On the second day of my December journey to my parent’s home on Anchorage, I borrowed the truck and trekked South onto the windy roads which snake into the Chugach Mountains South of town. The low slung mountains, once a haven for miners seeking gold, offer wide vistas from which to capture images of the Cook Inlet, Anchorage, The Alaska Range to the North and the valleys and ridges of the Chugachs. Here is a set of HDR images from that trek. They are available to purchase and enjoy from my sister website at Photoshelter.
All photos were taken with the Canon 7D and processed in Lightroom and Photoshop. Contact me for custom cropping of the images. I am also available for weddings, portraits and events. Contact Michael Kleven at 206-307-7588
HDR image from the Chucach Mountains over Anchorage.
This past November I had the opportunity to hang out with my Aunt Becky and Uncle Bobby Struve down in Monterey County. We hung around the beach for awhile in Carmel and took some photos with my Grandma Betty. After lunch at the Baja Cantina and Grill on Carmel Valley Road, we headed up Laureles Grade towards Salinas. There is something very special about this rough land which combining elements of the old West with the rugged and rocky coast. I can see why so many are attracted to the land that nurtured the author John Steinbeck. Here are a few of the images from our trip to Carmel California. Contact me at at email@example.com to schedule your wedding or portrait session. Be sure to “like” my business page on Facebook: <a href=”http://www.facebook.com/KlevenCreative?ref=hl” target=”_blank”>Kleven Creative Services</a>for updates on my projects and services in photography, video production and filmmaking. Let me know if you need the images printed at higher resolution. I am more then happy to comply!
Update 6/9/12: Thanks to all of the creativeLIVE viewers for visiting my website and checking out my blog. Day one on the show was really fun and informative. Skip Cohen has a wealth of knowledge that he has been so gracious to share. Good luck in your creative endeavors. On to day two!
(Original post) Okay, I’m not really an orphan. But I would like to be a student of Skip Cohen at the creativeLIVE studios on June 8th and 9th. No money is involved, all you need to do is watch and hit the like button on my very short video. After a lot of hard work I am finally gaining traction producing videos for business and corporations and work in film sets as a director, DP and sound recordist. But my long term strategy is to balance my work in the world of sound and motion with stills work. I’ve actually been a photographer for a very long time. I offer services as a commercial, event and portrait photographer. Even though I get a lot of complements for my work and am constantly upgrading my skills and gear I still have a lot to learn on the business side. Skip is known as a master of marketing and is sure to help me focus my energies in this area.
You can connect with Michael on the social media via the following links:
Seattle’s had been experiencing a very mild Winter until the epic snowstorm of January 2012. While maybe not epic to those outside of Seattle it was a welcome break from the regular. Now that rains has returned and slush flows freely in the streets I and many like me have returned to the norm. My response to the brief exposure to cabin fever was to double down my focus on creative pursuits doable in or near my home.
A Winter Road
The first project was a set of HDR photos of the farm up on 88th. It’s a lovely vista with a peak of Lake Washington in the distance. I hope that 10 years from now that it isn’t being converted to Apartments!
The Yellow Bird
The next project happened when I was getting ready to ride my mountain bike in the snow. I had the door open as I got my gear ready for the ride. I saw lovely yellow and black bird flying around the porch maybe looking for some shelter from that snow. Suddenly he was in the house. I grabbed my camera and shot some video before I attempted my rescue. Watch the short film to find out what happened next. Turns out he was a Townsend’s Warbler who had been fooled my our mild winter.
My other big projects this week were two days of Gaffing and Cinematography for the web series GLITCH and a portfolio set starring my bike in the snow. I’ll try to post that group soon. It includes an interesting 360 degree panorama of my bike in the snowy forest. I’ll search for a place to host it online.
Other good news this week includes 3 jobs in addition to GLITCH, includes documentary and portrait photography commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Dr Donald and Mary Malins, a promotional video for Dex One – Rooster Down Tattoo Gallery and a series of videos for an Eastside SEO guru. The week before I landed a gig to do work as a boom pole operator/sound mixer for a short film highlighting the treatment on Filipino veterans of WWII. 2012 is off to a good start!
I started school in Kenmore and lived there until age 10 when the family began the transition that would lead us to Bellingham. Kenmore was a small town back then, still is, but much of the country charm has left replaced by a certain suburban quality decidedly upscale. I remember when I was a kid the firemen would let me play with their white dog with black spots as I stared in amazement at the shiny brass pole they would slide down during an emergency.
