Tuesday, December 8, 2009

'Tis the season...

(Sara bundled up for the Christmas tree hunt...)

UPDATES UPDATES UPDATES... Just in time for the Winter season, I've added some new work to the gallery. 5 pieces, to be exact. And details on the upcoming art show will be announced soon. Just getting some special details ironed out. Keep checking this space for all the juicy info.

In other news, I'm nearly 250 days into my photo project. Things are getting interesting. I'm looking for a venue to showcase a best-of retrospective on the past year in photos. If anyone is interested, has a space, or wants to collaborate on a show, get in touch with me :)

And lastly, the official holiday cards '09 are being printed as we speak. To receive one, email me your address and that's it. Happy Festivus to all!

More soon. 'Till then...


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Reinventing the wheel...

So I'm posting up a new "old" piece here. The story goes like this... I did an illustration very much like this one back in my college days. It's always been a favourite of mine, but the execution of the work showed flaws 5 years after the fact. So I had this dilemma on my hands... do I use the piece or forget about it? Neither. I just recreated it from parts of the old illustration and a truck-load of my most up-to-date photos. Now, I think I've breathed some new life into an old idea that I really enjoyed.

I can't recommend this enough to any other artists reading this... sometimes you've had ideas years and years ago that you've since forgotten about. Maybe you have some work that you aren't too likely to show to anyone because it doesn't represent you anymore. But there's no harm in recycling an old idea and updating your work. As a matter of fact, it's a great way to revisit old inspiration you haven't thought of in a while. Or, to build up your portfolio when you think you're just 'out of ideas.' No, you're not. You just had that great idea a long time ago. Consider the old version a preliminary sketch and get back on the horse, pal. There's art to be made!!


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fall has arrived!

Happy autumn, everyone! This is my favourite season of the year. The world around you just seems to thrive as the air begins to get cooler. You still have those warm days and crisp nights. The colors explode off of every plant like no other time of year. The reds, the yellows, the oranges, bright and vivid on every branch. With autumn comes two of my favourite holidays, as well. Thanksgiving, where you get the time to be in the company of your loved ones and stuff your face with no shame. And Halloween, perhaps the most fun holiday of all, where even adults get to masqerade like children and leave their identities behind for a night and revel in the glory of pure unbridled sin and earthly gluttony. Because life is for the living, after all!

With so much energy in the air, I always feel charged to do more work. I'm more inspired by the fun and playfulness of this time of year. It's a time for celebration, love, and enjoying life to its fullest. Plus, it's the last hurrah before the winter doldrums set in and we all find ourselves stuck indoors for 4 months. So I want to get out as frequently as possible and make the most of what's left of this beautiful weather and let the spirit of the season inspire me.

I've posted several new projects in the gallery and one new one here. I'm going to release more details soon, but I'm happy to announce I'll be having my second solo show early 2010 at the now legendary 12 Steps Down. The last show was awesome and I plan to make this one even better. More details to follow, but know I'm pulling out all the stops on this one. It'll be a time to remember.

Also, I'd like to take a second to thank all the people who have been stopping by my site and getting in touch with me lately. I really appreciate all the feedback. And a special howdy to Sugarland, Texas for having maybe the coolest name I think I've ever heard.

More projects in the works. Fluidoptics.com [LINK] is still going strong! Almost half a year of taking photos every day. Also, I'm attempting a rather big project that I hope to speak more about in the near future. News on that to follow. Stay tuned and see what ideas the winds of autumn sweep into my mind's eye!

Warmest regards,

Saturday, September 19, 2009


So, the weather this weekend is beautiful. And tomorrow I'll be spending the day peddling my wares at a craft show in NJ. If you're free and looking for something to do outside, come check out the vendors and get some hot apple cider and say hi! It's just over the river from Philly and there's plenty to do in and around the area.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

August in bloom.

My newest piece, titled 'August in bloom." I'm in a bit of a bright phase lately. It's a nice change of pace to do stuff that's just light and airy instead of the usual gloom and surrealism. More groovy stuff on the way. I'm on my way out to do another shoot right now. Maybe not as happy and fluffy. We'll see... should be fun.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

On the subject of productivity...

