Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thank You 2009

After spending years running my studio and producing low-budget feature films I returned to "hands-on" shooting in 2009. It was a slow start but within a few months I was confident enough to launch this blog and in October start The Film Photography Podcast (Internet Radio Show).

The purpose? To spread the word about the joy of film photography to anyone who is interested. To teach and share my knowledge of the craft. To reach out to other artists who share the same passion for all things photography and filmmaking.

So, I humbly thank 2009. I was able to "squeeze" by one of the worst financial recessions in US history, keep my film studio running and find the time to return to this wonderful hobby.

Film Photography Podcast - Internet Radio Show

Pizza Show-Down 6/5/2009

Comcast Reunion

Shock-Fest filmmakers Lomo-Style Shot

Toys For Tots Grindhouse Trailer Night 2009

SCULPTURE NJ Screening 8/5/2009

Pizza Wars - Week 3

Joe Sarno attends Chainsaw Kiss Screening

Independent-International SHOCK FEST Day

Me and Dad

Thank you to all of the wonderful people at my studio and to all the amazing artists, filmmakers, family and friends that I shared time with this past year.

Happy and Healthy 2010,
Michael Raso


The Film Photography Podcast

Alternative Cinema

Saturday, December 26, 2009

LANCE in BELGIUM leaves POLARID photos BEHIND everywhere HE goes

Lance stalking snow pictures.

Lance Rothstein (that’s him above).

Lance is a photojournalist and member of my Film Photography Podcast Flickr Group

PX No.184

Lance shoots Polaroid film, labels the image and leaves it behind for others to find.

Lance calls it “picturecrossing” and has a website devoted to the art.

PX No.264 "Garfield vs. Wolverine"

“Each of them is a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork.”


Lance on Flickr

Friday, December 25, 2009

Midnight Creeps at Yule Time

When I showed up on December 4th to shoot Violent Hearts at the Loop Lounge in New Jersey USA, I was happy to find that a second band was playing – Rhode Island’s Midnight Creeps.

Midnight Creeps - Loop Lounge, New Jersey USA

According to the bands MySpace page they’re “Straight out of the bowels of Creepsville USA armed with sleazy tales of sin, sex, and destitution. The Midnight Creeps bring the danger back to rocknroll! Consisting of singer Jenny Hurricane, guitarist Stimbot, bassist Jonas Parmelee, and drummer...ummm...well we don't know who the drummer is right now but anyway the Midnight Creeps specialize in churning out three-minute roller coasters of good gone bad.”

I met the band before the show and told them that I’d love to photograph them. They were super cool and stoked to have me shoot.

Midnight Creeps - Loop Lounge, New Jersey USA

My kit was the same as reported in my previous blog. ( ) ‘73 Canon FTb, 50mm f1.4 lens, small strobe and few rolls of Kodachrome 64 film. For the Creeps set I utilized a second strobe snapped on top of a small electronic slave. I picked up this handy mini-device from a Hong Kong e-bay seller for cheap.

Flash Slave

Midnight Creeps - Loop Lounge, New Jersey USA

With the help of pal William Hellfire, I was able to fire off a few frames using the second strobe. The shots created a slight glare on the lens but I think it was for the better. Next time I’ll mount the strobe on a monopod and gel the strobe amber or blue.

Midnight Creeps - Loop Lounge, New Jersey USA

Hey, check out the Midnight Creeps!

Midnight Creeps on MySpace

Midnight Creeps on Facebook

Archived article from Sleazegrinder!

The Loop Lounge, Passaic, New Jersey USA

Monster World

Happy Holidays to all my Film Photography Friends around the world!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Making Photography Liquid - Shooting VIOLENT HEARTS

When I ventured out on December 4th to shoot stills of Violent Hearts performing at the Loop Lounge, I hastily packed a tiny bag. Inside, all analog photo gear including my ‘73 Canon FTb, 50mm f1.4 lens, small strobe and few rolls of Kodachrome 64 film. I threw in an extra FTb body (just in case).

