art life nature

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

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Protected: Casting Call for Runners

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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.

[click on image/s to enlarge]





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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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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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Innovation and then InNEWvation

Very cool on many levels.

YouTube Preview Image

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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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lake | tonya | michael
& rosa


<div style=’background-color:#e9e9e9; -moz-border-radius: 10px;border-radius:10px;width: 567px;’><object id=’A64060′ quality=’high’ data=’’ pluginspage=’’ type=’application/x-shockwave-flash’ wmode=’transparent’ height=’319′ width=’567′><param name=’wmode’ value=’transparent’></param><param name=’movie’ value=’’></param><param name=’scaleMode’ value=’showAll’></param><param name=’quality’ value=’high’></param><param name=’allowNetworking’ value=’all’></param><param name=’allowFullScreen’ value=’true’ /><param name=’FlashVars’ value=’cornerRadius=10&external_make_id=ureATUrQQ6aWSZ0LNUUovQ&’></param><param name=’allowScriptAccess’ value=’always’></param></object><div style=’text-align:center;margin-top:6px;’>Personalize funny videos and birthday <a href=’’ title=’eCards’>eCards</a> at JibJab!</div></div>

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Speechless in Lima

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



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HPH Recipes

‘Tooting a horn about section 3 – meal planner and recipes in Brenda Watson’s Heart of Perfect Health. I can honestly say that they were battle tested under rigorous conditions in the BLACK SUN studio and we all were overwhelmed and impressed at how consistently excellent they are.  Not only are they gluten free and low sugar but we presented them in word and photos as they as they are: easy to organize, simple to prepare, fun to cook and honest on the plate. This book is a featured on Brenda’s PBS special which you can locate in your area here. I’ll toot about the other sections soon too!



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Brenda Watson’s Heart of Perfect Health (HPH) went live via a PBS special in nearly every TV market in the US this past weekend. The 430 pg. beautiful hardcover book resulted from the tireless and wonderful work between Brenda, her team, myself and my BLACK SUN crew over many months. I handled the creative (brand, design, paging and photography) from manuscript to print ready files. Part of my team included the illustration talents of Adam Questell.  This being our 3rd book with Brenda we couldn’t have been more honored to work with her and Renewlife again. As we watch the success of Brenda and HPH continually grow, we are in awe of her commitment and ongoing contribution to the health and wellness field. Here’s a small peek at what’s inside.






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