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Mad Water Buffalo and Englishmen….

May 29

In Friends, Lighting, Videos at 6:52am

That’s how it goes, right? Or is it mad badgers and Englishmen? Mad dogs? Can’t remember, but that’s okay, cause Drew Gardner reminds us in his lighting video. Lessee, this video is about location selection, apparently dead fashion models, trees, tractors, Elinchrom Rangers, booms, C-stands, makeup artists, live badgers, animal trainers, fences, lighting theory and diagrams, water buffalo with naked women atop them, smoke machines, smoke wafting, backlighting, sidelighting, mood lighting, post production, and of course, the ring master who can control the action in all three rings of the bigtop of his brain, the aforementioned mad Englishman, Drew Gardner. Check out this teaser. Drew keeps his clothes on (thank you!), the model gets a bit naked.

Drew is a piece of work, as anyone who has encountered him knows. He’s got one of those singularly crazy sensibilities behind the camera that always pushes the envelope of what is possible. Thing is, he has always got a destination in mind, which is great, especially for somebody who likes a story line. He links these pix into a narrative. An admittedly hazy, madcap narrative, but a narrative nevertheless. Witness his epic fashion shoots with fashion models in 6 inch stilettos impossibly outrunning heavily armed Russian special forces troops. There’s a bunch of these. Makes me wonder what eventually happens? Stay tuned! Are they caught and brought back to a nasty prison for the outrageously overdressed? Do the SWAT guys propose marriage on the spot? Or do the young ladies turn on their pursuers and start wielding their Manolo Blahnicks as fearsome, unusual weapons, ala Go Go Yubari and her chain mace ball of death in Kill Bill, Part I? I want to know! Drew, next installment please!

This installment is a load of fun and information, and pushes Drew further down the road of his ongoing forest adventures, which are already notable, and involve, as always, fairies, nymphs, real animals, animals from story books, exquisite staging and styling, a Phase One back and a smoke machine.

Ahh, the smoke machine. Drew has not got your garden variety, take it out of the closet every Halloween and see if it works type smoker you can buy at Partytime for $19.99. No, no. He has got a state of the art, industrial strength, planet Dagobah type smoker. Think LA on a bad day, and you’ve roughly got what the forest looks like after Drew gets done with it.

Check out the video, and Drew’s website. Quite mad, indeed. More tk…..

Michael Hansen says:

on May 29, 2009 at 9:30 am

Yes, Drew is something. I saw him at a lecture in Denmark last year. His is awsome. Hi has a great sense of humor, some pretty funny stories to tell and is a bit mad… When I think about it, very much like Joe actually…

Martin Haseman says:

on May 29, 2009 at 10:35 am

I bought the DVD from and thoroughly enjoyed it… smoke machine and all. Definitely worth a look if they still have it in stock.,12490.html

Charles Verghese says:

on May 29, 2009 at 10:47 am

Great guy that Drew!

Had the pleasure of being in a workshop in Dubai, the same year I took your class. Far out ideas with excellent and out of the box results.

Ranger 9 says:

on May 29, 2009 at 11:00 am

I can hardly wait for that DVD to come out, because I really need this information. i’ve got scads of potential clients clamoring to pay me huge fees to do epic projects that let me unleash my untrammeled creativity without providing them any tangible benefit. Not.

You see the same kind of thing in architecture, publication design, industrial design… the people who win the awards and have the genius reputations are being recognized, I think, for their ability to get away with stuff that their peers wish they could have gotten away with…

What we really need is a workshop or DVD that would teach us how to persuade people to fund this kind of massive self-indulgence — preferably without the need for getting them stoned, which is illegal where I live.

Several years ago I read and saved this quote by Elliott Erwitt: “It’s very amusing, but it’s a formula. When you’ve seen three or four pictures, you’ve seen them.” Sound familiar?

Joe McNally says:

on May 29, 2009 at 4:39 pm

It’s out Ranger 9! Run to the store….

And by the way, there is an awful lot of sham promotion out there that does get noticed, and perhaps shouldn’t be, because it is hollow at its core. But, there are certain qualities that do come up time and again in discussion and description of those folks who stay the course, stay in the ring, take great risks, live with uncertainty, work the high wire with no net, compete in a ferocious marketplace and turn in a professional, compelling, story telling, durable, seaworthy, solid, accessible, excellent level of work year after year. A few of those qualities, in no particular order, are imagination, talent, tenacity, personality, drive, work ethic, passion, improvisational skills, curiosity, sympathy for the human condition, sense of humor, flexibility…. and so on. All these and more tend to reside in copious amounts in the makeup of every successful professional photographer I know, Drew Gardner being among them.

Joe King says:

on May 29, 2009 at 7:28 pm

Sexy CSI oooooooooooh ya

Dreamer says:

on May 29, 2009 at 7:33 pm

Hey Joe
Do you think you could call a few of your buddies down there at Nikon HQ and ask them to put together a CLS Mc”SuperFlash” something with some power that would link with the Nikon CLS instead of the 3 lights on a stand workaroound.

You know what I mean something that would make an octabox pop

Marshal says:

on May 29, 2009 at 11:54 pm

Excellent work!

So are all his latest shots including the model & water buffalo done with the P65+?

Jill Flusemann says:

on May 30, 2009 at 8:08 am

Thanks so much for the update – rushing right out for this – looks mindblowing!

Take care!

Phil says:

on May 30, 2009 at 7:30 pm

Badgers? Badgers? We don’t need no stinking Badgers!

Michael S. says:

on May 30, 2009 at 11:14 pm

“All right, quick, send in the LLama….please, the LLama…”

Very cool link and post. Looks like a COOL cat to work with for sure :)

Oliver Berner says:

on June 1, 2009 at 3:31 pm

Smoke Machine ??? Why not use a couple of these ? I did not have these good looking models, so i placed the smoke in front of them.

cheers olli

Nike Kobe IV says:

on June 9, 2009 at 1:19 pm

The same year I took your class. Far out ideas with excellent and out of the box results.

Profiterole says:

on June 10, 2009 at 3:52 pm

Hi, I don’t know why, but it seems I can’t read your full article trough my feedreader (googlereader). Is it a blog parameter that you’ve changed?

Matt Rothenbuehler says:

on July 3, 2009 at 2:44 am

it’s nice post, specially newbie like me,

Joseluis Jorge says:

on July 3, 2009 at 2:44 am

beautiful site..)),

jeff janosek says:

on July 6, 2009 at 2:29 pm

qusiU1 Thanks this design is very good..,

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