What I Bring To The Boulder Portrait Party

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So, there is always a curiosity about who is going to come through the front door; but whoever they are, it’s my job to give them a first class experience and portrait. Let’s face it; having your picture taken can be somewhat intimidating. Ultimately my goal is to create a fun tone for the photography session and discover the best look for my client.  It is their brand and I want that brand to stand out in our visual culture.

Making them comfortable is the first step and that starts with an interesting environment. I like to think that begins at the front gate of my home/custom studio in North Boulder.  I’m very fortunate to live in a Boulder Landmark home.  On top of that it is a home that we renovated to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification.  It is one of 7 such homes in Boulder with fifty-four in the state.  You can see the creation of this house through my film on vimeo: https://vimeo.com/101043238 – As you enter the house you come into a gallery of my award winning landscapes (bobcarmichael.com/landscapes).

Over a glass of water, we talk about what the person wants to communicate with their images and which wardrobe is going to best communicate it.  Once the styling decisions and makeup is set we enter the studio and start the process of taking the photographs.

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In my custom 1,000 sq. foot studio, I have a portrait stage that has a comfortable sitting stool and a professional portrait table.  I shoot tethered to a computer screen so everyone knows what we are getting.  I use Hollywood style continuous lights so there are no strobes going off. My camera is a Nikon Flagship brand and I use a portrait prime lens with a trade secret portrait filter. My experience with lighting and my extensive Hollywood grip equipment all contribute to the client sitting confidently and ready for their “Close Up”.

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Once the lighting scheme is adjusted to the particular client we can start doing the search for looks and expressions that communicate what they are about.  One of the real joys of photography for me is discovering aspects of client’s looks that even they are sometimes not aware of.  It is something of a revelation to discover in a persons face their beauty and by that I don’t necessarily mean classic glamour but rather their spirit.  Sometimes people will come in and truly not know how “beautiful” they are.  When I can show them that, it honestly is a profound experience.

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It comes down to having a discerning eye and I’ve tried diligently to train my eye through decades of actual industry experience as well as through a never-ending search for visual reference. I’ve had my eye to a either a still or motion picture camera since high school and that is now 50 years.  I started in my journalism class shooting for the yearbook and student papers, that eventually took me to making my first 16mm films as I graduated from college.  I was lucky enough to get hired as a staff director/cameraman job at NFL FILMS, and then pursued a career in Los Angeles TV, National Commercial Spot directing and feature film production, earning an Academy Award nomination and an Emmy along the way.  I have a wide range of interests photographically that include action sports, music, event coverage, product shot and landscapes. All these factor into my awareness about the people’s faces and of course their eyes (you know the expression). I’m a member of the DGA and International Cinematographers Guild, along with the American Photographic Artists.

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My experience in studying acting under Milton Katselas at the Beverly Hills Play House in Los Angeles really helped me look deeper into finding truth in acting and in life in general. My son Jesse and his music mates starting in 8th grade led me on another visual path of shooting music performance for their band Maroon 5. So I guess, the point of this little blog is to say, I’m not your typical portrait photographer. I have worked under some great directors and directors of photography and I have learned from them. My experience as a director and cameraman translates into interesting headshots because I’m curious about my clients and look at each session as an exercise in self discovery. My entire studio system is set up to do that.

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Acknowledging the humor and intensity of the portrait session allows my clients to enjoy a very positive exploration of themselves.  Music wise, we have a great sound system that plays any type of music as the session unfolds. I want my client to know they are in good hands and that the entire situation can be really engaging and fun. At the end of the session, we immediately edit down to the precise images that they choose to advance their endeavors and careers.  I’m happy to be a part of it all. -Bob

Ready for your Close UP?

Contact us here: 303-955-7065

 

