As an artist with multiple creative interests, it’s sad to neglect any of my favorite mediums… I love so many different types: photography, graphic design, illustration, painting and even music. I like to alternate between genres so as to walk a path often but arrive at a unique destination each time. My latest illustration required passage to early mornings and late nights to travel to a wondrous place where the organic is made of oddities and inconceivabilities. I call this an illustration as I used Adobe Illustrator to create it in its entirety, but as far as traditional illustration, no pen or pencil ever touched this piece. The only pen used was on a scratch piece of paper with scribbles that roughly resemble the below bit. When it comes to art, I rarely like to discuss too much about the content and rational behind any piece; that’s what makes it personal art and not commercial art. The inspiration for the piece was somewhere between an electronic flower and an organic machine… I’ll say no more other than I hope this piece finds you healthy and happy in 2011! Happy New Year from Erik Paul Artistic Communication!
Archive for December, 2010
Shooting a concert comes with some decent pressure – mainly that you never know when a great shot is going to “happen.” You aren’t guaranteed the settings you had dialed in “just right” for the last shot will capture the next one. When the performers are moving from one end of the stage to the other; turning left to right, front and back, stepping in and out of spot lights and into shadows - a lot of skill comes with a little prayer. Playing the scale with the shutter speed and ISO settings can be the difference between getting a sweet image or losing it completely. Even down to the lens type can make or break a shot… when the performer runs up on you and you’re shooting with a telephoto, a lot of cropping occurs. Inversely, when shooting with a wide angle and the performer heads to the other side of the stage – they get tiny in the frame real fast. Usually during a concert that’s a full-set long (around an hour to an hour and a half), these concerns and pressures are reduced… many opportunities arise for a great photography moment. However, when I photographed the Blake Shelton concert at Little Creek Casino Resort on December, 10th, I didn’t get a full-set to shoot. I was told by Little Creek’s Entertainment Director that contractually I was only allowed to photograph two songs and then had to put my camera away. This meant I had to get some sweet shots in under 15 minutes [tops]. When you’re running around a packed event center, kneeling at the base of the stage and crawling below the front row’s feet with all your gear; 15 minutes feels like about 5 minutes. Blake came out and the audience exploded with an auditory sound wave that pushed him back a few steps… to say they loved him is an understatement. He raised his beer to toast them and the whistles and cheers were deafening… and just like that, the beer came down and the band responded to the crowd… igniting all the speakers. I was in the zone – watching both songs with my camera conjoined to my eyeball… seeing Blake’s every movement through a tiny viewfinder. When you’re as in the zone as I was, counting down every cord and beat, it’s hard to really pay close attention to the songs – I think it’s fair to say I was an instrument of the camera at that point, giving my own performance, right below a country music superstar. If you have any photography needs for a fast-paced event on a short time-frame; please contact me, Erik Eikenberry at Erik Paul Artistic Communication… and let’s get started today!
Blake Shelton Concert Photography by Erik Eikenberry – December 10th, 2010
My radio dial is pretty much rusted shut on 99.9 KISW [hard rock and some classic rock] and occasionally I’ll give it a crank to the right for some 102.5 KZOK [classic rock], so I have to admit I don’t listen to 94.1 KMPS [popular country]. My wife however, being a total country fanatic, graces me with her country stations every time I’m in her car. I think it’s fair to say I have a good knowledge of who is who in the country world. With that said, three or four months ago I’d never heard the name Rae Solomon; but after seeing her open for one of the biggest names in country music, Blake Shelton, I certainly won’t forget who she is. Listening to her and watching her perform with her band (and photographing their entire set), I just want to say I think she and her band have huge potential for stardom. Before I carry on, I also shouldn’t leave out the fact she won KMPS’s Seattle ‘Country-oke’ contest. Okay, I’m not a scout and like I said, I’m a country novice at best, but I couldn’t get over the amazing octaves and vocal notes bursting from Rae; or the killer cord arrangements from the lead guitarist, the fiddler’s dancing fury, the bassist’s plucking power and the drive of the drummer… of all the concerts I’ve photographed, Rae Solomon is so far the hardest one to follow with a lens. She never stood still! I think the guy working the spotlight was just as worn out as I was running stage-right to stage-left non-stop. If I could only say one thing about her and her band overall – the equal balance of energy distributed amongst them all made for true entertainment. That’s what I think gives this band so much potential in their industry; they all have an obvious passion and creative talent for what they’re doing (not to mention Miss Solomon has that “country look”). Maybe I’m just being hopeful on this side note, but I’m gonna take a wild guess the lead guitarist swings both ways – country and rock! I was really digging the arrangements and solos he was busting out and I kept thinking, “this dude rocks!” I didn’t realize I’d be writing something of a “review” for Rae Solomon and her band; figured this would be more about me photographing the concert… but by the time they walked off stage I actually thought; “bummer, I want to hear more.” If you have a chance to catch Rae Solomon live in concert – do it! I think you’ll be just as blown away as I was. If you have any photography needs for an upcoming, up-and-coming event; please contact me, Erik Eikenberry at Erik Paul Artistic Communication… and let’s get started today!
