December 2, 2014 Leave a comment
August 21, 2014 1 Comment
From a recent shoot in Southwestern Colorado this exterior shot was a composite of ten separate images to come up with the pano. Really interested in the concept of how the image looks in black and white compared to color. I think I will explore this contrast in more detail for future portfolio pieces as well as for a coffee table book of my work that we are working on.
March 6, 2014 Leave a comment
Very honored and thrilled to receive the latest issue of Interior Design Magazine to see a project of mine featured within the pages of a home I shot for Studio William Hefner in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles. ID is a magazine I look up to for not only its content, but layout and level of photography as well. I am honored to say the least. The other homes featured in the same section of “Innovative Houses Bring the Outdoors In” were located in Iceland and Spain.
January 14, 2014 2 Comments
I am very excited to announce that the 2014 winter issue of Luxe Interior + Design magazine is out on the stands. I am also very honored to say that a home I shot for the magazine this last fall is not only featured in the issue, but my image of the exterior of the home made the cover. What a great way to start off the New Year here at the studio of James Ray Spahn Photographer!
September 12, 2013 Leave a comment
I was recently on a shoot in Black Hawk Colorado photographing a home for a magazine when during the shoot I received a call from my longtime client Haselden Construction. They wanted to know if I could shoot two casinos for them the following day in Black Hawk and meet their deadline of having the images in hand by the beginning of the next week.
As serendipity had it and as I told them, not a problem, I just happened to be in all places but Black Hawk already. Sometimes the stars just line up! So instead of loading up my gear and driving home after my shoot for the magazine, I headed to downtown Black Hawk to meet with Haselden and do a walk-through of the properties.
To photograph projects like these its imperative to do a walk-through. Meeting the GM’s of the properties is also key. Security is tight in casinos as you can imagine so getting clearance is a must. Trust me you can’t just walk into a casino with a camera on a tripod and not expect to be confronted by several security guards with guns.
The above images are from the Mardi Gras Casion, below are from Saratoga.
I was given strict instructions by the owners of the casinos that I was not allowed to photograph any areas where money was handled (the cage) or photograph any employees, or patrons. Also, I was to be out and finished by 8:00 am, no if and’s or buts.
So the game plan was to arrive at the first location The Mardi Gras at 2:00 am photograph it, and then walk up the street and shoot the Saratoga. So from when the initial phone call came in from Haselden to shoot the casinos (about 1:00 pm that day) to when I would actually begin photographing was roughly thirteen hours. Keep in mind I had been already shooting a project all morning.
So after my walk through and getting clearance the time was now 3:00 PM. What to do what to do knowing I was gonna be on the ground running at 1:30 am. I did what any other seasoned professional photographer would do. I ate dinner at 4:00 PM, had a few cocktails, found a black jack table (i lost by the way) and was in bed by 6:30 pm.
And that’s how that day began….. and ended.
June 27, 2013 Leave a comment
As I have mentioned before, I never know when the phone will ring and what the next assignment might be. In this case I received a phone call from my client Coover Clark Architecture wanting to know if I could photograph a bridge and few garages for them. Doesn’t sound glamorous does it? Well it didn’t to me either. My job is to the make the best possible image of the subject assigned to me. And that’s what I feel I accomplished with these two locations. The images tell a story and document information for the client, but they also have an edge and sexiness to them as well. No matter the subject, powerful images are what my clients expect from me as well as what I expect from myself. It also helps if one doesn’t mind getting up at 4 am……..
May 16, 2013 Leave a comment
A lot of times I get the question from clients or in meetings with potential clients “do you use photoshop to enhance your photos”. The other question I also get for instance goes something like this “is there any chance you can photoshop so and so object out of a shot” say for example, telephone poles or electrical outlets. What I tell my clients and is also my philosophy that goes back to my days of shooting with film, is that I do everything possible I can on location be it interiors or exteriors to get the shot perfect before I push the button on the camera (or in this day and age the button on my laptop). Or better put, my crew and I are not lazy nor do I like to kick back and be the photographer that tells his clients that “I’ll just fix it in photo shop back in the studio”. The last thing I want to do is spend more time in a dark room in front of the computer when I can be outside hanging with the kids. That’s all fine and dandy but there are times where I rely heavily on the tool of photoshop and tell my clients that it is part of my services.
I was hired by the architectural firm Coover/Clark based in Denver to photograph the New Readiness Center for the Army National Guard in New Mexico. After shooting the interiors of the complex the day before I returned the next morning to shoot the exterior at Dawn. The direction and quality of like was just beautiful for the front of the building. The only thing that bothered me was the huge shadow running across the pavement and grass. The shadow was being created by the plane you see in the below image. So as to not make a longer story any longer, I photoshopped the shadow out back in that dark room in my studio.
The plane in the above image was casting a shadow across the front pavement and grass on the above shot.
This project was shot in Bel Air California for my good client R.T.A Construction.
Same deal here. I had to rely on photo shop to take out the car on the left and all of the riffraff in the foreground. You are probably asking “why didn’t you just move the car”, and that’s a great question. We had no idea whose it was. I would have loved to have actually moved back farther than where I was standing so I could include more space around the house, but it was a construction site where I had the camera positioned and I couldn’t move back and further because of construction equipment.
One should keep in mind that both of these scenarios above took about an hour each to get just right. It should also be noted that pictures taken with a digital camera don’t just pop out of the camera looking perfect. As in the old days of the traditional darkroom photography there is a lot of nuances to make a beautiful image, and this is what a professional photographer can bring to the table. OK, enough of being in a dark room and in front of this computer. I’m going outside to hang with the kids!