Category Archives: The Unicorn Project

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Announcing The Amazing Robocop Retouching Contest! Win Prizes!

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The Contest

As you may have seen on Fstoppers or on this blog, I did one of my dream shoots with an actor wearing an original style Robocop costume along with his replica of the OCP Robocop police Taurus. The Robo suit is actually made from original molds used to create the actual costume used in the first Robocop movie. Pretty cool, right? Well as I’ve discovered, this is also a dream shoot for many of you as well. Now, I cannot setup a shoot for you, BUT I can let you play with up to 8 of my original Phase One IQ140 RAW files from the photoshoot. Even better, if you do a great job, you may win prizes and accolades!

The general idea is to download and use one or all of the provided RAW files (bottom on this post) and have a good time retouching/creating a composite from this shoot. You can put Robocop on Mars, in the middle of a gunfight, having dinner with you in a family photo, etc. The sky is the limit… although, lets avoid him doing anything that may be considered offensive to the general public (this is the internet, I had to add that disclaimer haha).

If you’re looking for inspiration, here are examples from my previous retouching contests for reference:

Video Of The Original Photoshoot:

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Your Panel Of Retouching-Celebrity Judges

We are VERY lucky to have a panel my extremely talented retoucher/photographer friends to sift through your entries and choose the honorable mentions as well as the grand prize winner! Pratik Naik, Clint Davis (previous retouching contest winner), Justin Paguia (my own  longest time retoucher), Julia Kuzmenko, Glyn Dewis, and myself will all be judging. I am honored that they are agreeing to help in the fun! They are all so incredibly talented and good people to boot!

The Prizes

All honorable mentions will be posted on Fstoppers.com along with links to their websites/online portfolios.

Along with the honor of being named one of the most creative and talented retouchers by our judges, the grand prize winner will receive the following prizes:

  • Full copy of Phase One’s Capture One Pro 7 software (retail $299): This is what I use (they put my photo on the box). It’s the best tethering and RAW processing solution on the market. It actually is the best software for processing Phase One RAW files like the ones you will be downloading below, although it does an awesome job processing every other major camera maker’s RAW files as well. I heavily suggest you download the free 30 day trial of Capture One Pro 7 and use it to process the RAW files from this contest.

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  • Case Logic Checkpoint Friendly Laptop Backpack (retail $99.99): I have this bag and it’s awesome. It fits my 15″ Macbook Pro, iPad, Wacom tablet, GPS, chargers, etc. It’s also great for travel because you can zip it open without having to pull your laptop out at the airport security lines. It also has a sleeve in the back to easily slide onto your roller bag securely.

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  • Tether Tools Starter Kit ($84 value) from my friends at Tether Tools. This is an awesome prize by itself and great for any on-location photographer or tech. They promised to supply you with a tether cable of the winner’s choosing.  The guys at TetherTools.com are awesome. They make everything in my on-location tethering kit from my tether table, to my USB cable from my camera to the computer, iPad holder for displaying images to my clients, and anything else you could ever imaging wanting on set. Check out www.TetherTools.com

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The Rules

  • You have approximately 9 days. Deadline is 11:59PM (East Coast US Time) February 14, 2014 to submit your images. You can either email me (douglas[at]sondersphotography[dot]com) directly or post a link to your edits as a comment on this post. Make sure to include your name and a link to your webpage (if you have one) so I can include it in the post if you make the finals or win.
  • Grand prize winner and honorable mentions will be announced by February 21, 2014. Stay tuned to this blog and my Facebook page for updates.
  • Go nuts. Create the coolest, wildest, most creative retouching job on these photo…but keep it clean please! Put Robocop in any serious or wacky scenario that your mind can create. I’ve included 8 files with different elements for you to combine as you see fit! You can use 1 or elements from all 8 files as you wish. You can also combine elements from your own or legally acquired stock imagery as long as you include elements from at least one of the Robocop files supplied below.
  • This is an international contest, so anyone on this planet can enter.
  • Submitted images should be at least 1000 pixels on its longest side.
  • The fine print: I still own the copyright of these images so no going and using this in advertisements you crazy kids, but you are welcome to post your entry in your online and print portfolios as examples of your retouching work, of course. I’m a kind fellow, but my lawyers are not :D
  • Have fun!

Download the zip of the 8 Robocop Phase One RAW files here : Contest Over / Compiling Results

NOTE: I highly suggest downloading the free 30 day trial of Capture One Pro 7 software and using it to process these RAW files.

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My Robocop Photoshoot – Behind The Scenes

I love the original Robocop film and my friends and I have obsessed about it for years. I’ve been extremely busy (thankfully) with photoshoots, but I always make sure to clear some time in my schedule to add to my “Unicorn Project” (a personal project dedicated to capturing movie and tv cars). This time I had the opportunity to photograph a Robocop suit molded from the one used in the original film along with a replica OCP Ford Taurus police car, but I had to fly to Phoenix first…

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Stay tuned to my facebook page, I will be giving away free posters, computer wallpapers, and even offering a Robocop retouching contest with prizes.

