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The Ghost in the Darkness

clock October 29, 2013 09:25 by author Amber

SteamCon was just last weekend and while I'm still editing photos from that (some are up on Flickr already!) I thought I would share this little photo.

Copyright 2013, Stopped Motion Photography.
Model: Kadri Zolf Kimblee Umut

Vibrant Steampunk

clock October 28, 2012 16:16 by author Amber

Having started this crazy little idea while at the Steampunk World's Fair last May and carrying it through WesterCon and WorldCon this summer (neither of these cons had much a steampunk presence and no vibrant steampunks I saw), and with the latest edition of SteamCon. What is this idea? It's a celebration of those who step out side of the brown box in steampunk.

Copyright 2012, Stopped Motion Photography.

I'll post to the blog here, the Stopped Motion Photography Fan page on Facebook, to Flickr, and to the new, still in developedment Vibrant Steampunk fan page on Facebook.


Copyright 2012, Stopped Motion Photography.

Copyright 2012, Stopped Motion Photography.

Copyright 2012, Stopped Motion Photography.

See more Vibrant Steampunk on Flickr.

My WorldCon schedule

clock August 27, 2012 12:46 by author Amber

ChiCon 7, the 70th World Science Fiction Convention, is this week. In fact, my plane for the Windy City leaves Wednesday afternoon and I land just before midnight. 

Hmmm. I seem to remember doing this recently when I went to the Steampunk World's Fair in New Jersey. I mean, really, why I do fly out so late? Because I like the night life? Well, there are lots of photography subjects.

Digital Narratives: What Are They, Where Are They, and How the Heck Do I Write Them?
Thursday from 12:00 pm to 13:00 pm
Buckingham : Bronze West
This panel discusses how digital technologies have changed the way we tell stories and explores what the future holds.
Christopher Kastensmidt, Amber Clark, Tom Dowd, Nancy Fulda, Daniel Levin
LARPing: Make-Believe for Adults
Thursday from 16:30 pm to 18:00 pm
Field : Silver West
Do you long for the days when you were a child and you could be a superhero one day and a cowboy the next? Well, you can go back and do it all again with live-action roleplaying. The panel discusses different kinds of LARPS and how you can get started playing in them.
Amber Clark, Norman Cates, Ann Morris, Kevin Riggle
The Ghosts Talisman: A Fumetti in Four Parts
Friday from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm
Buckingham : Bronze West
Author Jennifer Brozek and photographer Amber talk about the creation of the photographic novel from script and casting to shooting and layout.
Amber Clark, Jennifer Brozek
100 Aspects of a Pith Helmet
Friday from 13:30 pm to 15:00 pm
Wrigley: Bronze West
How the symbols of colonialism inform and undermine steampunk.
Eightball, Amber Clark, Roland Green, Gregory Rihn
Nerdlesque: Filking for Burlesque?
Friday from 16:30 pm to 18:00 pm
Comiskey: Bronze West
The neo burlesque movement seems to be full of nerds and geeks in troupes such from New York's Epic Win Burlesque to Portland's Critical Hit, even individual shows like NERDZ in Seattle and the Hitchhiker's Guide to Burlesque in Los Angeles. Some acts are fun and campy tributes to fan favorites while other numbers offer a serious contemplations. Either way, it's a love letter.
Amber Clark
Firefly Ten Years Later
Friday from 18:00 pm to 19:30 pm
Gold Coast: Bronze West
Browncoats are still flying ten years after the series aired half a season. What's the lasting appeal of this short-lived series?
Bob Devney, Amber Clark, Janice M. Eisen, Lee Martindale, Ann Morris
Digital vs. Traditional
Saturday from 13:30 pm to 15:00 pm
San Francisco : Gold West
Is the new digital process ruining the arts? Panelists will talk about the pros and cons of using digital media and how it effects productivity, creativity and the market.
James Stanley Daugherty, Amber Clark, Kurt Erichsen, Mark J. Ferrari, Jane Frank
Artists Round Table Part One
Saturday from 16:30 pm to 18:00 pm
San Francisco : Gold West
A venue for fans to ask questions of the artists.
Amber Clark, James Stanley Daugherty, Rowena Morrill, Maurine Starkey

If you're at the convention or you are in Chicago feel free to look me up. I'll even have my camera gear with me and 30 Second Portraits will happen.

Behind the Scenes: What does this pavement need?

clock July 12, 2012 00:11 by author Amber

Blood. That's what this pavement needs.

Working on projects for Apocalypse Ink Productions tonight and I snapped this photo of my helper and sometimes staff photographer as we were prepping the set for tonight's shoot.

Copyright 2012, Stopped Motion Photography.

Frank Wu's Westercon painting shoot

clock July 11, 2012 09:39 by author Amber

This last weekend was the 65th annual Westercon science fiction convention at the Seattle Tacoma International Airport Double Tree Hotel. While the programming department worked me hard with all of my panels I was on I still found time to meet new people, make friends, and have amazing things happen. Here's one such amazing thing.

