This week, a Navy SEAL was killed in Iraq, during an ISIS attack on a small Christian village near Mosul. A handful of American advisers were in the village at the time of the attack, and they were surrounded and cutoff by nearly 200 ISIS fighters. Charlie Keating IV led the SEAL Rapid Response counterattack to rescue the trapped Americans. The small SEAL-led assault team inflicted massive casualties among the ISIS terrorists, effectively destroying the attacking force. Tragically, during the violent 12-hour firefight Charlie Keating IV was killed in action.
Stewart Image was contacted by a friend of Charlie’s family to create a photographic tribute to be displayed at the Memorial Services and funeral of Mr. Keating. Stewart Image was provided a very small (480 KB) file, taken by a cell phone, as the desired image. Michael Stewart implemented extensive upsampling, noise reduction and several creative sharpening techniques to that original image. His extensive technical expertise generated an image suitable for a 16X24 inch canvas print. Stewart Image contacted our friends at Nations Photo Lab in MD to produce a rush print.
Mr. Rob Grant, their Accounts Manager and a fellow photographer, eagerly embraced the challenge of producing, mounting, framing and shipping to CA a 20X30 inch framed canvas print in less than 24 hours. They produced a superb canvas print with an extremely compressed delivery schedule. They then refused to charge us for their outstanding effort. Stewart Image wants to profusely thank both Rob and all those at NPL who worked so hard to meet this challenge for their thoughtfulness and generosity.
CNN has written an article on the incident and you can read it here.
What looks like a simple headshot was actually very tricky. The white coat and shinny badge gave me trouble at first but I’m trained for such lighting issues. Angle of incidence equals angle of reflection, the inverse square law,….etc. I like the portrait because of the nice contrast in lighting and the “trustworthy” look. It was done on location at a Wegman’s in Virginia. We shoot for them regularly, matching their requirements for background and crop.
We recently did four sessions of portraits in Lansdowne Va, within the Lansdowne Resort. We’ve done 23 of these portraits for SSP Ameraica at this point. It’s tough to get everyone together in a big company like this, so we have to reproduce the look time after time. We do like to have some variation in the backgrounds and poses we use, so they look nice when all displayed together.
Recently, we volunteered our services to a non-profit organization bringing education opportunities to underprivileged children in Haiti.
La Vallee Alliance is restoring libraries, schools and services for children that were damaged in the earthquake. A client ask us to help his daughter with visuals for a fundraiser and we jumped at the opportunity to use our marketing and advertising skills to make a difference in these children’s lives.
We took the groups archive of images and selected the best for posters and a slideshow to be used for fundraising. We used our skills to make the amateur images look their best. The images added the needed illustration of their work that opened minds and wallets to the cause. Hopefully our effort makes a difference in the lives of the children who were hit hard by the earthquake.
“Michael … These look great!!! Thanks so very much!!!”
– Ann K. Bazzarone
“Michael: Ann’s Haiti event was a huge success. Photo display a top hit. She said, ‘Michael made my photos look like National Geographic.’ Many thanks.”
StewartImage does several pro bono jobs every year for causes we believe in, so don’t be afraid to ask if you need photography services for a charity or fundraiser.
We often shoot background images for our archive while on location for photography assignments. We frequently use green screen (chroma key) techniques to make a portraits and drop them onto images from our background archive. We have thousands of backgrounds & elements: buildings, skies, grass, bushes, etc. in our archive. Many of the bushes and other elements have been isolated from their surroundings over the years for various projects. You could say, the grass is always greener on the other side of Photoshop. Placing portrait subjects onto random backgrounds does require finesse to look natural, but we find this to be a compelling way to make interesting and flexible portraits. See below green screen portraits of structural engineers: