Blog Archives

The Science of Alternative Facts

This is the 4th in a series I am calling “We Are The People”. I am looking for other compelling stories if you know someone who’s story needs to be told, get in touch with me here or on messenger.

April fools day seems like perfect timing to reveal this portrait of Paul. He is a scientist  and describes himself as a conservative. Paul is the Dean of the College of Pharmacy at URI. He told me that he loves science becaue “The goal of good science is to find the truth. At the end of the day, you can believe the truth or not believe. But its still the truth.
Sometimes the truth is “unvarnished”, it may not be pretty or convenient or support someone’s point of view. But again its still the truth.
A good scientist removes their biases from the scientific process. Some of the most fulfilling experiments end with “Well, thats not what I expected!”

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We Are The People/ Little Girl Portrait

Please share this photo and help me spread this story around. I beleive it needs to be told to as many people as possible

This is the 3rd in a series I am calling “We Are The People”. I am looking for other compelling stories if you know someone who’s story needs to be told, get in touch with me here or on messenger.

This is a real photo of a girl and her Mom.  #ShePersisted Leila is 10 years old and was adopted from Kazakhstan, a predominantly muslim country located in Central Asia which is from the former Soviet republic. She told her mom last week “The president likes you but he doesn’t like me”

Kids always look to their parents as a vision of what their lives will be like down the road. What this girls sees for herself right now because of the current political climate is disjointed, jagged and painful. I hold out hope that she will have a bright future free from prejudice about the color of her skin.

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Portrait about Grief

I have been thinking a lot about grief and how it effects us all. As an artist I have the need to express myself through photos. I am attempting to make something to speak to the process of grieving.

Grief feels like this to me. When the world starts to unravel around us, when it seems surreal that everything keeps going on despite our pain, as if everything is normal, when it seems that nothing will ever be the same for us again. We experience grief at different times and for different reasons, but that initial shock is universal.

This is the 1st in a series of 3 images. The other images are yet to be created, but are on their waysaj_1578-a2

 

Rhode Island Portrait Project: Rabbi Wayne Franklin from Temple Emanuel

I have another installment of my very exciting portrait project. I love my community and there are some amazing people making Rhode Island a wonderful place to live. I have decided to photograph the people who are really making “IT” happen here in my community in a (hopefully) creative and fun way that tells a story about who those people are and what they are doing for their little section of the world.

Rabbi Wayne Franklin is a wonderful man. He is the kind of man that you immediately feel comfortable talking with. I have spent many hours conversing with him, and soaking up his warm intelligence. What strikes me about Rabbi Franklin is his openness to explore. He is always ready to dig deeper and look closely at humanity. As a non Jewish person, I have burdened him with many questions that he has tirelessly answered, and I am grateful for his generosity of spirit. I am also impressed with not only the strength of his conviction, but the wealth of knowledge that he offers his congregation at Temple Emanuel in Providence. He is a scholar in the truest sense of the word, so when I photographed him I wanted his library to be included in our portrait. I think we created a beautiful portrait, and I am proud to share it with you now.

Here is a link to some of the other portraits I have created for this project

Rabbi Wayne Franklin of Temple Emanuel in Providence RI  by Seth Jacobson

Rabbi Wayne Franklin of Temple Emanuel in Providence RI
by Seth Jacobson

The Rhode Island Portrait Project: Chris Simpson

I have another installment of my very exciting portrait project. I love my community and there are some amazing people making Rhode Island a wonderful place to live. I have decided to photograph the people who are really making “IT” happen here in my community in a (hopefully) creative and fun way that tells a story about who those people are and what they are doing for their little section of the world.

This is Chris Simpson, creative director at The Contemporary Theater Company This small theater has brought vitality, energy, and enthusiasm to the hundreds of shows they have created over the years. Just last year they found a home in Downtown Wakefield which immediately created a place for the community to not only be entertained, but call their own. I am proud to add Chris to the list of portraits in this series, and hope you like it as much as I do!

