In between frames. Unpolished moments.

If you're anything like me you don't stop shooting in the "in between" moments of your photo shoots. I keep my camera handy and I find that the images I seem to like, in addition to the target images that we're all working for, are the moments in between the serious shooting.

Renae, on the right, was my studio manager back in the go-go days of the 1990's.  We worked nearly every day as a team.  Amy, on the left, was one of Renae's good friends. When we finished with paid assignments we often spent time just making images for fun.  Or for someone's portfolio.

This particular day was the first time that Amy and I worked together. I was suggesting something or answering a question when I took this random frame. I don't expect anyone else to understand it but I've always thought it was humorous. Amy's stoic look.  Renae's half caught comment.

Leica R 8 and 80mm Summilux. Agfa 25 APX film. Scanned.

Ah. Context. These two need it.

It was the last third of the 1990's and we, as a culture, thought technology could solve everything and make us all wildy rich and sexy in the process. So a group (start up addicts) of us were sitting around at the Driskill Hotel Bar drinking Vodka martinis and doing calamari shots when one of our potential investment angels starting talking about behavior problems he was having with his teenage, and just barely adult, children. Finally, we had something we could sink our teeth into.  We quickly ginned up a proposal for a behavior modification device that could be remotely controlled with the then nascent Bluetooth technology to modify the behavior of children and convicted criminals and we sold the concept hard to former savings and loan investors and self-make real estate millionaires. Many decks of PowerPain slides...  In no time we had millions and millions of dollars in joint venture capital which we proceeded to blaze through by buying vintage Lancia Beta Scorpions and small planes (for corporate travel) as well as renting offices decorated with rare, white tiger pelt throw rugs and ancient growth mahagony paneling.  Our administrative assistants (all former models) were legend.

We had a bullpen of psychiatrists, behavior specialists and electrical engineers and we stocked their areas with pool tables, pin ball machines, original Star Trek uniforms and a scale model of the Millenium Falcon.  We also had a 24 hour buffet complete with a sushi fountain and a chocolate mountain.  Many people still fondly recall Dimitri, the bartender. God! he could make a Whiskey Sour that would make you cry...

We were getting near the end of our funds when we had a breakthrough. Electrical stimulations in certain delta patterns, enhanced by painful electromotive feedback could, in fact, modify (short term)  the behavior of our test subjects.  We moved final testing overseas to a break away republic of Switzerland to avoid the heavy hand of the FDA and local Child Protective Services restraints on free trade, and testing on minors, and launched a full series of human tests.

Well....the idea was golden but the execution was a bit more like aluminum foil. A few of the test subjects will never be able to make change, much less get into Harvard but, dammit, we tried. Nevertheless the whole enterprise crumpled like a tinfoil hat.

The above images were made for a campaign that never ran. The copy was vague and lyrical.  Something like: "The essence of happiness is obedience. Control your family's happiness wirelessly."  And, "brainwaves even a warden could love..."

In the end we thought it best to divvy up the remaining funds and call the project a failure. But as any entrepreneur will tell you, failure is the prelude to astronomical success. Thank goodness for the liability shields offered by our corporate entity. Corporations may be people but in this case ours was the brick wall between us and prison.  People can be so touchy about long term negative results...

In the end the military bought our technology at the bankruptcy auction and they've soldiered on trying to make it work.  In fact, I think much of Halo depends on our ground breaking research. Too bad the FDA won't let them use the helmet and electrodes that go with the game.....

The images (above) were the result of a committee's choice of both model and the "moody" countenance of the model. I shot them with a Hasselblad camera and a 120 Makro lens (they really do spell it with a "k") on some groovy black and white film.

After years of litigation the feds and other "injured parties" finally threw in the prosecutorial towel and walked away. They'd become aware that we "pierced the corporate veil" long before they had and moved most of the remaining cash and snow leopard throw rugs and Air Hockey tables off shore to create more opportunity for someone.  And that's the context for these two images.

(Actually, none of this is true. Except for the info about the camera and film. I was just bored waiting for Lightroom to process 40 gigabytes of images and my hands wandered to the keyboard just about the time my brain wandered off altogether. Lou and I did these images as a joke many years ago  Now my other files are done and so is my little flight of fancy.)

Restated Humor Alert:  The article is not true. It is made up. That means it's fiction. Not real.

Shooting runway shows can be fun. Unless you're doing it too seriously.

Atsuro Tayama runway show. Carrousel du Louvre. Paris. Contax 35mm camera (ST?) with 135mm Zeiss lens. Agfapan 400. ©Kirk Tuck.

Portrait of a business man.

I was in New York to shoot on the floor of a specialty printing company when the art director for the project asked me to also include a portrait of the company's owner.  I went into his office which was filled with wonderful art. Paintings, lithographs, antique clocks and furniture. Photographs from the late 1800's and so much more.

He was at his desk when I walked in and you could tell that it was a spot in which he was very comfortable. The perfect spot for him.  The art director wanted to do the classic shot where the business man sits on the front edge of his desk, looking powerful so we did that first. It was awkward and unbalanced for all of us. When I asked him to sit back down and do some work while I reconfigured my one light it was as though a weight fell from his shoulders and mine.

I liked his direct and assured expression so that's what I set out to capture. It was one of those sessions when you get just what you need in twelve frames and then you pack and get the hell out.

This was shot on a Hasselblad camera with the classic 150mm f4 Planar lens using Tri-X 400 film.  Camera on a tripod and light provided my one Profoto 300 w/s second monolight bounced into an old, worn, yellowed umbrella. Printed on Seagull Portrait DW paper.

To my mind this could have been taken any time in the last 50 years.  And I like that.