I’ve got to be honest, I was pretty nervous about the prospect of photographing Attorney General Bob Ferguson. I like to think that over the years I’ve gotten pretty good at learning how to shlep off the usual jitters before a shoot. I still get nervous, which is great, it keeps the job exciting, but this assignment felt a little different, it felt a little heavier.
In case you missed it Bob Ferguson is Washington State’s Attorney General, who within 24 hours filed suit against President Trump’s travel ban, ultimately leading to ban’s pausing and judicial review. Mr. Ferguson also happens to be an internationally rated chess master. Read the Met’s full story here.
As a middle class white guy, I can appreciate that there are a lot of other people more qualified to speak personally about the profound affects of Donald Trump’s Executive Order 13769, so I will spare you my two cents. What I will offer is my sincere gratitude to AG Ferguson for giving me back a little peace of mind and confidence in the legal mechanisms framed in our constitution. So to you Mr. Ferguson, I thank you!
When the Deloitte Review assignment to photograph Sidewalk Labs CEO Dan Doctoroff landed, we knew up front that access to Dan would be a challenge. Like most people whose resume includes titles such as Deputy mayor of NYC, and former CEO and Director of Bloomberg LP, Dan’s time is highly managed. Not surprisingly, we were granted 30 minutes with Doctoroff at his Sidewalk Labs office in the glistening new 10 Hudson Yards high rise located in Chelsea.
Sidelwalk labs is reimagining how technology can impact the way we live in cities. It was critical to me that we found a way to portray Dan as a visionary, boldly paving the way to a new future in city living. The real challenge for us was how do we connect Dan to the city while being confined in an office, a situation made worse by the fact that the partially finished building’s windows were recently installed and streaked with dirt and grime. The solution – clamp on 3 stops of ND, crank open the aperture and let a shallow depth of field blur the widows for a background plate, then massage in a dreamy sky from my recent honeymoon in Tanzania.
Here at Oliver Ludlow Pictures we shoot a lot of personal work. Why? It gives us the opportunity to risk, to create without restrictions and chase those images that persist in haunting our daydreams. We also do it because it’s fun! So welcome aboard, and please do enjoy our behind the scenes video.
It is always a thrill to see your work in print. Especially when it’s a cover!
A few months back we got a call from Carleton College “Voice” magazine, expressing their interest in publishing our images of Miles McDonough as part of an alumni feature. In addition to our previous work with the Snohomish County Helicopter Rescue Team, we created additional artwork for the back-side of the cover, and a portrait for the feature.
Right about this time last year I had the unforgettable experience of working with DeAndre Yedlin for Golazo. Yedlin is an athletic force of reckoning! A unique blend of sheer agility, lightening quickness and raw power; and at the time a humble nineteen year old in his freshman MLS season playing for the city he grew up in. Later that year DeAndre Yedlin would go on to represent the US in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and subsequently sign a four year contract with the Tottenham Hotspurs in the English Premiere League.
Many thanks to Ian Goode and the crew at Gigantic Squid for the sublime retouching job on this one! Click here to see before and after pics over at Gigantic Squid.
I have a love – hate relationship with composite photography. The amount of tools available to photographers in our digital era, enable us to realize our creative vision with unprecedented freedom. It’s an exciting time to be a photographer! That said, all these tools are just that – a means to an end, so its important for me to ask some pertty basic questions upfront when deciding if a composite workflow is appropriate for any given project; can I achieve my creative vision in camera? What unique challenges will shooting composite present, and do those challenges outweigh the benefits?
This series was a lot of fun to work on and had some pretty unique hurdles to jump along the way.
Location scouting in the digital era.
I always prefer to shoot background plates first. In this case having a stand-in helped immensely as a reference when shooting the athletes.
We photographed Audi Cycling Team rider Sam Waples in the studio on a free standing rolling trainer. That rig allowed Sam to actually ride on the trainer. It was a critical piece of the puzzle that gave the final composite the authenticity that is always a struggle to maintain in a composite workflow.
We used specialized software developed for automotive photographers to create realistic motion blurs.
Earlier this year Virginia Marshall, editor of Adventure Kayak Magazine approached me to use one of my images of Kiliii Fish. So I thought this would be a great opportunity to reflect on how these images came to life!
Kiliii Fish is just one of those people who when you meet for the first time you instantly want to know more about. He has a frenetic and thoughtful presence, and a wealth of knowledge to share about all things outdoors. Combine that our mutual love of being on the water and photography and we hit it off from the start.
“Skin on frame kayak builder, photographer, filmmaker, expedition kayaker, climber, musician, wilderness survival instructor, and primitive skills guide — if we had to put a label on Kiliii Fish, it might be outdoor adventure Renaissance man.” – Adventure Kayak
My approach to creating images always starts with a clear vision of what I want to create; and these images were burned into my mind’s retina long before any shutters clicked. Crafting that mental image and deconstructing it’s visual language is personally the most enjoyable part of the process. Getting down to the details of realizing that vision, is where the work starts.
These images were shot at Ruby Beach on the west coast of Washington State. From the beginning I knew I wanted to use the stunning Sea Stacks of the Washington Coast as a backdrop and to give context to the images. That presented a number of logistical challenges. I chose to shoot the images at a time when a low-tide would give the sea stacks the most dramatic impact. Finding a suitable shoot day when that low-tide would coincide with soft evening light was the key to pulling the whole image together.
You can view the entire digital edition of the magazine online here:
I had a great time working with and leaning about the Snohomish County Helicopter Rescue Team (SCHRT) during the processes of shooting this series. This elite team is made up almost entirely of volunteers, who donate their time and expertise to provide a critically needed service to this region. Aside from their primary mission to providing rescue/medical assistance to injured and inaccessible persons, they respond to a variety of emergency situations including a search for a lost child, a missing Alzheimer’s patient, a mass casualty event such as a bridge collapse, or even fighting fires.
Because of recent federal funding cuts, this service is in jeopardy of shutting down. Learn more about what you can do to help HERE.
Its never easy pulling a concept like this together that has so many moving pieces. It is however an exciting moment when the image moves out the catalog of images knocking around in my mind and takes on a life of it’s own.
The real challenge with this picture was to match individual’s elevations and feet placement to the rocky terrain. We used a “family reunion” of apple boxes, wedges, and green cloth to create the form we needed.
The concept for the the mountain rescue series, really sprung out of the desire to shoot some interesting imagery focused around headlamps. It was also just a great excuse to get into some high country and explore a little more of our breathtaking natural environment here in Washington state.
It’s been my experience that when shooting composite work it is best to shoot the plate shots first. We considered various locations, but quickly decided that the Sahale Glacier Camp in the North Cascades would give us the kind of vistas we were looking for. It also has the added bonus of being relatively accessible while still offering world class landscapes. To capture the kinds of landscapes we needed, required us to shoot well after sunset and sunrise, for two days. That meant we needed a camp that is accessible enough to hike in all our camping equipment and camera gear. It’s incredible how quickly camera gear gets heavy when your backpacking.
Looking out across the Stehekin Valley, upper left shows Sahale Glacier and Peak.
Our kit got heavy quick once we added climbing gear, camera equipment, camping supplies and food for two days. Considering all our other weight requirements we decided to pack only freeze dried food. My assistant Casey Nation is camouflaged in by the rocks.
The quality of views from the Glacier were awe inspiring, day and night!
Part 2 of the post coming up, where we get some help from the Snohomish County Helicopter Rescue Team…