Thursday, September 27, 2012

Friend of the Studio, Lea Vendetta

     I love it when a friend achieves success. Hard work and persistence paying off while doing something you truly enjoy is one of the greatest feelings in the world.
     Five years ago Lea came to Key West from Fort Lauderdale. I had the pleasure of meeting and becoming friends with her.

     Lea Vendetta is an accomplished painter, tattoo artist, & model. She has; been the featured artist in many galleries in Florida,  graced the cover of dozens of tattoo magazines worldwide for her skill with the needle, and last year starred in the opening season of SpikeTv's show "Ink Masters" This most recent accomplishment has gotten her name out there and since has been a sought after model. (featured in Maxim for her participation in Ink master) Just google her and you will be flooded with images.

     I havent seen her recently because of her busy schedule but as luck would have it this is bike weekend and the tattoo parlor where she worked at here in Key West hastily asked her to appear at their shop. It was good to see her again. We sat and talked about all the things she had been up to and I told her how happy i was for her success. We then looked at her latest entrepreneurial endeavor.
     Lea has a beautiful 12 month calendar shot by Robert Alvarado from for sale on her website. And as a friend of the studio I feel compelled to help her get some sold.  Even with the success she has achieved she, like all of us, is still a working artist. So buy one. Buy two. Hell, buy a box full and give em out as Christmas gifts. Everyone on your list will be glad you did. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

What took you? (or: It's About Fucking Time!)

     Well here we go again. Since 1991 I have been constantly been playing catch-up. Not the 57 varieties type but the technology type. Since the digital revolution just about null and voided everything I had learned in various schools I (as I have stated in many posts) have had to re-educate myself. This really hasn't been too much of an issue. I consider myself a smart enough guy to be able to roll with the punches as long as I give a shit about what it is I am trying accomplish.
     In 2001 I bought my first computer. Some say I was late in the game on that one. It was a Dell Windows ME. Yes I know... I can hear the groans from here. Well I thought that was one of the best machines ever and I used most of my time trying to keep it alive. At one point in 2006 I was talking with my friend Mitch about replacing the motherboard and what not. He gave me a look and said I should just trash the piece of shit and buy a new one. I was hesitant because I saw that as wasteful. Long story shortened, in April of 06 I bought a new Acer Aspire Windows XP. This computer was a dream come true. To this day(or at least until these past 6 months) the Acer Aspire has been a workhorse. It has done countless jobs and without incident. I will still hold this model in highest regards but alas time moves forward and the XP OS, the processor, and the memory cannot handle the ever evolving technology.
     Cut to today. It seems that my computers last from 5-6 years before I have to re-outfit. Today is that day. What am I getting? Which model am I putting on the frontline of my arsenal? 
HP? Fuck no! 
Toshiba? Get the fuck out!
Gateway?  Who????
Acer? I would, in a heartbeat, buy another Acer. Like I said before I have respect for the Acer line. But alas I have had my fill with the Windows system.
What does that mean? Yes folks. You guessed it. I have purchased my first Mac. Today I bought an,
 iMac 21.5-inch 2.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5.  Here are the details on my new system;

Processor2.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
Cache6MB on-chip shared L3 cache
Memory4GB (two 2GB SO-DIMMs) of 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; supports up to 16GB
Hard drive1TB Serial ATA1; 7200 rpm
Optical driveSlot-loading 8x SuperDrive with 4x double-layer burning (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
Display21.5-inch (viewable) LED-backlit glossy 16:9 widescreen TFT active-matrix display; 1920 by 1080 pixels; millions of colors; IPS technology
VideoBuilt-in FaceTime HD camera; Mini DisplayPort output with support for DVI, dual-link DVI, and VGA video (requires adapters, sold separately); supports input from external DisplayPort sources (requires cables and adapters, sold separately)
GraphicsAMD Radeon HD 6770M with 512MB of GDDR5 memory
Thunderbolt / FirewireOne Thunderbolt port and One FireWire 800 port; 7 watts
USBFour USB 2.0 ports
SD CardSDXC card slot
AudioBuilt-in stereo speakers with two internal 20-watt high-efficiency amplifiers, built-in microphone, optical digital audio output/headphone out, optical digital audio input/audio line in
EthernetBuilt-in 10/100/1000BASE-T (Gigabit)
WirelessBuilt-in AirPort Extreme 802.11n Wi-Fi wireless networking2; built-in Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate)
Included accessoriesApple Wireless Keyboard and Magic Mouse
OtherBuilt-in IR receiver
     So good news from SCI today. I plan on doing a lot of things that my system had a hard time accomplishing. There are a lot of projects swimming around in my head that just might come to fruition.

