Monday, December 26, 2011

Jeeping in Moab

Back in July, my brother and I headed out to Moab for a little off-road fun with his new Jeep.  Here are a couple of panoramas I took, highlighting the lovely red rock and glorifying his shiny new toy.

Note: His Jeep is the speck to the left on the first one.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cosplayer 7 - Chazi

If Severus Snape was transformed into a person in real life, he would probably be a science teacher.

... Oh wait, Chazi is a science teacher.

In addition to keeping America's youth well-educated, she thoroughly enjoys the outdoors and activities such as biking and horseback riding.  Her collection of costumes is one of the more extensive ones I've come across.  We were debating between at least three for this shoot!

Friday, December 9, 2011

I had an idea...

So I smashed it.

Breaking light bulbs takes a little more gusto than I expected.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tippy Top of Timp

At the end of the summer, two friends and I hiked to the top of Mt. Timpanogos, the second highest mountain of the Wasatch range.  We did the hike during they day so we could enjoy the sunset at an elevation of 11,749 ft.  When I did this panorama, we weren't quite to the top yet, but we persevered and got up there.  Quite the view - Utah Lake looks so small down there!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cosplayer 6 - Sam

Next up, we have Sam as Mitsukuni Haninozuka.

(If you're having as much trouble saying the character's name as I was, you can also call him by the nickname Honey.)

 Taken from Ouran High School Host Club, Honey is an uncommonly small teenage boy who really likes cute things, sweet foods, and carries around a stuffed bunny.  Kind of makes for an appropriate gender-crossover costume.

Speaking of which, Sam is a woman.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Blue Lemon - SLC

Like healthy food?  Try out Blue Lemon next time you're around Salt Lake City, Utah.  They were a pleasure to work with, and they have a fantastic selection of edibles.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Cos....tumer 5 - Dart

Star Wars time.

To give a sense of scale, here's a light test with me (about 5'6").

He has these booster shoes that you can't see in the final shot.  I'm pretty sure he's about 7' tall with them on.

I ran into Chewbacca (or Dart, if we're talking about the person under the fur) when I was recruiting, and he graciously agreed to participate in this project.  In chatting with him, I discovered that although he technically fits the description of a cosplayer, he doesn't really consider himself a part of that community.  Generally, cosplayers tend to focus a lot on anime, which really isn't his thing.

As if Chewy wasn't impressive enough (Dart made this himself), this isn't his only costume.  He participates in a couple of groups that will make not-for-profit appearances for kids' groups and such.  I'd say that's a mighty good use of a costume.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Broken Doll

When I was hunting for broken and breakable objects at the second-hand store, I came across this doll that was already missing a foot.  Honestly, the doll was all-around creepy-looking.  Perfect!  I'm doing a series on broken objects, so I figured it would fit in well.

The trouble was that a lot of situations I put the doll in made it seem like a stereotypical "creepy doll" shot.  I wanted it to be about a broken doll, not about the spawn of Chucky.  I hope this worked out...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cosplayer 4 - Savannah

Most of us will recognize the one, the only... Sailor Moon!

As with many cosplayers, Savannah makes her own costumes.  She takes things up a notch, though, and has created mascot-style costumes using foam skeletons to construct the non-human shaped bodies.  Her most recent and (in my opinion) most impressive creation was a Pok√©mon - Lugia.  The suit is about seven feet tall.

Savannah worked with me a couple of years ago, and along with one other co-worker was the first to introduce me to the concept of cosplay.  Had I not known them, this series never would have happened.

Photographed in the lovely kitchen of the home she and her husband recently purchased.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Cosplayer 3 - Kiana

Next cosplayer!

Kiana's cosplay is Tomoyo from Cardcaptor Sakura... steam-punk version.  The camcorder is part of the costume, as her character is always carrying it around, like this.  In addition to cosplaying, Kiana loves making art.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

The grossest thing I've ever photographed

Last summer when I stopped by in Seattle, WA, I got to see the (apparently) famous gum wall.  There was a solid group of people hanging around to see it, and even a friendly person who shared some gum with those of us who hadn't prepared to contribute to this saliva-covered work of art.  It looked kind of cool but... eeew.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Interiors - Hobble Creek

Below are two lovely rooms I shot a couple of weeks ago.  The styling of this house was super unique.  Yes, those beams in the living room are free-standing.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Contest thingaroo

Click on the link below to see some photos that I've entered into a contest and VOTE for me, if you like the work.

The grand prize comes from a panel of professionals in NYC, but your voting for me brings me closer to the possibility of getting the audience choice prize.  So please, let your votes be counted!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Welcome to Cosplay

I love costumes, as evidenced by this post from last Halloween.  So when I discovered that there is a whole community of dedicated costume-wearers I decided that I needed to get to know them better... photographically.

Everyone, meet cosplay.  The linked article describes it better than I ever could, but essentially cosplayers dress up as characters from anime, manga, video games, or other cartoons and go to conventions in character.  And these aren't lame costumes.  People style their own wigs, sew, build, accessorize, and apply make-up to create the best representations they can of characters they choose to portray.  It's a true labor of love.

