Hammondovi: Blog http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) Hammondovi geoff@hammondovi.com (Hammondovi) Mon, 04 Sep 2017 15:59:00 GMT Mon, 04 Sep 2017 15:59:00 GMT http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/img/s/v-5/u12836994-o253194032-50.jpg Hammondovi: Blog http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog 120 80 Rest. Portraits in Prague http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/11/rest-portraits-in-prague

A restaurant for foodies, an atmosphere for artists; Rest. Restaurant is by nature a place where adventurous tastes are refined to satisfy. It is the appreciation of art, simplicity and eccentricity that guided the theme of portraits portraying their staff.

 

Vojta, the owner of this foodie haven, brought up the idea over grilled calamari and a fine Moravian wine.

He opened up a book of art and pointed out a still of Andy Warhol eating a hamburger. He wanted to do something like this - simple and understated.

 

 

Via email, another sample was sent. A portrait of writer Jonathan Safran Foer was the supporting image to the still of Warhol.

 

Jonathan Safran Foer by Uffe FrandsenJonathan Safran Foer by Uffe Frandsen

 

Then a video reference for lighting, a music video by Editors - A Tone of Love

 

 

So, that was the guiding imagery.

 

The thought was to create portraits that could be hung as prints in the restaurant, adding to the artwork and decor. Black and white, simple with a bend toward the eccentric.

 

We agreed that each staff member would bring something that represented their personal life or place in the restaurant.

Then, following the composition of the sample images and the lighting of the music video, we would create the final images.

 

Oh, and I needed to be able to do this in a very compact, international-travel-friendly way. Budget and 10 days of prior travel required it.

 

(Click on an image to open the whole gallery.)

 

 

Equipment:

Canon EOS 70D

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4

Canon 580EX

Canon 430EX II

MeFoto RoadTrip Tripod

Steve Kaeser 7’ Light Stand

 

…plus a white cloth napkin and my wife’s scrunchie to diffuse the background flash, and a light-colored ceiling to bounce the on-camera flash.

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geoff@hammondovi.com (Hammondovi) art canon commercial photography creative photography czech republic mefoto photography portrait prague rest. restaurant restaurant snim ci jim travel tripod http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/11/rest-portraits-in-prague Mon, 16 Nov 2015 18:10:46 GMT
Up At Dawn http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/7/up-at-dawn London + Saturday  + dawn = empty scenics.

When my wife first moved to London, she set up a time and place to meet her friend who had been living there for a while. The place they chose to meet? Piccadilly Circus. If you have ever been to London and visited this popular spot, then you probably understand why I chuckled at their choice of meeting spot.

This photo shows what the area looks like on a typical day.
Piccadilly Circus - Typical mob sceneKD5Q8050Piccadilly Circus - Typical mob scene

I wanted to photograph this very popular spot for my stock photo library. Since I wasn't going to get model releases for all of the strangers nor property releases from all of the advertisers in this area, I had to get creative. It's easy enough to just photograph the tops of statues and buildings, but I wanted more.

So, I posed a question. Saturday morning at dawn, how many business people and tourists would actually be up and occupying this large square?
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Almost none, it turns out. All I had to do was find a good angle where there would be few or no logos to have to clone out in Photoshop and Bob's your uncle!

That wasn't so easy a task either. There are businesses throughout Piccadilly Circus vying for your attention and your custom. The angle I chose gave me good light and a relatively low amount of logos. Then, the buses started to drive through. That was just what I needed to block out most of the logos! This is the result.
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The blurred buses, also loaded with advertisements, covered up the Virgin Megastore logos. I was left with just a handful of banners all smallish in the background.

With this new-to-me revelation, I continued to find crowded areas to photograph at dawn around London. One of the locations, also commonly crowded with people and cars, is Buckingham Palace.

So, one Saturday morning I took off on the Tube, which started much too late for a dawn arrival, and made my way to the Palace. When I arrived, there was not a tourist nor a businessman in sight. There were, however, many police setting up barriers and walking the area. It seems I had arrived on the day of the Trooping of the Colour. Fortuitous, for sure. There went my plans to capture the grounds completely empty, though.
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Seeing the number of police, I stepped up to one and asked what was happening. The polite bobby let me know about the day's events and what they were all about. So, I surveyed the area and planted myself in a very good spot for photographing. I called Martina to come join me and we got to see the whole parade, plus... KD5Q5102KD5Q5102
 

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I gave the Queen my regrets about our upcoming tea plans and said we would try again once she retired and had more time on her hands.

