Pennsylvania Dutch Country

Here’s a fun post for TBT… I spent some time exploring and shooting new personal work in the Pennsylvania Dutch Country a few years back while we were traveling the country shooting new photos and video work. Such a beautiful and unique area. Seeing the way the Amish farmers work and live their lives is always a great experience. In a way it feels like you have gone back in time.

Settling in Lancaster County in western Pennsylvania The Amish people are a group of traditional Christian church fellowships with Swiss German origins. This area is mostly farmland and you will frequently see The Amish farmers out tending their fields using teams of oxen or traveling the scenic roads in their traditional horse and buggies.

If you ever have the chance to go, I highly recommend it. It was so peaceful shooting in the silence and hearing the click clop in the distance of approaching buggies off in the distance. A little known fact… The reason you rarely if ever see photos of The Amish people in person stems from their beliefs. The Amish hold humility as a cherished trait. To pose for photos can be viewed as calling attention to one’s self and as such most would prefer not to be photographed. I always try to respect this and go out of my way to not show them or be too blatant in the way I photograph. In most cases I actually avoid showing people in these photos in a way that they can be directly seen or recognized unless I specifically ask them and are given permission to do so.

Tattoo – TaxAct

Here’s another few images from a series of images I shot on the “Only at TaxAct” film shoot. Here we see our brave and loyal TaxAct Spokesperson getting branded with the company brand.

This was a super fun one to shoot in a great location with an amazing dedicated crew who worked into the wee hours of the morning. I think the results are worth it all the hard work that everyone put in. Can’t say enough about the people we work with. NONE of this would be possible without the hard work and expertise of these folks!

Stranded

I recently had the opportunity to work on a really cool project shooting alongside a large production creating a spot for TaxAct called “Stranded”. Working on a large film production is always an amazing experience and this one was particularly great. There were a lot of logistics and moving parts to produce this story of a castaway who is stranded on a remote desert island.

The spot opens with a disheveled castaway spear fishing and complaining about how he has to do is taxes… Suddenly a down draft hits him from above and a ladder drops from the sky and down the ladder comes the TaxAct guy who proceeds to tell him all the things that Tax Act has to offer. Down the beach a TaxAct accountant is lowered with her whole office onto the beach and proceeds to help him with his taxes. The spot ultimately culminates with him calculating his return and money spitting out of the computer. It’s a fun tongue and cheek spot that took a ton of work to pull it off.

See the link below to see the final spot… But first, here are some behind the scenes images of what it took to make it all happen.

Lastly, Here is a link to the finished spot. Enjoy! https://youtu.be/S9_W3kUKrN8

Florida Blue Insurance

It’s my pleasure to be able to share with you a two part assignment that I shot (pre-Covid) right here in South Florida for Florida Blue Insurance. It was a great project that required all sorts of problem solving.

For the first part I worked in tandem alongside a great motion team shooting the stills version of a TV spot of a woman jogging and thinking of affordable ways she could insure her employees for her business… a problem that many small businesses face. You see her jogging and being followed by a seemily endless group of other small business owners who also have similar insurance needs as she does. Florida Blue has programs that fit all sorts of businesses. To produce this we shot on a camera car with our hero talent and a good size group of various workers jogging behind us. We then shuffled the group and reshot them at various distances so we could composite the final shot you see here with people running all the way into the distance. 

The following day was raining so we moved the stills production in studio to shoot a bunch of our various small business owners individually. These images were lit so that they could be retouched by me later in post into various job specific backgrounds, (some backgrounds shot by me and others were stock backgrounds). 

All in all it was a great shoot! Many thanks to my amazing crew, without which none of these shoots would happen. Also to Mutt Films for working me seamlessly into their TV production. Always enjoy the opportunity to collaborate with film crews and directors to make the magic happen. Last but not least, thanks to Philipe and Rafael from Alma Advertising. Always great working with the folks at Alma as they are one of the top shops around!

See below a few of the shot laid into their final ad format:

Minnesota Wind Energy.

Pete recently had the privilege of shooting and editing this :15 second spot featuring the Minnesota Wind Energy farms in South Eastern Minnesota.

Click to view video.

Sustainable energy is big business these days as more states are taking advantage of this valuable sustainable commodity with wind turbines that dot the landscape. Each one of them creates up to 5.2 million KWh annually which is enough electricity to power nearly 600 homes. This green alternative to fossil fuels, while still more expensive, is Earth friendly and goes a long way to improving our planet’s environment.

