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Front & Center: May 2015

Posted by Workbook on 05/26/2015 — Filed under:  FeaturesFront & CenterGalleriesHeadline
Every month, a a dozen new images from some of Workbook's finest creatives are chosen to feature front and center on the homepage. These are the images chosen for this month.

Antonio Javier Caparo

Mike Powell

Alecia Rodriguez

Shaun Fenn

Michael Paraskevas

Barb Peacock

Eda Kaban

Erin Kunkel

James Steinberg

David Aaron Troy

Kim Johnson

Stewart Cohen

Michael Weschler: Still Taking Off

Posted by Workbook on 05/22/2015 — Filed under:  FeaturesHeadlinePhotography
By Michael Weschler for Sharpen NY/ASMP Sometimes, as a creative person, you absolutely need to unplug from the everyday. Artists need their solitude and in a big city, it often feels impossible to find it. Whether that means going to a museum for a couple of hours, or walking in the park, we all need to break out of our comfort zone, and really, this applies to everyone. However, particularly if you’re an image maker, you’ve always got to be stepping back to reflect on a different point of view. We are highly sensitive people, and the noise that surrounds us distracts and distorts our visual learning. How can you change your frame of reference when you don’t know what you don’t know? On trips I’ve done to the Amazon, Big Sur, or the Everglades, I’ve very purposefully cut myself off from humans to a large extent, to find the quiet inside me. While I’ve made some inspiring images on these trips, they’re really just for me, and I don’t intend on being a nature photographer. Besides, the best pictures are probably still inside your head, so if you’re going to tap into this creative energy, you’ve got to find your pathway to connect to it. For me, it might mean seeing the Milky Way Galaxy or the Northern Lights, both off limits from my view in Manhattan. With what’s called “light pollution,” we New Yorkers almost never see any stars, yet they’re always there. What else is beyond my reach? While we’re explorers of light, the paradox is that we’re almost always overwhelmed by it, especially now, staring into our screens of every dimension. The time I used to spend in the darkroom allowed me to have a trip inward. It was spiritual and reflective and tactile. While I’m not romanticizing and longing for the nostalgia in the toxic soup of chemicals I used to expose myself to, I do miss the alchemy and the connection to something intangible and mysterious, as I searched through the darkness. It’s been over a decade of digital for me and Photoshop is no stranger, but I don’t get caught up thinking about techniques. Having been a beta-tester for Adobe since 1990, it would be too easy to let it be about technology or contriving something. Ultimately, when my pictures come from my heart they’re about the authenticity of the moment. Discovering a new means to get there is a continual quest. So, since we’re super-social creatures, it absolutely makes sense that photography would become social and more collaborative than ever. We’re pack animals moving with our herd, so we’re not meant to be lone wolves for long. Yet, this is where we face our fears and expose our vulnerabilities to come in contact with our deepest power. Creatives regularly tap into it, yet largely take it for granted, and although it is always there for us, it is very often largely untapped. Once you decide that you’ve arrived somewhere, or think you’ve discovered something, you’ve got to remember that you’ve only scratched the surface of this present moment. There’s always more there, and you’ve got to look closer and farther. Discovery is made in these in-between moments and I’m always searching for them. Your best pictures are the ones ahead of you and not the ones you’ve done. Our potential energy is limitless, if we remember to pause, reflect, and keep moving forward.

Mike Henry's Xbox One Loft Shoot

Posted by Workbook on 05/22/2015 — Filed under:  FeaturesGalleriesHeadline
Photographer Mike Henry shot this new series for Xbox up in the Seattle area. Xbox approached Mike, wanting something a little different for their lifestyle library, something that felt real, un-staged, and captured youth culture. Mike and his team put together a party scenario in a loft space, with no shot list and just went crazy for ten hours. It was an amazing day; everyone among the cast and crew had a blast, and it certainly shows in the photos. To see more work from Mike, take a look at his Website and Workbook Portfolio.

(Read more)

Pete Barrett: Color Vibe Coke

Posted by Workbook on 05/21/2015 — Filed under:  FeaturesGalleriesHeadlinePersonal WorkPhotography
Photographer Pete Barrett has a new lifestyle portfolio project that’s all about color. Back about a year ago, Pete was shooting at the Color Vibe 5K run and got some good images but thought that it would be even better to come back, and this time bring a handful of young models along with him to recreate the scene, but with a bit more control. This way he could provide them with direction and guide the energy the way he truly wanted it. It also gave Pete an opportunity to throw in some products and skew it a little more toward the commercial side so that it’s appropriate for his potential clients. This one ended up targeted toward Coke, as Pete and his crew have had many calls and estimates this year for several large Coke projects, both for national and international campaigns. They’re actually up for two more as we speak. The idea for this latest project was inspired by the traditional spring Holi festival. Here's what Pete had to say about it:

"The Holi festival is where the idea started. It started as a celebration of the victory of the good over the bad and the beginning of the spring in India. It also happens to be super fun and has evolved into events ranging from private parties to festivals. People have just taken the idea and run with it, which has turned into a fun thing to do.
In this case, we used a Color Vibe 5K Run as our backdrop so that we could get the depth and volume of people to add to our background. Having shot the event last year, I knew there were going to be thousands of people there covered in color and partying in the after-party of the run. I just brought in seven of my own millennial, 'twenty-something' models, our own giant box of multicolored powder and put them in the middle of the masses and directed them to have a great time. They kept throwing color and dancing to the music of the DJ that the venue had on the main stage. The models were awesome and really had a fun time with it.
I am planning something to take this project one step further, shooting a motion version, all in variable speeds ramping from normal speed to extreme slow mo. The inspiration for this (more for the effect of the powder not the actual subject) is a great video on Vimeo that the folks at Variable did I'll be sure to share the results once we shoot it!"

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Kristyna Archer for Los Angeles Magazine

Posted by Workbook on 05/21/2015 — Filed under:  FeaturesGalleriesHeadlinePhotography
Photographer Kristyna Archer photographed nightlife connoisseur and entrepreneur Julian Cox for this month's issue of Los Angeles Magazine. Take a look at her photos and what she had to say about the shoot: "Restauranteur Julian Cox is the cocktail nightlife guru of the most eclectic restaurants and bars of LA. He is extremely tapped in and consults for the hottest spots. I had the chance to hang out, talk shop, and photograph him for Los Angeles Magazine’s May issue. Not only does he leave his point of view and magic touch thru cocktail programs at places like Rivera, Sotto, Picca, Playa, Short Order, Petty Cash, and Bestia (to name a few…;)) he’s recently indulged in opening up his own bar, Brilliantshine. When I think portrait of a mixologist/cocktail-master, I personally undoubtedly need some liquid nitrogen for it to feel complete! Best of all, he’s so down-to-earth and thoroughly passionate about his craft. Check out the work and my latest here,"

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Michela Buttignol Illustrates Angelina Jolie's "Diary of a Surgery"

Posted by Workbook on 05/19/2015 — Filed under:  FeaturesGalleriesHeadlineIllustration
From the controversial to the beautiful, illustrator Michela Buttignol provides incredible visuals for a seemingly limitless variety of subjects. We've provided five examples of Michela's work, and if you'd like to see more check out her Workbook Portfolio and Personal Website.

Diary of a Surgery – The New York Times Op/Ed
Illustration‬ for the New York Times Op/Ed on a story by Angelina Jolie Pitt on cancer‬ ‪‎health‬ and ‪choices‬.
Art Direction by Matthew Dorfman, Jennifer Heuer
Read the full article

Taxi Flings Take a Back Seat to Uber - The New York Times Thursday Style
A visual comment on the strange erotic power of the New York taxi.
Art Direction by Bernadette Dashiell
Read the full article

Why We're So Mad at de Blasio - The New York Times Op/Ed
The N.Y.P.D. Protests: An Officer's View.
Art Direction by Matthew Dorfman
Read the full article

An illustration freely inspired by my very personal skydiving experience.

A work about a magic encounter in Prague.

John Holcroft's Modern Proposal

Posted by Workbook on 05/19/2015 — Filed under:  FeaturesGalleriesHeadlineIllustration
By Zach Thomas

In 1729, Irish satirist Jonathan Swift wrote A Modest Proposal. In it, he suggested the poor of his country could help cure their economic woes by selling their children as food to wealthy noble men and women in neighboring England. The piece was both a commentary on the economic disparity between classes at the time and intended to mockingly imitate the dismissive attitude towards the poor. Fast forward almost three centuries and ask contemporary English illustrator John Holcroft what he'd like to draw next, and the criticism remains eerily similar to of Swift's satirical castigation of wealth inequality. In his words, Holcroft would choose "a fat man with a belly that opens up like a safe, and it is full of money."

One look through Holcroft's illustration portfolio, and it is obvious that he prefers to view his societal observations though the lens of humor. "When doing the promotional work, I choose concepts that are interesting and resonate with people," he explains, and it's easy to find examples throughout his work.

One image portrays a series of cogs inside the outline of a suburban home. In the center of the largest cog is a running woman. As if on a hamster wheel, her motion appears to be powering a series of smaller cogs inhabited by a relaxed husband, an infant, a dinner cooking, cleaning supplies, and many others.

Another example shows a sad man locked into a stockade that has been created from the word Contract.

A third image portrays a burning cigarette with ashes shaped like coins falling from the tip.

Despite his masterful ability to provocatively demonstrate an issue or aspect of society through his images, Holcroft doesn't call himself a satirist. "I just like poking fun," he says.

His current illustration style is a culmination of an entire life of dedication. Holcroft spent his childhood drawing and painting wherever he could and eventually went on to study graphic design at Sheffield College. When his professional career began, he used acrylic paint and board to create imagery. However, in 2001 he put away his paints and switched to using a tablet. It wasn't until 2009, when a back procedure left him unable to work, that he created his current style. "You could say that things weren't going great for me. I was laid out on the floor, my wife had just had our second child, and we were a wage down," he explains. "As soon as I was able to sit at my desk, I started working on a new style."