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A Day in My Studio

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So recently I had a day where I had a trio of clients in that represented an interesting variety of photographic challenges. Fundamentally, I look at my portrait work very much like I do when I’m making a documentary. I want discover the real character of my subject. My approach to that goal is to keep things relaxed and real. The first up was a very professional and obviously international woman named Brigette Furst of the Real Estate firm 8Z. Brigette had great features and obvious sophistication. There is always a bit of apprehension coming into a new environment and having your portrait taken. The easiest way to ameliorate that perfectly normal reaction is to be gracious and to present a very professional environment to achieve maximum results. We have that here in my home/studio that is built around photography. It is a novel experience to enter a Boulder Landmark Home and realize that it is also one of the most energy efficient homes in America. Good talking points abound. Once we build a bit of a rapport and make up and wardrobe are approved the next step is taking the stage and dialing in the perfect lighting scheme for the client including the right backdrop, and then the process of light shaping. Pandora allows us to pinpoint their musical taste and after a number of lighting tests, we start the capture. Usually I shoot about a 100 images as I explore the landscapes of the subjects face and expressions. We get in the grove by finding out the clients best side and relaxing into the shoot, encouraging self-expression and confidence. I think of us as an impromptu team working together. We succeeded in capturing images of her that reflected her good taste and international style. The results were very positive and the client had fun.

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The next session in my studio was one of my oldest buddies going back to our days playing football at CU in the late 1960’s. Joel Ripmaster, founder of Colorado Landmark Realtors, was not only a football teammate at CU but he was also my fraternity “god-father.” He was a Junior when I was a freshman. He was a great guy, and mature beyond his years. He literally showed me the ropes. So while I was photographing him, he grew a bit quiet and then said … “I was thinking as you were taking the pictures just how long we’ve known each and it’s just amazing that here we taking these portraits.” Joel has sold our family three houses over the years and I’ve photographed his daughter’s wedding and as well as most of his staff. I gave him a hug and said… “I love you too Joel.” It was a moving acknowledgement of our very long history together and I’m proud be to one of his go to guys photographically. We are just about to release a video of the renovation of this Landmarked home that Joel sold us. Landmark Realty is one of the sponsors of the video. Joel recognizes that fresh corporate and personal branding is really a key in today’s market. Having a professional portrait says you know it is important to cover all the bases. It says you care. So here are the shots of Mr. Ripmaster.

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Finally, at the end of the day and in a bit of a time crunch due to the 6PM graduation of my son-in-law Matt Lappe´with an MBA from the Colorado Business School, along with his undergraduate degree from Stanford along with ANOTHER master’s degree from Stanford … damn, how impressive is that? And he is now the CEO of ACE, a nonprofit that is dedicated to teaching high school kids climate awareness. On top of that, he and my very accomplished and sweet daughter Annie are having a baby in September. Evelyn Carol Lappe´- the first name is Matt’s mother and the second is my mother, both remembered through this new child. And yes, I’m pretty excited about being her grandfather. I digress, so the next fellow runs a company called The Satori Edge.

His name is Colin Chapman he is a principle A/V consultant at a cutting edge Colorado Company for Sound and Vision in businesses and homes. The first thing I knew about Colin was that he was very sharp knowledgeable both sound and music. He’s a sound engineer, remixer and creator of sound design. On top of that he’s a sought after club DJ with gigs around the country. Take a listen to Colin AKA satori -c and you’ll see the dimensions of his creativity. I wanted to capture that. I wanted to create an image that reflected his native intelligence and depth. I kept moving the lights to get them out of his very wide angle glasses and then with my time running out to make both of our next meetings, I just turned off my fill light and put up a 4×4 muslin bounce and BOOM there it was. I got up on a one of my ladders and shot dramatically down on him. In a matter of moments I captured a lot of his character. It was a great end to a challenging day. And so it goes. I hope my small contributions to these entrepreneurs serves them well.

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Stitching in the New World

So, I was looking for a new way to SEE with my Hasselblad camera and I naturally went to Really Right Stuff.  RRS is located in San Luis Obispos and for the sports, landscape, safari and well just about anyone who is serious about their photography, this outfit is pure Made in America ingenuity. My quest was to start shooting in a wide screen panorama format and it was easy to find out the gear I needed to make my two shot pan using my 50mm lens and my H1 Hasselblad film back camera. I was already using a RRS BH-55 full size ball head on my RRS carbon fiber tripod and after one call into the very helpful tech support staff at RRS I had purchased a panning clamp with a lever-release and a nodal point sliding rail. This allowed me to place my lenses at the nodal point for making my camera pan from A shot to B shot. Here’s the rub with panoramas you have to understand and it is called the No Parallax Point or the Nodal point. This is the exact position of the camera lens over the axis of rotation that produces NO parallax. Best way to understand this is stick your thumb out and hold it in place. Close one eye and move your head back and forth. Notice how the background rotates? This is parallax. Wiki says: “Parallax is a displacement or difference in the apparent position of an object viewed along two different lines of sight, and is measured by the angle or semi-angle of inclination between those two line.” We are trying to eliminate Parallax so that our stitching software can easily position our frames in our post process. There is a simple test to determine your lenses No Parallax Points or Nodal Points which the RSS site makes clear. Once your make those tests, use a label maker to stick those specs on your lenses. That way when you are in the field you are confident in your set up and concentrating on the framing and exposures.

