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Chasing a Photo for a Lifetime [chasejarvis RAW video]

When the Seahawks raised the Super Bowl trophy before my very eyes last Sunday I couldn’t help think that I’d been waiting a lifetime for this. But it was far more than being born + raised in Seattle that overwhelmed me – it was that I knew I’d captured a photo that I’d been chasing my entire life.

ENTER, the 12the man. Backstory courtesy of Wikipedia.
As most [American] football leagues allow a maximum of eleven players per team on the playing field at a time, referring to a team’s fans as the 12th man implies that they have a potentially helpful role in the game…The presence of fans can have a profound impact on how the teams perform…Thus these fans will often create loud sounds or chant in hopes of distracting, demoralizing and confusing the opposing team while they have possession of the ball; or to persuade a referee to make a favorable decision. Noises are made by shouting, whistling, stomping and various other techniques.

SO, while I’ve spent so much of my life steeped in athletics — from my middle school years as raucous little skate punk, to an athletic scholarship that put me through college, further still to a life spent in part making art around the lives and dreams of athletes from every corner of the globe — I had shot literally millions of images of the highest levels of competition known to humankind, yet I had never done any meaningful photography of… “the fan”.

NOW….armed with a lifetime of supporting my beloved Seattle Seahawks, as a kid in the 80′s when we could never beat John Elway’s Denver, to the 90s when my grandma gave me her season tickets and it was hard to get anyone go to the game with me let alone sit thru all 4 quarters (because we sucked), my team was finally headed to the big game. Never before in history was there a better time for my undertaking. SO, dreams do come true, and over the course of last weekend while 99.99999% of the cameras were focused on the field of play, I had the distinct opportunity to meet, wrangle, hang with and –most importantly photograph — hundreds, even thousands of “12th Man” Seattle Seahawk fans.

The following is a short vid we made along the way to share this all with you. Amidst the street photography, face paint and fan fare, be on the lookout for a floating BudLight hotel, a Foo Fighters concert, a muppet with a gun, a full court swish, a broken camera, cameos from Anchorman’s “Champ”, a bacon cheeseburger bigger than my torso, and –the man who made it– Epic Meal Time’s Harley Morenstein.

Big big ups to Big Chocolate + K.Flay for the beats. This song is so dope.
And double up thanks to BudLight for making all this possible. We had a blast, made some mischief, and made some art.

The final piece is a limited edition 36×60″ Giclée Print. Inquiries here.

chase jarvis 12th man

DigitalRev TV uses a GoPro to Fake my Hasselblad Masters Photo

Each time I have the good fortune to work with DigitalRev TV and my friend Kai Man Wong something memorable happens.

For example, you might recall the time that Kai and DigitalRev TV dragged me around Hong Kong with a Lego Camera on one of their infamous CheapCamera Challenges. The highlights included surprise runway models, aggravated kung fu fighters and eating pig’s anus on the street. Most recently Kai and his hilarious crew parodied my Facebook profile photo for Fake A Big Shot. The resemblance was, um, striking?

I decided it was time to turn the tables.

I showed up in Hong Kong to give Kai and the DigitalRev crew a taste of their own medicine. A CheapCamera Challenge of my design: To re-create a photo I shot with the Hasselblad H3D. This was a $25,000 piece of equipment in 2007 when I shot the photo. I gave him 8 hours … and a GoPro Hero3PLUS ($399) to get it done.

Here’s how the the final product compares to my original. What do you think? Check out the video above to see how he did it.

Chasejarvis_DigitalRevTV

Thanks to Kai and the whole DigitalRev TV crew for working on short notice and being such great sports. Subscribe to their channel here.

On Location: Hong Kong is Wet but Wonderful

As some of you accurately guessed from this pic I posted to Twitter last week, we’ve been rocking out in Hong Kong for a shoot, adapting to an uncooperative weather situation (rain – lots of it), hanging out on the water and dining on some pretty dynamite dim sum.

A few of you wondered if we were hooking up with our friends at DigitalRev. Maybe to do another lego camera shoot or show them how to really fake a big shot. Well my lips are sealed for the moment, although a pic below should put one of those questions to bed.

Stay tuned for more BTS action from this trip and enjoy some of the stills below:

The food has been all-time good. Dim sum, anyone?

Look who we found in Hong Kong. Our friends Kai from Digital Rev TV…good things transpired. Keep your eye on that channel to find out the scoop.

Crew elevator shot.

While the weather on this shoot has been less than ideal, Hong Kong has proven to be an incredible location. Roll with the punches and new opportunities present themselves.