Violent Hearts - Loop Lounge 12/4/2009

Pals William Hellfire and Erin Russ gave me a lift, giving me about 20 minutes to figure out how I was going to shoot the performance. Most small clubs are “black holes,” sometimes not even offering stage lights.

Violent Hearts - Loop Lounge 12/4/2009

The performance was loud with great energy. Rather than conventional flash, I decided to attempt to get some movement in my still images. With no way to measure the ambient light, I shot most exposures with my shutter open for about five seconds, manually flashing the band. This technique gave the still images the illusion of motion.

Violent Hearts - Loop Lounge 12/4/2009

Violent Hearts - Loop Lounge 12/4/2009

Special thanks William, Erin, the Loop and, of course, Violent Hearts. Rock on.

See all the performance pix here:

Violent Hearts

The Loop Lounge
Passaic Park, New Jersey

"Moviscop" member Brian Stazel made a movie about editing movies with splicers, viewers and steenbecks called "MoviScop". He's interested to hear from people who still edit this way and from the new generation of editors who find this amazing or dumbfounding.

Here's the URL (if you'd like to leave Brian comments):

Brian Stazel on Flickr

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Film Photography Podcast - Episode 3

This months Film Photography Podcast (Internet Radio Show) is now available.

Topics include: Shanghai Seagull (and entry level 120), Lens Baby, Kodak Kodachrome and more.

2009 pdnPHOTO Expo - New York
2009 pdnPHOTO Expo - New York
2009 pdnPHOTO Expo - New York

Additionally, co-host Duane Polcou and I attended the New York pdnPHOTOPLUS EXPO and conducted the following interviews:

Elizabeth Greenberg, Director of Education, Maine Media Workshops

Scott R. DiSabato, Professional Film Marketing Manager, Eastman Kodak Company

Laura Nelson, Account Manager, Lomographic Society USA

Patrick DelliBovi, Serior VP, Sales & Marketing, Freestyle Photographic

Give a listen:

iTunes, Stream, Download (or RSS Feed in upper right corner)

Photos © Michael Raso
Shot with the Pentax Auto 110 camera, Kodak 110 film (400asa)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Enjoying Photography – Can The Photo Cliché Be Avoided?

A year ago today, I was testing cameras, flashes and any “new” used equipment that I picked up on the e-bay. Properly exposed, nicely composed images were my goal.

Lacking any real subject matter in order to test a camera, lens or film, I realize that I’ve shot a number of clichés. Not necessarily a bad thing…but clichés nevertheless.

Here are some of my dreaded cliché shots:

The Converging Railroad Track Cliché

Train Bridge USA

The Solitary Tree Cliché

The Solitary Tree Cliché

The Cat Cliché

Maggie the Cat takes a Snooze

The Empty Park Bench Cliché

The Empty Park Bench Cliché

Of course, it’s all a matter of personal opinion (on what is and is not a photo cliché) but I scribbled down some notes in order to steer me from such blatant clichés in the future.

Shoot a gorgeous girl…ut, oh…that’s a cliché! Well, I did my best to mix-it-up by shooting in natural light on high-speed film.

Allison - Kitschy in Burbank

I cross-processed the shot below in the wrong chemistry to achieve the “look.” (Unfortunately, Cross-Processing is the newest cliché!)

William "Orville" Hellfire

Is it a cliché?…probably…but at least it looks good!

Enjoying the Minolta Weathermatic 110 Camera

I’ve made it a habit to attach text to every image I post. Attaching text to an image will sometimes “wash away” that cliché via words. Frisky the cat transforms from cliché to Super-Cat when it’s explained that he was saved from death to become local TV star.

Frisky (The FBI Guy Cat)

Don’t take one shot…snap a bunch. You’ll never know what you’re gonna get. Sometimes some fun stuff (like the snap from a recent Pizza Friday at the office)

PIZZA FRIDAY 10/23/2009

The takeaway from today’s blog? Shoot now, worry about the cliché later…and ultimately…have fun!

Additional web reading:

101 Cliches of Photography

Photo Clichés:
Collecting pictures of people being uniquely hilarious, just like all the other people who took the same photo.