Rae Solomon Concert Photography by Erik Eikenberry – December 10th, 2010
I know I say this a lot (or have written about it plenty of times); getting good photos of outdoor advertising, especially bus media, can be quite the challenge. I never know when or where I’m going to find a bus with one of my ads on it and when I do; it’s hot pursuit. Then I have to hope it doesn’t ditch me in a hoard of cars, stop lights or pedestrians. So I was prowling around the bus station a few days ago in downtown Olympia looking for Little Creek Casino Resort’s newest bus advertising campaign – South Sound’s Choice For Fun! Low and behold, I found a bus with an ad on the left and right side (score). The chase was on! Sometimes it can feel like these buses are not only out of reach but are actually running from you. This was the case for this chase. The bus had no passengers which told me it was probably heading back to the bus barn – I was going to have to sniff this things bumper so as not to lose it. Making turn after turn; going right, left, right, right, right… where the heck was this bus going? It just literally made a full circle around the block and then pulled over and stopped in a seemingly abandoned, industrial section of downtown. Now was my chance! I dashed out of my car and started to snap some shots before it decided to drive off again to circle some other blocks. Not that I really feel like the paparazzi, but I do wonder what bus drivers are thinking as I’m running around their bus with a camera. Well, now was my opportunity to know what they think. The bus driver opened her hissing door and walked up to me with a curious, rather defensive tone to ask, “did I cut you off?” I didn’t mean to respond in a giggly tone but my response of “no” just came out that way. She continued, “then why are taking pictures of my bus?” I snapped out of my snap shot mode to kindly explain to her that she’s driving around with my graphic design work slapped on both sides of her bus and I was just taking some pictures for my portfolio. She gave a boisterous chuckle, almost relieved, and headed back in through the hissing door. I too was relieved that I got two of the three bus ads I was looking for. Now came the hunt for a bus tail. Luckily, before I had to seek and give pursuit there was one staring directly at me… even stopped at a red light. I guess this was a memorable day as I have chased many buses, just never been routed in circles and then approached. I always think you never know who you’re going to meet on a bus; well, you never know who you’re going to meet that drives a bus either. If you’ve been pursuing advertising for your business and have just been going in circles nowhere, I’d like to be of service to help you travel the road that’s right for you; please contact me, Erik Eikenberry at Erik Paul Artistic Communication… and let’s get started today!
Choice For Fun – Bus King – Graphic Design by Erik Eikenberry
Choice For Fun – Bus Queen – Graphic Design by Erik Eikenberry
Choice For Fun – Bus Tail – Graphic Design by Erik Eikenberry
I can’t believe I’m writing about the New Year that’s already upon us. It will never cease to amaze me how time flies! But enough with starting this off sounding like a downer about the passing of 2010; how about talking about getting down to celebrate the approach of 2011! Dance your way into the New Year! Little Creek Casino Resort will be hosting South Sound’s funkiest, “horniest” mega-party with the groovy sounds of Sonic Funk Orchestra. Sonic Funk Orchestra is a 12 piece, horn-driven party machine from the Pacific Northwest that plays all the chart busting hits of the 70′s and early 80′s by huge-name artists such as Michael Jackson, Kool & The Gang, KC & The Sunshine Band, Earth Wind & Fire, Rose Royce, The Trammps and more! If all night booty shaking is your idea of a fabulous way to leave 2010 behind, then the party can only get better! Little Creek will be giving away cash prizes throughout the night; and as well, you’ll be surrounded by scrumptious spreads of hors d’oeuvres and plenty of spirits to wash them down with! This New Year’s Eve party comes complete with the traditional balloon drop and midnight toast to compliment the countdown! What an uplifting way for anyone who’s feeling down about another year gone by to celebrate! For me, this bash is beyond just the boogying, it was about having a ball while I did the graphic design for this campaign’s media. Listening to the 70′s and 80′s at near full volume is not only visually inspirational; but it certainly got my south side swaying and shaking in my seat as my fingers clicked away to the beat. If you’re ready for some groovy graphics to uplift your business and get down for a great 2011; please contact me, Erik Eikenberry… and let’s get started today!