Once I had the equipment I wanted to find the shot or shots in this case. I’m enthralled by the Flatirons here in Boulder, Colorado. I climbed the Third Flatiron when I just started climbing in 1968. It has a 50% slope and is about 1,000 feet long so it is always an adventure. If you look closely at the Third Flatiron you can see the vague outlines of the huge CU now painted a faded red to disguise it. This a remnant from 1949 when Dale Johnson and Robert Rowlands decided to paint a huge 50′ feet letter C in white on the upper east face. In the 1950’s a U was added. Today you can still see these letters through the “rock toned” paint.  Many climbers like to hike up the trial and rope solo the east face of the Third and it is always intriguing to be climbing over the huge graffiti letters. Btw/ the speed record parking lot to the summit via the east face and back to parking lot for such a soloist is 33:17. Yep, as in MINUTES…  I’ve climbed the east face solo many times, taking my sweet time, and it never fails to get my full and undivided attention. It is really a joy to climb without a rope slowing you down on easy ground like the east face but it’s not something for an inexperienced person to consider. Copy that?

I love Boulder’s many flatirons and the view from behind the Second Flatiron out to the east showing the West Face of the Third Flatiron really caught my attention. To get there you park at the Chautauqua parking lot and head up between the First and the Second Flatiron. There are 27 switchbacks getting up to the saddle. I knew where to put my tripod but I wanted a storm to be in the atmosphere and to have the sun peaking through breaking western skyline clouds in the late afternoon for my shot. I’d seen that glorious light and it took me eighteen trips up to the saddle to actually capture it. On one trip, the light was perfect and I made my first shot but by the time I panned over the light was gone. I had to laugh. At least I was able to feed the chipmonks in my little enclave. It was a fun, obsessive project!  My son helped me up one day just to see what I was doing hanging out above the Second Flatiron and sweet Joanie followed me up there one day to get the vibe as well. But in general it was a solitary quest.

On the 18th trip up I finally snapped off two shots as an afternoon storm was clearing just as I had visualized.  I sent my Velvia 50 chromes to my long-time landscape lab West Coast Images. Terrence Reimer, the master printer there interpreted the high resolution Tango Drum Scanner files and stitched my two shots together. This size frame is really satisfying to me because while it was shot in the unconventional horizontal format it delivers a cinematic wide screen aspect ratio that mimics the human eye. I have this shot laminated and framed by Ken Knudson and his Denver based frame shop A&A Art in my living room at 77″ across. This shot is for sale as are my other landscapes on this site. I’d love to print this photograph up to its full 95×50 inch resolution size so please spread the word about this unique image! It is a bit pricey but it reflects two months of vigilance and ninety hours of trail humping love!

Peace

Bob C

 

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Year One – a Boulder Agency & Carmichael Productions, Inc team up for The Boys and Girls Club

So I get a call from Michael Stoner who’s created a new advertising shop here in Boulder Year One. Michael’s got a non profit client that has a GREAT story to tell –  The Denver Metro Boys and Girls Club.  Michael is an experienced Ad Man who’s got an account/brand management and strategy background with major accounts in all the big markets: NYC, LA, SF and Minneapolis. It’s great to have him and his family now in Boulder. Plus he’s a climber! Michael explains to me that he has an exciting project and shows me a script that is really QUITE dialogue heavy. He tells me they are looking to use actual Boys and Girls Club members to perform the sides.  The writer is Sunnee Hoppe.  Unlike most spots where the talent might say a line if they are lucky,  Sunnee’s script told a rich story of each kid on two very divergent tracks.  One positive and one very negative.  The point was that the Boys and Girls Club makes a profound difference in kids lives.