So, my advice to you when photographing a large city like London is to get up and into the city by dawn on a Saturday or Sunday to capture it in ways most people don't or won't. Not only will you likely catch the streets devoid of businesspeople and tourists, but you might also catch something much more unexpected.

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geoff@hammondovi.com (Hammondovi) Buckingham Palace London Photography Piccadilly Circus Queen UK travel http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/7/up-at-dawn Wed, 23 Jul 2014 17:56:05 GMT
Czech Republic Photo Tour http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/7/czech-republic-photo-tour Morning in Prague

From 1996 to 1998, I lived in Sokolov, Czech Republic and taught conversational English in an elementary school.

In 2004, my wife and I moved to London, UK where I began my own photography business. We traveled regularly to the Czech Republic to visit with her side of the family and our friends. While living in the UK, I co-organized or headed up several multi-photographer events, organizing models, locations, and other logistics.

After moving to Texas and becoming heavily involved with our church here, I began to lead mission trips twice a year to the Czech Republic. I also continued to organize multi-photographer events with repeat attenders.

Cesky Krumlov

My love of photography, organizing events and traveling to the Czech Republic have lead me to this most natural evolution of my business:

Czech Republic Photo Tours

In October of this year, I am taking a Discovery Tour limited to 5 attendees. We will tour various cities from the capital city of Prague to the UNESCO listed Cesky Krumlov to the spa town of Karlovy Vary.

The cost of this tour covers ground transportation, food, hotels and me as your photographer guide. This tour price is too low to advertise here and only available for those attending this Discovery Tour. I will be asking for feedback from each of the attendees to help me prepare for the next tour in spring 2015.

If you are seriously considering coming on the tour, please contact me using the form on this website.

You can be just a travel enthusiast with a point-and-shoot camera or a professional photographer. At any level, you are welcome to join me. You may even bring your smart phone to take photos, though I suggest bringing a camera as your backup.
 

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I'll be giving some pointers on what to bring and discuss what we will photograph. Be ready to have a great time and learn a few things along the way. I take a relaxed approach to the teaching aspect of this trip.

IMG_4096IMG_4096 And just one more photo for good measure. All of these are in places we will visit on this trip, including this one from Loket, where my wife and I were married.

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I look forward to hearing from you. If you know someone that you think would be interested in joining me in October, please send them this post and have them contact me.

Thank you,
Geoff Hammond

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geoff@hammondovi.com (Hammondovi) Czech Republic photo photography tour travel http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/7/czech-republic-photo-tour Thu, 10 Jul 2014 22:18:20 GMT
Hammondovi does Gorilla Weddings http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/3/hammondovi-does-gorilla-weddings Wedding - Hampstead, UKWedding - Hampstead, UK Wedding - Austin, TXWedding - Austin, TX

Have you ever seen a gorilla wedding? As of yet, I have not.

Now, I am taking part in a business based around the concept of guerrilla weddings, called Gorilla Weddings (they don't actually wed gorillas, to my knowledge). Like guerrilla warfare, only much nicer, this wedding style descends on a location for one hour to have a ceremony and then hightails it outta Dodge. That's it. No frills, no large withdrawals from your bank account. Sweet, simple and affordable.

Gorilla Weddings is offering more than just the guerrilla-style wedding. However, this is the basis of their wedding approach.
You get an officiant (someone who can legally marry you), a photographer (pick me, obviously) and off you go. Read their website for more details about how to find a place, how many people you can/should bring, etc.

Take a look at the other two photographers also available on the website. Choose your favorite and book 'em (subliminal message "em" = "me" backwards). Have a look at my wedding gallery to see if it is a fit for you.

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geoff@hammondovi.com (Hammondovi) gorilla wedding guerilla guerrilla wedding photography wedding http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/3/hammondovi-does-gorilla-weddings Tue, 11 Mar 2014 21:29:31 GMT
Year in Review 2013 http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/1/year-in-review-2013

Last year rocked!

While going through it I couldn't see just how much, but I was saying throughout that it was a good year. Now I look at the photos and see it was an amazing year!