The new piece above is titled "Vrksasana" after the yoga pose. I was working on some really dark Lovecraft-inspired stuff this week and I just needed to take a break and do something sunny and uplifting. So this is what came out. The lovely miss Sara and I took a hot yoga class once. It was really something. We've been meaning to do it again since but she's a busy gal and I spend about 5 hours a day in front of a computer editing my photos... so yeah. That being said, though, it was a real workout and really fun.

In other news, I'm branching out and listing myself (and my work) on lots of portfolio sites. If you check out the links section of my page, you'll notice I've updated it a bit. There are a couple new links to my Illustrationmundo and Behance pages. Go check 'em out. They're groovy.

I've also got a few new projects in the tubes. I'll be shooting one tomorrow. Arranged to have a model available and I'm trying some new stuff out. Should be pretty cool. I'd like to have it complete by the end of the week so be looking forward to that.

And as always, I'm about 125 days into my photo-a-day project and going strong. It's quite an experience and I'm having alot of fun doing it. So please check it out and spread the word.

That's all for now. More on the way, so stay tuned!


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

How to make an infrared filter for your SLR...

Every once in a while I get into a D.I.Y. kinda mood and start researching new ways to do my work. I've always had an interest in finding a way to work in the infrared spectrum, but I didn't have the $100 or so to drop on a good infrared filter for my camera. Chances are, most of us aren't willing to shell out that much just to 'try it out'.

After browsing around online, I came across lots of discussion on this topic. And a few people pointed something interesting out... both exposed film and floppy disk film filter out infrared light. Problem was, most of these instructions were for point-and-shoot models or they were a hack job that just looked ugly. I needed something larger that would fit my lens and nicer looking. Now, I know their results worked to a degree, but who would take you seriously if they saw you shooting with duct tape and cardboard stuck to the front of your lens? I wanted to take it a step further and really come up with something that was both functional AND could pass for a Hoya R72 at first glance. So here's what I came up with...

1. Get a plain old UV filter for your lens. I had a spare 58mm Calumet filter for my kit lens, so that's what I worked with. They retail for about $13 so I wasn't too worried about breaking it if my hand slipped. Besides, these are a dime a dozen on craigslist.

2. Get a roll of 120 color negative film. I used Fuji Reala 100. Other instructions call for any exposed film, but 35mm (a) has sprocket holes and (b) isn't wide enough to cover an SLR lens. Stick with the 120.

You want an entire roll that's been exposed, so much to the photo clerk's surprise, I tore open the pack, peeled off the backing, and held the film up to the store window for about 30 seconds to be sure the film was overexposed. Make sure to tell the person developing your film that yes, you know it will all be black, and yes, that's what you intended. Otherwise you might risk them throwing the roll out thinking it was defective. Also, if they ask if you want your film cut, say no. Most processing places will happily sleeve your entire roll uncut. This will be helpful later...

3. Disassemble the filter. Depending on your brand, there will be a retaining ring in the front or back of your filter that holds the glass in place. Some are screw-off and some are tension coils. Mine is a tension coil but either one works fine. Remove the retaining ring and carefully remove the glass with a lens cloth to protect your hands and to keep the glass smudge-free.

4. Use the glass as a template. Unroll your exposed film (still in the plastic sleeve) and use a sharpie to trace around the edge. You want to trace at least two, preferably three, circles onto your sleeved film. Once you've traced three circles, carefully cut each one out so you end up with several identical discs of film.

-This is where experimentation comes in...-

Some say that two pieces of film is enough to filter your light and get that groovy IR effect. After trying this out myself, I found that I was still getting a little too much residual light for my taste. So I opted for a third layer to darken things down even further and allow only IR light to pass. If you find that two layers work for you, keep it. If it works, it works. If you don't mind a longer exposure however, do what I did and go for three layers.