The drive-in was called The Arctic Circle or AC for short. The teenage girls who worked there would save the ice cream cones that had collapsed during their creation and sell them to me at a reduced rate. You would just ask for a “mistake”. My Grandma worked at the local thrift store called the Wigwam and my grandfather was a race car driver at a place called Sky Valley. I guess he was pretty good.
Two days ago I was looking for some inspiration and I looked up in the sky at the wave after wave of crows passing overhead as they made their way up the lake to there roosting areas in the marshes and forests beyond. I ventured down to the water and captured a few of the crows as well as the unique industrial area and the setting sun beyond. These are a few of the pictures I took.
Click on the photos to view the galleries on Photoshelter. Photos are available for purchase or license. Your patronage is greatly appreciated!
I recently spent 8 days over the Thanksgiving holiday with my family in Salinas California. It was a refreshing departure from the wet and cold of Washington State. My aunt and uncle were excellent hosts and I had quite an adventure. Here is a small update. Earlier I had omitted the series from Salinas. Their are some really cool buildings around the John Steinbeck Center downtown. All and all the town has the ambiance of America 20 or 30 years ago.
We took a day trip up to San Francisco on Nov 26th the day after Black Friday. Me, my aunt Becky and cousin Katie. Traffic was a mess but we had a great time. We visited the district around Union Square. I was suddenly very excited as this is where the opening scenes of one of my favorite films, Gene Hackmen’s The Conversation take place. If you haven’t seen it please do. It is a great film, complex, subtle, yet the message is clear. I don’t think they make films like that anymore. We took a quick drive through Fishermen’s Wharf then made a stop to see some tall ships and brave souls taking a late November swim. We finally made it to the park overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge just in time to capture some dazzling images in the twilight. I’m so glad my family puts up with me and my camera.
My aunt Becky is a hostess at The Tap Room at The Lodge at Pebble Beach. If you are in the area do stop in. The hamburger with cheese and bacon was the best ever. I promise a week of nothing but carrot juice! Later I toured 17 Mile Drive snapping lots of pics and shooting a bunch of HD Video, what for I am not yet sure. Amazing sites along the drive included The Lone Cypress, Spanish Bay, Fanshell Overlook and Point Joe. Photos of these can be seen in the gallery below. I took some interesting time laps shots of the stormy sea and had some fun with the effects in Lightroom.
Me and my Uncle Bobby visited the Corral De Tierra Golf & Country Club. The next day we took a trip to the Monterey County wine district. We started out near Soledad California at the Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad. Not for the communion wine but for a taste of the local history. The Mission was founded in the 1700′s when California was still the property of the Spanish crown. At some point in time the area became the property of the United States. It is a very charming and well kept establishment. Our 1st wine stop was Paraiso Vineyards One of two wineries that have lovely views of the valley below. As Bobby tells it much of the wine that sells in Napa Valley actually comes from Monterey County. Our next stop was the Hahn Estates also with a view, Wrath Wines, with a view of the haunted house you can see in my gallery, Manzoni and finally Pessagno. After several trips to the tasting rooms of the various wineries I realized that it was all good. And indeed it was. The wine tasting fee was small and waived if a purchase was made.
Before I left I made it down to Big Sur. My mother tells me that as a young child I stayed at Esalon for a time. Perhaps this is why everyone tells me that I seem so enlightened. I stopped in at Cafe Kevah at the Napenthe Restaurant. My hostess must have given me two ounces of jasmine green tea in my tea pot. I do love a good pot of tea. With two visited crows and 50 miles of coast to look at it was a very high tea indeed. I only had time for a quick stop at Pfeiffer Beach. Amazingly the sea has made two tunnels in the massive stone which protects the beach. Which do you think will win the sea or the stone? I had a glimpse of the future when the local gas station charged me $5.69 for a gallon of regular. My fault for not gassing up sooner. On the way home I rescued a small teddy bear near the Big Sur lighthouse. It was dirty and had no legs but was otherwise a charmer. I propped him up in a tree looking out at the lighthouse. Hopefully he will be there for some time to come.
In 2008 Canon released the Canon EOS 5D and shortly after the Canon EOS 7D. Little did they know that these high end photography cameras would shake up the world of indie filmmaking, documentary journalism and television production. The cameras had originally been designed so that photojournalists would have the option of shooting some video while they were on location shooting stills. With sensors as large or larger then 35mm film and a vast array of high quality and low cost lenses available these cameras have quickly become very popular for creative applications. A typically “cinema camera before costs anywhere from to $35,000 and $200,000 or more. These cameras cost anywhere from $800 to $2,500 depending on the make and model. Gale Tattersall the Cinematographer of HOUSE MD and FROM EARTH to the Moon, gave a presentation on the foundation of filmmaking with these cameras at the creativeLIVE studios in Seattle on July 8th, 9th and 10th of 2011. I was fortunate enough to be one 6 students with a “golden ticket”. Please enjoy these behind the scenes and instructional photos. I think Gale can help people like me take our Cinematography to the next level.
