traveler BTS

here is a quick behind the scenes on my latest picture ‘traveler’. just a simple littlefolk, but here is a bit of what went into making it.

here is the picture I started with:


I then took a bunch of extension pictures of the surrounding area:

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merged them all together:

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then I cropped and fuzzed the edges of all the pictures, and here is the background done!:

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now here is the picture of aliza I used:

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I cut out the background, and placed her into the composition, here is a close-up of with and without shadows:

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then I added the color correction:

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and thats it! the final picture (bigger on flickr):

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as I sad above, just a simple shot, but think it came out pretty well mainly owing the the incredible light and colors this time of year.

a lot more to come, but probably not very soon as what aliza and I are working on at the moment is by far our most ambitious and exciting project to date.  stay tuned!


fly — behind the scenes

I havent posted here for far too long, here’s to changing that!  anyway, here is a bit of what went into making my latest picture, fly. it is the second picture in a new (probably) three part series.



I started by placing two music stands in a field, the airplanes are taped to string, and then taped to a piece of foam board lying in between two music stands.  I had to use multiple strings per airplane, as it was a gusty day. the foam board not only holds all the airplanes, it also acts as a reflector/diffuser, creating nice soft light on the subjects.


the final picture was taken with a lens that allows me to change the angle of the focus plane (aka the tilt of a tilt-shift lens), so I can have nice sliver of focus, and still have the background grass and trees sharp (or near to it).  here is what the final picture looked like out of camera


and the vantage point from which it was taken.


to shoot the person (me), I tried to match the lighting/background as close as possible, as it will make it easier to cut out in post, and make a cleaner final picture.  sadly there was nothing to hang from in the middle of the field, (no way!) so me and bub (my brother) rigged up a rotting old ladder contraption. it certainly doesn’t meet code, and it wasent even quite tall enough, so I had to do two pictures, one for my legs and one for my upper body.



after a whole lot of masking, a bit of color correcting and a few hours, the final picture makes a whooshing noise as it is uploaded to the internet.  you can see it full size here.Image

behind the firebreakers photoshoot

for the teleidescope theme  “freeze/warmth” nellie (aliza) and I (bobo/zev) have been talking for a while of doing a picture with fire and water. at long last, and rather on the proverbial spur of the moment, we piled into the car with our good friend eunice (or couth), brothers, mothers, torches and towels and headed to Nantasket beach just in time for sunset.

arriving at the beach, as the last glimmer of sun disappears (by couth):

once dipped in oil, we light the torches (by couth):

then set out in to the water (by couth):

and I start shooting, and shouting directions (by couth):

here are some outtakes that I shoot (by zev (me!)):

and the finale picture (by me):

after shooting, we sit on the beach and eat Indian food we picked up on the way there (by nellie):

and then we watch a amazing unexpected fireworks show (by nellie):

what a day.  here is a stop motion animation by couth of the whole evening:

simple origami pleating

this for you, joey!


first we need to divide the paper up, so start by folding in half:



then, fold those 2 halves in half:


now the quarters in half:


and finally, fold the 8 8ths in half to make a nice sheet of paper, divided in to 16ths in one direction:


now, we have to do all of that the other way, so start by folding in half:


and so on. here is the final product:


and now the boring monotonousness is over, it’s time for he fun part!  I think a video best shows what to do, so you can see one here.


tada! you are done.  it should look some thing like this:




but don’t stop here!  try making it with paper divided into 32ths or 64ths! or try dividing it diagonally instead of orthogonally, or starting in the middle and working your way out, or…  anything else you cn come up with!



origami star pyramid

as promised, here is some of what I’ve been inventing for the past couple of days.

I’m calling it a star pyramid, and it is an origami… thing that I designed from one piece of paper. it ends up being about 6 in square when using 9 in square paper.

making one involves dividing up the paper in 64ths diagonally (this is the horrible part):

then pleat folding in a spiral pattern starting in the middle:

continuing outwards with the zigzag pleating:

then when there is nothing more to fold, it’s done. throw it under a book and tada:

how to get your uncle to clean your grandfather’s pocketwatch

since a few people have asked us what goes in to making our photos, we’ve decided to give you a little demonstration of the basic process. enjoy!
  • first step (not shown): concept development

agonize for roughly seven days on how to interpret the theme (‘memory’). this step should include (but not be limited to) finding several things that you want to photograph but are either 1) not permitted by the weather of the week, 2) would require a tremendous amount of legal maneuvering, or 3) risk life and/or limb. after all this, you should come back to the first idea that you had when you heard the theme and decide that it’s not that bad after all.


  • second step: subject hunt/capture 

locate and photograph your grandfather’s pocketwatch (pre-expansion photo shown below).


  • third step: subject hunt/capture (cont.)
invite your uncle over for some soup and get him to stand in your living room in funny positions while you shine lights on him from strange angles. a sister to hold a piece of fabric in the background is highly recommended for masking purposes. the soup is the most important part of this step, so don’t skimp on it.


  • fourth step (not shown): hours of toil

bittersweet chocolate, toasted bagel with avocado, and herbal tea highly recommended for best results.


congratulations, you may now humbly consider yourself a genius.



  • sixth step (optional): blog

get your sister to write an overly pretentious blog post about her skewed perception of the photo-making process.