Dream Job — Color Cannons, Flying High & Turning Dreams Into Photographs for Samsung

A NO BRAINER.
When someone comes to you and asks you if you’d like to create a photograph of your most vivid dream on their dime — let’s be clear on this one — you say YES.

Such was the case with Samsung and their creative agency Possible several weeks back. I got one of “those cool phone calls” where all your hard work comes into focus just for a second. (Dialogue in my brain = Wait a minute. Any photograph I want? Of my dreams?! And you’ll be my benefactor to make this happen? Yes Chase, creative freedom. We want to enable your imagination. Are there any images you’ve been excited to try to create but haven’t had the means or the opportunity?) Um. Hell yes. They had approached me with a completely blank canvas. Their only requirement? That the image would be a colorful expression of a dream to prove out the color quality on the Samsung Premium Monitor Series 9 for professional photographers. My only requirement? That I could make a video of the process to show you how we pulled it off.

It was a deal.

THE CHALLENGE.
I immediately knew the image I’d make. I’ve had this reoccurring dream where I’m floating in a sea of insanely vividly colored clouds. You know those flying dreams… well, this is similar, except more floating than flying or falling. (there’s water below in my dream, but that’s of no consequence here…) In short order, I pitched them the idea, they loved it, said “yes”…and then I jumped in… only to realize a moment later that I had no idea how I’d possibly make this happen. How does one “make” clouds? How could I pull this off with in-camera capture? How could I accurately translate the stunning colors into real life? And how would I do this with just a couple weeks lead time? Gulp.

If you’re a photography buff or just plain curious, then read on to get details on the process, how we made the set + the “clouds”, the gear, the monitors, the final image, and all the good stuff that went in my mouth and up my nose.

ENTER–> THE PROCESS.
chase jarvis powder compSketch of the idea. My original sketch was so neanderthal in nature I can’t believe my team had any clue what we’d be up to. The first whiteboard scribble led to this superquick, subsequent mock-up, a speedy photoshop file using some of my other photos and some puffy clouds tweaked into rich colors. It was a hackjob at best, but it got us started down the path of what to do next. We had to find those clouds.

The colors from my dream. This was fun… I went into a paint store and, from memory, selected a handful of paint chips that matched the colors from my recurring dream. This was the basis of moving my dream into reality. The goal is that my wardrobe, the clouds, the environment and the final image would be a perfect match based on these paint chips.

Chase and Loren matching the Celebration Powder to the colors from Chase's dream.

Clouds. First we worked through 101 ways to make clouds, from A-Z, smoke machines to mist. And where we ended up — after a good bit of experimenting — was absolutely awesome. Know that stuff called “celebration powder“? If you happen to be tuned Hindu celebration of Holi in India then you know what I mean…it’s a big thing. It has also migrated its way into seemingly endless fun runs here in the USA. In short this powder is made 100% bio degradable and non toxic from cornstarch. You can eat it (and I ended up eating a LOT of it). This powder, we discovered, can be ordered from some select outfits online. We ordered about 40 pounds of this stuff… some pre-made, others made to match the paint chips (above) we sent the manufacturers. Huge thanks to the Art Department on this shoot –> Loren and Darcy made this shoot happen because of the ingenius way in which they sourced the powder and — even more importantly — devised the “air cannon” mechanisms through which to fire it up into the sky and make the perfect clouds. The air cannons are, like the video explains, simply a series of tanks of highly compressed air with quick valves that can be tripped remotely. Upon flipping the switch – BOOM – you’ve got canned air firing that powder into the sky.

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Hindus celebrated Holi and believe it is a time of enjoying spring’s abundant colors and saying farewell to winter.

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Testing the powder canons

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Boom!

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Loren and crew setting up the powder canons

THE SET
The “cloud tent”. Now this stuff is messy. And when I say messy, I mean…like the messiest stuff you’ve ever dealt with. After myriad of outdoor tests we discovered, duh, that it gets EV-ER-Y-where. So we built the set to be a giant visqueen tent in very large sound stage to keep it all contained. Approx 30 feet x 30 feet x 20 feet high. Our own gigantor see-thru cube.

