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Month: September 2011

tonic photography work in action!

tonic photography work in action!

If you recall our post from mid-July, we highlighted Photographer Patrick Darby’s trip to the Grand Canyon Railway to shoot photos for a wrap which would be installed on the Metro light rail here in the Valley. We recently received a shot of our work in action, riding the light rails over the Tempe Town Lake bridge!

Metro LRV 127 glides over Tempe Town Lake sporting the wrap we helped create.
Education abounds at tonic photo studios

Education abounds at tonic photo studios

In many professions, staying up to date on the latest techniques, technology and best practices is a necessity and commercial photography is no different. Recently, tonic photo studios was involved in two events which helped both Patrick Darby and other valley photographers maintain their leading-edge skills.

In August, we hosted a seminar created by the American Society of Media Photographer’s Phoenix chapter. The seminar was part of the chapter’s Third Thursday monthly series and the August event focused on architectural photography. Since architectural photography work is one of our specialties, we were pleased to host the meeting. Not only was it a great way to show off our phoenix commercial studio space to other valley photographers, we were proud to support a great organization which helps local photographers of all skill levels.

The architecture photography seminar in action
An overhead view of the ASMP seminar

The other event Tonic was involved with focused more on helping to maintain Patrick’s skill set. Photoshop World Las Vegas 2011 was held earlier this month and we sent Patrick to learn the latest in Photoshop techniques. Photo retouching in Photoshop is a large part of the work involved in delivering the highest quality images and Patrick is committed to providing the highest level of Photoshop creativity to the clients who entrust their photography work to him.

In addition to enjoying the conference, Patrick took a little time to experience the energy of Las Vegas. He took a few shots of the incredible sights on The Strip.

tonic studios captures classic Arizona in vibrant HDR

tonic studios captures classic Arizona in vibrant HDR

We’ve been keeping ourselves busy as summer fades here in Phoenix. In addition to being occupied with client work, Patrick  Darby has been working on an internal project for tonic photo studios. We’ll spare you all the details, but the project recently required a quick road trip to the towns of Cottonwood and Jerome, and he headed over to Apache Junction as well.

Both Cottonwood and Jerome are delightful destinations for Arizonans and out-of-state visitors. Located in the high deserts of northern Arizona, they’re full of interesting history and quirky treasures. Jerome started in the 1870’s as a mining town clinging to the side of Cleopatra Hill, but fell into hard times as the mining industry changed. At one point Jerome was a ghost town with less than 100 residents. It has now reinvented itself as an eclectic artistic community and tourist destination.

Cottonwood was settled around the same time as Jerome, but took a different path to local notoriety. Founded on the banks of the Verde River, the town became known for an adventurous spirit and a lax attitude toward law enforcement. It earned a reputation for having the best bootleg alcohol in the state and attracted drinkers from as far away from Los Angeles. Cottonwood is a quieter and more law-abiding place today, but it’s full of museums and other places to discover Arizona’s past.

So why was Patrick gallivanting around these towns, camera in hand? He wanted to capture images of classic Arizona landscapes and buildings. Since both towns are full of historic places, old artifacts and gorgeous high desert panoramas, Patrick was able to find plenty of subjects for his photos.

He also wanted to work with high dynamic range (HDR) techniques to enhance the textures of his photos. HDR brings a tremendous amount of life and energy to an image. When shooting photos which feature fantastic surfaces like rusty truck bodies and aged wooden wagons, HDR can take a great image and make it pop in ways no other technique can.

Have a look at a few of the images Patrick produced from the road trip and be on the lookout for the full gallery on the tonic studios website and facebook!

tonic on location and in the studio with TASER International

tonic on location and in the studio with TASER International

If you’ve been reading our blog for a while, you know that we have a wide range of clients here at tonic photo studios. We’ve photographed food for Flo’s, architecture in downtown Phoenix and a train for the Grand Canyon Railway. One of our longtime clients is TASER International, maker of electronic control devices used by individuals and law enforcement organizations around the world. TASER is headquartered here in Phoenix and they called up Studio Director and Photographer Patrick Darby and the tonic team to photograph Shockwave, a new perimeter control product.

TASER’s primary goal was to create updated images of Shockwave and other products for use in marketing materials. We chose to use two settings for photographing the range of images TASER needed. To capture Shockwave in a realistic setting, we coordinated a photoshoot on location at The Icehouse and followed that up with a session in our studio.

The location shoot involved several players including Patrick, TASER and a local SWAT team. The day was warm and the SWAT team spent nearly seven hours in their gear, but the shoot was successful. Take a look below at few of the images we captured. We appreciate the efforts of the SWAT team and The Icehouse in making the location shoot happen!

Shockwave on location
SWAT team on location

We also brought Shockwave and other products into the studio so we could capture precisely staged photos. Having the products in studio presented far fewer logistical challenges, as Patrick has all of his equipment available to him. You can see some highlights from the studio work below.

Shockwave set up in the studio
Shockwave with remote trigger
TASER X2

Take a look at TASER’s Shockwave page and keep an eye out for the new images to arrive there soon! Also, visit TASER’s Facebook page and have a look at the photos they posted from the The Icehouse shoot.

tonic photo studios to shoot Betty’s Nosh: mushrooms and more

tonic photo studios to shoot Betty’s Nosh: mushrooms and more

Our work with great local restaurants rolls on! In July we showed off some of the work we did with SanTan Brewing Company and Flo’s Asian Kitchen. In late August, we added another great local restaurant to our client list: Betty’s Nosh in Glendale.

Betty’s Nosh is a new mushroom bar which opened in early May. You’re probably thinking “Mushroom bar? What’s that?” Well, the mushroom bar is just what it sounds like. Think sushi bar, but with stuffed mushrooms instead of sashimi. Guests can order customized stuffed mushrooms and watch them being prepared while sitting at the bar.

In addition to the mushroom bar, Betty’s Nosh offers up a feel similar to a laid-back wine bar. The wine and drink selections are extensive. Executive Chef Ray Romero serves great entrées and tapas, but Betty’s adds a few extra touches which most wine bars don’t. For starters, they have Pasty Chef Erica Bahnak on staff to create delicious pastries. In addition, Betty’s does mornings, not just afternoons and evenings. They have a morning coffee bar and on Sundays, Chef Romero puts together an extraordinary omelet bar.

Having established themselves over the summer, Betty’s Nosh wanted to bring their website and marketing materials up to level on par with their food. They called upon Patrick Darby at tonic photo studios to come in to the restaurant and capture a range of photos covering the food and the space itself. Food stylist Ellen Straine joined him for the one-day shoot and by then end, they left with a host of great images.

We want to show off a few samples from the shoot, so take a look at what Betty’s has to offer. Naturally, we included a mushroom shot!

Look for these images and many more to appear soon on Betty’s website and printed material, and head on up to north Glendale Arizona to see what Betty’s Nosh is cooking up.