Casey 3 Photo

Urban Landscape/Photo Journalist/Fine Art Photographer

Monthly Archives: January 2011

New Photo Layer Manipulations

So I  stumbled on this idea that I can layer multiple layers with frosted textures and manipulate them into an image or in some cases, multiple images. A Rorschach, if you will. This is something I never aspired to create, but I think it looks pretty intense. I’m 100% sure there are other photographers out there that have done this and mastered it to a T, but so far I haven’t seen anything else. Here are a couple of other creations.

The Man in His Garden

Leaves at Sunset


Rock Bluff

Winter Solstice



Not sure how I even conceived this idea. I had taken some photos of my frosted window this morning and really didn’t know what to do with them. Out of sheer boredom I was messing around in CS2 and began playing with layers and blending modes and voila — I call it ‘Frost’d’.

Snow Angel


Ryan Russell – Photographer Profile

To say that Birmingham based Ryan Russell is a hard working photographer is a bit of an understatement. He’s one of the hardest working and demanded photographers in the music and commercial industry today. At this very moment as I type this he could be doing a variety of things — photographing your favorite band going through the motions of recording their new album, shooting promos for the next up and coming rockers for some international publication, on tour with musicians across the U.S, developing photos from a sold out show he shot last night, shooting proofs for a new ad layout, or taking some pretty wicked Polaroids of eerie urban landscapes that he already has a vast library of and that he sells on his ETSY page.

Russell’s incredible client list reads like a line up from Coachella or Warped Tour — Paramore, Tegan and Sara, Against Me!, Foo Fighters, Death Cab for Cutie, Circa Survive, My Chemical Romance, Underoath, The Gaslight Anthem, Angels and Airwaves, Blink 182, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, Mastodon, The Almost, The Manchester Orchestra, The Color Fred, Taking Back Sunday, AFI, New Found Glory and probably a lot more that I don’t know about.

Looking at Ryan’s collection of photographs that he’s taken over the last 10 years, you notice something you don’t see in photos taken by other photographers — the relaxed nature of the subjects. Ryan is more than just trying to get a ‘cool’ photo to give to the record label or one of the several magazines he freelances for, but he builds solid relationships with the people he works with and it’s evident because they always return for more shoots with him, even if it’s not work related. His photos are often during intimate sessions. What seemingly looks like a bunch of guys talking in a recording studio or standing in the hallways of a venue, are striking because of the relationship that is caught in the frame. There’s deep discussions, bursts of laughter, quiet moments of meditation, or nothing at all. Russell’s eye is on more than just getting the job done, but inviting us to take part in what is happening.

What’s more — and this is a bit of a doozy — he shoots film. I don’t know about you, but this blows my mind. Most photographers have their confidence in knowing that if the photo is too dark/bright, not composed properly or whatever, they can check their 3″ monitor and try again. With film there is no ‘Try Again’ — especially photographing a wild and crazy outdoor set at Warped Tour or within the confines of a dimly lit venue. Russell has mastered what most professionals wont even consider trying, fearing that their images wont turn out. I’ve tried my hand at shooting punk shows with an old Nikon F90 and made the switch to digital after a couple of months. I still carry an SLR, but not for gigs. Maybe a back up and that’s it.

Just recently Russell has joined the legions of others and began making short videos of raw jam sessions and performances by musicians. He developed ‘Nervous Energies‘ and it’s getting quite a bit of attention. I’m not 100% sure what he is using to record the performances, but they’re his signature stark black and white with strong contrast look. Often filmed back stage of a venue or in a cramped jam space, he still manages to capture the energy withing the confined walls using a singled, steady shot.

Correction: Ryan made the switch to digital in Jan. 2010, so all of his 2010 photos are digital. He informed me that he made the switch to see where it would take him. 2001-09 is film exclusively.


I’m not an expert when it comes to iPhone applications. If anything, I think the use of instamatic or any other ‘vintage’ camera application is a tad overrated and abused. For one thing, to me it doesn’t look authentic, especially photos taken in minimal lighting because the digital noise is so obvious and it takes away from the look of the photo. I personally, do not have an iPhone — just an LG flip phone, which in my mind and opinion takes great photos — although the shutter is fussy. My sister on the other hand has an iPhone and downloaded an app that uses 4 different cameras and film stock, so I set aside my assumptions and ran around the house taking photos of anything and everything and I have to admit, I loved it! Now, I’m no Jeremy Cowart (check out his photos from Haiti that he took on his iPhone here). This is just a little fun I was having and I do intend to try and master this new approach 🙂

Night Photography

Last night while I was out for a stroll, I took some photos using a high ISO and a very low shutter speed — mainly because I was handheld. Tonight I went out for another walk but this time I brought along a tripod and attempted some long exposure urban photos around my neighborhood. I’m not the first and only photographer to do this, in fact I was inspired by Oakland based photographer Todd Hido who specializes in some amazing night photography. He uses a Pentax 6×7 and shoots using Kodak Portra 400NC and his exposures usually range anywhere from 4 to 10 minutes! (I e-mailed him a couple of years ago inquiring). I was armed with a Nikon D1X, shooting digital and my exposures lasted 30 seconds.

At Night

On my way to the corner store to pick up a Coke Zero I did some photos. ISO 3200, f/2.8 and f/5.6, around 1/20th and 1/4th of a sec. It helps to hold your breath.

Buggie Smalls

Winter Stroll


Sheds at Night

The title pretty much says it all. I’ve been testing my skills with long exposures. Most of these are 30 second exposures ranging anywhere between f/5.6 and f/16.