Friday, February 10, 2012

On the winds of a Dreamweaver

Freelance work is sparing for me. Where I reside people seem to look for the cheapest or "barterable" (invented word) deals when it comes to hiring artists and there are more than enough people here working for free under the guise of "this will be good exposure for you". Well I don't subscribe to that philosophy. So, that being said, I try to accept every and all jobs offered.
I have been dabbling in web development for a while now but have no real training. I would love to be able to get into a classroom and learn more but alas have not found any down here, but like I said I try not to say no to a job. I have read that my createive style regarding websites is refered to as a "Designer" as opposed to a "Coder". So I start off with Photoshop creating the base template for all pages and finish off in Dreamweaver.

The past few months I have been working on two websites. Two charter boat companies in town hired me to create websites for them. Poledancer Charters & Conch West Inc (site name, Each company wanted a unique look. Something that separated them from the myriad of water related businesses here in the Keys. I rolled up my sleves and dove right in and here are the results so far.

Poledancer Charters

Poledancer is a family run business. Jammie Ward and his son Kyle offer full and half day trips for fishing, beach combing, snorkeling as well as sunset trips. The site is still under development pending copy from the client. It consists of a static background under a scrollable body with custom logo on the right side of the page. Custom photography from SkyCrab Images as well as client snapshots are included. Some images have rollover attributes sometimes indicating a click-able link. An announcement will be made once the site is live.

Conch West Inc: Sunset Sail Key West is the site of Seth Salzmann & Cassie Castillo. They run a 42ft. Island Trader and offer full and half day trips for sailing, snorkeling, and sunset cruises. They also offer a 24 hour "Overnight Adventure"
Their site consists of a scrollable body over a custom made static background. Although their site is live right now there are pages that need to be updated. Coming soon is a filled out FAQ page and photography will be shot to showcase the boat and it's crew. A logo for the company is also under works and will replace the orange/yellow placemarker at the top left of the page.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

S.C.I. Now rockin' the Canon 60D

Since 1984 I have been a Canon user, actually started with a Pentax K1000 in school but my ownership has been loyally Canon. I used and abused the Canon AE-1 Program for close to 20 years.

It got me thru high school. It got me thru college. It got me sporadically thru the Nineties and into the new millennium. I was slow to adopt the digital age and even reluctant at times. I was tempered in film and chemicals. Long story shortened I broke down and in the beginning of 2004 I bought a Canon D300.

 The Rebel was a nice camera to launch myself into the digital age but I soon realized that I would need something more professional. A year later I bought the 20D.

 The 20 D had been a favorite of mine thru out the years. Other models came soon after. The ill fated 30D (a mild evolution of the 20D.), 40D & 50D. Although the technology and styles were becoming superior to my 20D I stuck strong, mostly due to finances which in hind sight was a good thing. 6 years after my purchase of the 20D, while on a shoot, the mirror mechanism failed. After researching the repair cost I came to the conclusion that it was time to put it on the shelf next to my 35MM SLR hall of Fame.

Welcome.... The Canon 60D

I feel a bit premature writing this because I yet have to play with all of the functions yet but I feel safe saying that I will be hard pressed to find any flaws that are worth complaining about on a regular basis.
The camera was  lighter (755g) than the 20D (770g) that I had become accustomed to and I was now looking for SD cards as opposed to CF. Also the battery that the 60D takes is a Lithium-Ion LP-E6 (as opposed to the Lithium-Ion BP-511A) which is not a setback but I now have 3 back up batteries that need to replace.
 The huge display on the rear is IMAX compared to the tiny screen on the 20D (3.0" vs 1.8", around 70% larger) . The ISO has been booted up to 6400, and image resolution...18MPx as opposed to the 8.2 that the 20D had offered.
On top of that I now have the capability to shoot HD video. Now I am not saying that I am the best videographer out there. Not by a long shot. And it seems that as much as I wanted video cameras in the past I never could get out there and purchase one. I was always torn between price and which recording format to chose.  I had seen Digital8, MiniDV, DVD, Hard disk drive direct to disk recording, &  Flash memory . The high degree of the camera I chose becoming obsolete was enough to nix my spending. So I am very excited to try my hand in video.

