Will It Ever End?

I was silly enough to think that the pixel wars were winding down and would soon come to an end. It’s crazy! We currently have the highest MP cameras available in each respective format. But Hasselblad has recently announced both a 50 MP and 60 MP product both due out next year. They have also subsequently scrapped their trade-up program because, “they say” they are reducing price point on everything to a level that makes the trade-up program unnecessary. And just two weeks ago, Canon announced their 5D Mark II with 21 MP at $2500!!

I am not sure if the price drop is a good or bad thing, but we all knew it would come eventually. But I am really still surprised at the increasing megapixels. So many clients don’t even know what to do with that many megapixels!

And whatever money we save as a result of lower camera prices will be completely offset by the added expense of storage required for all of these huge files!

I am a huge gadget / tech freak and always love getting the latest greatest thing, but I must say that part of me longs for the days when you would buy a really good camera and it would last you a career!

UnitedHealthcare July 2008

Two months later and I just realized that we had not shared ANY of the imagery we did for UnitedHealthcare this summer. One my favorite shots is the one below. This is an image built from four separate shots:

  1. The Hillside
  2. The Shrubs
  3. The Signage
  4. The Sky

We got up in a helicopter on a very hazy morning, (the schedule did not permit us to wait for a gorgeous day) and shot a series of hillside shots. I had passed this spot many time in my life and always wanted to use it for some kind of shot. This image finally gave me the chance. We scouted the hillside about a week earlier from the air to make sure it would work. Of course the day we scouted was much nicer than the day we actually shot. You might ask why we didn’t just use the scout shots, well there were several reasons. We were scouting from a fixed wing aircraft, not a helicopter and we also were not using a gyroscope on the scout which helps to steady the camera. The helicopter gave us much more flexibility in moving around the hills and in getting different angles. We were also able to get in much closer for some, and having the door on the helicopter open made it much easier to shoot.

The shrubs were also from this series of shots and made a nice addition to the bare hillside.

The following week we were in studio for the majority of the shots (we had done exclusively location work the first week). On one of those days we shot the signage. The signage was a scale model we had built and stood about 18″ tall and stretched about 8′-9′ wide.

Once we were done with all of the main shooting, we moved into the post-production phase and this was one of the first shots we started on, although it was probably one of the last ones we finished. It was during this stage that we added the nice sky and built the shadows and composited it all together.

I am hoping to get more of these kinds of projects, I love shooting from the air and it is great fun to pull an image together out of many elements….and have it work!

Photograph ©2008 Dana Hursey Photography

An Honor….

Last year I did a post on Staying Inspired, in which I shared a photo I had taken of my favorite instructor during my time at Art Center, Archie Ferrante or more accurately;Arcangelo Dante Ferrante. I took the photo about 10 years after graduating from Art Center during a class I was taking to re-inspire myself.

Yesterday a colleague who is on the Photo Department Faculty at the Academy of Art in San Francisco contacted me and indicated they were naming the Digital Lab up there after Archie. Very Cool!! I was very honored though when he requested my photo of Archie, to be used for the plaque.

Archie is an amazing photographer and an even more amazing human being. He is warm, intelligent, loving, talented, full of life, and hilarious! He is always the first person I think of, when thinking of my time at Art Center.

Archie is no longer at Art Center, he left there some years back after not being treated so well by the powers that be at the time. But karma being what it is, those who treated him poorly have all been unceremoniously booted out! Yea!

I am so happy that Archie is getting this small token of appreciation for who and what he is. This marvelous man has touched many lives, brightened many days, and has brought craft and integrity to our profession.

Thank You Archie! We Love You! ……………Okaaayyyy Liiiiiights!!!!!

Archie Ferrante © Dana Hursey Photography

International Photography Awards – 2008

I am really not one to enter competitions. But this year I have been prompted by friends and colleagues to do so. Today a colleague of mine e-mailed me to congratulate me on being acknowledged by the IPA’s. This was news to me! So I went over to check things out and it appears that we got Honorable Mention for both the “Cowboy Chow Time” Shot in the Self Promotion category and the same for the series of “Cowboy Portraits” in the Portrait category! Kinda cool! – Thanks to everyone who pitched in on these shots to make them what they are!

Honorable Mention 2008 IPA Lucie Awards

Location Shooting Kit

We recently came upon a great digital location kit. These days we have been shooting a lot close to home and have not been traveling like we used to. So even most of our location shooting around here has been such that we have been able to provide the client with a nice big screen to look at and haven’t had to worry too much about being lean and mean. But should we ever have the need I think we will seriously look into this shooting kit.

It is a self contained setup by a company called Tidy Pixels that holds your laptop, backup drive and enough battery power to go all day. It also has a Wacom Tablet which has really become our preferred way to work, as well as an effective light shade. It all is enclosed in a Pelican case and to us seems like the perfect solution for someone who is always on the move and does not require a big workstation on location.

You can get a lot more details and check out photos at their web site.

New Blog Design

Yesterday we upgraded the software we use for our blogging and consequently had to revamp the design to make it all work. So we hope you enjoy the cleaner look and better functionality. We think it is easier to read and an overall better layout (while not being dramatically different). Enjoy your weekend and we’ll be back on Monday!

VW Routan

We just recently finished a LONG two day shoot for Volkswagen, for their new minivan the Routan.

We were doing the follow up web and billboard campaign for a commercial they were filming here in California. Focused on the Hispanic market, the job came out of an agency in Miami. We shot two 14 hours days on a Saturday and Sunday and did somewhere in the neighborhood of 125 shots in studio.

We were using the same family that was cast for the commercial, so they were already used to their roles and wardrobe, which allowed us to be a lot more productive. Some of the shots were of the family members demonstrating some of the features of the car. And the majority of shots were done against white (VW’s “look”).

Family shots are going to be used in conjunction with car “beauty” shots for outdoor billboards which are already showing up around town, and the individual shots are already being used for the animated web site here. In addition to the family we also where shooting the “family dog” as well as a frog that has a prominent role in the commercial. We have a few selects on our web site.

I have to say there is something very enjoyable about shooting people on a pure and simple white background. The client seemed pleased with the results so we hope to see them again!

Okay I leave you with one of the frog photos….
VW Routan Frog - © 2008 Dana Hursey Photography


We have really fallen off the blogging band-wagon recently. A lot has been going on here and we have been remiss in sharing.
We will do our best to get back on track and will start the process tomorrow!