Inspiring & Undeniably Good…

…Well, thank you very much!!!

Damn Ugly was featured this week on both culturedrop.com and sneezr.ca and I must say, while I’m extremely flattered by the opinions others have of me, all of this attention is gonna force me to get up off the couch and do something to prove them right!

Jenan Mujkic runs Sneezr.ca and he stumbled across my work late last year. One of the things he does is an ‘interview-via-email’ that usually asks a single, open-ended question. For me, he actually had two questions and you can read the interview here:

How to be undeniably good. How to be like Brad.

CultureDrop is a online magazine documenting the latest in culture, technology design and fashion, and their feature on me is here:

Inspiring People: Brad Trent

Damn Ugly Is Number One ?!!

Yesterday, David HobbyThe Strobist…dropped his annual list of Favorite Posts from the past year and the big news that knocked Mr. Damn Ugly on his ass was that the interview David did with me back in May…* Cue the Celestial Harps & Trumpets *…was his Number One Post of the Year!

The Strobist Top Posts, Ranked by Clicks

Now David predicted that this news would lead to me getting a big head…and he was right! I mean, by his own count 2,469,886 different photographers visited Strobist from 218 different countries and territories. That all added up for a total of 20,531,296 onsite page views, with another 12MM via RSS….my hat size is growing exponentially!!! Honestly, I don’t know how I’ll be able to live with my own fame…..

Damn Ugly thanks David and all of his readers at Strobist for the honor. I plan to live up to all the duties and obligations that come with such a title and look forward to my reign at the top of the Strobist hit-count heap in the coming year!

You Can Shoot Here, Or You Can Shoot There…

Click on any image for full-size
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I know how much some of you like seeing the behind-the-scenes stuff on my shoots, so as my tour of the Nation’s boardrooms and office spaces progresses, I offer to you my recent session with Gordon Fowler, the President and Chief Investment Officer of Glenmede. What follows is part lighting tutorial, part manipulating reality, but mostly it shows what can be done when you only have ten minutes to photograph a high profile subject and still come away with unexpected, arresting images.

On the location scout I did a couple of days before the shoot I was presented with two things. First, Gordon was extremely busy and wasn’t going to be able to devote a lot of time to a photo session, and second, there were really only two areas that would work as possible locations…

The ‘Art Wall’…

…and the ‘Wood Wall’…

The two spots were literally side-by-side, so by setting up both shots beforehand it would make it easier on Gordon’s time limitations…

We began with the portrait in front of the ‘Art Wall’…

It’s pretty obvious that I changed the overall look and feel by adding some moody blue drama to the scene, but the shot was actually pretty easy to light. Gordon was lit by a fresnel spot (with a full CTO gel) that was almost directly overhead and a second light with a 7″-40 degree grid skimming the wall behind him. The final light was a ringlight (with a full CTB gel) filling in the overall scene. After five minutes of Gordon in the chair, we went around the corner to the wood-paneled wall…

For this shot I wanted to keep things simple and just focus on his expressions, so I kept the lighting pretty open with a gridded beauty dish up high above his face, a couple of skim lights on either side of him and another ringlight adding not only fill, but a nice reflection highlight on the wood that separated him from the background. But the real beauty of the shot was the unexpected caught moment of him just enjoying his coffee and having a laugh before we actually got under way. I finished things off with that tight portrait at the top of the page, but the magazine went straight to Gordon and his coffee cup…

Two setups…ten minutes total shoot time…done!

Fun At The Fair!

Yesterday I channeled my inner farmer and hit the Harwinton County Fair, complete with ox-pulls, carnival rides, corn dogs and a whole mess of chickens and horses and cows and bunnies! My iPhone (set to ‘Hipstamatic’, of course!) has recorded some choice bits for you to enjoy…

Killer Attack Rooster…

Very Friendly Horse…

Sleepy Bunny…

Tiny Donkey…

Girls Sitting With Cows…

Terrifying Rides…

Whac-A-Mole…

Dead Guys…

…And The Best Damned Potatoes You’ve Ever Seen!!!

Now I know that still pictures hardly do justice to a good carnival ride, but if you watch this video long enough, it might generate enough vertigo to make you sick….

Do you feel like judging a few chickens?!!

Not a fan of chickens? Then how about braving the crowds to look at the prize-winning bunnies?!!

And if all that wasn’t enough fun for ya, The Flying Wallendas were even on hand cheating death for the 7,496th time!!!

Don Draper Wins A Clio? Big Deal…I’ve Got A Clio!!!

OK…so on Sunday night, just as ‘Mad Men’ was lassoing its third consecutive Emmy for Best Dramatic Series, I was over on AMC watching that nights episode where our hero, Don Draper, wins his first Clio Award (and the apparent pain & suffering that comes with the honor). Well, maybe pain & suffering is a bit strong, since as Don does a victory lap around a bar with his trophy, all the gals in attendance are clamoring to spend the night with him! And that’s when it hit me…wait a second…..I have a Clio, and the damned thing has never managed to get me the ladies like it did for Don!!! I kinda think I got a raw deal…….or maybe I just need a tailored suit, a high & tight haircut, and a skinny tie!