I really liked this idea and I volunteered to be in on the casting because I knew that only a certain kind of kid would be willing to stretch to perform these tales of woe and the tales of success. To be honest, I also volunteered to spend three days on the casting because I knew that director’s chair would a very lonely place on the shoot day without the precisely right kids in front of the camera. Doug Millington and I bid the job to include an ACamera Rental Sony F55.  I knew that I needed to have the kids look right down the barrel of the lens and for that I turned to Eye Direct and their mirror device which would allow my live face to appear on the lens reacting, coaching as the kids delivered their lines. Eye Direct is basically a teleprompter that allows the director face to appear “on the lens” for the actor to relate to. See below. The other thing I knew is that as a camera person I was going to be busy with these novice actors so with the F55 camera we shot at 4K, which would allow our great LA editor Brad Wetmore to push in from our Medium Close Up master shot to make cuts.  No fusing with the lens during the takes. Just a clean shot we could blow up and reposition as we liked. The blow up in 4K could be done to almost 200%. That is a game changer! This to me is a major advantage of using the F55. Another thing I sensed is that we needed some still images of these kids to set up their emotional framework so I brought my still camera to the set and my trusty AC Caleb Tkach.  After three days of working with and developing a strong rapport with kids – we had our six actors.

Bottom line: I was so impressed with the Boys and Girls Club as an institution and for the quality of kids I was meeting. If you want to support something real then send your love to The Denver Metro Boys and Girls Club. I was simply inspired by the kids we meet during the casting process. On the shoot day we had Chris Gerding as our rock steady and highly talented gaffer. We had fun studying Noir lighting schemes and bringing the dark side to life. Gerdo operated the camera with the 85mm Ultra Prime as I was sitting next to the lens with my face in the Eye Direct mirror steering the kids along.  Doug Okane was our Assistant Cameraman and just having his professional demeanor on the set is always appreciated and he knew how to turn on the brand new Sony F55 which delivered a great image btw.  Mitch Stelling and Tony Thomas were our A-list grip guys and the top Denver mixer Bob Abbott was on sound.  Nathan Berry-Chaney was our highly capable Digi Tech. We used two sets 180 degrees from each other so we’d just spin the camera to get to our next set.  On one set we had a black seamless the other a white seamless. Cindy K Cruz and her daughter Lia Mazzei (whose dad is a great DP) were on set transforming o d a fabulous and very heartfelt performance. My hat is off to them and the Boys and Girls Club because everyday they make Denver kids lives better.  It was an honor to be involved.  Paul Thompson was the unshakeable agency producer, Sunnee Hoppe creative director/writer. Doug Millington was the producer/AD. Jesse Carmichael provided an inspired musical score and it was so nice of him to devote his talent to this cause. Thank you son!

PS: Last night at a fully decked out Centennial Airport hanger this film was debuted in front of 1500 people who were certainly some of Denver’s top movers and shakers. The community in Denver truly understands the value of the Boys and Girls Club. John Elway and Wes Welker were in attendance at this spectacular fundraiser put on by Cuvee Escapes Surrounded by high end aircraft and automobiles and some of Denvers’s most beautiful people, the communities appreciation for the The Boys and Girls Club was on full display. It was a wonderful tribute to the Club.  The creative team from Year One and our Carmichael Productions, Inc. team were all smiles.

Here are some images from behind the scenes and the manner in which we conveyed the two tracks our kids could take. You get the idea. This spot will soon be under my Directors Reel menu on this site.

You can see this Boys and Girls Club spot here.

Behind the scene Images by © Caleb Tkach
Portraits by ©bobcarmichael.com

Best regards, Bob

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Guest blog by Suzanne Blons – Her Carmichael portrait session – Her words.

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The Pleasantness of Pastries

When I sat for the great French photographer Patrick Demarchelier to take the marketing pictures for the Revlon Charlie Girl fragrance, he sauntered into the makeup room, took one look at me, and said to the makeup artist, “Put a lot of makeup on her.” Then he left. I was about to model in an million dollar international campaign to sell the perfume and this was his approach to helping me find my happy place? I was now to project the image of a self-evolved, confident, modern woman for all to see?

As I felt the measly amount of self-esteem I possessed deflate from my body, I wanted to run home and shovel cow manure from my dads livestock barn, my childhood chore. If Demarchelier had made that comment to me today, I would’ve grabbed a pencil and stuck it in his eyeball and then, while he lay bleeding, offered him a pastry. I would then eat the morsel myself and call the paramedics after I licked my fingers. Thankfully, my portrait photo shoot with Bob Carmichael was amply more pleasant.