Flight. Anytime I get the chance, I’ll do my own stunts. Since we’d agreed in advance that – if this were my dream – I’d need to be the talent… So into character I went. In order to get the floating sensation, we decided after some practice, that a trampoline was the best way to create the look in the studio. With a couple of pulled neck muscles and some body position tweaking, it’s possible to get this floating / hovering look right at the apex of a big bounce on the trampoline. Took me a few hundred tries to be able to nail the effect on autopilot, but it indeed became automatic. Not gonna lie, it had been a few years since I’d jumped on a trampoline, but this was good fun… And, as I was to soon learn, it’s an entirely different thing to do it in practice vs. wearing the wardrobe, goggles and having canons fired at you… but more of that later.

chasejarvis_trampoline_bts_samsung

Moving the trampoline into position

THE GEAR
Stills. For the still portion of the shoot, we shot with the Nikon D4 tethered to our monitoring station, which consisted of three Samsung Series 9 monitors + Mac Pro.  As for glass, we used the Nikon 24-70mm zoom lens stopped down around f/11 for a nice deep depth of field. The Nikon D4 was secured to a light stand and raised to a hole cut into the visqueen at the height that I would be jumping to so we could get a clean shot without jeopardizing the electronics of the camera. And of course it was tethered to the computer so it could be fired remotely and – most importantly so that the images could be reviewed immediately on the Series 9 to check focus, color + file integrity.

Strobes. We used two Broncolor Scoro A4S Power Packs and four Broncolor Unilite 1600′s to give us the light we needed. And since the strobes were positioned outside the visqueen tent (for safety and cleanliness) – aka- the one huuuuggge softbox — the only modifiers we used were directional dishes soas to aim the light in the general direction of yours truly, the bouncing kook. We used PocketWizards to fire the Broncolors remotely off the camera.

Continuous light. Since we were also making the BTS video above, we knew we’d also need continuous lighting for the motion capture. As such we decided to go with two 9000 watt Maxi Brutes. The Maxi Brutes (9 x 1000 watt bulbs in a single unit) were phenomenal pumped out the continuous light needed for the high speed behind the scenes video cameras to get the exposures and frame rates that we wanted. This also allowed us to have to use less light in the strobes above, which kept the flash duration way quick. The Maxi Brutes are huge, look here:

Here’s a quick sketch of our lighting + setup diagram:

chasejarvis_samsung_diagram

Motion Capture Cameras. For the behind the scenes video capture, we thought it’d be fun to bring out the big guns…and the small guns too. We hired our pal DP extraordinaire Chris Bell to shoot with his fancy Arri Alexa [stay tuned for another video about that camera]. We also brought along a Sony FS700 to shoot high speed…480+ frames per second, a Canon 5D mkiii for quick on-the-fly shots, a Canon 7D for timelapses, and lastly, we grabbed every GoPro we had in our shop – I think it was 9 of ‘em.  These came in handy for rigging up shots that we didn’t want to stick our expensive high-end cameras in. We wrangled some Manfrotto pods + spreader dollies, plus a tasty Kessler crane to keep things moving. And you gotta know we made this sweet quick-and-dirty array for a Matrix-esque shot that you can see in the video if you watch it a couple times…:

chasejarvis_erikHecht2_samsung

Cinematographer Chris Bell with his beloved Arri Alexa

chasejarvis_erikhecht1_samsung

The Sony FS700 shooting into the tent.

chasejarvis_erikHecht2_samsung

chasejarvis_bts_samsung_monitors

Post capture - reviewing the work on Samsung Series 9 - happy with the results.

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Image + color review

The Aftermath

HERE’S A FINAL CAMPAIGN IMAGE (keep eyes peeled in all markets).
ChaseJarvis_Samsung_Series9_1000px.jpg

If you made it this far and wanna see more stuff like this, here’s the coordinates to subscribe: facebook.com/chasejarvis, twitter.com/chasejarvis, G+, or my extra special email list.

IMPORTANT NOTEA ABOUT MUSIC!
Music is a huge part of the fun we have when making these BTS videos. As such, huge shout out to the legendary beat maker Big Chocolate, without whom this vid would not be possible. You can catch him at his fBook here, twitter, or pickup this very track and other radness here (please support him) on iTunes here. Alas, he will also be crushing it all summer long on the Vans Warped Tour too.

OTHER RELEVANT STUFF.
In addition to the final still image which you may see all over the globe, there is a web commercial produced some good friends of mine – that is pretty damn funny. Check it here.

Super duper big shoutout to crew who worked on this…obviously the art dept, production, and cinema crews got shoutout, but also to my stylist on this one Alvin Stillwell.

For monitor specs etc go here and for more Samsung vids here’s the Samsung YouTube channel.

For more badass work from Possible Worldwide, go here.

Thanks yo!

