Chris Crisman Photography

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Crisman Forest Landscape

It’s that time of year again – time to take a moment and look forward at what opportunities and adventures await us in the coming weeks and months. Time to discuss and refine our team’s goals and ideals for the next 365 days, time to ask ourselves “what can we do differently, what can we do better this year? what can we create that will be new and different? How can we refine our craft?” Both practical and creative, we love to ask these questions and take even greater joy in answering them by creating new and inspiring images.

So what’s the plan for 2016? Isn’t it obvious?

Make new work. Make photographs and images that we’ve never seen before and create content that can embody our aesthetic and the ideas and vision of our clients. And as always, we’ll do our best to share.

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Hi everyone! Short and sweet post for you today. Back in July we got another call from the NY Observer. We love getting their calls because you never know who they’re going to have for us to shoot. They’ve given us Kevin Spacey, Henrik Lundqvist, Kevin Kline, and a few others in the past. If you haven’t seen them, there are posts for each. Check them out!

This time it turned out to be Jesse Eisenberg and we were super stoked on this one. I LOVE movies. I’ve seen every movie ever. So yeah.. I celebrate his entire catalog… He’s been in a ton of stuff. He played Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network. Zombieland is probably my favorite of his but Adventureland was great too. He’s also playing Lex Luthor in the upcoming Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (!). Can’t wait! Anyways, back to it. He was great to photograph. Super generous with his time and very easy to talk to. The shoot went smoothly and we’re all very happy with the pictures. Many thanks to Jesse, the Observer, and the Library Hotel in NY for letting us use their roof. Enjoy!

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And of course, some BTS:

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Chris is pretty relaxed on set sometimes.

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And yours truly sitting in for another light test.

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crisman ellsworth creek

Hi everyone! We’re super happy to to announce that the story we shot back in February for The Nature Conservancy has finally been released. Usually when we get the call from TNC, we need to prepare ourselves to go to some far off place and this job was no exception (and neither was the one we just got back from… we’ll be talking more about that in a few months!). This job had us go to southeastern Washington to the Ellsworth Creek Preserve to photograph their operation.

I’m sure a lot of people are wondering why TNC would put a logger with a fallen tree on the cover of their magazine… and that’s a good question. I’ll try to explain things as simply as possible. Back in the day (about 100 years ago), logging companies we’re cutting down everything they could get their hands on. They’d just completely clear cut entire forests – sadly, this is still happening as you’ll see in one of the pictures below. After a few decades pass, trees would grow back but the forest would all be the same height. There would be no diversity in the ecosystem. So TNC is thinning out these second growth forests to allow sunlight to get through to the ground and allow a natural diversity in plant life and wildlife to take hold while also creating jobs in the local community. Here’s a link to the story which is more detailed and explains things much better than I could ever do. (http://www.nature.org/magazine/archives/beyond-the-timber-wars.xml).

I’ve gotta say that this was one of the toughest shoots we’ve ever worked on. It rained the whole time we were there.. which makes sense since it’s a rainforest but rain and photo gear don’t get along. The terrain was steep, slippery, and overgrown. Most of the time I was carrying a Profoto 7b pack and a small octabank through the forest and Chris had the camera and tripod. We were falling all over the place even with the spikes our contact had loaned us, all while trying to keep the gear dry. We took a beating but sometimes that’s what it takes to make great pictures. I’ll let the pictures below tell the story.

Russell Shippey, timber faller, cutting corridor to pull out trees in second growth forest at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/10/15.

Russell Shippey, timber faller, walking up a tree he just fell in a second growth forest at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Russell Shippey, timber faller, cutting corridor to pull out trees in second growth forest at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/10/15.

 

Russell Shippey, timber faller, cutting corridor to pull out trees in second growth forest at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/10/15.

Russell falling a tree in a second growth forest at Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Russell Shippey, timber faller, cutting corridor to pull out trees in second growth forest at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/10/15.

Russell Shippey, timber faller, cutting corridor to pull out trees in second growth forest at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/10/15.

Kurt Bower, log loader, standing on back of logging truck with full load of trees at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/10/15.