 

Chris Simpson for the Rhode Island Portrait Project

Chris Simpson for the Rhode Island Portrait Project

Rhode Island Portrait Project: Behind the curtain/ Bethany Geaber

This portrait was created as a part of a series of photos I am calling the Rhode Island Portrait Project. You can see some of the other photos in this project here

Bethany Geaber for The Rhode Island Portrait Project

Bethany Geaber for The Rhode Island Portrait Project

I created this portrait with the intention of showing Bethany’s ability to transform herself as an actress. We chose 3 vastly different women from different time periods as our characters for this portrait rather than Bethany herself.. Going as far as to give them names, back stories and motivations for what was happening for them in these moments. I shot 3 photos with my camera on  a Tripod to keep the same position and then photoshopped them all together later. We shot the Gibson Girl 1st (her name is Edith) here are some set up shots. The costumes, hair and make up were pretty extensive Than you Becky!  We put a lot of time into making the details just right! Thank you to The beautiful Stadium Theater for letting us use their space to work in. Visit their website here and you can visit Bethany’s website here

set up for Bethany Geaber for The Rhode Island Portrait Project

set up for Bethany Geaber for The Rhode Island Portrait Project

Set up for Bethany Geaber for The Rhode Island Portrait Project

Set up for Bethany Geaber for The Rhode Island Portrait Project

Here is the photo we did of Bethany as the Gibson girl pre photoshop. You can see my Octabox in the photo which was later taken out in addition to this light I also had a light up the stairs camera left shining down. You can see that light on her face and arm. And one big 7′ umbrella camera left out of the frame feathered across her front to just fill in gently. You can see the 7′ umbrella in another frame below.

Bethany Geaber for The Rhode Island Portrait Project

Bethany Geaber for The Rhode Island Portrait Project

The next shot was our 50’s lady named Audrey here is a set up shot.

Set up for Bethany Geaber for The Rhode Island Portrait Project

Set up for Bethany Geaber for The Rhode Island Portrait Project

I used a very similar lighting set up for this lady as for the 1st shot. We had Becky stand in to give Bethany someone to interact with where our Edith character would have been standing. You can just barely see a light camera left if you look close. Also of note thank you to Faye for holding the christmas stuff out of my frame 🙂 we shot this just after Christmas so the place was decorated for the Holiday and we had to take it apart and put it all back together for our shot…

Bethany Geaber for The Rhode Island Portrait Project

Bethany Geaber for The Rhode Island Portrait Project

last we made the Courtney character shot. For this one I just used 2 lights on her right and left you can see both here if you look close on camera right you can just see my octabox our of frame.

Bethany Geaber for The Rhode Island Portrait Project

Bethany Geaber for The Rhode Island Portrait Project

The Rhode Island Portrait Project: Bethany Geaber actress

I have another installment of my very exciting portrait project. I love my community and there are some amazing people making Rhode Island a wonderful place to live. I have decided to photograph the people who are really making “IT” happen here in my community in a (hopefully) creative and fun way that tells a story about who those people are and what they are doing for their little section of the world.

This is Bethany Geaber she is an actress. You can visit her website here We wanted to create a really unique portrait for Bethany. As an actress she has to transform herself into many different people to tell stories, and I really wanted to tell a short story with three characters. What do you think the story is? What just happened? What happens next? I am fascinated by these three ladies and by Bethany’s ability to change into different people.

Bethany Geaber for The Rhode Island Portrait Project

Bethany Geaber for The Rhode Island Portrait Project

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=m77YrTvEyT4

Rhode Island Portrait Project: Behind the curtain/ John Ford

This portrait was created as a part of a series of photo I am calling the Rhode Island Portrait Project. You can see some of the other photo in this project here

I created this portrait with the intention of showing off John Ford’s incredible physical presence mixed with the feeling of aspiration, determination, and hope. I wanted the focus to be entirely on John for this so I went with a studio background instead of working in the “real world” the setting for my camera were:

ISO 141 Shutter 1/160th aperture F 4.5 with 3 light sources shown here

lighting set up for portrait of John Ford

lighting set up for portrait of John Ford

I used a bare bulb flash no modifications set camera right about 1/32nd power results shown here

Lighting set up for portrait of John Ford

Lighting set up for portrait of John Ford

Then I added another bare bulb flash about 1/8th power pointed at John from the back and very much toward my camera this added some wonderful back light and beautiful lens flare shown here

lighting set up for portrait of John Ford

lighting set up for portrait of John Ford

I used an Octabox up and camera left about 1/8th power. After a little photoshopping (I cleaned up the background and made the portrait a little more punchy but that is it)

here is the final photo

John Ford from Manic Training for the Rhode Island Portrait Project

John Ford from Manic Training for the Rhode Island Portrait Project

Some other tricks we did:

Baby oil smeared all over John to give him a nice sheen, and I sprayed him down with water to make it look like he was sweating. Open the photo to see it at a proper size

The Rhode Island Portrait Project: John Ford

I have another installment of my very exciting portrait project. I love my community and there are some amazing people making Rhode Island a wonderful place to live. I have decided to photograph the people who are really making “IT” happen here in my community in a (hopefully) creative and fun way that tells a story about who those people are and what they are doing for their little section of the world.

