Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Holiday Card

December 2013--Lincolnwood, IL and Washington, DC--The pressure from my mom intensified, still quite spunky, "You need to send a holiday card to all of your clients." she insisted.  I knew she was correct.  But had no idea what to do.  On an annual "renunion'  with 6 friends who I grew up with,  we drove through the Lincolnwood Towers,  an area well known for holiday lights.  I made several images of several homes.  Then when I returned home to DC, I realized two more locations with lights, the US Botanical Gardens with the US Capitol in the background and the National Zoo.  After downloading the images, it hit me.  This card with holiday lights.

To all my friends, associates and clients who help make 2013 a wonderful year, thank you!  And to all I wish a productive, successful and peaceful 2014.

Photos made with a Sony XET-5 shot in the HDR mode.

Copyright 2013 Laurence L. Levin

Thursday, December 05, 2013


December 05--Rock Creek Park--After digging in the dirt, Patches at age 7.  Shot in HDR with the Sony NEX-5T.

Photography Copyright Laurence L. Levin
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Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Setting up the aisle for the 'encounter'
November 20--Los Angeles, CA--DCP Productions next series of NHL commercials for GEICO.  "Duel" finds two hockey rivals, Washington Capital and New York Ranger, a fan encounter in a grocery store.  See the final product.

Making a commercial is like a magic trick.  Great attention to detail,  always something different and working with outstanding creative and talented people help to make each job succeed.  As the set photographer, I need to work with each department, stay out of the way and make sure I capture the behind the scene production work.  It takes nimble moves, a quick eye and a sense of timing.  It is a test of skills, a bit of patience and a good attitude that makes each of these jobs a terrific experience. 

Behind the scenes of the "crash"
A little film humor
Director of Photography, Andrezj Bartkowiak

Director Don Cherel providing a look to the actor Cherel


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Middle East Institute

Ambassador Susan Rice
November 15--Washington, DC--The Middle East Institute, 67th Annual Conference: Managing Transition, Containing Conflict: The Middle East in 2014.  Held at the Capital Hilton.  A reception with keynote speaker Ambassador Susan Rice the night before.  The second day was filled with panel discussions.

The hotel did a wonderful job of staging the event.  As the photographer for the event, many opportunities are available to move around to get various angles of each subject.  It is vital to provide a different look for the client.  You never know what the client has in mind so it is necessary to give options.  Three Ambassador Rice images from the same stage but three different possibilities.

The same for panel discussions, you have to navigate the microphone, water pitchers and other distractions.  Changing positions, angles and compositions, giving options in the photographic coverage is important.
Ambassador Susan Rice
Ambassador Susan Rice
Khalil Al Anani and Rabab El Mahdi  
Mohsen Milani
Gregory Gause
Mona Yacoubian
Steven Simon 
Ayat Mneina and Mabrouka Mbarek
Ahmed Maher
Photography Copyright 2013 Laurence L. Levin 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Best Buddies Challenge DC

October 19--Poolesville, Maryland to Leesburg, Virginia--A government shut down almost cancelled the Audi Best Buddies Challenge bike ride.  But solving problems found solutions and the ride commenced from a different location.  The ride started at the Poolesville Golf Course and went by a scenic route through Maryland and Virginia.  
Actor Kevin Spacey and Turner Harris
Daniel Noltemeyer and President Audi of America Scott Keogh
Mayor Adrian Fenty and Anthony Shriver
A video shot with a Canon 70D 
A short view of the ride through Virginia countryside.

Photo notes: Events like this is about the participants and finding scenic photos.  It's about relationships and capturing the faces that make this activity fun and successful.

Photography Copyright 2013 Laurence L. Levin 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Best Buy Photo Boot Camp

October 10--Washington, DC--For several days in October, Best Buy brought their top sales associates to learn and practice photography skills.  In order to be better in sales, a better appreciation and knowledge of equipment will enhance the customers' experience.  I assisted in the teaching along with Bob Pearson and Ralph Alswang.  This video is a compilation of the learning my new Best Buy friends did during their boot camp.

BluePixel Creates produced the boot camp.  I did the primary photography and video on this multimedia video.  The time lapse images were made using the intervalometer on the Nikon D800, video was made with the Canon 70d and the Sony Action Cam, stills were shot on both the Canon 70d and Sony NEX-5.  Additional photography Ralph Alswang, Josh Roberts and Tony Lewis.

Link to the video:  http://youtu.be/Prtn-tg-lHA

Copyright 2013 Laurence L. Levin

Thursday, September 12, 2013

City Year DC: Opening Ceremony

City Year 2013-2014 Corp 
September 12--Washington, DC--City Year DC opening ceremony is a celebration of the upcoming school year.  It introduces the corp members and their school affiliation to the community.  There is dancing, pledges, speeches and optimism for the new school year.  
Opening ceremony

Sam Pride 
Lailla Abdallah

Photo Notes: City Year opening ceremonies is one happening event.  There is a non stop energy in the room. It's like a sporting event, you know there is going to action to photograph, you just have to know where in the room to be and know how to adjust the camera controls to recognize the different lighting conditions.  There is stage light and the ambient light in the audience section.   Sometimes the light is good, sometimes a little strobe is needed too.  Like corp members, I have to be prepared.