During the course of my panels I referenced David Hobby's blog The Strobist. (It's a fantastic resource and a wondrous community for learning to light!) In particular, I talked about the idea of using a bed sheet to create a global-wrap-around light for minimizing glare on surfaces you're lighting during the panel "Reproducing Your Art". (David talks about using the sheet in a portrait to create on access light of huge proportions.)

After the panel Frank Wu, the artist guest of honor for the convention, asked if I wanted a fun challenge. And by "fun challenge" I mean to say, he asked if I would shoot his painting in the art show as he had just finished it that morning and didn't have any records of it. 

With the blessing of Westercon's art show staff, Sunday morning I setup my lights.

Copyright 2012, Stopped Motion Photography. www.stopped-motion.comWhenever you are shooting on location, your control over the situation is limited. In this case, the paintings I was shooting were hung on the walls of the show in the corner and surrounded by his other works and the works of his wife. In a perfect world, I would set up a sheet on the left and one on the right but with that right side panel, that wasn't going to happen.

I set up the bed sheet from my hotel room hung it camera left, using one light stand the left side panel, and used it as my giant light. My initial set ups were too close to the painting and I would get hot spot reflections. I moved the flash back as far as I could go and dialed down the power on it until that hot spot was gone.

I didn't have the same luxury on the other side because of that panel on the right so I had to use a SpeedLight and a white shoot through umbrella but I couldn't get the flash far enough away to light the right side of the paintings without a hot spot. What was the solution to this problem? I bounced the light off of the ceiling in the room.

Copyright 2012, Stopped Motion Photography.

If this picture isn't clear enough, here's a diagram.

Copyright 2012, Stopped Motion Photography.

The final piece of the puzzle was to open up the aperture to an f2.8 to let a lot of light in and reduce the power output of the flashes down. Both flashes were set to  1/64 power.

Here are the three finished images of the painting.

Copyright 2012, Stopped Motion Photography. Copyright 2012, Stopped Motion Photography. Copyright 2012, Stopped Motion Photography.

Gorgeous, aren't they?

These paintings are copyright 2012, Frank Wu and are used with permission.

Where to find me at WesterCon 65

clock June 29, 2012 09:52 by author Amber

Next week will be busy on many fronts with call backs for The Ghosts Talisman models, a couple of book cover shoots, and WesterCon 65 at the SeaTac Double Tree Hotel where I will be speaking on a variety of subjects, some art related, some horror, a little make up work, and more.

Gaming: Gender Issues In Tabletop & Video Games
in Cascade 3-4 at 7pm on Thurs
What are the gender issues currently portrayed in tabletop and video games? Come and discuss these with our panelists.
With: Brianna Wu, Gibbitt Rhys-Jones, Mickey Schultz, Miss Amber Clark

Speculative Photography
in Olympic 2 at 10pm on Fri
There are many kinds of photographic techniques being used today for surreal, fantasy, horror and just plain strange themes. Some work is digitally produced and manipulated, some is still being done completely on film either staged or with darkroom effects, and some combines more than one medium and technique. Our panelists will share examples of their own and their favorite work and discuss techniques and materials.
With: Gadget the Emperor, MaggieD, Miss Amber Clark

My Favorite Tool
Copyright null, Stopped Motion Photography. www.stopped-motion.comin Olympic 2 at 11pm on Fri
Our intrepid artists share about those one or two items that they couldn't live and create
With: Arlin Robins, Frank Wu, Jeff Sturgeon, Miss Amber Clark

E-Books, Cover Art and Illustration
in Cascade 3-4 at 1pm on Fri
Will publishers continue to invest in cover art if the art is only available in digital media? Will there still be a market for interior illustrations? What about children's literature and picture books? How can we get publishers to recognize that this is still important, or is it?
With: Anna Sheehan, Frank Wu, Jeff Sturgeon, Miss Amber Clark, Tod McCoy

The Horror of Things
in Cascade 7-8 at 3pm on Fri
Monsters are inherently scary. But what about everyday items? How can the horror author turn the mundane terrifying?
With: Gadget the Emperor, Gwen Perkins, Jennifer Brozek, M Todd Gallowglas, Miss Amber Clark

Photoshop and You!
in Evergreen 2 at 5pm on Fri
Whether you are a beginner and want to know what a pixel is or are an advanced user and want to plumb the depths of layers and clipping masks, this is the place to be to find out all about working with Photoshop.
With: Miss Amber Clark

Monster Archetypes
in Cascade 3-4 at 8pm on Fri
Vampires, zombies, werewolves and ghosts are just some of the monster archetypes. Why do they stick around in our subconscious? Let's see if we can figure that out.
With: Anna Sheehan, Gibbitt Rhys-Jones, Jessica K. Sklar, Kat Richardson, Miss Amber Clark

Special F/X Make Up on the Cheap
in Olympic 2 at 1pm on Sat
Whether you're making a Klingon, a demon spawn, scarred zombie hunter, or even a paranormal investigator who has lost an eye, there are inexpensive ways to do it. We'll offer tips and techniques we've learned through the years to help you come in under budget.
With: Gibbitt Rhys-Jones, Miss Amber Clark, Wolfcat