This is John Ford he owns Manic Training John is a man who has helped me to change my body; I can now say with confidence that I am strong. I am turning 39 in a month, and all my life I have been very happy with the way that I looked and felt. I’m not one of those low self-esteem kind of people, but I have also known that I’m not a particularly physically strong person, either. So to reach middle age (oh my god really!!! middle age wow) and to have such a different view of myself is really a wonderful experience. This has come out of some really hard work. I owe that to John Ford and Manic Training. John is a patient teacher, the kind of trainer that will push you to the next level without being a jerk about it. Always attentive but never pushy. You can see by this photo that he takes his own health and well-being seriously. I am extremely proud of this portrait we created. If you have ever worked hard to achieve a goal, you know that there is struggle, determination and hope all mixed together. I feel that we got that across in this portrait.

Click on the photo to see it at its proper size and watch the video below to find out more about the project.

 

John Ford from Manic Training for the Rhode Island Portrait Project

John Ford from Manic Training for the Rhode Island Portrait Project

 

 

The Rhode Island Portrait Project Erich Manser Blind Triathlete

I have another installment of my very exciting portrait project. I love my community and there are some amazing people making Rhode Island a wonderful place to live. I have decided to photograph the people who are really making “IT” happen here in my community in a (hopefully) creative and fun way that tells a story about who those people are and what they are doing for their little section of the world.

This most recent portrait is of Erich Manser. Erich is an extra-ordinary individual. Not only is he a world-class athlete, but he is legally blind. When I 1st saw Erich in the “Firm Man” triathlon I was mystified 1st at how incredibly fast he was moving but also my mind spun thinking about the difficulty of what he was doing (swimming 1.2 miles in open ocean, running 13.1 miles and biking 56 miles) with out the sight that you and I enjoy and use to navigate the world. He has a limited vision and describes what he can see as looking through a pair of toilet paper rolls with wax paper covering the ends, and he is loosing his eyesight more with every passing day.He is guided through these races by another racer of equal or better athletic ability, they tie a rope to each other for the swim and he runs with his hand on the guides shoulder, and then they ride a tandem bike.

 I really wanted to honor Erich with this portrait. We met to talk about the concept and he explained that before he has starting loosing his eyesight he had been a swimmer and now swimming is his strongest section of the race for him. So we decided to create this portrait in the water. We got up in the dark and went down to the Ocean and waited for the sun light to emerge. So the portrait was actually created before the sunrise in the pre-dawn light.

Here is a link to Erich’s Blog and some more info on his inspirational story.

Dig his tag line, “You don’t need eyesight to have vision” I can only hope my vision does justice to this great man.

Click on the photo to see it at its proper size and watch the video below to find out more about the project.

Erich Manser for the Rhode Island Portrait Project

Behind the Curtain Ed Tarbox for The Rhode Island Portrait Project

I am proud of this portrait of Ed Tarbox taken for The Rhode Island Portrait Project. I sat down with Ed to talk about creating this portrait and was struck right off the bat 1st by his genuine energy and friendliness and second by his true LOVE of cars. It became clear that I needed to photograph him with one of his personal cars. My 1st idea was to photograph him like a racer from the 30’s you know with the goggles and a scarf but after he showed me his vintage 1963 Corvette I knew we had a winner. The concept shifted and we started talking about James Dean and Marlon Brando from the late 50’s early 60’s and Wammo I could see it in my mind! I love it when that happens!

Here is the technical info on our portrait

Taken on a Nikon D700 ISO 800 as it was getting close to dark. 5 light sources if you include the ambient light from the sky (all shown below) the shutter was 1/60th at F4

Ed Tarbox set up for the Rhode Island Portrait Project

The Rhode Island Portrait Project – Ed Tarbox

I have another installment of my very exciting portrait project. I love my community and there are some amazing people making Rhode Island a wonderful place to live. I have decided to photograph the people who are really making “IT” happen here in my community in a (hopefully) creative and fun way that tells a story about who those people are and what they are doing for their respective businesses.

This most recent portrait is of Ed Tarbox. Here in our beautiful state of Rhode Island Ed Tarbox is synonymous with CARS! Ed is the owner of Tarbox Toyota and for anyone looking to get a car his dealership is THE place to go here in Rhode Island! Here is a photo of his dealership

Tarbox Toyota by Seth Jacobson

I am very pleased with the results of this portrait! I really was going for a late 50’s/early 60’s Marlon Brando or James Dean kind of look. Of course when making a portrait of Ed there absolutely had to be a car involved and when I saw his completely restored and modified 1963 Corvette I knew that was the one! What a ride! I was lucky enough to go for a spin in it and WOW without a doubt that is THE COOLEST cars I have ever been in! We put Ed in the classic jeans and a white T-shirt with a black leather jacket and immediately  I was transported back in time! If you have ever met Ed you know he is one of the most friendly, energetic, and hardest working guys around. Those commercials aren’t lying, he really is like that! Tell me what do you think of the portrait?

