October, 2016AdTaxiby Mel Lindstrom

Earlier this year I was approached by the good folks at BANG.. That’s: Bay Area News Group. BANG are the publishers of such noted newspapers as Mercury News, the Contra Costa Times and the Oakland Tribune.

BANG wanted to develop some banner ads to promote their AdTaxi division. The ads were simple and fun. the keys is, they worked. The best part of working on this project was shooting with Erika Brown and Olga Mitina.  Two wonderful woman who know how to make a project run smoothly and ingenuously.

 

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September, 2016Editorial Portraitsby Mel Lindstrom

Editorial projects of any type can be a fun experience because of the increased creative latitude. There is rarely an art director or designer on set. A little pre-production discussion on what the main feeling should be…and then I am set free.

This project was for Norman Winarsky’s new book release. As vice president of Ventures at SRI International and former co-founder and board member of Siri, he is a man of great wisdom and knowledge. He is particularly interested in creating, building and sustaining breakthough ventures. Which he can speak about as comfortably as a sport fan talks about last Sunday’s game.

This is one of the great perks of shooting editorial portraits, the opportunity to meet impressive people like Norman.

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August, 2016NetFlix Family Lifestyleby Mel Lindstrom

It’s kind of fun to show a little behind the scenes look of the location sets. There is a lot of effort put out, and sometimes it can get a little hectic. Which may run counter to a shoot where the final image reflects a peaceful, comfortable looking shot of a family relaxing in front of the TV.  It’s not always as glamorous as people think.  But when you are working with professionals, it is always worth the effort.

Blog7_1Perfect example of how UNglamorous a location set can be sometimes.  Make-up artist Jan Lenhardt wanted to set-up in the kitchen to be closer to the action and see the type of lighting we were using while she was applying make-up.

Blog7_2Isn’t this what your house looks like?  Large lighting panels set up in the room. Furniture spread out everywhere. Cords running across the floor. Extra teenager just laying on the couch doing nothing but reading her iphone. OK, maybe that last one.

 

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Blog7_3It looks totally nice and relaxed now.  Got to say, great models to work with.

Blog7_4Ah, the Jones’s.  The perfect, happy family at home watching TV.  Really, their last name is Jones.  Too bad we were missing the puppies in this shot, right Marshall?

 


Blog7_5More “on set” make-up from Jan.

Blog7_6Something about this little girls hair color that I really liked.

Blog7_7Laying down on the job.  In this career, it can work pretty well.

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FINAL PICKS

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July, 2016Popular Science Coverby Mel Lindstrom

Blog6_1In all the years I have been shooting as a professional commercial and advertising photographer, and all the photographs that have made the covers of editorial publications, it is still pretty cool to see a new image displayed in the airport magazine stands as I walk by.

Plus, this is the first time I have had an image on the cover of Popular Science, a publication that the nerd in me has always loved to read. So I have to admit I did enjoy seeing that particular display of magazines at the newsstand.

 

Blog_6_1This is what the digital illustration created by Eric Heintz looks like without all of the text covering up the images.  Great job Eric.

 

Blog6_2The automotive design team is a based in Ca., I felt it was appropriate to create at least one shot with a California back roads feel.

 

Blog6_3Another mood came over me because this car is so futuristic, I thought a TRON feel was in order. I can certainly imagine this car zooming through the game. Just stay out of it’s way.

 

Blog6_4The classic, low angle shots always work well for sporty vehicles.

 

Blog6_5Another masterful enhancement by Eric Heintz.

We really got a lot of fantastic images from this one day shoot.

See the gallery here:  3D Car Gallery.

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June, 2016Loyal Army Fashion Shootby Mel Lindstrom

 

Finally I get to share some work where I had a great opportunity to give back to the educational community AND allowed me to create some great images for the portfolio.BlogFrame5_Cover3BlogFrame5_Cover1BlogFrame5_Cover2 It’s always energizing to work with models and stylists for fashion pieces. And lifestyle work is enjoyable because it is LIFE, that is styled…

When an advertising agency associate, Tim Hendrick,  contacted me about shooting some lifestyle images for a new fashion company called Loyal Army, he had me intrigued. Especially as he stated that it was all part of an educational team project working with students at San Jose State.  This meant that there would be assistance from excited energetic minds.  Of course there is also a certain sense of reward when you feel like you are giving back to the younger creative community in some way.  In addition to the student involvement, the main contact at Loyal Army was someone I was familiar with and I knew of her great talent in working with people and starting new companies.

There was a little concern about turning over some of the key elements of production to the students, but that is exactly where their energy and excitement proved to be most valuable. They jumped in with both feet and accomplished all tasks like true pros.


