Somewhere in the DIA

A city with an amazing appreciation and expression of art, despite it’s current troubles. Hats off to the Detroit Museum of Art a.k.a. DIA for putting it out there.

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art life nature

art imitates life imitates nature [somewhere in michigan]mb|BS_shield_example_01b

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Casting Call for Runners


Description: We are looking to hire 4-6 male and female runners in their 20s-30s [young 40’s too] for a photo shoot.  Various body types welcome as long as there is a generally good level of perceived fitness.  The shoot will highlight a sport type headphone manufactured specifically for an athletic user.  Some light running is required.  More details to be provided to final selected talent.  Talent will be selected by the company who manufacture the headphones.  BLACK SUN is merely coordinating the casting.

Location:  State College, PA  [TBD]
Date: Early July for approximately 1/2 day [TBD]
Compensation: $250/per runner who is selected and participates.

Kindly send an email of interest, 1 sentence description of your running background and photo of you to: [please no phone calls]

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Here’s a poster I recently designed for an entry into the New York International Film Festival [NYCIFF].  This is an original Jesse David Harris film featuring sculpture Paula Hayes and her exhibit at the famed Lever House Art Collection.  In short, this film visually portrays the making of Haye’s exhibit.  Artfully, Harris conveys the sensuality and duality of this calm and organic exhibit against and within a glass, steel and concrete skyscraper and pulsing city.  No wonder why this film is nominated for BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY. (click on image to enlarge)


Can’t make it to NYCIFF, then watch it here (if you can’t see the video below then you can see if on vimeo here):


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michael shoots Walden

We were very fortunate on many levels April 13th.  First, we shot and spent the day photographing the very wonderful Jennifer Walden.  Jennifer is the “HOTTEST” plastic surgeon who recently moved from NYC back to her home Austin, Texas.  Jennifer has earned national status over the years due to her excellence and innovation in the field of plastic surgery and celebrity status including appearances with The Biggest Loser (season 11) as her surgeon and a variety of national network shows. She came back to NYC to have us shoot her. Second, the sun was out and the trees were blooming in the west village and it truly felt like Spring was finally here. Third, my 8 yr old son along with my great crew worked this shoot. And fourth, Phil of Sugarcamp productions showed up and made a cool little walk-away behind the scenes video. Who could ask for a better day.

[this video was previously posted but hacked, so youtube had to remove it.  I am reposting and hopefully without a future hack and appreciate your likes and sharing.]


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Better Twitter Profile Pic

TIP on Making your Twitter Profile Pic Better

Twitter’s image uploader for the profile pic is buggy from a laptop or desktop, but works great from a smartphone. Here is a tip to make your profile pic on twitter look better. First make sure you have the image you want to use for your profile pic stored in your phone’s camera roll. If you haven’t done this already do it first.

1. log into your twitter account via your smart phone / iphone

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Down Time with My Posse

Spent some quality down time with my posse and favorite people in the city where I lived and went to grad school (the first time) and in one of my favorite buildings the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Down-Time vs Away-From-Work-Time. I am not one who is great at taking or making down-time, but I know of its importance. The questions is, can one engage in down-time but still do what one does at work?  My rational brain says Yes.  That old saying, “Love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life,” plays integral here.  If you love what you do, can you still do “it” during your down-time.  Again, I say Yes especially if you lean on your strengths.  OK, no surprise I am a photographer and creative director so I spend most of my time planning, making, working and submerged in/with images, words and design. However, when taking down-time I still do the same, but a little differently in my story telling.  During this weekend break (desperately needed), I was able to reflect, re-group, re-energize and re-invigorate, but still do what I do all the time.  So what are the take-aways?  1. Make and Take Down-Time. 2. Love What You Do and if not find how to Love What You Do. 3. Reflect, Re-group, Re-energize and Re-invigorate.

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Mural Goes Up At Nuclear Reactor Lab

Happy to report we installed an 8’x8′ mural print today at the Breazeale Nuclear Reactor, shown here with Kenan Unlu, Director, Radiation Science and Engineering Center. The mural greets employees and visitors of the Lab as the enter the restricted space. I made this image a while back on commission. I sat on top of the reactor while they pulsed it for me approximately 16 times. The image shows the core fully energized. There is approximately 71 thousand gallons of swirling water in the reactor, so getting the clarity in this image took a trick or two, but at time of capture and not in photoshop. BLACK SUN was responsible for all pre-production, design and installation for Penn State.

[Chad installing one of the panels around the hinges of a door that it is covering]


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Spring Finally

Yes, we are all so glad Spring is finally here at the studio. Trees are blooming, cross breezes are cool and sweet, the light is changing and moods are on the rise.  IMG_8024_MBN

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Dig It, A New Team Member

My 8 year old son was on set with us all day this past Sat in NYC. His role was to keep the music flowing, make sure the crew stayed hydrated, capture some behind the scenes images and have fun.  I couldn’t be more proud.  Most importantly he had fun all day and the rest he took care of with similar ease.  Bonus, he captured a number of remarkably nice behind the scene images too.IMG_7666b_flat_MBN

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Dangerous Sam I Am

A little about Sam who was hanging out in the studio today as we pondered and plotted the next chapter.

  • At age 24, Richards was hired to teach a cybernetics course called “Cybernetics and Human Ecology” at the University of Toledo. The first class session was starting only fifteen minutes after he signed the contract – and he didn’t even know what cybernetics was. So the first thing he did when class started is to ask if anyone knew. Today he still recalls that as one of the most amazing teaching experiences of his life.[4] (source: wiki)
  • On the list: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America
  • > 700K views on his TED talk a Radical Experiment in Empathy
  • My co-conspirator in making the best paella east Valencia and west of Portugal

If you haven’t heard of the World in Conversation Project, then definitely check out the peace via conversations he and his posse are facilitating around the world–literally.


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Editorial Piece For Johns Hopkins Magazine

I was asked by the Johns Hopkins Magazine team to shoot an editorial for the Spring Issue of the newly redesigned magazine.  The piece was interesting in it that features Susannah Leisher who with her husband and 3 sons spent a year off the grid in the Maine wilderness.  Now back in mainstream NJ and in the fringe shadows of Manhattan, she and her family are readjusting. An accomplished woman with a complicated but oddly calm story my team and I along with a very insightful graphic designer needed to craft a single image that fit. After spending the better part of the day in her home town scouting contrasting environments, alleys, train tracks, woods and the meditation area in the family living room we settled in on 3 spots.  What we thought was going to be a lead-in image instead perfectly lent itself to be a closer.  Read Susannah’s story “Out of the Woods” in JHU Magazine.   20130214_jhuni_ 5033


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Thinking Outside The Signage

A job well done by ANAR Foundation for allowing thinking outside the box.

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Innovation and then InNEWvation

Very cool on many levels.

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There will be much talk about copyright now that there is another major shift in policy with Facebook and Instagram. So how do you all feel about your digital assets [words and images] you post on Facebook and Instagram now … “In its first big policy shift since Facebook bought the photo-sharing site, Instagram claims the right to sell users’ photos without payment or notification. Oh, and there’s no way to opt out.”  Read more from Declan McCullagh piece in c|net.


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