Hammondovi Year in Review

Take your time and go through it. Please share your favorites using the links and sign the guest book.

I thank God for bringing so much blessing into my business. I'm so grateful for the people who hired me, modelled in front of my camera, or just let me record life as it happened. Many fond memories of such talented people.

Here is a list of people and businesses you will see:

Elle LaMont - Actress

Dicks Sporting Goods

Martina Hammond

Sky Candy

Church at Canyon Creek - Czech Missions

Brad Montesi

Northside Fitness

Motoreum

Motostalgia

Minawear

Et Cetera Pole Duo

Mobility Authority

Meals on Wheels

Regia Bakery

Corvalent

Heyman Talent

Patricia M Peters

Chart Westcott

Family clients

and many of my friends and family

 

In the first quarter of 2013 I was accepted into the Stocksy collection just before launch. Thus this year I began photographing stock with their aesthetics in mind. Some of those images are in this review. See my complete portfolio here: Hammondovi on Stocksy.

 

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geoff@hammondovi.com (Hammondovi) 2013 hammondovi photography year in review http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/1/year-in-review-2013 Sat, 18 Jan 2014 04:15:27 GMT
Post Post-Processing http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/1/post-post-processing There are times when I look back at photos I have taken and realize they can be processed so much better than the last time.
This is just such an occasion.

This image was taken during an iStock mini'lypse here in Austin in 2011. The first round of processing, I went for total color saturation and contrast and found myself constantly fighting blown-out highlights. The second round it was still not coming together as I had hoped. Contrast seemed to be the enemy in my processes.

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After letting it sit for a while, I came back to this image. Lightroom 4 had come out, Photoshop CS6 had been released and I had experimented with more processes. Finally, I felt comfortable muting the colors and making this image look old and faded. While I didn't go to the extent of adding textures, I am much happier with this result than the last two attempts. So much so, that it is now a part of my iStock portfolio. The image below was my muse to create the template for this look.

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It is still a new look for my images and I somewhat hesitate at the muddiness of the highlights. This particular processing will only work on a select few images. For these, it works well.

See the original processes on my earlier blog here.

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geoff@hammondovi.com (Hammondovi) http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/1/post-post-processing Fri, 25 Jan 2013 22:23:19 GMT
Alien in Austin - Creatives at Play http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/1/alien-in-austin DC4C5772 WARNING: Creatives at play.

I have to admit, I love to have play dates with my friends. This is one of those times.
Our friend, Elle LaMont, a lady of many talents, had a big gap in her schedule and asked if we could "play" together. I'm paraphrasing here.
It has been a while since she has modeled for me. Martina and I always love working with Elle, so we were excited to find a day that worked for us all.
As soon as our mutual friend Kristie Whites heard about it, she was ready to jump on board. Another very talented lady who made sure we had the right costume and extra set of creative eyes to oversee the details.

I presented a short list of ideas. The one that was both easy and a little more wild was this one.

Retro Alien in Austin: a 1960's inspired look of an alien in human form.
The first images that came to mind were of Elizabeth Hurley's Vanessa Kensington character in Austin Powers. I'm sure you can picture it, the one that Dr. Evil had her put on once she and Austin Powers were captured.

The idea was pretty simple. Go to a highly populated public space, make a quick appearance, shout out, get reactions from the public and capture it on camera. The result was to look as though she had surprised the unsuspecting public with her appearance from outer space - beamed down, as it were.
Well, this is Austin. They are used to keeping it weird. Weird, is never weird enough here. So, we mostly got looks of mild interest, disgust or amused smiles. Not quite the shock and awe I was imagining, but it worked.

The locations we hit were the food trailers on South Congress Avenue and around the flagship Whole Foods Market on Lamar and 6th Street. You can see the food court in one shot. In another shot is 6th Street just beside Whole Foods where she stands in traffic.

Mitch Bergsma, another creative friend of ours, was able to join us and capture the shoot on video. He edited the footage and put together the video you see below. Be sure to let him know if you appreciate his work over on YouTube. I know we appreciated it!

For the photo geeks, this was shot on my Canon 1D Mk II (an oldie, but a goodie) with a Canon 17-40 f/4 L lens. I used a Canon 580EX speedlight mounted to a boom arm that Martina hand-held. It was synced with radio slaves and I used a 24" soft box for some shots and bare on others. The images are processed in both Lightroom 4 and Photoshop CS6.

You can see more of the final and behind-the-scenes photos here.

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geoff@hammondovi.com (Hammondovi) http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/1/alien-in-austin Mon, 14 Jan 2013 18:34:03 GMT
The Ring Master http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/11/the-ring-master The Ring Master is an image I submitted to a contest and won. The final design was used in various advertising to promote an arts event.

Limited_Edition_Poster Earlier this year, Photoshop CS 6 Beta had been released and I was itching to try it out. Looking at my current theme of choice, it was easy to decide to continue with the circus theme for my sample project. The resulting image was used in a limited edition poster currently on sale to raise funds for the Arts and Culture Board in Georgetown, Texas.

I'd like to share with you the process of producing this image and then the final design.

First I wanted to find an anchoring image to work from. While collecting favorites within Lightroom, the image of Jennifer Lynn really struck me. She had pulled the "skirt" of this old costume out making it look like the top of a circus tent. The top hat she wore gave her a ring master feel. Her downward gaze gave me the idea to put something within her line-of-sight. Considering these various attributes, I decided to produce a mini circus under the tent of her skirt.

_D5Q0647 Isolating the elements from each of the photos to fit within the tent was easy with the new power of PS CS 6. I have never bragged as much about a software product as I have this one.
The Sky Candy shoot in April was one of my favorites in a long while. I knew this contortionist image would fit well and so the photo of Brynn was one of the first I had picked. Placing her so it didn't look awkward and yet still gave some overlap was a slight challenge. In some placements it looked like she was being kicked over.

_D5Q2389 From that same day of photography at Sky Candy, I chose another image to fulfill the need for a hanging character. Jacob's photo had a nice clean feel to it with good lines in the pose he did.

_D5Q2095 Once these two had been placed into the montage, I knew I would need another hanging character to add visual balance. I had looked at various aerial silks photos and other aerial apparatuses, but the ones I liked most were with the trapeze. The photo of Tricia, shot in March 2011, was from a series I did with her impromptu during one of our Volve group meet-ups.

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A similar image was used in the 2011 Georgetown Banner Art Project and is again a part of that collection this year.

_D5Q7119 Using the three characters under the tent, I played with position and shadows and finally concluded they needed to be smaller. I had my requisite odd number of characters, but they didn't fill up the space very well.

So, from an iStock mini'lypse (a weekend group photo shoot) I helped organize, I pulled one of my images of a little girl on a tricycle with balloons. She has such a sweet expression and is looking in the right direction, that I was able to use her to lighten up the feel of the montage a little.

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Now, there was still a need for one more character... someone to go in front of the ring master.

From the same mini'lypse came the final image of the miniature characters. This image of Marissa gave me a symmetrical piece to place in the middle of the image. I didn't realize how much of an anchoring image this would become later.

_D5Q9509 There was now some depth in the image, but not as much as I wanted. At this point, I don't remember if I brought in the elephant first or the background tent. At some point, though, I had remembered this image of an actual circus tent I photographed in London back in 2005. Using a simple Photoshop technique, I added a foggy overlay to separate the tent from the foreground features. It was meant to just give a slight reference without detracting from the image.

As it turned out, the images I had taken didn't produce a single image that would fill my background, so I used two different ones.

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Now the elephant... this character was a great addition, probably my favorite, and one that took the longest to integrate. Yet it has been overlooked my so many viewers. While on a mission trip to Thailand with my church, we visited a tourist attraction with elephant rides. I had photographed the elephant my wife was riding. The image, taken with a Canon 7D, was plenty big. This meant I had pixels to spare when enlarging just the section I needed. This animal was dressed in red and gold, matching the circus theme I had already established.

IMG_5827 I cropped him into the photo and isolated him from the background. So much of the elephant's trunk was hidden behind the ring master that it was not easy to make out what he was. This is when I decided to integrate the elephant much more by wrapping his trunk around the young lady's waist. For this, I got to play with another Photoshop feature called the puppet warp. I removed the trunk and then went to work manipulating it until it felt like a real part of the image.

After all this, it was time to add shadows, remove unwanted creases and get the color and contrast to match throughout. This is not a small task, yet a necessary one to make the pieces feel like part of a whole.