5. Replace the glass in your filter ring and sandwich your cut discs of film on the rear side of the filter assembly. Do this carefully and keep the cut discs of film in the plastic sleeve until you place them to avoid fingerprints. Just be sure not to leave the sleeve material in the filter assembly or you'll end up having to remove it later and that's just a pain. Once your discs are in place, put the retaining ring back (carefully) and make sure your pieces of film are held down.

And you're done!

When complete, your filter should look like the one at the top of this article. Looking through the filter, you shouldn't see any light. That's a good thing because your camera will. Now screw your new filter to your lens and go take some pictures. Remember, your exposure times will be LONG. And since this is D.I.Y. and not an exact science, your results will be slightly different than others. Just experiment with your camera's settings and find what works best for you.



Thursday, July 23, 2009

So I had this dream...

New work. Adding it to the library soon. Simply titled 'falling.' Everyone's had this dream before. Some say it represents feeling uneasy or unsure of something. Others say it serves as a warning. Like maybe you noticed something unsafe during the day and your subconscious is telling you to take caution. And then there's the scientists who say it's either A: genetic memories passed on to us from our tree-dwelling ancestors or B: a drop in blood pressure as you drift off that gives you the 'woosh' sensation. Whatever it is, it's one of those memories we all seem to possess for inexplicable reason. Things like this intrigue me.
If anyone has had any unusual dreams they'd like to share, I'd like to illustrate them :) Please send emails or leave comments!

Monday, July 20, 2009

The winds of change.

So, it's been a little while since my last post. Things have been a little chaotic. If we speak regularly, you know what I'm talking about. But thankfully, as it always does, things are turning positive and I'm keeping myself motivated and busy with (another) round of mailers and some new work.

Long story very short for the uninitiated:
economy sucks. things went south at work. my position was eliminated. i'm doing just fine (seriously) and it's actually giving me a nice little break before i start the next phase. the end.

Anyway, life goes on and I'm now living just downtown from my previous residence. The dear Miss Sara and I have moved in with each other and things are going well. The big Birthday Season is approaching fast (myself, sara, her dad, emily, and my brother all in 2 weeks...) so starting next weekend, the party is on. God help us all.

Well, more news later. Just wanted to update quick since I've been a bit of a digital ghost as of late. Hope all of you out there are doing splendidly and I hope to see alot of you the weekend of the 1st. Drinks and merriment fer' sher'.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

So I had just bought some loose-leaf tea...

... and was taking a nice walk through the Italian Market with Sara when suddenly, our path was blocked by a filming crew. And who was standing 5 feet away?

Weird. And awesome. I kinda wanted to yell something about LA Confidential being the coolest movie ever... but I didn't. He smiled a lot and waved to people. It made my day a little more entertaining. The end.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


I'm trying some new shooting techniques out today. This was my first successful test shot of Ophelia (click for a bigger image):

I'm about to get in my car and do a little location scouting. And i'll most likely be stopping at the art store while i'm out, too. So by the end of the day, i'm probably going to be making a big giant photo post. YAY! i'm feeling inspired.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Neat things...

random shot from this past weekend. i like mild summer evenings where it's daylight 'till almost 9pm and you can watch the moon rise while it's still sunny. there's just something cool about that.


there's no real point to this post except to highlight some things i've been eyeballing lately:
must own one of these... that'd be so much fun to shoot with! how did i NOT KNOW that this existed??

next on my reading list.if anyone already read it and wants to pass it along, let me know!

Opteka 42" 5-in-1 reflector disc
i want to shoot more stuff using reflectors and natural lighting and this would be such a great addition to my kit... and they're only about 30 bucks on amazon. might have to get one.

I've had a weird obsession with terrariums these past few weeks. i'm gonna make a trip to the thrift store this weekend and see if i can find a cool jar and make one. not only would it look awesome just as decoration, but i've got this idea in my head about making tiny landscapes and photographing them... so i'm gonna make one to start and see how that goes. :)

there's an antique store down the road from me and they have a giant bin full of old antique keys. all shapes and sizes and levels of deteriorating. they're awesome. i might go grab a few of these to shoot, also.

and while i'm thinking of it...
i want to scour craigslist for old frames people are tossing out. i'm such a sucker for old weathered stuff like this. it just has so much character to it. my mind has this way of making up a story for anything old like this and how it came to be in someone's house or on a shelf in the thrift store or in a basement...

on another note, this is Sara's new furry companion, Oona:
she's a little monster. but adorable nonetheless.

that's all for now. this was a just-for-smiles post. :)


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day weekend...