BlogFrame5_1First things first. Sort all the clothes.

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BlogFrame5_3Make-up and primping.  Always a relaxing time for the models. Amazing how efficiently this young crew work with each other.


There were a couple of days of location scouting. I believe that great locations can tell stories on their own, so I requested that we find some really crazy spot to shoot. I think the scouts saw that sign and figured, “this must be the spot”. And it was, because we took several changes from this LOCO spot.BlogFrame5_5

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Train stations always make for great backgrounds. I usually try to break out the long lens, just to impress the clients. I am actually shooting the real  shot from a GoPro hidden in the lens shade. The truth is, I love this lens for this type of work. It puts the background totally out of focus, leaving a sense of location, while allowing the viewer to focus in on the model and productsBlogFrame5_7

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Quick move to the city streets.BlogFrame5_9

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This is where I do my best to convince people that a professional model can change clothes in the bustling city streets.

No problem.   Then I pray that nothing bad happens.

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BlogFrame5_11 BlogFrame5_13Not sure if I was trying to show the model my dance moves, or what?

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So ladies, what did you think of your first fashion shoot?BlogFrame5_15 BlogFrame5_16All in all we had a great time shooting over a couple days. The images have made a needed addition to my portfolio, and I wish Loyal Army the best of luck on this new branding.

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June, 2016sexy-virtual-victoryby Mel Lindstrom

For this shoot where the talented designers at Web Enertia came up with a fun and unique branding concept for Virtual Instruments. No, they don’t make race cars, or motorcycles, or anything close to that. But they do make instrumentation that will speed up your computer’s performance.

Virtual was about to announce their IPO with great fanfare. But before that happened they wanted to get people excited about the new products and solutions. So I was contacted to help develop this fun little project.
We shot a variety of angles in the studio, which we had lots of fun doing.
Admittedly, the most fun came later. When we took the model, (who was actually one of the clients from Virtual), and just fooled around.
Playing around is part of the creative process. It elevates stress and helps make everyone feel more comfortable, friendly, grounded. And in this case he can even use the shoots for his on line dating profile. OK, maybe not.

Blog2_3Hi Ladies. This is just me relaxing…..

Blog2_4Showing off his tight kidney guard.

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The real Ad. Worth the effort. Good job WebEnertia.

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April, 20163D Printed Carby Mel Lindstrom

There are exciting times in my career when I am given the incredible opportunity shoot exceptionally cool things. Like the first 3D printed car, the Blade.
Zero to 60 in 2.5 seconds. That’s what they tell me. Sadly, they didn’t let me drive it. But I did get to shoot some amazing photo’s of it.
Only 1400 pounds. Crazy light. Crazy fast. Crazy cool.
It’s already been shown all over the world. But before they toured it to the awed spectators, they needed some phenomenal shots.  So thanks to Donna Michaels at Neon Scoop, I was given this very envious project.

If you want to read more about the car, check out this TIME magazine article: http://time.com/3939488/3d-printed-supercar-blade-divergent-san-francisco/

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Sleek and beautiful.  Called the BLADE.

 

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Angle from the rear.  Got it’s own special storage garage.

 

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This was shot looking through the window of the playroom next door to the garage.  Nice mural on the wall. And that IS a streak of sunlight coming through a window and across the playroom wall. Nice luck on that one.

 

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Look how nice the car stands out on the lawn.  Wouldn’t mind this thing in my own yard.  Of course, I wouldn’t mind it if this WAS my yard.  And my garage. And my car.

 

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This is Kevin Czinger.  CEO and co-founder of Coda Automotive.  Proudly sitting in his latest venture.

 

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The other guys at Divergent Microfactories.

 

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Some guys have all the fun. Here is Kevin with his wife, showing off his super strength.

 

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Kevin, explaining other details to our young model.

 

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Seriously, I want this to be my car.

 

 

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March, 2016Netflix Behind The Scenesby Mel Lindstrom

BlogFrameNetFlix_1BlogFrameNetFlix_2BlogFrameNetFlix_3BlogFrameNetFlix_4Working with kids is always fun and exciting. It requires that I put myself in a much different place than when working with adult models or shooting portraits of CEO’s.  I need to get in touch with the child in myself. That’s ok with me. It helps me to feel alive and young again. Certainly, having an autistic son has given me insight into how differently each child’s mind works. So getting an instant read on the personality of each child I am shooting and than catering to that unique personality, requires an energy shift.

Sometimes, when no one is looking, I walk out of the room and make certain movements with my body to spike the intensity in my own perceptiveness. Most of the time it works.  When it doesn’t, I try to find another way, until I finally reach that level where I can communicate with the kids and pull out of them what we are looking for for the shot.