Workshop Behind the Scene and Educational Photos Day 1
Some of the topics covered included proper camera settings for filmmaking, camera rigs including proper use of fluid head, sliders, follow focus and the glidecam. Gale described some of the complexity that went into the shooting of the season 6 finale to HOUSE “Help Me” with the 5D. Later we applied our skills with the new gear following some talented swing dancers. Please click on the image to see other photos. A full screen option is available on the lower right side of the frame.
Workshop Behind the Scene and Educational Photos Day 2
On day 2 we got a proper introduction to lighting units and some experience lighting a Psychiatrists office in both night day and nighttime settings. Later we discussed shot selection and creative options using shallow depth of flied and camera movement to capture the complexity of a scene and to enhance it’s dramatic impact. Shooting for the edit was discussed as well. Please click on the image to see other photos from day 1. Full screen option is available in the lower right hand corner.
Gale Tattersall @ creativeLIVE Day 2 – Images by Michael Kleven Workshop Behind the Scene and Educational Photos Day 3
Day 3 was much more hands on for me and my classmates. We discussed a number of interesting low cost lighting options for indie filmmakers. Some of which can be made at home with common materials purchased at a local hardware store. We filmed a good cop, bad cop interrogation scene and discussed ways to maintain a high level of craft and artistic integrity even when budgets are small. Gale entertained everyone with the complexity of lighting a bull ride for House at an indoor rodeo at 1600 frames per second. Gale is a very classy gentleman and a committed educator. He and his assistants Steve and Jason really brought it. The folks at creativeLIVE were super fun to work with and made sure we all had a good time while learning a bunch. They offer live feeds of their classes for free. In these days of rising education prices you can’t beet them apples. I hope to work with them more in the future.
Here is the link to the course from Gale on HDDSLR on the creativeLIVE website. They list more about the course their and information about gear used and other resources. If you have a chance check out the rest of my website. I make my living with wedding, event and portrait photography, wedding and event films. I produce commercials for small business‘ and non profits. On the creative side I am available to filmmakers as a Cinematographer, Director, Producer, AD, Production Manager or Boom Pole/Sound Recordist. Keep me busy. I love to stay busy! I am currently helping complete a short film called Reminisce. Future projects include a documentary film about an Eskimo Artist Neva Rivers and a family drama called GI Joseph and Mary.
10 Million Colors: photographs from the 2009 & 2008 Fremont Solstice Parade will be seen at the month of June at the 509 Winery tasting room in Fremont. Look for me Friday June 3rd for Art Walk. The artist will be in attendance for the opening. The musical group The Jelly Rollers will be providing music to go along with the fine wine and art.
A parade participant prepares.
Medical Marijuana Advocates at the Fremont Solstice
The photographs, all tastefully remastered in Lightroom will be available for purchse. The address of the 509 Wintery tasting room is 1300 N Northlake Way, Seattle WA 98103. Visit their website for more information about their fine selection of wines from Walla Walla. http://www.509wines.com/
Tricia posed for me at Logboom Park and the cement plant near Kenmore Air in Kenmore. She was a real trooper walking out into the abandoned construction site in her form fitting dress and heals. It was great to work with her. A really fun, lighthearted personality. Aesthetica does fashion, lifestyle and portfolio photography. Drop me a line and we can arrange a session at your convenience.
Howdy Folks. I am crazy busy these days. Today I was cinematographer and production manager for an interview with Indieflix CEO Scilla Andreen. The interview was conducted by Nick Blake of Apartment 18 Productions. We had production help from Lainy Bagwell and John Elkin on lights and sound. Scilla helps indie filmmakers make money with their films. In the interview she will detail that and also talk about important work being done by the Indieflix foundation. Later the same day we taped a promo for the Soup and Kookies event coming up at Coleman Park in Seattle’s Central District. Actors Tom Ricciardelli and Andi Norris were hilarious as pernicious squirrels fighting over where to bury a nut. You guys are awesome and so talented. I’ll be sure to post something here when Lainy has completed these edits. Oh, and by the way, please enjoy the photos above. They are available for sale or license at http://michael-kleven.photoshelter.com/portfolio or by clicking on the images in the slide show above.