So sad it's over. What a nice weekend it turned out to be. The lovely miss Sara and I spent a few days in Jersey exploring our back yard and soaking up some sun. Here's a special bonus round-up of photos from the weekend that I wanted to elaborate on... For more photos, check out my big 30th day post at my other site, www.fluidoptics.com

Saturday was beautiful and I shot lots of photos walking around philly before heading to jerz:

It was one of those days where the clouds almost literally seemed painted onto the sky. Absolutely beautiful. Before going to to a nice sushi dinner, the lady and I took our friend's dog for a walk in the park (we were dog-sitting this weekend, too.)

He's a handsome little fella. Hyper as hell, but a sweet dog. The following day, we went out to Jersey in the morning and spent a large portion of the day taking walks, playing with the dog, barbecuing, and getting the pool uncovered (I CAN'T wait to swim...). Later in the evening, there was a great summertime thunderstorm that rolled through and eased the humidity just in time for bed...

On monday, we took a little road trip out to Wharton State Forest and explored Apple Pie Hill, one of the coolest places in the NJ pine barrens (google it). It's hard to find and you have to drive down 3 miles of unmarked dirt roads, but if you can get there, it's worth the trip. You can see both Philadelphia AND Atlantic City at the same time from the summit. The view is amazing.

The view below your feet, however, is a little more terrifying...

After exploring the surrounding woods and taking some dance shots (which you can see on Sara's blog here) she decided to take me to Batsto Village since I've never been there. It's a colonial town on the other side of the park about 20 minutes away and it's been preserved to look just the way it did in the mid 1800's. Seriously... this place was cool. And kinda creepy and ghost-townish. But mostly cool.

We also found this little guy hanging out on an outhouse that had a loose board on the side...

That evening, we watched a movie, had more barbecue, and then spent all day today lounging around the house because of a sudden change in the weather. Overnight, it went from 90 degrees and sunny/overcast to being around 55 degrees and rainy. Go figure. But all things considered, it was an awesome weekend filled with exploration and fun. I can't wait to do more sightseeing this summer. There are so many places I'd like to check out and I think a little roadtrip is in order (weird NJ being the tourguide...). But that's another story. Hope you all had a great weekend too! Get out there and enjoy the sun :)

And again, thanks for reading! ENJOY~


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Walkabout. A love note to my city...

So, three weeks have passed since I started the photo-a-day project over at www.fluidoptics.com and I'm having a blast. I haven't missed a day, and I don't intend to. It's filling me with ideas and inspiration that I would have never found otherwise. It's my version of keeping a sketchbook. On my free days, I like to take a little stroll around different parts of town and explore all the hidden nooks and crannies everyone takes for granted or completely passes by. That's where I found my friend here:

He came out from behind some nearby cars and watched as I shot some photos of an abandoned building. I'm a fan of cats, and having the company while shooting didn't bother me in the least. Then as I stood to walk down the street, I noticed I wasn't alone.

To my surprise, this fella quickly became my shadow and followed me around for the next 20 minutes or so, pausing to get my attention every time I would stop for a shot, often times even jumping into the frame. When I checked my photos this evening, he showed up in 23 shots.

In the end, he became distracted by some sort of rodent in a nearby garden and took off. But before he disappeared, he came back once more to rub against my leg and then sprint after his dinner.