The Race Of Gentlemen.

Attention all race fans and motorheads!  Check out Pete Barrett’s latest images from The Race of Gentlemen!  

Pete’s continued interest in racing has been evident with his past shoots ranging from The Bonneville Salt Flats to the explosive fast paced IHRA Dragster Racing.  Continuing on in this vein,  Pete recently had the opportunity to shoot at this year’s  “The Race Of Gentlemen” (TROG) in Wildwood NJ.    

The Race of Gentlemen is a vintage hotrod and motorcycle racing event started by the historic Oilers motorcycle club, where they race right on the beach for the glory of seeing who is the fastest on the sand.  Racers and their vehicles are hand picked and must meet certain criteria… To race, vehicles must be American made and have been produced prior to 1935 for the hot rods & motorcycles dating back to pre 1947 complete with a side mounted “Suicide Clutch” on the gas tank for shifting.   

It’s an exciting annual event that looks like it was plucked from the pages of time where you will find bearded/tattooed characters and motorheads of all shapes and sizes dressed in period appropriate clothing such as old leather riding pants & boots and (until this year), old style helmets and goggles.  As an added bonus, the race would not be complete without a sexy, high jumping flag girl to start them off as they go roaring down the beach toward the finish line.

It’s a rip roaring good time full of friendly folks who seem like they are family.  If you ever get the chance, be sure to check it out!    

When creating these images,  Pete chose an equally vintage look which is reminiscent of what you might expect to see from old large format cameras complete with very shallow depth of field and a Petzvall style falloff and distortion on the edges.   To see more work from this collection please click here to go to the TROG section of Pete’s website.    

Additionally, if you are interested in custom prints,  please click here to go to our print store where you’ll have a choice of having custom fine art prints made archival photo paper, stretched canvas or even printed directly onto aluminum.

A Life In Pictures- The Herd of Turtles Podcast Interview #1…

I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by Brent Krizo of The Herd of Turtles Podcast. Brent started this Podcast as a way to share stories of people who dare to dream of living a life less ordinary. People who have challenged the status quo and are living life on their own terms. This is a two part interview where he interviewed me in this first installment to talk about my life as an advertising photographer. In Part 2, which I will share next week, he interviewed me about our family’s adventure and life on the road for the last 3 & 1/2 years in an RV. Click this link or the image below to listen to Part 1! & Please stay tuned to listen to part 2 next week!


Lowes – Craftsman Tools Campaign

At long last we are finally able to share with you the images we shot earlier this summer for Lowes Home Improvement for their current Craftsman Tools Campaign.

This year marked the introduction of Craftsman Tools being sold at all Lowes locations.   We had the pleasure of once again teaming up with the good folks Kreber in a collaborative effort to create images for an Ad campaign,  POP, in store signage,  web and social media outlets over the course of several days.  During this time we photographed several people in a woodshop location working on various motors and machinery and also several people in a home garage environment with Craftsman tools.

As always it was a fantastic shoot with a great team!    Many thanks to all our wonderful clients from Lowes and Craftsman Tools for the opportunity.    Also thanks to Kreber for their collaboration and all their amazing support crew for doing a wonderful job of handling the production and coordination of this fantastic project!   Always a pleasure to work with such a professional and capable operation.   I look forward to the next one!!

 

Garden & Gun Magazine – Captains For Clean Water

I had the distinct pleasure to shoot with Garden and Gun Magazine recently.   Garden & Gun is an amazing publication with not only great editorial content but is also coveted among photographers as a publication that “get’s it”.   They have a history of working with really amazing photographers and giving them the creative freedom and support to do their very best work.    It was truly a pleasure working with them and I hope we have many more opportunities in the future.

For this assignment I was contacted by Margaret Houston the photo editor to shoot for an article featuring Captain Chris Wittman.    Chris is a fishing guide in Florida (Stillwater Charters) who heads up an organization called  “Captains For Clean Water”.   After being briefed on the article and what CFCW was all about,  I jumped at the chance to hop a plane back to Florida from Utah to shoot for G&G and do my part to  support such a worthy cause.

Captains For Clean Water is a Grassroots Nonprofit Organization Advocating for Clean Water & Healthy Estuaries Across South Florida.  They started out as a group of fishing guides that “had enough” of Florida’s poor water management practices. Given the destruction seen firsthand, they were convinced that if everyone knew what they knew, the problem would have been already fixed. They discovered, the solution has been delayed for decades because of a lack of political will and public awareness.


