'With a quiet demeanor, this 23-year-old Colombian-American boasts one of the most impressive physiques in the studio's portfolio. He epitomizes the classic image of the "tall, dark and handsome" Latin and can pull off the roles of bad boy and classic physique model with ease. The studio has documented Ricardo's progress in the gym since shortly after his 21st birthday.'
There's something about Ricardo.... His beefy physique and smouldering dark eyes are part, a big... part of the reason, but I am also fascinated by how he came to be standing in front of the camera for New Manhattan Studios. As many of you know, one of my favorite models, Alex Corso, is Ricardo's older brother. As you know from enjoying Alex's images, he is not a bit shy about sharing his personality, creativity and sexy smile.
Everyone who purchased NMS's Captured Shadows #2 knows, Alex shared pretty much everything in the issue; his work as both a PA, and a photographer and of course that smile, and every inch of his incredibly hot body. Alex is a natural in front of the camera, not afraid to take a risk, uninhibited with creativity, taking risk and tapping into his exhibitionist side.
Older brother Ricardo was a bit more reserved. A man of few words. Ricardo and Wes started mostly with clothed and fitness work, taking it all off, especially with his older brother spritzing him down for a shoot, wasn't part of the plan, initially.... But... as time went on, and each shoot was completed, Ricardo, like his older brother, became more comfortable in front of the camera. In fact, the perfectly titled, Dark & Stormy series was inspired by the image at the top of this piece taken by his brother Alex.
Ricardo became so comfortable, in his last couple of sessions he was ready to take some risks of his own. With Wes behind the lens, and Alex off at work, for Ricardo's last couple of shoots, the inhibitions came down, and the clothes this time, came totally off. These images are just a sampling, but the full meaty results can be found by flipping the pages of Captured Shadows #3 which you can order in magazine form, or in an eBook form HERE:
Thursday night, I watched my DVR recording of The Star. The 1952 film aired on TCM a week or two ago and I recorded it as it was part of a Bette Davis night on the network. The Star was ok, and Davis had a few good scenes, but it certainly wasn't one of her films that I look forward to watching a second time.
What did grab my attention were the far too scenes featuring Davis' co-star Sterling Hayden. Hayden's image could be used as visual for the term 'beefcake' with his great facial structure, strong sturdy body and beautiful blonde hair.
I knew the name, but in checking out his IMDB, the only film with Hayden in it that I had seen was one of his last performances in Nine to Five when the actor was in his 60's. He certainly grabbed my attention and clearly, from the many shirtless images that came up while googling him, he grabbed the attention of others.
So many young men and women used to make their way to Hollywood to find fame and fortune, but I don't think many today have the stories of actors that came decades before them. Hayden's story was unique, and one he wrote about in his autobiography. The little snippet below is from Wikipedia, and also helps explain all of the images on-line of Sterling on the Ocean.
'Hayden dropped out of high school at the age of 16 and took a job as mate on a schooner. His first voyage was to Newport Beach, California, from New London, Connecticut. Later, he was a fisherman on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, ran a charter yacht, and served as a fireman on 11 trips to Cuba aboard a steamer. He skippered a trading schooner in the Caribbean after earning his master's license, and in 1937 he served as mate on a world cruise of the schooner Yankee.'
'I asked Mr. Herzog if he was happy with the photographs we were getting and in true Mr. Herzog style he answered, “doesn't matter if I am happy with them. If YOU are happy with them then I am happy with them!" Needless to say, I am very happy with them!'
I always look forward to featuring the work of photographer Gordon Nebeker, but it is especially satisfying when the focus is on model Mr. Herzog. I was fortunate to have been able to share Gordon's images with Mr. Herzog a few times last year. In the last feature, (O Christmas Tree) a naked Mr. Herzog was up on a step ladder, naked of course, putting the topper on the Christmas tree.
Gordon's images of Mr. Herzog don't only capture his incredible body, distinct masculinity and strength. Gordon also captures his positive attitude and hopeful and determined spirit. When we first met Mr. Herzog last summer, he had recently returned from three trips oversea's with deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya.
Having modeled in the past, Mr. Herzog decided to dip his toe temporarily back in front the camera as part of transitioning back into civilian life and into a more permanent and stable job to support his family. Mr. Herzog is still committed to his goals, but it hasn't come without hurdles and complications.
'Civilian life hasn't turned out how I wanted it to be. Been waiting almost a year to hear back about a contracting job and who knows if they even remember me. All about a security clearance. But I've been holding my own remodelling homes. Built log cabins and homes and docks prior to joining the military. So it was a safe fall back plan considering he experience I had with it.'
When Gordon was planning his drive home from Florida early last month, Gordon found that his journey would be taking him close to where Mr. Herzog lives. He contacted him about whether he would be interested in doing an outdoor/location shoot this time around, as they had not done one of those before. 'As I expected, he was all for it and arranged for time off work to spend the day with me in a nearby forest.'
'I first found the forest through research on the Internet but it turned out that Mr. Herzog had done a shoot there before so was somewhat familiar with the area. As always on a location shoot, I had some ideas of certain shots I wanted to get. But i left the rest up to working with what we would find as these things can’t be planned out too precisely when it is the first time to visit a location.'