Photography Copyright 2013 Laurence L. Levin 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Success from Home: Phil Gerdes

August 20--Annapolis, MD--Success from Home magazine assignment: to feature the successful lifestyle of Phil Gerdes and his family. Gerdes is a lifestyle coach and a top performer of a network marketing company.  Had to do several setups, change of clothes, change angles and perspectives.  These two situations are my favorite.

Photography Copyright 2013 Laurence L. Levin 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Riley Folds

August 18--Washington, DC--Author, Activist, Entrepreneur and friend Riley B. Folds asked me to make his portrait.  He was staying at the Mayflower Hotel.  So many eloquent rooms and places to photograph at this hotel  This was my favorite location, the balcony overlooking the main lobby.  Using one light off camera and balancing the exposure for the ambient light.

Riley's book Your Queer Career can be found on Amazon.

Photography Copyright 2013 Laurence L. Levin 
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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Best Buddies Leadership Conference

Anthony Shriver with the international group
July 19-21--Bloomington IN--Best Buddies Leadership Conference attracts over 1000 students from all 50 states and 30 countries to learn, inspire and invigorate the Best Buddies mission of inclusion.

A quiet moment between sessions
 Learning Sessions

Sarah at the closing ceremonies
The Buddy Idol Winner on stage, Closing Ceremonies
Photo notes:  Group photos everywhere but I try to find some special moments.  The photo of AKS with the international attendees is an annual situation.  It needs to be refreshed each year.  As we try to do something different each year, logistics of location and timing seems to be the same.  So its the energy that is captured.

The main purpose of the event is to share information to best serve the organization.  The photos may be ordinary but vital to share the conference's goal.  The closing ceremonies is always a 'happening' event.  Finding and knowing where to stand is vital to photograph the right people both in the audience and from behind the stage.

Copyright 2013 Laurence L. Levin

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Grocery Manufacturers Association

July 17--Washington, DC--Grocery Manufacturers Association's Growth and Public Policy Summit Breakfast with Sam Kass, Executive Director of Let's Move and Senior Policy Advisor on Nutrition, The White House, promoting healthy eating for young people.  The Summit was convened to discuss food, health and consumer product policy.  The Kass photos were published online by Letsmove.gov.  The closing dinner honored George W. Koch.  Senator Pat Roberts and Rep. John Boehner delivered congratulations to the night's honored guest.
Representative John Boehner
Senator Pat Roberts
Photo Notes:  GMA does an outstanding job to properly brand the stage of their events.  In almost every angle I can make photographs of speakers on stage, a distinctive GMA identification can be included.

To get your message/brand seen, a well designed stage can accomplish your goal. The signage is bold but not distracting, the background colors are bright but not overwhelming, and there is enough light on the subject for a good exposure.

Photography Copyright 2013 Laurence L. Levin 
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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Local Birds

Mid April, Montrose Park, Washington, DC--The park gained two new residence,  two baby owls.  They were hard to see, hiding in their nest.  But in several weeks they were out on a limb.   

In July, with borrowed Nikkor 300mm f/4 lens and my teleconverter, transformed the lens into a 500mm did a walk through Glover Archbold Park.  I made two multimedia videos,  one with music, the other with natural sound.

Photography copyright 2013 Laurence L. Levin

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Hyannis Port Challenge

Tom Brady
May 30--Boston and Hyannis Port--I have photographed the Best Buddies Hyannis Port Challenge for a long time.  Each year the goal is to not only capture the obvious shots but find something different.  So after the good looking photo of Tom Brady and the Miss USA winners, the concentration was to find interaction between buddies.
Miss USA Nana Meriwether, Miss Kansas Teen Katie Taylor, Miss Indiana Teen Darrian Arch, Miss Teen USA Logan West
Bryan Link and Will Macom
NFL Center Dan Koppen and Michael Jaxtimer
Sarah and Tom

Copyright 2013 Laurence L. Levin

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Earth Day Network

Sir Richard Branson, Earth Day Network President Kathleen Rogers,  present the 2013 Climate Visionary Award to SpaceX & Tesla CEO Elon Must 
May 23--Washington, DC--Earth Day Network hosted its fourth Climate Leadership Gala to advance the cause of a cleaner environment.  Hosted at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, celebrities, politicians, business leaders gathered to honor several notable achievements, Elon Musk received the Climate Leadership Award and Melanne Verveer received the Women and Green Economy (WAGE(R)) Award.
John Corbett 
 Melanne Verveer accepting her 2013 Women and the Green Economy Leadership Award in The Mayflower Hotel Ballroom 

Sir Richard Branson
Photo notes:  The folks at the Earth Day Network found me through a search on the Internet.  Glad they did.  This was an extraordinary event.  So many interesting and respected guests.  Thus the goal was to photograph as many of these people with guests.  Each of these folks were pulled in every direction.  I had to be diplomatic yet unobtrusive but had to coax all of the people assemble and smile.  There was so much going on all the time.  So it is vital to prioritize, work with the client to make certain to get the images they really need.  During the presentations,  I wanted to get additional candid images. Most of the candid shots are from the stage and table shots.  All those were made with the stage or other ambient light.  Using the RAW digital files permits better color correction when doing post processing. Although it takes a significant amount of time to process the files, it is well worth it to get better results.

All photographs Copyright 2013 Laurence L. Levin