If you want to see an extensive blog post that explains how this shoot came together, how it was captures, and even see more edited images, go here: http://fstoppers.com/the-robocop-ph…

Thanks for letting me share with you guys!

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Preview: My Photoshoot With The Green Hornet’s Black Beauty Movie Car


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Lots of fun shoots going on these days! Just got back from photographing the Green Hornet’s Black Beauty. This was one of 2 surviving screen used hero cars from the recent movie (not including stunt cars that were cut up or destroyed). I photographed the car as part of my ongoing photo series called The Unicorn Project, about TV and movie cars (originals and replicas).

Soon, I will be releasing the entire edited photos set as well as a behind the scenes video with how to do an automotive rig shot (the rig is the boom arm and suction cup mounted to the car – see below). If you love cars, movies, and/or photography you will love this set when it comes out.

Thanks for everyone’s support and keep an eye out! You can subscribe to this blog on the right side of the page to keep up with my new posts.

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Was nervous to mount my Phase One on there for my first try with a rig. Maybe next time!

Like Movie Cars? Check Out Christine, My New Shoot

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The fruits of my Valentines Day labor! If you follow my various forms of social media, Christine here was my date for Valentines Day. This was a personal shoot as part of my ongoing movie and TV car photo series “The Unicorn Project”: http://tinyurl.com/b4lhsac

This photo is a composite of multiple exposures from my Phase One 645DF+ IQ140 Medium Format and White Lightning studio flashes placed around the car. Use of a fog machine was a big help to convey realistic headlight beams in front of the car and create ambiance behind the the car.


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Setting up as the sun sets
Setting up as the sun sets
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iPhone photo from on-set
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What My Last Two Weeks Have Been Like (Hint: zoom, vroom, brrrr, whoosh)

First of all, apologies for the few blog posts the past month. It has been a wild and diverse 2013 so far! In the past two weeks alone I shot a magazine cover in pittsburgh, taught photography to 250 people in DC (taught over 600 folks in the month of January), filmed a TV ad and in Montana, interviewed and filmed and sped around with Jay Leno in LA, and finished the second week off by being President Clinton’s photographer in DC, following him around for the day. Wild and surreal is all I can say. Wild and surreal. My career sure has become a diverse crazy adventure! What an awesome start to 2013.

I can’t say much about any of the individual filming/photography projects that I listed above, but be prepared for some awesome projects and behind the scene content that will be released on this site soon. Meanwhile, hope you enjoy some of my behind the scenes photos from the road:

 

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My LA production team filming Jay Leno in his garage (He has an epic car collection if you didn’t know).
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Picking my Emma up from the dog hotel. We missed each other! My “killer” pitbull. Haha.
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Snowy day in Red Lodge Montana.
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Street legal rally racer with a 400+ horsepower Corvette engine and rally race suspension. What a ride.
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Our Red Scarlet filming sunset in Montana
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Filming the Crash Boom Bang concert at DC’s 930 club with multiple Red Cameras. This Epic is on a jib on the upper balcony.
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My beloved Phase One
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Spending the day with President Clinton
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Probably the most epic photo ever taken of my business partner Nick (in 8112 Studios) and me. Jay Leno taking us for a drive in his steam car.
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Burnout

 

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My Mad Max Photoshoot With Full Behind The Scenes Video

A few months ago, I hit up my buddy Paul Miller, who is a movie director out of Southern California. Regular readers of my site may recognize Paul from my previous Mad Max Interceptor shoot. Paul told me that he is part of a group of folks that essentially constructs clothing, weapons, and even vehicles to re-enact the Mad Max post apocalypse in the Mojave desert, much like some re-enact the US Civil War. They are often referred to as “Wastelanders” after their annual gathering entitled “Wasteland Weekend”.

First of all, this sounded like one of the most incredible things I have ever heard in my entire life. Secondly, for years I have been photographing portraits of cars that from popular films and the people that own them under a personal series of mine called the “Unicorn Project”. This seemed like a perfectly appropriate and awesome opportunity to add to my personal series and add amazing content to my portfolio.

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A personal photoshoot like this may cost me a chunk of change out of pocket (travel, supplies, time, opportunity cost, gear rental), but the unique pieces I would create for my portfolio are priceless.

After setting a date with Paul and his “Wastelanders”, I began to reach out to my friends (aka: people I could convince to work for cheap/free on this personal project) to assemble a team that included a clothing stylist to arrange clothing and additional props (Chanon Finley), hair and makeup artist (Maeve Kate Broadhurst), and people to help with various duties such as general photo assisting, and behind the scenes photo and video. I am very thankful that my friends volunteered to help because I couldn’t have done it without them, especially without spending a fortune out of pocket.

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Mad Max Photoshoot Teaser – Behind The Scenes Video Coming Soon

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This is from a fun personal Max Mad inspired shoot I did a month or two back in the Mojave desert in California. I have a full behind the scenes video and more photos coming, but in the meantime, here are a few teasers for you. I hope you’re as excited as I am!

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