Bob knows what he’s doing. I’ve worked with an abundance of mainly fashion photographers in Paris, Munich, New York, and Milan, and eaten pastries in all locations. When it came time for me to update my headshot, I chose Bob due to his vast experience, beautiful studio, and ability to capture what I wanted to project. My business as a makeup artist/beauty shaman dictates that I offer clients a mixture of Venus coming out of the waters, like in the Botticelli painting, and approachable warmth. I feel we captured it in the photos.

He did, however; hide all the pencils.

Suzanne Blons writer blog
Suzanne Blons makeup artist

Architectural Photography on Mapleton Hill

So Julie Meko the very experienced Re/MAX real estate agent calls me and would like to have me come out for a shoot of what I consider one of THE Grand homes of Boulder, CO. Actually one of the Grand homes of America. But you be the judge. The house is 5 bedrooms, three stories with basement and is situated on a 1/2-acre lot on top of Mapleton Hill in Boulder’s Historical District. It is approx. 6500 square feet of living space with breathtaking views of the flatirons.  The home was built in 1890. Can you say Location, Location, Location? I can’t think of a more beautiful or perfectly situated home that combines history with a massively complete remodel under the direction of both the home owner and her architect Katie Pekarek of the Boulder firm Kristen Lewis Architects. The renovation, which greatly enhanced the flow of the home, took two years.  They have brought a wonderful eye for detail, color and texture to this home.  Every inch of this property is just a visual treat, including the terrific views of the Flatirons.  Starting with 10′ high ceilings to the recycled wood floors, the owner and her architect just poured subtly, beauty and environmental consciousness into their remodeling project.

Wisely, they started hundreds of feet below the surface to run this home off a geothermal heating system that is housed in a very impressive basement mechanical room.  With that solid environmental foundation the GRAND old Victorian home has entered the 21st Century as a beacon of the past shining a bright light into the future. The owner and Kate went room by room with their remodel. Just some of the results are seen here but you get the idea.  It was a truly comprehensive renovation.

For me it was a fun exercise in precision photography.  I wanted to capture the real depth of this property so I went for a true Panorama shot for the top shot seen here. I used a Really Right stuff Nodal Point slide and panning clamp which enables you to pan on a level plan right under the Nodal Point of the lens and eliminate parallax shift.  One essential piece of glass for architectural photography is the Tilt-Shift, PC-E Nikkor 24mm f3.5 ED, don’t leave home without it. You shoot two bracketed shots and then stitch them together, hence the wide screen look.  Caleb Tkach was my very capable assistant cameraperson.  We used a l4’ high Bogen Studio Tripod. Our workflow was via LR 4 – we’re still letting LR5 sort itself out. We typically shoot a HDR combo of images:  A Master, 2 stops under, 2 stops over and 4 stops over.  Carmichael Productions, inc’s  retouching is very detail oriented and something we take great pride in.  Shutter control, deep DOF and of course, using a remote shutter release cord to not disturb the camera are some of the tricks to shooting architecture.  It is a nice change of pace to look closely at architecture and truly have the time to scrutinize the image for maximum impact and staging.  I’m happy to photographically present the home and pleased I could help spread the word about the greatest house, on the greatest street, in the greatest town in America!

Best Bob C.

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USA Cycling Association – Bourbon Street Productions, director/camaraman Bob Carmichael

So I get a call from John Bourbanais who runs a Colorado Springs production house called Bourban Street Productions. He’s got a couple of projects going at once and he is kindly contacting me to come in to direct and shoot a commercial in his absence.  I say yes and Doug Millington and I start a sprint to get a location scouted, crew and camera booked, permits pulled and to develop a plan.  The first file here are some of my story boards for the first day and some of the behind the scenes images of us shooting.  BSP was represented on the shoot by their producer LeAnne Carrouth who was a great person to work with, smart and concise!

The crew was top of the line with Chris Gerding, who is a great collaborator and knowledgeable lighting gaffer. We had Mitch and Matt Stelling and Jesse Jaco as our Grips and they are amazingly on task always thinking one step ahead and that makes a director/cameraman’s job that much easier. Our 1st AC was Doug O’Kane, he and his brother Mark are serious production people. You’ll see Doug pulling focus on all these shots.  Doug is a pro who is unflappable and when you get behind the eye piece, you know he is going to be on the money focus wise. The Digi tech was a very capable fellow named Nathan Berry-Chaney who expertly managed our digital work flow and 2 Go-Pros. Our make-up person was the can-do Suzanne Blons who doubled as a set PA as well. This was a low budget commercial but we got the shots and had the camera moving to intensify the action just like the big boys do.