I like these seemingly random occurrences that come out of nowhere and make your day a little more interesting. And these walkabouts through the forgotten passages of this city are full of fun surprises. It makes me thankful that I live where I do. Philadelphia really is a beautiful and unique city that's so rich with history and stories that are kept alive through the years by the very streets and bricks this city was built upon. Every broken bit of pavement and crumbling wall has a story. The pulleys that still hang from the roofs of old houses; the bent railing on a church that's flanked by new construction; a tiny yet vibrant vegetable garden tucked into an alley; lost earrings and puzzlingly discarded clothing showing up in the most unexpected of places.. presumably misplaced near the swingset after a drunken late-night rendezvous gone awry. You could write a compelling story about any of these things and that was just a single day's discoveries. You never know what these roads will toss at you next. And that's what keeps me motivated and excited to wake up and do this every day. It's always such a fun adventure.

I love this town.

Saturday, May 9, 2009



Two of my favourite people in the world just welcomed their gigantic baby boy into the world earlier today. I'm the proud godfather of little Silas! And how appropriate that this Sunday is mother's day. Congratulations to all three of you. You're awesome folks and you're going to be the best, most loving parents to this loud and HUGE little dude. What a set of pipes he had over the phone! Incredible. My thoughts and prayers and well-wishes are with you guys. I love you both and I can't wait to meet him! Oh, and be sure to tell your folks I said congratulations to them as well! I gotta pay them a visit next time I get back home... Now get some rest. You deserve it.

Thank God the week is over... seems like it's been a long one. And the rain FINALLY broke today. What a nice change of pace. Gonna be spending the weekend with Sara. Must. Shoot. Photos. Go on over to www.fluidoptics.com and check out this week's treasures. Lots of location scouting this past week... gonna do some composition work on my days off here. New illy(s?) by tuesday night, so come back soon.

So much excitement. Must rest...

Peace, love, and babies.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

7 days of rain and counting....

Well, i'm officially tired of this dreary weather. it's taking a toll on my good mood. but despite the gloom, i'm happy to say that my new project over at www.fluidoptics.com seems to be doing quite well. Thank You to all who are checking it out and sharing your thoughts. if you haven't checked it out, please do.

in other news, today i built myself a light box for some upcoming work. this is what a lightbox looks like:

you take a big sheet of foam board, cut it into equal squares, tape the edges up and then add some lighting. and before you know it, you're shooting small objects with crystal clarity on a little seamless backdrop. interesting, no? it's gonna be awfully useful. i'm experimenting with some new techniques i'm kinda developing. time will ultimately tell if it's a successful experiment, but it's certianly something to do and so far, the results are kinda cool.

i'm writing addresses on labels for my mailers right now and getting prepared to send out booklets and make the appropriate calls to some local art directors. keep those fingers crossed... you may see my work in print in the near future.

the stock photo idea has come up yet again and this time i'm giving it some more serious consideration. the photo-a-day project has got me shooting alot more and i think it'd be worthwhile to see what, if anything, i can do to make it profitable. if anyone knows a stock service that pays fairly and sees a good return, let me know. i'm shopping around.

well, that's all for now. still waiting on news of my godson's grand entrance into this world. could be any moment now. i'm excited. in the meantime, more work... more ideas... more to come. stay tuned!


Wednesday, April 29, 2009


As some of you may be aware, I've started a new project. Think of it as a real-time sketchbook. It's my photo-a-day blog where I will post a new image from my daily travels, no matter the circumstances. I'm sticking to it. And it won't always be good, but I promise it will at the very least be interesting. Please go to www.fluidoptics.com and subscribe to the RSS feed here. And as always, thank you all so much for supporting my craziness. It means the world to me.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

New Hope, old friends...

Spent the day in New Hope, PA today with the lady and good lord, what beautiful weather we had. It was 85 and sunny. Tomorrow (today?) it's going to reach 90. It's like summer came out of nowhere... and I love it. We met up with some old friends of ours for dinner while we were there and enjoyed sangria and fondue in a cute little open-air patio restaurant we like to go to. Overall, it was a perfect day. We got there just after 1pm and stayed 'till 11. It just so happens it was the shad festival this weekend, too, so it was full of excitement and business. That also meant there were lots of little street vendors and interesting people everywhere you turned. So much fun... can't wait to go back when it's a little less crowded and go for a walk along the river and maybe take a train ride.