Kurt Bower, log loader, standing on back of logging truck with full load of trees at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Kyle Smith, TNC forest manager, overlooking the Ellsworth Creek Preserve , WA on 2/11/15.

Kyle Smith, TNC forest manager, overlooking the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Kyle Smith, TNC forest manager, taking measurments in old growth forest at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/10/15.

Kyle Smith, TNC forest manager, taking measurements of an 11-foot-wide western red cedar at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Aerial views of the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/10/15.

The effects of clear cutting seen from the air neighboring the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Landscape of old growth forest at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/12/15.

Landscape of a healthy old growth forest. This is the scene TNC is trying to create by thinning the second growth forests. 

Tom Kollasch in old growth forest and with big cedars at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/12/15.

Tom Kollasch, TNC Willapa Program director, in old growth forest and with big cedars at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Darryl Waddle, choker setter, in the logging yard at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/13/15.

Darryl Waddle, choker setter, in the logging yard at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Rober walls, choker setter, in the logging yard at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/13/15.

Robert Walls, choker setter, in the logging yard at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

And here’s a few BTS shots from our time in Washington:

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.02.30 AMA clear cut and the border of the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.03.15 AMThis is the machine that pulls the thinned trees out of the forest up to the lumber yard. It’s very heavy. The workers specifically said don’t stand under it…. Chris fell directly under it. 

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Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.03.56 AMWe drove down to Astoria to catch our plane to get aerial shots of the preserve. We had to stop here. 🙂

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.04.47 AMLighthawk is a non-profit organization that donates air time to conservancy efforts. Chris is doing business before taking off.

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.04.24 AMGetting aerial shots in our Lighthawk flight. Apparently the air is really cold going 100mph and having your hand out there is uncomfortable.

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Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.06.10 AMChris working with the crane operator in the lumber yard.

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.02.55 AMAnd lastly, it was oyster season while we were there. These were the largest oysters we’ve ever had. They were the size of our hands. 

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crisman wild horses

Hey everyone! This years Communication Arts Photography Annual was just delivered here to our studio. We’re always excited when this issue falls on our desk – there’s always so much amazing work included. So we’re equally excited to announce that our “Wild Horses” photo was selected to be included in the Advertising section!

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 We also owe a big congrats to fellow group member, Andy Anderson, for scoring the cover this year with a beautiful shot from his book, SALT. And we can’t forget fellow shooters Richard Schultz, Hunter Freeman, and Leigh Beisch – so proud to be part of such a talent group with Heather Elder Represents.

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Questions? Comments? Let us know at @crismanphoto on Instagram and /crismanphoto on Facebook.

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Hi everyone!

So we just recently received a new Canon 5Ds. It’s been a long wait since we pre-ordered, but it’s finally here so we decided to see how it looked side by side with our trusty 5D Mark III and our somewhat finicky IQ 160 Phase One back. Below are some comparisons of Chris’ pearly blues from ISO ranges 100-800.

This is just our quick look at the cameras side by side to get a idea of what the new canon is all about. It’s by no means an in depth technical review… We’re not exactly the most technical photo crew on the planet and we’re not hoping to be so either.

What we’ve noticed between the cameras is that the 5Ds files have a bit more contrast than the 5D3. The 5D3 handles higher ISO’s a little better than the 5Ds but that was expected with the cramming of more pixels into the sensor. The 5Ds is very close in sharpness to the IQ160 but we feel the IQ160 beats it just barely. In terms of ISO, the IQ160 is really not great above ISO 200, and even though we rarely shoot above 800, the 5Ds will be able to cover us in that department as well as having an actually functioning auto focus system.

I’m sorry medium format cameras, but you guys just cant keep up against massive multi-point AF arrays. I can see us moving away from the IQ160 for these reasons alone, but then again it could open the door for buying an even larger medium format back in the future.

Take a look at the images below.  We’d love to hear your take on all of this as well – let us know in the comments!

-Jared

Click the images to see them at 100%.

ISO 100 test between Canon 5d Mark III, Canon 5DS, and PhaseOne IQ160.

ISO 100 test between Canon 5d Mark III, Canon 5DS, and PhaseOne IQ160.