The image was complete and ready for submitting to a competition that emerged while I was working on this. Part of the submission guidelines called for an image that interpreted what the artist thought the Gallery Georgetown event would be. A rather vague request.

My response: a circus.

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With tongue in cheek, I submitted the image, not sure it was going to fit their theme.

To my delight, it was accepted as the winner. After conversations about designing the advertisements, I took on the task. While I did the magazine ads and ad posters on my own, I knew the limited edition poster was not up to snuff.

So, I consulted not less than three of the best designers I know and trust. From their feedback the final design was formed.

One hundred copies of the limited edition print were made. I signed and numbered them all. This past Saturday was the actual event in which several galleries were open to share their collections and samples of food from local restaurants and wineries.

There are still some posters left for purchase. Contact the Georgetown Visitor's Center if you are interested in buying one for yourself or a friend.

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geoff@hammondovi.com (Hammondovi) http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/11/the-ring-master Thu, 08 Nov 2012 00:04:57 GMT
Czech Republic Exploratory Trip http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/5/czech-republic-exploratory-trip The past two weeks I have been in the Czech Republic. My wife and I went for two main reasons: church missions work and photo tours preparation. Since this is my photography blog, I will concentrate on that aspect of our travels.

Beginning in September of this year, I will be leading small groups of photographers of all skill levels on 10 day photography tours of west Bohemia. In the late 1990's I lived in the town of Sokolov and traveled frequently to the surrounding spa towns and castles. The landscape in between the towns is beautiful and the architecture is breath-taking.

One of my favorite towns is Loket. Here a gothic castle sits atop a hill and the rest of the town tapers down to the winding river that encompasses it all.

IMG_2010 Very close by Loket is a more well-known spa town, Karlovy Vary, also known as Carlsbad. This small city is host to an international film festival every summer. It is a popular location for not only Czechs, but also German and Russian tourists.

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IMG_1922 Of course, what trip to the Czech Republic would be complete without some time spent in Prague. This capital city is one of the best preserved since it was not heavily bombed during World War II.

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See more photos from this trip in the gallery here.

If read this post you know that I was engaged in an art project about Czech Heritage in Texas. That project was not funded via Kickstarter, but is still in progress. Once the photo tours begin, I will also continue the Czexan project.

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geoff@hammondovi.com (Hammondovi) Czech Republic Photo tours photography travel http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/5/czech-republic-exploratory-trip Fri, 11 May 2012 19:56:49 GMT
I am Czexan – Photo Art Project via Kickstarter.com http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/1/I-am-Czexan---Photo-Art-Project-via-Kickstarter-com czexansampleimage

Today I launched my first Kickstarter.com project, I am Czexan. Come read about it on the main project site and then also follow along on the Czexan blog: czexan.wordpress.com.

I am so excited to announce we have our first backer today! Find out who on the Czexan blog.


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geoff@hammondovi.com (Hammondovi) Creative Photography http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/1/I-am-Czexan---Photo-Art-Project-via-Kickstarter-com Mon, 30 Jan 2012 19:09:17 GMT
Pink Heals Calendar http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2011/9/Pink-Heals-Calendar I interrupt this string of blog posts about our Mystics weekend to bring you this news flash!

The Pink Heals Tour is coming to Georgetown, Texas again. This year we kickoff the event with the a calendar featuring local firemen and cancer survivors.

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Power to Survive

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From the press release:

Pink Heals 2012 Calendar Party on Sept. 29

Get one while they’re available! The Pink Heals 2012 calendar, featuring local women who are cancer survivors with Georgetown firefighters, goes on sale at a special launch party on September 29. Meet the women and firefighters featured in the calendar at this special event from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the banquet room at Wildfire restaurant, 812 S. Austin Avenue.

The Pink Heals 2012 calendar is the newest addition to Georgetown’s annual Pink Heals Tour events raising funds to support local women with cancer.

At this special event you’ll have a chance to meet the women and men pictured in the calendar and have them sign your copy. Each month features a woman (or women) with a Georgetown firefighter at a Georgetown landmark. Pink Heals 2012 calendar photographer Geoff Hammond of Hammondovi Photography also will be at the event. 

Calendar sales began in mid-August. Calendars will be on sale for $15 at the event (cash or check only), or go to pink.georgetown.org to purchase a calendar online with a credit card. 