Ed Tarbox by Seth Jacobson for the Rhode Island Portrait Project

The Rhode Island Portrait Project behind the curtain with Joan Dwyer

For the camera geeks, and photographers that want to take their images to the next level

This is how I created the portrait of Joan Dwyer from “All That Matters”

1st the concept: I sat down with Joan 2 times (with multiple phone calls and texts in between) and we chatted for about an hour each time about this portrait, this time is a very important part of my process. We talked about who she is as a person, a business woman, a mother, a friend ect… And I floated ideas for how to portray her in this portrait. One thing to note is that she was very nervous about being photographed as most people are (including myself) This time we spent together is so very important to making folks feel comfortable with the idea of being photographed. My idea was that I wanted to photograph her as a Goddess at rest. I wanted to tell the story of what I think All That Matters represents and what roll it plays in our community. She was very reluctant to be portrayed as a Goddess, because, understandably, she didn’t want to give the impression she thought of herself as high and mighty…  But this is (as are all the Rhode Island Portrait Project series photographs) my conception of who she is. Who I think of her as, not who she thinks of herself as…

2nd the execution: We built this composition over time using different things that Joan had on hand at her place  I wanted it to be symmetrical and balanced visually because Yoga is all about balance. I decided to light her with candles mostly, so I went to  Job Lot and the dollar store and bought about 200 candles! We used every single one! I constructed the composition slowly, and when I had everything placed where I wanted it to go then I set the exposure for the room (see 4708) then I added the one speedlight shot through a softbox (see 4710) and last I lit the candles and made sure the light was right coming off them (see 4713) when I had everything set which took about 1.5 hours then we started taking photographs and pretty quickly we got the winner (see 4733)

Here is my exposure info: ISO 800 (thank you Nikon) Shutter 1/25th and F 4 on my 50mm lens

Set up for Portrait behind the curtain of Joan Dwyer

With a little photoshoping the portrait was complete! I removed the leg of my light stand and some debris in the back ground as well some optimizations of contrast ect…

Joan Dwyer for The Rhode Island Portrait Project

Here is a backed up shot so you can see where my light was positioned

Behind the curtain on The Rhode Island Portrait Project

Rhode Island Portrait Project Video


I am super proud of this video that the very talented Marc Creedon made for The Rhode Island Portrait Project! You can visit

his website here

If you are in need of a video for your social media efforts I highly recommend Marc!

Behind the curtain with The Rhode Island Portrait Project (Katherine Quinn)

Katherine Quinn for The Rhode Island Portrait Project

I photographed Katherine Quinn for the Rhode Island Portrait Project using a 70-200 mm VR Nikon lens on my D700 body set to ISO 800

I used 3 lights a 43″ Octabox set up and camera left about 5′ away from Katherine this was my main light, a smaller soft box set about 15′ back and camera right this light you can see on her neck and cheek. I wanted this light to be very subtle and barely show. And last I used a ring flash to fill in again in a very subtle way some of the shadows on her. The location we chose Fete club in Providence RI has this wonderful art piece which has a spot light on it, as well as having some purple lights on in the club which show as well.  Here is a set up drawing for your dining and dancing pleasure

And also Thank you to Brad Smith for providing me with these set up shots!

The Rhode Island Portrait Project: Dean David Logan, Roger Williams Law School

I have another installment of my very exciting portrait project. I love my community and there are some amazing people making Rhode Island a wonderful place to live. I have decided to photograph the people who are really making “IT” happen here in my community in a (hopefully) creative and fun way that tells a story about who those people are and what they are doing for their respective businesses.

This most recent portrait is of David Logan. David is the Dean of Roger Williams Law school. You can see The Roger Williams law school website here

and the Dean’s Blog here

When I sat down with David to talk about this portrait what struck me was the enthusiasm for teaching that he possesses and his desire to create an environment that his students can thrive in. Logan is truly a man driven to make Roger Williams Law School a great place of learning. I decided to photograph David in the student’s perspective at the school because he is so student focused. I think we pulled it off! What do you think!

Dean David Logan for the Rhode Island Portrait Project

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