Archive for the ‘Photo shoots’ Category

Collodion Wet-Plate Series: The Flight, From Concept to Completion

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

From 2010 to 2012, we’ve poured every ounce of creativity, from concept to completion, into the production of our 15-piece collodion wet-plate series, “The Flight.”

A collection of collodion tintypes/ferrotypes, the finale of “The Flight” is presented in the video below to allow you to experience the behind-the-scenes feel of the shoots, the styling, the developing and the sharing of this monumental series inspired by a poem my niece, Carly, wrote.

I give the biggest thanks to the five-person team behind the production of this collection — without them, I could have fulfilled only one aspect of the series: the making of the collodion images themselves. The integrated visions, creative collaboration and constant effort made “The Flight,” one of my proudest series yet.

We hope that this video is the springboard to “The Flight’s” future in galleries across the U.S. Her first stop will be at Pop Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico this spring.

As “The Flight” makes its rounds in galleries and exhibits across the States, we are simultaneously concepting our next big collodion wet-plate series. Each project we create grows in both scope and production, but it’s to further the reach of the beauty of collodion wet-plate photography. Our studio is rooted not in re-enacting the past techniques and styles of collodion wet-plate photography, but in re-inventing the future of how collodion wet-plate photography can co-exist in a digital photography world.

For us, it’s the ultimate labor of love for this style of photography that is both elegant and timeless.

We are absolutely excited for our next ultimate wet-plate challenge. Please tell us your thoughts, comments and questions about this fine art.

Collodion Wet-Plate Series: The Flight, Finishing Shots

Monday, September 24th, 2012

We had a fantastic weekend shooting out at “Flight” model Gwen’s family farm in Grain Valley, Missouri, this month.

The site was beautiful, with historic log cabin and a sparkling pond — an ideal setting to shoot a few “Flight ” finishing shots.

flight thomas gibson studio collodion wet plate

flight thomas gibson studio collodion wet plate

flight thomas gibson studio collodion wet plateSee how the series has evolved and expanded:

The Flight Part 1

The Flight Part 2

The Flight Part 3

The Flight Part 4

Here’s a look at the collateral we’re putting together to share with art galleries and art enthusiasts around the nation.

the flight promotional thomas allcroft gibson collodion wet plate art

the flight promotional thomas allcroft gibson collodion wet plate art

the flight promotional thomas allcroft gibson collodion wet plate art

Be sure to check out the Thomas Gibson Studio Facebook page for additional pictures (and easier viewing).

A Collodion Book Cover: Pearls Freaks the #*%# Out: A Pearls Before Swine Treasury

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Thomas Gibson Studio is thrilled to reveal one of our latest projects: A collodion cover image shot for Stephan Pastis’ soon-to-be-released book, Pearls Freaks the #*%# Out: A Pearls Before Swine Treasury.

Pearls Freaks the #*%# Out: A Pearls Before Swine Treasury

The book, due out on September 25, showcases all strips from Larry in Wonderland and Because Sometimes You Just Gotta Draw a Cover with Your Left Hand. Stephan also adds in insightful, raw commentary to give you a glimpse of what was really going on in his head when he came up with the concepts for the strips.

For us, concepting the look and feel of the book cover was a task in both creative thinking and collodion + digital strategy.

Stephan told us that he wanted his cartoon characters to appear in the right light in the background but not overstage him as the main character (because those pants, as he mentions on his blog, needed some great attention!).

With that direction, we knew that all the wet-plate ferrotypes we produced eventually had to be mixed with digital takes to create the ultimate view — the final image. This means there were 20-30 tins exposed with another 300 digital files.

In addition to the attention to detail for the actual imagery, we took great time building the set, casting the models, dressing the set and shooting, editing and compositing the photographic story. This took us a month and a half to produce — and it was well worth every minute that we put into it.

We couldn’t be more excited to have worked with Stephan. Our art director told us that he said it was the best piece he had ever had produced! It’s feedback like that that keeps us doing what we’re doing at the studio — and it speaks volumes to the power of collodion wet-plate photography.

Sometimes the simplest ideas can take a while to assemble ,and often times are more elaborate than what appears to the eye. We hope you enjoy!

Handcrafted Imagery: Flight Cages

Monday, May 21st, 2012

To really get our creative juices flowing, sometimes it’s best to try something different from the norm.

At the end of each week, we like to reflect on the and think outside our digital world, so we’ve recently begun a creative exercise in shooting outside the digital box.

Dedicating time to shooting on film or collodion wet plate helps offset all the time we spend working in digital with our clients. (You know how we feel at TGS about collodion — it’s the new film frontier!).

As always, when we are in production on a fine art series, we try to dissect the story line or poem/storyboard and illustrate each image.

thomas gibson studio flight cages tintype

Sher did the styling, and we wove symbolic items into the story such as the keys, meaning freedom; and the crow, symbolizing knowledge and curiosity.

Enjoy this piece, a 24 x 30 still life tintype called “Flight Cages,” and be sure to dedicate a day to creativity each week!

Collodion Wet-Plate Series: The Flight Part 4

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Thomas Gibson Studio is excited to release two more images from our new series “The Flight.”

Be sure to check out part 1, part 2 and part 3 to see what other pieces we’ve shared to date.

thomas gibson studio the flight flexed wings

thomas gibson studio the flight twilling

These mixed-media (ambrotypes and ferrotypes) are free of digital enhancement. That’s the raw beauty of collodion wet-plate photography shining through.

“The Flight” is inspired by a poem of the same name written by my niece, Carly. We’re bringing this piece to life in a series of photographs, books and a gallery showing by the end of summer.

“Flight”

Who can say what makes the soul take flight?
A breath of wind can change a spirit’s course.
On wings we seek our dreams, our selves,
That flesh and bone might take our truest form.
There’s a child born every now and then.
With a yearning that flutters and darts.
And all of the trappings and lures of this world.
Can’t capture her wildness of heart.
She’d let her heart fly free and soar,
If it grow a pair of wings.
Though it would go, at least she’d know
That it was free of earthbound dreams.
She packs for a time she can’t sense yet,
Taking little to nothing at all.
Her love is her freedom, her hope — the horizon
And to follow its sirens call.
To trilling notes she’d dance and float
Her feet as fleet as birds uncaged;
Her dream-flight dress rehearsal
For the somedays that she craved
From deep within, the skysong called:
It was Piper to her cage’d will.
And though her feet were rooted deep,
Her hopeful spirit rallied still.
And so it happened, on a twilit ramble,
Watching violets ink across the sky,
The music of the heavens filled her being.
She flexed her wings, and fluttered into life.
Darting against the deepening sky,
Pursuing-at last-the vanishing gold,
The youngling winged with rapture
And gloried in it hundredfold.
With twigs, with string, with bric-a-brac
We build a nest we’re bound to leave
Errant feathers may be left behind,
But brought along are the things unseen.

Collodion Wet-Plate Series: The Flight Part 2

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

From a collodion perspective, “Flight” is a unique blend of two different types of wet-plate photography processes. Each 20 x 24 photo is part of a larger series that, once complete, will illustrate the entire poem.

thomas gibson studio gwen the flight

{Our model for "Flight," Gwen, holds the finished piece.}

We hope to complete 20 images in the fairy tale series. This series has touches of old and new mixed into a series of large-production photographic metaphors.

thomas gibson studio the flight 20 x 24

{Collodion wet-plate photographer and model Gwen hold finished 20 x 24 collodion photographs of "Flight."}

The ferrotypes that accompany the poem are layered with an additional ambrotype line of poetry.

First the Ferrotype is shot of the model then later we photograph a large printed mural of the poem copy onto glass a Ambrotype. The two are sandwiched together to make the finished one of a kind piece!

Collodion Wet-Plate Series: The Flight Part 1

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

Thomas Gibson Studio recently finished the first 20 x 24 ferrotype in a new collodion wet-plate series called “Flight.”

thomas gibson studio the flight

Inspired by a poem written by my niece Carly, “Flight” brings to life a story of a young woman who has always had dreams of taking flight to another place.

 

“Flight”

Who can say what makes the soul take flight?
A breath of wind can change a spirit’s course.
On wings we seek our dreams, our selves,
That flesh and bone might take our truest form.
There’s a child born every now and then.
With a yearning that flutters and darts.
And all of the trappings and lures of this world.
Can’t capture her wildness of heart.
She’d let her heart fly free and soar,
If it grow a pair of wings.
Though it would go, at least she’d know
That it was free of earthbound dreams.
She packs for a time she can’t sense yet,
Taking little to nothing at all.
Her love is her freedom, her hope — the horizon
And to follow its sirens call.
To trilling notes she’d dance and float
Her feet as fleet as birds uncaged;
Her dream-flight dress rehearsal
For the somedays that she craved
From deep within, the skysong called:
It was Piper to her cage’d will.
And though her feet were rooted deep,
Her hopeful spirit rallied still.
And so it happened, on a twilit ramble,
Watching violets ink across the sky,
The music of the heavens filled her being.
She flexed her wings, and fluttered into life.
Darting against the deepening sky,
Pursuing-at last-the vanishing gold,
The youngling winged with rapture
And gloried in it hundredfold.
With twigs, with string, with bric-a-brac
We build a nest we’re bound to leave
Errant feathers may be left behind,
But brought along are the things unseen.

thomas gibson studio the flight wings

Thematically, it involves the struggles of good and evil in the reality of the young woman’s world. She grew up in nature’s world and had always put herself in many of the fairy tales she read as a child. As she matures she encounters the simplicity of nature and continues to yearn for other worlds

To help bring this theme to life, we hired Portland, Oregon, artist Geahk Burchill to design the head bust of the crow and wings. We discovered Geahk on Etsy, one of our favorite online spots for inspiration.

The wings are individually airbrushed with extreme attention to detail. He designed a special harness for our model to put on puts on; then, the wings are attached to give them a realistic shape.

Check back next week for part two of the Flight.

Cover Shoot for Natural Home and Garden Magazine

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

One of the best things about shooting editorial is the teamwork that goes into getting the perfect images. Recently, the editors at Natural Home and Garden magazine, a national, green lifestyle magazine based in Topeka, Kansas, called upon us to help capture the perfect cover images for their summer issue.

We’ve worked with Natural Home and Garden for the past few years to help them with their photography needs to create beautiful spreads in the magazine; to be able to help on a cover shoot was an amazing opportunity to get our creative juices flowing even more for the perfect shot we knew would attract the magazine’s more than 200,000 readers.

A shoot is a bit like a small film production, with a cast, crew and a director. In this instance, the cast was a gorgeous selection of local, organic foods for the magazine’s cover story, “Eat Better, Spend Less.” The crew consisted of my assistant, Travis, and me taking art direction from the magazine’s editors — the directors. Natural Home and Garden editor Jessica Kellner and lifestyle editor Ginevra Pylant provided the vision for the shoot based on the cover story’s fresh-food angle.

thomas gibson studio and natural home and garden editors

{Thomas Gibson Studio photo assistant Travis, Thomas Gibson, Natural Home and Garden editor Jessica Kellner and Natural Home and Garden lifestyle editor Ginevra Pylant get together for a day of shooting the summer cover of the magazine.}

“We wanted the photos to inspire our readers to eat fresh this summer, and wanted to tell the story of someone who had just returned from their garden or farmer’s market with a fresh supply of produce and flowers,” Jessica says. “We chose organic and vintage items, many from our own homes and from a local antique store (Locust Street Market), because we love the look and we support the idea of reuse over buying new.”

setting up the shot at thomas gibson studio

{Setting up the cover shot at Thomas Gibson Studio}

adjusting the shot at thomas gibson studio

{Adjusting the setup and checking out the view from the camera before capturing the shot}

With the help of everyone on the team, we were able to make the potential cover images come to life. Here’s a sneak peek at one of the shots being considered for the cover.

natural home and garden magazine cover mock up

{Thomas Gibson Studio shot several images for Natural Home and Garden's cover story, "Eat Well, Spend Less."}