On the day of the shoot, location became less worry than the weather. Gordon was more concerned with moisture as steady rain was forecast throughout the day. Gordon shares that it rained all the way driving to the location, but once they arrived, the rain just stopped, not starting again until they were getting ready to leave. Since the water coming from the sky was taken care of, the only issue became whether Mr. Herzog would brave sliding his naked body into the river water, still pretty chilly so early in the spring.
'Mr. Herzog is wonderful to work with. Of course it helps that he is handsome and keeps himself fit and photograph ready but it is attitude that constantly impresses me. If you ask him to "jump", he will respond, “how high?” In this case, it was “would you be willing to go into the water?” Keep in mind this creek is probably snow fed and the water is cold, cold, cold. But Mr. Herzog was in the water and splashing around before I could even finish my question.'
'The water...it was darn cold. I think the high that day was 57 or so, so the water was a smudge colder. I've been in that cold of water before...but that was during recruit training and was kind of forced to. But I'm a sport and whatever is going to get the best shots, sometimes you gotta suck it up and just go for it!'
Although Mr. Herzog was the one braving the frigid water, he shares that Gordon didn't have it completely easy either. Gordon had come down with a cold prior to the shoot and the place they were shooting was deep into the woods. Mr. Herzog says he felt bad dragging his photographer on such a long walk, but hearing the rapids far up ahead inspired them on. I was certainly inspired by the visual results, so much so I had to add a few extras on The Over-Flow. Be sure to check them out HERE:
'Gordon was a champ through it all, and I must say we make a great team. The only people we saw were the ones riding their bikes around the park. Lots of parked cars but no people. Which was kind of odd. Especially since some of the cars were parked where we were and when we got back they weren't around....kind of fishy. Overall the weather was crummy, but two great minds hat think a lot alike can accomplish wonderful things!'
'Who WOULDN'T love working with a model like Mr. Herzog?? It certainly won’t be the last of my shoots with him, 'God willing and the creek don’t rise.'
When I saw Deadpool in the theatre, my focus was on Ryan Reynolds. There was so much talk of his nude scenes and what was seen, and what was CGI'd. During his naked fight, I almost didn't notice how hot the super villain was he was fighting with.
During my most recent television viewing, my focus was directed straight at Ajax, and the incredibly hot actor who was playing him. I remember first seeing actor Ed Skrein in his sexy long wig as Daario Naharis on Game of Thrones, and am loving his transition on to the big screen. Ed looks great in the promos for the new Transporter movie, next on my Ed movies to see!
With certain skills, tasks and projects, it is useful to have a spotter. With a concentrated focus, it s helpful to have another person or partner able to see things surrounding the primary task or goal. In many pursuits, the spotter is not involved in the main activity, instead they act as a support. For Baker and Adams, they interchange into the role depending on which stage of their work they're in. When it comes to finding and approaching model however, Devin Baker generally works alone as the spotter.
'I'm never certain of the reaction I’ll receive when approaching potential models. However, after I explained to Zach what we do and how we work, his response to my request was “Just tell me where and when” We found him easy going and open to the experience. We worked with him on three separate occasions, capturing well over 5,000 images. Two of the shoots were in a local photography studio while the third was split between a local wilderness area and a friend’s home. I’d wanted to see and capture the model in as many environments and settings as possible. '
'Art and I are completely collaborative with our photography. I typically find the models, arrange the details including locations, and then pull all the moving pieces together. Art is the artist behind the camera. Our natural abilities and interests seem to compliment each others and we enjoy the experience of creating art together.'
When you think of art, you often think of an artist. Creating is such a complicated process, most people choose, to do it mostly on their own. Devin Baker and Art Adams however, find it more rewarding to create together, as a team. With clearly defined roles, the weave their individual skills and abilities together to create their work.
Most artists who work alone, must balance both the creative with the technical while working. In reality however, most of us are not equally skilled at both. Most of us are geared creatively towards one, and have to work extra hard on the other. Usually, I focus on the story component to shoots; how it came together and the 'feelings' both model and photographer experienced during the process. For this piece, especially with Art being a cinematographer, I was interested in some of the tchniqual aspects of the shoot, especially how Baker & Adam's images of Zach, came to light.
'I'm fascinated by light and how it sculpts faces, bodies and environments.'
'The white limbo setting was inspired by photographs Bert Stern took of Marilyn Monroe. He set up a white backdrop in a hotel room, aimed his strobes at it, and used the ambient light that reflected off the backdrop to bounce around the room and front light her. I love the way that big soft light source from behind reflects in her skin and creates big, broad yet soft highlights. Skin is shiny, so a light source placed opposite the camera will often result in beautiful highlights and reflections, but often the best place to put that source for best results is in the shot. Stern did exactly that.'
'Beautiful soft light wraps around his body from behind, highlighting muscles and curves—particularly in his shoulders, arms, chest and face—while the fill light from the front is almost shadowless but with a slight upward angle due to the white floor. The upward-bouncing light is most noticeable on his face, abs and collarbone, and it creates a subtle directionality that I love. It feels like sunlight bouncing off a light-colored floor.'
'I tried something more natural with the shots against the colored flats. The main source was a large 4' soft box from the left, but that didn't feel like enough. The flats leaned against a white wall, so I bounced a strobe off the wall on the same side as the soft box to create a soft but directional light from slightly behind that, in combination with the soft box, rakes across muscles and brings out chest and ab definition. My fill light came from the same side as the other two lights but was bounced off the floor, to continue my sunlight theme.'