How to Reproduce Your Artwork
in Olympic 2 at 3pm on Sat
You have finished your masterpiece. Now how do you make the prints? What reproduction options are out there and what works the best for what?
With: Jeff Sturgeon, John R. Gray III, Margaret Organ-Kean, Miss Amber Clark

Thinking Outside the Art Box: Mixing Media
in Olympic 2 at 5pm on Sat
Don't be daunted by the high cost of conventional art supplies. There is a great deal of art to be made out of humble household products and inexpensive craft supplies. Even when you are working in conventional media, don't get hung up on sticking to one medium. Mix it up! This panel will discuss ideas about mixing different art media and using unconventional materials for the creation of art. Audience participation is encouraged!
With: Jeff Sturgeon, John R. Gray III, Margaret Organ-Kean, Miss Amber Clark

Collaborating With Artists
in Cascade 7-8 at 1pm on Sun
Authors frequently collaborate with artists from other media: Painters, photographers, and prop makers. Collaboration requires excellent communication between creators who speak different languages. It's not as easy as most people think, especially when both sides can be temperamental. Panelists will give their tips on effective communication for artistic collaborations.
With: David Brin, Jennifer Brozek, Michael Ehart, Miss Amber Clark, Solarbird, the Lightbringer

Casting Call: The Ghosts Talisman - A Photo Graphic Novel

clock June 12, 2012 11:38 by author Amber

The Ghost's Talisman is photo graphic novel, or fumetti, written by award winning author and editor Jennifer Brozek and photographed by the award winning photographer Amber Clark. It is the story of an ordinary girl thrown into extraordinary circumstances, a ghost who needs her help, and a sorceress who will stop at nothing to possess both of their souls. The Ghost's Talisman is told through photos and sets (rather than traditional hand drawn methods) and shot in and around the Seattle metro area.

We are casting for the following roles:

HALEY – A woman in her early twenties; she bares the bruises and injuries from a recent car accident.
XANDER – A man in his early twenties who has been dead for almost a year.
RYAN NORTH – A man in is thirties
AMANITA HAAF – Appears to be in her mid-thirties but is actually far older than that.
DEMON – A costume and make up intensive character
HUNTER – A spirit bound that seeks out XANDER and HALEY. A very tall, roughly human in shape that is black from head to toe and has predatory insect like movements.
UNCLE RICH – Late thirties, early forties, very smooth and dapper. He's been around the black a few times
BINDER – A spirit bound to AMANITA HAAF to catch ghosts. Is shorter and more round than HUNTER
YOUNG XANDER – XANDER as a ten year old boy
BOBBY – RYAN NORTH's five year old son

The compensation will be a daily stipend once funding is acquired. Projected project dates will be July and August of 2012.

Please send head shot and letter of introduction to ghoststalisman (at) stopped-motion (dot) com.

Steampunk World's Fair

clock May 26, 2012 09:51 by author Amber

Last week I got to visit the Steampunk World's Fair, a festival that celebrates steampunk in all of its forms and I had a grand time.

Sadly, a lot of steampunk tends to be brown, as if they were part of a sepia tone photo or something. Sometimes they go for a full color spread and those are just gorgeous.

Copyright 2012, Stopped Motion Photography.

Copyright 2012, Stopped Motion Photography.

Copyright 2012, Stopped Motion Photography.

Copyright 2012, Stopped Motion Photography.

Copyright 2012, Stopped Motion Photography.

All of my photos can be found on my Flickr stream.

Movement in Moment

clock May 14, 2012 09:47 by author Amber

Photographers tend to look out for one another, helping as we can. Last night, I provided photography services for the attedees at Strict Machine, a monthly dance event at the Mercury as a favor to the folks at Distinct Glimpse Photography. You should go check out their work as it's amazing!

Over all, the night was rather light on account of Mother's Day but that did not stop the amazing people who showed up last night. One of the people I photographed last night is a local performance artist, Indiyana Rae Von.

Copyright 2012, Stopped Motion Photography.

During one of the slower moments of the evening, I poited the SpeedLight out on the dance floor and began watching her dance. We exchanged cards and she's eager to see what we can build together.

Down on the street

clock April 26, 2012 17:34 by author Amber

My work takes me on some incredible journeys working with lovely and talented people. I have long enjoyed working with performers, whether they are actors on the stage and screen or dancers who create art through motion. This last Monday, I was fortunate enough to work with a rising starlet of the Seattle burlesque scene, Miss Candy Apples on a flyer for an upcoming show in Belltown. Here are some photos from that shoot to whet your apetite.

Copyright 2012, Stopped Motion Photography.


Copyright 2012, Stopped Motion Photography.

Copyright 2012, Stopped Motion Photography.

Copyright 2012, Stopped Motion Photography.

These photos were shot on the corner of 2nd Ave and Bell St and in the alley between 2nd Ave and 3rd Ave on Bell.

Nikon D700, Nikkor F/1.8 50mm, single SB-800 used off camera.

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