Thursday, March 31, 2011

Robots & Running Backs


Ok, so this is my first (and only) post in all of March. If nothing else, this long gap in updates probably only solidifies my “blogger cred”; because a blog un-ignored cannot be a constant source of guilt.
Truth is, I’ve been shooting the H E double hockey sticks out of this month. Lots of pictures of lots of things. And a lot of it for pay (good for paying off my credit-cards, bad because I can’t post a lot of it here). But I’ll share what I can after the jump…

Web see’ite:
At the School of Drama we’ve just launched a new web site. It’s the result of more than a year-long process, and a total re-design from our previous web presence. While not all the pictures on the site are mine, about 90% of them are. Performances, facilities, guests, events, staff & faculty headshots… it’s just a scary number to contemplate. Looking back on eight years worth of photos; I can remember vividly the taking of most of them, but can’t tell you where all that time went.

Visit our site; now on the Web!
Rise of the Machines:
You know, at one time or another, everybody bitches about their job. Everybody. I like to imagine that, at least once in a while, Bill Gates wakes-up on a cold & rainy Wednesday morning and thinks to himself “Man, do I really hafta do this billionaire crap today?”  
I’m no different. But; more often that I have any right too, I’m reminded about just how lucky I am to work where I do. Carnegie Mellon is truly an amazing place to work, one where constant surprise is always just around the corner.
Case in point: This month I got to meet the delightful Heather Knight. Now, I want to be very clear here on my use of the word “delightful”. Heather is PhD student in the School of Robotics. Her CV includes working at MIT’s Media Lab, NASA’s JPL, and helping to design & build a little contraption that you just might find familiar. Her current endeavor is studying human/robotic interaction; specifically as it regards intergrading robotics into the performing Arts. Now that's how I define delightful.
At any rate: Heather and the head of our Dramaturgy department are working together on an upcoming TED lecture – where a robot will be performing interactive comedy & theatre. You know, it’s just another day at the office. Sadly for me, I was rather light on gear when I got the call to take these pictures – and had to improvise (ha!) some quick no-frills lighting in a room where only Grad students deem to dwell. Next time I'll do better. To learn more about Heather & her amazing work, see .  
Data, the stand-up robot, and a progenitor.

Solved. Just like that.
Doctor Noonian Sung Heather Knight 
Pittsburgh Power:
Donno where to begin… I’ve been doing a lot of work for the Pittsburgh Power, the new AFL team here in the city. It’s been amazing experence and really pushed me out of my comfort-zone. For starters I shot a 14 month calendar of the Sparks (the dance team for the Power); easily the biggest project I’ve yet to work on.

If your a Facebook friend, there is a behind the scenes video where you can see me doing whatever it is that I do. The result of that job led to others for the Power – things like doing the team head-shots and covering a game.
One of the great things I saw shooting the Power game was that afterwards, most of the players and the dance team came down to the field to sign autographs. Take that, NFL. It led to, of course, a totally surreal moment when I looked over and saw a crowd of people clamering for autographs on their freshly minted calendars. The ladies of the dance-team were more than happy to oblige; no one asked for my autograph tho (sad trombone).

No one ever askes for the photographer's autograph.
The other result of shooting that game was that one of my pics will be used for the cover of the program for the next home game on April 2nd.
Oh, and no post would be complete without a shameless plug. My “boyz” in Low Water made a Pittsburgh stop earlier this month. Their new album is out, and if you listen to it Joe might eventually rethink his facial choices.
Release the Kraken.
So that's about it. Busy month; with more to come. I promise that the next update will be a) much sooner and b) far less ego-centric. It’s just 12 days to the FlashBus tour; and if I have any brain left after that, there will be much to report. Until then, I leave you with the words of the MCP…

End of line.

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