The Pink Heals 2012 calendar and Pink Heals Tour events are sponsored by the Georgetown Fire Department and the Georgetown Association of Professional Firefighters Local 3991. 

Pink Heals Tour events in October include: 
· October 15, Strike a Pose for Pink Fashion Show, 7 p.m., CJ’s in Mel’s Lone Star Lanes
· October 22, Pink Heals 5K Run/Walk, 8 a.m., Ninth and Main streets
· October 22, Pets in Pink Parade & Contests, 10 a.m., Williamson County Courthouse east steps
· October 25, Pink Heals Tour Stop, 6 p.m., Williamson County Courthouse east steps
For all the details about Pink Heals events in October, go to pink.georgetown.org. 

Pink Heals 2011 T-shirts are for sale for $15 at Visitors Center, Georgetown Chamber of Commerce, and Georgetown fire stations. Pink Heals Hope Pennants for $5 and 2012 Pink Heals calendars for $15 are on sale at Visitors Center or online at pink.georgetown.org. 

Tickets to the Strike a Pose for Pink Fashion Show can be purchased in-person at Fire Administration, 103 W. Ninth Street, or by phone using a credit card by calling (512) 930-2406.

Proceeds from all Pink Heals events and sales benefit organizations helping local women with cancer. 
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Now for a preview. If you have read this far, you will be rewarded with this sneak peek at the gallery of images featured on the 2012 Pink Heals Calendar. Like the images, be sure to buy a calendar. Want a larger image, you may purchase them online at the above link.

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geoff@hammondovi.com (Hammondovi) Photography http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2011/9/Pink-Heals-Calendar Thu, 29 Sep 2011 09:06:07 GMT
Mystics – Part II http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2011/9/Mystics---Part-II Continuing from the Mystics weekend shoot:

The Key procured by the Warlock last battle is wanted throughout the land.
Sirens at the shore call out for the one who holds the Key.
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Even the Warlock does not resist their song as he follows into their trap.
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Having defeated the Warlock, the Sirens sing their victory at the shore.
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Hair and Makeup Credit for the Sirens – Jennifer and Kayla

Makeup: Brian Emanuel
Hair: Stephanie Marks, Asst. Hair: Lacy Pollock, both from Pinup Salon Austin

Garlands and Seaweed provided by Flower Child Design


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geoff@hammondovi.com (Hammondovi) Creative Photography http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2011/9/Mystics---Part-II Wed, 28 Sep 2011 10:00:08 GMT
Mystics – Part I http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2011/9/Mystics---Part-I Josh Baker (of AzulOx Photography) invited me to help organize and participate in a weekend-long creative shoot. Using his father’s property where we staged part of the Bohemian’lypse, we produced images under the theme of Mystics.

A couple months ago, Josh contacted me about doing this shoot with him and the initial thought involved another group of models which would be in opposition of the mystic beings. Through some unexpected last minute changes, we altered the plans and completed this shoot with just these characters.

Here are the first characters from our shoot on Saturday evening. Thank you to Mitch and Kari for their hard work as our models.

The Warlock in search of the Key, the ultimate key, hones in on a Phoenix Master as she discovers the Key on the banks of a lake.
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The Warlock finds and battles the Phoenix Master for possession of the Key.
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Having won his prize, the Warlock holds the Key tightly to his chest.
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geoff@hammondovi.com (Hammondovi) Photography http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2011/9/Mystics---Part-I Tue, 27 Sep 2011 14:30:47 GMT
Underwater Photography – The Beginning http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2011/8/Underwater-Photography---The-Beginning Come September, Josh and I will be in full swing planning our big collaborative shoot. For now the details of that will remain hush-hush, but one thing I will reveal is that part of this big shoot will include a session underwater. With this in mind (plus his other motives) Josh rented a camera housing for his 5D MKII. We got together for a couple of shoots to test the waters, if you will.

The results of our last shoot showed a little of what I have learned from trying to photograph in such a different environment. These past shoots represent the first time I have ever shot underwater.

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Tricia under water with fabric

With the help of Tricia (see Just A Phase?) we had use of a pool and a very willing model. With my friend Brennon’s help, we had oxygen tanks and an octopus of regulator elements plus some diver’s weights. After the first shoot with models, it was obvious how much these were going to help us – boy did they ever?! Finally, we had two more models, both of which have plenty of water experience and love to do crazy stuff. J.B. and Mitch were great in helping and modeling and even filming the shoot.