Yes, coming into the new year with a new rig is going to be exciting. I've been scouring the web for DIY projects and processing techniques. Now the only thing left to do is save up for a new Mac that can handle my recent upgraded equipment, so do your part.... Hire me!!!

Happy New Year from
SkyCrab Images

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tags: The Good, The Bad, All Ugly

     When I was in high school and just starting to decide what I wanted to do with my photography as a career I would look thru magazines for inspiration from different photography careers. Rolling Stone, Playboy, National Geo., Circus, American Photographer, and the like. I'd thumb thru looking at composition, lighting, trying to understand darkroom techniques and figure out how and why an image made it to the pages of whatever publication was in my hand at the time. I always noticed the small print usually in the lower corners of each image by the border that would read  "photo by, Insert Photographer Name". I thought to myself, man, that is where I wanna be. Right there in small print on the corner of my image. That was the top of the hill. The summit of the mountain I was climbing. 
     Cut to twenty some odd years later and the digital age (I wont go into the discussion that we all have about the backside of digital photography and how many people who picked up a camera last week who now attach the title of Photographer to their Vista Print cards) what with Photoshop being the digital darkroom of choice there are so many options to creating an image the one prevalent theme is to slap ones name to every image produced. I will admit that if you go to some of my images online I am guilty of this as well but have not practiced it in some time. Personally, I find it to be one of the worst trends in the art form. I do not understand putting in hours of work to create an image just to muck it up with a bunch of text and a logo. And some of these logos, well lets just say that if I were a psychologist I am sure I could have a paper published on the direct relation to logo size and ego size.

     I know that this is probably not the most popular stance I have taken. I also know that I have friends in the industry who, if they are reading this now, are thinking, "Hey man, you're talking about me!".  Maybe, but  I am not writing this to criticize or down anyone's work or choices. I just think that there should be a better way. Perhaps thru metadata or EXIF .
     Yes we need recognition for our work. Yes we want credit for our work. I would just like to see it take another form so when we show our work we don't find it necessary to soil it with some sort of brand recognition. Ultimately what I want is for someone to see an image unclouded by Myriad Pro font and say, "I know that photographer. That's 'Insert Photographer's Name '." But until that time if you need to find me, I'll be  in the corner. By the border.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Less is more (or how I put all my eggs in one basket)

Ive been trying to update the webpage for a couple of weeks now and every time I do I seem to end up with no update and a fist full of hair. I believe it is because I am looking to others sites and trying to reverse engineer their style. Recently I have come to the conclusion that I am working harder and not smarter. Today I am uploading, (as I type) the revamped SkyCrab Images site. 

The site is now an all inclusive one page link fest to flash galleries for photography, graphic designs, social networking sites and contact information. All things concerning S.C.I is found in one place. no need for complex navigation, Kid. Less is more.


Also, today, we have created a new gallery for Mitch . The new gallery is  CSS based  and allows his paintings to be displayed properly as well as their titles and dimensions. This gallery has not yet been uploaded but should be viewable by the end of the day or early in the A.M.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

SkyCrab Images brings you, Mitch Hollingsworth, Artist

     Being in Key West, what was once a bohemian artist community that is now flooded with cheap lithographs, reprints, and framed crap that isn't fit for a Motel 6 wall, I truly value the artists in town who actually have a unique vision and style. Not all artists and galleries in town are geared for the banal mainstream status quo but there are a lot. One of the artists who rises to the top is, I am proud to say, a very good friend.
     Mitch Hollingsworth has been a resident artist in Key West since the mid nineties when he moved to the island from Illinois. In those years his ventures have been many. From selling the art created in his studio 'Chicken Shack Gallery' in Bahama Village, faux finishing some of the finest homes on Key West, Sunset Key, and Little Palm Island, to his most recent display which can be seen in the Milwaukee Art Museum's "Día de los Muertos" starting Sunday, October 23, 2011.  Mitch's medium is primarily oil on wood.
     Mitch recently returned from a 5 week hiatus in which he took time to see the "Día de los Muertos." display. After talking with other artists he realized he needed some web presence and called upon SkyCrab Images to do the job.  MitchHollingsworth.Com is the result.

     Mitch's website is a simple one. A standard front page with an adjoining flash gallery with 20 or so of his pieces. At this time there is a link for an info/bio/about page which will be up soon.