ISO 200 test between Canon 5d Mark III, Canon 5DS, and PhaseOne IQ160.

ISO 200 test between Canon 5d Mark III, Canon 5DS, and PhaseOne IQ160.

ISO 400 test between Canon 5d Mark III, Canon 5DS, and PhaseOne IQ160.

ISO 400 test between Canon 5d Mark III, Canon 5DS, and PhaseOne IQ160.

ISO 800 test between Canon 5d Mark III, Canon 5DS, and PhaseOne IQ160.

ISO 800 test between Canon 5d Mark III, Canon 5DS, and PhaseOne IQ160.

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It’s been awhile.

2014 was a whirlwind. My family and I moved just outside of Philadelphia, we left our studio in the city, and we added another Crisman to our clan. On top of all that, I had my best year ever as a photographer. We shot 8 out of the last 12 weeks of the year and the smoke didn’t clear until January. I’m grateful for the all the wonderful changes, and excited with all aspects of our growth.

The world of commercial photography is changing. Because of this, all of our roles and respective responsibilities are constantly in flux. Over here, we have some new faces and new voices. Over the next few months I’ll let them introduce themselves. My hope for this blog moving forward is to let whomever is speaking be more honest and a bit less concerned about being a media outlet. This profession can be challenging, but also so rewarding when you’re really in it. I hope that hearing some unfiltered perspectives here will be of benefit to anyone reading.

We’ll consider this our first step into the new frontier.

Carry on.

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We work like crazy. As a studio manager/producer/assistant/blogger life very rarely slows down to the point where I can step back and reflect on it. When it does though, I find myself mulling over aspects of this job that might seem so inconsequential, but for me hold deeper meanings. I’ve decided to start this monthly series on the blog to take a minute and stop, reflect, and write about some of the aspects of being a studio manager that really impact me. These are my studio manager meditations.

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I need to apologize. I need to apologize for being busy: too busy.

The new year started off with a bang, like a sprint off the starting block and truth be told, there just aren’t enough hours in the day for me to check off every box on my to-do list. When it comes to my responsibilities within our team, I spend a ton of time producing, coordinating, facilitating, and very generally speaking, making shit happen. When the dust settles at the end of the day and we take a breath and crack open a beer, there’s still a laundry list of tasks that vie for my attention. The honest truth is that my role and responsibility as part of this team changes every single day and I may wake up with one thought in my mind as to what needs to be accomplished only to be pulled in ten different directions to help put out ten different fires. It’s what I do and I can’t imagine doing anything else.

This January in particular has been a whirlwind. We’ve been across the country on advertising and editorial shoots, quickly checking-in at home base in Philadelphia before heading back out on the next adventure. The past few weeks have taken us from Philadelphia to Califorinia, Florida (twice), Texas, North Carolina, Mississippi, and NYC. It’s an incredible feeling to be working this hard – but there are a few drawbacks and inevitably things fall through the cracks, like this blog.

This is where I need to apologize. I’m sorry for being too busy to keep us all on track here. Ideally we like to share at least one or two posts a week – something that I’ve been missing the mark on. Moving forward, we’ll all be doing our best to post more regularly and share as much as we can. Whether it’s new personal work, advertising campaigns, editorial assignments, or just some of the randomness that we deem worthy of the internet, we’ll do our best to keep it up.

So I, and much more importantly, we – embrace the busyness. It’s fuel for the fire. All we ask is a bit of understanding for the situation: we’ll share when we can, as often as we can, and when we can’t, we’ll do our best to save those stories for next time.

In the meantime, the best way to keep up with Team Crisman is through the lens of our iPhones and via 140 characters at a time:

Chris:

www.twitter.com/crismanphoto

www.instagram.com/crismanphoto

Robert:

www.twitter.com/robertluessen

www.instagram.com/robertluessen

Jared:

www.instagram.com/jaredcastaldi

David:

www.instagram.com/dohl67

2014 is shaping up to be a great year and we’ll keep on sharing our unique take on this crazy world. The blog may evolve and change as we grow, but rest assured we’re committed to everyone out there and offering up more of the projects, photos, behind the scenes, and thoughts that we encounter on the daily.

Thank you.

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