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Mitch screaming under water

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J.B. relaxing in the pool


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geoff@hammondovi.com (Hammondovi) Creative Photography http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2011/8/Underwater-Photography---The-Beginning Thu, 11 Aug 2011 18:49:03 GMT
Happy 4th of July http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2011/7/Happy-4th-of-July It’s hot in Texas! So hot that people come up with creative ways to cool down.

On Saturday, 2 July 2011, people finally gave in to the heat and a gun fight erupted on 6th Street in downtown Austin. A water gun fight!
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It was an all out battle of the territories. Territories determined by street corners and red lights. And when the little man turned green, it was WAR!
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All ages were affected by this outburst. Not a soul remained dry… not even the photographer.
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This is America, home of the brave. Today we celebrate those brave men and women who endured 100°+ weather to exercise their right to cool down in the most aggressive of fashions. Yes, even those who cowered at the mere thought of water in their eyes or taunted the brave behind fire truck windows.
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This 4th of July, raise your water pistol in honor of Austin and America… both that start with the letter “A.”

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geoff@hammondovi.com (Hammondovi) Photography http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2011/7/Happy-4th-of-July Mon, 04 Jul 2011 12:53:24 GMT
AustinCityLypse – An iStock Minilypse http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2011/6/AustinCityLypse---An-iStock-Minilypse  

 

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Romantic Stroll Through the Gardens

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Tea Time

In tradition of iStockers across the globe, I have taken on the challenge of another mini’lypse here in Austin. Partnered with my friend Josh Baker of AzulOx Photography, we brought together a large number of models, talented makeup artists, wardrobe and hair stylists and a few friends and family members to create an environment for iStockers to produce images for their portfolios. My favorite sessions were the Victorian Tea Party sets.

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The Victorian Wives

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Lady at Tea

This set was on our Sunday schedule. Monday also proved to be fun with our circus set up.

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Girl on Tricycle with Balloons

Some of the fun was watching the kids enjoy themselves with our props (aka balloons and cotton candy).

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Acrobat on Ball

 


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geoff@hammondovi.com (Hammondovi) Photography http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2011/6/AustinCityLypse---An-iStock-Minilypse Tue, 14 Jun 2011 15:10:09 GMT
Circus and Acroyoga http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2011/1/Circus-and-Acroyoga This week started with a bang, photographically. Two shoots that produced results with which I was overjoyed!
They both have a history leading to the reasons for setting them up that is worth mentioning.

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The shoot on Monday began with a phone call the week before about donating photography services for a fundraiser for a local school district. The sister of one of the models is helping to raise donations for this fundraiser. My past experience tells me that, though the package will likely get sold or won by someone, it will just as likely not to get redeemed. Strange in my opinion, but true.
So in order to not only provide a donation product, but also something that will get used and give benefit to the person winning/buying the product and to my business in a form of promotion, I have decided to produce a tangible product instead of a service. My friends will be helping out at the Mardi Gras themed fundraiser by utilizing their incredible talents – one will walk around on stilts and the other balance on a ball or do other acrobatic tricks.

With the knowledge of both the theme and the participation of my friends in this event, I decided to ask them to model their roles for me for a photo session. The final photo is to be made into a print that will become my donation to this fundraiser. I proposed this shoot on Sunday, 15 January to my friends. The only day they both had available this week was Monday, 16 January. YIKES! Could we really pull together a quality shoot in one day?!

Fortunately, this is exactly the type of theme for which they are prepared! Tricia, the wife/mother of this family is super talented in many facets. She has wardrobe and material readily available. Though it did require a late night on Sunday and even part of the shoot-day to prepare, the costumes were ready in time. She is such a creative soul! The makeup came quite easily to her as well. Her marionette part was complemented with the doll-like makeup she gave herself and the puppeteer’s mustache on her husband was a sweet finishing touch to his appearance. They already own a zip-line that became the tight wire and their recent purchase of stilts was already factored into the shoot.

