Comic Book Afterlife Sandy Relief

Want to help restore the New Jersey shore? A lot of it simply isn’t there anymore. Houses that weren’t leveled by the hurricane will eventually be reduced to rubble from flood damage. The pictures we see of the damage cannot fully measure the impact. Do whatever you can to support the coast. I personally stand by Comic Book Afterlife Sandy Relief¬†and their grassroots movement of raising at least $10,000.00. The money will go to the areas that need it most. If you donate to something like The Red Cross, that money can be squandered. I remember specific stories back in 2001 when The Red Cross was using funds to help the rich move after they lost family members in the World Trade Center. That didn’t leave a good taste in my mouth.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/_vwpoOQu-co[/youtube]

 

New Jersey Zombie Poster

The Wedding of Jennifer and Anthony

I had the pleasure of photographing a great wedding at The English Manor in Ocean Township, New Jersey. Jennifer and Anthony couldn’t have picked a nicer day to get married. I arrived early to take a walk around the grounds and find spots for post-ceremony shots with the bride and groom. Everyone was easy to work with and you can’t ask for anything more than that. Here are some of my favorite shots taken throughout the day. Enjoy!

The Wedding of Jennifer  and Anthony (Christopher John Sztybel)

The Wedding of Jennifer Schwartz and Anthony Tolisano (Christopher John Sztybel)

The wedding of Jennifer and Anthony at The English Manor in Ocean Township, New Jersey

The wedding of Jennifer and Anthony at The English Manor in Ocean Township, New Jersey

The wedding of Jennifer and Anthony at The English Manor in Ocean Township, New Jersey

The wedding of Jennifer and Anthony at The English Manor in Ocean Township, New Jersey

The wedding of Jennifer and Anthony at The English Manor in Ocean Township, New Jersey

The wedding of Jennifer and Anthony at The English Manor in Ocean Township, New Jersey

The wedding of Jennifer and Anthony at The English Manor in Ocean Township, New Jersey

The wedding of Jennifer and Anthony at The English Manor in Ocean Township, New Jersey

The wedding of Jennifer and Anthony at The English Manor in Ocean Township, New Jersey

The wedding of Jennifer and Anthony at The English Manor in Ocean Township, New Jersey

The wedding of Jennifer and Anthony at The English Manor in Ocean Township, New Jersey

The wedding of Jennifer and Anthony at The English Manor in Ocean Township, New Jersey

The wedding of Jennifer and Anthony at The English Manor in Ocean Township, New Jersey

The wedding of Jennifer and Anthony at The English Manor in Ocean Township, New Jersey

The wedding of Jennifer and Anthony at The English Manor in Ocean Township, New Jersey

 

Jersey Shore Roller Girls poster concept

Concept poster for Jersey Shore Roller Girls
JSRG poster concept

The Rocketeer movie poster

Earlier in 2010 I designed a concept poster for the Jersey Shore Roller Girls. Instead of using team photos, I went with a hand drawn art deco theme. The sport of roller derby goes back to the time of the 1930s and one of my favorite things from that era is “The Rocketeer” by Dave Stevens. It was important to have that hand drawn and airbrushed technique and less of a “Photoshopped” look. I let highlights and glows fly and oversprayed areas to keep things unrefined. Less time spent on details and more time spent on overall feeling.

One of the elements I enjoy the most is the track below all of the pieces that are in your face. It helps keep everything bundled together. In a future revision, I might consider adding streaks of light, representing each team, racing around the track. The extra line work would help keep the bottom portion of the poster as interesting as the top.

Up close

I would love to revisit this design one day, but for now it will remain in this stage. For more information on the best roller derby league going, please visit the Jersey Shore Roller Girls. They play almost every month and it’s a guaranteed good time. I suggest hitting up the beaches and boardwalk before the bout to get the full experience of a true day at the Jersey shore. Summer will be here again before you know it.

GIZMODO Shooting Challenge: Steal

Bruce Springsteen "Born in the U.S.A." redux
"Born in the U.S.A." redux by Christopher John Sztybel

GIZMODO¬† ran a pretty cool “Shooting Challenge” called “Steal”. Recreate a well-known photograph. I love this sorta stuff! When the “Steal” contest was announced, I thought of a few pop culture photographs that have both a commercial value as well as artistic merit.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Since this entry, results are in for the Shooting Challenge. Very happy with the results. Such cool submissions!)

The original composition I stole from was the “Born in the U.S.A.” album cover (photographed by Annie Leibovitz) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Born_in_the_U.S.A.

"Born in the U.S.A." original
"Born in the U.S.A." original by Annie Leibovitz

The artwork for “Born in the U.S.A.” has always stuck out in my mind. I am a huge fan of Annie Leibovitz. Especially her more simple compositions. The message behind the album title (and title track) should be noted as a remembrance of the men and women who have served the United States in both popular and unpopular wars. My dad served in the Vietnam War and I thought this would be a great iconic photograph to emulate.

Set design

  • One white t-shirt
  • One pair of blue jeans
  • One red baseball cap (Thanks for letting me borrow the hat, Vin!)
  • One large American flag
  • One male model

The American flag was clamped to a fence (You can get an idea of the setup by taking a look at the photo to the right.) Since my remote for the camera was dead, I had to get creative with focusing the lens. The The setup for my "Born in the U.S.A." photographtrash can in the backyard was placed approximately 2 feet in front of the fence. Then I focused on the trash can. Then I removed the trash can from the scene and replaced it with Ralph’s chew toy. A little rubber doughnut to be specific. The doughnut was my standing marker. After pressing the shutter, a 10 second timer would give me just enough time to get into position.

The project would have been a lot easier with another person helping me. Oh well!

Lighting setup

I did my best to replicate the lighting from Annie’s original photograph. I couldn’t find much detail on her original shoot, so I did my best to emulate her setup.

  • Sunrise
  • Canon 7D onboard flash
  • Canon 430EX
  • Canon 580EX II

Shooting information

  • Model: Canon EOS 7D
  • Exposure: 1/250 @ f5.0
  • Focal Length: 50mm
  • ISO Speed Rating: ISO 200
  • Lens: EF 50mm f/1.8 II

Post-processing

I made it a goal to strictly limit the post-processing techniques to those of a photographer back in the mid-1980s. Photoshop did not exist. Although I shot digitally, I used an extensive amount of dodge/burn techniques to emulate the methods of that era.

As always, please check out the rest of my photography