On average, billions of gallons of nutrient-laden fresh water flow into our lower estuaries via the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers every day. The concern to our estuaries is not just that these unnatural discharges contain pesticides, herbicides, fungicide, high nutrient loads and bacteria which have led to public health warnings; the volume of the fresh water alone is enough to disrupt our fragile marine ecosystems. The nutrients, and other pollutants, enter our waters through agricultural and urban areas in the center of the state, mostly north of Lake Okeechobee. Thankfully, with cooperation of farmers throughout the state, they have slowly been able to reduce phosphorous and nitrogen loads that enter the water supply, yet nutrient levels remain much higher than natural lake and river water.

Here’s what it’s all about…

Under normal circumstances, Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) farmers may not contribute substantial nutrients to this water supply. When we experience heavy rains, however, sugar and other farm lands south of Lake Okeechobee flood. That water is then drained into ditches and ultimately pumped into Lake Okeechobee. This practice is known as back-pumping, and it adds fair amount of fresh water and nutrients to the lake. Back-pumping doesn’t happen on a daily basis, only during periods of heavy rains. The practice is justified in the name of reducing flood risk in largely agricultural areas south of Lake Okeechobee, however it is arguably a violation of the intent of the Clean Water Act and works mostly to the benefit of agricultural corporations operating in the EAA. And it is just one example of the many Lake Okeechobee water mismanagement issues facing our state.

The excess nutrients in Lake Okeechobee discharge water works to fuel toxic algae blooms in our marine (salt and freshwater) environments. The nutrients also have the potential to “fertilize” an already present red tide organism. These recurring fresh water discharges can create two deadly options for marine life in our estuaries: die in the fresh water discharge or be washed out to sea into a supercharged red tide bloom.

The murky, turbid Lake Okeechobee discharge water also kills seagrass, oysters and other life on the sea floor. It blocks light from reaching the seagrass and prohibits photosynthesis. Prolonged exposure to low salinity also kills grass, oysters, and other marine life.

Our seagrass beds and oysters are the foundation of estuarial marine life and an incredible natural filter. Without them, our estuary ecosystems face an uncertain future.

For many years we have witnessed, first hand, a decline in the lower Caloosahatchee, Pine Island Sound, and Indian River Lagoon estuaries due to this long term water mismanagement. While we drown in fresh water, Florida Bay is suffering from a lack of it, causing the water to become too salty to support critical sea life.

Our state needs land in the Everglades Agricultural Area necessary to clean the Lake Okeechobee discharge water in an attempt to restore natural sheet flow to Everglades National Park and Florida Bay. This will take large tracts of contiguous land for the construction of storm water treatment areas that will substantially reduce phosphorous and nitrogen levels in the water. Nutrient reduction is critical so we do not simply send our problem south.  For more information,  head over to www.captainsforcleanwater.org or pick up a copy of this month’s Garden And Gun Magazine and you can read the article!

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Bonneville Part 2… Collaboration with Smalldog Imageworks.

One of the great things about being a creative person and working in the industry that I work in is when your work inspires other creative and talented people who’s work you love and admire.   There are times when this brings about opportunities to collaborate with those people on projects that both inspire and benefit each other.  One such opportunity arose when Scott Dorman from Smalldog Imageworks  wrote to tell me how much he liked the first Bonneville posts I had made (as he is very much a fan of classic cars and bikes.)   This led to me asking him if he would be interested in working on producing a few more of these images with me as I am creating a whole series from this shoot.   He jumped at the chance and the result was the first 3 images here in this post. What is interesting about all these images is none of these  vehicles were actually in motion when I shot them.    I shot them and many other pieces with the final images in mind, but the actual scene when shooting was much more random with many layers of people and cars in the background.   When this happens and I will often have the final composition in my mind but knowing that there is no way to get it in one shot in camera.   Instead I will work to make sure I have all the parts at the correct angles and perspectives with many variations and options I need to make it a reality and build it later in post.  I incorporate a lot of this into my everyday work but Scott takes this talent and multiplies it times 10 and was perfect choice to bring these images into reality.  He’s a real pro when it comes to picking the right angles so the perspectives work as well as people, body positions, and adding motion, the flying salt, spinning the tires & moving the ground.  It’s no surprise that he is one of the most sought after retouchers in the business today.