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.


[ Read More ]

Speechless in Lima

I don’t know exactly what to say.  Fabulous?  This was a good moment to be behind the camera.



[ Read More ]

O.T.W.: New Gallery “On The Way”

Today I launched a new gallery at michaelblack.com entitled O.T.W. for On The Way. Basically, I wanted an avenue to show emerging work that is in a series which is not quite complete.  I like so many of my creative friends and colleagues have several projects running simultaneously that take time to incubate, create and finish.  Some of the work is for clients or projects that don’t go live for 6-12 months. Other work is personal and just needs time and attention. So with this in mind the O.T.W. gallery hopefully gives me the outlet I need.  And what better way for me to kick it off that with the image below.  The series yet to be titled.

[ Read More ]

Pennsylvania Cactus

Odd as it may seem, but this time every year the cactus that we have growing around the studio blooms with hundreds of flowers like they’re the grand finale at the 4th of July.  Honestly, being a northerner I couldn’t imagine a yearly bloom for an outdoor “Pennsylvania Cactus,” but it’s true.

About 4 years ago we planted several small plants, each with roughly 4-10 paddles. They seem to winter extremely well and have in some areas grown more that 20 times their original size.  These hardy succulents are covered in snow and ice at least 4 months of the year.  In the summer they sit in lava rock beds and get pounded by the sun.  I believe this plant is Cactus Opuntia Humifusa and are not only spectacular but gets me craving the south west.

[ Read More ]

BLACK SUN site Goes Live

I am pleased to announce that the BLACK SUN studio site has gone live today! Aside from getting out the nuts-n-bolts info regarding the studio, there is a page dedicated to events and exhibits beginning 2011.

[ Read More ]

Black Sun Studio – Sleek Design

State College, PA- Black Sun, a commercial arts studio specializing in high-end digital and film photography, has moved its operations into The L•A•B•B•, a new 9,500-square-foot creative arts building on East Beaver Avenue on the edge of downtown and one block from the Penn State University Park campus.

[ Read More ]

Pricing and Preparing for a BLACK SUN Shoot

Each project, no matter the breadth and depth of scope is treated an individual project. As such I estimate and price each project accordingly. If you are primarily price shopping, then I am not the photographer and Black Sun is not the studio for you. However, if you want:

  • yourself and project understood so that it can best be conveyed into photographic artwork and
  • you want us to exceed your expectations

…then we are a perfect fit for you.  We strive to take the worry out of a job for our clients and delivery exceptional photographs and digital files, not to mention service second to none. Whether you are a seasoned art director, commercial art buyer or setting up your first professional shoot there are elements that factor into the cost of photography. Some are most likely standard to every shoot while other costs may be additional.  Here are a few that we consider.


  • Days shooting
  • Assistants and Creative Professionals
  • Digital Capture, Processing, Proofing
  • Digital Editing
  • Materials (film, paper, etc.)
  • Equipment
  • Copyright Usage
  • Creative Fee


  • Studio Rental
  • Props
  • Mobilization/Travel
  • Permits/Fees
  • Models
  • Wardrobe
  • Product
  • Set/Set design
  • Scouting

Give us a call or drop us an email about your project and we’ll be happy to discuss it with you and provide a clear and detailed estimate.

[ Read More ]