Seattle Photographer Daniel Berman | Seattle editorial photographer | (206) 387-3767 daniel@bermanphotos.com

Bernie Sanders Supporters for Seattle Weekly | Seattle editorial photographer

Bernie Barnstorm in Fremont Mar. 16, 2016

Bernie Sanders supporters gathered for the Bernie Barnstorm event March 16, 2016 at the Fremont Abbey Arts Center in Seattle. Bernie Sanders has received considerable support from the Northwest and Seattle neighborhoods. Photo by Daniel Berman for Seattle Weekly.

BioViva CEO Liz Parrish for OZY | Seattle editorial photographer

One of my final assignments of 2015 was to photograph BioViva CEO Liz Parrish for OZY.com, which just published a five-part story on the biggest ideas of the future coming out of Silicon Valley. Parrish, 44, who heads a Seattle-based gene therapy research company, recently traveled to the country of Colombia to receive experimental stem cell transplants designed to reverse signs of aging — it was a controversial operation rebuked by some as unethical human experimentation. A colleague gave her only days to live several months ago, she said. Parrish said she believes that the issue of aging is too important for science to ignore.

Odesza for Seattle Weekly cover | Seattle editorial photographer

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Odesza in Seattle. Now completing world and national tours, the electronic duo (Clayton Knight and Harrison Mills) got their start in 2012 at Western Washington University as undergrads. Photo by Daniel Berman.

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Odesza in Seattle. Now completing world and national tours, the electronic duo (Clayton Knight and Harrison Mills) got their start in 2012 at Western Washington University as undergrads. Photo by Daniel Berman.

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Odesza in Seattle. Now completing world and national tours, the electronic duo (Clayton Knight and Harrison Mills) got their start in 2012 at Western Washington University as undergrads. Photo by Daniel Berman.

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Odesza in Seattle. Now completing world and national tours, the electronic duo (Clayton Knight and Harrison Mills) got their start in 2012 at Western Washington University as undergrads. Photo by Daniel Berman.

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Odesza in Seattle. Now completing world and national tours, the electronic duo (Clayton Knight and Harrison Mills) got their start in 2012 at Western Washington University as undergrads. Photo by Daniel Berman.

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Odesza in Seattle. Now completing world and national tours, the electronic duo (Clayton Knight and Harrison Mills) got their start in 2012 at Western Washington University as undergrads. Photo by Daniel Berman.

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The electronic music duo Odesza is embarking on their second world tour after playing one of their first shows in a small college town just three years ago — their meteoric rise is profiled in a cool cover story from Seattle Weekly that I got to shoot a few months ago but is out this week. Clayton Knight and Harrison Mills graduated from Western Washington University around the same time that I did, so we had a lot to chat about and it was a fun shoot to do in downtown Seattle. These guys were super nice and very generous with their time, and the photos turned out great. Give their music a listen — jam out — and enjoy the rest of your week!

Private First Class Jeffrey Freshour for GX Magazine | Seattle editorial photographer

Washington state National Guard Private First Class Jeffrey Freshour. Photo by Daniel Berman for GX Magazine.

Washington state National Guard Private First Class Jeffrey Freshour. Photo by Daniel Berman for GX Magazine.

It was a solemn but deeply moving experience to photograph this assignment for GX Magazine, the official publication of the National Guard, last month. Washington state National Guard Private First Class Jeffrey Freshour served for 10 days in the Oso area after a devastating and deadly mudslide destroyed a neighborhood in the foothills of the North Cascades region on March 22, 2014. A staggering 43 people were killed in the slide and recovery efforts lasted for weeks. The hardest part of serving there, Freshour said, was when his unit had to leave.

Washington state Army National Guard Private First Class Jeffrey Freshour served for 10 days in the Oso area after a devastating and deadly mudslide destroyed a neighborhood in the foothills of the North Cascades region. A staggering 43 people were killed in the slide and recovery efforts lasted for weeks. The hardest part of serving there, Freshour said, was when his unit had to leave. Photo by Daniel Berman for GX Magazine.

Washington state National Guard Private First Class Jeffrey Freshour. Photo by Daniel Berman for GX Magazine.

Photo by Daniel Berman for GX Magazine

Photo by Daniel Berman for GX Magazine

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos for the London Daily Telegraph | Seattle editorial photographer

Amazon.com Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos photographed in Seattle August 11, 2015. Photo by Daniel Berman for The Telegraph

Amazon.com Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos in Seattle August 11, 2015. Photo by Daniel Berman for The Telegraph

The London Daily Telegraph commissioned me to photograph Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos at one of the company’s offices down in the burgeoning technology hub of South Lake Union. Talk about a dream shoot! Originally I was only going to have 30 minutes to set up but after a flurry of emails I was very fortunate to be able to get everything dialed in well in advance of the shoot with my assistant, Dan Bassett. I really had no idea what to expect, but once Jeff walked in, he was great to work with, totally affable and easy to direct. I ended up having about as much time as originally granted, which when it comes to a CEO shoot, rarely happens. We moved between four setups in the 14-minute shoot and, when it was all over, Jeff shook my hand and thanked me. “You’re a master of efficiency,” he said.

