Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category
Kevin Warnock photographed by Alice Marie Smith at Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, California USA
When I was 23 years old and a student at Brooks Institute, the scam for-profit photography college in Santa Barbara, California, USA where I spent three wasteful years, I had the incredible fortune to be photographed by one of the few students I thought was a good photographer.
Alice Marie Smith was not only the most attractive woman at Brooks, but her work stood out.
I had a crush on Smith, but I was too shy to do anything about it.
My how my life has changed over the years — my shyness has evaporated, and I can now approach even the most beautiful women wherever I encounter them, even at the grocery store or on the street or on public transportation.
I don’t recall how Smith asked me to model for her, but I do remember it was her idea — I did not ask her to photograph me. I was actually very surprised to be asked, since she was not in my class and we didn’t know each other well.
We did the shoot one evening in one of the deserted on campus school studios. That the studios were deserted in the early evening should tell you something about Brooks Institute and its students. A real educational institution would have been humming with activity well into the night like I routinely see at University of California Berkeley, where I volunteer.
Smith used a 35mm camera with infrared film, something I never tried, and something Brooks should have insisted every student try.
Smith gave me three lovely signed 11 x 14″ fiber based gelatin silver prints. I have kept these prints safe all these years, and yesterday I scanned them to present to my readers. The images are in perfect condition. I scanned these prints at between 300 and 600 dots per inch. Click on the pictures to see them at full size. You can see the distinctive grain pattern produced by 35mm infrared film.
In the second picture above and the picture below, I am wearing a green wool army surplus trench coat. My head is nearly completely shaved, as I was going for the punk rock — but not skinhead — look at the time.
In the first picture above I am wearing a Burberry brand tweed trench coat. This coat was surely quite costly new, probably over USD $1,000 in today’s dollars, like this one sold by Bloomingdale’s department store. I bought my Burberry coat at a thrift store for pennies on the dollar.
While at Brooks I took a self portrait of just my legs and feet, with a wingtip shoe on one foot and a combat boot on the other. I still have my feet in two worlds as you can learn from my writings on this blog. See that self portrait at the bottom of this post. This is also a scan of a silver gelatin fiber paper print. I still have the original 4 x 5″ negative, but I don’t have a film scanner. I do plan to scan many of my negatives once I get a scanner — I have hundreds of publication ready shots from when I shot film, and since many of my best shots were taken with a large format view camera, I will be able to present some very high resolution images.
Keep in mind that infrared film produces a dramatic but inaccurate rendition of subjects. These pictures make me look severe, but in reality I was not. I was fresh faced and cute back then, which was a good thing or I wouldn’t be so youthful looking today.
If you are considering attending a private for-profit art school, I implore you to forget it!
If you are already a student at a for-profit art school, drop out today without giving them another penny, and consider your already paid tuition the cost of a valuable life lesson.
If you have no idea what art school is like, watch the movie Art School Confidential, written by Daniel Clowes, who went to Lab School a couple of years ahead of me. I didn’t know Clowes while we were both at Lab, but I have met him several times, since he’s married to the cousin of my friend Mariana Cartwright.
I dropped out of University of California Los Angeles to go to Brooks — perhaps the biggest mistake of my life. It was such a mistake I periodically consider resuming my education there. Since I withdrew following the rules, I can resume classes at any time by filling out a one page form, according to a University of California admissions employee I am friends with. What’s keeping me from going back is that I am busy starting a new Internet company, and I just don’t have the time to spare right now. Once I establish my new company and I can turn over management to employees, then I will probably go back. I hope that I go back. The energy I feel when I am on the UC Berkeley campus is infectious, and I am sure I would now appreciate UCLA far more than I did as a painfully shy 17 year old.
I did make some good friends at UCLA, including Jennifer Babineaux, who asked me to be her roommate our second year. I sure wish I had taken her up on that kind suggestion, for she probably would have talked me out of Brooks. Babineaux earned a 3.96 grade point average in high school, and is exceptionally smart. Babineaux got an MBA and later became Dr. Babineaux once she completed veterinary school at University of California Davis.
While I think of myself as a smart guy with a fair amount of wisdom, I know little compared to both my parents and my brother who got solid liberal arts educations and then went on to earn advanced degrees. My few years of education from a poorly regarded art school is laughable by comparison.