In other news... I'm just a short while away from being first-time Godfather. I'm waiting on news, but some very close friends of mine are due to have their first any time now. So here's wishing them all the best as they welcome their colossal bundle of joy into the world :) Send 'em some good vibes. My prayers and best wishes are with you three!! Godspeed and I can't wait to meet the little fella!

That's all for now. Gotta get up early and shoot photos in the park while the weather is so nice...

be excellent~


Friday, April 24, 2009


Just a quick post before falling asleep. Got an email from Jonathan Barkat (my mentor, www.jonathanbarkat.com) a few minutes ago with a couple portraits he took of me this past week. Gotta hand it to him... he knows how to shoot a photo.

There were suggestions that I was doing a vincent gallo impersonation...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It's in the mail...

The next round of mailers are all ready. All that's left is to stamp 'em and drop them in the mailbox. This time, I think I'm going to be more forward and make more follow-up calls about a week or so after they're out the door. I'm targeting a more local area this time around, as well. My goal is to sit down with some art directors and get some time face-to-face to introduce myself and my work. Let's hope this works! Pray for Mojo.

I'm also re-doing the album artwork for The Gentlemen's Club's debut album, Black Light Sex Rock (http://www.myspace.com/thegentlemensclubmusic). They're releasing a special-edition version of the album with all new tracks and I was asked to re-boot the artwork to go along with it. It's turning out well. Here's a preview of the cover:

I wanted to go with a lighter, kinda retro pin-up feel for this version. It's fun and playful this way, I think. And as always, the lovely lady Sara looks stunning.

This weekend looks like it's going to be beautiful. They're forecasting mid 80's and sunny. So I think the lady and I are going to go out to New Hope / Lambertville and spend the day amongst the new-age hippies down there. I love that place. I'm sure it will be crowded, but it'll be well worth it. Plus we can bend some elbows at Triumph Brewing Co. and enjoy some tasty food while we're there too. Yum.

Well, that's all for now. Time to go to work. Go get some fresh air.
Be excellent.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It's in the details.

Working with my new camera has been great. I've already taken a ton of pictures... I'm definitely going to need a new hard drive soon. I took this photo last night when I was about to go to sleep. The cat joined me while I was looking at some shots I had taken earlier in the evening. Then she did this whole thing here. Neat, huh? The noise reduction on this thing is amazing.

ISO - 1600; F/3.5; 1/21 sec.; 18-55 kit lens at 18mm

I might start a new project... I'm still debating whether or not I'd keep up with it, but I've always wanted to do a photo-a-day project. I've got a new camera. I've got a camera phone if I don't have the slr with me. So in theory, I could easily upload a photo a day somehow. Might be interesting. Would that be something worth viewing? Please discuss.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Armed and dangerous...

I am no longer a photo-less photo-illustrator. I made the big leap and dished out the funding for some new gear and good lord, I'm happy about it. First and foremost, I must thank Stacey who sold me an incredible camera at a very fair price. I can't thank you enough for your honesty and for helping a fellow artist out of a rough situation. It's greatly appreciated. The camera has found a great new home.

That being said, I'm naming the new camera Stacey, out of gratitude.

Now on to business... I have had plenty of time to think about future projects in the past 3 months while my poor old camera lay dying. I'm still debating getting the old fella repaired to be used as a backup body. I'm going to have to check out service prices, though. I just made one invenstment and I have a few others ahead of me so it's one step at a time. But in the meanwhile, mailers are being finalized and I'm going to be making some calls in the very near future to sit down with some art directors. Let's hope for positive news :)

Also, I'm currently looking at getting involved in craft shows and doing another gallery show in the near future. More news on that as it develops. But after having so much fun at the last show, I can't say no to doing it again. This one will be better-promoted and (hopefully) in a larger venue. The goal will be to pack the house. I wanna party.

Well, I'm off to go hunt down a movie. Then it's back to the city to get down to work. I'll be visiting pierre's costume shop in the morning. Promises to be fun!...


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Longwood gardens...

This place is kinda awesome. beautiful weather 2day. enjoying some much-needed relaxation with sara. good times =)