- Stephen L. Garrett
Chapel Hill's TOPO Distillery recently launched a beautiful new website featuring photos and video I shot. I had a lot of fun working with the TOPO crew and the website designers at Sproket House on this one! Check out the new site here: http://topodistillery.com/#spirits
- Stephen L. Garrett
I recently got to collaborate with National Geographic photographer and Sewanee alum Stephen Alvarez on a video about his work. The piece was commissioned by National Geographic Assignment, which is an agency that connects National Geographic photographers with commercial clients. I got to film Alvarez shooting on Sewanee's campus, conduct an interview, and collaborate with him on the editing for the piece. After being featured on petapixel.com, the video got a huge boost in plays. As of this writing it's at 6274 views!
-Stephen L. Garrett
I'm a cyclist with a slight obsession with titanium bicycles. So you can imagine my excitement when my friends at Back Alley Bikes in Carrboro connected me to Jim Kish of Kish Fabrication - makers of beautiful custom titanium bicycles. I had no idea that a bike builder of his caliber was in the area. Jim wanted new product shots for his website. He recently completed two new custom builds - one mountain bike and one cross bike. He asked me to shoot images of the whole bikes, but also he needed detail shots that show the quality of his welds, his cool stainless steel head tube logo, and this really quite fantastic etching on the cross frame. The etching pattern was taken from the client's grandmother's wallpaper design!
Jim requested that I find a creative location for the bikes. He wanted to get away from shots of the bikes on a solid color backdrop. I couldn't think of a better location than the Haw River Ballroom.
But first, I needed more gear! I've gotten away with just my cameras and a small on-camera flash for years. But I'm starting to get more requests for product shots and portraits. So I knew I needed more flash power to step up my game. I went to Southeastern Camera in Carrboro and found a nifty pair of used Interfit Cyberflash 300s. These are really portable flat panel strobes that have adjustable output and can be set up as slaves of each other - meaning that when one fires, the other goes off instantly. I bought an extra 10 foot light stand to add to my new set of stands and about 75 feet of extension cords. I also bought 3 Phottix Atlas II wireless flash triggers. They aren't quite as fancy as Pocket Wizards but more than adequate for me at the moment. And maybe the best thing of all is my new Sekonic light meter. Why haven't I bought one of those before now?
This shoot was really my first paid gig for a client with this newly improved kit. I learned a lot about how the flash units work together. I was able to take pictures that I wasn't able to pull off before.
On location at the Haw River Ballroom, I loved the "thrills" sign next to the stage. I thought that suited the bicycles well. And the staff at the Ballroom was really accommodating when I asked them to turn that on and put away a whole bunch of ping pong tables covering the floor (and when I asked them to roll a huge screen off the stage (and pack away a large set of speakers and associated cables)). I'm guilty of being demanding (hopefully politely) sometimes when I have a shot I want to try. Result? Awesome bikes on an awesome stage.
I'm pretty happy with how it all turned out, and luckily, so was Jim. Here's a snippet of what he said in his email to me:
"Holy s*&#! ... I'm speechless--there are so many great shots & new creative stuff you worked in it's awesome. It's amazing to me that you could do so much in a new environment with a new subject... So, obviously, GREAT JOB I could not be happier!" - Jim Kish
So, that felt nice.
Stephen L. Garrett
Here's the latest video in the Sewanee Stories series. In this video we follow Eileen - a student who is an artist, scientist, dj, barista, and makes spirituality a part of her life on campus. I particularly enjoyed shooting macro images of moths for this piece. Special thanks to Nathan Clendenin for his excellent work on second camera.
I really enjoyed working on the latest Real Doctors, Real People video. Check out this video to see how we incorporated archival footage and photography into this story about UNC researcher and playwright Keith Burridge.
It's been a big year at EmpyreanMedia.
January found me in Uganda field producing a series of videos about an anti-malaria campaign. That work resulted in the production of 5 videos. Earlier that month, my colleague and friend Nathan Clendenin and I traveled to New Mexico to film a UNC nurse who was a hot air balloon pilot. It was quite a month!
After many months of hard, fun work, we were excited to learn that Real Doctors Real People garnered 2 regional Emmy® nominations - for the series as a whole and for editing for one episode. Additionally, RN: Real Nurses was nominated for photography for the New Mexico piece! We'll find out on January 26th if we win, as we travel to Nashville for the awards ceremony! I co-produced and edited 24 videos for the UNC Medical News Office this year.
My alma mater The University of the South brought me to campus for many projects throughout the year. I met many wonderful students, learned all about several excellent summer programs, and next year may prove to be even more exciting. More news about big news there soon I hope. All told I produced 26 videos for The University of the South that launched this year.
My work with Cana Collective continued as well. I shot several weddings as a still photographer and several videos too. I'm excited to see what next year brings! I produced, or assisted in the production of 4 wedding videos this year.
I was also involved in the production of 12 other videos for various clients, including the UNC Superfund Research Program, the UNC Weight Research Program/Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Delta Rae, and Top of the Hill Distillery. This adds up to 67 video projects for the year, my highest number yet!
Thanks to all my friends, colleagues, clients, and family for your continued support and trust.
Happy Holidays and here's to an even better year in 2013.
-Stephen L. Garrett, EmpyreanMedia.