The thing I really like about all of this is that the people I've seen who do this are taking fantasy and turning into a little bit of reality.  They get to do part-time what actors do constantly, and that's where the fun comes in for me.  Cosplay is pure fun and fantasy just a step outside of normal life, usually just donned for a day or weekend before heading back to school, work, and the rest of that stuff we all do.  Because of that close relationship, I've chosen to photograph people in their cosplay (costume), but in a setting from their everyday life.  Work, home, school, the store...

Here are the first two.

 Jess, an avid writer of fanfiction...

and Aly, a Computer Science major who currently works in a lab as a programmer.

I'm really excited to expand on this project.  Though I am not a member of the cosplay community myself, this is something I can really sink my teeth into.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Broken things...

We'll see where this series goes...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

First attempt at lightning

For a while now, I've been wanting to try doing star trails.  Star trails involve doing long exposures during the night while the earth rotates and makes long, bright streaks.  It also requires being in the middle of nowhere and camping out with your camera while it does it's multi-hour thing.

I wasn't too keen on trying it by myself and getting murdered in my sleep, but when I found out that someone I knew was also interested in giving it a whirl and the new moon was coming up, we decided to go give it a whirl together.

You'd think that in the desert, there wouldn't be much problem with the weather.  Alas, there was a storm coming through.  The weather report only predicted rain from about 7-8 pm, and since things often clear up fast here in Utah we were still hopeful for clear skies by midnight.

When we got in the car, however, there had not yet been any rain.  The cloud cover was thick, and as we drove toward our destination it only got worse and began to rain lightly.  Pretty soon we saw brilliant flashes of lightning.

This was no one-hour storm.

We were already out in the middle of nowhere, so now what?  Try to wait it out?  The chances of it easing up were slim.  How about photograph the lightning?  Sure!

So here are a couple of pictures from an impromptu lightning shoot.  They're nothing spectacular - we hadn't chosen the location ahead of time or made any preparations for this particular shoot.  It was more an experiment than anything.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Metal on metal abstract... in a stall

Have you ever been in a situation where you recognize that something is beautiful, but you're not in a normal place to stop and appreciate it?  Like a great sunset when you're in a rush and driving in the opposite direction?

Or maybe, a coat hook in a bathroom stall?

I'm completely serious about this.  It had to be the most bizarre moment, but I saw this in an airport restroom and had to get a picture.  I wonder if anyone noticed the sound of the shutter clicking.  Probably not, since airport security didn't come after me.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Leland's dinner party

I know it's been a long time since I've posted, but I've been quite busy.  To ease you all back into my somewhat regular posting, here are a few snapshots from a recent event I was lucky enough to take part in.

My friend of culinary talent, Leland, threw a Mediterranean-themed dinner party in an orchard.  I took my camera because I knew the food would be beautiful.  I put it down because the food was delicious.  These are actually the only four pictures I took.

(Okay, technically there was one more, but it was just a test shot)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Loraine and Al - otherwise known as my best friend and her new hubby!

Did I mention my best friend was getting married this weekend?  Well, she did.  To an exceptionally fantastic man, I might add.

Oh, and did I mention I was the maid of honor?

Did I mention I was the photographer?

Just so everyone can keep posted, here are a few pictures from outside the Manti temple this morning.  More to shoot at the reception tomorrow!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Aaron's Viewing

About two weeks ago, I found out that my childhood friend Lisa Jastal lost her 2 1/2 month old son, Aaron, to an infection.  He had gone through surgery for a heart defect, bounced back valiantly, but through the IV that delivered some of his nutrients he became ill and passed away.

I was saddened by the news, and also by the fact that it had been so long since I'd seen or talked to the Jastals, and felt too far removed to offer much help... until I got an e-mail.

Lisa and I both studied photography.  Pictures are important to her.  She asked me to come to the viewing, photograph the flowers and setup, the friends and family that came to celebrate Aaron's life.

This request presented a great opportunity for service, but also scared me a bit.  I had never done photographs at a funeral, and wasn't positive how to approach it.  Other photographers have done a fantastic job of tactfully shooting viewings, so I swallowed back some apprehension and said yes.

Nervous as I was, the beauty of their little gathering couldn't be denied.  The family was all there together, and all of them have the faith to know that they are only separated for a time.  I admire their strength.  Knowing how forward to be with the camera was a struggle - some people looked a bit suspicious of me and obviously avoided my lens - but I hope I captured the memories the parents wanted.

Below are some images from the viewing, posted with permission.  Thank you to Lisa and Brandon Jastal for letting me take these photos.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Balanced Rock - Arches National Park

I spent the weekend hanging out in Moab, Utah.
First of all, I suggest you never go to Moab in July unless you revel in 106 degree weather.

Second of all, I recommend you DO get yourself out there at some point during a cooler month like May or September to see some beautiful scenery.

Third... look, a picture!

This is Balanced Rock, one of the many crazy rock formations in Arches National park.  It's also easily accessible from the road if you don't like hiking.  As much as I like to think myself original as a photographer, there was a guy visiting from Japan right next to me taking a picture of it at the same time.  He had my brother snap one of him in front of the rock while I played with my own camera settings.

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© 2014, Andrea Cerveny