I believe I turned out shockingly well given my curtailed studies, and for this reason I can say conclusively that college or university is not a requirement for success.
Peter Thiel may be on to something — time will tell.
I have become a moderately good photographer, but that is not something Brooks may take credit for because my major was Color Technology, not portraiture or fashion. I taught myself how to photograph people well by taking tens of thousands of pictures after the per exposure cost of photography dropped to near zero with digital cameras. You can do the same. Taking good pictures of people is more a function of communicating with people, not technical details. Brooks spent almost no time emphasizing the interpersonal aspects of being a photographer. Frankly, their education was shameful, and I am glad they have had to pay millions in fines for their transgressions.
My neighbor Kevin Lee didn’t go to art school but he has established himself as a well paid and competent professional photographer, with an elite client list and a collection of camera equipment that is world class. He’s in his early 30s and has a long career ahead of him, without the crushing cost of an art school degree.
I also have a portfolio on Model Mayhem.
Looking for my photographs of beautiful female models? Then head over to photography.kevinwarnock.com.
Starting today, Sunday, January 15, 2011, I am going to be posting my photographs of models at:
Up until today I have been weaving my photographs of models in with my other blog posts at this site.
I have received feedback that ‘I am knocking people over the head with these pictures of women’ and distracting visitors from reading the words on my blog.
Let me know what you think of this change.
So that you know what kind of pictures I am referring to, I’m publishing one last model picture to this, my primary blog. I photographed Cayleigh yesterday. This was her first photoshoot ever. She’s a 23 year old university student, and I took this photo at her friend’s apartment, not at my studio/house. Click on the photograph to see it at full size. There are more pictures of Cayleigh over on my new photography subdomain.
I took some self portraits of myself today. This is the same location where I photograph the models I usually photograph.
I used my Canon 5D Mark II camera with a Canon 135mm soft focus lens that was not set to soft focus.
Click these pictures once to see them on a page alone, and then click them again to see them full size.
I placed the camera on a tripod and used the self timer to give myself time to jump into the picture. This was a tricky shoot since I shot these pictures at F2.8 for the shallow depth of field.
I photographed model Kristela Benedicto on June 30, 2011 at my home in San Francisco, California USA.
I used my Canon 5D Mark II DSLR digital camera. I used Canon lenses, including a 135mm soft focus lens.
Click on a picture to see it on its own page, and then click it again to see it full size on that page. These are large and detailed images.
[Edit January 24, 2013: I paid Kristela a USD $60.00 modeling fee for this shoot and she signed a comprehensive model release. When I first created this post, I included three additional photographs, which pictured Kristela in swimwear. They were tasteful and beautiful images. Kristela asked me to remove this entire post, without offering to refund the money I paid her and without offering to pay me for my time, which amounted to roughly five hours of work. Kristela claimed she got in trouble from her current employer because of the pictures I posted of her. Kristela was a model when I photographed her, and had dozens of photographs of herself in a revealing bikini on the modeling website Explore Talent. My pictures were far more responsible and artistic than those shots, which were online on November 13, 2012, and were a quick Google search away. Given Kristela was self publishing dozens of bikini pictures of herself, I chose to ignore her November 13th request. Kristela wrote to me again on January 21, 2013 and again asked me to remove the pictures but without offering to compensate me for my time or trouble. Today I discovered that the dozens of bikini pictures Kristela had posted to her online modeling portfolio no longer show up in a Google search, so it appeared that the three swimwear shots I had published of her in 2011 were the only such revealing shots of her still easy to find via Google. Because of this new information, I decided to remove the three images, but to leave the two shots you see here, which are so beautiful and tasteful they could be given by Kristela as gifts to her parents and grandparents. I dislike removing posts from the Internet, because it breaks inbound links others have established to this site. By leaving two pictures, I don't break the most likely links, and Kristela's employer should rest easier knowing that they were able to pressure Kristela into doing something she likely didn't want to do. Kristela is lucky that she had me photograph her, and that I am such a nice guy. Lots of photographers would have refused to remove them for any reason. Kristela was not a beginner. She was a pro, and had lots of modeling experience when I worked with her. She should be grateful that somehow she has managed to effectively 'retract' the model releases she presumably signed, which normally are not retractable. If Kristela's employer is reading this, please keep in mind that it will take months for the search engines to delete their copies of the pictures I deleted today, so please understand Kristela has done her part and can really do no more. You should not fire Kristela for being a model, particularly when she tried to adhere to your requests.]
