Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Camera to me.

Me by Michael Hawkins

My love for cameras came far much earlier than photography. Typically it is reversed, but that is not the case with me. My first camera was from my grandfather. It was a small blue plastic film camera that took packs of flash strips, each had 5 flashes for each. I don't ever remember taking a planned shot, or seeing a developed photograph. But I was obsessed with it's buttons. The way the flash blinded me the moment that plasticky click went off. I loved it.

The next camera I remember was my fathers. In the 80's a small compact 35mm film camera that had a electric zoom on it. I thought it was magic.

My first SLR was N70 that I had traded at a small pawn shop one cold afternoon. I was young and broke. Didn't have much to my name. One being a pretty nice shotgun. Cameras had held my heart, though I knew nothing about how to work one. I found the N70 came with a silver hard traveling case that also contained 3 different old beat up lenses. The shop owner thought I was crazy to want to trade the nice shotgun for the camera, but I insisted. The trade probably saved my life honestly. I shot for about a year. Always on automatic. Nobody really around to learn from in the country town I lived at. I knew I was in love with black and white photographs.

My first DSLR was a Nikon D200. I was still pretty fresh to cameras. Sure I kind'v knew how to exchange the lenses, but that was about it. I bought the camera with a 17-55 and a 10.5 fisheye. A photographer friend of mine told me to always buy pro level glass. "Bodies come and go, technology will always upgrade, but quality pro glass will always stay with you"

I moved to a D300 and then a D700. I loved the Nikon's to death. They fit so good I would constantly keep it in my hand because it felt so natural.

Video smacked the photography world like Hogan off the ropes. The question came, to mix video with photography? The king kong that only wielded the mighty sword of 1080p was the 5d mk II, the Nikon nemesis CANON.. DUN DUN DUNNNN. I switched and like Forest Gump says.....Thats all I have to say about that.

Picking up the camera now is a constant reminder of how much I love them. The weight says it was built tough, to go in all terrains, to document the history of the world. The buttons offer a world of possibilities to create visual interpretations. The glass shows the level of engineering invested in these amazing machines.

Why do you love cameras? Photography? Flash strobes or natural lighting. BW or rich color? HDR or single exposure. What do you feel passionate about?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Gear: Matthew's Muslin. Time Lapse

Recently did a commercial shoot involving some pretty amazing cars and their owners. Here is a Time Lapse Video of myself and Sean putting together the Matthews Muslin. Its basically a 20 x 20 frame that holds the muslin on HUGE Matthews roller HI HI stands. I would shoot through the muslin, using it as a giant diffuser to spread the light out evenly and softly over the car. Takes about an hour to put together.

Rolls Royce


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Have Fun


Working Late at night often, you have to do funky stuff to keep your mind moving, thinking, creating. Sooooo sometimes I call up my cheapest model....myself. We have to remember to have fun. Don't take yourself too seriously. Life is too short for that. Laugh. Focus. Laugh Some more.

For the Lighting, Simple. (See Diagram Below) White background. AB1600 through a Beauty Dish that is diffused boomed camera left. You don't have to have a BD, you can use a soft box.
I used Lightroom 3 to make the gridded contact sheet. (You can do this in Lightroom 2 as well) Go to PRINT and lay out your grid preferences. Cheers

Have fun

Dallas Texas Based.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly...who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause ; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who have never known neither victory nor defeat" - Teddy Roosevelt

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Gallery and PARTY!

Over the years I have had many offers to show in various reputable galleries. This alone did not serve my interest as an artist. Urban Dog Coffee founder and owner, Brady, approached me that instead of a gallery commission for each sell, instead a chosen organization that is striving to better this world. THIS INTEREST ME AND I FOUND WORTH THE VENTURE.

So I'm finally having a fine art show. It features a lot of my personal work as well as commercial. I've always thought there is really a fine line between commercial art. I'M THROWING A SHOW EVENT-PARTY Saturday APRIL 10th, 2010! 2720 Oak Lawn ste A. Dallas! Bring all your friends and 3 strangers!

Recent Review: "Braun see's Dallas with an eye like no other photographer Ive met. A Dallas Native, Braun captures the cityscapes and scenery with depth and whimsey and seemingly without compromise to either. His work is really stunning, giving us a fresh way to view our city. His show benefits Sower Of Seeds Intl, an organization working to prevent sex trafficking."

This show goes to benefit Sower of Seeds International by giving 35% of all proceeds from each sale. Please take the time to learn more about this amazing organization.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I believe that the truly creative periods are those when you live with intensity

I don’t know what’s important to the people who look at my photos. What’s important to me is to make them. I work all the time, but there are only a few of my photos that I find really good. I am not even sure that I am really a good photographer. I think that anyone working as I do could do the same. But my purpose is not to prove my talent. I photograph almost every day, except when it’s too cold for traveling the way I do – as in this time of winter. Sometimes my photos are OK, other times they are not, but I think that eventually something will come out of my work. I don’t worry about it.

–Josef Koudelka

(Courtesy of A Photo Editor, one of my favorite blogs)