Streaking, Ice Baths, Elephants & More — 8 Holiday Celebrations That Go Global

Santa and a Hindu holy man bro out in Allahabad, India. Photo Credit: Rajesh Singh / AP.

It may be pine trees, stockings, eggnog and carols where I’m at in the ‘States, but here’s a look at some seasonal partying elsewhere in the world. Ice swimming, road races, and…it turns out…even KFC. Serbia, Thailand, Japan and the West Bank represent.

Whatever you celebrate, however you celebrate and wherever you are. Much love and respect to you and yours this holiday season.

The Barcelona Traditional Christmas Swimming Cup attracts competitors from all over the globe, including the North Pole. Photo Credit: David Ramos / Getty Images.

These elementary students are given a Christmas Eve show in Ayutthaya, Thailand. Photo Credit: Longstreath / AP.

Children play on the heels of a Christian Orthodox priest inside the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, West Bank. Photo Credit: Marco Longari / AFP.

The 'Seehunde Berlin' ice swimming group goes for a Christmas Day plunge in the freezing waters of Berlin's Oranke Lake. Photo Credit to Schreiber/AP.

Party hats all around for these Santa Helpers in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo Credit: Kham / Reuters.

A traditional Christmas Race in Belgrade, Serbia. Photo Credit: Andrej Isakovic / AFP / Getty Images.

In Japan, KFC is a traditional Christmas dinner that is so widely-practiced, families have to make reservations to eat at a KFC on Christmas Day.

Pitch Your Creative Vision [chasejarvisLIVE rewatch]

Last week I hosted author and pitch guru Oren Klaff on chasejarvisLIVE. Wow. I knew it was going to be good – but we had no idea that there would be such a huge reaction to Oren and the information he shared from his book Pitch Anything. The community has been talking about it all week. So here it is again for your viewing and eternal viewing pleasure. Oren is not only the purveyor of more than $500 Million (yeah- read that twice) in successful pitches in a variety of industries – he also happens to be hilarious. Watch the episode to hear some of his epic quotes. He and his book – and a simple framework of how to make YOU and YOUR WORK become “the prize” — has helped me perhaps more than any other book on “selling” AND I think he can help you too.

Believing in your work is not an F-in tactic. -Oren Klaff

If you’ve been around my blog or this community for long, you’ll know that my focus is photography and directing, but most of all my guiding mantra is about living a more creative life – whether a photographer, filmmaker, designer, chef, painter, dancer, whatever. While we LOVE to focus on tapping into our “creative side” – take it from me, if you ever want to have a chance at earning a REAL LIVING with your creativity (or, hell, even making even a dime with your work) then being able to PITCH and SELL your work is essential. Don’t make me say that twice. The age-old idea of the starving artist is a sad, boring, and tired one. Better learn to talk about, position, pitch and sell what you make. This episode gives a road map to getting started.

Any of this resonate with you?

_ ever had anxiety about how to present your work to a client?
_are you confident with your skill as an artist – but discouraged by your ability to get paying work?
_have you ever seen a major campaign/exhibition and thought, “I can do better photos/film/copy than that?” …and wondered why you’re not getting the job?
_do you know that the demand for creatives going UP and is one of the fastest growing segments?

I already know your answer to those questions above. Check out the mission critical re-watch above for all the goods.

Special thanks to our cjLIVE show sponsors: HP, Broncolor, Manfrotto and B&H. We genuinely love what they do, make and sell.

Please show them you care and follow them on Twitter at: @hpprint, @HasselbladBron, @manfrotto_tweet, @BHPhotoVideo

Aspen Photo Shoot: chasejarvis RAW Behind-the-Scenes Video

Real heli’s and remote octo-copters. Flying cameras and world-class athletes. Lots of hard work and a great campaign for one legendary resort.

Earlier this year in March you may have tuned into my live-updates while shooting the 2012-2013 campaign for Aspen/Snowmass resort. Amidst our 20 hour days we were able to kick out behind the scenes photos, some daily blog posts and a few other things highlighting our work (thanks to Aspen for being incredibly cool, most clients don’t let you do this…) But I also promised a behind-the-scenes vid… So here ’tis. 6 months after the actual shoot, but before anybody else gets to see it – we’re dropping it here today…timed with the launch of the campaign – and sharing several of the final ads before they land in magazines / billboards worldwide.