I photographed Heidi Long yesterday, September 9, 2011.
She had never modeled before, which I didn’t know when I agreed to set up this trade photo shoot. I like working with first time models — I would even go so far as to say I prefer to work with first time models. I enjoy teaching new models how to pose and how to look natural. I think brand new models try harder than full time models.
Here’s a picture of Kristen Stewart for comparison to the photo of Long, at the top of this page:
What do you think? Is there a resemblance to the top picture?
The only makeup Heidi Long is wearing is lipstick, to give you a further sense of how naturally beautiful she is. I predict Long will do many more photo shoots for other photographers over the coming years.
I photographed Long with a Canon 5D Mark II DSLR camera. I used the following lenses throughout the shoot: Canon 135mm soft focus lens, Canon 50mm macro lens, Canon 16-35mm L zoom lens. I used two Einstein E640 studio flash systems from Paul C. Buff, Inc. These units are the best flash systems I’ve ever used — they make my 1992 vintage Elenchrom units look bad. I can see Paul C. Buff taking over a large part of the studio flash market over the next twenty years, as their products are so good yet so affordable. Once the rental houses start renting Buff hardware, the pros will see what a dream this equipment is to use. Being able to adjust the output over 9 f-stops is so wonderful. My Elinchrom units only had a 2 f-stop range.
I photographed Crystal Hoshaw in 2010. The picture immediately above is printed on the back of my photographer card. I’ve gotten many compliments on this picture, and Hoshaw has received many compliments for being so attractive.
I painted the red painting behind Hoshaw in the second and third pictures above.
I shot these pictures with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera and my Canon 135mm soft focus lens.
Click twice with a pause in between to see these pictures at full size.
I photographed Leah Vandenberg Jones in 2010. She had never modeled before.
Click on the pictures twice to see them at full resolution.
Yesterday I wrote about the 1948 movie The Red Shoes. This is a wonderful movie. The female lead actor is Moira Shearer. Writing yesterday’s post made me think of one of my first girlfriends, Moira Dougherty.
Since I’ve been posting a lot of examples of my photography here recently, I decided to post the one and only high resolution photograph I ever took of Dougherty. She wasn’t at my house to model. But I had the backdrop set up and needed to test the lighting. Back then I shot with an Omega 45F 4×5″ view camera, and I used large format Polaroid black and white film to test lighting and exposure. The photograph you see here is an 800 DPI scan of that sole Polaroid print I created in 1989. I cleaned it up a bit in Photoshop, but it didn’t need much work as it’s been sitting in a manilla folder for decades, in the dark. Dougherty used the first name Moira when we were dating, but now she uses her real first name Muire.
I regret I didn’t complete a real photo shoot with Dougherty, as she has her eyes closed in the picture above. I didn’t know that until today when I was able to enlarge the scan I made today. I still think the shot is worth publishing, because it captures her beauty. If Dougherty is ever in town, I’d be up for doing that photo shoot she suggested way back when. This time I would use my Canon 5D Mark II DSLR, which captures fine detail almost as well as my view camera did.
Dougherty is a graduate of the film school at San Francisco State University. Back in 1989 there were no affordable modern camcorders that could shoot in color, and I recall Dougherty wanted a camcorder anyway. Shooting on movie film was and remains very expensive. Dougherty was working at Peets Coffee at the time, so being able to record repeatedly on tape was very appealing.
Dougherty seriously considered getting a Fisher Price PXL-2000. This black and white camcorder recorded at low resolution in black and white on standard, still available audio cassettes at about 15 frames per second. Amazingly, this camera is highly coveted even today, with examples selling on EBay for more than they sold for new in the 1980s. The camera has an extensive WikiPedia entry which illustrates Dougherty’s good taste in cameras as a young university graduate.
I have nearly every photograph I’ve ever taken, and I plan to go back into my film archive and scan and publish the best of my early work. Today I scanned and published the first film based photograph from my past. Thanks Moira for the kick start I needed on this project.