At the end of the day, I need a drink, or go for a workout, or take a nap. Or all of the above.  But it certainly does make for a fun day.

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We got countless great shots form this shoot.  This was a good one for the website.

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BlogFrameNetFlix_6There is no such thing as a successful shoot without a great crew. Jan Lehnhardt is a wonderful Make-Up artist. We have been working together for years. She has a way of working with make-up and hair that makes it look natural, which was perfect for this shoot.

Other important assistance was at work in the kitchen, making certain we had quality food for the shots. As well as for the models and crew to eat.

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Another great image for the website and internet marketing

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BlogFrameNetFlix_8 BlogFrameNetFlix_9 BlogFrameNetFlix_10BlogFrameNetFlix_11Getting back to my Still Life roots.
Instead of strobes, (which I might normally use for still shoots), I worked with Flolight LED and Fluorescent lighting.  I wanted everything to look as natural as possible. When working with flash, especially with daylight coming in through large windows, you can capture a double image, or a ghost blur.  But when working with a continuous light source, you won’t get the problem. The lighting will look more natural. Even for still life shots. I am lucky to have a great working relationship with the manufacture of these lights.

 

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Just a couple of the final Still Life shots for Netflix.

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March, 2016Johnny 5 and SRIby Mel Lindstrom

One of the most enjoyable aspects being a commercial photographer in the San Francisco Bay Area, is being given access to the inner sanctums of many of the most innovative companies in the world. Countless times throughout the years I have been brought in to photograph product prototypes months, even years, in advance of their release. In many cases the countless iterations are never viewed by the general public. So many of the coolest stages of development are only seen by a select few.

SRI International is where legions of these innovations begin. It is the foundry, the birthplace of an extensive number of other high tech companies and products.  Because of the needed secrecy, I am often asked to sign NDA’s. Hence, I am not always allowed to show multitude of the shots taken. But these few images give a small taste of the exciting inventions with which this wonderful team of people gets to play.

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#1 No, this is not Wall-E. Nor his cousin Johnny 5. Although, it certainly appears that J5 was somehow an inspiration.  This little guy has been named “Taurus”. And he was designed for urban bomb squad units. Outfitted with cameras, he can help a bomb squad examine, and hopefully disarm a bomb. All while allowing the team to stay at a safe distance.

 

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#2 – Johnny 5’s micro grips can manipulate the finest wires. This is a perfect example of why I keep some of my older lenses around.  The Nikon 105mm macro has always been a great lens. But most shooters today probably wouldn’t know how to use it because it is purely manual.

 

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#3 – Johnny 5, (Taurus), at home. Is seen here working to dismantle bomb parts. The dexterity of the robot is truly amazing.

 

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#4 – The full size Taurus robot. Complete with cameras and track system. All remotely controlled. I don’t want to mess with this guy.

 

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#5 – A little underwater robotics. To scare the scuba divers, I guess.

 

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#6 – Guts of a walking robot. The SRI Team is building a life-size walking robot to enter into a robot competition.

 

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#7 – The future grip of the walking robot. Quite a tight handshake.

 

 

Blog_SRI_006#8 – Just a few of the young, fun, exciting people behind the robots. This is one aspect that I was not expecting. In all honestly, I had a preconceived notion that these inventors would all be mature in years. I assumed they would be wise, but certainly not energetic, hip and socially active. Boy was I wrong. Everyone I met at SRI was enthused about their jobs, their projects, their futures.  They made me feel energized too. And part of a wonderful, innovative team.

 

 

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OK ,it’s true, this is not a Robot. It’s an Super Suit!. It is made to help the wearer carry up to 300% more gear. Pretty amazing stuff really. We also shot the Super Suit while on location at SRI, I really wanted to try it on.

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June, 2015Pigeon Point Lighthouseby Mel Lindstrom

https://youtu.be/E7Hpo7K4kEE

 

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 10.44.49 PM

Just one of the beautiful locations on the California coast that is a short day trip from where I live.

Sure wish there was more time in each day, each week, each life, to do the things that we really enjoy doing. Like visiting beautiful spots such as this.

https://youtu.be/E7Hpo7K4kEE

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March, 2015New ADDY Award for 2015by Mel Lindstrom

 

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Thank you to the judges for the 2015 Silicon Valley Ad Club ADDY awards.

One Gold which became an ADDY trophy winner.

Now onto the regional show.

 

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July, 2014Testing the New Lytro Cameraby Mel Lindstrom

As of 07/24/2014, I am now an official beta tester for the new pro-version Lytro illum camera

This is a totally cool camera that uses “Light Filed” technology to enable changes in focus AFTER the shot has been taken. It also has some other pretty special feature that I hope to show off over the next couple of weeks.