The focus for this work was to re-create and share the real Aspen experience, so we lived it. Shooting on location in the mountains comes with the usual crazy challenges. Cold weather, crazy wind, even colder hands and feet, scorching sun, altitude issues, running around above 12,000 feet… and in my case, a badly sunburned nose. While some of my BTS videos show that part of it, we wanted the focus of this video to be more on the ways we captured the photos, the people, the athletes, and the action. We skied, hiked, choppered, ate, drank and danced our way through this job – a helluva a lot work, but even more fun. Hope you enjoy.

Some nuts and bolts from the shoot not obvious from the BTS vid, but that you might be interested to know:
// I shot Nikon D3s + Canon 5d (remote from Octocopter) for stills and Nikon D7000 + Canon 7D for the Behind-the-scenes
// We strapped GoPros to my head, my leg, to an octo-copter, to myriad body parts on pro-rippers
// We used 2 real helicopters and 1 remote octo-copter
// Among the many shredders we worked with is legendary Chris Davenport. Literally one of the best pro skiers of all time. Chris has climbed and skied all 50+ 14,000 peaks in Colorado in one year and recently skied off Everest. Follow him here @steepskiing. Total badass. Consummate pro.
// We shot the entire campaign and video in 6 days
// We had a 6-person photo crew (2 producers, myself + 3 film/photo crew) + 25 others (agency, client, talent)
// We hiked + heli’ed to the top of Highland Bowl in pre-dawn hours and watched the sunrise above 12,000 feet.
// No animals were harmed in the production of this video – just a lot of brain cells

ChaseJarvis_aspen_2012 ad campaign

ChaseJarvis_aspen_2012 ad campaign2

And I can’t tell you enough how much I LOVE the music track behind this video. HUGE thanks to one of my favorite bands, The Glitch Mob for working with us to incorporate this song. In between playing amazing live music, getting brought onboard soundtracks for movies like TRON and Spiderman, they managed to squeeze us in. The video wouldn’t be the same without this music. Follow them here @TheGlitchMob and buy their albums here on iTunes.

From Below: Comes Tarantino – Part I [perspective]

Perspective. I’ve mentioned it before. Shifting yours can impact your work substantially. As an example, I found this short piece highlighting the work of Quentin Tarantino. One of his favorite signature perspectives is from below. Fun to watch and just what the doctor ordered before the long weekend (for those of us here in the USA). Enjoy the time off if you have it – and if you’re going to use it to create photos or video – try a new perspective and see what happens.

I’ll be featuring more of these pieces today. Stay tuned.

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These exist thanks to the work of Kogonada.

New Work from Wieden & Kennedy: Southern Comfort: “Beach”

This new TV spot from Weiden & Kennedy for Southern Comfort is turning some heads. It debuted a few days ago on TV and has been bouncing around the internet making people smile since. If you’re a filmmaker or a photographer and this doesn’t make you want to create something original – I don’t know what will.

Ad Age Reports:
Neal Arthur, managing director at Wieden & Kennedy, contrasted the spot with other liquor ads that he said create “contrived images of the consumer.”

The “consumer that we were talking to [is] really just looking for the confidence and the appreciation for being as you are,” he said. “We very intentionally tried to create work that isn’t ‘trying’ and doesn’t feel like it is contrived in any way.”

Bio of a Commercial Shoot: 9 Days in 4.5 Minutes

Last year during our winter photo/video campaign for REI, Chase asked me to shoot a few behind the scenes stills every day to contribute to his Diary of a Shoot blog series. The following is what he got in return. This is what happens when you ask the video guy to shoot stills.

Too fast for you? Take spin through Chase’s blog series for the daily play by play of the shoot. It’s packed with useful information.

The music is “Eyes Be Closed” by Washed Out. If you dig it, you can buy it here.

Weird Thoughts Inspire: Animal Photos in a Post-Apocalyptic Landscape

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Photo: Richard Allenby-Pratt

A friend of mine always has the same weird thought when visiting Las Vegas, “What would an alien make of this place in a totally abandoned state? Can you imagine the ruins of a slot machine with no context?” It’s these weird thoughts that can lead to your next piece of personal work. Mine usually come at 3am.

An example of some post-apocalyptic creativity is Richard Allenby-Pratt’s series Abandoned (which my friends at Flavorwire brought to my attention) where endangered animals are the only survivors in a barren landscape. No humans anywhere – but solitary peacocks, giraffes, rhinos and gazelles wander the urban ruins. Allenby-Pratt explains on his website, “This project imagines a future without people, where the relics of our unrealised ambitions are populated by some of the species we have, in the present day, come so close to exterminating.” Thought provoking statement and some equally stunning photos. Click through some of the image tabs above to get the flavor .
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Go Richard Allenby-Pratt’s site to see more.

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