Back to the scene of the crime.

In our return to Bube’s Brewery tomorrow we will definitely be looking for more ghosts.


Last year was an amazing experience as I worked with artists, models and hair/makeup people to document the surreal experience of Bube’s Brewery, a haunted, Underground Railroad building in Mt. Joy Pennsylvania. Now the home of haunted dinner theaters, live music, a wonderfully quirky hotel and an excellent restaurant, this location is a must for anyone who wants to photograph ghosts, real or imagined.  I took this photo last year during a ghost hunt by myself, Sirena Domino Hildebrand and Greg Ferreira prior to a great photoshoot with one of my favorite bands, Sofeya and the Puffins.  Ghost photos are very much a tripod affair.  I’m looking forward to what the event will bring this year.


Honey, there’s something strange happening in the park.


Every year around this time Krampuslauf Philadelphia freaks out the neighbors. And that is very, very good, because freaking out the neighbors is one of my favorite things to do.  Here in Philly, Amber Dorko-Stopper, AKA Frau Perchta on Facebook, begs, pleads and cajoles scores of brilliant artists, neighbors and fellow citizens into performing one of the most wonderful and eclectic neighborhood events you’ve never seen.  There are costumes, food, camp fires, kids, adults, hot cider, incredible fire dancing, and everything Alpine-mythic for all that care to attend.  The costumes are to die for.

For an event like this, you should bring the fastest and widest lens that you have.  Available light is the best, but if you bring your own, use something off-camera and well diffused.

Here there be Faeries.

Here there be Faeries.

The New York Faerie Festival of 2013 was a special event. I called it Woodstock with Wings. It was beautiful, warm and overcast all day – photographers dream – and it rained all night – a camper’s nightmare. But it really was an incredible event.
This, as with many of my photos was an impromptu moment where a performance artist – the tiny faerie – and a friend who is an outstanding seamstress, the tall Faerie, had a chance encounter and with a little direction we were able to produce something special.
Technical Geeky Stuff: D800, Tokina 28-70 F/2.8 lens, natural light, heavy leaf and some cloud cover.

Capturing the moment.

PDSC_4022rofessor Adam Smasher and Model Ruby Chiex show off their guns at the Mid-Winter Scottish Irish Festival.  I’m not going to tell you who won, but she didn’t have a beard. I happened to walk up when they were in mid-arm wrestle. Capturing the moment is key when you are working an event and you have to keep your eyes on scan at all times. Tunnel vision is the enemy if you want to capture those special moments.

Techno Geeky stuff:  This was an on-camera flash, (Nikon SB600 on a D800, Tamron 70-200 F/2.8 lens), shot with a Gary Fong light diffuser to reduce the potential harshness of the flash. The buildings new-fangled  ‘sodium cyanide’ lighting systems (I made that up) threw some odd color.  This is the kind of place a gray card would be ideal, given the variable nature of overlapping tungsten, florescent and other exotic lighting.

Classic lighting, modern fashions

Falloff is my friend. Long before me, falloff was also the friend of Rembrandt and Johannes Vermeer. They inspired me and one day I hope to be compared to them. For now I just beg everyone that I meet to please call me ‘Rembrandt Vermeer’. It’s kind of pathetic. Maybe I’ll just change my name legally, and get it over with.
The model in this shot is Lilith Purple Bear – she can be found on Facebook under that name. The event was Dorian’s Parlor which is wonderful geeky costume-themed event, held irregularly, that is closest to Steampunk in style but really has no defined genre. It’s promoted by Gil Cnaan of Philadelphia.
Technical Geeky Photo Stuff. Nikon D800 Camera wirelessly firing a remote Nikon SB600 speed light with a softbox modifier on an expandable wand. I usually start these shots at 200 ISO and F/8 aperture, 1/125 second exposure and start tweaking the ap closed if I’m getting too much ambient light and not able to isolate my subject from the background.

Dude, You’re creeping me out!

Sofeya - sans Puffins

Sofeya – sans Puffins

Playing with available light creates all kinds of opportunities to creep out your viewer.  Take for example Sofeya of the band Sofeya and the Puffins. By anyone’s measure, she is quite a beautiful woman, but with the right lighting, inside a giant brewers cask at Bube’s Brewery in Mt. Joy, PA, she can appear downright (wonderfully) creepy.

This photo was shot with a Nikon D800 at high ISO, a Nikon 15-35 F/4G lens, and ambient light.  The VR saved the photo, but there’s still enough grain in the shot to fill a sand trap. That’s what you get when you push the limits of your camera and lens.

Frakk what the neighbors think.

Frakk what the neighbors think.

Who are we pleasing today? Our parents? Co-workers? Friends? Spouse? Are you putting on the right face for everyone you meet today?

It’s time to take off the mask and find out what’s left under all the layers of socialization that have bonded to your skin over the years. Frakk what the neighbors think.

Photo Info: Nikon D800, fixed lens, available light, Model: Sirena Domino Hildebrand. Location: Saloon at Alois Hotel, Mt. Joy, PA.