Thanks to Jason Hornbeck at ACamera for his continued amazing help in getting us one of his Arri Alexa cameras with the 11:1 Optimo zoom. We used it from 24mm to 600mm and it was steller!

Our budget was challenged on this shoot but necessity is the mother of invention and to get our car to bike shots Chris Gerding wielded a platform extension onto his Toyota that allowed for the camera, operator and AC to shoot. The Gerdocamcar! Chris and his boys strapped us in from all points and we were good to go. Chris drove drove the switchbacks and was able to communicate all the upcoming turns via his car comm system.  The G’s on the turns and trying to hold onto the Alexa was a task and the grunts from O’Kane and I operating that rig was like a weight lifting session. Intense! The Boulder Sheriff was there to close the road and make it all safe. Doug Millington did his usual terrific job of bidding and producing. He also served as a very capable Assistant Director to move things along. Thanks to all, particularly John Bourbonais and BPS Productions and the USA Cycling Association for a fun two days.

Bob C.

Click the link below to see the shot list and previs/scout images of the first shoot day.  It is the director’s job to have a plan.

USA Cycling ROAD MASTER 18th

Behind the scenes photography by Jason J. Hatfield – http://www.mountainskyphotography.com

 

USA Cycling AssociationUSA National Team Riders at 6:30AM

USA Cycling Assoc.First shots onto the SXS Cards.

Using the cross light, Flag Staff BGUsing the cross light, Flag Staff BG.

USA Cycling Assoc.Ansel Adams is making a comeback because of video screens reflectivity.

Foreground action & sliderForeground action & slider.

USA Cycling AssociationMitch Stelling finessing the slider dolly.

USA Cycling Assoc.Confident with AC Doug O’Kane on the focus knob.

USA Cycling TeamUsing the same location just down the hill to a great reveal!

USA Cycling AssociationNow we are using telemetry to gauge the riders coming up the Morgul Bismark.

Now we are using telemetry to gauge the riders coming up the Morgul Bismark, grips on the hill calling the marks to Doug. Now we are using telemetry to gauge the riders coming up the Morgul Bismark, grips on the hill calling the marks to Doug.

USA Cycling AssociationThe GERDO camera car. Damn he’s good! and yes we are double strapped in.

Serious forces unleashed on those Flag Staff 180's. Serious forces unleashed on those Flag Staff 180’s.

USA Cycling AssociationThe Gerdo Camera Platform in the turn.

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USA CyclingA group coming from the left and we are coming from the right. Compounding all the action.

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A Carmichael Portrait working for a client and good friend – the story.

Kevin Donald: Producer/ Assistant Director/ActorKevin Donald: Producer/ Assistant Director/Actor
Just got the kind of call we all like to get and that was from my long time friend and colleague Kevin Donald, who rang me up from his home in Hood River, Oregon to thank me and let me know my portrait of him on his agents site Q6Talent had just helped him land a spokesperson role in 2 television commercials, and 20 radio ads. Working with Kevin on his head shot was fun, he’s been a spokesperson on National Commercials for brands like Coke, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Coors, Grapenuts, Molson, Michelob, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Ford, GMC, Honda, and dozens of other national brands,going back to 1970’s. He’s also a great assistant director who’s worked with me on many projects. He’s thorough and knows how to handle complex production assignments and make talent feel comfortable. He can relate because he has years of being front of the camera himself. We’ve worked together on many challenging projects that range from marine environments, to race tracks, and cliff sides. Kevin’s always has been a great athlete, as a gymnast, collage pole vaulter, climber, waterman, and cyclist. We met when I was a University of Colorado football player and he was a nationally ranked pole vaulter. That’s going back a ways… but KD always stays on his game and I’m really pleased my studio and photography approach worked just like it supposed to for him. And that is … capture and create a honest image that communicates some essence of truth about the subject. In Kevin’s case I’ll let him tell the story:

“I have climbed with Bobby for years and worked in concert with him as an assistant director on numerous feature films and commercials throughout the United States, Canada and Europe so we obviously felt really comfortable working together to capture an image I could use for my most recent head shot. Bobby was able to dig just a little deeper than most professional photographers to capture a “look” that enables casting directors to sense facets of my personality and potential as an actor. Here’s the deal, at any preliminary casting, most directors spend just a moment with each head shot when making their decision for who gets a “call back” and who’s head shot goes into the “round file” (trash can) so it’s essential that a photographer capture any interesting qualities that a person can convey while being photographed. Technically, Bobby is as good as they get and his studio is state of the art.” Thanks again Bob!