That style is the one we see today in his featured work, although he does admit that it is always evolving and open to changes. What hasn't changed is his devotion to subject matter dominating his works. "The main qualities of my work throughout my work history all shared a common factor, the concepts. I believe an illustration should communicate to the viewer, and I want my work to speak volumes." Great satire isn't just in the writings of Swift, Mark Twain, or any of the literary heavyweights from the past. Satire’s vibrant heart still beats in the expressions of many today, and the work of John Holcroft is a fine example of its continuing life.

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May Editor's Picks

Posted by Workbook on 05/18/2015 — Filed under:  Editor's PicksFeaturesGalleries

Kan Nakai Zave Smith
Sue Tallon David Moore
Chris Cocozza Stephanie Hans

Latest Additions: May 17th-23rd

Posted by Workbook on 05/18/2015 — Filed under:  FeaturesGalleriesHeadlineLatest Additions
Santa Design
I (a.k.a. Santa and/or Santa Design), currently located in Seoul, South Korea, have been creating and providing quality art designs and related services since 1999. My main area of expertise started with graffiti work, and although I still take an active part in graffiti now, I have expanded to any art designs and related services deeply rooted in Street Art.
I pride myself on generating only original designs for all of my work. I create and craft designs and art in various forms and unique artwork like graffiti, characters, logos, BI, CI, computer graphics, image clips, flash, home pages, and an array of print work for online and offline businesses. Although I have extensive experience producing all of the above styles, I believe my strength lies in character-creation, logos, and flash work.
Santa Design communicates by appealing to your sight. I deem such "visual appeal" can be a more effective and imposing means of interactions in certain circumstances, and I venture to say impudently, my visual language does just that, since the work from Santa Design is inimitable, distinguishing, and matchless. Creating an art design is what provides me joy and exultation, and that is what I value most. Yes, I am Santa Design, a nonverbal communication specialist.

Amy Ning
Amy Ning studied illustration at California State University, Long Beach. She immigrated to the States at the age of ten from Tokyo. Her work has been in print publications, as well as billboards and film. During her nineteen years as an illustrator for the Orange County Register newspaper, her work has been recognized by Print, SILA, and Society of Illustrators. The mother of two boys, she enjoys running, biking, video poker, and the Santa Anita Race Track.

Tim Hawley
As an international award-winning photographer and digital artist, Tim takes personal responsibility for both the capture and digital compositing of his images, allowing him to create the level of imagery you see in his portfolio, with great efficiency and ease. He is an enthusiastic collaborator whose goal is to elevate the creative vision while bringing it to reality. No matter the size of the budget, he personally sees the project from the pre-pro meeting all the way through post-production. Tim specializes in still life, conceptual, and portrait photography. However, his style and experience transcend categories, and he enjoys the challenges of shooting a wide variety of subject matter under any conditions.

Kazushige Nitta
Kazu Nitta graduated from Dokkyo University before enrolling at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. In the same year he won two prestigious awards presented by The New York Society of Illustrators Scholarship Competition and The Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. In 1992 he was honored with the New York Society of Illustrators International Competition Advertising Award and the Book Awards. Months after graduating, Kazu landed his first of several children's book assignments at Simon & Schuster. A short time later, he illustrated Dr. Theodore Geisel's first posthumous book at Random House, My Many Colored Days. Other clients include Duke University, Colgate University, Investment News, the Wall Street Journal, and many more.

Jeff Green
Jeff Green is a professional photographer who has been shooting for the past eighteen years. Jeff’s initial passion for lighting stems from his interest in music and early days going to rock concerts in Los Angeles. He eventually went on to study theatrical lighting and set building in school. His graphic style of composition, intuitive lighting sensibility, creative problem solving, and vast location shooting experience have earned him a list of top notch clients from around the world. Jeff Green has the distinction to have been featured in many industry publications, such as: Studio Photography & Design, Popular Photography, and Digital Photo Pro, as well as Amphoto books, Location and Studio Lighting Techniques. His work has been widely published throughout the world.

Bill Cahill Shows Us How It's Done

Posted by Workbook on 05/18/2015 — Filed under:  FeaturesHeadlinePhotographybehind the scenes

Bill Cahill is a photographer who consistently shows he is open to new ideas and testing new concepts. In his first  promotional video, he gives us a behind-the-scenes look at how it all works, as he tests and creates images for the launch of HeadOn Energy Drinks. The pacing and editing of the video kept us fully engaged and yet is full of technical information. Surprisingly, most of his images are created in camera and not CGI. Overall, you get the sense of what it will be like to work on a project with Bill from start to finish, all in under five minutes. At the same time you gain an understanding of what is really takes to get the shot and the value of great photography.

Bill Cahill HeadOn bts1 from Bill Cahill on Vimeo.

Well done!

You can check out other posts on Bill here.