Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Illusive Photography 2014 - Year in Review

It is that time of year where I look back at my photographic progress for 2014 and comment on the Most Viewed, or Fave'd Images from each session with some comments.


The purpose of this session was for Hair Stylist and Make-up Artist Sydniiee to submit an image for Hair Styling Competition with Model Jenna volunteering for the session. This image was shot with 3 blue gelled strobes and an "ice" filter applied in post.  Without the "ice" filter, Jenna's skin was too warm, so I wanted to cool it down to give the image a Lycanthrope feel.  It's hard to believe that Jenna is under all that hair.

Icy Steel




First time I worked with Angelica was for a Photo Throw-down.  This image was close to what I wanted, but trekking around with more than one studio strobe, battery pack, boom stand, sand bag and a Beauty Dish is way too much of an effort for me ;).  This image could have been better if I shot it at 35mm focal length, moved in closer and framed it in Landscape Orientation. This area is where all the feral cats in Hart Park reside, so the ammonia smell from their scat is overwhelming.


Mid-March, Jenna and I met at Shell Beach to photograph some of her vintage swimsuits, isn't it interesting that the Most Popular image is Jenna only wearing a high-waist bottom? I wish I would've brought a rake, or something to smooth out the sand.



Primary Threads, a BMX and Skateboarding Clothing company out of Australia, provided Jenna with some of their merchandise to model. I'm always honored that she asks me to shoot with her.  This image was what I wanted, but I'm sure they weren't pleased.  It's black and white and the clothing is burgundy and grey.  We did provide them with several color images, but this one focuses on their logo.


The last time Eddy and worked together was back in October of 2012. I asked if we could re-shoot our Poler series, but this time with more of an athletic feel as opposed to a Gentlemen's Club ambiance.  I forgot that when she is on the pole, I need a lot more vertical space.  I spent most of the time shooting laying on my stomach.

Inversion 2

June: of my favorite sessions for 2014.  This was our 5th collaboration and Joy wanted to shed the "Girl Next Door" image.  Shot using Ilford XP2 Super 400 film and only Natural Light, this is one of my two favorite images. I can nitpick about the image, but overall I do like this image.

Ilford XP2 Super 400

This image is the other favorite from the session which also was highly viewed.  Shot inside my Abarth with Available Light.



I've had good luck photographing "models" outside of Bakersfield and stumbled on Erika through a co-worker.  This image had the most "Faves".  Lighting was provided by a 4' x 6' 1-stop scrim placed between the sun and the model. there's a bit of chromatic aberration on the her white shoes.  I really prefer the black and white image posted following this one.


In fact, I liked the B&W image so much that I had it printed 22" x 36" and mounted. No special lighting, or modifiers.



Another "Reunion" of sorts with Model Jessica, who moved down to San Clemente, but happened to be in Hanford for a week.  Notice a recurring black unitard theme?  Shot at 12:25 PM, no modifiers, just direct hard sunlight.


Primary Threads Pt. II - Jenna asked if we could shoot some more Primary Threads "merch", but also with some video.  Instead I opted for shooting Super 8, which I haven't shot since College.  Although the "views" and "likes" are non-existent, I'll post the video.  

Primary Threads from Alan Antiporda on Vimeo.


A photographer friend suggested I shoot with Kaitlynn and said I wouldn't be disappointed.  He was right. I haven't shot an image using a wide angle in a long-time, but felt the POV would accentuate her long legs.

Platform B




Then the highlight of 2014 happened, the birth of my first grandchild. Princess Zelda was born on November 1.  This has to be my favorite model to date.

Son and Granddaughter

I haven't given much thought to 2015 and what photographic goals I wish to achieve.  I am working on shooting a Super 8mm Film and will re-visit my White Sheets Sessions with some new models.

Wishing you and your loved ones a Happy and Prosperous New Year!!!

Friday, September 5, 2014


Time seems to pass quickly the older I get and it's hard to believe that we are 2/3rds of the way through 2014.   In June I decided to shoot at least once a month for the remainder of the year, but as I've written previously, Summer is a difficult time to shoot in the Central Valley.   The temperature hovers around 100 degrees and the only wind is created by the numerous dirt devils meandering across the arid landscapes.