Kevin Donald

An authors portrait

Book Author Book Cover PhotoWhat better time than April 22 the celebration of Earth Day to announce an important book that takes the appreciation of our planet to truly galactic dimensions? As for Portraits, they are a fascinating opportunity to take the measure of your client and serve them with an image that unflinchingly delves into their inner nature. You want to make the studio environment comfortable to allow a photographic exploration that will lead them toward an honest expression of themselves. Once again, the phrase that the “eyes are the window to soul” holds true. A recent portrait that I’m very pleased with is my image here of Roger Briggs. Roger is someone I’ve known for over 40 years. The first film I ever made focused on he and Duncan Ferguson climbing what was then the hardest climb in America, the Eldorado Springs, Colorado route called The Naked Edge. At that time, the spring of 1972, both Roger and Duncan were in the top echelon of climbers in the world. You can see that film in my collection of classic climbing films here on my site. The title is Break on Through. But I digress…

Roger is world class in many ways and he was just inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame. He has climbed at the highest level throughout his life. Roger is also a physics teacher here in Boulder and he has recently written a fascinating book called Journey to Civilization-The Science Of How We Got Here. It is published through Collins Press. It is a laypersons guide to the origins of the universe and the ascent of human kind. It is an truly enlightening book. I hope that you’ll consider purchasing this wonderfully illustrated science based (thank God!) journey into the mysteries of the universe and by extension ourselves. The portrait on the back cover is my small contribution to Roger’s wonderful book. I hope that it communicates to you something about the intensity, curiosity and authenticity of an amazing adventurer and freshly minted author Roger Briggs.

Moving forward in peace,

Bob Carmichael

Carmichael Productions, Inc. & Company Headshots for Distinctive Branding

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This last week we were really pleased to have Beryl Stafford the president of Boulder’s own successful and growing energy bar company Bobo Oat Bars booked in for a portrait session for herself and her key staff people. Bobo Bars is a classic American small business success story. Beryl has created a uniquely healthy snack bar and she’s gearing up to add an additional shift! We offer group discounts to companies bringing in four or more individuals. Our distinctive portrait approach shows off your “human resources” in a consistent framework that speaks volumes about your attention to important details. Fundamentally it says you value your people highly. The experience of having a professional portrait taken is truly unique at my in-house studio. This old stone front structure is a Boulder Historical Landmark that we’ve renovated into a 21st century home built to a LEEDs Platinum Certification. With a certified HERS rating of 12 and a 10K solar array on the roofs, the house is virtually at net zero energy consumption. When you enter the house you find yourself in my photography gallery of fine art landscapes. Among the pieces hanging is a recently shot 76″x40″ panorama of the West Face of the Third and 2nd Flatiron.

At the back of the home is a customed designed 1,000 square foot studio with twelve foot ceilings. There is a comfortable make-up cove at the entrance to the studio. The lighting units are low amperage, continuous K5600 HMIs. These lamps are low on heat and with the ceiling fans going they are very comfortable to be photographed under. The extensive lighting control and grip paraphernalia are state of the art Matthews Studio Equipment. I have a number of personal favorite lighting setups dialed in at my studio to create my signature portrait look. I shoot tethered to a computer for instantaneous feedback. I typically shoot around 150 images per setting. To edit the images we set down at a two-screen Apple desktop configuration and via Lightroom 4 we compare and contrast the selections of images, making a final pick very fluid and easy. My retouching is literally world class.

Please take a look at the Portrait section of my website for more examples of my work sometimes referred to as Head Shots. Whatever you want to call them, my goal is to capture the personality of my subject. I shoot close ups because I find the human face fascinating and you know what they say about the eyes being the window to the soul. The entire process here is set up to capture unique and flattering images of my clients that will serve them well in all their professional and social media endeavors. I like to think our efforts are about boosting commerce and we’ve established a forum here that is geared to make that objective a fun and positive experience.

Ciao, Bob Carmichael