It’s that time of year again, when many of you are contemplating or procrastinating having your family portraits taken for the holidays. If you haven’t had them done by now, you only have a few more weeks to get those cards out by Christmas. If it’s because you’re short on time; I can make it easy for you… I will come to your home and set up my fully equipped, mobil portrait studio. If it’s about money; high quality, professional photography is an investment… not an expense. Too many people think they’re a photographer because they own a camera and the truth is – a snapshot isn’t a portrait. A snapshot will loose its luster whereas a portrait is timeless. When was the last time you saw an 8×10 or 16×20 snapshot hanging on the wall? The flat lighting effect from the flash right out of the camera isn’t flattering or delicate and unless some effort has gone into composing or creating a backdrop, odds are good any clutter in the background is just going to distract from your family members. So here’s my deal, I will drive to your home or business anywhere in the Olympia, Tumwater, Lacey area* and set up a professional studio. With the assistance of my lovely wife, we should be in and out of your home in about an hour and a half.** For the holidays, this offer starts at $200 for one Family Portrait (up to six people in the image) which includes up to 30 shots to be taken and you select your favorite one before we leave. As well, in one to two business days, you will receive: one 8×10 print, three 5×7 prints, ten 4×6 prints and a disk containing the high resolution image on it (retouching is not included but available upon request. Additional prints are available as well). While we’re there, upgrade the session and have the kid’s portraits taken (or any other family member’s) for only $100/per individual (up to 30 shots taken along with the same quantity of prints provided and a high resolution image on disk). It’s that easy and that fast! Before you know it you’ll be sending off precious memories of the ones you love to the ones you love. If you’re ready for your family’s portrait, or the kid’s portraits, to be taken in the comfort and convenience of your home, please contact me, Erik Eikenberry… and let’s get started today!
Portraits by Erik Eikenberry
* Based on 30 miles round trip from Erik Paul’s place of business near the Olympia Airport. **Time based on scope for one Family Portrait.
This blog post was supposed to be about a few amphibians I’ve seen around the pond in our backyard recently. I gathered the images and decided to do a bit of research on specifically what kind of newt I photographed… shocked and frightened, I found this little guy (above) is called a Rough-Skinned Newt (and you can easily see why). No, the name isn’t what frightened me. What did is the fact this tiny newt is poisonous and very lethal to humans. After reading staff reporter Lynda V. Mapes article in the Seattle Times is when I got the shock. The toxin found in this little dude is as poisonous as a Japanese Puffer fish, which is instant death if prepared improperly and ingested. Eerily, the article states that the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife studied the poisonous newt right around where we live in Olympia. If you happen to see one, beware, it has no known predators and will kill you if it bites you. In many ways it reminds me of being a teeny-weeny cousin to the extra-enormous Komodo Dragon (below) as it also has a lethal bite and no predators. Not only will this nodular newt kill anything it wraps its lips around; it kills everything that ingests it! Anyway, I’m not a biologist so I won’t go on about this dangerous cutie; however, I am a photographer, so to make something of a point as to why I was going to post this image in the first place – I thought it was a very unique looking critter. I’d never seen one before and figured I should at least get a quick snap of it… unfortunately for the photo opportunity it was meandering around in the rain, which is one of the last places I like to take my camera, but it was crawling around some Japanese Maple leaves which enriched the colors in this composition. I popped on my macro, got a little wet and muddy, then ran back in the house… I didn’t think that moment would become a public service announcement.
Komodo Dragon – Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle, Washington – Photo by Erik Eikenberry
As far as the frog photo goes (below)… well, I guess I now realize why the fairytale princess never kissed a Rough-Skinned Newt and stuck to a much safer little fella. This guy I actually shot back in September when the weather was a bit nicer than recently, but never got around to posting the photo until now. I figured if I’m going to post one amphibian, why not post another. I shot him with my telephoto from quite a ways off as not to scare it… just thought it was pretty cool how he was sitting on a lily pad and relaxing. Probably waiting to be this owl’s dinner. If you have any photography opportunities that entail getting down and dirty or really close to the darling or dangerous; please contact me, Erik Eikenberry… and let’s get started today!
As a parent, I can say that kids instantly add cute to any equation! Such was the case when Capital Medical Center’s Marketing Director, Renee Crotty, asked me and fellow friend and graphic designer, Stacey Gracen, to help add “cute” to a touchy situation. Capital Medical Center is a sanctuary for the the South Sound and surrounding counties. It houses the healing and those recovering from major procedures; and as most anyone knows, when you’re on the mend or in serious pain, noise becomes an audible ailment. Again, as a parent, I know first hand that kids can become incredible noise makers in an instant and without warning. Thus was the touchy situation… how to encourage kids to be quiet in a nice, friendly manner? Renee decided she’d keep down the noise that some of these frisky little visitors create by figuratively “fighting fire with fire!” The idea was to incorporate kids in medical attire shushing the viewers… and it came out as an adorable campaign. I set up my mobile portrait studio at Capital Medical Center and hour after hour a few young “hushing roll models” would saunter in for their big debut*. It seemed the less coordinated they were (and really struggled to figure out how to make the shush-finger to their lips) the cuter they were… but praise is due to the older kids that were fabulous models – they posed like pros and were in and out of there in no time! Needless to say, it was a fun shoot all around that gave the blushing parents a case of the giggles and was a cool memory for the kids to feel like they were big shot models for Capital Medical Center. If you have any professional photography needs that can turn your little one into a roll model or big shot model – or if you know any adults who truly are roll models or big shots for your business; please contact me, Erik Eikenberry… and let’s get started today!
*Actually, the little blonde boy above (on the left) made his follow-up debut from when I photographed him when he was only three weeks old; just as cute now as he was then!