Can’t wait to play with it and see what I can come up with.

 

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June, 2014White Spaceby Mel Lindstrom

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When a friend asked me to give a talk at her book release, I was not quite sure what I could add.  The deeply emotional and involving book is called “Finding Spiritual White Space”, and she wanted me to discuss how I use white space in my images.  As I examined how I use white space in photography, I realized that this fit perfectly.

 

I use white space to direct the viewers eye, to form the composition,  sometimes actually to change or alter the emotional value of the image.

But more importantly,  by giving distance around the main subject I can give the viewer room to breath, to contemplate, to consider the meaning of the of main subject.  And in that white space, the emotional impact of the main subject becomes more intense. In other words, with less around to crowd the viewers eye, the truth of what is really important can become clear.

That is when I realized that the same is true in our lives. We crowd things into the empty space.  Then, what we should be focusing on becomes lost.

 

It was a great discussion. And I feel honored to that Bonnie Gray asked me to share. If you get a chance, you should really check out her book. http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Spiritual-Whitespace-Awakening-Your/dp/0800721799

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April, 2014The NightFall Pixieby Mel Lindstrom

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The day flows into the night. With the help of the NightFall Pixie

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November, 2013What’s Behind Door Number 3by Mel Lindstrom

It doesn’t really matter. For the autistic elevator explorer there is no choice. The adventure will take him through each portal to examine the differences in all three.  Speed, temperature, sensitivity of the buttons, even the smells will be compared and analyzed.  To what end? Only the Elevator Pilgrim knows for certain. But there are plenty of them. All across the world.   Like an episode from The X-Files or the Twilight Zone,  Autistic children and adults from each corner of the globe seek out the experience of new elevators and upload the video’s to the web.

 

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This blog demonstrates just a fraction of the variances in design, style, craftsmanship. But the variety is endless. Hence the expeditions will continue. At least until Matthew reaches a point where his attention turns to another fixation. But until then, the next plan in this journey will be to upload some of the more than 100 video taken on these trips. Not because they are exciting. Rather because it will reinforce the mystery of the Elevator Pilgrim.

 

 

Copyright Mel Linstrom  All rights reserve

Burbank, California

 

 

Copyright Mel Linstrom  All rights reserve

San Diego, California

 

 

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BASS Pro Shop, Manteca, California

 

 

Copyright Mel Linstrom  All rights reserve

Santa Clara, California

 

 

The images on this blog are just a few from a very large series.

Series One: http://melphoto.com/portfolios/elevators/

Series Two: http://melphoto.com/elevators2/

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November, 2013Banister Walkingby Mel Lindstrom

What is banister walking?

Something I can’t do.

 

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October, 2013Elevator Artby Mel Lindstrom

A little different take on the elevator series.
When a autistic child has a calling to fill his obsessive needs, you need to respond. Often with no time to retrieve the quality equipment I prefer to shoot with.  At those times the iphone and apps come in pretty handy.  In fact, with proper use they can turn an otherwise mundane parking lot elevator into a work of art. As these new additions to the elevator series will show.

 

 

 

Apartments in Mountain View

 

 

 

 

Parking Lot, Stanford University

 

 

 

 

Top Floor Parking, Stanford.

Yes, we did ride the elevators up and then take the scooters down. Again, and again, and again,……

 

 

 

 

Washington Monument, Washington D.C.

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October, 2013PowerSkin Adsby Mel Lindstrom

XPAL had a fun use for this great Hyper Realism style.

 

 

 

Excitingly searching for more clients willing to take this bold look and use it wisely.

 

 

 

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September, 2013Bunkers, Bars and Barricadesby Mel Lindstrom

On occasion the elevators we visit are not so inviting. Periodically the odor wafting forth will acknowledge a previous human presence. Some elevators appear to be constructed more closely to a bunker or confining moving cell than an elegant carriage of transportation. But when something is an obsession, all one considers is filling that need, that desire, that addiction. So if it’s an elevator and there is something unique about it, Matthew is called to action. And I am literally along for the ride.

 

Parking garage, Monterey

 

Office complex, San Jose

 

Parking garage, Sunnyvale train station.

 

Cannery Row, Monterey Ca

 

Eastridge Mall, San Jose

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September, 2013Legal Force Adsby Mel Lindstrom

This project was actually completed a while ago, but this is my first chance to show off the nice images we created for a totally new concept in legal services. LegalForce is the first walk in legal service venue. It’s such a unique concept that it’s best for me to not even try to explain it. Better to just check it out for yourself: http://www.legalforce.com

 

 

 

 

 

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