Amazon.com Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos photographed in Seattle August 11, 2015. Photo by Daniel Berman for The Telegraph

Amazon.com Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos in Seattle August 11, 2015. Photo by Daniel Berman for The Telegraph

Amazon.com Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos photographed in Seattle August 11, 2015. Photo by Daniel Berman for The Telegraph

Amazon.com Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos in Seattle August 11, 2015. Photo by Daniel Berman for The Telegraph

Amazon.com Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos photographed in Seattle August 11, 2015. Photo by Daniel Berman for The Telegraph

Amazon.com Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos photographed in Seattle August 11, 2015. Photo by Daniel Berman for The Telegraph

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Seattle artist Adream for Northwest Leaf | Seattle editorial photographer

Seattle artist Adream, photographed for Northwest Leaf. Adream painted the cover of the magazine for the August 2015 Hempfest Special Issue. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Seattle artist Adream, photographed for Northwest Leaf. Adream painted the cover of the magazine for the August 2015 Hempfest Special Issue. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Last month I had a great shoot with a Seattle painter by the name of Adream for a Q & A story in Northwest Leaf. Adream de Valdivia has been painting since he was a little kid and draws inspiration from his heritage, mathematical patterns and religious symbols. He has been commissioned to create large-scale murals through the Vulcan Foundation and is becoming well-known for his intricate, psychedelic artwork. Adream was very generous with his time, and as the Capitol Hill Block Party blared into his 3rd-floor studio just a block away, we talked about our paths to creativity and traded stories about the challenges of making it as a freelance artist around here. Check out more of his beautiful artwork at Adream Studios and on Instagram @Adream3000

Seattle artist Adream, photographed at his Capitol Hill studio for Northwest Leaf magazine. Adream painted the cover of Northwest Leaf's August 2015 Hempfest Special Issue. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Seattle artist Adream, photographed at his Capitol Hill studio for Northwest Leaf magazine. Adream painted the cover of Northwest Leaf’s August 2015 Hempfest Special Issue. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Recreational marijuana edibles for The New York Times | Seattle editorial photographer

Earlier this month I had a great assignment to photograph marijuana edibles for The New York Times, which wanted to showcase some of the more unusual and interesting pot products on the market. I collaborated with my regular food stylist, Malina Lopez, to capture the character of these special almonds, cookies, teas and coffee pods. The treats are available to purchase at many Washington state recreational marijuana stores. But you got to be 21. A view of various marijuana edibles for sale at recreational marijuana retail stores in the Seattle area. Credit: Daniel Berman for The New York Times. Styling by Malina Lopez.

Daniel Berman Edible 2 — Seattle, Wash. — May 16, 2015: A view of various marijuana edibles for sale at recreational marijuana retail stores in the Seattle area. Credit: Daniel Berman for The New York Times. Styling by Malina Lopez.

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Products photographed: Marijuana-infused Legal pomegranate tonic by Mirth Provisions, Sativa Brownie Bites by Spot, Chili-lime Almonds by Winterlife Cannabis, 4.20 Bar by Evergreen Herbal, Coffee pods by Fairwinds Manufacturing, Platy’s Premium Peanut Butter Cookie by Winterlife Cannabis, Original Caramel by Cannamel’s, Vegan-friendly Mocha Truffle by Verdelux, Chai High Tea by Evergreen Herbal, and Lemongrass Zootdrops by Zoots. Photo by Daniel Berman for The New York Times. Styling by Malina Lopez.

Thanks for looking!

Daniel

Northwest Justice Project Attorney David Tarshes for Duke Law Magazine | Seattle editorial photographer

Attorney David Tarshes with the Foreclosure Consequences Advocacy Team of the Northwest Justice Project, photographed Feb. 2, 2015 at their offices in Seattle's Pioneer Square neighborhood. Photo by Daniel Berman for Duke Law Magazine.

Attorney David Tarshes with the Foreclosure Consequences Advocacy Team of the Northwest Justice Project, photographed Feb. 2, 2015 at their offices in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood. Photo by Daniel Berman for Duke Law Magazine.

Tattooed: Students and their ink

Posted in assignment work by bermanphotos on February 12, 2009

So yesterday I completed the 2nd day of shooting in my portrait series of tattooed students for my college paper.

This time, I was in the school’s studio, with the help of my photo editor and assistant-for-the-day Macy Wood. We set up on the black seamless with the same 3 light setup as before: all Nikon speedlights, fired with Pocket Wizards. My main light was a small softbox and I also had a flagged hair light, and a snooted flash off to the side which I varied using as an extra rim light or to highlight part of a tattoo.

These subjects were great and so into the shoot which made it a real blast.

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I am happy with these, and hopefully I will be able to continue it soon enough next week.

Thanks for looking!

Daniel

Trying A Backboard-Mounted Remote Camera

Posted in assignment work, Remotes, sports, Washington by bermanphotos on January 22, 2009

I have wanted to try out a backboard-mounted remote camera setup for a long time, pretty much ever since I got my Bogen Magic Arm last summer. I finally got the chance last night when the stars seemingly aligned. Okay, it certainly felt that way after convincing the college athletic director, three officials, two coaches, and the facilities manager to allow the remote camera.

Once I got all the okays, I was off to work. I had arrived at the gym at 3:00pm for a 7:30 game. This would give me at least 2 hrs until the team started practicing, as well as allow for trouble shooting and set up. I wanted to give myself a lot of time since it was my first time doing the backboard camera.

The first thing to do was figure out what kind of shot I wanted. I knew the SCC men’s team likes to get up high in the post, and that they tended to be mostly right-handed, making the choice to put the camera in the lower right corner pretty obvious.

The most difficult part was composing the image. I included a bit of the hoop for a point of reference, and hoped that I did not aim it too high.

One of the hardest parts of setting up any remote is figuring out your focusing distance. Since I will not be behind the camera, manual focus is a must. I learned from a good backboard camera remote setup guide that a focus point about 1.5 foot in front of the basket and down at a 45 angle (with a wide angle lens) would be my best bet. To focus, I had a person in the gym at the time stand on a folding chair and hold my pre-made “focus finding sign” around where I thought a basketball player might fly into my frame:

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I like this high-contrast image of a bear because it makes it really easy to be assured I am in focus. Even the best idea for a remote will fall short if the camera is not in focus.

On that same note, make sure you have several batteries on hand, as the camera must remain on and “active”. Since you will likely be setting up hours before a game (I recommend at least 2-3 hrs), you will probably need a new battery at half time. And don’t forget to have a nice big memory card in your camera. Nothing could be worse than thinking you got the shot when all your camera is thinking is “I’m full.”

ANYWAY…

So once I had the image composed, and the focus set correctly, I made sure to gaffer tape down everything that could move. That especially means the zoom length and the focus ring, but also meant the lens hood its self, any setting dials, and the pocket wizard switches and cords.

Oh yeah did I mention Pocket Wizards? These devices are about $200 a piece, and you need one for the device you want to trigger, and another to trigger that device. In this set up, I used 2 pocket wizards plugged into my camera. One was set to trigger the camera, and another was set to trigger flashes I had set up in the corners of the baseline. Basically a relay of sorts.

I had the transmitter pocket wizard on a lanyard around my neck, so all I had to do to fire the camera was hit the test button. If I had so desired, I could have put that pocket wizard on my in-hand camera and fire both at the same time — although only the backboard camera would sync with the strobes.

My lighting was two Nikon SB800 Speed lights, 1/4 power, zoomed in to the 50mm setting. They were placed near the corners of the court, about three feet off the baseline. That may sound like little power but believe me, this gym is dark. Ambient is around 1/160-1/200 @ f/2.8 @ ISO 1600. It was not hard to add a little flash to the scene. I also used Cinefoil as a gobo to prevent the light from spreading too far left or right from my strobe. After all, I want to light the court, not the referees or the popcorn guy.

But what does a camera in a backboard look like? Well here is a picture of my remote setup from the front and from the back:

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What you might not be able to see are the safety cables going from the camera to the magic arm, and from the magic arm to around a bar on the back of the backboard. For good measure, once I had everything finally set up I wrapped gaffers tape around the clamp connection points, the cable connection points, and the pocket wizards. I did not expect the camera set up to move but I also didn’t want it to, and all these precautions are important to ensure the safety of the participants firstly and also my gear. If you can, I recommend adding a 2nd magic arm to any elevated remote setup, one going from the magic arm you just placed to a sturdy spot. This will eliminate quite a bit of shaking. I only had one, so I made do.

So finally, here are a few of the frames that worked out.

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A lot of the photos did not work just because the players didn’t get up high enough. So when I do this setup next time, I am going to try and get the camera up higher and aimed further down. It should up my keeper rate.

But as the saying goes, never put all your eggs in one basket — so even though I had this remote setup, I was still shooting images hand held. In the event my remote didn’t even fire or sync or whatever, I would still at least have something usable for publication.

Yet the remote worked okay for my first attempt and even though I have a lot to work on, it was a great learning experience and fun to do.
Thanks for looking!

Daniel

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