Jessica happened to be visiting family in Hanford and was free to shoot on Labor Day. Eleven months have lapsed since we last collaborated. With a majority of the models that I photograph more than once, we picked up right where we left off.  Quick conversations about wardrobe, makeup and hair are decided two days prior to the shoot and then during the shoot a multitude of topics and opinions are shared.



For this shoot I brought my 1-stop scrim, SB-900, Apollo Orb modifier and reflector. I also packed a roll of CINE200 and Ilford XP2 Super 400 film. The forecast was 98 degrees and we would start at 11:30 AM.  After 25 minutes on the road, we pulled up to the locale.  The gates were wide open and not a single No Trespassing sign in sight.


The first series was shot in my FIAT 500 Abarth.  The light was everywhere and harsh, so I draped my scrim over the side windows to diffuse the light coming into the car.


The fifth image above was taken around 12:30 with no light modifiers, except for the concrete acting as a huge fill card.


X Processed

We moved between direct and indirect light and then after an hour packed up and headed back into town. Jessica took me to a mature Walnut Grove, which in itself is a challenge due to the dappled light.  We spent about 45 minutes shooting, but by that time the temperature was close to 100. I realized I hadn't shot any film, but it was too hot to go back out into the sun.  At least Jessica will be moving back to Hanford within a few months, so we will shoot film another time.


3 o'clock

On occasion I have a shoot where I didn't learn something new, or faced a challenge that couldn't be addressed on the spot. They are few and far in between.


It was a blast, as always, Jess!!!

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Location:Hanford, CA

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Rust Never Sleeps


I remember buying the Neil Young album "Rust Never Sleeps" and never really thinking much about the meaning behind the title until I was reviewing my shoots from this year.  For me, the title applies to both my artistic endeavors and technical skills. My infrequent shoots created by my diminished desire to create something different has also caused me doubt when using my speed lights. If you review my images since the beginning of this year you'll notice that a majority of them were either shot using  Available Light, or Natural Light which brings me to my latest shoot.


I messaged one of my new Instagram followers to see if she was interested in helping me out scrape the rust off of my skills; she agreed.  It turned out that her family, including her, babysat my co-worker's 4 year-old son since he was a baby.


The town she lives in accounts for 55% of all Roses grown in the United States, so my first thought was to shoot among the Roses.  I wanted to shoot early so I could use my speed lights, but just in case it was too bright I also packed my Alien Bee 1600.


On the early drive into town, I noticed that the roses were no more than 2 feet high, which really didn't fit my theme.  So we drove to the local AMTRAK station and as we parked we encountered a fair amount of vagrants. We left the parking in search for another locale.


We shot at four locations all within a block of each other.  On some images I used an SB-900 in an Apollo Orb, other images I used a 4' x 6' 1-Stop Scrim and others was either direct sunlight, or reflected sunlight.


The next four images below were shot with my Nikon D700 dSLR and with my Nikon F5 film camera loaded with Ilford XP2 Super 400.


Erika on Film 1


Erika on Film 5

As we were packing up add heading back to our cars, I noticed a gently-used clothing store and had Erika ask the owner if we could shoot inside.  


After arriving home and reviewing the images I felt a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.  It was a casual shoot with the simple premise of "Shooting for Fun."  No expectations, no preconcieved ideas, aside from the Rose theme, and be spontaneous.


Erika was very patient and took direction extremely well. She also did her own make-up, which is always a plus when I choose a model for collaborative shoots.



The "rust" may not be gone, but at least it slowed down for a bit on this particular day.

Roses are Red, Violet is Blue


It's been over a year since I've had the opportunity to shoot with my friend Rob. Recently, Rob invited me to tag along on a shoot with a local Hair and Make-up Model, Melissa "Violet". Usually I don't shoot during the week, but I recently purchased 5 rolls of Lomography CINE200 35mm film and wanted to test it out. CINE200 is cutdown Tungsten movie film packaged for 35mm camera use similar to the CineStill 400T film I shot last year. Taking Rob up on his offer to shoot Melissa gave me the opportunity to shoot both rolls of Tungsten film and compare the nuances of both brands.


I met up with Rob and Melissa at 6:30 and loaded a roll of CineStill 400T shot at 200 ISO. With the sun setting, I figured it would help balance the Tungsten Film. We moved pretty quickly and I shot through 36 exposures within an hour. For me, shooting film is a more thoughtful process than shooting digital, mostly because of the Picture Preview capabilities with digital cameras. Film makes me pause and consider composition, shadows, poses and the color palette of the surroundings.


