up on some of the stuff I’ve been up to lately. My partner in aerial cinematography Justin Chapman from Chapman Aerospace and I just recently wrapped filming for season 13 of Wheeler Dealers for Discovery Channel’s Velocity network. The entire season was a blast and took us all around Southern California, up to Oregon, and out to a solar plant in the middle of the Nevada desert. I can’t show the reel I cut together from the season, because not all of it has aired yet, but some of the shots we got we’re pretty cool, and we both learned a lot of great techniques when it comes to filming cars with a drone.

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Justin on set for Wheeler Dealers.

Right after wrapping for Wheeler Dealers, we headed to Pennsylvania to shoot the U.S. Open of Golf for Fox Sports. We were there for a week, shot every single hole, and came home with a hard drive full of footage that Fox used during their live broadcast. Check out the reel from the week’s shoot below. If you’re in need of aerial work—drones or full-sized helicopters—contact us through the contact link on this website or visit www.chapmanaero.com. I can’t wait to see where we end up next. There are some big, exciting things planned for the future.

2016 U.S. Open of Golf | Fox Sports Reel from Lutes Digital Media on Vimeo.

 

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Film

FILM

Shot on Velvia 100 transparency film with a Hasselblad 500C.

Film was what I initially learned photography on. Back in High School and then college at Brooks Institute of Photography, film was the standard. Nowadays, kids hardly ever touch the stuff, and until recently, I’ve been guilty of that as well. It’s the instant gratification of digital photography that I believe has taken a bit of the art out of photography. Film requires you know have a solid grasp on exposure, composition, and timing. You can’t just crack off hundreds of photos and hope one comes out. Shooting on film requires a lot more forethought and planning in order to get a solid photo.

My grandfather was an avid photographer, and not just one that took family portraits and pictures of pretty flowers in the yard. He had a darkroom, owned nearly every size and style of camera available, entered—and won—numerous photography competitions, and even built his own view cameras. To this day, I still have black and white photos he shot hanging on the walls of my house. When I decided to become a professional photographer, my grandmother began handing down my grandfather’s cameras to me. In college, I used his Horseman 4×5 camera, and when I became a little older, I was gifted his Hasselblad 500C. It wasn’t until recently, though—due to getting caught up in work and not wanting to take the time to shoot film—that I decided to dust off the over-30-year-old camera and run a few rolls through it. What came out blew me away. Not only was I surprised that the old camera still worked nearly flawlessly, but the entire process of shooting with film brought back so many memories of my introduction to photography. The process, having to nail exposure, and the excitement of picking up the developed rolls from the lab reinvigorated my love of the art. It’s so easy to get caught up in taking pictures and forget why we do it, but my venture back into film has reminded me why. It’s fun shooting for myself and not having to worry if I get the shot or not. I get to have fun, and hopefully come away with a couple good shots that I can print and hang on my walls next to my grandpa’s photos. It’s also a great way to keep my skills and knowledge of the craft sharp. I’ve already shot six rolls through the camera. I’ll post more once I get the time to scan them in.

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Motocross Testing

MOTOCROSS TESTING

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Testing the new 2016 KX450F. (Photo by Jeff Allen)

It’s really fun to get to still maintain my connection to motorcycle magazine work with Cycle World. As the off-road test editor, I still get to participate in regular bike testing and reviews in addition to creating features for the magazine. When I started Lutes Digital Media, it was my goal to still be in a position to produce content for a media outlet, and this is exactly that. I’ve been riding motocross since I was five years old and to be able to still make a living off of something that I love—and is a lot of fun—is a dream come true. Check out the stories on CW’s website. At the very least, maybe it will help you decide which new motocross machine is right for you. I’ve been riding the YZ450F a lot lately, and I’m beginning to really like the bike.

 

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