My vision for the photos came from their description of using the stilts and having Tricia act as a marionette. I suggested a tight wire and brought in the red-striped background from previous shoots. The shoot day was mostly prep time – finishing wardrobe, constructing the scene and cross bar. The marionette’s strings were not part of the shoot. Keeping the stings taut and still allowing the necessary movement of our marionette as she balanced on the tight wire was going to be near impossible, so it is the one item I opted to add in Photoshop later. The final image going to print will include design elements to make it look like a retro poster advertising Dr. Moon and his Incredible Life-size Marionette (Bride – not sure that I will keep this). I hope to produce three such prints.

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The photo session on Tuesday began as another fundraising idea. The group, VOLVE (see link), is hoping to purchase a rig that will allow them to do acrobatic stunts. Tyrone, the organizer of this group, is raising funds for this purchase and I had suggested we produce some images that they could sell as prints. With about a week’s notice we brought together two ladies to help us out as the “flyers” with Tyrone (Ty) as the base for this acroyoga themed shoot. I envisioned highlighting the “flyers” and fading the base into the background, so I asked Ty to wear black and the girls to bring a variety of colors as well as some neutral wardrobe pieces.

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Sky and her mother Kim came to participate bringing a ton of clothing with them. Brittany also modeled, bringing with her a large amount of choices. The resulting costumes worked well, but it was the talent and hard work of the three that really made for amazing results. Some simple lighting and a little post processing in Lightroom resulted in pieces I cannot wait to print and hang on my wall.

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I pray these will also be prints that sell well and contribute in no small way to the purchase of their acrobatic rig.


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geoff@hammondovi.com (Hammondovi) 365 Project Circus Creative Photography http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2011/1/Circus-and-Acroyoga Thu, 20 Jan 2011 13:08:02 GMT
365 – 10 Days Gone http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2011/1/365---10-Days-Gone Taking on the 365 project is an on-going personal exercise in discipline and creativity. There are days I am not feeling creative and I know my photos show it.

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Shaking the water off of tomatoes in kitchen sink.

Then there are days when I am happy with the results.

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Heirloom pocket watch hanging on tree.

Regardless of the outcome, my resolve is still strong to stay disciplined in photographing and uploading daily.
Upcoming planned photo shoots include some acro yoga friends, acrobat friends and more. I even have a brain-storming session with another photographer today.

The 365 Project website is set up that only registered users can leave comments or follow projects. I certainly understand the reasons for this, but it does restrict the communication between the photographer and those following the project who are not interested in signing up to yet another website.

As an artist and photographer, I love feedback! While my creative juices will ebb and flow, so does my drive to produce. Your comments, feedback, woo-yay’s, etc. are boosts to me. Even a simple “like” on Facebook is encouraging. I’ll take a “WTH were you thinking” comment anytime over silence. So, please, let me know you were here… that you are watching, lurking, spying or just hit the wrong link.

If you have been watching, you will have seen a couple images with a tricycle.

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Props for the circus

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Policeman taking notes from the mother of a lost child

These images plus a few others will be uploaded to iStockphoto where they will be offered for sale. All profits from these images will be donated to worthy causes. We’ll be looking into organizations fighting human trafficking or helping orphanages or other child-related non-profits. A special thanks to our friends who generously gave their time for these photos.

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Thank you for visiting. I look forward to your comments!

~ Geoff


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geoff@hammondovi.com (Hammondovi) Photography http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2011/1/365---10-Days-Gone Thu, 13 Jan 2011 08:51:24 GMT
365 Project – Day 2 http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2011/1/365-Project---Day-2 Today was overcast, rainy and just plain grey. Though it was great lighting for the casual outdoor portraits I was asked to take today, it was not inspiring for my 365 project. After shooting some everyday items in a very bland manner, I found myself seeking out the basics in my compositions: shapes and textures. The photo I chose for the final is a paper towel dispenser. The contrast of the rigid metal dispenser with the crinkled half-cocked paper towel gave me some interest, but the three different textures is what I enjoy most from this photo.
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After cutting my favorite 8 photos down to 4 I finally chose the above photo. The remaining three contenders are below.
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Postings like this will not be an everyday occurrence, but I wanted to share these with you. The tricycle is one I am also very happy with, however, I have a shoot this week utilizing a different tricycle with more intentionality. I hope to share that on the 365 project and on iStock once it is finished.


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geoff@hammondovi.com (Hammondovi) 365 Project Photography http://hammondovi.zenfolio.com/blog/2011/1/365-Project---Day-2 Tue, 04 Jan 2011 19:16:26 GMT