I then loaded the roll of CINE200, shot at 100 ISO, and shot for about 40 minutes. I rewound the film and opened the back of the camera, only to close it quickly when I realized the film was still on the take-up reel. After closing the back and rewinding the film, it was still on the take-up reel. Similar to the big fish that got away, I'm sure "that" roll had the best images. After several attempts to rewind the film, I pulled the roll out and threw it on the ground.

I then loaded a roll of Portra 160 and shot for another 40 minutes with no issues when rewinding that roll of film. (The two images below are Portra 160)



The following weekend, I jumped on the Vespa, loaded up another roll of CINE200 in the F5 and shot around downtown Bakersfield. (The following 4 images are CINE200)





I had both rolls developed at the local Walgreens and after viewing the images, I wasn't impressed, but after viewing my buddy Rob's images I think I need to be patient and have an actual "film lab" develop the images.

What Did I Learn?
  • With respect to shooting both Tungsten Films, nothing really and I'll chalk up the CINE200 incident as a fluke since it didn't happen to Rob or me on my second attempt.
  • Pay for a real film lab to develop your film, the One Hour places are very little Quality Control.
Last, but not least an Outtake from the shoot with Melissa Violet
Dance: Outtake
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Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Joys of Summer

Patriotic Diptych

It's hard to believe that 2014 is halfway over and I haven't shot since May. Looking back at the beginning of this year, I haven't shot with anyone new except for a quick Group Meet-up in mid-January and a photo challenge in March. I had a feeling that I would be rusty shooting in the studio, or "On Location" and when Joy asked to shoot I was extremely reluctant.


Earlier this year Joy posted a pic of herself wearing a Star and Stripes bikini and I commented that we needed to shoot, she agreed, but that was back in January. When we picked a date I set out to find a Make-up Artist (MUA), however; most were busy, or don't do "trade" work anymore. As luck would have it, Ande was available. Initially I was going to ask Ande, but after a collaboration that went sour (it was neither Ande's fault, nor mine), I didn't want to impose on her. Ande is such a giving person and didn't hesitate to help out. In less than an hour, Joy was ready to shoot.

BTS: American Joy

This would be the fifth time Joy and I have worked together since our first shoot where she won a local Model Search and her face graced a Billboard for a now defunct boutique.

We headed out at 9:00 AM, covered some 20 miles and ended up at a vinyl record store.  We shot at locations I've used before, but that was early on when I started shooting and trying to make a frequented locale seem new is always a good challenge.

First stop was Ethel's Corral Cafe, where I had shot at least three previous times, but we were there early enough to get some good light.

Bad Girl B&W

As we were driving towards our next stop, I quickly pulled over and asked Joy to stand in the middle of road for a quick converging line shot.

Double Yellow

Shooting with Joy is real easy, she knows how to pose and requires little instruction.  She also doesn't take me too serious and is willing to try different poses, as awkward as I try to make them.


We made our way to the "infamous" Hart Park Barn many local photogrhers have used and some vandalized. We knocked out some images that embodied the style and "look" I had imagined. The following two images were shot on Ilford XP2 Super 400 using my Nikon F5 and Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G lens.  The film was developed at Walgreens.

Ilford XP2 Super 400

Ilford XP2 Super 400

All images were shot using Available Light since I was going for a more natural look and I was too lazy to use speed lights, or strobes. I also brought my Fuji Instax Wide, which really sucks since it's a true Point-N-Shoot camera. I had to cover the flash with some gaffers tape to stop it from blowing out images.



This was the first time I actually photographed a model on the benches at The Barn. A couple wardrobe changes later and then off we went to World Records. I spoke with the store owner and he allowed us to shoot in his store.

World Records


What Did I Learn?
  • The longer I'm away from Model Photography the more I don't miss it.  I do enjoy having a fun session that yields results such as this session with Joy and Ande.  Maybe I just need to buy another camera, that should fix my apathy.  
Of course here are some Outtakes from our shoot.  After re-reading this post I didn't share any new tips, or tricks. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment.


Celeb Outtake

Outtake: Laugh

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